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Frantic: CDC’s Dr. Diane Simpson Travels the World to Find Dr. Poul Thorsen

Carmen-sandiego1 By J.B. Handley
Without Dr. Diane Simpson, a CDC employee, Dr. Poul Thorsen would likely be a person none of us would have ever heard of. I’m looking forward to following the case of Dr. Thorsen and the implications it may have for the withdrawl of some of the most important documents used to shut the door on the possible link between thimerosal and autism. For AoA readers, I provide some background on Dr. Simpson’s critical and “frantic” role in locating data.
This story below is an excerpt from the website, PutChildrenFirst a Generation Rescue initiative, an excellent resource to see this dark tale spelled out in detail:
CDC's effort, beginning in the summer of 2001, was in anticipation of the IOM's report coming out in the October 2001. They knew what it was going to say and they knew it was going to be trouble.
The CDC's subsequent worldwide effort was an attempt to find corroborative data showing no link between autism and thimerosal and get it to the IOM or release it at the same time as the IOM report was released. As Dr. Diane Simpson says in this August 7, 2001 email :
"I don't have any new data at the moment and am frantically trying to see what is available and how best to get it in time for the expected IOM report release (we have given up trying to submit it in time for the report as they are in the process of writing it)."
Dr. Simpson's actions beginning in June of 2001, require some context. The Deputy Director of the NIP, Dr. Simpson, was given the task of finding data on autism and thimerosal in other countries. And not just any data, she was looking for data that would support the idea that there was no relationship between mercury and autism, despite the fact that she had seen the Generation Zero data and attended Simpsonwood.
Further, you have the division of the CDC that is responsible for keeping vaccination rates high, the division that would be held most responsible for creating the autism epidemic, and one of the leaders of that division, Dr. Robert Chen, who had the most to lose, directly involved in a process to find data about the relationship between thimerosal and autism.

Would CDC be "frantic" to find data that would corroborate the conclusion coming from IOM, that the thimerosal-autism relationship was "biologically plausible"? No, she was frantic to find data to disprove it. 

In the same month, she tells a Swedish researcher in this email that they could fly to Sweden immediately to look at data, "because our IOM committee's work is in process and we expect them to issue their report in the next several weeks, we expect increased public concern and questions in the near future."
In an email an email with another CDC employee, referring to data she may have unearthed in Denmark, she writes, "it is also possible that the data won't help us at all, but we won't know until we see it."
How won't it help? It won't help unless it can be used to exonerate Thimerosal and the CDC.
As an example, Dr. Simpson's communication with the State of California (where autism data is the best in the country) produced a stunning data set, and one quickly buried. In this email , we see data provided by Dr. Loring Dales from the California Dept of Health showing the relationship between the vaccination rates of DTP by second birthdays, and the number of autism cases in California. One of Dr. Simpson's colleagues mentions "this looks like material for a graph." The graph is created, page 3 of the email, and there is a clear, linear relationship between the increase in vaccination rates (from 50.9% to 75.7%) and the number of autism cases per year (from 176 to 1182, a 6.7x increase) between 1980-1994. Needless to say, California was not the source of additional follow-up.
Dr. Simpson was an interesting choice to lead this initiative. She was oblivious to the full-blown epidemic of autism, as this email , on June 8, 2001 shows:
"I have seen statements claiming huge increases in the incidence rate of autism in the US over the past 10-15 years. The only data I have seen from California. Are there national estimates for autism in the US or is everything extrapolated from the California data?"
Nonetheless, Dr. Simpson began her search, as introductory emails to California, Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark  show. Dr. Simpson's goal, through her emails, was very clear: exonerate thimerosal.
Not all of Dr. Simpson's correspondence was well received, and in fact some of it was quite comical. A Swedish Doctor, Dr. Marta Granstrom, responded in this email  this email to Dr. Simpson with a clear point of view on thimerosal:
"I am very well aware of the recent concerns in the US over thiomersal (an alternative name for thimerosal). On the expert committee of the European Pharmacopoeae I represent Sweden and had in vain tried to get Europe to ban its use in single dose vials until the US interest in the issue...I thanked Neal Halsey [AAP member who spearheaded the joint statement in 1999] in the name of European infants for the help when I met him again last year."
By August, Dr. Simpson was getting desperate as she lamented in  an email that, "events have slightly accelerated with Walt's return [Walter Orenstein, Director of the NIP] and anxiety over trying to get these data. Consequently, we are TENTATIVELY planning for you and I to go to Denmark and Sweden on August 22...if a trip is to occur in time for the IOM it has to be in this time frame."
In many ways, the trip to Sweden and Denmark was Dr. Simpson's last shot at finding data, as her August 6 email  shows:
"Should we find that any other country has good data on both autism and vaccines, we will work to get that data on a case by case basis. i.e., I don't know what we are going to do and don't want to think about it right now- but we will do something."
The "something" Dr. Simpson did was find a Danish vaccine company, Statens Serum Institute, willing to work with CDC. A company who sold thimerosal-containing vaccines and a company who would soon see an enormous rise in the number of vaccines sold to the United States. Along with her colleague, Dr. Paul Stehr-Green, Dr. Simpson was heading to Denmark. Two years later, Dr. Simpson and Dr. Stehr-Green would be published authors, along with employees of SSI, letting the world know that the Danish data proved that thimerosal does not cause autism. These Danish studies would then form the basis for a NEW IOM, initiated by CDC, that in 2004 would declare that the thimerosal-autism hypothesis was without merit, and has since been referenced as "proof" that thimerosal is safe.
It all started with Dr. Diane Simpson's trip to Denmark. We even found a copy of her travel voucher.

J.B. Handley is Co-founder of Generation Rescue.




Loved your in-depth analysis exposing the fraud/inexplicable-incompetence of the "Danish Study" and the rest of it.

Any other things we should avoid?

Fluoride, aluminum canned food, the contents/chems in such food, etc?

Any fraud/horrible and generally accepted studies out there regarding those? Any particularly strong studies against them that you can point to?



Once again, the plot thickens, and the crap gets deeper and deeper and deeper...

This will be a movie someday & we did need some international theft to go with all the international lying.

Does anyone know anyone in the movie business ???

Jake Crosby

She'll never say yes, it could be fully accepted by everyone else (except Paul Offit) that thimerosal undoubtedly causes autism and she'll continue to sit there and say there is no controversy, and that thimerosal doesn't cause autism.

K Fuller Yuba City

Dear Matt Lauer, Could you ask Nancy if it is a controversy yet?


Let's hope the media gives as much attention to this as they did the Wakefield - Lancet story....but I'm not holding my breath because my severely autistic son needs me to stay alive for his survival!!


Thanks, AOA for all the excellent articles, including this one and Dan's article about Dr. Wakefield -- you are doing the job that our major news sources are failing at. (Well, maybe "failing" is the wrong word, because that would apply some attempt.)


DSO-- the rates of autism have risen, so the percentage of those who also have Fragile X has fallen in comparison.

What's with the goading over pharma? Sure if those bastards come up with something actually useful, we'd use it-- though would NEVER rely on industry safety trials of FDA approval to determine whether it was safe. But since Fragile X doesn't guarantee autism and only represents potential increased susceptibility to the environmental factors which also cause regression autism, I'm not sure how the "cure" is going to come from studying Fragile X.


DSO@"Between 2% and 6% of all those children diagnosed with autism suffer from Fragile X"

Any references there?

John Stone

Note also the CDC's involvement in the UK axis. The thimerosal controvery broke in a low key way in the UK only in 2001 - a deal was fixed up between UK health officials and the WHO to provide a report into the safety of thimerosal (which was included at the IOM and later published as the Andrews study in PEDIATRICS). After the study had been announced in an at the time critical Sunday Times, it was called into question at the CDC by Thomas Verstraeten and its fate hung in the balance for a month. Verstraeten objected that the data from the database to be used in the study was patchy and unreliable - but his objections were waived, and the study went ahead:

After all, what better way not to detect anything than to use a ropey database!


Wow, John Stone. That's interesting that this was already known. Now I'm wondering, why did Aarhaus University not know or take action against Dr. Thorsen as soon as Dr. Yazbak published the information?


Who’s angry? Not Me!

Not one of these scum brought up on charges therefore no one thrown in jail.They stay with their story, age out and retire with comfortable pensions and Government single payer health care. It’s a great gig except for one thing.

These bastards know the truth and just how they twisted it. May their consciences never let them have one peaceful non-guilt moment and may it travel with them on their journey to hell.

Who’s angry? Not Me!


"Evidence of Harm Part 2"?
Kritina, fabulous idea. How about it David? Are you game?


To Chris O'Donnell:
I would thank you to think before you speak when referencing the word "retard" or "retarded."
My grandchildren suffer from Fragile X Syndrome, which is the most common form of mental impairment, formerly known as mental retardation. Our family and others do our best to see that reference to the word "retard" is wiped out.
These precious toddlers also suffer from autism. Unlike your child, they aren't lucky at all - they both have autism and are retarded.

Between 2% and 6% of all those children diagnosed with autism suffer from Fragile X. Also, Fragile X Syndrome is the most commom known simple gene cause of autism. It is beyond me how any parent with an autistic child doesn't mention Fragile X in the same breath, but posters here say they haven't heard of it.

Exciting research is going on in this field all over the world and the implications for a cure for Fragile X will serve the autistic community as well, although I don't know to what extent. And, yes, there are 5 pharamaceutical companies doing research as well as those in the academic community. But, wait, would any of you consider putting a pill in your child's mouth for a cure if it was coming to you from Big Pharma?

John Stone

This is fascinating but also note that the CDC Thorsen axis was already established more than a year earlier when Thorsen proposed the MMR study to the CDC as recorded in a letter from Dr Mashalyn Yeargan-Allson, an epidemiologist at the CDC to Another NIP Deputy Director Jose Cordero:

“Jose, As we discussed on Friday, we have become aware through Poul Thorsen of an exciting opportunity to study the role of MMR vaccine and autism using several registries/existing studies and the repository of biologic specimens and laboratory capabilities in Denmark. Attached below is a proposal for such a study. Poul will be leaving on Thursday to travel to Denmark where he will be meeting with the PIs for the proposed study on June 6th. We would like to be able to have Poul say whether it is likely that CDC (NIP) can fund the study, if NIP is interested. The proposed budget is included; there may be additional sources of funding (in addition to NIP) but we are not certain at this time. Unfortunately, the DD Branch does not have much (if any) $$ to fund the study, but we do have the expertise that we have developed due to the autism surveillance in Atlanta and the MMR/autism casecontrol study. I will be out of the office tomorrow, but you may contact Diana or Poul if you have questions. Thank you so much for considering this proposal. Marshalyn.”

From F Edward Yazbak, 'The CDC finances, writes and helps publish Danish research', p 4.


In a few years I expect the publication of a book that reads like a detective novel. David Kirby, how about an "Evidence of Harm Part 2"?

Jim Thompson

While there was acknowledgement in 2003 by Dr. Simpson of the CDC that USEPA mercury protective levels are exceeded when giving vaccines with thimerosal preservative (25 micrograms of mercury per shot), there has been NO follow up by the CDC regarding INORGANIC MERCURY in an infant brain after receiving an injection.

Look at Simpson et al looking at Madsen et al (including P. Thorsen and company) in 2003 at , 2003, page 101.

“Because there are limited data on the toxicology and pharmacokinetics of Thimerosal and ethylmercury, for the purpose of these extrapolations it was assumed that many features of the toxicity of ethylmercury were qualitatively similar to those of methylmercury.”

Then look at the inorganic levels of mercury in infant monkey brains reported by Burbacher et al in 2005 (the exposures to ethylmercury were similar to exposures to methylmercury). The results show that ethylmercury exposure gave higher levels of inorganic mercury in the infant monkey brain. And the half life of that inorganic mercury was undetermined with a minimum of 120 days. See graph 4 and graph 7 showing the inorganic levels in the brains of infant monkeys given four weekly doses of methylmercury and ethylmercury at 20 micrograms mercury per kilogram of body weight at , 2005, pages 4, 30, and 33.

That same year Julie Gerberding, as head of the CDC, announced a budget of 8 BILLION DOLLARS and a staff of 15,000 people. See . (So today, she is the head of Merck vaccines sales).

Mercury kills brain cells. So WHY is there still no follow up on this? What financial kickbacks are in the works today?


In the now famous study they looked at 537,303 children and 440,655 (82.0 percent) had received the MMR vaccine. The claim is that there was ** no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autistic disorder.**

My question is I thought everyone was saying that autism NATURALLY develops around the age the vaccines are administered. This is the proof????? Christ, sounds like how the Vaccine Court has their table injury guidelines. When does autism occur? Well, for me it was when we recognized it as autism, prior to that we just thought, it as a behavioral issue, rebellion, stubbornness, loss of hearing, anything but autism. Really had no idea what autism was. Even after we thought it was autism it took about 2-3 months to get an official diagnosis. Ben's pediatrician has in her notes, "Mother overly concerned. Child appears normal"

Someone have a link to this study?


Wow. They couldn't even go cherry picking. They had to engineer the corroborations. Stranger than fiction.

The Seychelle Island study on childhood mercury exposure from fish was probably a similar venture. Funded by the fishing industry, EPI (world's largest lobby for the coal fire power industry-- biggest mercury polluter) and researchers who had helped cover up Dow's mass "Canadian Minimata" mercury poisoning via waterways in the 70s, the study used subjects who all worked for the island's only large industry-- the Heinz tuna canning company. The subjects could barely afford to report anything inconvenient to their employers. The skewed data from this were used to set the FDA's dangerously high "safe level" standard for mercury in fish, which has had a predictably negative impact on American health.

So when pediatricians tell parents that a flu shot contains "only as much mercury as a can of tuna" (as if the mercury in a can of tuna had been studied with any integrity), it seems the lie is sandwiched between two slices of totally fabricated bull-- both derived from equally corrupt research.



Dr. Poul Thorsen
1505 Race Street, Bellet Building, 11th Floor
Philadelphia PA 19102-1192

He is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Drexel University,
Philadelphia, PA, USA

debbie voss

Talk about excellent investigative jounalism!! Way to go J.B.!! I hope this comes crashing down so hard that Nancy Snarkamen and the rest, fall off a cliff! Wait! That would be too easy....maybe many days breaking rocks???

Kelli Ann Davis -- To JB From The Fans

"ah One, ah Two, ah One, Two, Three, HIT IT!"

(Seriously JB, You ARE thee King Watchdog --check out the signs -- and Diane are going down in Flames!)

You Rock Ruckus Man!


"It is also possible that the data won't help us at all..."

Won't help us at all, to prove what we want proved...

Why do I feel that somehow this story won't reach the degree of MSM coverage that Climategate did??

Keep up the good work, J.B. and AoA.

Anne McElroy Dachel

JB...You're incredible!

Someone somewhere should have to answer for all the fraud and malfeasance.

Every time a CDC official is interviewed about autism, I WANT THIS BROUGHT UP!

Anne Dachel

Chris O'Connell

I'm glad my daughter is only autistic and not retarded like these people who keep trying to disprove a link between vaccines and autism...

Keep these articles coming. Great job, and thank you.


JB - How DARE you invade these poor people's privacy? Emails? Dr. Simpson's travel voucher? What right do YOU have to spy on the personal doings of right-minded US scientists? You act as if they are public employees or something, spending OUR money on their Scandinavian junk science junkets. Oh wait.....



The August 7, 2001 email is missing part of the discussion. The bottom of page one and top of page two appear to be missing dialogue from Bill Thompson. Can someone clarify?

Also, this is telling:

"Right now we are looking at 2 European
countries (Denmark and Sweden) who have autism data and who have used very little
or no thimerosal in their past vaccines and who have stopped all use for several years."

How does this compare to the US kids who were jabbed the day they were born, and every 8 weeks thereafter?

Evidently, this kind of fishing for data is considered quality science... and actually looking at kids who got sick after getting an MMR is profoundly unethical. Then you have these wankers telling you that the science behind Wakefield's paper was unsound because he didn't randomly select his sample for his CASE SERIES. The level of denialism and ignorance is astounding, though not at all surprising.


Page 4 of the 137 page IOM 2001 report has the

"Institute of Medicine"
"Shaping the Future of Health"

right below a snake logo.

Seems proper....

how do you find these e-mails JB ?

Great work.

Fed Up

The exposure of the global warming fraud took about 3-4 months. Are we going to see the same thing here? Hmmm, just maybe.

Kevin Barry

Maybe Dr. Thorsen is missing because he checked himself into prison for his role in extending the autism epidemic.


criminal. too bad congress is preoccupied with steroid use in professional athletes and vilifying corporations.


Bensmyson, I think he's referring to this one:

Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: lack of consistent evidence for an association.
Stehr-Green P, Tull P, Stellfeld M, Mortenson PB, Simpson D.


Ahhhh the CDC is so much more ahead in the brain department than the rest of the other federal government agencies,it really puts us tax payers in true awe! They are also way ahead in wasting money. They actually fly their employees - their supposely really smart people around the world - trying to find specfic data. They could just stay home and make it up like all the other government agencies, or use the internet or telephones.

Mary Webster

W. W. (Bill) Thompson was the lead author of *Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes
at 7 to 10 Years.* A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2007 that, in the minds of many, has helped exonerate mercury in vaccines.

Woud love to read Dr. Thompson's August 7, 2001 email to Dr. Simpson. Unfortunately, it was completely redacted. Wonder why?

Selective transparency - not a particularly wise choice for government officials.


Wow! Thanks for writing this and explaining it all. It will be interesting to see where it goes...

Jim Thompson

The Denmark Connection Press Kit

P. Thorsen, Medical Doctor and Professor at Danish Epidemiology Science Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


P. Thorsen, Medical Doctor and Professor at Emory University, Research Professor Epidemiology.


P. Thorsen, one of the authors of a disputed vaccine safety research project funded with over 14 million dollars by United States CDC, compliments of Dr. Diane Simpson.


P. Thorsen……….on the run from Danish authorities.


Additional Resources:


So Diane Simpson, the deputy director of the National Immunization Program at the CDC, is the author of the paper used as evidence by the CDC?

"Two years later, Dr. Simpson and Dr. Stehr-Green would be published authors, along with employees of SSI [a Danish vaccine company, Status Serum Institute]

Is this correct?

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