Here is the letter Erwin Alber of VINE has sent:
Coralie Zimmer and Jonathan Jarman defend the MMR-vaccine, Coralie on the grounds that "the symptoms of autism appear around the time of vaccination, but this does not automatically mean that one causes the other". The US Centre for Disease Control also states:
"Typically, symptoms of autism are first noted by parents as their child begins to have difficulty with delays in speaking after age one. MMR vaccine is first given to children at 12 to 15 months of age. Therefore autism cases with an apparent onset within a few weeks after MMR vaccination may simply be an expected but unrelated chance occurrence".
Dr Andrew Wakefield, the specialist who first pointed to a possible link between MMR and autism (and bowel disease) is unrepentant. Despite massive criticism leading to his resignation of his position at the Royal Free Hospital in London, he has the support of many parents caring for autistic children. He says parental fears of a link between MMR and autism and bowel disease have merit and that there is genuine ground for concern.
Dr Kenneth Aitken, a specialist in the treatment of autism, believes there is a clear link between autism and the MMR jab.
"When I was training, one in 2,500 [children were autistic]. Now it is one in 250. At the moment, the only logical explanation for this is MMR," he said. Here are (excerpts from) two letters we have received from New Zealand parents:
"Damian was a very happy baby and progressed like any other, babbling, chatting and playing like a normal baby boy. Then came the 15-month vaccination, when he was injected with the measles vaccine in one leg and the DPT-booster in the other. Two days later he had a reaction, a high fever of 105 and a measles rash. On his next visit the Plunket nurse commented on "very little chatter", on the visit at 20 months "no eye contact" and thought he had a hearing problem. He continued to suffer from frequent fevers and at the age of two Damian was diagnosed with autism at the Starship Hospital. When Damian was 4 we applied for compensation which ACC refused on the grounds of NO MEDICAL EVIDENCE."
"Nadia was born in March 1995, a beautiful, healthy little girl. We made sure she received every vaccination as scheduled. When Nadia was 15 months old she had the MMR and hepatitis B injections. She was grizzly and unsettled afterwards and on the 7th day she had a rash over her whole little body and a high temperature. Our GP said: "5% of children react this way, there is no reason to worry" and that she would report this reaction to the Centre of Adverse Reaction Monitoring (CARM) in Dundedin. We now know that this was not done. Nadia kept developing normally, but stopped putting on weight and became more "picky" over what she would eat.
When she was 18 months old, she developed a fear of heights and of the bath, even though she had loved water and baths; otherwise she seemed bright and normal. She could say three or four sentences, but then she gradually started losing her language and no longer seemed to understand a lot of what was being said to her. Our GP said it was just a phase she was going
At 21 months, Nadia was very sick. Her asthma which had developed at 13 months returned and she had two lots of ear infections and several lots of antibiotics to clear them. While this was going on, the practice nurse at our GP's clinic rung us more than once to remind us that Nadia's last lot
of vaccinations were due. I said to her: "Let us wait till Nadia is better before we do it".
In February 1997, Nadia was given her 4th DPTH and almost immediately developed a very large lump on her leg. On the first day she really couldn't walk at all and she limped for about 3 more days. Naturally we took her to our GP who measured the red lump on her leg and said she would report this reaction to the appropriate authorities. We later found out that this was not done.
After that vaccination, Nadia deteriorated quickly before our eyes. She started this horrible, high pitched screaming and strange behaviour like opening and closing cupboard doors and turning electrical light switches on and off continuously , turning her body sideways and lifting her arm up into the air, and rocking back and forward on her feet. She stopped playing with her toys and lost all interest in her surroundings. She was now 2 years old, and almost mute, obviously disturbed, She weighed only 11.5 kg and often we suspected her to be in pain.
Our GP referred her to a paediatrician, but the day before our appointment Nadia didn't wake up in the morning. The diagnosis was nocturnal seizure and now four months of real hell began. Nadia was put through a series of tests - MRI scan, CT scan, lumbar puncture, 24 hour EEG. All the tests were normal except the EEG which showed a left-sided dysfunction. We did mention vaccine-damage at this time but were told this was excluded!!
She was finally diagnosed as having Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, an acquired aphasia in childhood, with convulsive disorder and secondary disturbances - no cause, no prognosis, no treatment. My husband and I are very exhausted right now, trying to convince the medical profession that our little girl was brain damaged as a result of being vaccinated. We wonder what the future holds for Nadia."
Vaccination Information Network
PO Box 149
Erwin suggests, you could send the following letter, but do please write your own if you'd prefer.
Coralie Zimmer and Jonathan Jarman's stance concerning the MMR-vaccine appears to be widespread. A British Department of Health spokesman insisted: "Parents who received payments after their children died following MMR would not get the money now as science has moved on. MMR protects against death and we stand by the fact that no child has died as a result of MMR." The Sunday Express has revealed that at least 26 families claim their children died as a result of the controversial measles, mumps and rubella jab. In some cases the Government has awarded parents up to £100,000 under its 1979 Vaccine Damage Payment Act. In others, post mortem reports concluded the jab was the most likely cause of death. Despite this, the Department of Health insists no child has ever died from MMR. The parents are now demanding an official inquiry into the deaths." Julie Roberts, 40, whose daughter Stacey died, said: "The Government should take responsibility. It has never given proper warnings of the risk and still doesn't despite the evidence. Tony Blair can see his children at home. I have to visit my daughter at her grave."
Experts writing in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that of 48 children who reacted to the measles component of the jab, eight died and the rest had seizures or brain damage. And a recent study on 1.8 million children by the Finnish Health Board linked neurological reactions, allergic
attacks, epilepsy and meningitis to the vaccine. Many of the families of children who have died have taken legal action. Richard Barr, of solicitors Alexander Harris, has details of 24 cases. He said: "It is widely acknowledged in medical literature and by the American government that the triple vaccine can, on rare occasions, kill, yet this Government won't accept it."
Jackie Fletcher, of the pressure group Jabs, which is trying to highlight the potential dangers, said: "The Government should be giving people full and accurate information about health risks." Wendy Francis's son, Robert, began behaving abnormally two years after he had MMR in January 1990. He lost control of his movements and slept for 18 hours at a time. Within months he fell into a coma and died in December. Robert, then seven, had developed a degenerative brain condition called SSPE (sub-acute sclerosis pan encephalitis), linked to the measles component. The disease can have a long incubation period and Mrs Francis, 40, an auxiliary nurse and Robert's consultant think the vaccine was the only way Robert could have developed it. The family, from Easington, north Yorkshire, are taking legal action against the vaccine's manufacturer. Ashley Shipman was born in 1985 and was a healthy three-year-old when he received the MMR vaccine. When he was nine his parents Elaine and Andrew of Eastwood, Nottingham, noticed he was having problems with his balance and co-ordination. He too was diagnosed with SSPE and died in June 1999, aged 14. They received £30,000 compensation. His father, a lorry driver, said: "We took Ashley into hospital in October 1994 and by Christmas he was in a wheelchair. We were told by the consultant who treated him that his condition was caused by his vaccination."
In 1995 the Government's vaccine damage tribunal paid £30,000 compensation to James Smith, of Gateshead, for brain damage after he was given MMR at the age of four. James died nine years later aged 13. Biopsy material taken from his brain and intestines will form a central plank of the scientific evidence in support of a legal case due to be heard in October next year. Up to 300 cases relate to this brand of vaccine -Pluserix - which was banned by the Department of Health in 1992 after being linked with meningitis. This was two years after an identical vaccine was banned in Canada.
John and Faye Smith say the jab transformed their healthy, intelligent son into a child needing round-the-clock care. It took them six years and four hearings, however, to persuade the vaccine damage tribunal of this. Faye, 59, said: "It's not about money, but truth. It's diabolical that the Government refuses to acknowledge the risks of MMR." Judith Dwyer, 45, of Tongwynlaif, near Cardiff, received a payment after her four-year-old daughter Chloe died following a "booster" jab in 1989. She too was given a version later banned because of its dangerous side effects. Chloe developed pins and needles in her legs, then paralysis and problems breathing. She was rushed to hospital but it was too late. After an eight-year fight Judith, an intensive care technician, persuaded a tribunal the jab was the likely cause of Chloe's death. In September 1996 it accepted this and paid out. Mother of two Judith said: "Health visitors called me a scare mongerer and laughed. But we fought to raise the profile of vaccine damage." Stacey Berry, of Atherton, Manchester was 13 when she had a booster jab in November 1994. Days later she started having fits, "stopped smiling, and stared into space." She was diagnosed with the brain disease SSPE and given two years to live. She died in November 2000, aged 19. A post mortem examination concluded the disease was a "rare complication" of the vaccine".
Christopher Coulter was 15 when he suffered a fit and died in his sleep 10 days after being vaccinated. He had an unblemished health record and no history of epilepsy but no explanation has been offered other than the statement on his death certificate - "asphyxiation due to severe epileptic seizure". His mother Anne of Hillsborough, northern Ireland said: "Nothing would replace Christopher, but I want answers. I want peace of mind for my daughters should they ever have children."
Hannah Buxton was 18 months old when she reacted to her first MMR jab. She started having fits and died 18 months later in February 1992. Parents Carol and Tony of Towcester, Northants, did not know Hannah had been given the strain of vaccine later withdrawn after it was deemed unsafe. In March that year a tribunal blamed the vaccine for her death. Nicola Gentle, 29, of Plymouth, Devon, is convinced her 15-month-old baby Emma Jane died because of the triple vaccine she was given in September 1998. Within six hours she was on a life-support machine. Three days later she was brain dead but a coroner said he could not say for certain whether or not MMR had killed her. Shirley Fitzgerald's son Kieren was given the MMR jab in June 1991 when he was 14 months. He reacted within days. "He stopped smiling, laughing and crying and became frightened of his toys," said Shirley. Kieren also developed bowel problems - linked to MMR by some scientists. In July 1992, he died, aged two. Toddler Harriet Moore died following an MMR vaccination in 1998. Six weeks later she suffered fits and died in her parents arms. Sarah and Pat Moore, of Peasedown St John, near Bath, took the case to tribunal. Jade Scrimger was vaccinated with MMR at 17 months and died from meningitis three days later in October 1998. Her mother Sheena has since discovered the drug used on her daughter was later banned by the Department of Health because it caused meningitis. She has abandoned the idea of taking legal action against the vaccine manufacturers, however, because lawyers say it is not worth it. In Britain the maximum award for a child's death is £7,500. Five days after Elaine Adam's 16-month-old son Stevie was given the MMR vaccine 1991 he too developed meningitis and died. Elaine and her husband Robert, of East Kilbride, were convinced MMR was to blame but their fears were dismissed by doctors. Mrs Adam has refused to allow her second child, Terry, six, to have the jab.
Also, he adds that the February issue of (New Zealand) Healthy Options features a letter by Margaret Dalton of the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC again) in which she quotes the following from the Reference Guide on Vaccines and Vaccine Safety by the US National partnership for Immunisation
"Scientific studies have not provided evidence to support a causal relationship between DPT immunisation and serious acute neurological illness resulting in permanent neurological injury".
You may wish to comment!
Between 1982 and 1997 the number of children diagnosed as autistic impaired in the public schools of the State of Michigan rose from 304 to 3085. This is almost a 1000% increase in this population in 15 years. During the same time, the total State of Michigan Special Education population increased by only 28%.*
*raw data taken from the State of Michigan Department of Special Education, compiled by James R. Nuttall PhD
U.S. aid urged in battling autism
State can't handle the rise in cases, an Assembly panel is told.
By Aurelio Rojas -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Wednesday, November 20, 2002A nearly threefold increase in autism cases in California is straining state resources and will require an infusion of federal funds for research and care, a legislative panel was told Tuesday.
The state Department of Developmental Services' caseload surged 273 percent from 1987 to 1998 and is continuing to grow by about nine cases a day -- a finding confirmed by a University of California, Davis, study that made headlines around the country last month.
Autism most commonly appears in children between the ages of 2 and 12. Experts say the state can expect to spend $2 million on each person afflicted with the disease during his or her lifetime.
"So it doesn't take a math wizard to determine that's $18 million a day (in new projected expenditures)," Rick Rollens, a board member of the Autism Society of America, told the Assembly Health Committee.
The brain disease leaves many patients unable to speak or compulsively performing repetitive motions, such as flapping their arms. Experts believe the disease has reached epidemic proportions nationwide, but California is the only state that has compiled comprehensive data.
Rollens, a former state Senate staff member who became an advocate after his son was diagnosed with the disease, said that until recently the National Institutes of Health was spending $5 million a year on autism research. He said the amount has increased to more than $55 million.
"(But) a multimillion-dollar effort is needed," said Rollens, who will meet with NIH officials in Washington on Friday to press his case.
Chuck Gardner, who also has a son with autism, testified that the disease is overwhelming the 21 regional centers in the state that diagnose developmental disorders and provide children with services.
Gardner co-founded the institute for the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at UC Davis Medical Center with Rollens. Funded primarily with state dollars, the institute will open a $42 million complex in Sacramento next spring to study and treat autism, dyslexia and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
"We need more funds for the MIND Institute, and not necessarily from the state," Gardner told the Assembly committee chaired by Dario Frommer, D-Los Angeles.
"Autism doesn't stop at the state line, and the work we're doing has national and international implications. It doesn't seem equitable that the state of California should bear the whole costs."
Dr. Robert Byrd, a pediatrician who was the lead author of the UC Davis study, told the panel the findings surprised researchers.
The study was prompted by a 1999 report by the Department of Developmental Services that concluded autism cases in California had increased from 2,778 in 1987 to 10,360 in 1998.
"It appears that we have numbers of children with autism that far exceed anything we have seen, and they continue to grow," Byrd said. "And we don't have a good explanation."
Byrd said most parents surveyed were similarly unsure of the cause, although some blamed genetic defects and a smaller segment "felt vaccinations had some role."
The number of vaccinations mandated for children under 2 has soared from eight to 26 during the past two decades. The measles, mumps and rubella vaccination, in particular, has drawn increasing concern.
Many parents have reported their child "regressed" into autism after a period of normal development, shortly after receiving the MMR vaccine. But most medical experts do not believe vaccines are to blame for the skyrocketing incidence of the disease.
Researchers at UC Davis are conducting a study in hopes of determining what role, if any, vaccines and environmental factors such as pesticides might have in the surge of cases.
Rollens is convinced that his 12-year-old son, Russell, is autistic because of an MMR vaccine he received. But he also believes there are other causes for the epidemic and says the federal government must step up its research efforts.
"If we keep adding nine kids a day (in California), we're going to break the bank," he said.
About the Writer
The Bee's Aurelio Rojas can be reached at (916) 326-5539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Politicians unite in fight for autism unitCases rise 1600% in 10 years
VICKY COLLINS http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/archive/6-1-19103-23-39-52.html
POLITICIANS from across the political spectrum have backed calls for a new medical unit dedicated to the treatment of autism to be set up in Scotland.
Action Against Autism (AAA) has submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament requesting the unit as well, as funds for research into the treatment and causes of the condition. It will put its case to the parliament in January.
The charity claims there is not a single hospital or NHS doctor in Scotland with the expertise to help those suffering from autism, forcing parents and carers to travel to England and even the United States for the medical help their charges need.
Tommy Sheridan, leader of the Scottish Socialist party, Lloyd Quinan, the Nationalist MSP who is convener of the cross-party group on autism, and Mary Scanlon, Tory health spokeswoman, have all lent their support to the AAA's campaign and said that better facilities to support autism sufferers were desperately needed in Scotland.
The petition, seen by The Herald, claims that Scotland is facing a crisis in terms of autism care, with the number of cases rising from one per 2500 to one per 166 of the population over the last 10 years, according to Medical Research Council figures. This represents a rise of 1600%.
It claims that autism is not a purely psychological problem, as was believed in the past, but a condition that has serious medical problems associated with it and calls for the parliament to "immediately release funds for crucial research" into these medical problems.
That research would entail full metabolic screening, immunological testing, gastro-enterological investigations and blood tests.
The AAA also wants a central treatment centre set up within a Scottish hospital to ensure that people with autism can "at last be given one of their basic human rights - the right to proper health care".
Steve Law, computing officer at the school of mathematics in Edinburgh University and a director of the AAA, is one of signatories to the petition.
"Autism has traditionally been seen as a psychological disorder which is treatable by behavioural techniques," he said.
"There are a lot of people out there who now believe that the symptoms of some autistic children are caused by or at least made worse by medical problems. We do not have a single doctor in the whole of Scotland who can diagnose and treat these problems. It is a national scandal.:
One parent of an autistic child, Anne Grant, had to fight to have her daughter's condition correctly diagnosed. Doctors had believed that Ashley, 10, merely suffered from behavioural problems.
"When we finally got the diagnosis, the doctor said that it was something she really didn't know much about," said Mrs Grant, 32, from Denny, Stirlingshire.
"We hear that all the time. I have done a lot of my own research, on the internet and through books, and by talking to others who have autistic children. It has got to the point now where I know more about it than the doctors.
"Luckily, my GP is willing to take my research on board and help me try different things with Ashley. A lot of parents don't have doctors that are as understanding as that. "I think it would be great to have a place where they could research autism. It would just be nice to have professionals who really know about this, know what they are talking about, who could give parents some advice and support." Mr Quinan said evidence from Europe and the US showed that treatments such as dietary and biochemical intervention could alleviate and, in cases of regressive autism, cure the condition.
"There is an absolute necessity for this medical unit because we have so many professionals who just are not up to date on the diagnosis and treatment of autism and there is still this idea that autism is not a treatable condition," he said. "Research is also urgently needed into the causes of autism. I know of no other condition where nobody can tell you what causes it but there are reams and reams on what doesn't cause it."Mr Sheridan praised the work of groups like the AAA and called for a major extension of autism support services. "The level of support for autistic children and adults is woeful," he said.
"The support network would be non-existent if it wasn't for the committed army of volunteers who have in many cases actually shamed authorities into action." Mrs Scanlon said: "I would certainly support the establishment of a specific facility for people with autism to enable them to gain early access to assessment and treatment." Robert Brown, Liberal Democrat MSP for the West of Scotland, said he would need more information before agreeing to the establishment of a medical unit. However, he added: "It is highly important that there is as much research into autism as possible. "I think there is a big need to get more support for people with this condition."
Autism, Vaccine Link Considered
[By Mark Benjamin for UPI.]
An epidemic of autism and other brain problems in American children is linked to vaccines, say doctors, activists and one member of Congress who met in Chicago over the weekend to discuss the disease. At a three-day meeting at Loyola University, researchers said growing evidence indicates that vaccines are linked to increasing rates of brain problems and that government health agencies have done little to recognize it. Autism One, a non-profit group dedicated to learning more about autism, sponsored the meeting.
"There are some bureaucrats in these agencies who have really dropped the ball and are doing things that are malicious and may be criminal," said Dr. Boyd Haley, chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago. Boyd believes a mercury-based preservative added to vaccines during the 1990s may be a cause of autism. He said the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have failed to address the issue.
Autism rates have increased 10 times since the late 1980s. The CDC says that one in 300 American children may suffer from autism. The leading theories about autism discussed in Chicago:
* A mercury-based preservative called thimerosal used during the 1990s plays a role. Mercury has known toxic effects and during that decade, the CDC drastically increased the recommended number of vaccines. Some children may have been exposed to 125 times the federal limit for mercury exposure.
* An intestinal disorder may eventually impact the brain. That disorder might start with vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella, the first multi-dose vaccine for children to contain three live viruses. Some researchers said mercury poisoning might make the body unable to fight off the infection. Debate over a possible connection between brain problems and vaccines is hotly contested. Critics of the government blame a revolving door between pharmaceutical companies and government regulators for complicating the debate. Researchers who say there is a link claim they have been blackballed.
"I hope somebody will ask the question, 'Is there collusion between the pharmaceutical companies and our health agencies?'" asked Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., chairman of the House Human Rights and Wellness Subcommittee. "The appearance in many cases is that there is." Vaccine manufacturers say the science does not favor a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America did not return calls seeking comment. But Len Lavenda, a spokesman for vaccine manufacturer Aventis Pasteur, told United Press International this spring that scientists have not proven a link between the additive and brain problems.
"We think we are experiencing opposition to thimerosal for emotional reasons," Lavenda said. "This is not based on research and not based on testing."
Burton has been investigating vaccines for more than four years. In Chicago he released a report on thimerosal criticizing government health agencies and vaccine manufacturers for their roles. Doctors and activists in Chicago also discussed a new study that claims to show an association between thimerosal and brain problems. The study claims to show "strong epidemiological evidence for a link between increasing
mercury from thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders and heart disease."
The study compares reports of speech disorders, autism and heart arrest for one vaccine that contained thimersosal to one that did not, over a 10-year period. It also uses information from manufacturers to determine how much mercury was in shots during different points during that decade. The study found reports of brain problems for vaccines that contained the additive and that the relative risk went up as more mercury was in vaccines in general.
Two Silver Spring, Md., researchers performed the study, Dr. Mark Geier and his son David Geier. The study shows that "the relative risk of each of those disorders correlated with increasing doses of mercury contained in childhood vaccines."
The CDC sets the national immunization schedule for children. The CDC says about thimerosal: "There are no data or evidence of any harm caused by the level of exposure that some children may have encountered in following the existing immunization schedule."
The Institute of Medicine -- the government's adviser on medical issues -- said in October 2001 that the link between the preservative and autism is "biologically plausible" but that "current scientific evidence neither proves nor disproves a link." This March, the institute found "no association" between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics, followed by the CDC, called for the removal of thimerosal from vaccines but said there was no evidence showing it had harmed children. The CDC continues to recommend the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
Autism, referred to by parents as a disease, usually showing up before age 2. Sometimes children who had previously appeared to interact normally will suddenly regress, become withdrawn and stop responding to their parents and the outside world. They may perform repetitive motions, like spinning or flapping their arms, scream uncontrollably and resist physical touch. Parents of children with autism at the Chicago conference said the disease has a way of isolating parents because of the time-consuming task of raising a child with autism.
"I did not leave my son's side for four years," said Edmund Arranga, with Autism International Association. "It keeps people from connecting." Arranga said he estimates that 40 percent of parents of children with autism believe vaccines cause the disease. Many parents described previously normal children who appear to digress suddenly with signs of autism within days of receiving vaccinations. Those vaccinations often include measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and large doses of thimerosal.
Liz Birt, an attorney with Burton's Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, said that during the 1990s, the U.S. childhood vaccination schedule exposed some children to 125 times the federal limit on mercury exposure set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Birt said the CDC and the FDA have been slow to admit the damage the vaccines may have caused because key officials want to keep their jobs and vaccine manufacturers do not want the liability. "It all comes down to money," Birt said.
* * *
LEXINGTON, Ky. - "The number one development that has saved more lives and created better quality of life is childhood vaccines."
Some researchers say it's a matter of genetics, while others point to mercury toxicity, especially in vaccines. Central to many parents' search for a reason for their child's autism is the element mercury. Some doctors say mercury -- as a part of the preservative compound Thimerosa collects in autistic children's bodies.
"We wrote a paper stating that autistics represented children in their infancy could not excrete mercury as well as controlled children and since those people at MIT and Arizona State have reproduced that. So it is not a joke," said Dr. Haley.
But the CDC doesn't buy Haley's argument. The latest CDC-supported study in the New England Journal of Medicine just this fall says researchers found no link between Thimerosal exposures in children related and neuropsychological deficits in children. The study looked at 42 standard measures of childhood development, but did not test outcomes specifically used to assess autism.
"Your pruning your data. It's cherry picking what you want," said Dr. Haley.
That troubled some looking for a Thimerosal link -- but not as much as the background of those who conducted the study. Six of the 18 researchers conducting the study earned consulting fees from Merck, Wyeth, and a other pharmaceutical companies that make and sell vaccines that contain Thimerosal.
"Where the financial part is involved is that if it is true, and if it can be proven that thimerosal has been causing all of these problems. Then they are liable for all of these hundreds and thousands of injured children who have been injured by the toxicity of thimerosal now one should never underestimate the power of industry," said Dr. Engley.
"Our government agencies and I mean this with all sincerity. It hurts me to say this but I think our government the CDC and the FDA are just sold out to pharmaceutical companies. They are not going to do anything that is going to effect a commercial product that is worth a lot of money. And this is worth a lot of money. In two ways, one they sell a lot and two the lawsuits that would come out would be astronomical," said Dr. Haley.
"The CDC was in on the production and development of some of these vaccines the CDC cannot afford to admit thimerosal is toxic because they have been promoting it for many years," said Dr. Engley.
"We are in an impossible situation and I think once things get worse and there are more crisis with vaccines and more reverse reactions and rising rates of autism before congress will step in and do something and take a hard look," said Dr. Ayoub. I think we need reform from the top down. We have to serpate the drug company influence from these federal agencies. We have to strip down the CDC and rebuild it."
"Does this pose a conflict of interest to have drug companies doing these studies or sponsoring these studies?" Sure. I think you have to be very careful in any kind of research," said Dr. Miles.
"Let's change it. I just want to change it. But you need to change it where it wouldn't happen again. You need to get the control of vaccines out of the hands of people who can make money with the government cause they will approve anything," said Dr. Haley.
We'll tell you what the centers for disease control had to say about our story on part 3 of our series which airs next Monday at ten.
Reported by: Ashley Reynolds
Posted by: Ashton Goodell
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 9:58 PM
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 10:49 PM
Vaccine additive linked to brain damage in children
Mercury-based preservative tied to autism, ADHD, U.S. researchers say
CanWest News Service
Thursday, February 05, 2004
As of March 2001, all vaccines for routine immunization of children in Canada have been available without thimerosal.
CREDIT: Canadian Press
OTTAWA -- After assuring parents that additives in vaccines don't cause brain damage, scientists have found what they believe could be a "smoking gun" linking these additives to autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.
In a study that was rushed to print on-line today, two months ahead of its scheduled publication in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, U.S. researchers have discovered an apparent link between thimerosal, a controversial mercury-based preservative once commonly used in childhood vaccines, to an increased risk of neurological disorders such as autism and ADHD.
While most vaccines distributed in Canada have been thimerosal-free since the early 1960s, the preservative was used in the annual flu shot that doctors recommended this year for even healthy children.
In tests on human brain cells, researchers found two natural chemicals -- one compound that stimulates cell growth and also dopamine, which transmits nerve signals -- are both key to a process in the brain called methylation. Methylation helps DNA work properly and is crucial to the normal development of the brain.
The team found thimerosal, ethanol and the metals lead and mercury all interfere with methylation. What's more, thimerosal did so at doses 100 times lower than a child would receive after a single shot with a thimerosal-containing vaccine.
"It was by far the most potent," said investigator Dr. Richard Deth, a professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University in Boston.
He said the study, which also involved researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nebraska and Tufts University in Boston, could account for the rising rates of autism since the early 1980s, when more thimerosal-containing shots were added to a child's vaccine schedule
A recent review of vaccine-related "adverse events" in the U.S. found a "significant correlation" between shots containing thimerosal and autism, the researchers report.
But one of Canada's leading experts in vaccination says large studies have repeatedly failed to find any association between brain damage and vaccines that do, or don't, contain thimerosal.
"What [the researchers] are doing in the test tube may or may not have any relationship to what happens in the body," added Dr. Ronald Gold, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Toronto and author of Your Child's Best Shot: A Parent's Guide to Vaccination. He says there's no evidence that the low doses of thimerosal researchers tested would even cross a child's blood-brain barrier.
Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.'s chief health officer, was also skeptical of the study, although he said he had not yet had a chance to read it.
He said there have been several studies that make weak links between autism and vaccines, but none has been definitive.
"I think that the link between thimerosal and autism has been studied quite extensively to date," he said. "And I don't think there's any convincing evidence on the population basis that vaccination is underlying the increase in autism."
Kendall said he was not aware, however, of any other studies that make a link between vaccines and ADHD.
In B.C., thimerosal is still used in the hepatitis B vaccine that is given to Grade six students, as well as the annual flu shot, he said.
Before the early '90s, most causes of autism were believed to have a strong genetic component, and symptoms surfaced soon after the child was born.
But, a newer, and more common form of the disease is known as regressive autism, in which children appear to be developing normally, but then suddenly regress. "They lose functions they had before, such as early speech," Deth says. "Parental anecdotes and clinical reports have suggested it happened during periods of high vaccine exposure."
"Up to now, people have said the cause, or causes of autism, are unknown. Our work isn't final in any sense at all, but it seems to point to this biochemistry as a potential, or even primary cause, of autism."
Thimerosal had been used to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi in multi-dose units of vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis and diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus, or DPT.
As of March 2001, all vaccines for routine immunization of children in Canada have been available without thimerosal. But the annual flu shot, which is given to children over six months of age -- contains the preservative. And thimerosal is still found in larger, multi-dose vaccines shipped to Third World countries.
Dr. Laszlo Palkonyay, medical-scientific adviser for Quebec-based flu vaccine maker Shire Biologics, said a study published in the journal Pediatrics last September, which was based on a registry of all psychiatric admissions in Denmark between 1971 and 2000, found no trend toward an increase in autism rates during the period thimerosal was used in vaccines in that country. In fact, he said the incidence of autism increased after the preservative was removed from vaccines in 1990.
© The Vancouver Sun 2004
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Scientists theorize a new form of autism may be emerging
By JOAN LOWY Scripps Howard News Service
February 16, 2004
Teachers in the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado began to notice about six years ago that more children with autism were entering classes each year. Some of the children would rock back and forth all day, not speaking or focusing on anything around them. Others learned to read in preschool ahead of most of their peers, but they seemed more interested in letters and numbers than in people. They had trouble communicating and frequently became overwhelmed, breaking down in tears or having tantrums.
"I had one mom ask me at a parent-teacher conference, 'Why is it that my child can read all her letters, knows all her numbers, but can't say, 'Mommy, get me a glass of milk?' " preschool teacher Kathy Morson said. Autism is often regarded as a personal tragedy - a rare brain disorder that robs children of their ability to relate to other people and their environment, locking them in a world of their own.
The U.S. Department of Education recorded a nationwide average increase of 544 percent in autistic students from 1992 to 2001. "The numbers are really extraordinary," Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told a conference on autism convened by federal health agencies in November. Autism is a complex and little understood group of brain disorders whose symptoms and severity can vary widely among individuals. Children with autism often don't make or respond to human gestures that come as naturally to other people as breathing - a smile, a soft word, a kiss. Many don't get the punch lines to jokes or see the beauty of poetry. They may never say, "I love you."
Every parent of an autistic child has a story to tell, a moment that seems to crystallize the trials of living with autism. For Jessica Stiles Varma of Elk Grove, Calif., it was the day she decided to do something so simple that most parents never give it a second thought - take a walk with her two daughters in the neighborhood. Varma was pushing her younger daughter in a carriage when suddenly her older daughter, Katelyn, who has autism, began to have a meltdown. Her attempts to get away from her mother were so frenzied that Varma had to use both hands and all her strength to hold on to the girl, fearing she would run into the street.
For four hours, Varma sat on a curb clutching her older daughter, the carriage with her younger daughter at her side, unable to let go long enough to get the three of them home. "Finally a neighbor came along, took pity on us and helped us home," Varma said. About half of all children with autism are mentally retarded, but many autistic children have normal or even superior intelligence. The share of autistic children who are not mentally retarded appears to be increasing,
causing some scientists to theorize that a new form of the disorder is emerging.
The societal costs are staggering. The average child with autism will require $4 million in lifetime supervision and care. The financial and emotional toll on families of autistic children is incalculable. Many parents devote their lives to caring for an autistic child. Financial resources are drained to pay for doctors, behavioral therapists and treatments. Instead of saving for college, parents plan for and worry about how to provide care for their child after they are gone. "We've had people lose their homes, mortgage everything they have ... trying to take care of their kids," said Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., who has an autistic grandson.
Sue, 44, a Milwaukee mother who asked that her last name not be used, was a political science professor at one of the nation's most prestigious universities before her son, Sam, was born four years ago. Resuming her career became impossible after Sam was diagnosed with autism. "It's hard to work a day job if you are always having to call a lawyer or doctor or take him to therapy appointments," Sue said. Autism robs children of their ability to relate to people and their environment.
Doctors: Autism Reaches Epidemic Levels Houston Walk To Raise Money For Autism Research POSTED: 3:11 pm CST November 10, 2004 UPDATED: 3:53 pm CST November 10, 2004 HOUSTON -- Autism is on the rise. Many doctors call it an epidemic. The neurological disorder not only affects the patient, it can devastate a family physically, emotionally and financially, Local 2 reported Wednesday. The Autism Society of America says rates are soaring. Currently, more than 1.5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed. The group believes that in the next decade, 4 million more cases will be diagnosed. What's causing the disorder that targets certain children seemingly overnight and steals the hopes and dreams of their parents?
Ten-year-old Brandon is one of its victims. The disorder affects his ability to interact and to reason.
"I don't know what life is going to be like for him," said Brandon's mother, Michelle Guppy. "He will bite his hand or chew on his hand if he's frustrated and can't express something." Guppy said her son was not always like this. "We had the typical milestones. He raised his head. He did a lot of things that he was supposed to do," she said.
Then, overnight, after a series of childhood vaccinations, it was as if someone had flipped a switch.
"One day he cries when he falls. The next day he laughs when he falls, but cries when we touch him," Guppy said. Most experts agree that autism is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some form of it is diagnosed in one out of 166 people, yet in the late 1980s, it was seen in one in 10,000 births. "Nowadays, it goes anywhere from one in 250 to one in 150," said Dr. Arturo Volpe. Volpe is part of a nationally recognized group called "Dan," which stands for "defeat autism now."
"Usually, their first year and a half of development is completely unremarkable just like other children. They have very good eye contact. They smile and may say the first few words," Volpe said.
Then, around age 3, everything changes. Despite countless research studies, it is still unclear why.
"For many parents, there is just no doubt," Volpe said. "We believe there's some connection with the vaccinations," Guppy said. Today, babies are required to get 20 vaccinations by the time they are 2 years old. Many of them include a preservative called thimerosol, which is 50 percent mercury, a known toxin to man. "If you add up all the thimerosol, it was banned but never recalled. Many claim it's still on the shelves," Volpe said. "Are we giving too many at once? And too close together?" Guppy said.
Volpe said there's just not enough evidence, and to compound the confusion, mainstream pediatricians insist the shots are safe.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's Dr. Kim Smith said it's the alternative that parents should worry about.
"I'm really afraid if we see these diseases coming back, we will have patients dying," Smith said. Guppy is not against vaccines. "I'm saying I wish I was more informed when those needles were coming at my son and I was just told to sign a consent form," she said.
For more information on autism, visit www.texasautismadvocacy.org.
For information on a 5K walk on Nov. 20 that is raising money to fight autism, visit www.walknow.org.