Olmsted on Autism: “Vaccinate, Baby, Vaccinate!”
IACC Head Dr. Tom Insel Talks about Autism at MIT-Dec 2009

Dr. Tom Insel, Head of the IACC, Questioned on Ethics Reform

Tom Insel Dr. Tom Insel, director of the National Institues of Mental Health and leader of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in autism research ) has come under fire for his response to his agency's ethics reform programs.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: He Worked to Strengthen Ethics Rules, NIMH Director Aided a Leading Transgressor

A yearlong effort by the National Institutes of Health to toughen its policies against financial conflicts of interest was led by an administrator who quietly helped one of the most prominent transgressors get hired by the University of Miami after a decade of undisclosed corporate payments led to his departure from Emory University, a Chronicle investigation has found.

The administrator, Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, also encouraged the researcher, Charles B. Nemeroff, to apply for new NIH grants, even though Emory had agreed on its own to restrict Dr. Nemeroff from NIH grant eligibility for two years. The NIH also allowed Dr. Nemeroff uninterrupted eligibility to serve on NIH advisory panels that help decide who receives NIH grant money...

From Pharmalot: Should NIH Pull Insel Off Its Conflicts Commitee? 

Last month, the National Institues of Health proposed new rules that would require academic researchers who receive agency funding to more thoroughly report financial conflicts of interest and also require universities to do a better job of gathering this info and forwarding it to the NIH (background). One of those leading this effort has been Tom Insel, who heads the National Institute of Mental Health.

Lately, though, Insel has been caught up in a bit of a conflicts quagmire himself after a report that, at the same time he was sorting out the proposal, he was allegedly helping one academic - Charles Nemeroff, who has been the target of a US Senate Finance Committee probe - land a new job at another university. The disclosure prompted the committee to widen its ongoing probe into Nemeroff and his new employer, the University of Miami (see this), and put Insel on the defensive, especially since he was described as having a long-running relationship with Nemeroff (look here)...

From The Project on Government Oversight: NIH Needs New Leader on Ethics Reform

For those following the latest scandal at the National Institutes of Health (NIH): POGO is calling for a change in the leadership behind the NIH's efforts towards ethics reform.

In a recent letter to NIH Director Francis Collins, POGO asked Dr. Collins to arrange for Dr. Thomas Insel, a top official at the NIH, to step down as leader of the NIH's effort to overhaul its rules on financial conflicts of interest. Dr. Insel is under fire for helping one of the most blatant violators of the NIH's conflict-of-interest rules obtain another NIH grant...

From The Project on Government Oversight: A Leader of Ethics Reform at NIH Seems to Think the Rules Don't Apply to Him

Now in the news is a controversial decision by Dr. Thomas Insel, a top official at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to help Dr. Charles Nemeroff get a new job and a new NIH grant. Dr. Nemeroff, while at Emory University, was one of the most blatant violators of the NIH's financial conflict-of-interest (COI) policies. Today we examine a striking piece of Dr. Insel's history that throws light on his recent decision. First, let's start by recapitulating the story thus far...



Just came across this -- harsh words about Insel from a different source --


Theresa O

Hey, Alison, if you're still interested in a protest, I have some thoughts about getting an investigation by the HHS OIG underway.

How I would do it is this: we all submit complaints (as comments here, maybe?) and we compile a list, and then we write a letter, modeled on this one (http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/030510_IG_MOCP.pdf) that Senator Maria Cantwell sent Commerce's OIG recently requesting an investigation re: NOAA. Then we write to our Senators and ask them to send the letter to HHS OIG, requesting an investigation into the operations of IACC.

The IG Act requires just about every federal agency or even quasi-federal agency to have an IG. The IG's jurisdiction is over the employees, programs, and funds of the host agency. Audits and investigations can come from statutes, specific congressional requests, requests from the department, employee complaints, citizen complaints, etc.

I figure, if we can get multiple letters submitted to the HHS OIG from multiple senators (and perhaps groups like Generation Rescue, TACA, etc.), the OIG will have to investigate IACC. We should have specific complaints about how taxpayer money is being mis-spent, how individuals on the IACC have conflicts of interest, how individuals on the IACC are not open to the input of parents from the autism community, etc.

I love the idea of showing up at NIH to protest, but I have a friend who did a fellowship there years ago, and it was extremely difficult to get onto the campus to see her: ID check for everyone in the car, name of person we were visiting, etc. I can definitely commit to contacting my 2 Pennsylvania senators with a letter requesting an OIG investigation, and I'd be happy even to compile the allegations into a letter--although Alison or Katie probably has more skill and a way with words than I do.

Let me know what you think...



no two different things.. What I the posted is a proposed rule by NIH on financial COI's in research.. I think the NIH is trying to tighten up the rules..the public is invited to provide comment on this new rule.


A protest march/vigil at the NIH.
NIH Bethesda Maryland would be the place Dr. Thomas Insel is hiding in his crisp white lab coat with Dr. MD ID.

Dr. Thomas Insel has no concept of other people, for that matter nor does Dr. Francis Collins These NIH ethics less Drs.would rather keep their jobs, even as their cronyism behavior means cutting off significant amounts of NIH funding for the NIH by congress.

Congress is clearly sick of these unethical behavior by some of these NIH funded scientists. (Even demonized George Bush wanted to fund the NIH, but he could not believe the ethics problems at NIH and in medicine.) Selfish doctors and their too often disease causing and too often debilitating drugs like Nemeroff's paxil. Some of these docs should be in prison, they are con artists with MDs.

Alison MacNeil

THANK YOU Theresa for getting me out of the men's room! But I do think everyone has their Chappaquiddick. Maybe his is emerging, now that he is further connected to Neidermeyer (Animal House) I mean Nemeroff. I like the OIG idea. What else can we do? Historically, has a medical special interest group ever fired the leadership of the inter-agency committee 'provided' to steer the research dollars for that disorder? Have they ever been able to have the group disbanded? What if we were to borrow some strategies from 'Act Up' for the next IACC meeting? Vuvuzelas anyone?


Sarah, I got something from the IACC in my email.

Is this it?

They are wanting public input for the stragedy plan of 2011.

Theresa O

Although I love the idea of contacting Insel in a men's room, it won't work for Alison ;-) so maybe a complaint to the OIG (here: http://www.oig.hhs.gov/) would work. If everyone complains, some government employee will have to make an investigation, at least. The OIG is largely concerned with fraud, but I would think any misuse of HHS funds (including sitting around and doing diddly-squat) would qualify for an investigation.


Alison I believe you put someone next to him in the mensroom stall, stick a cell phone in his face and ask obnoxious questions as he walks down the street, step into his office with a hidden camera and talk about pimping kids out, find who he is sleeping with and hook her up with Gloria Alred, call him the Glen Beck/Nancy Pelosi of autism every chance you get, find his Chappaquiddick, you know he's got one and post it on youtube.

Alison MacNeil

I'm naive, I'll admit it, but let's just say for a minute that we do have some power. I mean, how many of us are there at this point? Feels like there are enough outraged Autism parents to fill a state. How could we go about demanding he step down? What is the process? I despise this guy, ending IACC meetings early "because they've run out of things to talk about", letting members blow off meetings or coming an hour late with big coffees and pastries that they took the time (which should have been spent sorting out our childrens Autism crisis)to stop for, refusing to ride in an elevator with an Autistic child. And that shit eating grin. Don't get me started.
I want him humiliated with a public demand from our community to STEP DOWN. How and where do we start? Hell, I'll even try and organize it. Someone just tell me how?


Just want to make sure folks here at AoA are aware of this opportunity to comment on the proposed new rule.

NIH is Seeking Public Comment Financial Conflict of Interest in Research. Comments are due by July 20, 2010:

Federal Regsiter Notice of Proposed Rule Making:

What: Partnerships between NIH-funded researchers and industry are often essential to the process of moving discoveries from the bench to the bedside. However, managing Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI) can be a major challenge because of the complex relationships among government, academia, and industry.

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is open for public comment for the next 60 days, proposes a general revision to the existing regulations.

Information about the Notice of Proposed Rule Making is available at:


A replay of the telebriefing with NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. is available at:


How to comment on proposed rule:

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 20, 2010 in order to ensure we will be able to consider the comments when preparing the final rule.

ADDRESSES: Individuals, organizations

and institutions interested in submitting

comments identified by RIN 0925–AA53

and Docket Number [NIH–2010–0001]

may do so by any of the following


Electronic Submissions

You may submit electronic comments

in the following way:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal:

http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the

instructions for submitting comments.

• To ensure timely processing of

comments, NIH is no longer accepting

comments submitted to the agency by


Written Submissions

You may submit written comments in

the following ways:

• Fax: 301–402–0169.

• Mail: Jerry Moore, NIH Regulations

Officer, Office of Management

Assessment, National Institutes of

Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite

601, MSC 7669, Rockville, MD 20852–


Instructions: All submissions received

must include the agency name and

Regulatory Information Number (RIN)

[0925–AA53] and docket number [NIH–

2010–0001] for this rulemaking action.

All comments may be posted without

change, including any personal

information provided.

Docket: For access to the docket to

read background documents or

comments received concerning this

rulemaking action, go to the

eRulemaking.gov Portal: http://

www.regulations.gov and follow the

instructions provided for conducting a

search, using the docket number [NIH–



Moore, NIH Regulations Officer, Office

of Management Assessment, National

Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive

Boulevard, Suite 601, MSC 7669,

Rockville, MD 20852–7669, telephone

301–496–4607, fax 301–402–0169,

e-mail jm40z@nih.gov, concerning

questions about the rulemaking process

and Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH Deputy

Director for Extramural Research,

concerning substantive questions about

the proposed rule, e-mail FCOINPRM@



stewardship of Federal funds includes

ensuring objectivity of results by

protecting Federally-funded research

from potential bias due to investigator

financial conflicts of interest.


Well, looks like Insel's on the elevator going down. He wouldn't get on the one with a vaccine injured kid in it. He had his chance--that one was going up, figuratively speaking.


So our new Health Bill has a rule that a reseacher must disclose where they got their money!!

Well, looks like our Congressmen and senators got that one right.

I am going to brag on them. GOOD JOB, On that one!

And -- Nemeroff long ago in 1994 lobbied for Insel to get the job he has now. Well nothing like hand picking out the man with the keys to the bank vault.

Jeff Ransom

Dr. Tom Insel did say at the NAA conference in Atlanta that "maybe someday we can develop a vaccine for autism". That is Tom Insel. I was so mad, I was speechless.


Aaaaaaaaaaahhahahaah.... His head shot says it all. Smuggy muggy.


If Tom Insel was in charge of things in the 50's they would still be looking for the cause of Polio.

His position is to pass out research funds to phony scientists who will be sure not to find anything, but can put on a show of how hard they are looking.

(in the wrong place...)


Health care renewal blog also has a new post up about this subject. Be sure to read along with the comments which are always juicy/insidery:


Ideally, we all understand the lack of relevance any so called Autism agency committee. The big question remaining is what are the motives of those attempting to stampede parents?

Thanks to vaccine manufacturing drug companies stacking the deck well ahead of the sheer Autism epidemic, even with hundreds of millions in US tax dollars wasted in Autism anti-litigation bloc fixtures like Autism Speaks, any so called seat at the table just means somebody is willing to fight for a dunce chair at the head of the class.

While somebody will take home perhaps a hefty check in exchange for a wearing a cone-shaped hat at so called Autism meetings nothing is going to advance.


Anne McElroy Dachel

Thomas Insel has never recognized autism as a health care crisis. After listening to hours of his autism talks at places like MIT and NIH, it's clear he's out to promote the idea that autism is an interesting mystery, a puzzle that we just can't figure out yet. While he admits the increase is real and that a tsunami of dependent adults are coming, he's the first to announce that we have no answers.
The real mystery in all this is why we allow someone with such admitted incompentence and corrupt practices to continue in his position.
Anne Dachel


What a hypocrite.

John Gilmore

The problem with the IACC is that it is doing what it was created to do and will always do and that is protect the status quo and direct resources to safe projects of the politically favored. The longer Insel stays at the helm the more establishment types will figure out that it is a highly suspect outfit. He does more damage to the IACC by being there than by replacing him with another useful idiot who can them claim to have restored the moral authority of an inherently corrupt entity. I hope this is the beginning of a very long drawn out process of further revelations of corruption involving Tom Insel. My guess is though that he will be gone shortly.

Kevin Barry

Former Congressman Dr. Weldon: "It's past time for the Federal government to replace their statistics books and calculators with microscopes and research so that we can understand the biological mechanisms that are taking place. We need to be able to develop safer vaccines and screen for children who are at risk."

Dr. Insel is one of the leaders the the federal Government's expedition to Autism Geneticsland, which doesn't exist. It would be great if Insel is fired, but it's more important that the federal government stop building the Road to Nowhere. No matter how many billions they spend, they are not going to find Autism Geneticsland, because it doesn't exist.




A housecleaning at the IACC is way overdue. Dr. Insel has a long track record of minimal accomplishment.

It appears to me that most of the Federal Members barely know what autism is so charging them with coordinating a response to this crisis is a core weakness in the construct. Regarding the Public Members, if it's not a buddy buddy club, why is Alison Singer still on the IACC? Aren't her 15 minutes up? Her only expertise seems to be PR initiatives on behalf of Paul Offit. Her "constituency" in the autism community has always been close to nil.


Insell has no power. He's told what to do every step of the way by the rats above him. He's being set up. Didn't he know that he was just a useful idiot. Same story different day with a differnt idiot.


I know that you know these people personally -- but I know people like them in my little part of the country--- and their sense of right and wrong is so messed up, they don't see they have done anything wrong to have to step down. Even if they did understand they were wrong they would not step down because they like a job with good money, not much work, and lots of power. That would be Tom Insel, in contrast look where Dr. Wakefield is.

Lets dream for a while and pretend Dr. Wakefield is head of the IACC.


Well what do you know! He is linked to Nemeroff! Well,well, well, what a small, mad world.

And best yet: He has been caught not by no bodies, but by the people that count! yeah!

This guy is responsible for protecting vaccines dirty little secrets, esp his personal favorite the Hep B.

Tom's own brother was co-maker of the Hep B vaccine- So if Richard Insel is the father of the Hep B, that makes Tom Insel the uncle. An uncle, that made sure the first words out of his mouth in front of a senate committee and Senator Harkin - was bragging on how great the HEP B is.

Hep B - having all three of these shots has caused my daugther to relapse into a mitochondria disorder just like when she was little from Kawasaki's DPT injury, only it is worse, and she may never recover.

My daughter was a grown adult when she took it. It was her choice although bullied, and she was working with blood -- but babies???

I cringe at the thought of a young baby not only having to face the DTaP but also the Hep B. Making all young babies take it just so a larger population is paying for it and making the Hep B more fincially available to the those in the medically community--- which by the way most don't need all three!

It is really a mad, mad, mad world -- and it just seems to be getting madder. Who knew my journey in life would pass through Insane Country.

Autistic Living

John G: Agreed, 100%. AOA needs a "like" button.

Katie Wright

Someone with such long term and serious conflicts of interests and is currently under investigation for gross ethical violations should have long ago done the right thing and step down.

Because Dr. Insel does not seem to appreciate that he must follow both the letter and the spirit of the law he must be told to leave IACC. From the outset IACC has been fraught with cronyism, censorship, note passing and altogether inappropriate behavior that has shortchanged our childrens' needs time and time again.

Bob Moffit

We all due respect John, I think this guy should go .. in fact .. he should have gone years ago.

We agree his presence on the IACC is "an advertisement for how screwed the IACC is" .. but .. these people are shameless.

To them, it is all about POWER and the longer he stays on the IACC the longer he maintains POWER.

Hopefully this "ethics" fiasco will initiate the process to REMOVE him from the IACC.

John Gilmore

We should support the effort to get him kicked of the NIH Ethics effort. But we should not attempt to remove him from the IACC. His continued presence there is a huge and easily understood advertisement for how screwed the IACC is. Guys like him, once they are recognized for what they are, are very valuable. We need to exploit his publicly visible lack of ethics for our own ends.

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