by Brian Shilhavy, Editor
Health Impact News

The CDC just released a report stating that the prevalence of autism among school age children ages 6 to 17 years old is now 2%, or one out of every 50 children. The time period covers 2007 to 2011-2012. The report is here.

This is a significantly higher rate than the CDC reported in 2012, when it released a study that showed one out of every 88 children who were 8-years old  in 2008 were diagnosed with autism.

Congressional hearings were convened to study the issue of the alarming rise in autism in late 2012. Congressman Dan Burton stated that the situation is “worse than an epidemic, it is an absolute disaster.” Many questions were asked of the CDC at this hearing, which revealed what many in the autism community already knew, such as the fact that there has never been a study comparing vaccinated children with unvaccinated children, and neither has there been a study on the effects of multiple dose vaccines in the ever-rising vaccine schedule. You can watch highlights of the hearing here. The U.S. now leads all countries in the number of vaccine doses given to children under the age of 6.

The CDC “No Link” to Autism Research Claim

So why is there no current research being done by the government to investigate the possible vaccine-autism link? The official response from the CDC is that they have studied the issue, and they definitively state that there is no link. They also continue to state that there is no link between the mercury-based vaccine ingredient thimerosal and autism, but they removed it from most childhood vaccines sometime around 2001 “just to be safe.” The annual flu vaccine still contains mercury, however, and is recommended for both children and pregnant women.

Well, there are several problems to the CDC’s claims that they have investigated this issue. First, it is public knowledge that one of their main researchers, Dr. Poul Thorsen, was indicted for fraud for stealing millions of dollars in research grants to study the thimerosal mercury link to autism. He is still on the run today and at large. He was an author in 36 studies with the CDC on the issue of mercury in vaccines and autism.

When questioned about this man’s research that the CDC has relied upon in the Congressional Hearing last year, the reply the CDC gave by Dr. Boyle was that his fraud did not negate the “wider body” of research that existed.

Which brings us to another problem regarding the CDC’s “other” research that supposedly shows there is no link between thimerosal mercury and autism. A man by the name of Brian Hooker, a PhD scientist, has been fighting the CDC since 2004 in trying to get them to comply with Freedom of Information Acts to see this research, and how they came to the conclusion that there was no link between mercury in vaccines and autism. (Dr. Hooker was not allowed to testify at the Congressional Hearing last year, but he submitted written comments that you can read after the video clips here). The CDC apparently believes they are above the law regarding the Freedom of Information Act, and have fought to withhold most of the information Dr. Hooker has requested. Why?

Many people have raised grave concerns over the woman who took over the CDC in 2002,  Julie Gerberding. She was in charge of the CDC when Dr. Hooker began his investigation and started making requests for more information into the research they were relying on that supposedly claimed there was no link between mercury and autism. Soon after she took over the CDC, she reportedly completely overhauled the agency’s organizational structure, and many of the CDC’s senior scientists and leaders either left or announced plans to leave. This was done under the Bush administration. (See: Gush of bonuses awarded to top CDC administrators / Generous perks part of Bush push to revamp agency). Some have claimed that almost all of the replacements Julie Gerberding appointed had ties to the vaccine industry.

Gerberding resigned from her post on January 20, 2009, and is now the president of Merck’s Vaccine division, a $5 billion dollar a year operation, and the supplier of the largest number of vaccines the CDC recommends (article here).

Do you still trust the CDC’s claim there is no link between mercury and autism?

Plenty of Research and Evidence Showing the Vaccine – Autism Link

Outside of the CDC “research,” there is plenty of peer reviewed research showing the link between vaccines or mercury and autism. We just recently published a list of 30 studies, and this is not an exhaustive list. The first study was published at Johns Hopkins University in 1943 by Leo Kanner. Child Psychiatrist Leo Kanner discovered 11 children over the course of several years who displayed a novel set of neurological symptoms that had never been described in the medical literature, where children were withdrawn, uncommunicative and displayed similar odd behaviors. This disorder would become known as “autism.” In the paper, Dr. Kanner noted that onset of the disorder began following the administration of a small pox vaccine. This paper was published in 1943, and evidence that vaccination causes an ever increasing rate of neurological and immunological regressions, including autism, has been mounting from that time until now. (See the list of studies here).

There is also strong evidence that the government knows about the link between vaccines and autism. On the FDA’s website where package inserts for all vaccines are published, autism is actually listed as an “adverse event” as recent as 2005 for the diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine. This package insert is still on the FDA website (at the time of this writing) located here, and it states:

Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy,  hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting.

Interestingly, thimerosal mercury was reportedly removed from this vaccine in 2001, and yet the adverse events warnings, which also includes SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), remained until 2005. Does that mean there were so many doses of the mercury-containing vaccines that they remained in circulation until 2005?

The other strong evidence that the government knows about the vaccine-autism link is seen in the millions of dollars of awards given out to vaccine damaged children with autism in the government’s vaccine court. In the 1980s the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was started to provide a means of compensating vaccine damaged children. It was mandated by Congress, because Congress was scared into passing a law giving total legal immunity to pharmaceutical companies from being sued for damages related to vaccines. The pharmaceutical companies threatened to stop making vaccines without such legislature. So one good way to see if there is evidence that vaccines are causing harm, in this case autism, is to look at the compensation awarded to those harmed by vaccines. The most recent awards given to vaccine-damaged children with autism happened earlier this year (2013) where millions of dollars were awarded to two children with autism that were the result of the MMR vaccine (story here).

So the next question is: If there are so many studies showing the link between vaccines and autism, and plenty of evidence that the government knows about this link, then why does the vaccine-autism link only get discussed on anti-vaccine websites or on Facebook Pages from parents of children with autism?

Show the Vaccine – Autism Link and Lose Your Career

Dr. Andrew Wakefield could answer that question quite well. Dr. Andrew Wakefield was a very well-known and respected physician in the UK, who worked with parents of autism children, and showed a definite link between the MMR vaccine and intestinal bowel disease common in children with autism. His work was so popular that they even made a film about him. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) then published one of his research papers, and the trouble began. Without judge, jury, or trial, he was attacked by a journalist (NOT a doctor) and the BMJ retracted the article. Dr. Wakefield was then stripped of his license to practice, ending his career as a physician. The wonderful film made about his work was banned from British TV, but has recently resurfaced on YouTube.

An autism group later found out that the BMJ had “competing commercial interests” with MMR manufacturers Merck and GSK. Also, there are many studies around the world that have been published and confirm Dr. Wakefield’s work. You can read about the most recent one here, and there is a list of 28 other studies that confirm Dr. Wakefield’s work.

Also, as noted above, the U.S. federal vaccine court just this year awarded millions of dollars to two families with children that have autism and were injured due to the MMR vaccine. An Italian court in 2012 also ruled that the MMR vaccine caused autism in a 15 month old child injected in 2004, but this story was not published in the U.S. mainstream press.

Another story not published in the U.S. press in 2012 is that world renowned pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith, who was a co-author of Dr. Wakefield’s study and was also stripped of his physician license, won his appeal against the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council regulatory board that had ruled against both him and Andrew Wakefield. The complete victory means that Walker-Smith has been returned to the status of a fully licensed physician in the UK, although he had already retired in 2001.

So those who just repeat verbatim that the vaccine-autism link was debunked over the Andrew Wakefield case have not done their homework to look at the actual facts. But Dr. Wakefield, who is still in a legal battle today to restore his name, is upheld by those who promote vaccines as an example of what happens to those who dare to question the vaccine-autism link within the medical field, because they consider the evidence against the vaccine-autism link as a closed issue that no longer needs to be studied. They also blame growing parental concerns about the safety of multiple vaccine doses on Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the poster whipping boy for attacking anybody who has questions about vaccine safety.

The Truth Needs to Get Out to Find a Solution

It is high time journalists in the U.S. start doing their job of investigative journalism and start reporting the true story regarding vaccines and their link to autism. The future of our nation depends upon the truth regarding the dangers of vaccines to be known, and dedicating research efforts in finding a solution to real problems. We cannot expect solutions from the vaccine manufacturers who have legal protection and little motivation to reveal facts that will harm their sales.

Current regulatory agencies such as the FDA and CDC have proven woefully inadequate in addressing the problem with massive conflicts of interest and possibly even fraud. The wheels of Congress turn much too slow, and until the public rises up in fury and anger over this, we should not expect a quick political solution. It is time for the media to exercise their rights that still exist with “freedom of the press” and start publishing the truth so the public knows the true issues.

The potential vaccine-autism link MUST become a national debate, if we expect to stem the tide of autism roaring into our next generation like a destructive giant tsunami. There are certainly other environmental factors that contribute to autism, but injection of toxins is by far the most lethal form of polluting the body, bypassing the other protective barriers the body’s natural immune system has such as the digestive system, the lungs, etc. It is quite well known within the medical field that the quickest way to poison someone is through lethal injection.

So let’s publish the truth and find real solutions to the autism catastrophe.

Vaccine Epidemic
by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland J.D.

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