Mercury and mythology

I very briefly mentioned new research suggesting mercury fillings aren’t harmful back here last month. In Saturday’s Guardian, Ben Goldacre (who runs the Bad Science blog) had a short article on the topic. In it, he addresses the lack of coverage of the research in the UK media, despite stories in the last decade suggesting how dangerous mercury was. He notes:

Panorama did an excellently chilling documentary in 1994 called The Poison in Your Mouth. As far as I am aware there is no Panorama documentary in the pipeline covering the startling new research data suggesting that mercury fillings may not be harmful after all. In the UK there is not a single newspaper article to be found. Not a word on this massive landmark study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

This brings to mind the current “controversy” over the connection between thimerosal (a mercury-containing compound) in vaccines and development of autism–a connection that hasn’t been substantiated, but there certainly is a lot of fear and misinformation about the topic. Indeed, like the “Poison in your mouth” documentary, there are splashy books written on the topic (such as Kirby’s Evidence of Harm, which has also been optioned for a movie. Additionally, while those who are anti-vaccine accuse the government and public health officials of “fear-mongering” about the potential harm of infectious disease, who are the ones continually throwing around words like “poison” whenever the topic comes up?

I wonder, when the data in the coming years show no decrease in autism despite the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, will the press coverage of the topic be similarly lackluster? Will the advocates of the link have moved onto another “poison” by then?

Comments

  1. #1 john
    May 11, 2006

    People who are worried about the effects on their health from the substance being used as fillings for their teeth should probably be a lot more concerned with what they stuff in their mouths in the years after getting the fillings. Cut back on those Kit Kat bars, Krispy Kremes, Coca Cola, Dominos Pizza, etc. Mix in a little spinach and raw carrots.

  2. #2 Orac
    May 11, 2006

    I predicted a long time ago that when the mercury militia is finally forced by the evidence to confront the reality that mercury is not the cause of autism, they’ll move on to other ingredients, like the aluminum.

    Make no mistake about it. The real agenda of these people is not mercury. It’s vaccines. They’ll deny to high heaven that they are antivaccination, but in most cases it doesn’t take much pushing to reveal that most of them are and buy into the line of antivaxers.

  3. #3 Hank Barnes
    May 11, 2006

    … there are splashy books written on the topic (such as Kirby’s Evidence of Harm, which has also been optioned for a movie.

    I hope the movie is better than the stupid bird flu movie a few days ago. Man, that was so painfully embarrasing, I almost had sympathy for fat Stacy Keach:)

    Hank Barnes

  4. #4 Dave S.
    May 11, 2006

    Orac,

    Aluminum? That would be honing in on the territory of the aluminum causes Alzheimer’s crowd. I think there should be a one questionable link between metal and disease maximum. :)

  5. #5 Alan Kellogg
    May 11, 2006

    As I understand it, the mercury militia are under the impresson that autism is something that develops in early childhood, when research done on the brains of autistic persons indicates a glitch in embryonic and fetal development.

    In short, the autistic are wired wrong, and it’s something that happens during gestation.

    Why don’t very young infants show autistic behavior? Because the brains of very young infants are not sufficientyl developed to exhibit the sort of complex behaviors found in older infants and young children. In other words, a newborn is simply too stupid to exhibit autistic behavior.

  6. #6 DDS
    May 11, 2006

    I like the Geek Syndrome theory for the surge of autism.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html

    It makes as much sense, if not more, than the vaccine theory.

    D

  7. #7 Scott
    May 11, 2006

    Tara, be careful or your mecury-denial will confuse Frank about what side you are ‘reflexively’ on. I guess he’s a general purpose denier.

    I’m really glad to see this is coming out – the preponderance of “scary correlations” where no correlations exist – has been upsetting for a long time. In ugly moments I think the anti-vaccine crowd should be forced to share the same bug-infested quarantine with the anti-evolutionists.

  8. #8 Stephen Uitti
    May 11, 2006

    I know an adult who, in South Africa, got mercury fillings. It ruined his health and contributed to divorce. When his filling were finally replaced, it still took a couple years to recover. I suppose that one person isn’t a statistical sample. So, who wants to volunteer for this experiment?

  9. #9 DDS
    May 11, 2006

    My wife and I each have a mouthful of amalgam (mercury) fillings. We are happily married (at least she tells me she is) and in generally good health. Thus, since I have two examples of a positive correlation, mercury fillings and good health/marriage, it trumps your one example and we should all, therefore, get many mercury fillings. Simple correlations can alway be argued both ways.

    D

  10. #10 KB
    May 11, 2006

    Hi Tara,

    What is your opinion regarding the two papers below? It is a real controversy- the quotation marks aren’t necessary.

    http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/burbacher.pdf

    http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/bernard.pdf

    The good news for you is Iowa has banned mercury in vaccines.

    Kevin Barry

  11. #11 Orac
    May 11, 2006

    Geez, the Bernard paper uses almost every fallacious argument I’ve seen used by the mercury militia (which is not surprising because it’s referenced on the Generation Rescue site), including equating correlation with causation (particularly the canard about how autism wasn’t recognized as a distinct neurologic syndrome until 1943 and thimerosal was introduced into vaccines in the 1930′s–never mind that there are many descriptions of autism-like syndromes from the 18th century and earlier); the fallacious claim that the symptoms of mercury poisoning are very similar to those of autism based on the cherry picking of symptomatology; and a bunch of observations that again amount to implicating causation from weak correlations. As for the Burbacher paper, that’s a big “so what?” It’s just a pharmacokinetic study that shoes that methyl mercury is probably not a good reference for the kinetics of ethyl mercury.

    Before you leap to the conclusion that mercury causes autism, consider these questions:

    http://autismnaturalvariation.blogspot.com/2006/03/mercury-fabnaq.html

    Besides, Generation Rescue is a propaganda site for the mercury militia. Try these sites instead:

    http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/wp/home.php
    http://www.autism-watch.org/
    http://www.autismstreet.org/weblog/
    http://www.interverbal.blogspot.com/
    http://autismnaturalvariation.blogspot.com/
    http://www.autism-watch.org/general/thio.shtml
    http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/immu/thimerosal.html

  12. #12 Generation Askew
    May 11, 2006

    It is a real controversy- the quotation marks aren’t necessary.

    Neither was the manufacturing of the controversy.

    What is your opinion regarding the two papers below?

    I’ll chime in:

    1. decent, massively overinterpreted research published in a mediocre journal.
    2. teh sux and beneath the worthiness radar

    And you, why do you think they’re important?

  13. #13 Harlan
    May 11, 2006

    Kevin,

    There might be interest in your opinion of those two papers. Even better, why not skip the opinion. Please explain to us in your own words, what both of those papers scientifically prove and detail how the acutal proof they offer is relevant to autism.

    (You can skip Bernard if you want, it’s been throughly refuted, and no one here is likely to give weight to non-peer reviewed articles from Med. Hypotheses anyway).

  14. #14 Freblish O'Tool
    May 12, 2006

    (You can skip Bernard if you want, it’s been throughly refuted, and no one here is likely to give weight to non-peer reviewed articles from Med. Hypotheses anyway).

    Most people here aren’t likely to give weight to work that has a retired public relations firm CEO (with no scientific background) as the lead author and published in the vanity press Med. Hypotheses. And I would love to hear you explain the Burbacher paper, pretty please? Tell us what it shows about autism, won’t you Mr. Rescue? Then you can tell us why JB Handley bought PaulOffit.com and used 1601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC as his address on whois.com (where you are required to give an accurate address, and tell us why he bought oracknows.com, too. Try it now, type oracknows.com in the address bar and see where it takes you. OK?

  15. #15 Flea
    May 12, 2006

    My mercury amalgam fillings have actually made me a better lover. Go figure.

    Flea

  16. #16 john
    May 12, 2006

    “prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.”

    LOL. Just more junk science, to go with the ones that say MMR vaccine is safe and doesn’t cause autism http://www.whale.to/vaccine/mmr54.html

  17. #17 Tara C. Smith
    May 12, 2006

    Oh, and some anecdotal data of my own. I also have mercury fillings, with no apparent health repercussions. My mother, however, had hers removed because she’d read they could result in symptoms of multiple sclerosis (which she has). No improvement resulted. So, score 1 for no harm from my fillings, and another for “mercury doesn’t cause MS.” Aren’t anecdotes fun?

  18. #18 Orac
    May 12, 2006

    LOL. Just more junk science, to go with the ones that say MMR vaccine is safe and doesn’t cause autism http://www.whale.to/vaccine/mmr54.html

    Whale.to? You’ve got to be kidding me? That‘s your source? Whale.to is one of the biggest repositories of altie woo on the entire Internet! To cite it as a reliable source for any medical information is not a way to have your argument taken seriously.

    Try this link instead to see just how bogus the “research” is that claims a link between MMR and autism and how harmful the manufactured MMR scare has been.

  19. #19 Nancy Hokkanen
    May 12, 2006

    Removal of mercury amalgams alone might not mitigate symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or other neurological illnesses induced by exposure to toxic heavy metals.

    - Removal of amalgam without proper protection (air mask, rubber dam, ventilation) would result in increased exposure to vapors generated by high-speed drilling.

    - Menopause would reduce the prophylactic effect of estrogen.

    - Chelation is necessary to remove existing body burden of mercury.

    - Nutritional supplementation is necessary to replace vitamins and minerals leached away from mercury.

    Nancy Hokkanen
    Minneapolis

  20. #20 Tara C. Smith
    May 12, 2006

    Or, they just may have no role whatsoever in the development of the disease.

  21. #21 john
    May 12, 2006

    get the truth re mercury amalgam http://www.whale.to/d/toxic.html
    and thimerosal http://www.whale.to/vaccines/thimerosal.htm

    I think the medical industry’s defence of mercury is more akin to a militia. They can’t even contemplate being the main cause of alzheimer’s and autism, while there isn’t the slightest evidence vaccines are effective, which is the braid on the Emperors clothes http://www.whale.to/b/hoax1.html The smallpox vaccine hoax is my favourite http://www.whale.to/vaccines/smallpox14.html

  22. #22 Margaret
    May 12, 2006

    Alan Kellogg said:

    “As I understand it, the mercury militia are under the impresson that autism is something that develops in early childhood, when research done on the brains of autistic persons indicates a glitch in embryonic and fetal development.

    In short, the autistic are wired wrong, and it’s something that happens during gestation.

    Why don’t very young infants show autistic behavior? Because the brains of very young infants are not sufficientyl developed to exhibit the sort of complex behaviors found in older infants and young children. In other words, a newborn is simply too stupid to exhibit autistic behavior.”

    Alan,

    You OBVIOUSLY don’t understand how autism manifests itself at all.

    Parents are claiming their child(baby) goes through a normal period of development and then regresses.
    So your “stupid baby” theory doesn’t pass the “stupid baby” Litmus test because the baby was developing on target (we’ll call this “smart baby”). “Smart baby” is hitting all developmental milestones and then suddenly it becomes too “stupid” to continue on the path of typical development?
    Why would “smart baby” intentionally become “stupid baby”?
    Doesn’t make sense and neither do you.

    If there is a subject you do know something about. You should stick with that and stay away from autism.

    Margaret

    P.S. The hostility this blog has towards the “mercury militia” is completely unhealthy. Agitation and aggression are symptoms of Hg toxicity. You may want to get yourselves checked out for that.

  23. #23 Tara C. Smith
    May 12, 2006

    Is there anything that’s *not* a symptom of mercury toxicity, Margaret?

  24. #24 MartinM
    May 12, 2006

    Margaret,

    It’s fairly obvious you don’t understand Alan’s point at all. He’s not saying that autistic newborns are too ‘stupid’ to show signs of autism; he’s saying that all newborns are too ‘stupid’ to show signs of autism.

  25. #25 margaret
    May 12, 2006

    OK….I’ll type real S l o w…

    Ready? If you re-read my post I am saying that if any baby is developing normally, hitting developmental milestones, engaged, alert basically looking like a “smart baby”. How then does “smart baby” suddenly become “stupid baby”. If “smart baby” was smart enough to do all the things to that point to qualify as a “smart baby”. What the hell happened?

    How do you account for the period of time where the child was developing normally and then regresses?

    Geez, not only are you people anti-anti-mercury, you are also anti-baby (the smart or stupid kind).

    Margaret

  26. #26 Harlan
    May 12, 2006

    “I am saying that if any baby is developing normally, hitting developmental milestones, engaged, alert basically looking like a “smart baby”. How then does “smart baby” suddenly become “stupid baby”.

    So there you have Margaret’s in-depth understanding of infant development and the etiology of autism. Basically looking like a “smart baby” = can’t be autistic.

    Don’t take it personally Margaret, most parents would like explanation and to understand the cause(s). Until autism is much better understood, drawing unsupported conclusions is not much more than guessing.

  27. #27 Just your average baby
    May 12, 2006

    ‘If you re-read my post I am saying that if any baby is developing normally, hitting developmental milestones, engaged, alert basically looking like a “smart baby”.’

    I wonder if smart babies can produce coherent sentences?

  28. #28 Hank Barnes
    May 12, 2006

    Here’s my post above:

    “… there are splashy books written on the topic (such as Kirby’s Evidence of Harm, which has also been optioned for a movie.

    “I hope the movie is better than the stupid bird flu movie a few days ago. Man, that was so painfully embarrasing, I almost had sympathy for fat Stacy Keach:)”

    Then, for some reason Tara writes this:

    “I have addressed “important” issues on here, including HIV/AIDS–and you continue to dodge, misrepresent, and repeat assertions that I and others on here have shown to be absolutely false. I may indeed post a discussion on the universal HIV testing recommendation, but if I do, it’ll be a separate post.”

    What are you talking about, girl?

    Hank B.

  29. #29 Tara C. Smith
    May 12, 2006

    Posted it in the wrong thread–fixed now.

  30. #30 Hank Barnes
    May 12, 2006

    Well, maybe you should pay greater attention and stop frothing at the mouth.

    Hank B

  31. #31 Tara C. Smith
    May 12, 2006

    Haven’t you learned yet that your snide comments don’t affect me, Hank? But indeed, I’ll try to be a bit less frothy. Tends to annoy my co-workers.

  32. #32 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    Did I read john’s post correctly? No evidence that vaccines are effective? What ever happened to the massive epidemics of polio, smallpox, mumps, whooping cough, etc? Hmm, disease incidence began decreasesing for all of these disease juts after introduction of a vaccine. A correlation. In fact a much stronger correlation than mercury and autism.

    The sad part is when people are convinced not to get their kids vaccinated this is what happens (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4539887.stm)

    And, don’t show me links to any papers or books that predate the Vietnam war, or use the term “vital essence”.

    D

  33. #33 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    Margaret, although the vaccination/mercury hypothesis for autism was certainly valid when it was first proposed, it was tested and proved wrong, incorrect, false, not true. Mercury in vaccines does not correlate with the development of autism. Your mistake is the same one many good scientists make. They cannot drop their favorite hypothesis when the data doesn’t support it. Rather than looking for the real answer, they keep tweaking it and adding on to it until it is a monster that can fit any data. It ends up wasting lots of time and money and certainly doesn’t do anything to help autistic children or the parents of autistic children. Everyone’s time and energy would be better spent finding the real causes (90% genetic) and treatments for autism.

  34. #34 Orac
    May 12, 2006

    Actually, the mercy/autism hypothesis was always riddled with logical fallacies and observations that just didn’t fit together with it. Here are some Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions (FABNAQ) about the “autism=mercury poisoning” hypothesis that do have a logical, scientifically sound, consistent answer from the mercury camp. They show why the hypothesis is considered so dubious right now

  35. #35 a b
    May 12, 2006

    Ok, since mercury (and vaccines?) don’t cause autism, I just have two questions –
    1) Where are the unvaccinated autistic?
    2) Why did the rate of autism rise with the increase in vaccinations? And if the answer to 2) has some verbiage indicating that the rate of autism did not rise, and instead detection methods improved – I have a third question
    3) Where are all the middle-aged autistics?

    Autism is presenting in ‘epidemic’ numbers, and there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.

  36. #36 Orac
    May 12, 2006

    Did I read john’s post correctly? No evidence that vaccines are effective? What ever happened to the massive epidemics of polio, smallpox, mumps, whooping cough, etc? Hmm, disease incidence began decreasesing for all of these disease juts after introduction of a vaccine.

    Actually, john’s liberal citations of articles from Whale.to ought to be all you need to know about him and more than enough reason not to take him seriously. Whale.to is one of the biggest repositories of altie woo, pseudoscience, conspiracy mongering, and New Age nonsense you’ll ever be able to find anywhere. Anyone who uncritically cites anything from Whale.to as evidence to bolster his position clearly has a problem with critical thinking skills.

  37. #37 john
    May 12, 2006

    Poor old Orac, you went into your shell when I showed you the evidence of vitamin C cure for infectious disease http://www.whale.to/w/vitamin_c.html.

    Not to mention its prevention of cot-death.

    That should open anyones eyes to the “pseudoscience” of Nutritional medicine. “Pseudoscience” is the Allopathic word for non-allopathic/pharma medicine.

    “altie woo, pseudoscience, conspiracy mongering, and New Age nonsense” isn’t an argument, it is just ad hominem which is a “logical fallacy”, which is the best any of you can come up with–which tells a story in itself.

    It doesn’t say much for your thinking ability that you missed a 50 year old cure, which is way better than any of your drug anti-virals (not saying much).

    As for D and his “don’t show me links to any papers or books that predate the Vietnam war”. Yes, that makes the smallpox vaccine look OK, it was Orwell who made the best comment about controlling history. Lets just deny the first 150 years of smallpox vaccine.

    How about you lot coming up with an unvaccinated autistic, especially, as David Thrower said: “I would also be particularly interested to learn of any documented cases of completely unvaccinated children who have later dramatically and inexplicably regressed into autism after a normal infancy. To date, no such case has ever been identified to me.” http://www.whale.to/vaccines/thrower2006.pdf

    “A specter is haunting the medical and journalism establishments of the United States: Where are the unvaccinated people with autism?” —Dan Olmsted http://www.whale.to/vaccine/olmsted_h.html

    It is a big red flag that you have never ever (that anyones found) run a vaccine trial using 100% unvaccinated children as controls.

    We are still waiting for your firsr AIDS cure, by the way, that is 16 behind a common old naturopathic herbalist:

    “He was one of my most dramatic recoveries with AIDS, and the reason I say that is that he was the most far gone. He was in the absolute, end stage — they have that wing in the hospital where they have given up on you. You can smoke pot and do anything you want. They had given up on him.”–Dr Shulze, who cured 16 from last stage full-blown AIDS. http://www.whale.to/c/shulze.html

    I think it is common knowledge to judge people on their results, not their speil.

    As for you Allopaths, rationalization goes some way to explaining the big hole that you keep digging, while we all look on in amazement http://www.whale.to/vaccine/rationalization_h.html

  38. #38 John Best
    May 12, 2006

    Orac;
    As usual, you criticize the source of information rather than the information itself. This makes you look like a true idiot.
    Tara;
    You have made the mistake of assuming that because you are unaffected by mercury, all others will not be affected by it. It is only 1 in 166 that become autistic due to mercury. I realize that equates to an acceptable risk when profit mongering scientists can claim that their vaccines help 165 out of 166 without causing harm. The problem, Tara, is that the mercury in those vaccines is only needed to increase profits and does cause autism for those few who are susceptible to it.
    There is no good reason to continue to poison children when we have proved that mercury causes autism. Orac agrees with this since he admits that chelation cures mercury poisoning and we all know that mercury poisoning and autism are synonymous.

  39. #39 Nancy Hokkanen
    May 12, 2006

    Quote this week from Dr. George Lucier, toxicologist and former director of the Environmental Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:

    “Thimerosal contains organic mercury.
    Organic mercury is a known developmental neurotoxin
    and the fetus and infants are at special risk.
    Public health policies should not allow infants
    to be purposely injected with organic mercury.”

  40. #40 Hank Barnes
    May 12, 2006

    This is a good question from a b:

    1) Where are the unvaccinated autistic?

    To bolster and clarify:

    Are there substantial or insubstantial numbers of austistic kids who were NOT vaccinated with thimerosol containing vaccines?

    Hank B

  41. #41 Nancy Hokkanen
    May 12, 2006

    Dr. George Lucier, toxicologist and former director of the Environmental Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says, “Thimerosal contains organic mercury. Organic mercury is a known developmental neurotoxin and the fetus and infants are at special risk. Public health policies should not allow infants to be purposely injected with organic mercury.”

  42. #42 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    1) Where are the unvaccinated autistic?
    The classification of autism as a disease occurred in 1943 (although it was first mentioned in the lit in the early 1900s). The MMR vaccine was introduced in the early 70s. The first wide spread polio vaccine was in 1952. So there was autism before the MMR and polio vaccines.

    2) Why did the rate of autism rise with the increase in vaccinations? Autism rate started rising in in the early 1990s. MMR and poli vaccination campaigns started much earlier. See answer to 1.

    3) Where are all the middle-aged autistics? I know of two in my town. Although they were originally classified as “retarded” (the old terminology not mine). It is clear now that they are in fact autisitc. You can also check out Temple Grandin’s website. http://www.grandin.com/ She is an autistic middle-aged adult, with a Ph.D.

    Autism is presenting in ‘epidemic’ numbers, and there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.

    I never said it was a gentic epidemic, I just said that 90% of the disease can be explained by genetics. That is from twin studies. Identicle twins are both much more likley to have autism than fraternal twins. It is also an epidemic. Any answer to the puzzle has to explain both observations.

    I don’t have an answer but clearly mercury isn’t it.

    D

  43. #43 Flea
    May 12, 2006

    Where are all the middle-aged autistics?

    Here’s another question: Where are all the 4-year old autistics? I’m referring to the ones vaccinated with thimerosal-free vaccines?

    I have several in my practice.

    best,

    Flea

  44. #44 Dad Of Cameron
    May 12, 2006

    “Are there substantial or insubstantial numbers of austistic kids who were NOT vaccinated with thimerosol containing vaccines?”

    That’s a good question Hank. Perhaps someone could provide a link to research that substantiates this one way or the other.

    This one is definitely a wait-and-see, not published yet, but apparently being presented at IMFAR

    PS6.4
    No Autism Amongst Inuits From Northern Quebec?
    E. Fombonne, J. Morel, J. Macarthur

    It describes a population that has high vaccination rates (separate research), as well as high pre- and post-natal mercury exposure, but apparently no autism.

  45. #45 Karen McDonough
    May 12, 2006

    Tara, you should check out the MSDS for Thimeosal. From Eli Lilly, Dec. 22, 1999:

    “Thimerosal contains mercury. Mercury poisoning may occur…Early signs of mercury poisoning in adults are nervous system effects, including narrowing of the visual field and numbness in the extremities. EXPOSURE TO MERCURY IN UTERO AND IN CHILDREN MAY CAUSE MILD TO SEVERE MENTAL RETARDATION AND MILD TO SEVERE MOTOR COORDINATION IMPAIRMENT…” The caution statement: Thimerosal…is toxic, alters genetic material,…causes allergic reactions. Effects of exposure may include numbness of extremities, fetal changes, decreased offspring survival, and lung tissue changes.

    Does anyone really think it’s okay to inject thimerosal into pregnant women and babies after reading that?

    Tara, are you aware of the many children who greatly improve (like my son) or recover from autism after receiving treatment for heavy metal toxicity, viral over-load and/or immune system dysfunction?

  46. #46 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    I have never seen one documented case of anyone recovering from autism. I have seen a child improve in many ways after intensive therapy (learning therapy not chelation therapy)but he has not recovered. Please provide the direct (peer reviewed published evidence would be nice) of a child that has recovered from autism. The mere suggestion gives false hope to all parents with an autistic child. Karen should be more careful with her words. One question Karen, is the only therapy you child received chelation therapy?

    D

  47. #47 Hank Barnes
    May 12, 2006

    DDS,

    Karen McDonough brings us Eli Lilly’s warning for thimerosol, which includes:

    EXPOSURE TO MERCURY IN UTERO AND IN CHILDREN MAY CAUSE MILD TO SEVERE MENTAL RETARDATION AND MILD TO SEVERE MOTOR COORDINATION IMPAIRMENT…”

    Do you dispute this claim or not?

    True, it could be excessively cautious language written by Eli Lilly’s lawyers, but whaddya think?

    Hank B

  48. #48 Alan Kellogg
    May 12, 2006

    Let’s face it, newborns are stupid. It’s later development that makes the difference. Even an infant of three months age has trouble processing information, and will quickly suffer from sensory overload.

    Which is also a mark of autism. The autistic often find life overwhelming.

    Why? Maybe it’s because in the autistic information is processed as it used to be for all of us when we were very young infants. The manner in which information is processed by our brains doesn’t change for the autistic.

    Thus the autistic have a different developmental pathway. A pathway established in the womb, a long time before possible exposure to mecury in any form.

    Why so many showing up now? Because now we know what to look for and how to look for it.

  49. #49 Karen
    May 12, 2006

    DDS –

    I know several children who have lost their DSM-IV Diagnosis, and no longer qualify for services such as speech, OT, and other special ed services. I have been emailing with the father of an 8 year old boy who spoke his first words last month. My son’s teacher calls his improvement “dramatic”….specifically, his awareness, attention and ability to focus, language skills, and social skills. She made graphs for each subject in school that reflect his greatly improved test scores. The improvement corresponds with the onset of biomedical interventions. His treatment has been tailored by his DAN doctor, based on the extensive lab work-up we have done. DMPS (lotion form) chelation is only one aspect of his treatment. Treating the damage done to his body by the toxic exposure is just as important, in my opinion. The GFCF diet did wonders. It is amazing how much better he did when we eliminated the foods he could not properly digest. The poor guy was having chronic GI pain and we didn’t know it. I am not sure if there is any “scientific” peer-reviewed documentation of any recovery; after-all, diagnosing autism is a subjective
    process in itself. However, I think the stories of Baxter Berle and Josh Shoemaker, which have been featured on several news stories, are quite inspiring. My son was a quick responder, of course we are thrilled, but he did not show evidence of heavy viral load or significant autoimmune issues (we don’t suspect demyelination in his case). His fine and gross motor have improved moderately, and we hope this continues as he was FINALLY able to express to us that he has always wanted to participate in sports, he just can’t make his body cooperate. He may not ever be “indistinguishable from his peers”, but I am happy with significant improvement. For all the nay-sayers out there, you can try to discredit this post all you want…but the truth is my son is recovering. Our doctor has the lab work to prove his body is healing. By the way, my son is almost 12.

  50. #50 John Best
    May 12, 2006

    Mr Kellogg;
    You could not possibly miss the train wrecks that are our mercury poisoned children. It has nothing to do with better diagnosis.
    Autism does not happen in the womb unless the mother is poisoned. Autism is not genetic or it would have existed before 1943; it didn’t. Certain neurodiverse nitwits like to tell us that it has always been with us because they posthumously diagnosed a few famous people who they think had symptoms. Our drug companies would not have bribed Frist and Bush for legislative protection if they were not well aware that they had poisoned several generations of people. Wake up!!!

  51. #51 Harlan
    May 12, 2006

    Rescue Angels Karen and John, enough of the made-for-TV stories already, is one of you going back up your GR president and explain the Burbacher paper’s relevance to autism or not?

  52. #52 Karen
    May 12, 2006

    Certainly.

    Thomas Burbacher, PhD. University of WA compared blood and brain levels of Hg in infant primates who were given ingested methylmercury vs. injected ethylmercury. Burbacher found that ethylmercury was quickly converted to inorganic mercury and took signifantly longer for the body to clear. For a better explanation of the study’s significance, watch my interview with Burbacher here:
    http://www.autismmedia.org/media2.html

  53. #53 Harlan
    May 12, 2006

    Your explanation of Burbacher’s paper doesn’t say anything about what amount of mercury produces toxicity, nor does it come anywhere near showing that it is relevant to autism at all. Back to the made-for-TV stories for you two.

  54. #54 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    Karen,
    I am certainly glad that some children in your experience have gotten dramatically better, even “cured”. The problem is even if they were cured you don’t know what did it. When you change several variables at the same time you don’t know which thing was the cure. In fact, they might have gotten better without any help. Perhaps it was even the direct intervention of God. That is why the feds and drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars doing clinical trials. They have to prove (scientifically) that what they sell mostly does what they say without causing too much side damage. And, it works..mostly. If you want to belive that drug companies are hiding cures and scientists are not interested in curing diseases fine. But, you are simply wrong. Modern evidence based medicine works! If you don’t believe in it now, nothing I’ll say will change you mind.

    D

  55. #55 Harlan
    May 12, 2006

    “Karen McDonough brings us Eli Lilly’s warning for thimerosol, which includes:

    EXPOSURE TO MERCURY IN UTERO AND IN CHILDREN MAY CAUSE MILD TO SEVERE MENTAL RETARDATION AND MILD TO SEVERE MOTOR COORDINATION IMPAIRMENT…”

    What does that have to do with autism Hank B?

  56. #56 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    Hank B,
    I looked over my posts and nothing I wrote said that mercury isn’t toxic. Of course I believe methylmercury is toxic. The scientific literature is clear on that point. Your logical error is saying that since methylmercury is toxic thimerosal must be the cause of autism. There is no scientific evidence for that. Thimerosal gets converted into ethylmercury in the body but at the doses given to children in vaccines there is no evidence that it causes autism or any other problems. You can dance around the point all you want but the data is the data. Drug companies are removing thimerosal because its presence unnecessarily scares people and that prevents some children from getting vaccinated. Unvaccinated children can get sick and die. That is what the data says. That is the problem with thimerosal.

    BTW, Here is the warning on a bottle of EDTA, commonly used in chelation therapy.

    Label Hazard Warning:
    WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT.

    One more point, the evidence that autism is mostly genetic is overwhelming. I can point you to the studies if you want. Notice I said mostly, something else we don’t understand is also going on.

    DDS

  57. #57 DDS
    May 12, 2006

    BTW, autism did exist before 1943. It just wasn’t given a name until 1943. Just as dinosaurs existed before we found their fossils and named them. The medicine physicians practice today didn’t really exist until the second half of the last century.

    Just because we don’t have an answer for autism doesn’t mean we have to keep pursuing an answer that all available science has proven is wrong.

    Next topic.

    D

  58. #58 John Best
    May 12, 2006

    DDS;
    How much did the drug companies spend testing thimerosal? How much did they spend to buy politicians?
    How much will they lose if they don’t keep buying politicians and poisoned people are allowed to seek compensation? Why did they add the flu shot with thimerosal to the vaccine schedule after all the thimerosal was SUPPOSEDLY removed from the other vaccines?
    One trillion dollars is a conservative estimate of what they stand to lose. Does that sound like a good reason to cover up the truth by things like having Verstraeten keep doing rewrites until he makes them look innocent? Use your head, will you.

  59. #59 Jonathan Semetko
    May 12, 2006

    DDS writes “Notice I said mostly, something else we don’t understand is also going on.”

    To expand on what DDS wrote, this does not mean that it must be an environmental insult per se. It could be any number of other factors including the way proteins are created via RNA.

  60. #60 Harlan
    May 12, 2006

    “How much will they lose if they don’t keep buying politicians and poisoned people are allowed to seek compensation?”

    Compensation for what?

  61. #61 Karen
    May 12, 2006

    DDS – Please provide documentation that autism did exist before 1943. I believe 1943 is the first time it was ever documented, by Leo Kanner. I’d take irritation to skin, eyes, and respiratory tract over mild to severe mental retardation and motor impairment any day.

    Harlan – Compensation for injuries resulting from over-exposure to ethylmercury (thimerosal) either from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or civil litigation. The evidence supporting thimerosal’s role in autism is certainly mounting.

  62. #62 children losing their DX
    May 12, 2006

    Here’s a scientific paper published in 1989, studying high functioning children with autism, diagnosed under the DSM-III, which is more stringent than the DSM-IV.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=2745389&query_hl=12&itool=pubmed_docsum

    Notice that 25% of the children could be consider to have recovered. And this is before chelation and ABA. So children w/o MR do recover. That’s why you can’t prove ANYTHING with a single case of a child doing well with chelation. You need a proper double blind placebo controlled study.

    J Autism Dev Disord. 1989 Jun;19(2):213-25. Related Articles, Links

    A follow-up study of high-functioning autistic children.

    Szatmari P, Bartolucci G, Bremner R, Bond S, Rich S.

    Department of Psychiatry, Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.

    It is well known that IQ is an important prognostic variable in the outcome of autistic children. There are, however, very few data available on the outcome of nonretarded autistic children as adults. We identified 16 such probands from records and followed them up between 11 and 27 years since discharge from a center specializing in the assessment of autistic children. There were 12 males and 4 females, average age was 26, and mean IQ was 92 (range 68-110). Although the majority were functioning poorly in terms of occupational-social outcome and psychiatric symptoms, a surprising number (4) had a very good outcome and might be considered recovered. The severity of early autistic behavior was a poor predictor of outcome, but neuropsychologic measures of nonverbal problem solving were highly correlated with outcomes. The results of the study indicate that a small percentage of nonretarded autistic children can be expected to recover to a substantial degree.

  63. #63 Harlan
    May 12, 2006

    Injuries in the form of?

    Mercury poisoning – proof of injury due to mercurism would be required to win such a case, which seems hypothetically possible, assuming evidence of mercurism is available. Your not making your judgment on the Bernard paper from your GR pres. are you?

    Autism – proof of injury due mercury-caused autism would require proof that mercury causes autism, hypothetically possible as well, but you’re going to need much more than Burbacher or anything esle that’s out there on Medline or PubMed today.

    Evidence is mounting? Despite removal of the vast majority of thimerosal in childhood vaccines in the U.S., it appears that autism diagnosis rates are not declining at all.

    Or did you mean that evidence supporting thimerosal’s role in autism as “probably inconsequential” is mounting?

  64. #64 Autism in Victorian London
    May 12, 2006

    Not DSS here, but for sure there were children with autism before 1943. Here is a paper by Paul Shattock, famed of the GFCF diet on this subject.

    Autism. 2004 Mar;8(1):7-20. Related Articles, Links

    Autistic disorder in nineteenth-century London: three case reports.

    Waltz M, Shattock P.

    School of Arts Design Media & Culture, University of Sunderland, UK. mitzi.waltz@sunderland.ac.uk

    This article examines the existence, description, perception, treatment, and outcome of symptoms consistent with autistic disorder in nineteenth-century London, England, based on case histories from the notes of Dr William Howship Dickinson at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Three cases meeting the DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder are described in detail. Other cases in which autistic traits are described are briefly summarized. The article explores the environment of contemporary medical practice, beliefs about childhood brain disorders, and social practice regarding children with brain disorders, and the impact of these factors on assessment and treatment. It correlates Dickinson’s observations with current research on autism, providing information about children with autism before the condition was formally named in 1943.

  65. #65 The dose makes the poison
    May 12, 2006

    Yes, mercury is toxic, no one argues with that. But, don’t you know that the dose makes the poison, even with things as toxic as mercury? There’s 25 micrograms of mercury in a flu shot. There’s an average of 1.59 micrograms per litre of breast milk, with some mothers having as much as 3.5 micrograms per litre. Assuming a breast fed infant gets about a litre of breast milk per day, the average infant is exposed to 1.59 micrograms per day, and gets the same amount of mercury every two weeks as is in those flu vaccines.

    Pediatrics. 2002 Nov;110(5):873-8. Related Articles, Links

    Lead and mercury in breast milk.

    Gundacker C, Pietschnig B, Wittmann KJ, Lischka A, Salzer H, Hohenauer L, Schuster E.

    Institut fur Medizinische Biologie der Universitat Wien, Labor Okophysiologie und Okotoxikologie, Vienna, Austria. claudia.gundacker@univie.ac.at

    OBJECTIVE: Heavy metals are potentially toxic substances, especially for the susceptible infant. Exposure to mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) may result in neurotoxic and nephrotoxic impairment and in anemia. Previous data on breast milk Pb and Hg contents are sparse or missing for the Austrian population. No evaluations of the influence of mothers’ lifestyles on Pb and Hg levels in breast milk are available. METHODS: Five- to 10-mL individual samples of breast milk were provided from healthy mothers in Vienna (urban; n = 59), Linz (industrial; n = 47), and Tulln (rural; n = 59). A questionnaire about area of residence, maternal nutrition, smoking habits, and dental fillings was filled out by the lactating mothers. Milk samples and infant formulas were lyophilized, wet-ashed with nitric acid (65%), and analyzed with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Spiked skim milk powder was used as reference material. Statistical analysis included the Kruskal-Wallis test and multiple robust regression analysis. RESULTS: Breast milk showed low Hg and Pb concentrations (Hg: 1.59 +/- 1.21 1g/l, n = 116; Pb: 1.63 +/- 1.66 6g/l, n = 138). Eight percent of the breast milk samples marginally exceeded the screening level of 3.5 micro g/L for Hg. Austrian Pb values declined strongly during the last 20 years. Bivariate comparison revealed that the factors significantly related to metal levels in breast milk were area of residence (Hg, Pb), prematurity (Hg), consumption of fish (Pb) and cereals (Hg), vitamin supplementation (Hg), and smoking (Pb). The Hg and Pb contents of cow milk and infant formulas were far below respective guideline values. CONCLUSIONS: Neither Hg nor Pb concentrations exceeded critical levels. There are no reports on infants harmed by the intake of milk from unexposed mothers. We conclude that even theoretical risks from current Hg or Pb levels for the breastfed infant of a healthy mother can be ruled out.

  66. #66 Karen
    May 12, 2006

    Autism certainly is on the decline –

    New data released by the California Department of Developmental Services shows that, even though the number of children receiving state services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow, diagnoses of autism are declining. The numbers were highest in 2002 with a record 3259 cases. In 2003, the number of new cases dropped to 3,125. In 2004, the number was 3,074. For the first half of 2005, there were 1,470
    new cases, compared to 1,518 in the same period in 2004. The ASD diagnostic and tracking system in California is considered to be the most accurate in the nation.

  67. #67 The sky is green b/c Karen says so
    May 13, 2006

    “Autism certainly is on the decline”

    Repeating a falsehood won’t improve its accuracy, rather, you’re simply making that falsehood more precise – dividing by sqrt(N) is fun.

  68. #68 Harlan
    May 13, 2006

    Karen – “Autism certainly is on the decline”

    Generation Rescue – “The incidence of autism has increased from 1 in 10,000 in the 1970s to 1 in 150 today, an increase of over 6,000%.”

    Karen, you seem to be totally lost about the California data or what it means. Good luck to you, sincerely. Hopefully you are aware that they are referring to net caseload changes within their system of services. This does not correlate in any way to “new diagnoses” or “new cases” and does not necessarily represent verifiable prevalence or incidence. Also, it’s pretty widely known that the only 3-5 age group should be looked at the most closely if you want to evaluate the impact of removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines.

    Did you check out Q1 2006 from California? Here’s a pretty easy to understand summary if you’re lost.

  69. #69 Jonathan Semetko
    May 13, 2006

    Karen writes:

    “New data released by the California Department of Developmental Services shows that, even though the number of children receiving state services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow, diagnoses of autism are declining.”

    No, because those data do not track new cases. The way this has been determined by the Geiers, & Rick Rollens and company is to subtract one quarter form the next. The CDDS say specifically that one should do this as the changes do not necessarily reflect new cases, but instead may involve paperwork concerns and/or change of service category.
    http://www.dds.ca.gov/FactsStats/quarterly.cfmAccessed

    “The numbers were highest in 2002 with a record 3259 cases. In 2003, the number of new cases dropped to 3,125.”

    In 2003, the Lanterman Act revision came into effect and increased the restrictiveness of the autism service category criteria. This came into effect in August. One will observe that a drop is not observed until the September quarter. Geier & Geier (2006) kurfufle this, by using older age goups in their analysis. http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/346/1599/1600/31.jpg

    Furthermore, these data include all age groups not just the youngest group of ages three to five. The CDDS serves only Autistic Disorder and not other sub-types. To meet criteria for Autistic Disorder an individual must meet full criteria by age three. This means that those who use all data across ages (as you have done) are introducing statistical errors into the analysis. That is partly because we continue to add more autistics into the older age groups as well.

    “The ASD diagnostic and tracking system in California is considered to be the most accurate in the nation.”

    This is often said, but does not reflect what the CCDS say themselves as you can read in the link above.

  70. #70 Alan Kellogg
    May 13, 2006

    JB,

    What the hell are you talking about? Show me one instance where I specifically said that autism starts in the womb. I’ve said that the foundation for autism occurs in the womb, but that development of autism in its varied forms takes place in infancy and early childhood.

    My best guess?

    Autism has a genetic component.

    Development of Autism has an environmental trigger, most likely occurring during development of the brain in the womb.

    Autism does not become noticeable until an infant has under gone some post natal development.

    Autism may just be the retention of a more primitive method of processing information in the brain than is found in normal people.

    Which is all open to revision/correction as more information becomes available.

    Does mercury play a role? Not during infancy and childhood. Could it have a role during gestation? Could it have an impact during early development of the embryonic/fetal brain? It might, but I have not heard of any work in that area. So I don’t know.

    Now tell me, what the hell does mercury’s general toxicity have to do with autism? Be specific.

  71. #71 beth hansen
    May 13, 2006

    I can’t help but notice that anti-anti-mercury folks are painfully sarcastic.

  72. #72 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    Mr Kellogg;
    The post natal development that makes autism noticeable is the affect of mercury. Many of these children clearly regressed. They had skills and lost them. If the brain was affected in the womb, they never would have had those skills at all.
    The lack of methyl B-12 due to impaired methylation which is caused by mercury is the specific way that it causes autism. Children unable to make their own methyl B-12 can not pay attention to anything. That’s why most of them are able to gain speech when methyl B -12 is given to them. Your opinions on autism are based on obsolete information. You really need to keep pace with the science.

  73. #73 john
    May 13, 2006

    Orac has a problem posting my comments as well. Allopathy can’t take the truth

  74. #74 Kev
    May 13, 2006

    Wow, its like Generation Rescue hell in here :o)

    A quick summation for anyone who bothers to read down this far.

    There is no link between symptoms of mercury poisoning and the ‘symptoms’ of autism. I would ask any of the many Rescue Angels posting in this thread to go through the Bernard paper and isolate just one symptom in it that appears in both the diagnostic criteria for mercury poisoning and in the DSM (IV) criteria for autism.

    John Best (Hi John!) is, I’m sorry to say, little more than a fool. John believes that:

    a) There was no autism prior to 1943 and that all autism was caused by Eli Lilly after they invented thiomersal. However, he also likes to say that there was a form of genetic-based autism prior to 1943….pick the logic out of that if you can.

    b) John also believes homosexuality is a perversion which can be cured by ‘self respect’.

    c) John has also stated there was no autism in China prior to 1999. A quick search of PubMed illustrated his ignorance easily.

    d) John on his role as Rescue Angel: “I don’t mind helping kids who have idiots for parents and I think most other rescue angels feel the same way.”

    For more from the lovely John, please read here – strong stomach required.

    The Burbacher paper’s sole conclusion was:

    “The results indicate that MeHg is not a suitable reference for risk assessment from exposure to thimerosal-derived Hg”

    which is interesting. However, yet again, its worth noting that Burbacher did not use thiomersal containing vaccines in his study. He used clear vaccines which he then added thiomersal to. As thiomersal is used in the manufacturing process, its unclear what this fudging of the methodology would mean for accurate results. However, even if they’re entirely accurate, in terms of establishing a causative connection between thiomersal and autism the paper is meaningless.

    JB and the Rescue Angels claim ‘hundreds’ of recovered kids. I’ve not seen one. I’ve watched all the video’s and remain unimpressed. In order to establish their claim they would need to show the diagnosis, then the isolated treatment, then the loss of diagnosis.

    ABA claims a 60% recovery rate. Son-Rise claims a significant recovery rate too. Neither of these methodologies use any form of chelation or metal removal.

    re: the autism epidemic and the accompnying ‘where are all the autistic adults’ cries:

    In 2004, an ‘autism audit’ was performed in Scotland. One of the questions the audit asked was how accurate they thought the prevalence rate estimates were for their area. 45% of authorities who responded made a point of noting that they felt diagnosis for adults was very underrepresented. For example, Perth and Kinross council stated;

    “Figures for adults reflect the national findings that the numbers known to services/diagnosed represent a significant underestimate of those individuals likely to be affected. For example day centre managers locally consider a number of people to be on the spectrum who have had no formal diagnosis.”

    Also, in a New Scientist piece last year, the findings of the University of Nottingham were reported. The team reexamined data from the 1970′s which resulted in five diagnosis. Using modern diagnostic criteria, the team found 56 cases, a ten-fold increase.

    Lastly, earlier this year, Health Minister Liam Byrne reported figures that demonstrated autism diagnoses for children have nearly doubled in 8 years from 3100 to 6170. Meanwhile adult diagnoses have nearly tripled in the same period from 1120 to 3000.

    In a related point, Karen’s amusing interpretation of the CDDS numbers illustrates how poorly they are interpreted by people who share her beliefs.

    The CDDS numbers Rick Rollens composes bundle all the numbers together. What he should be doing, as David Kirby verifies, is isolating the the 3 – 5 year old cohort.

    In this key cohort, autism cases continue to climb. What has happened are fluctuations in the rate of increase. Last reporting quarter for example, these figures fluctuated upwards indicating an increase in the rate over that quarter. There has been no decline. This is despite the fact that thiomersal was removed from mainstream use by 2002. It exists now solely at a vastly reduced rate (25 ug of Hg compared to 187 ug of Hg at maximum exposure rates) in an optional flu vaccine.

    To put it simply, if the mercury militia are correct, there should have been a massive fall in CDDS numbers in the key 3 – 5 cohort last year. Another point indicated by David Kirby before he decided to add on an arbitrary 2 years for no discernable reason.

    That said, Karen’s statement that:

    “The ASD diagnostic and tracking system in California is considered to be the most accurate in the nation.”

    is incorrcet. CDDS themselves state their data should not be used in the way Rollens et al have (mis)used it.

    All this hullabaloo about comparing unvaccinated populations with vaccinated ones is, in my opinion, a massive red herring. Would such a study look at causation? If not, then what exactly would it establish? And who would this unvaccinated population be? The Amish? I think the mercury militia have not done very much reading other than Dan Olmsted if they believe there is no autism amongst the Amish.

  75. #75 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    Kevin;
    You point out a few facts that I have stated as evidence that I’m a fool yet you can’t dispute any of those facts aside from equating fragile X with autism when you know it’s something different.
    Kevin is a troll on the Evidence of Harm Yahoo group so he is well aware of the people there who have cured their children. He hasn’t met them personally so he thinks that makes it right for him to state he hasn’t met a cured child insinuating that those parents are a bunch of liars.
    Kevin uses my quote about helping kids who have idiots for parents to show my foolishness. My son is recovering with chelation while Kevin compares his own daughter to a monkey. Kevin refuses to help his kid by removing the mercury which spawned my words. I pity children with parents like Kevin who have offers to help their children recover and opt to allow mercury to rot their brains instead of removing it.
    Arguing (poorly) against scientists who are trying to help our children won’t help your child, Kevin.

  76. #76 David Kirby says . . .
    May 13, 2006

    Karen said: “Autism certainly is on the decline”

    David Kirby said on EOHarm that the numbers of 3-5 year old is still increasing.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EOHarm/message/24607

  77. #77 DDS
    May 13, 2006

    My last post on this. Although the science and scientists are not perfect, I give more trust overall to their opinions (when backed by data) than than lay people whose opinions are based on anecdotal evidence. With that preamble here is a statement from the FDA about the Flu vaccine and thimerosal. Their conclusion is clear..the risks of getting very ill or dying from not getting the flu vaccine (with thimerosal) is much much greater than any risks from thimerosal. You have every right to ignore the data and opinions of experts and risk your child’s health and life. I know which I will pick.

    This issue was reviewed by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 1999 and again in 2001. At that time, the ACIP recommended no changes in the influenza vaccination guidelines, including those for children and pregnant women. The ACIP stated that “because pregnant women are at increased risk for influenza complications and because a substantial safety margin has been incorporated into health guidance values for organic mercury exposure, the benefit of influenza vaccine outweighs the potential risks for thimerosal”. Furthermore, in its most recent recommendation regarding prevention and control of influenza the ACIP stated “The risks for severe illness from influenza infection are elevated among both young children and pregnant women, and both groups benefit from vaccination by preventing illness and death from influenza. In contrast, no scientifically conclusive evidence exists of harm from exposure to thimerosal preservative-containing vaccine, whereas evidence is accumulating of lack of any harm resulting from exposure to such vaccines. Therefore, the benefits of influenza vaccination outweigh the theoretical risk, if any, for thimerosal exposure through vaccination” (MMWR 54 [RR08]: 1-40, 2005). Nonetheless, FDA is in discussions with manufacturers of influenza vaccine encouraging them to further increase the supply of preservative-free formulations.

    DDS

  78. #78 DDS
    May 13, 2006

    I meant to say published (in high quality peer reviewed journals) experts. Publishing in non peer-reviewed vanity journals or on websites just doesn’t cut it. Even for real scientists.

    D

  79. #79 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    DDS;
    I’d much prefer death than the mercury poisoning my son has for myself. Your opinions on the flu vaccine don’t include making it safely without the thimerosal. Since the taxpayers wind up stuck with the bill for autism, don’t you think it makes more sense to spend a few bucks to prevent a condition that costs millions per case? There is simply no good argument for continuing to produce vaccines that contain a known poison.

  80. #80 DDS
    May 13, 2006

    John,
    Your choice is your choice, death rather than life. That is certainly not the choice most Christian churches recommend but it is still your option. Taxpayes also end up with the tab for massive flu outbreaks. It might take more money to care for one autistic child than to bury 100 children dead from the flu but I would still pick the former. It is more humane and more Christian (maybe muslim and buddhist too but I don’t know enough about those religions)and the right thing to do.

    BTW, I hope you don’t eat any shellfish, ocean fish or any other products from the ocean. The mercury in them is a much bigger problem than the mercury in vaccines.

    D

  81. #81 DDS
    May 13, 2006

    And now that I understand the stance of the anti-vaccine folks there is no more to discuss with them on this topic.

    DDS

  82. #82 margaret
    May 13, 2006

    I figured out what DDS stands for— Dumb Dipsh*t

    There is a difference between anti-vaccine and anti-mercury.

    Not surprised by your inaccuracy though, you’ve been wrong on everything else.

  83. #83 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    DDS;
    Thanks to Margaret for figuring out your initials. It is not a choice between life and autism when it comes to the flu shot. It is a choice between safe flu shots without mercury and less expensive shots with mercury that help stock prices.
    The mercury in seafood is no problem when compared to injecting mercury. That which is eaten is largely filtered out via digestion and virtually none can get to the brain. Newborn infants do not have a blood brain barrier to help protect them. That’s why the autism epidemic took off with the introduction of the HepB shot in 1991. Does this help you understand the problem? Ask questions if you still can’t grasp it.

  84. #84 DDS
    May 13, 2006

    I was waiting for an insult from someone. Thanks Maraget (and John indirectly), I feel like I really belong now. Tara I am part of the club! When in doubt and losing an argument insult them. Ah, the joy of reasoned debate…

    I’d continue arguing with John but… he keeps changing the argument. The fact that the HepB vaccine doesn’t now and didn’t then contain Thimerosal (or any preservative) is an inconvient fact. Autism also took off during the internet boom of the 90s. Maybe computers and “network activity” cause autism. Or maybe it is global warming that causes autism. Or maybe…Acck.. I am turning into a troll. Next thing you know I’ll start calling people dumb and bad names. Actually, no I won’t revert to that. I learned my lessons well in kindergarten ;-)

    DDS

    This is addictive. Must…stop…responding….

  85. #85 DDS
    May 13, 2006

    Oops. I made one mistake. The HepB vaccine has been free of thimerosal since 1999. But, thimerosal has been used in vaccines since the ’30s so it doesn’t correlate..

    D

    Must…stop…now…..No..more..responses to this topic…….

  86. #86 Hey Zeus is not my homeboy
    May 13, 2006

    “There is a difference between anti-vaccine and anti-mercury.”

    Yep – when the mercury-autism hypothesis fails, it’s on to bigger and jucier ideas – anti-vax.
    Mercury-autism believers represent a tiny fraction of society. Even so, a significant number of them appear to be outright anti-vaccination.

    The bottom line is that the autism-mercury bucket is leaking water faster than Butter can inject piss into it. Did I say he was injecting piss into children? Disgusting. Outrageous. Medieval. And yet the guy has panicked parents lining up with wallets out and hearts broken.

    Simply put, the autism-merc/anti-vax crowd are extremists who are adept at using and abusing media to their advantage in an effort to gain supporters. However, a quick study of the literature they cite should make one uneasy. Further study of this bottom-of-the-barrel literature will induce feelings of incredulity, sadness, anger, and sometimes apathy.

    I guess if people want to believe something, they’ll find bits and pieces of research and twist them into something that fits their ideas.

  87. #87 margaret
    May 13, 2006

    DDS said:

    “My last post on this”. You said that six posts ago.

    You’re not only a Dumb DipSh*t, but you’re a liar too.

    You really aren’t worth arguing with at all. You are just so full of misinformation.

    Your facts are simply fiction.

    You’ll eat your words one day.

    “The DipSh*t protests too much, methinks”

    Margaret

  88. #88 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    DDS;
    The Hep B still had thimerosal after 1999. That was the year they suggested it be removed. It was still on the shelves with thimerosal until at least 2003.
    You made more than one mistake. You should have continued with school after Kindergarten. If you had, you may have been able to understand this discussion.

  89. #89 Karen
    May 13, 2006

    I’m wondering if Tara, an assistant professor of epidemiology feels that it’s a tad bit suspicious that the CDC has hidden away the VSD. If they had nothing to hide and wanted to put an end to this controvesy, they’d give outside researchers access to this database. But they won’t do that. Should this study be given any credibility at all if the data is not available for replication? Anyone who cares to dig a little will find that Verstraeten did alter the study 5X before reporting no correlation between thimerosal exposure and neurodevelopmental delays. The initial analysis showed a strong link between the two. The Denmark study (which showed no link) was done on children that were exposed to significantly less thimerosal, and the children weren’t exposed as early on in life. After the Denmark study was published, Thimerosal was banned in Denmark. Furthermore, a Congressional SubCommittee Investigation into the use of thimerosal in childhood vaccines found that thimerosal exposure was most likely responsible for the autism epidemic. (Mercury in Medicine – Taking Unnecessary Risks). Additionally, there are no credible, peer-reviewed studies showing thimerosal is safe. Tara, as an expert in epidemiology, I would like to hear your thoughts on the controversy surrounding the verstraeten study. And, as a scientist, I would like you to explain why we should keep injecting pregnant women & children with a substance of which there is no credible safety studies for.

  90. #90 Hey Zeus is my homeboy
    May 13, 2006

    …”thimerosal exposure was most likely responsible for the autism epidemic.”

    There you go again.

    What autism epidemic? The one the vultures are inventing?

    If you don’t like the epidemiology then throw it all out. Let’s stick to molecular biology and genetics. Oh wait, there is no mol bio evidence relating autism and mercury.

    I’ve read the papers, you ought to try doing rather than watching a sales pitch via realplayer.

  91. #91 Hank Barnes
    May 13, 2006

    Harlan asked:

    What does that have to do with autism Hank B?

    Perhaps nothing. I’m not prejudging whether or not thimerosol causes autism.

    DDS stated:

    Your logical error is saying that since methylmercury is toxic thimerosal must be the cause of autism

    No. Your logical error is falsely attributing a position to me that I did not state and do not hold. I don’t KNOW if “toxic” thimerosol must be the cause of autism.

    I asked a simple question whether you disputed the claim noted above, and it appears that you do not.

    Hank B.

  92. #92 Joseph
    May 13, 2006

    Ok, since mercury (and vaccines?) don’t cause autism, I just have two questions –
    1) Where are the unvaccinated autistic?

    The problem is that most kids are vaccinated, and no epidemiological studies have been done on unvaccinated kids. The Amish do have autism, btw. On the other hand, it appears that the The Inuit may not have autism, even though they do vaccinate and consume a lot of mercury. It should be noted that autism is “missed” often, contrary to what people believe.

    Younger autistic siblings of vaccinated autistic kids might not be vaccinated sometimes because parents thought vaccines caused the first kid’s autism. Just ask Not Mercury.

    2) Why did the rate of autism rise with the increase in vaccinations? And if the answer to 2) has some verbiage indicating that the rate of autism did not rise, and instead detection methods improved – I have a third question

    The rate of autism was fairly stable at 4-5 in 10,000 in Europe and the U.S. up until the 1990s. (It was about 10 in 10,000 in Japan). The prevalence of autism only started to increase with the introduction of the broad spectrum concept. What increases was the prevalence of ASD, not of Kanner autism.

    3) Where are all the middle-aged autistics?

    There are a number of studies that do find a lot of previously missed autistics. In fact, if you do a thorough screening of ASD in adults, you’d probably find a prevalence of about 150 in 10,000.

  93. #93 Joseph
    May 13, 2006

    Autism certainly is on the decline –
    New data released by the California Department of Developmental Services shows that, even though the number of children receiving state services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow, diagnoses of autism are declining. The numbers were highest in 2002 with a record 3259 cases. In 2003, the number of new cases dropped to 3,125. In 2004, the number was 3,074. For the first half of 2005, there were 1,470
    new cases, compared to 1,518 in the same period in 2004. The ASD diagnostic and tracking system in California is considered to be the most accurate in the nation.

    Once again, I find myself in the position of having to educate misinformed individuals.

    It would matter if there was a drop in the incidence of autism. Incidence is defined as number of new diagnosed cases per population per unit of time. Some like Rick Rollens and even Geier & Geier (who call themselves scientists) think they are able to determine number of diagnosed cases by substracting the size of the population one quarter minus that of the previous quarter. To illustrate this, imagine you want to calculate the number of births in Germany between 2005 and 2006, and all you know is the size of the population in 2005 and 2006. Can you calculate the number of births?

    I explain this further in an old post.

  94. #94 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    Hey Zeus;
    I have the proof right here in New Hampshire. My normal son became autistic after being poisoned with mercury. Chelation is curing him and methyl B-12 is making him talk. That’s all you need to know about autism.

  95. #95 Dad Of Cameron
    May 13, 2006

    John;
    If only the doctors of those Amish kids had thought of that prior to identifying the specific genetic cause of their seizure disorder, MR, and autism; they might not have had to attempt the resective brain surgery.

  96. #96 John Best
    May 13, 2006

    DOC;
    Seizures and MR exist without autism. What was the genetic cause of autism they identified?

  97. #97 Dad Of Cameron
    May 13, 2006

    “What was the genetic cause of autism they identified?”

    It was a CNTNAP2 mutation. It appears specific to that genetically isolated population and is secondary to the seizure disorder, but nonetheless it is a presentation of DSM-IV diagnosed autism.

  98. #98 Dad Of Cameron
    May 13, 2006

    From the TGEN press release:

    http://www.tgen.org/news/index.cfm?pageid=57&newsid=904

    According to Dr. Erik Puffenberger, laboratory director at the CSC, “We were able to unequivocally map the disease gene to chromosome 7 and identify a pathogenic sequence variant in the gene CNTNAP2, which codes for the CASPR2 protein. Although these patients were from an isolated population, we anticipate that CASPR2 mutations will be found in children from other populations with mental retardation, seizures, and autism.”

    You can probably still get the full text without going to NEJM.

    http://www.clinicforspecialchildren.org/format/CDFE.pdf

    Yes, it’s a cause that is most likely specific to this population, but it is autism.

  99. #99 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    As an explanation for you readers, the autism world can be divided in two sides. One consists of the neurodiversity/acceptance movement, and the other consists of a number of curebie movements, the most annoying one being the thimerosal-causes-autism militia (reputedly referred to as “mercury mafia” by some researchers). The neurodiversity side is keen on good science, reason, healthy skepticism and respect for human differences. It’s represented by blogs such as kevinleitch.co.uk and neurodiversity.com. It includes several science/skeptic bloggers, such as Interverbal, Photoninthedarkness, NotMercury, Dad Of Cameron, myself, etc. I might even include Orac. The mercury militia is represented by the likes of hatingautism.blogspot.com. That should give you an idea of the state of the debate.

  100. #100 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Joe;
    Neurodiversity operates based on obsolete notions. Before Verstraen told us that the drug industry had been poisoning our babies since 1931, the assumption was that there was no known cause or cure for autism. Now, in the age of enlightenment about autism, we know the cause and the cure.
    Neurodiversity advocates letting children suffer horribly in the abyss of autism rather than helping them. My Hating Autism blog tells the truth about autism which is really mercury poisoning while exposing Neurodiversity for the sadistic child abusers that they are.
    If you let yourself be cured, you would enjoy the sanity of normality and you would see first-hand the error of your ways. Going through life with a diminished capacity is not something to celebrate. There is no different wiring. There is only mercury rotting your brain.

  101. #101 The truth seeker
    May 14, 2006

    It’s cute that Joseph says this…

    “The mercury militia is represented by the likes of hatingautism.blogspot.com. That should give you an idea of the state of the debate”.

    Of course he neglects to also point out these other websites:

    http://www.autismmedia.org
    http://www.safeminds.org
    http://www.nomercury.org
    http://www.generationrescue.org
    http://www.nationalautismassociation.org

    Nice try.

  102. #102 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    Of course he neglects to also point out these other websites:
    http://www.autismmedia.org
    http://www.safeminds.org
    http://www.nomercury.org
    http://www.generationrescue.org
    http://www.nationalautismassociation.org

    I was referring to debates that go on in blogs. The neurodiversity side is ok with debating out in the open. The mercury militia prefers to use closed lists where debate is not welcome, except for John (Fore Sam) here, who really helps Neurodiversity more than any of the rest of us can.

    I did mention some of these sites in my latest blog entry.

    Take GenerationRescue, for example. They claim prevalence of autism has increased 6000% since the 70s. They compare a prevalence of Kanner autism (1 in 10,000) from the 1970s (and it’s unclear which epidemiological study this number comes from) vs. a prevalence of ASD (DMS-IV Autistic Disorder, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Syndrome) which is believed to be 1 in 166. Really, the mercury militia should be ashamed to have sites like this on their side with such scientifically absurd claims in the first paragraph of the site.

    Of the sites you listed, BTW, all of them (except for generationrescue.org which has regained some reach in the last few days) are experiencing a substantial decline of unique visitors. Autism sites in general are in a fast upward trend in traffic. Neurodiversity sites are experiencing an explosion of new traffic. And this is not surprising. The thimerosal theory cannot be sustained forever. Thimerosal dose per child is reduced to levels below those of the 1990s and the prevalence of autism is still on the rise. At some point the mercury militia will run out of excuses and die out. “Evidence of Harm” is already in free fall at Amazon.

  103. #103 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Joe;
    The prevalence in NH and a couple of other places is infinity. We had no autism in 1993. They must not have counted those oddball adults who diagnosed themselves when it became in vogue as an excuse for their eccentricities.
    Where are the 75 year olds, Joe? Why can’t you produce more than a handful of people who might have had symptoms if mercury is not the cause?
    Why don’t you mention Wade Rankin’s site? Doesn’t he voice opposition to neuroduversity’s lunacy? He’s just a lot more polite about it than I am. I don’t think you bunch of child abusers deserve any respect.

  104. #104 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    Fore Sam wrote:

    The prevalence in NH and a couple of other places is infinity.

    Nuff said? He really does make the point for us.

  105. #105 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    Where are the 75 year olds, Joe? Why can’t you produce more than a handful of people who might have had symptoms if mercury is not the cause?

    You must have missed my blog entry titled Autism “Missed” Often, Even Today. To summarize the key point, when an AQ Test is given to adults, 2-3% score above 33. The test at this threshold has a sensitivity of about 60% and misses about 20% of diagnosed autistics. So the prevalence of ASD in adults is at least 150 in 10,000 based on this. These would be adults who were obviously born well before the 1990s, when the “epidemic” started.

  106. #106 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Joe;
    You didn’t understand the question. Those born un the 1990′s would be teenagers. Where are the 75 yaer olds?
    You can’tmiss train wrecks, Joe. Those people you think were missed aren’t autistic, just weird.

    The prevalence in NH and a couple of other places is infinity.

    Nuff said? He really does make the point for us.
    I hope I make the point that mercury caused the insrease in the 1990′s. If you get the mercury out of your brain, you might be able to understand what you read the first time so I don’t have to expalin it twice for you.
    No test is needed to spot autism. The test you’re talking about must be used so weirdos pretending to be autistic can pick the taxpayers pockets by claiming to be disabled.

  107. #107 margaret
    May 14, 2006

    Hi John,

    I applaude your tenacious efforts in trying to get these jerks to understand the whole mercury autism connection. However, it is more than evident to me that they just aren’t getting it. It’s actually laughable to me how misinformed they really are on the subject. Hey, we live it and we know what happened to our kids. Anyone who finds the Neurodiversity philosophy to be reputable and based on sound science is not an enlightened individual. What is going on here is not a healthy debate and certainly not worth your valuable time. I advise you to give up trying to convince these lame brains.

    Margaret

  108. #108 Jonathan Semetko
    May 14, 2006

    Mr. Best,

    You didn’t understand the question. Those born un the 1990′s would be teenagers.

    See the red age cohort line? Watch what happens as the 6 year old get older. http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/346/1599/1600/wave2.jpg

    “Where are the 75 yaer olds?’

    Some whom, who are at least that old are recorded by the CDDS data, they could be older than 75 as well. I have shared this with you before now.

    “You can’tmiss train wrecks, Joe.”

    (looks back at the graph) You could have fooled me.

    The prevalence in NH and a couple of other places is infinity.

    What you mean is, that the percent increases via the IDEA data in NH is near infinity as the first data from that state in early 90s recorded 0 children receiving services for autism. However, Mr. Best that has to do with the nature of the concept of zero and the way we establish percentages.

    “Nuff said? He really does make the point for us.”

    How so?

    “I hope I make the point that mercury caused the insrease in the 1990′s.”

    Yes, you made the point many times now, I am still waiting to see your proof however.

    “No test is needed to spot autism.”

    That is not what the science shows. We ran into problems with this in the DSM-IV field trials for PDD-NOS.

  109. #109 Jonathan Semetko
    May 14, 2006

    Hi Margaret,

    I would love to see you where you are coming from, please share your proofs with us.

    You may critique neurodiversity statements if you like. Please find first hand statements, then quote them here with your critique.

  110. #110 tgibbs
    May 14, 2006

    I’ve noticed that the people who are pushing the mercury/autism notion generally fail to understand why people with real pharmacological/toxicological training are so skeptical, and imagine that everybody must be part of some sort of conspiracy to conceal the damaging effects of thimerosol. Their thinking tends to be along the lines of “Mercury is a neurotoxin, autism is a neurological disease, autism develops around the time people get vaccintations, QED.”

    What they miss is the issue of potency. Heavy metals are dangerous, but not because they have extraordinarily high potency in terms of the amount that it takes to do damage. Rather, the danger with heavy metals is that the body eliminates them slowly, so that if one is chronically exposed to low levels over an *extended* period of time, the metal can gradually build up until it reaches a dangerous level.

    Extremely high potency is not easy to achieve. There are a few toxins that are extraordinarily potent, but they are all enzymes–rather than merely “gumming up the works” like most poisons, they are complex little machines that actively go around inside cells doing damage. This isn’t something that a small molecule like mercury can do–all of the ultrapotent toxins are large, complex proteins. The only other circumstance in which things are known to do damage at very low doses is allergic reactions, but this is only because the immune system is specifically adapted to amplify the response to a small number of molecules.

    So the concern about fillings, where the patient is exposed to low levels of mercury continuously for years, was actually much more realistic than the concern about thimerosol, in which a child is exposed to a small number of individually tiny doses. Of course, scientists are wrong sometimes–it is always possible that mercury could do damage in some extraordinarily potent way by some completely new mechanism that nobody has ever seen before–but it is important to realize that it is a fairly remarkable claim, and sounds pretty improbable to anybody who really understands toxicity. While it is prudent to remove mercury (since it is toxic at high doses, and it is no longer necessary, so why take chances?), it would take some extremely convincing evidence to persuade scientists that thimerosol is a cause of autism. And frankly, the “evidence” that has been presented doesn’t even come close. Handwaving about frequency of diagnosis is not going to do it, given that the diagnostic standards have changed greatly over the years. And none of the really careful studies support a link.

  111. #111 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    Margaret wrote:

    I applaude your tenacious efforts in trying to get these jerks to understand the whole mercury autism connection.

    As readers can clearly see, John is defended by those in the mercury militia. He has not been rennounced or anything of the sort, which is quite telling. You can read more about John’s views here.

    The kinds of arguments put forth by the mercury militia always look like the following. They don’t address the science that is put forth. They just state they know “the truth” and indicate it’s not worth their time to debate. That’s the sad state of things. Again, it’s not at all surprising that worldview is dying out.

    However, it is more than evident to me that they just aren’t getting it. It’s actually laughable to me how misinformed they really are on the subject. Hey, we live it and we know what happened to our kids. Anyone who finds the Neurodiversity philosophy to be reputable and based on sound science is not an enlightened individual. What is going on here is not a healthy debate and certainly not worth your valuable time. I advise you to give up trying to convince these lame brains.

  112. #112 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    You didn’t understand the question. Those born un the 1990′s would be teenagers.

    You apparently didn’t even read what I wrote. I said adults. Adults, by definition, would’ve been born well before the 1990s, before the “epidemic” started.

    Where are the 75 yaer olds?

    I think the AQ test should be given to a large sample of 75 year olds, in order to shut you up. Unfortunately, no one has done this. If you’re looking for institutionalized autistics of this age, as I’ve told you, the life expectancy of institutionalized adults is probably quite low (it drops substantially after 60 in the CDDS data). They are likely all dead.

    You can’tmiss train wrecks, Joe. Those people you think were missed aren’t autistic, just weird.

    I’ve clearly showed that autistics can be missed. And there’s recent literature that says most pediatricians are not using screening tools. Your simplistic “train wrecks can’t be missed” device is getting old.

    If you get the mercury out of your brain, you might be able to understand what you read the first time so I don’t have to expalin it twice for you.

    So when you said that NH has a prevalence of infinity, is that because you have mercury in your brain?

    No test is needed to spot autism.

    An autism diagnosis is inherently subjective, meaning that the boundary between autistic and non-autistic is fuzzy and cultural. Screening tools such as the ASSQ and the AQ are helpful in making it a bit more objective.

    The test you’re talking about must be used so weirdos pretending to be autistic can pick the taxpayers pockets by claiming to be disabled.

    I know everything is a conspiracy to you. These screening tools are, of course, tested against a DSM-IV diagnosis and their sensitivity and false-positive rate are fairly well understood.

  113. #113 margaret
    May 14, 2006

    Joseph,

    You bore me.

    No matter what studies, what evidence is presented you will pick it apart and you know best. Why bother with facts? You already have all the answers.

    How did you become an expert on the etiology of autism?

    You must read the most prestigious peer reviewed journals. The ones where the studies are funded by PhRMA.

    Tell me again about your expertise in Pharmacology and toxicology it turns me on when you brag about your superior intellect!!!!

    Love,
    Margaret (part of the mercury militia conspiracy theorists and proud of it!)

    Long live Generation Rescue and it’s Rescue Angels and JB Handley.

    He’s a god!!!!

  114. #114 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Margaret, thank you.
    I’m not trying to convince the neurodiverse of anything as much as I’m putting another option “out there” for anyone who mistakenly wants to learn more about their nonsense. It might make sense to unsuspecting parents who will, in turn, harm their children by not curing them.
    I feel certain that some of the ND’s are really drug company or CDC employees. It’s just too hard to believe that people who are suffering with Asperger’s or Autism are so dense that they would take sides with the negligent criminals who caused this scourge on humanity.
    People like Joseph are a joke because he goes to great lengths to convince us that autism existed before Eli Lily invented it in 1931. He’s obviously smart enough to juggle numbers in a way that looks believable to some. He loses his credibility though when he claims kids who can’t talk, smear feces and bang holes in walls with their heads could have been missed. He expects us to believe that people with college degrees who can talk, type and cross the street by themselves and diagnose themselves just because they are socially inept belong in the same category as these non-verbal kids who can’t do a damn thing for themselves.
    We really should establish a program of guardianship so we can cure these neurodiverse people and allow them to appreciate normalcy. With the mercury out of their heads, people like Joseph would realize that his post about me that he thinks makes me look bad is just common sense thinking that most sane people would agree with. It’s a shame how our medical profession has it ingrained in these people that there is nothing that can be done to help them. At least our kids will know that they were harmed by their government and won’t live their lives under the same delusions as the neurodiverse.
    I had planned to stop blogging but we’ve had so much rain, I can’t play golf and I’m just breaking the boredom.

  115. #115 CurlyQ
    May 14, 2006

    Long live Generation Rescue and it’s Rescue Angels and JB Handley.

    He’s a god!!!!

    Whoa, margaret, margaret, please, please, margaret, don’t let David Ickes let read that!!! !!! !!!! !!!! He and JB Handley are trying to share the messiaship, if you praise JB Handley of Swander Pace Investments it will upset the delicate balance. The are a duality right now, considering going to a Trinity and letting Lenny or David Kirby in there. They are going to put Lenny Schafer and David Kirby in a room with a baseball bat and let them settle the issue of who gets to be #3 in that co-godship business. margaret don’t forget the tinfoil hat with Handley and Ickes pictures taped on it, remember to wear it always, even when showering. I learned that on whale.to.

  116. #116 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Jonathan;
    Would you be out of work if we could cure all of these kids? Teachers are almost as much of a problem as doctors because their textbooks told them there was no known cause or cure for autism and they don’t have the sense to figure out that the textbooks are now obsolete.
    Kids who can’t pay attention to anything due to the mercury in their brains do not benefit from school. It’s a waste of time. The kids only improve when the mercury is removed. You need to disassociate yourself from these wackos and make yourself useful.

  117. #117 margaret
    May 14, 2006

    John,

    I’m sorry for being so silly. I am getting some sick satisfaction from goading these people.

    It’s pointless to argue with them. But, it is admirable that you are attempting to enlighten others.

    Hope the rain stops so you can get on the golf course.

    Better use of your time.

    Margaret

  118. #118 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Margaret;
    One would think those with ASD would be interested in a better life. These people argue more vociferously than the drug companies about mercury not being the cause. I think the only thing that makes sense is that they ARE the drug companies.

  119. #119 margaret
    May 14, 2006

    John,

    I agree 100% with your thoughts.

    Margaret

  120. #120 Joseph
    May 14, 2006

    How did you become an expert on the etiology of autism?

    FYI, I’ve never made such a claim.

    Tell me again about your expertise in Pharmacology and toxicology it turns me on when you brag about your superior intellect!!!!

    Sadly, it is others who are obsessed with intellect or lack thereof: JB Jr. with his constant calls to get the mercury out of our brains so we can see “the truth”; Handley, who calls us “trailor-dwelling coo-coos”; Rick Rollens who says anyone with “half a brain” would see his point. I think this obsession with intellect comes from personal insecurity. They must know autism is genetic, and they (erroneously) associate autism with low intelligence.

    Love,
    Margaret (part of the mercury militia conspiracy theorists and proud of it!) Long live Generation Rescue and it’s Rescue Angels and JB Handley. He’s a god!!!!

    It’s official. The mercury militia is now a religion.

  121. #121 Not Mercury
    May 14, 2006

    John Best: I have the proof right here in New Hampshire. My normal son became autistic after being poisoned with mercury. Chelation is curing him and methyl B-12 is making him talk. That’s all you need to know about autism.

    Well hey John,
    If methyl-B12 is helping your son it’s proof that he’s not mercury toxic. Methyl-B12 changes mercury to methylmercury which is much more toxic than other forms.

    How do you explain Nancy Hokkanen’s child ‘recovering’ without chelation?

  122. #122 Jonatahn Semetko
    May 14, 2006

    Hi Mr. Best,

    “Would you be out of work if we could cure all of these kids?”

    Nope, I would have more time to devote to to researching the development of language, statistical theory, and research into what makes teachers effective. I don’t get to spend the time I would like, on these subjects.

    “Teachers are almost as much of a problem as doctors because their textbooks told them there was no known cause or cure for autism and they don’t have the sense to figure out that the textbooks are now obsolete.”

    You assert this, but have shown no data to this end.

    “Kids who can’t pay attention to anything due to the mercury in their brains do not benefit from school.”

    We have almost 40 years if research that shows that statement to be wrong. Shall I name them/link to them? If you do I will be at this for a while.

    “You need to disassociate yourself from these wackos and make yourself useful.”

    Who is a good role model in this regard?

  123. #123 John Best
    May 14, 2006

    Jonathan;
    I did a double blind controlled study that proved teachers don’t know what they are doing with autism.
    Your 40 years of studies were rendered obsolete when Mark Geier proved that mercury caused the autism epidemic. Sorry, the tiny bit of progress teachers may have made with students who had much less mercury injected into them has been shown to be a complate waste of effort with the progress kids make after chelation.
    Kids learn language from their parents and siblings. Teachers are not required for kids to learn speech. Normal kids have a very large vocabulary before they ever meet their first teacher. Autistic kids learn to speak when mercury is removed.
    Not mercury;
    You are out of your mind. Methyl B-12 is the substance that allows all people to communicate. Autistic kids are prevented from making their own by the mercury, hence the instant speech in many cases when MB-12 is added.

  124. #124 Jonathan Semetko
    May 15, 2006

    Hi Mr. Best,

    “I did a double blind controlled study that proved teachers don’t know what they are doing with autism.”

    I look forward to seeing it in JPANDS.

    “Your 40 years of studies were rendered obsolete when Mark Geier proved that mercury caused the autism epidemic.”

    Which study specifically?

    “Sorry, the tiny bit of progress teachers may have made with students who had much less mercury injected into them has been shown to be a complate waste of effort with the progress kids make after chelation.”

    Which study shows this?

    “Kids learn language from their parents and siblings. Teachers are not required for kids to learn speech. Normal kids have a very large vocabulary before they ever meet their first teacher.”

    Usually that is true, not always though. In any case, my interest is more about looking at how those chidlren naturally acquire their language.

    “You are out of your mind.”

    If I promise to go back into it, will you teach me how you determined that the autism prevalence in NH is at infinity?

    “Methyl B-12 is the substance that allows all people to communicate.”

    Has somone recomended you to the Noble commitee yet? Surely this discovery of yours merits one of their prizes.

  125. #125 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Jonathan;
    Your wisecracks aren’t helping you learn how to help autistic kids. I suggest you pay more attention to those of us who understand the problem.

  126. #126 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    JB:You are out of your mind. Methyl B-12 is the substance that allows all people to communicate. Autistic kids are prevented from making their own by the mercury, hence the instant speech in many cases when MB-12 is added.

    I may be out of my mind but I can’t alter physics or the chemistry of mercury and organocobalt compounds. When combined the product is methylmercury (and dimethylmercury the most toxic form of mercury), it’s a fact.

    You are obviously enamored with the ideas of Richard Deth, the man who hypothesized that methionine synthase activity is inhibited by thimerosal in humans. Of course he wasn’t able to demonstrate the effect in vivo or measure methionine synthetase activity in actual ASD children, but hey, if the hypothesis fits with your fantasies by all means embrace it.

    Oh, and that alpha-lipoic acid you force on your kid? Probably enhances mercury toxicity too. It certainly isn’t a chelator.

    So tell us, how does methyl-B12 allow us to communicate? It’s apparently failing you.

  127. #127 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    Good Morning Big Pharma Shills,

    Here is a reality check for you. A short 13 minute film about the havoc mercury containing vaccines has caused and is still causing (guess what it’s still in the flu shot and the Hep B) to innocent children.

    Some may feel pity and actually surprise themselves with the notion that they are human with emotions and feelings. This will certainly cause the anti-anti-mercury crowd to acknowledge autism as being a horrific tragedy besieged on those genetically susceptible individuals. Oh, how very sad indeed those kids got bum genetics.

    So, as you continue to lie about the mercury in vaccines and all the damage it does. And continue your attacks on the parents of these poor autistic children like JB, Lenny Shafer and Rick Rollens. Just sit back and enjoy this documentary about the train wreck you are working so hard to cover up.

    http://www.autismspeaks.org/sponsoredevents/autism_every_day.php

    Margaret
    Autism it’s no mystery, it’s mercury

  128. #128 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Not mercury;
    You have no clue what you are talking about. ALA cures mercury poisoning.
    You should be locked up for child abuse for refusing to help your kid. Listening to neurodiverse morons is harmful to your child’s health.

  129. #129 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Margaret
    Autism it’s no mystery, it’s mercury

    Good for you Margaret. You have it all figured out, don’t you? Well I am a parent, not a Pharma-shill, and there was a time when I was pretty sure vaccines caused autism. My second ASD child is completely unvaccinated I was so sure it was the vaccines.

    Before you start reaching for other routes of exposure (Rhogam, Fish, Amalgam, etc.) don’t bother. I’m not asking for your diagnosis. I only wish to point out that it’s possible to rethink your a position when faced with overwhelming evidence and logic to the contrary.

    Possible for some, I don’t expect this to apply to you, John Best, or the rest of the GR zealots.

    Feel free to explain how these kids are genetically susceptible to mercury poisoning, as you say.

    ____________________________________________

    John,
    You have no clue what you are talking about. ALA cures mercury poisoning.

    Why John? Because Andy Cutler, an inorganic chemist, told you so? Will you refer to the Book of Andy and explain how that works for me?
    Cite the relevant passage if you’d like. When you can use the past tense of cure or recover you may be in a better position to argue with anecdotes.

    J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(4):339-47.
    Vitamin C, glutathione, or lipoic acid did not decrease brain or kidney mercury in rats exposed to mercury vapor

    Toxicology. 2002 Jun 14;175(1-3):103-10
    Lipoic acid increases glutathione production and enhances the effect of mercury in human cell lines

  130. #130 Joseph
    May 15, 2006

    He loses his credibility though when he claims kids who can’t talk, smear feces and bang holes in walls with their heads could have been missed. He expects us to believe that people with college degrees who can talk, type and cross the street by themselves and diagnose themselves just because they are socially inept belong in the same category as these non-verbal kids who can’t do a damn thing for themselves.

    First John speaks of a prevalence of 1 in 166 for ASD in general and asks to be shown ASD adults. Then he says he’s only interested in kids who can’t talk, smear feces and bang holes in walls with their heads (symptoms which are not part of the DSM-IV classification, and whose prevalence is unknown). He further expects children with these symptoms to never outgrow them. If anyone can make heads or tails of what John is trying to argue, please explain it to me.

  131. #131 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    Not Mercury said:

    “My second ASD child is completely unvaccinated I was so sure it was the vaccines.”

    Boy, are you a reformed anti-vaccine-ite?

    Did you rush out and load your 2nd ASD kid with a bunch of Thimerosal laden vaccines?

    Please tell me I’m dying to know.

    Margaret

  132. #132 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Pay attention Maggie, my second child is completely unvaccinated. Thimerosal containing vaccines are unavailable even if I wished to “load my 2nd child with thimerosal.” I’ve never bothered with the flu shot either.

    I wouldn’t classify myself as anti-vaccine even when I believed they triggered autism in my child. Anti-vaxxers tend to go out of their way to convince others of the dangers of vaccines. Much like your actions here.

    Are you an un-reformed anti-vaccine-ite?

  133. #133 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    So sorry, I was only asking if you went and fully vaccinated child #2 after you were 100% certain vaccines played no role in the acquisition of autism.

    My children are fully vaccinated. I however have become a little leary of vaccines and their ingredients. My trust has been shaken that these life saving miracles really are safe and effective. Just becasue the FDA approves them and the CDC recommends them. We all know how those organizations are poorly run.

    Boy, they pack a lot crap into those life saving suckers.

    Ammonium Sulfate, Beta-Propiolacton, latex rubber, Aluminum, Formaldehyde, Polysorbate 80 and some even have Mercury (but I’ve heard it was the safe kind Ethyl- the gentle one ) in them. These are just a few lovely indgredients found in vaccines.

    Oh boy, I probably got this all wrong too. Please do enlighten me Not Mercury.

    Margaret

  134. #134 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Joe;
    I’ll type very slow so you can understand. In 1943, Kanner told us that autism had never been seen before. The 75 year old autistics who you claim are dead never existed. That’s why you can’t produce any.
    DSM criteria is conjured up by the pseudo science of psychology. The symptoms of autism have gotten worse with the addition of more mercury. Psychology will probably catch up with reality after the epidemic is halted by remiving all thimerosal. Now, please get the mercury out of your brain so I don’t have to explain this to you again. I’m not trained in special education and I just don’t have the patience for such slow learners.

  135. #135 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Margaret;
    Don’t wait for Not Mercury to enlighten you. He’s dumb enough to listen to neurodiverse knuckleheads and can’t understand the science involved.

  136. #136 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    John,

    I know better than to have Not Mercury enlighten me. I’m just killing time until he comes back with more of his BS.

    Did you check out his blog? He is vicious!

    Margaret

  137. #137 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Yes, I’m not here to enlighten anyone. You have your answers and are satisfied to the point where you wish to enlighten others. It’s your religion now, I understand. I think you may be more successful if you learn some of the basics of biology and toxicology, but I’m not trying to tell you how to be a loyal and effective anti-vaxxer. You’ll need to consult your GR Bible for that.

    Back to my earlier question, what are these genetic susceptibilities you speak of?

  138. #138 The Truth Seeker
    May 15, 2006

    “Evidence of Harm” is already in free fall at Amazon”.

    Joseph, Evidence of Harm was released in 2005. Of course it shouldn’t be all that surprising that it is dropping on Amazon. Means nothing.

  139. #139 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    I would think you of all people would know everything there is to know about genetics and autism. Isn’t this the religion you subscribe to? Autism is genetic, right?

    I only have one ASD child and you have two. You obviously have more experience with it.

    My son wasn’t born autistic. And, well you know the rest of the story. We parents and our stupid anecdotal evidence.

    I will say if the genetic component of autism was identified, we’d be hearing about it daily.

    Dr. Leventhal formerly of the University of Chicago assured me that the genes that cause autism would be discovered within two to twenty years. That was eight years ago and I’m still waiting.

    Margaret

  140. #140 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Margaret,
    What have I said that is BS? If that is your opinion, please say so. Otherwise you should be able to point to specific statements and tell me why they should be considered BS.

    I would have no trouble pointing out yours. I hope that wasn’t to ‘vicious’ for you.

  141. #141 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Margaret: I would think you of all people would know everything there is to know about genetics and autism. Isn’t this the religion you subscribe to? Autism is genetic, right?

    Nope, I don’t subscribe to religion. Autism is genetic, no arguing that, I’m afraid. You think so too if I understand your comments, but I’m not sure why you think I would know everything there is to know about any subject. I can assure you that I do not.

    I only have one ASD child and you have two. You obviously have more experience with it.

    Maybe, maybe not. We both have experience with autism but different experiences.

    My son wasn’t born autistic. And, well you know the rest of the story. We parents and our stupid anecdotal evidence.

    I am not dismissing anecdotal evidence, I have plenty of my own, both of my children regressed around the same time. Vaccination age.

    I will say if the genetic component of autism was identified, we’d be hearing about it daily.

    We heard about the glutathione and methylation SNP’s for a while. Does that mean they are any more or less relevant? News articles aren’t science.

    Dr. Leventhal formerly of the University of Chicago assured me that the genes that cause autism would be discovered within two to twenty years. That was eight years ago and I’m still waiting.

    He either made a prediction based on his opinion or he stated something he couldn’t possibly know. That happenes sometimes. Ask David Kirby and a long list of others.

  142. #142 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    Not Mercury said:

    “Autism is genetic, no arguing that, I’m afraid. You think so too if I understand your comments,”

    I don’t believe it is 100% strictly genetic.

    Not Mercury said:

    “I am not dismissing anecdotal evidence, I have plenty of my own, both of my children regressed around the same time. Vaccination age.”

    What is your theory as to what caused the regression at this time?

    Margaret

  143. #143 Joseph
    May 15, 2006

    Joseph, Evidence of Harm was released in 2005. Of course it shouldn’t be all that surprising that it is dropping on Amazon. Means nothing.

    It’s dropping very fast. A few days ago the rank was in the 10,000 range as I recall. Now it’s 44,000 for the paperback and 70,000 for the hardcover. Compare this to older famous books by autistics such as Thinking in Pictures, Nobody Nowhere or Somebody Somewhere. They drop very little from day to day and in the long term. Or check out the rank of Send In The Idiots.

    Are you also aware of the quitely cancelled Canadian tour of EOH? Kirby didn’t realize beforehand that Canadians don’t use thimerosal, and that no one was going to show up.

  144. #144 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    I should have predicted your very next question would concern my theories. If I knew the answer to that question it would be big news.

    I am fairly confident it wasn’t mercury but my ability or inability to present a better hypothesis neither strengthens or weakens yours.

    I also I don’t believe or disbelieve it is 100% strictly genetic.

  145. #145 Joseph
    May 15, 2006

    What is your theory as to what caused the regression at this time?

    There doesn’t necessarily have to be a cause of the nature you are most fond of. Take Rett Syndrome, for example. Do you grant Rett Syndrome is purely genetic? What causes regression in Rett Syndrome? Rett Syndrome is a condition quite similar to autism, I might add.

    There’s regression in Landau-Kleffner syndrome, which is associated with seizures. Landau-Kleffner, again, very similar to autism.

    I believe one study has associated regression in autism with abnormal EEG activity.

    BTW, I recall reading in a paper not so long ago, UK parents attributed regression mostly to a stressful event such as birth of a sibling. I might dig that out for a post sometime.

    In the 1970s, “autistic widthdrawal” was attributed to bad parenting or stress. In current anecdotal accounts, consider the Autism Hysteria blog, who associates his child’s downward spiral into autism to trips the mother had made away from the child. This blog also documents a “recovery” anecdote which resulted from forced hugging sessions. Of course, this guy is likely a CDC employee, right?

  146. #146 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    NM,

    It appears we have arrived at a moment of civility.

    Let’s agree to disagree on causes and appropriate treatments of autism.

    We’re both parents trying to do what we think is best for our kids. Regardless of our differences, I wish you luck and success in that endeavor.

    Margaret

  147. #147 Jonathan Semetko
    May 15, 2006

    Hi Mr. Best,

    “Your wisecracks aren’t helping you learn how to help autistic kids.”

    True, so I await the hour when you show me real evidence that what you reccomend helps autistic kids. Still waiting…

    “I suggest you pay more attention to those of us who understand the problem.”

    As evidenced by?

  148. #148 Joseph
    May 15, 2006

    Joe; I’ll type very slow so you can understand.

    That’s the obsession I’m referring to. (I should note that your typing speed has no bearing on my reading comprehension).

    In 1943, Kanner told us that autism had never been seen before.

    Cite?

    The 75 year old autistics who you claim are dead never existed. That’s why you can’t produce any.

    Cite?

    DSM criteria is conjured up by the pseudo science of psychology.

    We agree to some extent on this.

    The symptoms of autism have gotten worse with the addition of more mercury.

    Evidence? I have noted that severity is clearly dropping with every CDDS quarter. You can easily verify this in the data.

    Psychology will probably catch up with reality after the epidemic is halted by remiving all thimerosal.

    It appears that thimerosal is completely banned in California. Correct me if I’m wrong. We shall see if the CDDS caseload drops to zero as you’d expect.

    Now, please get the mercury out of your brain so I don’t have to explain this to you again. I’m not trained in special education and I just don’t have the patience for such slow learners.

    Again, this is the obsession I’m talking about. Unfortunately, it can only go away with self-acceptance. And you’ll apparently beat yourself up about your son’s autism and deny your genetic contribution for the rest of your life.

  149. #149 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Margaret: Let’s agree to disagree on causes and appropriate treatments of autism.

    No deal. I’ll agree to no such thing. When you agree to limit your statements about autistics to what is known, or at least supported by scientific evidence, perhaps we will have found some common ground.

    We’re both parents trying to do what we think is best for our kids.

    If you agree to limit your efforts to what you think is best for your kid, I’ll be happy to do the same.

    Regardless of our differences, I wish you luck and success in that endeavor.

    Thank You.

  150. #150 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Joe;
    So, Landau-Kleffner, Rett’s and
    fragile X are SIMILAR to autism. Seven irons are SIMILAR to six irons. Soccer is similar to hockey. What’s your point. These things aren’t mercury poisoning. Autism is mercury poisoning. The mercury may contribute to seizure activity. I suppose you expect to find some genetic epidemic that happened in New Hampshire that caused us to go from no autism to 1,600 cases in 12 years.
    Yuh, I know, you explained that records weren’t kept but you couldn’t explain how the train wrecks were missed. Your over analyzing things, Joe. Take some ALA and call me when that tendency desists.

  151. #151 Joseph
    May 15, 2006

    These things aren’t mercury poisoning.

    Evidently.

    Autism is mercury poisoning.

    Which you continue to state with certainty, but have failed to demonstrate.

    The mercury may contribute to seizure activity. I suppose you expect to find some genetic epidemic that happened in New Hampshire that caused us to go from no autism to 1,600 cases in 12 years.

    I’ll quote Paul Shattuck on this exact point:

    For instance, one advocacy magazine last summer compared the counts of children with autism in 1992 to 2002 and then calculated the percent change. Illinois was listed as having 5 children with autism in 1992, and then 5,080 in 2002. The conclusion was that the true prevalence of autism in Illinois had increased by 101,500%. Who could seriously argue that Illinois only had 5 children with autism in 1992?

    And I replied that I actually knew a guy who would seariously argue that there were only 5 autistic chiildren in Illinois in 1992.

  152. #152 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Joe;
    That large increase in Illinois should put you on the right track to discover the cause. Hint: HepB on the day of birth started in 1991.
    If you can’t produce more than 5, where’s your proof there were more? I suppose they’re all dead along with those 75 year olds you can’t produce.

  153. #153 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    “Who could seriously argue that Illinois only had 5 children with autism in 1992?”

    John Best apparently.

  154. #154 The Truth Seeker
    May 15, 2006

    “Are you also aware of the quitely cancelled Canadian tour of EOH? Kirby didn’t realize beforehand that Canadians don’t use thimerosal, and that no one was going to show up”.

    Don’t know anything about it. Tell me all. Where is the back-up data that Kirby didn’t realize that Canadians didn’t use thimerosal. Show me all your proof and specifics.

  155. #155 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Not mercury;
    Can you show us more than 5 autistic kids there in 1992? I thought so. Shut up.

  156. #156 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    John,
    Can you show us 5 examples of self deception? I thought so.

  157. #157 Jonathan Semetko
    May 15, 2006

    Truth Seeker,

    There is/could be Thimerosal in Canadian vaccines, but it is at trace amounts. http://cc.msnscache.com/cache.aspx?q=3243863955405&lang=en-US&mkt=en-US&FORM=CVRE2

  158. #158 karen
    May 15, 2006

    No Mercury said:
    “Dr. Leventhal formerly of the University of Chicago assured me that the genes that cause autism would be discovered within two to twenty years. That was eight years ago and I’m still waiting.”

    Leventhal gets speaking fees and research funding from Eli Lilly and many other big pharmaceuticals. He clearly has conflicts of interest. BTW, does anyone know why he got the boot from the prestigous U of C?

  159. #159 Laura
    May 15, 2006

    Are you sure he got the boot or did he leave on his own? He currently works at UIC and is working on creating a statewide system of centers for the autistic through other State Universities. Maybe he left U of C which is private to a state school UIC in order to make these centers happen.

  160. #160 John Best
    May 15, 2006

    Not Mercury;
    Evidence of self deception: Joseph, Kevin Lietch, Not Mercury, Kathleen Seidel and Autism Diva. Any questions?

  161. #161 margaret
    May 15, 2006

    I remember reading an article saying that Dr. Leventhal’s removal had something to do with the “direction” the psychiatry department was headed under his leadership.

    He definitely was told to leave. I wonder if he ever pursued legal action against the University?

    Here is an article on his removal:

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20041210/ai_n12571672

    Margaret

  162. #162 Not Mercury
    May 15, 2006

    Wow, you guys are doing a great job defending the mercury hypothesis. “Shut up” and golf club analogies from Best, Pharma-shill gambit from Margaret and Karen, regurgitated Safe Minds and Generation Rescue pseudo-science from all.

    Let us know when you have some real science to support your claims.

  163. #163 Truth Seeker
    May 15, 2006

    Thanks Jonathan for the link to the Canadian vaccine recommendation. Seems as if they don’t have many vaccines which contain thimerosal anymore. It is difficult to determine when these new thimerosal-free vaccines came into play. I understand that at least in the US they use the year 1999 as the year that the non-thimerosal vaccines were used but in reality it was years later. It is also difficult to determine what effect, if any, that other vaccine ingredients play into the equation. I came to this topic through a friend of mine who is convinced of the connection between vaccines/autism (she emphasizes thimerosal, but agrees that other vaccine ingredients probably play a part). I thought she was crazy at first. The more information that she gave me, the more confused that I became. Things just don’t add up. The CDC is not doing enough to research the issue. They seem to just hope it will go away. I think that the only way to resolve the issue (to the best that it can be resolved would be to do a study of the vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated children). It just makes sense. What really bothered me was a year or so ago when my friend first started talking to me about this issue. Around the same time, we had an issue in a surrounding town where there was a possible contamination of a lake with mercury (I forget the exact issue) but they closed down the lake and kept talking about the fact that the fish in there would probably be toxic, etc. As I remember it, they were talking about the amount of mercury being miniscule, but nonetheless very dangerous. The health officials were worried. It was a big deal in the town. I had/have a difficult time with the idea that such a huge deal was made of that (whole lake being contaminated) yet my friend was having a difficult time telling her doctors that she didn’t want her child to be vaccinated with a thimerosal free flu vaccination. It doesn’t add up. Sorry that this is so long.

    Last point, my actual question to Joseph was in regards to his comment about David Kirby. I didn’t/still don’t understand what he was getting at with that comment.

  164. #164 Jonathan Semetko
    May 15, 2006

    Hi Truth Seeker,

    I don’t envy the CDC right now. They have some correlational work, but it was pretty terribly flawed. Further, there may not be a magic bullet study that can resolve this issue. We might well be left to second best options. Further still, a lot of parents have lost faith in the CDC. They are kind of in a rock and a hard place at the momment.

    The vaccinated vs unvaccinated study is good idea, but it can never be run as it should be. To really show causation we would have to be able to randomly assign individuals to groups and that would not make it past an ethics review board. We an try to find natural groups of un vaxed children, but those naturally occuring groups are sketchy for this purpose as they might be confounded by other similarities. You would have to introduce some method of controlling for this and doing so is not really all that easy in this case.

  165. #165 The Truth Seeker
    May 15, 2006

    Jonathan,

    I’m sure that finding vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children and constructing a study using them would not be easy or without its own set of problems. I can’t imagine that it can’t be done, though. It seems to me that those who argue against it may be afraid of what they might find (I’m not including you in that group who argue against it). No study is perfect. We have witnessed that with the Danish studies, haven’t we? I don’t know it just seems logical to me to study the issue of non-vaccinated vs. vaccinated.

  166. #166 Jonatahn semetko
    May 15, 2006

    Hi Truth Seeker,

    I am enthusiastic about this sort of study, but it is going to take some creative thought to figure out a way to deal with the problems inherent in it. I will admit that it is a frustration to me as I don’t see the solution to the problems.

    I want to say to, that most of people who argue against this do not have a conflict of interest. They are simply baffeled by the implications of what people say they want this study to do and what they know it can or can not do. Remember, that it is a frustration to them as well.

  167. #167 John Best
    May 16, 2006

    Not mercury;
    The golf club analogy I used should have been quite easy to understand. Would you like me to explain it for you?
    I already told you the key point about the science. I’m sorry it was too tough for you to grasp. Mercury is a poison. When babies are given too much of it, their brains don’t work right. When the mercury is removed, about half of the children recover. We don’t have all the answers to recover all of the poisoned children yet.

  168. #168 Sick of it all
    May 16, 2006

    John said, “I already told you the key point about the science.”

    John, Fore Sam, Best – what you know best about is intolerance and cruelty. You’ve consistently slandered non-whites, non-christians, homosexuals, and autistics.

    You admitted that you did not have your child tested for mercury poisoning. Then you set about trying to chelate mercury from your child. Over the many months and years you see developmental improvements. Cool. One has to wonder what improvements would have been made in the same period had the teachers that you’ve slandered been allowed to assist the socialization process in an accepting and nurturing enviroment. Your little “train wreck” and “empty shell” is going to grow up to be an adult whether you like it or not.

    When you discuss science, you routinely fall back on golf and horse racing examples, although on the rare occasion that you mention a gene of interest, you misidentify it (APO[insert something]).

    So now we have Mr. Personality representing Generation Rescue with the full support of JB Handley. And now we have people actually stating that JB Handley is god?!?!

    What the hell is wrong with you people? Prostrating yourselves to bigots and the scientifically illiterate? Margaret got back on her meds for about a minute and asked Not Mercury to dance, after she spent half this thread spewing idiocy. Go back, Margaret, look at your posts, and tell us whether you appear to be bipolar.

    One has to wonder what will happen when you go back in a month, in a year, or in 10 years and re-read your comments.

  169. #169 John Best
    May 16, 2006

    Sick of it all (AKA Anonymous Simpleton)
    I have never slandered non whites, non Christians or autistics. You are a liar with no guts, probably Kevin Leech.
    My child may never grow up. That’s the fate of most mercury poisoned kids, they remain at a two year old level for life. Chelation has helped and is giving him his only chance at recovery and a normal life. It sounds like you favor abusing the children by keeping the mercury in their brains.
    Golf and horse racing can provide analogies for almost any situation. A dweeb like you just can’t understand them. Would you like me to use queer analogies to make you feel more comfortable? I’m guessing you’re queer if you took offense to something I said about that perversion.
    I hope my son and other mercury poisoned kids can read these comments in ten years to see the stupidity that tried to force them to remain autistic to make the drug companies who poisoned them look innocent. Pathetic morons who write against helping children anonymously should be dragged behind thoroughbreds while being swatted with nine irons. I think you should hang yourself, you’d be better off.

  170. #170 margaret
    May 16, 2006

    Truth Seeker,

    Have you read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby? His updated paperback version released just a few months ago has numerous studies supporting the connection. Several were not completed or published before the printing of the hard back last year.

    If you haven’t noticed yet, the anti-anti-mercury crowd attacks Mr. Kirby and his book. Apparently it is because they don’t like the tone his book takes. He is sympathic to the parents and their plight. Also, according to him government agencies such as the CDC were not willing to talk with him. Therefore, his book appears very one sided. The lack of transparency in all of this by such agencies as the CDC has caused much suspicion by the parents. Therefore, fueling conspiracy theories by such agencies.

    I think any rational person should be concerned about injecting mercury into anyone, particularly babies in eutero and infants. Come on, we don’t want pregnant women eating fish that have high mercury concentrations, but injecting another form of mercury is ok? Some on this list will spew numbers about mercury concentration levels, or offer “facts” about organic or inorganic mercury. It is my understanding there is no safe level of any kind of mercury, period.

    You even mentioned the issue with the lake where you live and the concerns by officials about eating the fish, due to mercury levels. How can mercury cause such great concern in one situation and not in another?

    In my opinion, and because I’m a parent of a child suffering with autism, I KNOW I am intitled to one. I know the right studies haven’t been done to conclusively support a connection or disprove a connection. I also have concerns about how studies are conducted and who pays for them, everyone has an agenda.

    We have a no win situation on this blog. Evidence is offered that supports one point of view, the other side then responses with claims that the particular researcher of said study has conflicts. Possibly, the journal the study was published in only publishes “junk science” etc… It is a never ending argument in which no one ever convinces the other. I doubt you will find as many hotly debated topics as this, as evidenced by the number of comments here. I for one can use less aggravation in my life, so I don’t see the benefit in “arguing” my position. I have quickly learned it is an exercise in futility.

    Go ahead and conduct your own research and arrive at your own conclusions. What you will find here is a very slanted point of view. You’ll notice these are mostly angry, miserable people who will lash out at you if you don’t share their beliefs.

    I guess where one lands on this position probably has a lot ot do with how they view the world, and what life experiences have led them to that place.

    Let us know where you land.

    Margaret

    PS- Sit back and watch someone’s going to chew me a new one based on my comments.

    PPS- Before I got to post this someone already attacked me and accused me of being bi-polar.

    BTW, Sick of it All, I won’t be back in ten years to read my comments I, unlike you, will have moved on by then.

  171. #171 The Truth Seeker
    May 16, 2006

    Hi Jonathan:

    “They are simply baffeled by the implications of what people say they want this study to do and what they know it can or can not do. Remember, that it is a frustration to them as well”.

    Well, can they put the issues up front then? Explain the problems with a study like this? It can be done. Will take some work but can be done. Again, they didn’t seem all too concerned about the inadequacies of the Danish studies but worked like hell to make sure they came out. I’m not saying that this is a good way to go into a study with the idea that if they turn out badly it’s ok because look at the Danish studies but it should show you something about the mentality. I’m new to discussions on this issue though so I’m sure I’m way behind on the problems. Sorry, if I sound like a newbie.

  172. #172 The Truth Seeker
    May 16, 2006

    Hi Margaret,

    “Have you read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby”?

    Not yet, I plan to though.

    I agree with you about the rational person idea. I can’t imagine that anyone would want mercury injected into their bodies. People must not know. How can that be? To me, beyond comprehension. My friend told me about how her pediatrician wanted her child to have a flu vaccine last Fall and it had mercury in it. She, of course, said no way but was pissed that it even came up. She said that a year ago she would have gotten it because the doctor said so and she wonders how many people just do that because of the doctor. Seems crazy to me.

  173. #173 Dad Of Cameron
    May 16, 2006

    You’re not new Sue. You’re being quite civil though and it’s nice.

  174. #174 margaret
    May 16, 2006

    Dad of Cameron,

    “You’re not new Sue. You’re being quite civil though and it’s nice.”

    Who’s Sue? Sick of it All (Sick in the Head)?

    Civil??? You must be being facetious.

    Margaret

  175. #175 Dad Of Cameron
    May 16, 2006

    Margaret,

    I did not see where Sick of it All claimed anything about newness, but I could have missed it.

  176. #176 Joseph
    May 16, 2006

    The David Kirby Canadian rip-off mystery is discussed here.

  177. #177 Joseph
    May 16, 2006

    Can you show us more than 5 autistic kids there in 1992? I thought so. Shut up.

    John, do you maintain that the prevalence of autism in Illinois in 1992 was about 0.02 in 10,000? Please confirm you believe this.

    Before the 1990s, no epidemiological study of autism that I know of found a prevalence of Kanner or DSM-III autism to be below 4 in 10,000. Anywhere.

  178. #178 Joseph
    May 16, 2006

    I don’t envy the CDC right now. They have some correlational work, but it was pretty terribly flawed. Further, there may not be a magic bullet study that can resolve this issue. We might well be left to second best options. Further still, a lot of parents have lost faith in the CDC. They are kind of in a rock and a hard place at the momment.

    I sense the CDC has a lack of interest and familiarity with the autism debate. They hardly know how to address the main arguments, and they hardly know how to construct a study that would adequately address the main concerns. This is unfortunate.

  179. #179 Joseph
    May 16, 2006

    I’m sure that finding vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children and constructing a study using them would not be easy or without its own set of problems.

    The main problem would be finding unvaccinated kids who are not also part of a locked gene pool.

    An alternative study might be re-vaccinating volunteer autistic kids. They could do 4 groups: (1) MMR without thimerosal, (2) MMR with thimerosal, (3) Saline solution, (4) No vaccination at all. Making sure the sample is representative might still be problematic in such a study, however.

  180. #180 margaret
    May 16, 2006

    Joseph said:

    “I sense the CDC has a lack of interest and familiarity with the autism debate. They hardly know how to address the main arguments, and they hardly know how to construct a study that would adequately address the main concerns. This is unfortunate.”

    I can assure you the CDC is very familar with autism. Remember they track the numbers on occurence. a huge part of the book you enjoy bashing, Evidence of Harm, is devoted to them and their Shennigans.

  181. #181 margaret
    May 16, 2006

    Joseph said:

    “An alternative study might be re-vaccinating volunteer autistic kids. They could do 4 groups: (1) MMR without thimerosal, (2) MMR with thimerosal, (3) Saline solution, (4) No vaccination at all. Making sure the sample is representative might still be problematic in such a study, however.”

    Josph pull your head out. MMR never contained Thimerosal due to the fact it is three live viruses. Thimerosal would kill the viruses; therefore definitely rending them ineffective.

    Good Luck finding parents willing to use their autistic kids as guinea pigs. We did that once without knowledge of the harm that would be done. I don’t think many would do that twice. Although, Not Mercury might offer up his autistic children for “good science”.

  182. #182 Joseph
    May 16, 2006

    My child may never grow up. That’s the fate of most mercury poisoned kids, they remain at a two year old level for life.

    Citation? (Either for mercury poisoned or autistic kids).

  183. #183 John Best
    May 16, 2006

    Joe;
    The prevalence before 1990 was zero in NH, Puerto Rico and one other state. The 5 cases in Illinois were probably fragile X or Rett’s that weren’t properly diagnosed.

  184. #184 Sick of it all
    May 16, 2006

    John Best said, “I think you should hang yourself, you’d be better off.”

    Death? Nice. And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. John Fore Sam Best, Rescue Angel extraordinare, supported and encouraged by JB Handley of Generation Rescue.

    Although it was plugged earlier, check out Joseph’s cataloging of some of Best’s bests.

    This is the guy that typifies Generation Rescue. The strap-hangers like the boot-licking Handley-is-god poster above typify the scientifically ignorant, type-A, conspiracy mongerers who spend their calories spreading a belief, and nothing more than an evidence-free belief.

  185. #185 Joseph
    May 16, 2006

    Ok, so for the record, John, you are stating that the prevalence of autism in NH, Puerto Rico and Illionois was not even 0.02 in 10,000, but zero? This is in spite of the fact that no epidemiological study of autism before that time found a prevalence of zero anywhere in the world. For example, Wing (1976) reported a prevalence of 4-5 in 10,000 in the U.S. and did not mention that, strangely, some states had zero autism.

  186. #186 margaret
    May 16, 2006

    Sick of it all,

    Are you caring for a child with autism or are you just pissed off and angry for no reason?

    What exctly are you sick of?

    If things don’t improve your way soon, you should take John’s advice and off yourself.

    I certainly won’t miss you and your nasty off the wall comments.

    Margaret

  187. #187 Tara C. Smith
    May 16, 2006

    Lovely–now suggestions of death going out to fellow commenters. I think this one has (out)run its course.

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