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American Association for Advancement on Science Circa 2012?

1912-calendar-happy-new-year-postcardBy Anne Dachel

Feb. 16-18, the American Association for the Advancement of Science   held their annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada.  It got a tiny bit of coverage but nothing from the mainstream press in the U.S.

The Irish Times had this story about what was said there.

What I'm puzzled by is the complete lack of anything substantial to talk about when it comes to autism.  The Irish Times reported,

AUTISM: RESEARCHERS AROUND the world continue to struggle with the complexity of autism. They now believe that genetic factors and brain changes triggered by man-made chemicals in the environment are equally to blame for the development of autism in young children.

Seriously?  Researchers NOW believe "man-made chemicals" cause autism? 

Scott Selleck of Pennsylvania State University brought up the tired topic of genetics and autism. 

“Autism is a very complicated disorder.  We have come to know it has many, many genetic contributors.”

He also admitted that toxins are involved. 

“The balance of genetic and environmental contributors is about equal. It is 50/50.”

We're reminded that the idea of "refrigerators moms" is out. 

The panel, which included Prof Janine LaSalle and Prof Isaac Pessah, both of the University of California Davis, was completely dismissive of the now discredited theory that autism in its various forms was caused by “refrigerator parents” or “refrigerator moms”, parents who interacted only minimally with their children.

As far as what toxins are damaging our kids, this was said,

Prof LaSalle described her work on how exposure to persistent chemicals such as flame retardants could cause long-lived changes in how collections of genes were expressed, for example the genes associated with building neurological networks. This was referred to as “epigenetics”, she said, and the complex system involved could be perturbed by low-level environmental chemicals.

She exposed mouse models to the flame retardant PBE-47 and polychlorinated biphenyl MECP-2 at minute levels that matched human exposures.

Other than that, it's anyone's guess.

There were now upwards of 80,000 non-natural chemicals in the environment produced by industrial processes and other sources, said Prof Pessah. Few had been tested for their neurotoxicity despite human exposures to these substances.

Is this really supposed to be cutting edge science?  

In 2009, Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee by Congress to deal with autism, spoke at MIT. (HERE) .  I wrote about it HERE..

This is what Insel had to say about the environment and autism:

"I said before this isn't just genetics... There have to be environmental factors."

"We have barely been able to scratch the surface."

"There are something like 80,000 potential toxicants."

So here we are in 2012, and still there's nothing these scientists can tell expectant parents so their child doesn't also end up on the autism spectrum. 

How long will the medical/scientific communities be hopeless and helpless when it comes to autism? 

Look how many years it took to get experts to accept the fact that more kids actually have autism.

Why is there never any alarm or even serious worry expressed when these people talk about autism?

Why do researchers show absolutely no concern about regressive autism?  The same people who can't explain why children suddenly stop talking and interacting have no interest in studying them.

Why is the American Psychiatric Association working to change the criteria for diagnosing autism so that an estimated 50 percent of affected children may lose needed services?

Why should we listen to any of these people? 

Sixty years ago experts were wrong when they blamed cold, unaffectionate mothers for autism.  Today, they're still clueless.  The only difference is that in the 1950's, autism was practically unknown and today it's an epidemic.  We simply can't sacrifice another generation of children while experts scratch their heads over autism.

 Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. You can subscribe to her newsfeed at



Eileen Nicole Simon

Anne, thanks again for reporting on all the expert confusion out there. First, the language disorder is most serious disability, and the reason for this must be looked for in the brain. Under-connectivity in the brains of high-functioning people with autism has been reported in several research studies published over the past 8 years. Now, we have evidence that myelin maturation is not normal at 6 months of age.

We also know that autism is not evident at birth, except in some cases of prenatal exposure to alcohol, valproic acid, thalidomide, etc. Decades ago it was known that no drugs (or medications) should be used during pregnancy, which advice now seems largely disregarded, but this must be looked at carefully. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was given to prevent miscarriage, but vaginal cancers were found in daughters of mothers given DES. Later reproductive cancers and sterility were found in sons of mothers given DES.

What else are we doing? What is interfering with myelin maturation by 6 months of age? What I continue to think is most harmful is abruptly stopping placental blood-flow immediately at birth. Experiments with monkeys revealed ischemic injury of brainstem centers (especially in the auditory pathway) when the umbilical cord was clamped and the newborn monkey not allowed to breathe - they delivered the head into a saline-filled sac or kept the monkey within the amniotic sac.

Monkeys subjected to this kind of asphyxia were then prone to yellow-discoloration of the affected brainstem nuclei by bilirubin. OK, now the same experiments should be repeated and the monkeys given hep B vaccination. One by one, every chemical substance babies are exposed to should be similarly investigated for their effects on brainstem nuclei.

Monkeys kept alive for many months or years after asphyxiation at birth also suffered disruption of brain maturation. Myelin maturation was not looked for, but could be, and MRI scans can now be done even with small animals. These are just some of the suggestions I have tried to make, but the experts aren't interested. Their personal lives have not been disrupted by autism.


We realize that vaccines don't affect everyone the same way. (Otherwise, everyone who is vaccinated would have autism, in my opinion.) But genes are more pliable than we might realize--they've been described as less of a 'sentence' than a 'suggestion'. One way they can exhibit themselves is by our response to environment. They are not, necessarily, our Destiny. Isn't the goal to understand where the hard lines converge? If researchers would go there, we could all applaud.

Anne, thanks again for all you do. And Bob Moffitt, spectacular study proposal. Seems so obvious.


Not to belabor the subject but here is a thoughtful, well reasoned explaantion about potential environmental causes of the autism crisis again related to toxic imports from China.

A Theory on Autism


More regulation is needed on Chinese imports.

Its been reported that up to 80% of the active ingredients in drugs sold to the US come from China. Drug counterfeiting in China is rampant and regulation is poor. Many of these counterfeit products and that incudes drugs/medicines are flooding into the global drug market and making it onto store shelves. Some are quite toxic. There have been cases of poisoning from these products.


(FDA) System to catch fake drugs has idled for years

"A Toxic Pipeline" an investigation into the counterfeit drug industry from China- New York TImes


"The Panama Syndrome"-(NYT video) How a Toxic solvent (ethylene glycol) made it into cough syrup in Panama which killed and poisoned many chidren and elderly.

Rx Dubai: Conduit for fake drugs- NYT video

Massive free trade zones like those in Dubai are being used by counterfeiters to smuggle fake drugs from China to Europe and the United States.

Parents should make every effort buy organic food and stop buying substandard goods from China which has no safety standards.


....Scott Selleck of Pennsylvania State University brought up the tired topic of genetics and autism.

“Autism is a very complicated disorder. We have come to know it has many, many genetic contributors.”

For some reason they do not think that "measles is a complex disorder," even though no two cases are exactly alike. They seem to think it has one simple cause.

80,000 compounds and no place to start.... the always confused Dr. Insel needs to be replaced by Dr. Haley.

These Insel intellects are simply on their way to "shrug and play stupid" for at least another decade.


Genetic susceptibility puts some people at greater risk for autoimmune disorders. Studies have shown that the tendency to develop autoimmune disorders can be inherited and it doesn't have to be the same autoimmune condition. One family member may have thyroid disease, or it could be inflammatory bowel disease, or multiple sclerosis, or possibly rheumatoid arthritis. Combine that with a trigger, in the genetically susceptible child (vulnerable because of an already up-regulated immune system) and add a toxic metal or chemical exposure, vaccinations and immunizations, or bacterial/viral infections and you have the makings for an autoimmune disease. If it comes to light, that autism is caused by an abnormal immune reaction, commonly known as autoimmunity, this could be a step in the right direction for answers.


typo correction from my last post. Not Pregane, but pregnane as in pregnane X receptor.

Bob Moffitt

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has FINALLY determined that besides "genetics" .. "man-made chemicals" are responsible for causing the autism epidemic.

Hopefully the AAAS will immediately begin prioritizing research to identify those "man-made chemicals" that THEY KNOW FOR CERTAIN children across this nation .. from Maine to California, Texas to North Dakota .. are being EQUALLY EXPOSED TO .. at the very critical stage of a child's neurological development .. which "coincidentally" .. is also very same age at which autism presents.

After all .. if only a few thousand families witnessed their child's "regression" following vaccines .. it may be attributed to "coincidence". However .. when tens of thousands of families report the same "regression" ..
it is highly likely that "man-made chemicals" may be responsible.

So .. while I greatly appreciate the research of a child's exposure to "flame retardants" .. I don't think researching "flame retardants" deserves a higher priority than researching the potential neurological dangers of injecting "man-made chemicals" into children at the most critical stage of their development.



It may seem like slow admissions on their part, but what your piece relays they are admitting is huge. Man made chemicals being at least half meens we can reasonably view Autism as largely a modern condition. By reason you can maintain that genes alone would not develop the altered expression to cause much more than mild oonditions in a few before the explosion of man made chemicals. Total body burdens of these chemicals are overwheliming thoses with metabolic pathways that are least able to handle these chemicals or in those more heavily exposed esp. when some heavy metals are additionaly are more present or in those less able to excrete them. The mycoplasma and pathogenic organisms help develop dysfunction in these groupssometimes being a major catylist for the process and other times developing post other insults. I do think that the general things they express are true, but agree with your take that they are not too concerned about regressive events or have much urgency about preventing the effects of these chemicals. The placental efects of the chemicals appear to be involved in placental toxcicity relating to the SULT system,PPAR and Pregane X functioning. This disrupts the thyroid involvemnt in neural development and sensitizes many in the womb or epresses Autism if the these effects are perturbed enough straight from the womb. The vaccines appear to elevate the process or immediately kick it in to overdrive in good number of those with Autism esp. the regressive type.

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