Defying Gravity
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Olmsted on Autism: Mercury Mayhem

Which way to go By Dan Olmsted

To get a quick fix on how insanely inconsistent the public health authorities and the media are on the question of mercury exposure in infants, just check out Saturday’s New York Times. There on Page A9 is Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center on Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, saying the centers were now “fully recommending” that children as young as six months old get a flu shot every year. In the past, the agency had only “encouraged” shots for children.

And there, on Page A14, is a lead editorial titled “Mercury and Power Plants  "Mercury and Power Plants" demanding the administration “issue a tough rule to control mercury, knowing that it is essential to protect Americans and that the power companies can certainly afford to do what is needed.”

The Times is particularly concerned about mercury’s effect on children. “Mercury is a toxin that has been found in increasingly high concentrations in fish and poses human health risks, including neurological disorders in children. The nation’s coal-fired power plants produce 48 tons of it a year, a little more than 40 percent of the total mercury emitted in the United States.”

Of course, another source of mercury exposure in neurologically vulnerable children is in THE FREAKING FLU SHOT! I don’t know what the latest estimate is, but by all accounts more than half of all flu shots contain ethyl mercury – the poison that goes by the polite name of thimerosal.

It’s been 10 years this month that the Public Health Service urged manufacturers to phase out thimerosal-containing vaccines, but, unaccountably, there was no such effort to get it out of flu shots, even as the CDC expanded the groups it suggested receive the shot to pregnant woman and to children 6 months and older. This has led to the canard that autism rates keep going up even after thimerosal was removed. In fact, the timing was moved to a much more vulnerable point – in utero – as well as at six months.

I’ve mentioned before that a pediatrician who treats both children with autism and typical children told me that she calls the new wave of autistic children who are referred to her “flu shot kids” – their mothers got a mercury-containing flu shot in pregnancy, and the child got it at six months. I’m sure that it wouldn’t be hard to test that in some government database – it wouldn’t be hard, but it would be impossible, because the government won’t do it.

The fact that these contradictory stories were in The Times just adds to the insanity of it all – The Times is the paper that has led the charge to discredit the autism-mercury-vaccine link. Just this month, Times Executive Editor Bill Keller had this to say to Time magazine: “I don't think fairness means that you give equal time to every point of view no matter how marginal. You weigh the sides, you do some truth-testing, you apply judgment to them. We don't treat creationism as science. Likewise in the autism-vaccine debate, our reporting shows pretty clearly which side the science is on.”
It’s as if Walter Cronkite had gone to Vietnam and come back to report that all the officers in charge of the war told him that we were winning, so we must be winning. Instead, he looked at the facts for himself and decided that the truth was not what he was being told by the experts.

We already miss you, Walter.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


Heidi R

I think the fact that the price of NY Times Stock five years ago was $34 and today it is $7.50 is a perfect justice for this kind of warped reporting. Thanks again Dan!

Deborah Merlin

My ten week premature twins were also on the spectrum of autism/ADHD. Unfortunately at the time,I was not educated about alternative medicine and my twins received all of the vaccines. Ritalin was what the doctors and teachers recommended. My husband said no way to Ritalin which started me on a seven year journey on alternative medicine. I was blessed to find a doctor who was savvy enough to do a QEEG on my son who was having facial tics and had a violent temper with no impulse control. It turn out he was having seizures.
He recovered by supplementing him with amino acids. His symptoms were gone within ten days. I wrote a book about my journey for parents will not get this information through their Western doctors.
My website is


A friend sent me this article, I was wondering what your response would be. I am a chiropractor in RI and generally agree with the concerns regarding vaccination. I personally feel we were put on earth with what we need to be healthy.

Jim Moody

Times Editor Keller: "Likewise in the autism-vaccine debate, our reporting shows pretty clearly which side the science is on.” What a pathetic lament by the Editor of a once great paper, now so often a flack for the industry/government point of view, and no longer eager to fulfill I.F. Stone's mission to "comfort the aflicted and aflict the comfortable." On June 3, NVAC unanimously approved a report of the Vaccine Safety Working Group that was a stunning denunciation of CDC's lame vaccine safety agenda. In particular, NVAC recomment a program of vax/unvax research. There is no "science," at least as far as long-term vaccine-caused injuries are concerned. Why hasn't the Times covered this admission of "deliberate ignorance" on the part of the government and joined the call for vaccine research, not only to save children from injury but to restore waning public confidence in vaccines as a public health tool? The Times has grown far too "comfortable" and has abandoned the "aflicted," as well as the truth.
As for CDC, Dan's right that they just don't want to do these studies. Their VSD database is still closed to public scrutiny, despite criticism even from the IOM. Worse, they've deliberately made it impossible to match mother and child records. Even though the database is designed and the few hundred in taxpayer $$ spent to assess vaccine safety, it's impossible, at least for now, to add up all the vaccine Hg to which each vetus is exposed.

Autism Grandma

"We don't treat creationism as science. Likewise in the autism-vaccine debate, our reporting shows pretty clearly which side the science is on.”

I have read several books comparing the science that supports Creation versus the Evolution theory. (Yes it is still classified in science as a "theory" although it is taught in school as "fact") While there is a massive amount of scientific evidence which supports Creation, there is very limited evidence supporting Evolution, in addition to evidence which contradicts this theory. Therefore this analogy by the Times comparing vaccine induced autism to creationism is quite appropriate. While the science clearly demonstrates the support of both as factual, both are falsely presented on a silver platter as "not standing up to scientific scrutiny".

The key phrase in this Times article is "OUR REPORTING shows pretty clearly which side the science is on.” Obviously the Times reporting along with all major media "reporting" is simply presenting pharmaceutical propaganda as fact. How could the media do otherwise when Big Pharma is their major advertising income??!!

News reporters are not scientists, neither are they researchers. Why do they not simply google "Vaccines and Autism" to research the massive factual information??? Why do they not simply check out the medical studies which demonstrate this instead of ignorantly accepting the measly 14 studies that are outnumbered by the thousands of studies supporting the vaccine autism connection? Take your pick:

1. They are brainwashed
2. They are stupid
3. They are lazy
4. They don't give a damn
5. They will be fired from thier job if they report the truth, thereby exposing their principal pharmaceutical advertising clients.
6. All of the above

It is the same illogical deduction that results from "Mercury exposure from coal plants is very dangerous" but it is perfectly safe to inject Mercury directly into human beings, including a pregnant women with a developing fetus, and little tiny babies. PERFECTLY SAFE. Yep, these reporters are absolute geniuses.

Mrs. K Smallridge

I live in Cornwall ,England.I two beautiful boys ,one being autistic. I've kept an open mind I think ,absorbing everything I can on anything that relates to autism.When I first discovered that word ,"thermasol",something twigged.I was trying to out if there had been mercury in the M.M.R.vacine that my son had received.It took two days to discover that it was indeed there.I researched mercury itself and to say that I was taken aback by how much we are exposed to mercury and other heavy metals in our life time and indeed back through the generations.It's staggering. The rationalization seems to be that when we are only exposed to a tiny amount at a time that our body just flushes it out and it's totally harmless.Yet we are exposed to mercury ,little amounts,on a continuing basic.It's in everywhere.More than the effect it has on any given person would vary dramatically,depending on there genetics and there how much is already in there system(through previous generations) and the development of their immune system.I read yesterday in a local paper that a crematorium is in the process of changing it's equipement so that it would no longer be omitting mercury into the air.(from the air into river's ,soil ext.)We have been assured that it is only a small amount , perfectly safe.All crematoriums have until 2013 to make the switch over.Could someone out there compose a list of all the ways that we are exposed to mercury on a daily basic and have been since pre the industrial revolution.I think it would be a clear indication of how much we have been exposed to(heavy metals say in the system if the body is overwhelmed and can't flush it out,this is then passed down to the fetus) and that for some it's the tipping point and they go over. They have irreversible neurological damage.It's now over 1% of the population.My eyes are wide open ,sadly not enough other's do,yet.

Gabrielle Bryden

I have an eight year old with ASD and wrote this poem about it.

Mercury Rising
The baby born in toxic times
inhales the breath of active mines.
Mercury spews from production lines
on verdant fields of those assigned
to be the coalmine canary.

Liquid silver infuses the sea.
Apex killers devour instinctively.
Tuna, swordfish, shark and me.
Dare eat of the sea with no guarantees
when mercury is rising?

Heavy metal spiked inoculations
augment the foreign aggravations
tipping those with genetic aberrations
into the abyss of alphabet kid alienation.
Commiserations coalmine canary.

Written by Gabrielle Bryden


It's disappointing when there's so little in the media that can be trusted, anymore. I do miss the days of Walter.

Somewhat tangential, but the NY Times is the same paper that seeks and regularly publishes "expert" quotations and comments on psychoanalysis from the analyst who was placed under supervision by the Impaired Physician's Committee after a 20-year-long inappropriate relationship with a patient was discovered. Mercury in vaccines isn't even acknowledged as a problem, of course - but even if it was, apparently even physicians who knowingly violate ethics and get caught and punished are still qualified to speak as "the expert" in their field, for the Times.

Melissa R Troutman

The way the FDA removes thimerisol in vaccines is by approving more thimerisol containing vaccines.


My son is a late August birthday. He had the dual stage flu shot jammed in between his 12 and 15 mth shots, so being born "off season" did not help. They were pressuring everyone to get flu shots because so many people were going to die from flu that year and there was a "shortage". Ironically, he (and my husband) fell into a "high risk" category because my husband has MS. Neither one were the same after the dual stage flu shot. Within a year of receiving their flu shots, my husbands MS went from moderate to severe and my happy healthy baby became chronically ill, lost mutliple skills, and regressed into autism.


Jack R.,
My son's birthday is in July. He received ProQuad and Hepatitis A at his 12 month visit, July 2006. He reacted the same way he always had, with fever and full-body eczema, but then at fifteen months (October 2006), he received Hib, Prevnar, and Fluzone with thimerosal. The second dose of Fluzone 30 days later, again, with thimerosal, was the one that pushed him over the edge. He got it November 20, 2006 and by Thanksgiving Day he had vanished. We were actually told that thimerosal was a good thing; it prevents bacteria from growing inside the vaccine! We were horrified. And then at his two year check up, the Dr. actually suggested that we pray for our Jack to get better. Of course, by then, the yeast infections had begun and I was already going another way.

Teresa Conrick- The NYT is in my kittly litter box

Thanks Dan for your unwavering perseverance on the dangers of mercury, especially that politely named one in most flu shots.

It's hard to know whether The Times is just autism phobic and will not report on the adverse effects of vaccines:
or are they just desperate for the almighty Pharma advertising dollar?:

Either way, Kim's picture was perfect as The Times would like everyone on a permanent detour when it comes to vaccines and autism BUT it will never work.

They need to change their logo from "All The News That's Fit to Print" to "All The News That We See Fit". Integrity is a rare commodity these days.


It's probably true that some of our kids' regular vaccinations were products of that "phasing out" of mercury and our kids received generally a bit less than in the mid-90's from that source, but my fateful flu shot in pregnancy and the flu shots my twins received at six months "compensated" for the "loss" of mercury in other shots. I remember the big flu scare that year. 36,000 dying from the flu! What a lie.

I told this to a doctor who was the head a French medical activist society a few years ago. He asked if I really thought the flu shots were suddenly recommended in pregnancy and early infancy to keep the autism rates from dropping. I said I thought this was likely because a sudden rate drop would point to mercury. "But that's evil!" he said.

The funny thing was that, like a lot of French citizens, he was willing to believe that Bush was behind 9/11 (I personally always thought that Bush would have planned that dopey on-camera-being-told-the-news moment better if this were so) but could not believe that a mercury-laden shot would be deliberately added to the schedule to keep the rate of sick and dying children elevated to protect industry and government regulatory agencies. In the end, I think I managed to open his mind that if he could so easily believe the one, he might consider the other.


Times editor Bill Keller's comparison of belief in creationism and belief in a vaccine-autism link is patently absurd. One issue concerns God and the beginning of the universe, and is essentially unknowable for certain. If you believe in creationism, it's a matter of faith, and not what someone has proven to you. The other issue (a vaccine-autism link) is fully addressable by science, as researchers from Andrew Wakefield to Laura Hewitson to Mady Hornig have shown.

Creationism is also a ridiculous choice for comparison because government policies based on evolution (as opposed to creationism) do not harm countless children every day, and are not used to deny them access to appropriate health care.

Jack R.

I think there could be some interesting things learned in looking at timing. Another thing to consider would be depending on when you're born you might be apt to get the flu shot at the same time as your MMR (Happy F-ing First Birthday). Our October boys got it that way (along with chicken pox and something else) Born in Aug. they woudn't have gotten the flu shot along with the MMR but two or three months later and likely alone.

Of course not everyone gets the MMR on their first birthday, so looking at the actual vaccination records would be the only way to really learn.


Yes indeed, my ASD daughter was born May 16. I got my flu shot in December, right after I'd crossed into the second trimester. She got her six-month flu shot in November. After having read your post, how I wish she'd been born in September!

Dr. Brett J. Blitzstein

Have you ever noticed that when someone's mind is made up, no amount of evidence seems ever able to sway their mind. Just look at Obama "birthers." There is plenty of evidence of the harm and ineffectiveness of vaccines, yet it seems this evidence is either not researched by interested parties, completely ignored, or refuted by cherry-picked junk science.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Recommending the flu shot to babies is a modern day example of how vaccination is forever perpetuated. What horrible flu epidemic in babies preceded the recommendation for flu shots? None. Vaccines are added because they can. With only a 40% adult compliance rate for the vaccine, the only way to find another market was with babies. Adults can speak about their adverse reactions to the flu shot. Adults can begin to question the link of altzhiemers to the aluminum in vaccines. Soon Gardasil will be recommended for babies because, unlike their older siblings, babies can't tell you what the hell happened to them.
Cynthia Cournoyer


Julie, Can't you put a check mark next to
the question of possible seasonality by
obtaining through FOIA the statistics for
month of birth from california?

Shirley Adams

The Mercury Free immunizations are NOT mercury free...they were made with mercury, then they tried to filter it out but it stuck to the they still do have mercury in them. And they wonder why autism is still on the rise...HELLO!!!!!!


Same BS, another day....

Benedetta Stilwell

Coal power plants has spent great sums of money to constantly replace scrubbers in their chimneys. I know this because I have seen them. CO2 is all that is coming out of emissions. CO2 is not a polluant, since we breath it out ourselves, I know - I know all about the global warming stuff, but is CO2 emission really the cause or is it a natural fluctation of the earth. We have been through these temperatures changes before. There are a lot of people with a lot of power, waiting to make a lot of money off of this!
They then collect from these chimneys all ash, soot, and cinders and put them in holding ponds, to keep ash from blowing away (and to keep it from going over Maine that claims they are the tail pipe of the United States in a recent meeting they held in an autism meeting in Maine)-wet ash just don't go anywhere. The holding ponds are so engineered to keep this stuff out of ground water and local streams. I know I have see them.

Accidents do happen however,and just last year down in Tenn. a holding pond's dam did break and destroyed some homes below them. It was a bad deal! Last January everybody in my area (south central Kentucky),and I mean everybody paid (even if they had only a light bulb in their barn and that was all) 100 dollars extra on their electric bill to compensate the people living down hill of this pond. I accept that, although I think the light bulb in my neighbor's barn was a bit much. It is more than the vaccine companies or the federal government has done when actually putting mercury in people's veins.

After the holding ponds fills up they bury it(from wince it came) in a special engineered grave to keep stuff once again out of the ground water and out of local streams.

While strip mining the coal (much better than sending a man down into the depths of the black, silent earth to dangerous conditions) they also make sure that all water run off is held in holding ponds to keep it out of the ground water and local streams. I know I have seen these.

After they have removed all the coal they return the earth perhaps not to the same shape of actually mountians, but it is returned to a state that support life abundantly! I know I use to work with the strip mines on this.

I am sick of the federal government, it was good at one time, but I feel since my children have been harmed by vaccines that perhaps they do not treat everything equally.

My children's bodies should have received the same concern as the environment. After all the main reason we are keeping the enviroment clean is because we don't want to poison people.


"Administer 2 doses (separated by at least 4 weeks)to children aged younger than 9 years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time or who were vaccinated for the first time during the previous influenza season but only received one dose."

2 doses!!!

Julie Obradovic


I actually did an article about a year ago on that very topic asking the question, Are babies born in Septemeber safer? I never published it here, but I have thought about that a lot.

A baby born in September/October would be conceived in January and the mom would likely not confirm her pregancy until late February or March, after the flu shot season had passed.

Furthermore, the baby wouldn't be 6 months old by the time the next flu shot season came around, thereby missing that season as well. It wouldn't be until they were almost 2 that they would received a recommended one.

Likewise we could ask the question, Are babies born in April/May in the most danger? These moms would be in their first trimester right at the beginning of the flu season, and their babies would be just 6 months old at the beginning of the next. So it is entirely conceivable that babies born in September get no flu shots until they are almost 2 and babies born in the spring have 1 in utero and 1 in early infancy.

Obviously all this is hypothetical and as we all know, in the real world setting, anything goes.

So ultimately it might not matter so much when the babies are born, but rather, just a study of how many flu shots they got, and if the babies who got one early in utero and early in infancy are more likely to have neurological issues.

Too bad like Dan said, no one will ever bother to look.

Tim Kasemodel

I am not sure seasonality is an issue - it would just depend on what term the mom is in from August thru March, and a new mom I know with an 8 month old baby whose ped. recommended the flu shot in May - right as soon as tghe baby hit 6 months.


If the flu-shot has been a major contributing
factor to autism in the last couple of years,
then there as to be a new pattern of seasonality - The timing of conception and birth relative to the flu season would determine at what age the embryo/baby is exposed, which must make a different. So a FOIA request to the DDS in California might yield some results...

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