Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. & Drs. Martha Herbert and Mark Hyman Debuts August 4
The Princess and the Pea: Only the Pain of the Pharmaceutical Industry Counts

Dachel Media Update: Cost of Child Vs. Child with Autism

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.  The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand. 

July 21, 2014, Largest study to date shows majority of autism is genetic

July 21, 2014, LA Times: Student filmmakers find themselves drawn into the vaccine/autism fray

July 20, 2014, Forbes: Robert Kennedy's Dangerous Anti-Vaccine Activism

July 20, 2014, US News: Common Genes Implicated in Autism Study

July 20, 2014, USA Today: Iowa puts $5 million into autism program

July 20, 2014, Wall Street Journal: Can You Really Afford a New Child?

July 19, 2014, Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, CA: Danger of anti-immunization movement is real

July 17, 2014, Andrew Wakefield is still at it blaming vaccines for autism

At least 60 percent of autism is genetically inherited through gene mutations. Fifty-two percent of the mutations that cause autism are directly inherited from parents and family. These are the conclusions of the largest genetic study of the source of autism ever conducted. The research was led by Carnegie Mellon University's Kathryn Roeder and was reported in the July 20, 2014, edition of the journal Nature Genetics.

The source of autism in children is in majority the result of the desire of parents with defective genes to have children. The study included the contribution of environmental causes of autism and found that genetics trumps any environmental cause for autism. The study was based on the genetic analysis of over 1.6 million Swedish families and compared 3,000 people with autism with a group that did not have autism that was the same size....

This discovery that included the National Institutes of Health in the United States and several experts from U. S. universities brings into serious doubt previous claims that vaccinations or any environmental source caused autism. The 2010 U. S. Court ruling that the use of thimerosal in vaccines was a cause of autism is now suspect of being invalid. Likewise the books that claim vaccinations caused autism are now considered to be less than factual.

We're back to the "refrigerator mom" being blamed for autism--"parents with defective genes" is the updated version of blame the parents.  This explains "at least 60 percent of autism," according to this study.  And the other 40 percent is likely due to all those other associations: fat moms, old moms, drinking moms, moms on anti-depressant, moms who have babies too close together, and moms who live too close to freeways.  This lets thimerosal and pesticides off the hook.  AND HOW TIMELY!  With Robert Kennedy's new book just out--it's the perfect response.  Kennedy can't be right--THE LATEST SCIENCE SAYS SO! 

LA Times

Every school day, students at Carlsbad High tune in their classroom televisions to a news show produced by its award-winning broadcast journalism program.

Airing from a well-appointed studio on campus, the report covers topics ranging from final exams to nearby wildfires, delivered by a teenage staff that typically goofs around until the cameras roll and professionalism descends.

Carlsbad High has come to expect a lot from CHSTV, a "signature program," according to schools Supt. Suzette Lovely.

But no one expected the kind of attentionthat has lately muzzled one of its most acclaimed works - a short documentary produced by an extracurricular offshoot of the program.

It was all social controversy. There was no science controversy.- Allison DeGour, student filmmaker

The movie, "Invisible Threat," bills itself as a report on "the science of disease and the risks facing a society that is under-vaccinated.". . .

Focus Autism and AutismOne organizations complained about the movie's Rotary Club backing and about the involvement of Dr. Paul Offit, a University of Pennsylvania pediatrician and immunization proponent. They argued that "Invisible Threat" was "scripted with industry talking points" and that the movie seemed to be the work of adults operating under false pretenses, not students.

The very fact that Offit is cited with no mention of his MERCK TIES, is proof that this is indoctrination.  These students are being taught to never question what officials tell them


Robert Kennedy is obsessed with the notion that vaccines cause autism. He's particularly obsessed with the discredited idea that thimerosal, a preservative used in some vaccines, causes autism. Now Kennedy is about to publish a new book on this topic, and he's promoting it both in the press and, as described in today's Washington Post, in the halls of Congress. He's recently had personal meetings with U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Bernie Sanders to try to convince them to take action based on his claims. Why is it that a scientifically unqualified anti-vaccine advocate can get a private audience with a U.S. Senator? Because he's famous, that's why.

As expected, the Washington Post coverage will be the example for reporting on Kennedy's book.  Here at Forbes, Steven Salzberg goes after Kennedy for daring to suggest that mercury is harmful. (He's in my book.)

BTW...DOES ANYONE SEE THE WORD MERCURY HERE????  I don't.  It's just the mysterious ingredient called THIMEROSAL.  Forbes has blocked me from posting a comment or else I'd ask why Salzberg is covering up the MERCURY issue.  Forbes only believes in the First Amendment if the commenter agrees with their article.

US News

Most of the genetic risk for autism appears to come from common gene variants rather than spontaneous gene mutations, according to a new study. ...

The investigators also found that genetics seem to play a stronger role in autism risk than environmental factors, according to the study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health....

"From this study, we can see that genetics plays a major role in the development of autism compared to environmental risk factors, making autism more like height than we thought -- many small risk factors add up, each pushing a person further out on the spectrum," co-lead investigator Kathryn Roeder, professor of statistics and computational biology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said in a university news release....

According to NIMH Director Dr. Thomas Insel, "Knowing the nature of the genetic risk will help focus the search for clues to the molecular roots of the disorder. Common variation may be more important than we thought," he said in the Carnegie Mellon news release.

So throw out the vaccine link---it's bad genes....Shades of the idiot doctor who told Richard and me that we were genetically "mismatched" and that's why our son had autism!

And of all people...who should appear in U.S. News BACKING THE GENETIC RISK....good ole Thomas Insel.  (He's also in my book!)

I posted two comments.

USA Today

The money, approved by the legislature in 2013, started becoming available this past April. Five families are enrolled so far, but that number is expected to jump.

Autism is believed to affect more than 1 percent of American children. In severe cases, children lack any speech ability and have frequent, physical outbursts. In less severe cases, children may speak well but have difficulty interacting with other people. Most experts believe the main causes for the developmental disability are genetic, although environmental factors could play a role.

Applied Behavior Analysis participants spend hours with therapists, who encourage any progress in speech and social skills and ignore disruptive behaviors unless they become dangerous. Over months or years, proponents say, most students increase their ability to function well in school, make friends and eventually work at regular jobs.

'If these kids don't move toward living somewhat normal lives, when they become adults, they'll be under state care for the rest of their lives, and that's very, very expensive.'

--Iowa state Rep. Dave Heaton

I posted a comment.  The people of Iowa need to think about what Rep. Heaton.

Wall Street Journal

Expecting a child this summer? Most births in the U.S. occur in August, with July a close second. If recent patterns hold, the country will welcome more than 700,000 new babies over the summer months.

How much is a child likely to cost you? Estimates range from more than $240,000 (in today's dollars and excluding the cost of college) for a typical child. Add $1.4 million to $2.4 million (including government expenditures such as Medicaid) for a child with a disability such as autism.

This is bizarre.  Notice the nonchalant reference to the high cost of having an autistic child.  Something for EVERY PARENT TO THINK ABOUT...especially if a woman is pregnant with A BOY.  Autism is so common, we all have to consider how we'll deal with the cost. It is sad to realize how little our children matter--unless we have to consider THE COST. 

Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, CA 

It's always dismaying when seemingly rational, intelligent people make incomprehensible decisions.

Such is the case when parents ignore reams of scientific data, demonstrable real-world evidence and expert advice by choosing to forgo standard immunizations for their children.

What's particularly frustrating is that many of them have turned against a proven public health benefit because they've been suckered into believing the thoroughly discredited accounts linking vaccines to various ills, including autism and sudden infant death syndrome.

It's tiresome to read about whooping cough worries when the media shows absolutely no concern about an epidemic of autism.  I posted three comments.

Despite his utter irrelevance to anything scientific, I still remain curious to know every now and then what ol' Andy is up to. Yesterday, thanks to Anne Dachel, the "media editor" of the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, I found out that Dr. Andrew Wakefield continues to speak out.

Where would the deniers be without Dr. Wakefield.   Glad to know they're reading Age of Autism.

Lee Silsby logo 09 The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.  Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is one of the largest and most respected compounding pharmacies in the country. They use only the finest quality chemicals and equipment to prepare our patients’ compounded medications and nutritional supplements. Customizing medication and nutritional supplements for our customers allows them to achieve their unique health goals.

Anne Dachel Book CoverAnne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of  The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.




Very interesting, I'm sure I heard him (Orac) referring/lamenting to NG owning or controlling it recently, as well. It's sure nothing to be proud of!

Jenny Allan

Thank you for the information Godfrey.

The 'Science Blogs' websites are certainly no 'asset' to a well respected organisation like National Geographic, (to say the least!) I'm only surprised NG took so long to realise this, although 'Pepsigate' will have concentrated their minds.

As recently as June 14, in his 'Respectful Insolence' blogs, Gorski was still perpetrating the myth of NG ownership of Science Blogs; (Gorski called it a 'takeover' by National Geographic.) There has been NOTHING from SEED either, about Science Blogs being effectively 'DUMPED' by NG. So let's all be quite clear about this, having removed all the 'fog' of RI misinformation.

'Science Blogs' was DUMPED by National Geographic in August 2013!!

Godfrey Wyl
"Jenny- I'm not sure that means that they (National Geographic) don't still OWN it, though."

Scienceblogs has always been owned by Seed Media. National Geographic entered into a strategic partnership in which they assumed operational control. They may have been trying to play catch-up in the market.

This was apparently after "PepsiGate," so I am inclined to guess that they failed to add value to the property and exited the arrangement.

Jenny Allan

Jen- I actually got two e-mails from the NG Communications Dept. I think this is unequivocal:-

"We do not own nor are we affiliated with the Respectful Insolence or Science Blogs website, and thus have no control over their content or operations."


Jenny, yes, we'll all have to make some more calls. Accountability obviously doesn't stop at ownership.

Jenny Allan

Jen says:- "I'm not sure that means that they (National Geographic) don't still OWN it" (Science Blogs websites).

Interesting point Jen, National Geographic only stated it had "concluded its operational responsibilities for both and in August 2013".

However, in the UK at least 'owners' cannot legally shrug off their 'responsibilities' for material published in their name. This was amply demonstrated by the recent Murdoch Newspapers phone hacking scandal in the UK, when Murdoch sen stated he was 'humbled' by what had been done in his name.

The Gorski RI site has become an embarrassment, full of profanity and vile slanderous insinuations. If NG still owns this website, then it it their 'responsibility' to insist it is either 'cleaned up' or removed altogether.


Jenny- I'm not sure that means that they (National Geographic) don't still OWN it, though. To be sure, along with all the other crap (poll crashing, hate campaigns)as someone mentioned, urinating on graves is really beyond the pale.

Eileen Nicole Simon

OK - This morning I was logged into my library account at Harvard. Now I am at the public library, and also hit the paywall trying to access the Nature Genetics article.

As a biochemistry student in the 1970s, genetics research to me meant investigating enzymes for transcription of DNA to transfer- and messenger-RNAs, and mechanisms of protein synthesis on ribosomes. Present-day linking of behavioral traits to genes, and hunting for genes in extended families takes us where??? Can these linkages be applied to evolutionary development of language in the human brain? Can they provide information on why maturation of the language areas is disrupted in autism?

My high-functioning but bizarre autistic son has told me many times, “Terrible things happen to people, Mom.”

I think this is how he copes with having attended the “junk-yard school” for junked children, and now lives in a “junk-yard group home.”

Genetics researchers are burning up precious funds that could be used to investigate effects on the machinery of the brain caused by respiratory depression and/or exposures to toxic substances.

BoB Moffitt reports: "Largest study to date shows majority of autism is genetic"

"Carnegie Mellon University's Kathryn Roeder .. reported in the July 20, 2014, edition of the journal Nature Genetics.

"The source of autism in children is in majority the result of the desire of parents with defective genes to have children. The study included the contribution of environmental causes of autism and found that genetics trumps any environmental cause for autism. The study was based on the genetic analysis of over 1.6 million Swedish families and compared 3,000 people with autism with a group that did not have autism that was the same size...."

Talk about being confused .. and .. I don't mean just parents .. here is an article published by Autism Speaks .. dated .. April 23, 2013 .. "Beyond Autism Genes: Epigenetic differences in identical twins"

"Over the last 20 years, research has shown that autism stems, in large part, from DNA changes, or mutations, in genes involved in brain development. Much of this evidence comes from studying twins – especially identical twins, who share the same genome – or complete set of genes. When one identical twin has autism, so does the other around 70 percent of the time."

So .. what are we to believe .. the largest reported study to date .. which was based on the genetic analysis of over 1.6 million Swedish families and compared 3,000 people with autism with a group that did not have autism that was the same size....


a study composed entirely of identical twins that caused researcher Dr. Wong to comment:

“That nearly a third of identical twins differ in autism symptoms makes clear that there are also nongenetic influences at play in some cases,”

Ah, yes, epigentics .. that pesky .. emerging science .. that will eventually prove as critical to genetic research .. as did DNA prove critical to the criminal justice system.

Godfrey Wyl
"However, the paper remains steadfastly behind a paywall even though it is NIH funded, which I thought meant it ought to be free access. Only to US citizens perhaps?"

The law allows publishers a 12-month embargo period, although PubMed Central hasn't indexed this paper yet in any event.



Yes Dana, if you are a parent who does pass on genes to your child that makes him susceptible to vaccine damage, then you are a bad parent!

John, I believe we are starting to see studies of this kind not discuss whether that are talking about genes directly causing autism, or genes causing autism from susceptibility to environmental factors, because they are starting to entertain the position that it doesn't matter either way. As I suggested to Dana, it's a case of vaccines never causing autism, and 'bad' genes always causing autism whether directly or indirectly. With each passing day, and as they become more desperate and are forced to be more forthcomming, I suspect you will hear more of this, essentially, 'screw you' position.


Science is pure.  People are corrupt.

This is the study for those with access:

The gist of the study is that genes held by a large section of the population are measured as a high risk factor for ASD. It is also documented that the rate of ASD in children below the age of ten is more than triple that of those in their early thirties, which can not be the result of commonly held genes, and the study reinforces the fact that aberrant genes are not responsible for ASD.

The authors make the implicit assumption that the common factor between relatives must be their genes, but an example of an alternative explanation is shared microbiome patterns which are well documented, but were not measured nor considered, and could provide an alternative explanation through some as yet unknown mechanism such as that in the article from Autismmom.

Whoever wrote the line 'The source of autism in children is in majority the result of the desire of parents with defective genes to have children' lacks either basic intelligence or, more likely honesty. Or both. And is frightening.

It is also worth noting that the rate of ASD in the highest cohort is about 1 in 300, and overall the rate in Sweden nearly an order of magnitude lower than that in the US.

Jenny Allan

Jen- Re NG dumping of Science Blogs:-

Absolutely certain!! The information came directly to me from a National Geographic person after I complained about Gorski's Respectful Insolence article and comment thread (above).

From the e-mail:-
"National Geographic concluded its operational responsibilities for both and in August 2013. Seed Media is responsible for the sites’ day-to-day management, which includes editorial oversight, hosting, and ad sales."


Jenny- are you sure about that? Where does it specifically say that National Geographic let go of it?

John Stone
Eileen Nicole Simon

Hi John, or anyone who can help clarify what this article imparts to scientific understanding.

Even the abstract is absurdly abstract (and absurd): The allelic spectrum influencing trait variability is a key component of genetic architecture... then, the nature of the allelic spectrum is uncertain for autism... and, risk-associated genes have been identified from rare variation, and de novo mutations (citations provided)... one might conclude that rare variation dominates the allelic spectrum in autism, from evidence (about ???)... the issue is how much of an impact common variation has -- I am just trying to figure out what the hell they are talking about. Let me know if this is perfectly lucid to you.

So, having struggled with the abstract, I went to Nature Genetics, and had no trouble downloading the entire article, which was an immediate quagmire of nonsense to me...

Then back to the abstract, where a figure of 52.4% is given for individual liability to narrow-sense heritability mostly due to common variation... then 2.6% variance in liability, which is modest compared to that for heritable variation... Huh????

The problem is trying to link “traits” to genes, rare or de novo. It used to be traits to loci on chromosomes. The loci looked for should be in the brain, and how environmental factors affect these loci. Please explain my misunderstanding if at all possible. Maybe I am just getting dementia from old age...


"At least 60% of autism is genetically inherited."

Oh well -- remember the good old days when it was over 90%!

John Stone

Hi Eileen,

I don't have a copy of the full article but it is a different thing to identify genes as a risk factor (the terms of the paper as published)and another to say they cause it. Are the genes "faulty" or just exposed to modern environmental insults they might have escaped in earlier times. Reporting seems to be mischievously incompetent.


Eileen Nicole Simon

I looked through the Nature Genetics article. This is gibberish!!! No mention is made of how the brain might be involved. Nothing is said about the distinctive language disorder.

The opening sentence states: “Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder typified by striking deficits in social communication and genetically by a mixture of de novo and inherited variation contributing to liability.” The article then babbles on about genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that can be compared to GWAS analyses for schizophrenia, genetic scores, etc. blah blah blah, etc. etc...

The article has 19 authors. None of them are biochemists or neurologists, and their claim that twin studies place autism heritability close to 100% reveals that they are not mathematicians. The many identical twin pairs discordant for autism provide more than enough counterexamples that autism is not genetic...

It is a disgrace that an article like this gets published, then commented on by journalists as absolute truth.


"The source of autism in children is in majority the result of the desire of parents with defective genes to have children." Am I reading this right?! This doesn't just imply-- it screams--that the parents are bad...and Orwellian eugenics is just around the corner.

Where were all these "bad" parents before the 1990's?


Just took a peek over at Hilarious. The same old same old. They are the minions of Orac who have been singing the same rhapsody in prevarication for over a decade. They truly personify the definition of insanity-doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


That examiner article could have been written by the Nazis claiming people with defective genes are breeding hence the rise in autism. They are showing their true colors with this all autism is genetic propaganda. The dirty little secret is that we all have defects in our genes particularly the mitochondrial DNA. See study below.

Mutations Pervade Mitochondrial DNA
Pathogenic mutations in mitochondrial DNA are common in healthy people, according to a new study.

By Jyoti Madhusoodanan | July 7, 2014

Jenny Allan


I've just found out National Geographic DUMPED Science Blogs, including Gorski's vile 'Respectful Insolence' blog, nearly a year ago in August 2013. In spite of this Gorski, as recently as last month, was making out NG still owned the Science Blogs websites. The REAL owner is SEED magazine.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)