National Autism Association on IACC Removal of Vaccine Safety Research
Managing Editor's Note: This press release is from our sponsor National Autism Association.
Feds Rescind Congressionally Mandated Vaccine Research
Advocates Demand Conflict-Free Vaccine Safety Studies
Washington, DC – In an unprecedented move on Wednesday, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) removed previously approved vaccine safety research from the Strategic Plan for Autism Research objectives. With apparent backing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representation, Committee chair and NIMH director Tom Insel implied that vaccine research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would constitute a conflict given the involvement of Health and Human Services with ongoing autism cases filed in federal vaccine court. The committee's action is in direct opposition to the majority of its public members who support vaccine research, and to the Congressional directive of the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (CAA) which specifically called for research into “potential links between vaccines, vaccine components, and autism spectrum disorder.”
In addition to the CAA's mandate for vaccine research, the legislation also called for the establishment of key research activities to arrive from “meaningful public involvement and advice” through the IACC which includes both government and private representatives.
“Ignoring the Congressional mandate for investigation into links between vaccines and the development of autism is a slap in the face to both Congress and the citizens of this country,” said National Autism Association board chair and parent Lori McIlwain. “Even the most basic studies comparing health outcomes in vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated populations are consistently ignored despite increasing support for them from legislators, physicians, and parents.”
“Dr. Insel's observation that the NIH is incapable of conducting conflict-free research supports what a growing number of parents believe,” commented Ms. McIlwain. “While the motivation for refusing to allow this critical research to go forward is likely more related to fear of what such studies would reveal, it's clear that the system managing our vaccine program and vaccine safety issues is corrupt beyond repair and needs a complete overhaul.”
In 2006, US Senators Ted Kennedy, Mike Enzi, and Chris Dodd agreed that the potential link between vaccines and autism warranted further study. “I want to be clear that, for the purposes of biomedical research, no research avenue should be eliminated, including biomedical research examining potential links between vaccines, vaccine components, and autism spectrum disorder,” stated Enzi.
Autism now affects 1 in 150 children. Last week researchers from the University of California at Davis concluded the dramatic rise in autism cases since 1990 cannot be blamed on population increases or the way the disability is classified or diagnosed (HERE.)
The study's authors, from the university's MIND Institute, called for a switch in research emphasis from a genetic cause to environmental triggers including chemicals, medications, fertility treatments and childhood vaccines.
“It's no wonder parents around the country are questioning vaccines when government agencies refuse to investigate legitimate vaccine safety concerns,” said Ms. McIlwain.
One more thing by the way. It doesn't matter if Democrats or Republicans are in control. The CDC/NIH cabal will do whatever it wants.
The only way to stop this is get rid of the agencies altogether. Short of that, cut their funding for research since what they fund does NOT help one child with autism.
The CDC/NIH are in place for one reason and one reason alone, to push the pharmaceutical company agenda. Why is it that people who work for the pharmaceutical companies wind up working for the FDA/CDC/NIH cabal and vice versa?
Why do every President since Jimmy Carter push the pharmaceutical company agenda (and probably before him)?
Posted by: Raymond Gallup | January 18, 2009 at 10:00 PM
I agree with Lenny's assesment but will go further. I said in the past that the autism community that want something done on the vaccine link to autism can't count on the CDC/NIH cabal to do anything about it. I was confident when the CAA was passed that something like what happened would come to pass. It did!!!
In the future the same thing will happen. The best that can happen is to ask our representatives to cut NIH/CDC research funding since it will be impossible to get rid of these agencies unfortunately. Also, see if we can get representatives to send funds to such autism organizations as Autism Research Institute.
I was once a member of the now defunct CAN in 1997 and quit because I could see they were getting money from drug companies like Merck and they weren't interested in any research into autoimmunity or vaccine link to autism.
The best thing that could happen is that some day in the future, our representitives wised up and got rid of the Dept of HHS that includes the CDC, NIH and FDA. They spend our tax dollars and represent the drug companies. HHS is NOT interested in the public including families with kids with autism. HHS is interested in pushing the drug company agenda only.
Posted by: Raymond Gallup | January 18, 2009 at 09:49 PM
Absolutely, Lenny. This is a golden opportunity to engage in a major grassroots effort to point out to the appropriate Congressional committee (to start with) that the current system won't work for such research because of this admitted built-in conflict of interest of the NIH - that what is needed is an independent body to oversee such research, along with the 'safety' aspect of vaccines (taking that away from the promoters OF vaccines, the CDC). Come on, AoA & NAA & other such open-minded autism bodies: let us know who to dump tons of signatured petitions, emails, phone calls & letters onto, in a concerted effort to capitalize on this admission.
Posted by: Stan | January 18, 2009 at 05:44 PM
There is currently an effort to raise a million dollars for meaningful autism research through the Autism Research Institute. This would be truly independent research. ARI promises to fund a large scale independent study of vaccinated vs unvaccineated children. ARI has led the way for years! We cannot depend upon our government to ever fund such research. We must do it ourselves. See www.autism.com
Posted by: Lynda Huggins | January 18, 2009 at 05:31 PM
LOL, I wouldn't mind 15 mil going for the non-didacted version of the Simpsonwood transcript either. It's out there somewhere.
Posted by: kathleen | January 18, 2009 at 10:31 AM
Dan, I totally agree.
Posted by: kathleen | January 18, 2009 at 08:59 AM
If the 1.5 million families coping with a child with autism in the US gave $10 to Safeminds to conduct these studies we could raise the $16 millon in no time.
Posted by: Dan, tx | January 17, 2009 at 10:39 PM
Insel has signed, sealed and delivered the Bush legacy on the autism epidemic.
"CONFLICT OF INTEREST" across the board from the Bush administration and their ties to Elly Lilly to the CDC's stacking of the ACIP with committee members like Paul Offit who ultimately are reprimanded by congress for their conflict to the NIH and the lawsuits against them which lead to Insel's admitting the conflict of interest. Who cares what happens with Allison Signer?
From a PR perspective. Insel gave the autism community a HUGE gift with his admission of conflict of interest. We should use it to our greatest advantage.
Posted by: Pamela | January 17, 2009 at 10:13 PM
The Combating Autism Act DOES NOT MANDATE any research into autism, vaccines or the environment. There was language originally proposed in the bill, but it was taken out with the help of Cure Autism Now, the Autism Speaks predecessor, who was deeply involved in the process of developing the CAA language along with the pharma congressional politicians who sold our children out. There is some colloquy attached to the legislation that SUGGESTS research be directed towards vaccines. But it is non-binding. It was put there to pacify us, the biomedical community, to think we had accomplished something in order to gain our support for the CAA. We are the ones indeed "slapped in the face" by those who went along with the pharma bill of goods as something worthwhile to the community.
The IACC effort was doomed from the start. I really did wish the IACC effort would succeed, but it failed because the CAA it relies on failed us.
Our only hope is that Obama may clean public health house and turn things around. But this is in the BIG WISH department. The reality is that we stand a good chance of seeing at least 8 more years of pharma dominated public health policy unless parents can mobilize into grass roots efforts hopefully lead by people who do not settle for meager window dressing floor language and colloquy as sufficient progress. Our children deserve more than finger-crossing, wishful thinking pretend mandates. It's up to all of us to make sure we get the real thing from congress and the Obama administration.
Posted by: Lenny Schafer | January 17, 2009 at 06:07 PM