By Anne Dachel
An interesting story by Reuters medical reporter Genevra Pittman came out on Dec 21, 2012. The message was clear from the title: Chelation doesn't help kids with autism: study.
Chelation is a big topic in the autism community. The process involves the removal of heavy metals from the body, typically lead and mercury, and while mainstream medicine and health official still know nothing about autism---except that their ever-expanding vaccine schedule doesn’t cause it---they look upon most biomedical treatments like chelation with suspicion and even alarm.
Pittman: “Removing heavy metals from the body through a process traditionally used to treat mercury and lead poisoning doesn't help relieve autism symptoms, a new analysis suggests.
“During chelation therapy, patients are given injections of a chemical that binds to heavy metals, lowering their concentration in the blood and ultimately allowing the metals to be excreted through urine.
“Chelation gained traction as an alternative treatment for autism due to a theory that mercury poisoning might play a role in the developmental disorder. However, evidence hasn't supported that idea and it's been essentially discarded in the scientific community, researchers said.
This study looked at a small number of children and lead researcher, Tonya Davis, from Baylor University in Waco, Texas concluded that chelation doesn’t help autistic kids. We were told that some kids did improve but that might just have been due to “kids getting older” or some other treatment.
Pittman quoted Dr. Joyce Mauk, head of the Child Study Center in Fort Worth, Texas, saying ‘There's really no evidence that mercury causes autism or has a place in causing autism, and also we know that chelation can be dangerous as well. Even the underlying theories don't make sense.’
What’s missing, of course, is any mention of the huge and unending debate over mercury-containing vaccines and autism. Nothing was said about where the mercury was supposed to have come from in the first place. For some reason Pittman didn’t bother to go into the use of mercury as a preservative in vaccines or the fact that it was never tested or approved by the FDA or that the 12.5/25 mcg in a single vaccine far exceeds EPA standards for mercury exposure.
For years, doctors and health officials referred to the mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, as “safe mercury.” It was supposed to be far less dangerous than methyl mercury found in fish that we’re always being warned about. Despite having no original safety studies to back them up, and the fact that beginning in the early 2000s, they started to remove thimerosal from vaccines, health officials have continued to deny any serious side effects from the use of a deadly neurotoxin. To make up for the fact that they’ve allowed its use for 70 years based solely on a single study done by the manufacturer, Eli Lilly, back in 1930, U.S. officials have managed to produce a number of easily flawed and manipulated population studies (all tied to the vaccine industry) as proof that thimerosal is safe.
The debate has gone on for years. The government is adamant: mercury-containing vaccines don’t hurt children. Kids’ shots today only have trace amounts (except most of the flu shots which have full levels of mercury). We’ve been told removing mercury was done only to reduce over-all mercury exposure and to quell parents’ fears, not because anything was really wrong.
This link shows the dramatic increase in the number of vaccines our children received between 1983 and 2012. In the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, many of these vaccines contained mercury and the total amounts kids were getting were truly shocking. Aluminum, another untested neurotoxin, is still commonly found in these same vaccines and there’s been no move to remove it. It’s stunning to note that there’s never been a study done on the cumulative effects of all these vaccines.
Mercury use in vaccines was the reason a private meeting was held at a retreat center in Norcross Georgia in 2000. Attendees included U.S. health officials and vaccine manufacturers.
They met to discuss the dramatic rise in neurological disorders among our kids and the coincidental increase in mercury-containing vaccines in the childhood schedule.
In March 2008, the big autism news was the Hannah Poling story. The U.S. government had conceded the vaccine damage case of a young Georgia girl, Hannah Poling. In the NY Times story, Deal in an Autism Case Fuels Debate on Vaccine, reporter Gardiner Harris wrote, “The government has conceded that vaccines may have hurt Hannah, and it has agreed to pay her family for her care. Advocates say the settlement — reached last fall in a federal compensation court for people injured by vaccines, but disclosed only in recent days — is a long overdue government recognition that vaccinations can cause autism.”
Harris went on to give us lots of reasons why, despite the fact the government was going to compensate the Polings, vaccines don’t cause autism. He cited CDC head, Dr Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link between vaccines and autism who has since gone on to head the vaccine division at Merck, saying, ‘Let me be very clear that the government has made absolutely no statement indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism.’
Regardless of the expected denials from the people who run the vaccine program and are connected to the vaccine makers, the effects of mercury use in vaccines was a big part of the story.
“The Poling case has become a flashpoint in the long-running controversy over thimerosal, a vaccine preservative containing mercury. Some people believe that thimerosal is behind the rising number of autism diagnoses. Among them is Lyn Redwood, director of the Coalition for SafeMinds.
“Many of the vaccines Hannah received contained thimerosal, and to Ms. Redwood, she is more proof of thimerosal’s dangers.”
The controversy hasn’t subsided. Mercury in vaccines was a big topic at a congressional hearing on autism just held on Nov 29, 2012.
None of this information made it into Genevra Pittman’s story about chelation and autism. Somehow we’re to believe that misguided parents have latched on to the idea that chelating their autistic children will make them better. Without mentioning where the mercury may have come from, we’re soundly told that it’s a bogus theory. I might accept that Pittman just took the study at face value and wasn’t aware of the whole issue of mercury in vaccines and autism, except that four days earlier another Reuters story by her was published, Keep thimerosal in vaccines: pediatricians.
Pittman is obviously well-acquainted with the subject of mercury in vaccines and autism.
“A mercury-containing preservative should not be banned as an ingredient in vaccines, U.S. pediatricians said Monday, in a move that may be controversial.
“In its statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorsed calls from a World Health Organization (WHO) committee that the preservative, thimerosal, not be considered a hazardous source of mercury that could be banned by the United Nations.
“Back in 1999, a concern that kids receiving multiple shots containing thimerosal might get too much mercury - and develop autism or other neurodevelopmental problems as a result - led the AAP to call for its removal, despite the lack of hard evidence at the time.”
Pittman quoted Dr. Walter Orenstein who couldn’t have been more supportive of the use of mercury in vaccines.
“Reducing mercury exposure ‘is a wonderful thing,’ Orenstein said.
“However, ‘We need this exception because thimerosal is so vital for protecting children.’
“He said keeping thimerosal in vaccines is essential mostly for humanitarian reasons - although preventing childhood diseases in the developing world could also help the U.S. because other countries can serve as reservoirs for illness.
"’For American parents, this is more looking at the world and our role and responsibility in protecting the children of the world than it is a direct impact,’ Orenstein said.”
Selective coverage on mercury
On Dec 17, 2012 Pittman wrote about the long standing claim that vaccines with mercury can cause a child to become autism while promoting the idea that injecting a known neurotoxin into kids is good for them. She gave us all the standard denials and she noted it’s still in “some types of flu shots.” (Missing here was any mention that this vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy.)
Then on Dec 21, 2012, Pittman trashed the idea that removing mercury from autistic children could help reduce the symptoms of autism---without once bringing up vaccines.
I can think of no better example of the disingenuous coverage of the vaccine—autism controversy than what Pittman has done. One would have expected some mention of the claim by countless thousands of parents that their child was fine until they received certain routine vaccines, many of which contained mercury, in the second chelation story. It didn’t happen. Instead, we were given more of the same one-sided-science and cover-up of the real facts. Reporters like Pittman need to realize that parents are extremely well educated on this issue and stories like these two Reuters pieces merely add to increasing distrust of the media. Her selective reporting, omitting the uncomfortable details that contradict the official lies and denials is simply censorship.
What’s missing from this report is any mention of WHERE THE METALS COME FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE. Thousands of parents report that their children were born healthy and were developing normally until they received certain routine vaccinations. Suddenly they changed, lost learned skills and regressed into autism. Doctors are at a loss to explain this. They only thing they’re sure of is that their ever-increasing vaccination schedule isn’t to blame and they have lots of study showing no link---and each of them is tied to the pharmaceutical industry.
Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism
Studies are done on vaccines individually, yet they’re given in combination with other vaccines at doctors’ visits.
Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism