By Dan Olmsted
Some say that claiming vaccines are the cause of the autism epidemic is like yelling fire in a crowded theater. I agree -- except this theater really is on fire.
By now it's an open secret that the current vaccination schedule is behind the soaring autism rate -- and a wide range of other chronic and developmental disorders. So many parents, front-line professionals and others have seen this with their own eyes, so many streams of evidence are converging to make this point, and so much desperation is on display from vaccine injury deniers, especially now during Autism Awareness Month, that it's just no contest any more. The task now is to hasten the day of reckoning, keep more kids from being injured, and bring justice, compensation and treatment to the injured.
Those who deny this reality end up sounding like Nazis -- ve vill vaccinate you! -- or just intellectually incoherent. They spout a lot of platitudes about autism awareness and better diagnosis and multiple mysterious genes and gene-environment interactions that, if they (and their spouters) ever had any relevance, don't anymore.
The goofiest part is when submissive scientists try to talk about environmental links to autism without talking about THE environmental link to autism -- the bloated CDC-recommended, state-mandated, pediatrician-provided vaccine schedule. Hence this from the Harvard Gazette this year:
"Toxic chemicals may be triggering recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children — such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia — according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The researchers say a new global prevention strategy to control the use of these substances is urgently needed."
This study lists two pesticides as among the likely triggers, and follows up on a 2006 study that also listed a handful of suspect toxicants, including methylmercury. Not ethylmercury, of course, since that brings us right back to the dreaded V word, ethylmercury being the prime ingredient in thimerosal. And thimerosal exposure almost tripled via vaccines at the same time the autism epidemic began around 1988. (It's still used in flu shots in the U.S., where it is recommended for all infants and pregnant women, and in multiple shots in developing countries thanks to the endorsement of U.S. Public health officials, WHO, and the Gates Foundation.)
But pesticides and mercury and vaccines and autism? Never the twain shall meet in the mainstream medical or media universe.
As it happens, Mark Blaxill and I triangulated those dots in a way that indirectly but (IMHO) elegantly links vaccines, pesticides, and autism from the very beginning. In our book, The Age of Autism -- Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic -- we showed how mercury was present at the creation of autism, causing the very first cases reported in the medical literature, in 1943.
The crux of our argument is that the three commercial vectors for the first exposures to ethylmercury in the 1930s -- via vaccines and pesticides, specifically the diphtheria shot, a lumber treatment and a plant fungicide -- are evident in those 11 families. The parents included a pediatrician mother who focused on public health and mass vaccination, one father who was a forestry professor and another who was a plant pathologist, in all three cases with documented exposure to the new ethylmercury compounds. This cannot be chance -- especially given the work of Safeminds linking mercury and autism symptoms, the absence of autism in the medical literature prior to 1930, and the coinciding explosion of ethymercury exposure and autism in the 1990s. (See our 10-minute video version on AOA's home page.)
Of course, when I say it cannot be chance, I mean that it is so startling in light of all the evidence that reasonable people in positions to take action to protect the public health would respond with alarm and a manifest sense of urgency. We first reported this in 2005, and I personally handed Tom Insel of NIMN a copy of our work in 2007. He told me the mercury concern had been discredited (not!), but that vaccines were still a possible cause (true!). No alarm has been evident.
And there is so much more by now, from the CDC's own first runs of vaccine data that showed a huge risk for autism in infants who got the most mercury, to its manifest coverup of the soaring autism rates in the 1990s (see Brick Township, N.J.), to the brilliant work of Sharyl Attkisson, David Kirby, and the Unanswered Questions authors that found autism and vaccine injury correlated but covered up in the corrupt vaccine "court."
No one really needs to yell "Fire!" Young parents smell smoke, and are heading for the exits. The idea that people like us are to blame for a disorderly exit is ridiculous. Jon Poling, a respected neurologist and father of Hannah Poling, whose autistic regression and seizures as a result of multiple vaccination were conceded by the United States government -- the United States government! -- wrote in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2008:
"The current vaccine schedule, co-sponsored by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, injures a small but significant minority of children, my daughter unfortunately being one of those victims. Every day, more parents and some pediatricians reject the current vaccine schedule. In an abundance of caution, meaningful reform must be performed urgently to prevent the re-emergence of serious diseases like polio or measles.
"As a neurologist, I have cared for those afflicted with SSPE (a rare but dread neurological complication of measles), paralytic polio and tetanus. If these serious vaccine-preventable diseases again become commonplace, the fault will rest solely on the shoulders of public health leaders and policymakers who have failed to heed the writing on the wall (scribbled by my 9-year old daughter)."
As I wrote then, "Dr, Poling is the real deal, educated at Johns Hopkins, devoted both to his daughter and his patients, tempered by reality. He's mild-mannered. He's mainstream. He's credible. To repeat for emphasis: He says that if a disease like measles emerges again, 'fault will rest solely on the shoulders of public health leaders and policymakers.'"
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.