Where Will Alison Singer Pop Up Next?
TACA: IACC Rescinds Vaccine Research Initiatives

SafeMinds: Federal Members of Advisory Committee Block Vaccine-Autism Research

Safeminds current Managing Editor's Note: The following is from our sponsor SafeMinds.


SafeMinds Withdraws Support for Autism Research Strategic Plan, Asks Daschle to Investigate.
JANUARY 16, 2009 - In a highly unusual departure from procedure, government representatives to the Federal Interagency Autism Advisory Committee (IACC) voted this week against conducting studies on vaccine-autism research despite approval of the same studies at their prior meeting. The research was supported by numerous autism organizations and requested by IACC's scientific work groups and Congress.  The maneuver to re-vote on the vaccine-autism studies was initiated by the IACC's representative from the CDC and pushed through by the IACC Chair, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health of NIH.

Unlike most Federal advisory committees, the IACC is dominated by government representatives occupying 12 of the 18 seats. Of the 6 public members, 5 voted to retain the vaccine research at the meeting. The lone dissenting public member resigned from her organization, Autism Speaks, the night before the meeting.  Autism Speaks has issued a statement condemning her vote. 

The CDC, part of HHS along with NIH, has been criticized by parents citing failure to uphold vaccine safety. In a surprising moment of candor, Dr. Insel cited HHS conflicts of interests on vaccine-autism research due to the over 5,000 autism lawsuits pending against HHS. His comment supports the autism community's contention that those in charge of promoting vaccine use while assuring safety are fundamentally conflicted and should not investigate themselves.

IACC Member and SafeMinds Vice-President Lyn Redwood stated, "Revisiting objectives already approved did not appear on the meeting's agenda." She added, "Advocacy groups and legislators have been marginalized in this process." 

Senators Enzi, Dodd, Kennedy and Santorum, as well as Representatives Barton and Smith made statements which are part of the Combating Autism Act of 2006 legislative history that research on vaccines and their components and autism should be implemented by the IACC. 

Due to the IACC's actions, SafeMinds has withdrawn its support of the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Research and requests that incoming HHS Secretary Daschle investigate the IACC's action and reconstitute the committee, including removal of NIMH as its lead agency. 

SafeMinds is a private nonprofit organization that investigates and raises awareness of the risks to children of exposure to mercury from the environment and medical products, including thimerosal in vaccines. Visit www.safeminds.org to learn more.


Call me daft

"The CDC, part of HHS along with NIH, has been criticized by parents citing failure to uphold vaccine safety. In a surprising moment of candor, Dr. Insel cited HHS conflicts of interests on vaccine-autism research due to the over 5,000 autism lawsuits pending against HHS."

I am truly baffled that the Combating Autism Act would appoint an IACC (*with* government agencies!!!) and expect it to objectively investigate the autism vaccine connection. The Act needs to be re-written and exclude the government representatives if it needs to be of any value.

Harry Hofherr

I've got a question and maybe someone can answer it.

Who are the two government members of the committee that voted against removing the funding and what agencies or departments do they represent?

Jeff Ransom

I have met Dr. Tom Insel before at the NAA conference in Atlanta. I was talking to him and did not know who he was at the time (I was hooking up his computer to the video screens for his presentation were he said someday there may be a vaccine for autism) I was telling him about my son that has autism and most of the time when I tell that my sons last to words was, "bye bye baby" before he stop talking, quiet often my eyes tear up and there eyes tear up. Not Dr. Tom Insel he was like talking to Mr. Spock from Star Trek, nothing, not a thing, his only concern was he did not have a assistant that day to "lean on".


The IACC must have planned this. Placating the Autism community only to back out at the last minute and assumed we would just go along and take whatever funding we could get. Well...they were dead wrong. This is an outrage. Where are our nations leaders (do we really even have any?) and why are they continuing to ignore this crisis?! This is an absolute discrace!!!!!! Email, fax, call the media and your congressional leaders TODAY and don't stop until we get answers!

Craig Willoughby

Singer essentially shot them all in the foot. Now, it looks like they are afraid to do research into vaccine safety and the vax vs. unvax study. Why else would they throw this in at the last minute and her vote against it? Excuse my french here, but she sounds like a vindictive little b%^$&


No doubt in my mind now that vaccines cause autism. Why else would they be so afraid to study it. This order to not let vaccines get studied came from high up I'm sure. Awful how all these government workers have thrown a whole generation "under the bus' to save their jobs. Gutless creeps.


Uh, excuse me-- I'm glad *SafeMinds* removed their legitimizing, etc.

I must have gotten bitten by one of those flu-vaccine dispensing Medusa snakes.


Offit is Medusa, and we just may be the Lord of the Sea. Problem being for dear Pauly is that he can't turn us to stone.

Too bad for him :)

Too much money being passed around and too many people in pharma's pocket for my taste. From the top down.

Insel is one of the snakes in Medusa's hair for sure! He no longer has a mask to wear. Funny!


I'm glad Generation Rescue removed their legitimizing presence from the process.

There's something quietly awful about Thomas Insel. I imagine him having a portrait of himself socked away in ministorage somewhere in which he's a gangrenous monster with snakes for hair and rivets through his neck instead of the boyish bespeckled, oh-so-mild-mannered figure he cuts in public. I've never been able to put my finger on what it is about him exactly that stands out in my mind as being worse than many of the other corrupt agency figure heads. For one, he's presided over the most atrocious boom in antipsychotic use in children in history, all while posing as balanced and well-considered... all while pre-teens are dropping dead of Risperdal-induced diabetes and cardiac abnormalities. And now this. His mask is slipping.

In some ways, it may be a good thing that he's been tapped (by industry or the Bush administration or both-- probably with promises that he'll have a job if Obama fires him) to head the federal resistance to vaccine research. It's good if it sinks and exposes him because I think this one is a particular snake in the grass. I hope this was badly played and this agenda sinks with him. It would be the end of hope if Insel is kept on for the next administration. To me, Insel is just Offit on qualudes and with a touch more public self-restraint.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)