Around the end of the year, the American Academy of Pediatrics gave the children of the world their gift by expressed support for the World Health Organization’s request for an open-ended exemption for the continuing use of mercury-based preservatives in vaccines.
AAP's support for this policy signals a dangerous disregard for children’s health and sets a precedent that could reverberate throughout medical and chemical policy initiatives - rolling-back positions taken due to safety concerns without proof of safety.
Under the language in the treaty (as developed by WHO and supported by the AAP) no requirements would exist to require labeling of active or inactive mercury-containing preservatives in products and nothing either from FDA or WHO prevents mercury-preserved products from once-again appearing on the shelves of our markets.
Does the position described in the AAP commentaries, which seems to support a complete reversal of their previous position on mercury-preserved vaccines for infant and childhood use, become something parents should oppose? Does a medical community position that backslides on protecting infants and children from a highly toxic element, mercury, move us in the wrong direction? Could this have repercussions on how we address the use or release of mercury in other products and processes? Doesn't it seem to follow that if mercury in vaccines is OK, which allows the direct injection of mercury into our children, that adopting this policy removes much of the incentive to spend any money to prevent mercury from polluting our air and water? What about how we view the approval for using toxic substances in general? Shouldn't governments send signals that promote investments to eliminate the use of mercury in medical products rather than adopting exemptions that remove any motivation to find safer alternatives?
If you find yourself answering 'yes' to these questions then the AAP, the US State Department, and the World Health Organization (WHO) need to hear from you. Please join the petition at http://www.change.org/organizations/safeminds and make your voice heard.