Congressional Hearing on Federal Autism Policy Today
Why IACC's Dr. Tom Insel Must Go

Watch Live Streaming House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing of Federal Response to Autism

IssaRep. Darrell Issa, Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced a hearing of the Government Operations Subcommittee scheduled for tomorrow on the subject of the Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders.     

The hearing will be held in at 9 am EDT today in 2247 Rayburn House Office Building, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

Watch via live streaming at http://oversight.house.gov/hearings/

If you could ask a question at the hearing, what would it be? Tell is in the comments.

Comments

Benedetta

As long as one good man like Congressman Posey speaks up - I still hold out hope for the United States.
Too bad we have so many Tom Insels in this country.

 Bob Moffitt

This hearing was tortuous to watch .. indeed .. if it were not for Rep Posey .. the entire hearing could be summed up in one word .. "pathetic".

IACC Tom Insell .. in his opening statement actually congratulated the IACC for their "remarkably fast movement in autism research" .. mentioning specifically "genomics and neuroscience" as to two most productive .. promising .. areas of research.

Rep Woodall .. who apparently has a facility in his home district that is a pioneer in funding "eye tracking" research .. asked Insell if he considered "eye tracking research" among the promising "neuroscience" .. to which Insell eagerly answered an unqualified "yes". One can only wonder at the number of people .. myself included .. watching this conversation who were "rolling their eyes" in frustration.

The co-chair of this meeting castigated GAO official stating the Congressman was very worried that anyone reading recent GAO's critical report that as much as 80% of IACC funded research may be unnecessary "duplication" of research .. would result in a call for "reduced funding for autism research". A dire concern that seemed to be held exclusively by the Congressman.

In any event .. not to worry .. Insell claimed "duplication studies" are really good science. Mind you .. Insell was not talking about studies to "replicate" studies to validate their original findings. He was talking about "duplication studies" of research that neither party knew the other party had already done. While the GAO official was gruffly asked to identify examples of "duplication" studies she thought unproductive .. she could only name one. Insell on the other hand was not asked to identify any studies where independent "duplication" studies proved useful.

In other words .. "duplication" studies .. where one study "replicated" the scientific worthlessness of the other study.

Indeed, the only questions worth asking were asked by Rep. Posey.

Rep Posey asked Insell how much time he devotes to his duties as IACC chief .. he answered about 10% of his time .. due to time consumed by other professional commitments.

Rep Posey asked Insell why "genetic funding" received three times the amount of research funding than environment .. including 30 million for "epi-genetics" which would be a good thing if that "epi-genetics" research included toxicological testing on the many ingredients found in vaccines .. which I suspect is not the case.

Rep Posey asked why no research has been done on "chelation" after IACC had promised that research would be considered? As I understood Insell's answer .. it could not gain support because of "ethics".

Rep Posey called Poul Thorsen a "scumbag" .. and .. wanted to know why anyone would-should-could respect his "signature research" on autism in Denmark?

During one exchange .. Insell stated "Environment has to be a major focus going forward" .. yet .. Rep Posey specifically asked him why the IACC .. "for some reason .. obstructs research on the environmental factors"? Rep Posey mentioned thimerosal a few times in his comments.

Rep Posey asked why the vaccinated v. unvaccinated study remains undone .. and .. he specifically pre-empted any claims by Insell that it would be "unethical" because children would have to be denied vaccines in order to create the unvaccinated population .. stating there are more than enough "voluntarily unvaccinated children" to do the study.

All in all .. I think we should inundate Rep Posey's office with emails thanking him for his contribution to this hearing .. without him .. as I said .. it would have been "pathetic".

Jeannette Bishop

Representative Connolly accused the GAO of sometimes not seeing the forest for the trees and that making a statement to the effect that there might be duplication in 84% of federal autism research was dangerous because it might give fuel to critics who say that government shouldn't be funded to do this kind of thing, government is inefficient (or give critics fuel with which to push for certain environmental research?).

No one seemed to want to go into specifics about what objectives of the IACC the GAO saw were not getting funded except possibly for Congressman Posey. He focused on the need for environmental research, though no one said whether the IACC had any objectives aimed at environmental research, particularly vaccinations (which we know the IACC specifically voted to not fund).

Then Insel tried to suggest, if I was following him correctly, that vaccination research was one area the GAO might have been pointing to as having duplication?!?

Jenny

Mr. Connolly seems to be deliberately ignoring the idea that when money is inadvertantly wasted on non-necessary duplicative research because they don't know that its already been done by another agency means that that grant money is not available for examining environmental impacts on the increase of autism, when independent science is showing how much the environmental is actually impacting the situation.

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