Antivax lies from a local reporter

It's worse than I thought.

A local investigative reporter has just broadcast a report on mercury, vaccines, and autism that was devoid of any investigation. It was a piece of lazy journalism, relying on the propaganda of the antivax cults, rather than real medical information. It was a pure propaganda piece. Before this aired, I did email Wilson and offer to hook him up with actual experts. I received no reply.

Let me share some details...

I have the transcript for fisking, but first some propaganda elements. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics was given two brief cameos. They were close up, and she was perspiring a la the Nixon-Kennedy debates---she was made to look bad. And he accused her of lying. She stated that mercury is not present in most childhood vaccines, and Wilson flat out said that it's in at least 11 of them. She was given no chance to respond. Random folks from a Green our Vaccines rally were, however, given free rein to say anything without fear of being contradicted. He used loaded language liberally, often emphasizing that mercury-containing vaccines are routinely given to young children. The lies and deceptions were not enough for this guy.

Anyway, on to the transcript.

Anchor Lead:

It's the controversy that won't go away. Is the skyrocketing rate of Autism in children due in any way to the mercury long contained in childhood vaccines? It's an issue our chief investigative reporter Steve Wilson has stayed with from the start...and Steve will science ever answer this one?

Already we're begging the question. Is there really a "skyrocketing rate of Autism (sic)"? According to actual statistics, no

It could happen one day but only if researchers keep looking...and with 1 in 150 children now diagnosed with Autism in this country--more than 100 new, young victims every single day--a lot of skeptical parents and others believe there's a big incentive for industry and government to cover up the truth.

Implication: if only the government would just stop covering things up, and if real studies were done, the problem would be obvious.

Well, I've got news for ya, Steve: the studies have been done, over and over again, and they are of good quality, and from many different nations. Vaccines don't cause autism. Also, there is no cover up.

Steve's quote from the doctor: "I don't think anybody is saying you want to inject mercury... for routine vaccinations, we don't allow it to happen."

Steve's juxtaposed quote from a mom with no stated credentials other than having an autistic child: "...and I know for a fact people that have gone to their physician and have been told there was no Thimerosal in their vaccine, then the parents asked to see the package insert and they find it there."

Nice. Take the doc, make her look terrible, take the mom, make her look great. Have the mom, with no credentials contradict the doc without any evidence other that "I heard it somewhere". Then treat it as the truth. Did you actually investigate any of these "facts", Steve? You are an investigative reporter. If an expert tells you something, ask another expert if they agree. If some random kook tells you something, try to nail it down. That's what reporters are supposed to do.

A congressional committee that studied the matter has already concluded: "Thimerosal...is directly related to the Autism epidemic."

It could have been prevented or curtailed "had the FDA not been asleep at the switch" allowing the untested toxic to be part of the vaccine recipe, something the committee report blamed on "misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry."

Presidential candidate John McCain says now there's "strong evidence" of a link between skyrocketing Autism and the mercury in vaccines.

No respected medical body or government institution has ever found a connection.

He then goes on to show Boyd Haley, who Wilson calls "a scientist and pioneer in the study of this issue." Actually, Haley is an "expert" in the issue in the same way that my daughter is an expert in poop---she is terribly interested, has some interesting ideas based on fantasy and immaturity, is illiterate, and completely wrong. But at least she's cute.

Wilson goes on to cite similar "experts" on issues that, if he had even bothered to consult an expert or even google, would have sent him running away screaming. For example, he quotes the infamous "monkey study", which added nothing to our understanding of autism. He then uses the "Amish Gambit" in which antivaxers claim that the Amish don't vaccinate and have a much lower incidence of autism. This is false.

And if the deception wasn't thick enough, he repeats the typical canard about the Hannah Poling case...despite the wild claims made, the government admitted no connection between vaccines and autism in the Poling case. Read it.

This report is full of so many of the typical lies, it makes me sick, and sad. Investigative reporters are essential to democracy. They are willing and able to dig up buried facts, to chase down stories without fear of losing a job, and to basically disturb the peace for the greater good. With great power comes great responsibility. Exercise it, Steve, and next time, do your damned homework.

More like this

Poor besotted PalMD wrote "This report is full of so many of the typical lies, it makes me sick, and sad. Investigative reporters are essential to democracy."

The problem is that "investigative" reporters are only as good as their education. They get sucked into the whole cloth lie when they don't know any better.

One of my early mom friends was an "investigative" reporter for a local news radio station. She was very intelligent woman, and had won several journalism awards. Then she talked to me about the weird spiritual side of holograms. Uh, wait... no, they are artifacts of photography and physics, nothing really odd about them. I even gave her an article explaining what they were.

Unfortunately, it didn't help. Her lack of science acumen was overwhelmed by woo.

Sometimes I think journalists are just idiots.

Like it or not, PalMD is right when he says that investigative reporters are vital for democracy - and don't forget that many of us bloggers are investigative reporters in an alternative media. It's really easy to be cynical, but if we didn't have the cream of journalism we'd just have lobbyists and conspiracy nutters. We wouldn't have a clue what was going on in countries like Zimbabwe, and the word Watergate would be meaningless.

It disgusts me to see things like this though. Media organs should have to face up to responsibility that comes with free speech.

Another guy who stopped as soon as they had a story. What I don't understand is why they lie, when 10 seconds on google is going to destroy their credibility. This isn't even half lies, this is just made up bull...

-A congressional committee that studied the matter has already concluded: "Thimerosal...is directly related to the Autism epidemic."-

If I were the vaccine makers, i'd sue for slander.

By Richrd Eis (not verified) on 08 Jul 2008 #permalink

"Well, I've got news for ya, Steve: the studies have been done, over and over again, and they are of good quality, and from many different nations. Vaccines don't cause autism. Also, there is no cover up."

My autistic son is now 12. I never subscribed to the vaccine causes autism hypothesis because most credible sources indicated there was no evidence to support such a causal relationship. It seems to me though that you ignore some of the criticisms of the various epidemiological studies when you state categorically that the studies are of good quality.

You also rely for your authority on that point on a medical person who is also a highly ideological autism blogger - Orac. Your sidebar list of Autism/Mercury sites also indicate that your general references on autism/mercury are other Neurodiversity ideological bloggers such as Autism Diva, Autism Street and Keven Leitch at LB/RB. Your "lies" reference in your comment title also indicates your own strong ideological approach.

There have been serious criticisms made of various of the better known studies referenced. Ex NIH head Dr. Bernardine Healey has been reported as stating that many in the scientific world have been quick to dismiss the concerns of parents and have not conducted the necessary studies of causation to definitively rule out a vaccine/autism link.

Has there been a cover up? You say categorically that there has not but provide nothing to back up your belief. The 2004 IOM report suggests that biological research into a possible vaccine autism connection should not be conducted, p152:

SIGNIFICANCE ASSESSMENT

The committee concludes that because autism can be such a devastating disease, any speculation that links vaccines and autism means that this is a significant issue.

...

Policy Review

At this time, the committee does not recommend a policy review of the licensure of MMR vaccine or of the current schedule and recommendations for the administration of the MMR vaccine.

At this time, the committee does not recommend a policy review of the current schedule and recommendations for the administration of routine childhood vaccines based on hypotheses regarding thimerosal and autism.

Given the lack of direct evidence for a biological mechanism and the fact that all well-designed epidemiological studies provide evidence of no association between thimerosal and autism, the committee recommends that cost-benefit assessments regarding the use of thimerosal-containing versus thimerosal-free vaccines and other biological or pharmaceutical products, whether in the United States or other countries, should not include autism as a potential risk."

I have not accepted that a vaccine autism link has been proven. The assertion that such a link has been categorically dis-proven though is ... weak.

What I don't understand is why they lie

Same reason that professional wrestling is all staged - ratings. It's just like the show before, and the news is just another show...

"Given the lack of direct evidence for a biological mechanism and the fact that all well-designed epidemiological studies provide evidence of no association between thimerosal and autism,..."

Doesn't seem weak to me. Pretty strong statement for group policy, actually. Stronger than the weird IPCC language for climate.

Anyone that has studied these so-called vaccine/thimerosal studies knows that they are ALL FLAWED in one way or another. I urge everyone to purchase the Vaccine Safety Manual by Neil Z. Miller for over 1,000 credible "facts" involving vaccines. Vaccines are all about politics and money (aka greed and power). Nothing more.

By dawn2000k (not verified) on 09 Jul 2008 #permalink

"What I don't understand is why they lie, when 10 seconds on google is going to destroy their credibility. "

Because they know that most people watching the news won't spend those 10 seconds.

Yeah, that's great advice. Go get your medical advice and scientific evidence from a journalist. I'm sure if you are arrested you'll call up your local plumber to devise your defense.

Previous comment was for dawn2000k, sorry.

There have been serious criticisms made of various of the better known studies referenced.

That's actually not generally true. There is some criticism, mostly unpublished. In general, I don't find it to be strong criticism. Some of the weaker studies have had more rigorous follow-ups. For example, Verstraeten et al. was followed up by Thompson et al. (2007), which was an amazingly well done study. The criticisms of Thompson et al. (2007) were quite weak and unconvincing, BTW. But you're welcome to argue otherwise.

I grew up in an area heavily settled by Mennonites (lifestyles much like the Amish). They tend not to vaccinate either... but to be perfectly fair, I would suspect that autistic kids wouldn't be necessarily identified in their community, especially if they were reasonably high-functioning. Yes, they might be considered "weird", but I would think if the kid could drive a tractor, they'd be fine.

Also...Old Order Mennonites and Amish are groups with founder effect diseases and very little out-marriage. So autism rates might also reflect a different genetic background.

Steve Wilson couldn't find his ass with 2 hands. I think this calls for lots of ad hominem attacks.

There is NO amount of data or research that can change the belief of a believer. Why do we even bother?

Mark Crislip, M.D of Quackcast is probably right. Vaccines are safe and everyone should be up to date. How else is the government going to get the secret tracking nanobots into our children?

Has anyone noticed that since the nanobots have been secretly added to the vaccines that global temperatures have increased? I think I smell another "Problem Solvers" investigation coming from good ol' Steve Wilson.

Chelation is the only answer to get rid of the nanobots and end global warming! Ya got to admit, this makes as much sense as the stuff Wilson and the proponents of the new "McCarthyism" are shovelling. Peeee-uuuuuuuuh !

By Blind Watchmaker (not verified) on 09 Jul 2008 #permalink

Oh, and another thing. Wilson is making a big deal that there is still some mercury in "11" common vaccines that we give children. Look at the table he put on his website that came from JAMA http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm

I am a pediatrician and give a lot of shots. I have to pander to the false premise that Thimerosal was dangerous to begin with. To get the anti-vaccine crowd to shut up, mercury WAS removed. Look at that list. The common vaccines that any average kid will get has NONE, nodda, zip, zero mercury. See the listings for Hep B, DTaP, IPV, HIB, Pediarix (a combination vaccine), Prevnar, MMR, Varicella, and TdaP. What do you find? Zippo.

Maybe we can put this in perspective for Mr. Wilson.

Zero is the amount of thought put into his decision making. Zero is the amount of good he is doing the community. Zero is the amount that eminent scientists like Jenny M. know about science and the scientific method. Zero is the amount of mercury in our kids vaccines.

Well, there is some in the flu shot. The vast, evil medical conspiracy have to have some fun, don't they. The themerosal is needed to power the nanobots.

By Blind Watchmaker (not verified) on 09 Jul 2008 #permalink

While I left this comment over at Orac's, it is worth repeating here:

Steve Wilson is a serial offender in the talking trash and science-free allegations:

The Strange Case of Steve Wilson How a fraudulent crusader snookered the left-and is threatening the First Amendment by John Sugg in Reason Magazine, May 2006 (also contains details of the suit outlined below)

Florida Reporters Win Trial Over Fox TV and Monsanto Suppression of rBGH Story Steve Wilson's slant on the trial. (warning--reality distortion field)

Fox News reporter found scary evidence linking a Monsanto product, commonly found in milk, to cancer. So why did her boss threaten to fire her? Jayne Ackre's slant on the story. (warning--reality distortion field)

Akres and Wilson's website on the suit (warning--reality distortion field) http://www.foxbghsuit.com/

Sugg ends the Reason piece with this:

And the soundness of Wilson's news gathering? The questions continue to pile up. The "progressive" press, alas, isn't asking them.

Summary: Wilson made his fame and fortune over another trumped-up, biased, fear-mongering story. Why would he suddenly become a fan of science this late in his career?

ZOMFG, Liz, thanks for the links...

Boy, you folks are awefully fired up about a report based on a CDC list of vaccines that still contain mercury while it is widely (and falsely) reported that the the heavy metal was altogether removed years ago.

Some of you more-vitriolic folks remind me of those who SWORE there was, and could not be, any link between tobacco and cancer. Have you seen some of the ads with docs in white coats saying something like: "Yeah, I recommend my patients have a smoke. It relaxes them!"

Surely we can agree on this:

1. Nobody knows what causes Autism and no study has ever proved or disproved to an accepted scientific certainty that mercury is a trigger in some cases;

2. Mercury, like lead, is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans and should be avoided at all costs;

3. 11 vaccines that can be injected into children (and pregnant women) still contain mercury despite the call nearly 10 years ago from the AAP, government and independent experts for it to be altogether removed;

4. Thimerosal does nothing to increase the efficacy of the vaccine. It exists only for the benefit--financial and otherwise--of those who make it, sell it and ultimately inject it.

So can one of you geniuses explain to me why in the world anybody in their right mind would want to inject the second-most toxic heavy metal known into the body of a baby? This seems like a good idea to some of you???

By Steve Wilson W… (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

Steve, thanks very much for responding.

You really do need to do a little more reading though. When you say "Surely we can agree on this: " the fact is, we can't.

1)"no study has ever proved or disproved to an accepted scientific certainty that mercury is a trigger in some cases" In fact the data is quite clear. If your measure for disproof is "absolute certainty", then it's time to stop believing in gravity.
2)Yes, mercury is a metal, and is toxic, however, chemisty is hard. Ethylmercury is not the same as "mercury" is not the same as methylmercury.

3)it is false that 11 regularly used vaccines contain mercury. of the common childhood vaccines, only the flu shot has any thimerosal. That, and thimerosal has been shown to be harmless by many very good studies.

4)Thimerosal has been removed from most in order to placate folks. It is useful, but we've largely made due without it.

A good use of your talents would be to investigate why the antivax folks seem to be in on a secret that the rest of us professionals have been to daft to catch on to.

Can't handle the truth, huh?

By Smarter Than You (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

Some of you more-vitriolic folks remind me of those who SWORE there was, and could not be, any link between tobacco and cancer

.

OK, I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt, but your analogy tells me all that I need to know to convince me you're completely off the deep end and beyond redemption on this issue. You know why? The evidence supporting the link between cancer and smoking was massive and irrefutable, and tobacco companies waged a denialist campaign at the cost of millions, if not billions, of dollars to cast doubt upon it. It's nothing like the fairy dust, "we don't knows," and pseudoscientific appeals to ignorance that antivaccinationists use as "evidence" to support a "link" between vaccines and autism.

In brief, you have no clue what you're talking about on this issue. You've drunk the Kool Aid.

1. Nobody knows what causes Autism and no study has ever proved or disproved to an accepted scientific certainty that mercury is a trigger in some cases;

Define "accepted scientific certainty." Without a specific definition of what you mean by that it is impossible for me to agree or disagree with you, other than that no study has ever provided even mildly compelling evidence that vaccines can somehow cause or "trigger" autism.

2. Mercury, like lead, is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans and should be avoided at all costs;

I take it you don't eat any fish, then. Or breathe the air in Detroit. Or drink the water from the Great Lakes. The dose is the poison. Read some basic pharmacology. Botox is a deadly poison, but rich celebrities pay big bucks to have it injected into their faces. Moreover, ethyl mercury (thimerosal) is different than methyl mercury or metallic mercury. Toxicity depends on chemical form, too. Chlorine is a deadly poison, but it's in table salt in the form of sodium chloride.

3. 11 vaccines that can be injected into children (and pregnant women) still contain mercury despite the call nearly 10 years ago from the AAP, government and independent experts for it to be altogether removed;

None of the vaccines commonly recommended for children below the age of six, with the exception of the influenza vaccine (of which the only licensed version for children under two years is a thimerosal free version, by the way) contain mercury.

4. Thimerosal does nothing to increase the efficacy of the vaccine. It exists only for the benefit--financial and otherwise--of those who make it, sell it and ultimately inject it.

I doubt anyone in a Third World country would see it that way. Thimerosal is a preservative, which prevents bacterial contamination in multiuse vials and thereby lowers costs. In the developing world, it can mean the difference between children who are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases and those who are not. In any case, there are a number of good epidemiological studies that have failed to find a link between thimerosal and autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. You're falling for the fallacy of the perfect solution.

So can one of you geniuses explain to me why in the world anybody in their right mind would want to inject the second-most toxic heavy metal known into the body of a baby? This seems like a good idea to some of you???

Actually, no one is doing that anymore. There is no more than trace thimerosal in any infant vaccine. Your deceptive, poorly researched, one-sided bit of yellow journalism also has the potential to do real harm? I'm tempted to ask you: Why in the world should we accept the "scientific opinion" of a biased reporter over that of pediatricians and scientists on this issue?

Mr Wilson,

I'm parent to an eight year old autistic child. We live in the UK.

I am very disappointed that you would approach autism in this way. Year after year both in the UK and US funding for studies becomes scarcer and scarcer. It has now been over 10 years since both the thiomersal and MMR hypotheses were touted and in those 10 years no study has even come close to establishing a link between any vaccine, any vaccine component or any vaccine schedule.

If you are a reporter that truly cares about facts and presenting the truth to people I would urge you to move away from interviewing people such as Boyd Haley. Please start casting your net of interview subjects wider for doctors and scientists who actually work in the fields (Dr Jeffery Brent is a world renowned toxicologist for example) concerned.

Boyd Haley's scientific evidence has been thrown out of more than one courtroom for failing to meet basic standards of science. Surely that tells you something?

I also find it ironic that you compare science refuting the autism/vaccine ideas to that of the tobacco industry. Did you know that Dr Bernadine Healy who recently came out to support the vaccine ideas was a paid shill for Phillip Morris?

Autistic people deserve a better standard of science than this. They need research monies for good educational programs, living programs and therapies. I would please ask you to consider the impact that you are having on autistic people when you continue to promulgate false stories regarding autism.

Just a few points of clarification.

Genetics, environment, and vaccine ingredients have not been scientifically proven to cause ASD in a majority of accurately diagnosed ASD individuals.

Only 6% of the 2008 influenza vaccines were Thimerosal free and this amount is insufficient to cover all adolescence that are advised by the CDC to receive the vaccine which in perspective was only 40% effective for the season.

Steve Wilson has compounded his errors by repeating them above.

"Nobody knows what causes Autism and no study has ever proved or disproved to an accepted scientific certainty that mercury is a trigger in some cases."

First off, there is a general consensus in the scientific community (apart from those "scientists" who are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the mercury-causes-autism movement) that mercury does not cause (or "trigger") autism. To put it in Mr. Wilson's terms, it is "accepted" to a great deal of certainty in the real scientific community that mercury does not cause/trigger autism.

Unless and until new, compelling data is presented, that "hypothesis" is dead. Mr. Wilson's error was to listen only to the few doctors and "scientists" who have become emotionally attached to this dead hypothesis and cannot let it rest in peace.

Secondly, before Mr. Wilson goes off onto the "If we don't know what causes autism, we can't know what doesn't cause it!" tangent, let me preempt that line of "reasoning". Mercury has been removed from children's vaccines (see below), mercury levels in the air, water and soil have been declining since at least the 1980's and yet autism prevalence - as measured by social and educational programs - keeps rising. I'd say that even without knowing the cause (or causes) of autism, we can eliminate mercury as a viable contender.

"Mercury, like lead, is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans and should be avoided at all costs."

The phrase "at all costs" is probably there just for dramatic (literary) effect, but let's look at it for a minute. Mercury is (and has always been) a ubiquitous part of our environment. Even if all human use of the metal were eliminated, it still is emitted by fumaroles, volcanos and deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

At any rate, mercury has been removed from children's vaccines and is gradually being phased out of use in most other products. In other words, Mr. Wilson's second "point" is a straw man - it is arguing against a position that nobody is taking.

If somebody were arguing that mercury should be introduced into vaccines and that we should be using mercury in more industrial processes and consumer products, then Mr. Wilson's point might make some sense. Given the current situation, however, it appears to be just a distraction.

"11 vaccines that can be injected into children (and pregnant women) still contain mercury despite the call nearly 10 years ago from the AAP, government and independent experts for it to be altogether removed." [emphasis added]

The phrase "can be" covers a lot of journalistic weaseling. Vaccines against yellow fever, typhoid fever, plague and cholera all still contain thimerosal (primarily because they not routinely used in children in the Western world), but they can be injected into children. Thimerosal-free formulations of routine vaccines from influenza to hepatitis B are available and are the vaccine of choice for children and pregnant women.

It would be illuminating for Mr. Wilson to list the "11 vaccines" he has in mind. Perhaps then we could see where his bias lies.

"Thimerosal does nothing to increase the efficacy of the vaccine. It exists only for the benefit--financial and otherwise--of those who make it, sell it and ultimately inject it."

Ah yes! The famous "Big Pharma" profit-mongering "straw man". Except that it's not really a straw man because the thimerosal was in the vaccines for the benefit of the consumer (i.e. the person getting the vaccine) all along.

Preservatives are in vaccines to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. This is especially important in multi-use vials of vaccine. Bacterial and fungal growth is a risk even when the vaccines are refrigerated. Thus, preservatives are of great benefit to the people who receive the vaccines. Thimerosal has the advantage of being effective even when the vaccine is not refrigerated, which explains its continued use in regions of the world where refrigeration is not widely available.

If Mr. Wilson had bothered to check how "profitable" vaccines - especially "routine" vaccines (i.e. vaccines not on patent) are to their manufacturers, he would have seen just how ludicrous his comment is. New vaccines can be moderately profitable, but making vaccines against measles, pertussis, diptheria and the like is almost a labor of love - it certainly doesn't pay the stockholders.

That's why the vaccine manufacturers in the US had to be indemnified by the VICP. If they weren't, the liability exposure would have made vaccine production a dead loss on the ledger. At the time the VICP was initiated, most manufacturers were planning to drop out of vaccine production - in fact, many did drop their vaccine lines, despite the VICP.

Finally, I have to comment on another lame (and inaccurate) comment by Mr. Wilson:

"So can one of you geniuses explain to me why in the world anybody in their right mind would want to inject the second-most toxic heavy metal known into the body of a baby?"

This is, of course, another classic "straw man" fallacy, where Mr. WIlson tries to argue against a position that nobody has taken. For Mr. Wilson's education, the discussion is about whether or not mercury causes autism, not whether or not mercury is toxic in any form or dosage. However, it's much easier to argue against injecting babies with "poison" than it is to argue that mercury causes autism. Too bad nobody has taken the "it's good to poison babies" position - Mr. Wilson will just have to argue that one by himself.

The "second-most toxic metal" argument is also up for grabs, since Uranium, Polonium and even Cadmium are more toxic than mercury - depending on the particular compound the element is in.

Overall, Mr. Wilson appears to have written a fairly fact-free article that should have great emotional appeal to those who have already made up their minds that mercury (or vaccines) causes autism - despite copious data to the contrary.

Prometheus

Mr. Wilson, I have a question for you:

Today's five-year-olds have been exposed to far less antigens and thimerosal containing vaccines that children born in the 90s, yet autism rates have not declined. How do you explain that fact?

By AutismNewsBeat (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

Like Kev I am from the UK. As I understand it the mercury argument arose because of a temporal association between an increase in the reported levels of autism and an increase in early childhood exposure to thiomersal in vaccines in the USA. Here in the UK we have experienced similar increases in reported levels of autism but we never increased the levels of thiomersal in our vaccine schedule.

Perhaps Mr Wilson can explain why UK autism levels increased. And maybe he should consider how unlikely it is that two different environmental triggers could cause parallel increases in autism in the USA and the UK. It is far more likely that there is a single explanation for the reported increase in both countries, one that does not involve mercury in any form.

Mr. Wilson, while you were doing your research did you happen to actually read this website?:
http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm

If you had, you have had the answer to many of your questions.

Also, while you were doing your extensvie research, did you read any of these papers?:

Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants after Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines
Authors: Pichichero ME, Gentile A, Giglio N, et al
Source: Pediatrics, February 2008; 121(2) e208-214

Mercury, Vaccines, And Autism: One Controversy, Three Histories
Author: Baker JP
Source: American Journal of Public Health, February 2008;98(2): 244-253

Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California's Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde
Authors: Schechter R, Grether JK
Source: Arch Gen Psychiatry, January 2008; 65(1):19-24

Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years
Authors: Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, et al; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team
Source: N Engl J Med, Sep 27, 2007; 357(13):1281-1292

Lack of Association between Rh Status, Rh Immune Globulin in Pregnancy and Autism
Authors: Miles JH, Takahashi TN
Source: Am J Med Genet, May 16, 2007

Thimerosal in Vaccines: Balancing the Risk of Adverse Effects with the Risk of Vaccine-Preventable Disease
Authors: Bigham M, Copes R
Source: Drug Safety, 2005, Vol. 28(2):89-101

Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association
Authors: Heron J, Golding J, ALSPAC Study Team
Source: Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):577-583

Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Critical Review of Published Original Data
Authors: Parker SK, Schwartz B, Todd J, Pickering LK
Source: Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):793-804

Thimerosal in Vaccines: A Regulatory Prespective WHO Consultation, Geneva, 15-16 April 2002
Authors: Knezevic I, Griffiths E, Reigel F, Dobbelaer R
Source: Vaccine, May 7, 2004, Vol. 22(15-16):1836-41

The Evidence for the Safety of Thimerosal in Newborn and Infant Vaccines
Author: Clements CJ
Source: Vaccine, May 7, 2004, Vol. 22(15-16):1854-1861

Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases
Authors: Verstraeten T, Davis RL, DeStefano F, et al
Source: Pediatrics, November 2003, Vol. 112(5):1039-1048

Association Between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism
Authors: Hviid A, Stellfeld M, Wohlfahrt J, Melbye M
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, October 1, 2003, Vol. 290(13):1763-6

Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence from Danish Population-Based Data
Authors: Madsen KM, Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, et al
Source: Pediatrics, Sept. 2003, Vol. 112(3 Pt 1):604-606

Autism and Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. Lack of Consistent Evidence for an Association
Authors: Stehr-Green P, Tull P, Stellfeld M, Mortenson PB, Simpson D
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 2003, Vol. 25(2):101-6

Vaccine Safety Policy Analysis in Three European Countries: The Case of Thimerosal
Authors: Freed GL, Andreae MC, Cowan AE, et al
Source: Health Policy, December 2002, Vol. 62(3):291-307

While it's not really possible to prove a negative (you can always argue the risk factor is not 1.0 because there's room in the confidence interval for other possibilities)... when we know for a fact that thimerosal went from being in nearly 100% of pediatric vaccines (full dose) to 2% of vaccines by 2002, and the 3-5 administrative caseload of autism in California looks like this, I think it's time to move on.

Mr. Wilson is the worst type of denialist; i.e. someone who denies facts clearly in evidence, that anyone can verify.

I could spend all day refuting the claims and assertions here, not to mention the personal attacks which wouldn't be necessary at all, would it, if the facts were unequivocally in support of your position? .

Say what you will, the science here is just not conclusive on either side. Even the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics has agreed with that.

Yes, HCN listed a bunch of studies, most of which have been seriously questioned by others. And lest anybody think all the science is one sided, those visiting here with an open mind may wish to visit here:

http://generationrescue.org/studies.html

And please don't waste more bandwidth arguing the weaknesses you see in those studies. As I already conceded, the science is not conclusive on either side--and I'm not the first, nor last, to mention the emperor without his clothes here. (I thought I'd try to work in a little sex just to spice up all this ranting from those who are taking themselves entirely too seriously.)

By Steve Wilson W… (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

No Sir, the science is not conclusive - so why are you presenting only one side of it? Are you a journalist or a PR person?

And I'm afraid presenting GR's website is likely to impress no one here.

I'm sorry if you think parents of autistic people take this issue seriously. For us, this is a serious issue. One which you are not representing accurately.

I could spend all day refuting the claims and assertions here, not to mention the personal attacks which wouldn't be necessary at all, would it, if the facts were unequivocally in support of your position?

The "personal" attacks are there because you have demonstrated yourself completely "worthy" of them, given that you have chosen to put the great power of the media you have in the service of pseudoscientific nonsense that has the potential to scare mothers into thinking that vaccines are somehow unsafe and thus put public health at risk. But, please, I don't expect you to "spend all day" refuting "all" of our claims and assertions. You're a busy guy. So let's make it easy. Please, just try refuting one of our claims in detail. Just one. Or defend just one of our assertions with specific data. Surely you can do that? Pick one that utilizes research from your report, so that you don't even have to look anything up. You can do that, can't you? It should be child's play if we're all so wrong, and your research is so bulletproof, shouldn't it?

Say what you will, the science here is just not conclusive on either side. Even the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics has agreed with that.

Apparently you saw a different report than I did, even though you wrote and reported it. Dr. Jenkins did no such thing, at least not in any statement you showed from her in your report. Unless there's something you left on the cutting room floor--and why on earth would you leave such a juicy quote supporting your side of the argument on the cutting room floor, if such a quote existed?--there's nothing she said in your report that says that.

Yes, HCN listed a bunch of studies, most of which have been seriously questioned by others. And lest anybody think all the science is one sided, those visiting here with an open mind may wish to visit here:

http://generationrescue.org/studies.html

You've got to be kidding. Generation Rescue? J.B. Handley's advocacy group? Ha! Hardly an unbiased source of information, and those are cherry-picked studies, many of which I and others who've responded to you have debunked in detail elsewhere, particularly the Geiers' studies. But I don't want to spend all day doing it again if you're not willing to back up even a single one of your assertions with, oh, say...some evidence.

As for "seriously questioned," perhaps, busy guy that you are, you could pick just one study. Not all of them. Not even several of them. Just one. Then tell us what the specific criticisms of the science and methodology of the studies are and why those criticisms rise to the level of calling the study's conclusion into serious doubt. Come on. Show us how brilliant you are.

And please don't waste more bandwidth arguing the weaknesses you see in those studies. As I already conceded, the science is not conclusive on either side--and I'm not the first, nor last, to mention the emperor without his clothes here.

In other words, you've already made up your mind and don't want any inconvenient facts or science to get in the way of your opinion. I had hoped I was wrong about you, but clearly I'm not. Some reporter you are. You didn't even make the slightest pretense of being unbiased or fair in your story, and you don't even make a pretense of being interested in the other side or in correcting your numerous and severe errors here. What a shame. Detroiters deserve better.

(I thought I'd try to work in a little sex just to spice up all this ranting from those who are taking themselves entirely too seriously.)

We have to take the issue seriously in this discussion because it is mind-numbingly obvious that you do not. Your report and your comments here proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Besides, it's a very important issue. You yourself said so in your report. Now that you're getting spanked, suddenly you're all full of the yuck-yuck; all you forgot was the little smiley emoticon.

No doubt you'll pull a Brave Sir Robin and run away from the debate now that it's become crystal clear you can't defend a single thing you reported.

Or defend just one of our assertions with specific data.

I meant "one of your assertions," of course. Damned typing fingers...

Damned missing HTML blockquote tag, as well. Hopefully PalMD will fix it for me...

Oh, well, in the meantime there's always this.

Hey Steve,

Why don't you look at the latest issue of Science (July 11th issue). Check out the cover story on autism. Why don't you do a follow-up report on it? Or is the truth and fair investigational reporting not your gig?

http://www.sciencemag.org/

Steve,
vaccine preventable diseases are making a come back. Irresponsible broadcasting is making it worse by neeedlessly frightening parents away from vaccines.

You still have not answered my question. If thiomersal is to blame for autism why did reported figures for autism in the UK increase when thiomersal exposure was not increased?

Does Wilson even know about PubMed? I've spoken with "science reporters" who hadn't until I mentioned it.

By AutismNewsBeat (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

For all of you who are not in the know about jouralism- Steve is an excellent investigative reporter, always has been.

Those who know his reporting and the emphasis he puts on accuracy have been impressed over the years. He takes his profession and the important role journalism plays in ferreting out the truth and shining a light on it very seriously.

Just a casual observation- The arrogance on this board is amazing!

HCN, you got me! You're entirely right. Something I just can't dispute. I'm just a maroon. Some days I'm a teal but today, yes indeed, I AM a maroon.

By Steve Wilson W… (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

For all of you who are not in the know about jouralism- Steve is an excellent investigative reporter, always has been.

Those who know his reporting and the emphasis he puts on accuracy have been impressed over the years. He takes his profession and the important role journalism plays in ferreting out the truth and shining a light on it very seriously.

If that's true, Wilson's story on mercury in vaccines sure shows no evidence of any of these admirable characteristics of a good reporter that you attribute to him, nor does his inability to defend the assertions in his story.

Just a casual observation- The arrogance on this board is amazing!

Ah, yes, the old "arrogant" whine. A lovely way to dodge actually addressing criticism.

Sadly, I'm forced to conclude that it is Mr. Wilson who exhibits considerable arrogance, namely the arrogance of ignorance.

Leaving aside the ad hominem attacks, Steve has probably done some useful reporting. I'm not sure how much he dug out on the Kilpatrick thing, but he certainly helped keep the story of Detroit's ridiculously corrupt mayor alive (although I could have done without him putting himself bodily in front of...never mind). Our mayor is an embarrassment and distracts from our real problems.

Similarly, the antivax cults are an embarrassment to human thought that distracts from real problems. The data show that vaccines save lives and do not contribute to neurologic disease. The data show that the antivax movement has had some success at increasing vaccine-preventable diseases, and some failures in that they have removed thimerosal without a co-incident drop in autism rates.

As I stated above, investigative reporters are essential to democracy, but fake investigations used as propaganda are more properly found in totalitarian states.

PalMD,

I'm not sure how 'useful' it is. It's filled with errors that have been debunked years ago. If he had done enough research either in the scientific literature or bothered to read the court transcripts from the recently conducted omnibus proceedings, he would have known that he's dug up the decomposed horse corpse and started swinging at it again.

I think the tall-tale sign here is that he is actively defending his position on this board. A board that is frequented by scientists and medical professionals, and yet, even as a reporter for the lay media, insists he's on to something. That's not taking a stand. That's delusional.

Man, you guys are even dumber than I thought. Who pays you? Which pharmawhore warehouse? You all need to get a life and it is obvious you all got a good dose of mercury containing vaccines because you all are dumber than a bunch of rocks.

You go ahead and keep injecting yourselves and children with all this toxic crap in vaccines. You will all evidentially die horrible deaths of cancer or some other form of auto-immune disorders.

Get a real education and stop taking really dirty nasty money from the pharmawhores who pay you all to write this nonsense.

STEVE WILSON IS A HERO. YOU CAN'T FIGHT THE TRUTH, SO YOU HAVE TO ATTACK CHARACTER.

I CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT. AND WHEN I DIE, I KNOW I AM GOING STRAIGHT UP. I AM SURE ALL YOU LYING SACKS OF YOU KNOW WHAT CAN'T SAY THE SAME.

By Much Smarter T… (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

"YOU CAN'T FIGHT THE TRUTH, SO YOU HAVE TO ATTACK CHARACTER."

Uh...isn't that exactly what you've done? I didn't see one piece dealing with the particulars of the discussion. Only a lot of accusations and insults. Nice!

Also, where should I go to get a "real education"? Do you have a couple websites that you recommend that you got your real education from? I suppose 2 graduate degrees and 15 years in the field is nothing compared to your AoA visits and watching the reporting of people like Steve Wilson.

Why is it always the ones who sound like they have no clue as to what they are talking about are the ones who claim they've been 'educated' (just like some born-again who knows Jesus better than anyone else)...and that others need to get educated just like them?

By the way, Common Sue, I only attacked his character when he showed his ignorance in both where to find scientific literature and missed a catch phrase of a very American icon known as Bugs Bunny. Do you have something against Bugs Bunny?

By the way, I also used a long list of literature. What have you done?

So Mr. Wilson, how about you go and find some nice scientific evidence from real scientists telling how exactly the DTaP is more dangerous than diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Be aware that pertussis kills about a dozen babies a year in the USA, and due to a large outbreak of pertussis in the Northwest several kids were told to not attend a tournament. Also, look up what happened with diphtheria after Russia's medical system broke down a few years ago (here is a hint: you are not going to find the information at Generation Rescue). Also, there is no such thing as herd immunity with tetanus.

I think that Mr. Wilson meant to say that he's an "indigo" just like his clown friends who write for "Generation Rescue" and the "Age of Autism" blob.

By Name that color (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

I think it illustrates just how bad science reporting has become when "Inconclusive either way" is presented as being "Both sides have equal evidence".

Now, even ignoring that some of the evidence presented by Steve is incorrect, we are still left with this odd idea that the science is somehow equal, just because some people question the mainstream studies.

The sort of people who are questioning the studies that have found no link are the sort of people who are financially, emotionally and ideologically opposed to the idea that there is not a link between vaccines and autism.

They would 'question' the studies no matter how well they were conducted, so the fact that people who are overwhelmingly irrelevantly educated or sparsely experienced think there are 'serious questions' is for all purposes a meaningless observation, as it's exactly what anyone experienced in the matter would expect.

Even the amount of evidence for both sides is hugely unequal. On the one side we have people like HCN (a single person using what appears to be just the pubmed database - correct me if I'm wrong) who managed to pull up a whole list of directly relevant peer-reviewed and published studies in one afternoon. On the other, we have organisations like Generation Rescue who have struggled to make a shortlist of studies that *might* be read as supporting their viewpoint*, and have only managed to do so by going back over 10 years and by looking in less-than-reputable publications.

Unfortunetly for novices such as Steve, the questions surrounding the 'anti-vax' studies are far more serious (to the point where some of the authors are considered unreliable as court experts) than the the nit-picking questions launched at studies such as Thompson et al.

*and many, ironically, are just as valid under the 'genetic' hypothesis - it's almost as if they expect 'genetic autism' to cause just autism and not any of the biochemical 'oddities' they claim is associated with autism.

When Mr. Wilson actually bothers to put experts on T.V. and maybe let them speak, then we will stop the ad hominem attacks.

Obviously, logical discussions won't work. The controversy over vaccines and autism was put to bed by those doing the real research in respected peer reviewed journals.

My patients already listen to enough bogus claims that I have to spend time addressing. This kind of reporting is intolerable. How can we be expected to use good evidence as an argument when it is categorically ignored?

In science, if your view is defeated by good evidence from an unbiased, well designed trials (pleural), then you have to abandon your position. A quack is someone who does not.

When the quack in question has the power of the media behind him, all we have left is ad hominem attacks. But why bother with even ad hominem attacks. Nothing seems to matter. It does, however, give frustrated folks like myself a chance to vent on a forum of peers.

So, Steve, if you are so above the logical fallacy of the ad hominem attack, then rise above the numerous logical fallacies that you are putting on T.V. for my patients. Put some actual experts on T.V. and let them speak. PalMD offered to put you in touch with some. They are not hard to find. Go ahead. I dare you. I Double Dog Dare you.

By Blind Watchmaker (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

I think it's about time that the non-pharma supported scientists and parents had their say. Big pharma has been controlling the media for too long. The only common denominator in all of the children in the united states is their vaccines, so why can't they be a contributer to the autistic epidemic? I had all my childhood diseases, I lived and have a great immune system. Which i am thankful for because it keeps me out of allopathic doctor's offices who are educated, bought and paid for by big pharma. Last checked this is the united states where people are allowed to speak freely and make up their own minds.

Just to mention, vaccine induced immunity is not passed onto to infants from their mothers, therefor opening up infants under 12 months old to be sucseptible to diseases the might have otherwise been protected from had their mother experienced the diseases wildly like most of us born in the 50's and 60's.

I applaud Steve Wilson to report on a subject so contraversial, and I hope he continues. I am tired of hearing the canned responses from doctors, CDC,AAP and FDA. Why would they ever have any scientific studies that would prove that they have been poisoning our children. Why would they ever prove that they are liable for the neurological and immunity damages they have caused in our children? Come on, haha, even I know that will never happen.

If you believe in vaccination, vaccinate, and good luck.

Yes, EqualEd, I am just one person.

I can tell you what helps (something that would be obvious if you use PubMed): when you click on a link to get the abstract, to the right of the abstract is a list of other relevant links.

Also, one has to remember to not click on any papers where at least one of the authors goes by the name "Geier" (rhymes with liar). See one of their latest deconstructed here (first post of three):
http://epiwonk.com/?p=55
and here (total of 6 posts):
http://bmartinmd.com/2008/05/irb-approval-of-geier-autism-s.html

... we are only allowed two URLs here, so I will mung up the address: neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/109/

Big pharma has been controlling the media for too long.

Do you mean pharma-controlled media folks like Steve Wilson?

Karey - you're obviously selective over which canned responses you're willing to listen to. Steve's article was basic 'anti-vax' 101, that is, it brought nothing but the same old points to the table.

As an aside, your point about infant immunity seems confused - new-borns require passive immunity from thier mothers because they don't have their own. Any antibodies the mother produces is passed through breastmilk - vaccine induced or not. I could be wrong (my profession is not medicine after all) , however, so if you have any evidence that says otherwise, then present it.

karey said "I think it's about time that the non-pharma supported scientists and parents had their say."

I believe we have been participating this entire time. Or are you just painting everyone who does not agree with with the pharma-shill-gambit? See:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/09/the_pharma_shill_gambit_1.php

My interest is this has been going on for almost twenty years. That was when my first child was born who had neo-natal seizures. That child spent his first three years in and out of the hospital between seizures, croup and therapy sessions for his very severe speech disorder.

Because he had seizures he was not vaccinated for pertussis, at the time our county was having a pertussis epidemic (which still kills a dozen babies each year in the USA). It was also about the time measles came back to the USA with a vengeance and over 120 Americans died.

I spent his first few years making sure he stayed alive. When he was 14 years old he got diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with obstruction. He is first in line each fall for the flu shot. Last year for the first time he got a vaccine for pertussis with the Tdap.

I don't need clueless idiots like Steve Wilson to make it harder for parents of children like mine to live. Right now pertussis is coming back (http://www.kirotv.com/health/16844318/detail.html), along with measles and mumps because of idiotic reporting, and those who refuse to argue with science but only with ad homs, including the "pharma shill gambit".

Sorry, HCN, I meant that I presumed you used one database, not that you were just one person. As you know, searching across databases can be a good way of finding articles that might have slipped under the radar.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up. I was going to take what you wrote "(a single person using" and quip, "No, I'm married!" :-)

MuSTY is projecting again:

Man, you guys are even dumber than I thought. Who pays you? Which pharmawhore warehouse?

By Tariqistan (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

Here's a recent study reporting additional progress in identifying the genetic causes of autism. In short, many cases of autism occur when a child has genetic mutations that prevent their brain from making certain proteins. They have the gene for the protein, but there's a mutation in the part of their DNA that tells their brain to make the protein.

http://www.hhmi.org/news/walsh20080711.html

This has nothing at all to do with mercury. I'm a member of the Genetics Society of America, and based on what I've seen at conferences, the research that's doing the best job explaining the biological basis of autism has absolutely NO connection to mercury or other toxins. Either they lack certain genes, the genes can't be read properly, or they have too many copies of certain genes. These changes are inherited from the parents, not caused by substances ingested after birth.

By BiologyGoth (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

Here's a recent study reporting additional progress in identifying the genetic causes of autism. In short, many cases of autism occur when a child has genetic mutations that prevent their brain from making certain proteins. They have the gene for the protein, but there's a mutation in the part of their DNA that tells their brain to make the protein.

http://www.hhmi.org/news/walsh20080711.html

This has nothing at all to do with mercury. I'm a member of the Genetics Society of America, and based on what I've seen at conferences and read in current peer-reviewed articles by bonafide resarchers, the research that's explaining the biological basis of autism has absolutely NO connection to mercury or other toxins. Either they lack certain genes, the genes can't be read properly, or they have too many copies of certain genes. These changes are inherited from the parents, not caused by substances ingested after birth.

Earlier studies found mutations that could be replicated in mice or other mammals and were found to create autistic-type behavior. Mercury exposure, on the other hand, causes a completely different set of symptoms. Nor was autistic-type behavior observed in animals used for testing vaccines. That's old news and can be located easily at pubmed.gov.

By BiologyGoth (not verified) on 10 Jul 2008 #permalink

Do you mean pharma-controlled media folks like Steve Wilson?

Another thing that bothers me about this whole Steve Wilson thing. If he's so incredibly one-sided and incompetent on this issue, it casts doubt on a lot of what he's done, at least in my eyes. The reason is, of course, that if he's willing only to cherry-pick data to support his viewpoint, mindlessly parrot talking points from one side, and in general demonstrate a real lack of critical thinking skills, then there's no reason to assume that this is not a pattern with him. Maybe this is just one blind spot and he's stellar everywhere else, but I've always noticed that credulousness in one area is almost always accompanied by credulousness in others. What other "investigative reports" by Mr. Wilson are as bad as this thimerosal one?

We have friends and people we've heard of with children going into the 10 grade next year that have autism. There is a large number of people we know like this. What would cause this to happen to so many kids at the same time? I know that these parents suspect mercury in the vaccines.

What would cause this to happen to so many kids at the same time

Better diagnosis and more encompassing of disorders under the general heading of autism.

Schools dealing with more kids who have autistic symptoms rather than having them stuck at home possibly though i'm not american so don't know the system.

I think our reporter has merely been lazy in this case. It is an easy fluff piece, apparent scandal and government cover-up etc... with lots of pseudo-evidence. Someone would do it eventually if not him.

By Richard Eis (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

You "ND" types are absolutely ridiculous. All of these ad hominem comments and feeble attempts to dismantle Steve or the science of vaccine induced autism are a joke.

You are either so germ-phobic that kids being damaged by vaccines do not concern you---sick, sick, sick or you are paid so well to defend the companies and gov't agencies that you will ignore true science to reach your goal$.

Explain why these kids have mercury in them , bacteria (Strep, clostridia, etc), yeast, measles virus, as well as other viruses at anywhere from 2-10x the normal reference ranges? Why do they devlop tics, ocd, hyperactivity, or choreiform movements ie Sydenham's Chorea, and also PANDAS
(Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)?

Why are they unable to digest gluten or casein?
http://www.autism.com/medical/research/vojdani.htm

By They're freaki… (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

Steve 'fullash*t' Wilson:

"Some of you more-vitriolic folks remind me of those who SWORE there was, and could not be, any link between tobacco and cancer. Have you seen some of the ads with docs in white coats saying something like: "Yeah, I recommend my patients have a smoke. It relaxes them!""

Thanks - this is another tell-tale sign of a liar to add to the usual set of indicators (improper comparisons to Galileo, etc.).

As I already conceded, the science is not conclusive on either side

What you're arguing between the lines there is that the quality of the science on both sides is equivalent. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I just want to say, for the record, I have aboslutely NOTHING against Bugs Bunny!

Now I've got to go help Phil Gramm spread the word to people losing their jobs, their homes, and their retirement savings that they're just experiencing a mental recession. Like any suspicions about mercury in vaccines, all economic conditions some people are whining about are just in their heads! Some of you posters here with too much time on your hands need to shift over and share your genius with THOSE "maroons" who obviously just need your guidance to see The Truth.

With all due respect, I'm leaving you folks to continue to just talk amongst yourselves now.

By Steve Wilson W… (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

Now I've got to go help Phil Gramm spread the word to people losing their jobs, their homes, and their retirement savings that they're just experiencing a mental recession. Like any suspicions about mercury in vaccines, all economic conditions some people are whining about are just in their heads! Some of you posters here with too much time on your hands need to shift over and share your genius with THOSE "maroons" who obviously just need your guidance to see The Truth.

And what does any of this have to do with the criticisms directed at your execrably poorly researched story?

Nothing.

It's just a misdirection. Moreover, there is actual powerful evidence that the nation (and Detroit in particular) are in serious trouble economically. Unlike the "evidence" you cite for the thimerosal-autism link, which is fairy dust.

By the way, you're way behind the times. Don't you know that even many die-hard anti-vaccine activists have abandoned the mercury hypothesis? They realize that science is proving it to be a loser. They've also realized that it was a huge mistake to come up with a hypothesis that made a testable prediction, namely that taking the thimerosal out of vaccines or drastically curtailing it (which happened by the end of 2001) should lead to a massive decrease in autism. Here we are over six years later, and it hasn't. Now there's powerful evidence against any link between mercury and autism.

That's why aluminum, formaldehyde, or other unnamed "toxins" are the new mercury for antivaccinationists, even to ridiculous extremes.

Steve,

nice signoff. Not quite, "that's the way it is", is it?

Please go do other stories. I've heard rumors that you can do good work. But, that doesn't imply that all your work is good--like this story on vaccines. It was really poor journalism. You started out implying that the AAP knows that vaccines cause autism, but is hiding it, and you went downhill from there. That implication on it's own was disgusting. No other way to put it. It's nice that you showed your bias from the start, but its unfortunate that many of your audience will trust your opinion, and not see that your opinion is coloring your 'facts'.

You didn't use primary sources, but parroted people like RFK Jr. (you should read the congressional record for yourself).

So, please, go on and do some good work. Someday, do some really good work and repair the damage you have done to public health in general and the autism community in specific.

You owe us that.

One problem with even good investigative journalism is that after a lifetime of exposing the big bad guys and sticking up for the little guy you begin to think that the little guy has to be right every time. We saw this in the UK where Private Eye, a satirical mag that has bearded the establishment for many years bought into the MMR autism nonsense and threw in its lot with the pro-establishment Daily Mail which panders to the mistrust of vaccines along with the the usual prejudices of its readership: asylum seekers, gays, foreigners and anyone to the left of Maggie Thatcher.

Private Eye is still a good read. But now I have seen it so wrong in an area where I do have some knowledge I will read it far more critically than before.

Just to mention, vaccine induced immunity is not passed onto to infants from their mothers,

And you know this ... how? Do vaccine-induced antibodies have little "not for export" stickers or something?

therefor opening up infants under 12 months old to be sucseptible to diseases the might have otherwise been protected from had their mother experienced the diseases wildly like most of us born in the 50's and 60's.

Here's a clue: mothers have major antibody titers for pathogens they have recently experienced. If you want a baby to get a protective load of antibodies from Mama against polio, she needs to have a booster. Recently. As in, drink contaminated water on a regular basis. Then, Baby needs to get exposed while those antibodies are still protective (generally within the first six months.)

Personally, I'm not willing to dismantle our sanitary systems and go back to endemic polio, measles, etc. just to coddle your paranoid delusions regarding "toxins."

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

This commentary is so one sided. I've been told that many posts have been removed, and I want to know how responsible and investigative that is??

For those of us who read all of the science not just the epidemiological science but ALL of the science, we know that these are sick children. Illnesses that can be cause by toxic exposure. Almost all scientist realize that there are genetic underpinnings but there HAS to be an environmental insult. I have an ASD child and yes, he regressed immediately following vaccines. I have 3 children, in fact, that all developed 105 degree temps after vaccines the worst reactions and inability to recover was from that of my ASD son. Inviting you into my brain to relive my experience isn't really an option unfortunately, so let the attack continue...I would ask that some of you, especially those claiming medical degrees, to read the BIOLOGICAL studies being done on the ASD children themselves. As Bernadine Healy has asked. In compared to controls, children with Autism have; elevated glial activity (mercury can cause this), oxidative stress, post mortem brains show excess calcium causing mitochondrial dysfunction without the presence of any genetic sign, they have higher rates of gastrointestinal distress, Inflammation in the brain, etc, etc, etc. The brains of infant primates showed that thimerosal converted into inorganic mercury in the brain 2 x faster than methyl mercury and stayed there and on a follow up study the infant primates took 6 months after thimerosal exposure and then displayed regression and symptoms of autism (mercury is a slow poison).....These studies aren't once publicized by so called investigative journalists, if they are they only print spin and don't actually read the studies themselves.. I agree there aren't many investigators left so I for one, am greatful for Steve...

I would ask that some of you, especially those claiming medical degrees, to read the BIOLOGICAL studies being done on the ASD children themselves. As Bernadine Healy has asked. In compared to controls, children with Autism have; elevated glial activity (mercury can cause this), oxidative stress, post mortem brains show excess calcium causing mitochondrial dysfunction without the presence of any genetic sign, they have higher rates of gastrointestinal distress, Inflammation in the brain, etc, etc, etc. The brains of infant primates showed that thimerosal converted into inorganic mercury in the brain 2 x faster than methyl mercury and stayed there and on a follow up study the infant primates took 6 months after thimerosal exposure and then displayed regression and symptoms of autism (mercury is a slow poison).....

Allison, many of the commenters here are well aware of the studies you mention. We discuss these things on a day to day basis. But to make a long story short, the studies don't show what you think or wish they show. (And no, mercury is not a slow poison).

Those of us that work or have worked in the field of autism know that many people with autism* can have truly horrible comorbids, so what's your point there?

What experience of autism does Dr Healy have? Notice how the anti-vaxxers are proclaiming her for something she did for less than two years over a decade and a half ago? Don't you think if she did have any experience with autism that it would be lauded heavily on every anti-vax site? Why do you think a semi-retired cardiologist (who might even be non-practicing) is somehow more relevant than people who are experts on autism, mercury poisoning, vaccines or sometimes a combination of the 3? That's just bizarre.

Go back and read the monkey study. Quote the page number that shows how they differentiated between the types of mercury. Quote the page number of the mg/kg/day dose.

*which for many of the posters here includes themselves (myself included here) or their children.

"Explain why these kids have mercury in them , bacteria (Strep, clostridia, etc), yeast,............?"

I've got a better idea, why don't you explain why people with Down syndrome have higher rates of dementia and heart disease? Why not explain why people with diabeties have higher rates of peripheral neuropathy? Why don't you explain how you think systemic damage from vaccines can cause all of this yet somehow systemic change from genes magically can't?

Actually here's a better idea - why don't you let those of us who aren't drive-by bullshitters discuss this properly whilst you go toodle off to your Google-U PhD classes?

WOW-This guy must Steve Johnson MUST be onto something.

All the bigname pro-mercury kooks like orac and kev are here desperately trying to put the cork back in the bottle.

Good luck guys!

PS-vaccines cause autism.

By vaccines cause… (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

Wow! These guys - Orac and Kev - MUST be onto something!

Look at how desperately people like Steve Wilson and Common Sue rushed in here to try to put the cork back into the bottle!!1one!!

Good luck guys!!1one!!

PS-vaccines cause immunity.

I've been told that many posts have been removed, and I want to know how responsible and investigative that is??

Um, I'm the administrator around these parts, Ma'am, and we don't remove stuff. I'll check the spam box for ya.

Nope, nothing in the spam box. If you post, make sure to hit that little button below that says "post".

PalMD, I believe Allison is confusing her blogs. It is the Age of Autism blog that removes posts, or does not put them up at all.

She did say one thing that was fact based: "Illnesses that can be cause by toxic exposure."

But she failed to realize that those toxins are those that are created from bacteria that cause pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus. Those toxins have actual names like:
tetanospasmin, tetanolysin, diphtheria toxin and pertussis toxin.

There is also a deadly bacteria caused toxin, botulin, but people actually have that injected into themselves on purpose when they have Botox treatments.

(side note: Steve Wilson, you not knowing that "What a maroon" was a Bugs Bunny catch phrase is just another example of how clueless you are... you didn't even do a Google search on the phrase!)

Oh Dear, I must have forgotten to put my brain back in my pretty head...I didn't say I posted, others have told me their's were removed.

Sweet drawling and condescending tones via the written word don't offend me, sorry if that's what you were going for. I have more important things to do, like go and have a session with my son who cannot have a conversation with me, nor tell me where it hurts, or poop on the toilet, often screams all night in gastrointestinal distress, often cannot control his hand tic which he hits with his other hand while screaming to make the tic stop, etc...I wrote here just in case their was someone without prejudice that could look clearly at these studies and stop the defensive attack on our comminity, because we dare question the toxic ingredients in vaccines, and possibly join in efforts to actually make a difference and help these kids. My child deserves my efforts to at least try but I can see that this is a place where the sheep don't have any strays available to look for answers without prejudice. And for the record I'm not antivaccine, but my children's bodies cannot handle them in their current form. Insult me all you like but I will continue to fight for my children and yours for a safer way to practice health.

Allison, as the fellow parent of an autistic child I'd say you were absolutely correct to question the ingredients in vaccines.

That process started 10 years ago and so far no decent science has found a link between any vaccine, any vaccine ingredient or any vaccine schedule and autism.

Don't you think maybe its time to move on?

"Actually here's a better idea - why don't you let those of us who aren't drive-by bullshitters discuss this properly whilst you go toodle off to your Google-U PhD classes?"

That is, by far, the best line I've read in a while! Awsome!

Allison said "...I didn't say I posted, others have told me their's were removed."

Then you have been lied to. If I were you, I would treat anything those others have said as less than truthful.

To EqualEd and the rest of the dimwits-

This place is not even close to scientific discussions. It is a bunch of germy little boys who cannot control themselves.

Also to the poster who thinks mercury cannot be a slow poison...do your homework pal-

Sem Hop. 1977 Jan 16;53(3):165-71. Links

[Encephalopathy due to organomercuric compounds]
[Article in French]

Lef�vre JP, Gil R.
A 27 year old agricultural worker presented about one month after treating cereal seeds with an alcoxyalkyl mercurial derivative, an encephalopathy with a confusional state, a cerebellar stato-kinetic syndrome, an intention tremor and grand mal epileptic fits. Treatment with dimercaprol produced a clinical improvement on the fourth day with a fall in blood mercury from 3.5 mug to 2.2 mug whilst urinary excretion of mercury remained low. A fortnight later the patient was completely cured. Although less common than collective poisoning by ingestion, organo-mercurial encephalopathies due to occupational exposure are a real danger although it is not known whether the relative rareness of published cases is due only to lack of observance of security rules or to individual sensitivity which might be due to increased absorption of mercury through the lungs or skin. This case shows that although alkyl mercurial derivatives are reputed to be the most dangerous, alcoxyalkyl derivatives may also cause encephalopathies. Also, as long as non-toxic substances remain unavailable for use in agriculture, one should emphasise the necessity of careful observance of the security rules during manipulation of these products.

Neurotox Res. 2003;5(1-2):1-26. Links

Brain sites of movement disorder: genetic and environmental agents in neurodevelopmental perturbations.
Palomo T, Beninger RJ, Kostrzewa RM, Archer T.
Servicio de Psiquiatria, Hospital 12 de Octobre, Ctra. Andalucia Km. 5,400, 28041 Madrid, Spain. Trevor.Archer@psy.gu.se

In assessing and assimilating the neurodevelopmental basis of the so-called movement disorders it is probably useful to establish certain concepts that will modulate both the variation and selection of affliction, mechanisms-processes and diversity of disease states. Both genetic, developmental and degenerative aberrations are to be encompassed within such an approach, as well as all deviations from the necessary components of behaviour that are generally understood to incorporate "normal" functioning. In the present treatise, both conditions of hyperactivity/hypoactivity, akinesia and bradykinesia together with a constellation of other symptoms and syndromes are considered in conjunction with the neuropharmacological and brain morphological alterations that may or may not accompany them, e.g. following neonatal denervation. As a case in point, the neuroanatomical and neurochemical points of interaction in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are examined with reference to both the perinatal metallic and organic environment and genetic backgrounds. The role of apoptosis, as opposed to necrosis, in cell death during brain development necessitates careful considerations of the current explosion of evidence for brain nerve growth factors, neurotrophins and cytokines, and the processes regulating their appearance, release and fate. Some of these processes may possess putative inherited characteristics, like alpha-synuclein, others may to greater or lesser extents be endogenous or semi-endogenous (in food), like the tetrahydroisoquinolines, others exogenous until inhaled or injested through environmental accident, like heavy metals, e.g. mercury. Another central concept of neurodevelopment is cellular plasticity, thereby underlining the essential involvement of glutamate systems and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor configurations. Finally, an essential assimilation of brain development in disease must delineate the relative merits of inherited as opposed to environmental risks not only for the commonly-regarded movement disorders, like Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and epilepsy, but also for afflictions bearing strong elements of psychosocial tragedy, like ADHD, autism and Savantism.

Neurotoxicology. 2000 Aug ;21 (4):459-74 11022856 (P,S,E,B) Cited:3 Residual neurologic deficits 30 years after occupational exposure to elemental mercury. [My paper] R Letz, F Gerr, D Cragle, R C Green, J Watkins, A T Fidler Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. rletz@sph.emory.eduA battery of tests of peripheral and central nervous system function was administered to 205 former workers of a large heavy industrial plant, 104 of whom were previously exposed to inorganic mercury. The mean age of those examined was 71 years. Exposed subjects had participated in a urine-mercury exposure monitoring program during the time of operation of a process that required the use of mercury and its subsequent clean-up. Mercury exposure had been high (mean peak urine mercury concentration was >600 microg/l) and had ended 30 years or more prior to the investigation. Peripheral nerve function outcomes that were statistically significantly associated with cumulative mercury exposure after controlling for covariates included classification as having peripheral neuropathy, peroneal motor nerve conduction velocity, ulnar motor nerve conduction velocity, and peroneal motor nerve F-wave latency. Quantitative assessment of resting tremor was nearly significantly associated with cumulative mercury exposure (p=0.07). Among tests of central nervous system function, results of the Handeye Coordination test were significantly associated with cumulative mercury exposure after controlling for covariates. Cumulative mercury exposure was not observed to be associated with a quantitative measure of dementia or with a number of cognitive neurobehavioral test outcomes. The statistically significant associations with mercury exposure were observed in spite of greater mortality among the exposed group than the unexposed group. These results suggest that substantial occupational mercury exposure can have long-term adverse effects on the peripheral nervous system detectable decades after cessation of exposure. Such long-term adverse effects were not observed for a measure of dementia or other measures of cognitive function.

By They're freaki… (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

Mr. Wilson,

As you're clearly interested in this issue, can we trust that you'll weigh in again when the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issues its decisions in the Autism Omnibus proceedings (aka "Vaccine Court")?

I ask as both a journalist and a parent to an autistic child.

By james hebert (not verified) on 11 Jul 2008 #permalink

None of those are about thimerosal nor ethyl-mercury, which if you had been paying attention are not in the vaccines under discussion.

Now, environmental exposure to certain chemicals do occur. There are lots of reports on those, and the successful treatment (though often the brain damage cannot be repaired, just stopped).

They have nothing to do with vaccines.

Also, where is the actual documentation and evidence that the DTaP is more dangerous than pertussis (and its toxin), diphtheria (and its toxin) and tetanus, and both of its toxins, tetanospasmin and tetanolysin?

I did have a longer post, but HCN basically has it right. I mean, seriously, you're talking about such a high exposure to a different form of mercury, their piss had more mercury in it than half the schedule ever did.

If you can't get the basics right, then your not worth our time being here.

To They're freaking out now...

Nobody disputes that mercury can cause neurological damage. But all brain damage is not the same. Two different toxic agents may both damage the nervous system, but do so in characteristically different ways that are easily distinguished by a neurological testing. So what toxicologists, physicians, and biologists find significant is how very different autism is from the neurological damage that occurs in cases of verified mercury intoxication.

Hold on smart guys. Are these just 3 more idiots incapable of seeing what you claim is the undeniable truth?

>GOVERNMENT'S DEFENSE OF MERCURY IN VACCINES
>SHAKEN BY WITHDRAWAL OF EXPERT REPORTS
>
>
>PRESS RELEASE CONTACTS:
>For Immediate CoMeD President [Rev. Lisa K.
>Release Sykes (Richmond, VA) 804-364-8426]
>July 13, 2008 CoMeD Sci. Advisor [Dr. King
> (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) 973-263-4843]
>
>
>WASHINGTON, DC - In the United States Court
>of Federal Claims, National Vaccine Injury
>Compensation Program, the contention by the
>Department of Health and Human Services
>(DHHS), that mercury in vaccines does not
>cause autism, has suffered an unexpected
>setback. In a June 27, 2008 Autism Omnibus
>Proceeding (OAP) conference, attorneys for
>the DHHS announced that they were withdraw-
>ing two key written reports and any state-
>ments which relied on those reports. Those
>key reports, written by two world-renowned
>toxicologists (Dr. Laszlo Magos, formerly
>from the Medical Research Council Labora-
>tories, England, and Dr. Thomas Clarkson,
>from the University of Rochester, Rochester,
>NY USA), were the toxicological pillars
>underpinning the government's claim that
>Thimerosal does not cause autism.
>
>On July 3, 2008, the three OAP Special
>Masters recorded that they had granted the
>DHHS' request to withdraw the expert
>reports of Drs. Magos and Clarkson. In
>addition, their court order[1] stated:
> "� respondent would be permitted to
> withdraw any reliance on those two
> expert reports, and that we would
> not consider those reports at all
> in resolving those test cases."
>
>Ironically, though Drs. Magos and Clark-
>son were expected to testify to the
>safety of Thimerosal in vaccines, their
>previous publications clearly document
>its significant toxicity. For example,
>Dr. Clarkson, working under a grant
>from the National Institutes of Health
>(NIH), essentially declared that organic
>mercurial antiseptics, including Thimerosal,
>should be heavily restricted or withdrawn,
>"as the fact that mercury readily pene-
>trates intact membranes and is highly
>toxic seems to have been forgotten" in
>a peer-reviewed study published in
>1977.[2]
>
>With the recent publication of studies
>proving a link between Thimerosal
>exposure and autism, the current exodus
>of experts who are willing to testify
>for the DHHS that Thimerosal does not
>cause autism appears to be escalating.
>
>Tellingly, Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former
>director of the National Institutes of
>Health, also recently said: "I think the
>government or certain public health
>officials in the government have been too
>quick to dismiss the concerns of these
that got sick."
>
>---------------------
>
>[1] "AUTISM MASTER FILE - ORDER CONCERNING
> THEORY 2 GENERAL CAUSATION REBUTTAL"
>
http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/autism/7_03_08_autism…,
>
>[2] Fagan DG, Pritchard JS, Clarkson TW,
> Greenwood MR. Organ mercury levels in
> infants with omphaloceles treated with
> organic mercurial antiseptic. Arch. Dis.
> in Childhood 1977; 52: 962-964.
>==============================================
>
>CoMeD, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3)
>corporation that is actively engaged in
>legal, educational and scientific efforts to
>stop all use of mercury in medicine, and to
>ban the use of all mercury-containing medicines.
>

By Still Skeptical (not verified) on 13 Jul 2008 #permalink

BFD! Withdrawal of testimony happens all the time. Or, is this an example of "they withdrew testimony, THEREFORE thimerosal must cause autism"? Regardless, when you read the "story" you posted, it states facts and then convientiently supplies conclusions for you...or did you not see that? I'm sure the source at the bottom and their clearly stated perspective has nothing to do with the conclusions they've supplied.

Don't get yourselves too worked up about it. I've been following the whole proceedings and this is nothing more than tactical legal maneuvering.

So the concession in the Poling case without even a word of testimony was no surprise to you either, RJ? Can you give me those Power Ball numbers for next week?

By Still Skepitcal (not verified) on 13 Jul 2008 #permalink

As RJ correcly pointed out, withdraw of testimony is not uncommon, and it certainly does not show that the person now holds the opposite or skeptical view.

The defendants have had two relevantly experienced and credentialed experts withdraw, you still seem to be missing the point that that's two more than the vaccines=autism proponants have ever been able to field.

Don't forget also, that the number of vaccine=autism 'experts' who have had their testimonies exposed as 'dubious' in the courts - to the point where they're considered inadmissable AT ALL - is still much, much greater than 2.

The Hannah Poling case was conceeded "Without a word of testimony"? Technically true, but only due to the definition of 'testimony'. Without a doubt you've cocked up on your intepretation of the concession and without doubt you're holding the issue of 'testimony' to undue importance.

Either way, every hand you've desperately thrown onto the table here either doesn't mean what you think it does, or is actual evidence against you. Unfotunetly, it seems you know just enough to be able to say the right words but not enough to know what they mean.

Those Google U classes must be taking their toll.

yeah EqualEd I and everybody who doesn't agree with you is just a poor and pathetic idiot. How long does it take a person to get that cocky? Did your mother not love you as a child? Are you compensating for some shortage somewhere else? To disgaree is one thing but you and so many others here are just plain mean about it. Is Ann Coulter your sister or what?

By Still Skeptical (not verified) on 13 Jul 2008 #permalink

That's certainly not how I feel about people that disagree with me. For example, Dr Healy did some sterling work on raising awareness of cardiovascular problems in women. Many of the people involved in the vaccines=autism arguement do good work in thier own field - but they're overwhelmingly novice in comparison to people like Thompson and Offit.

BTW, the idea that the people here are meaner than you is just plain ridiculous, your posts are full of calling people dimwits, idiots, moron and liars. You are constantly demeaning and fully willing to do, say and believe anything to reduce the value of someone who is a threat to you. Just like you're trying to do now by shoving words in my mouth.

You're just getting what you give out and you know it.

Time for your next Google U lesson, you best be skipping along to it.

"So the concession in the Poling case without even a word of testimony was no surprise to you either, RJ? "

Geeezzus H! What is the topic now? Is it the proceedings...you know, the story you posted...or are we now talking about Hannah Polling? Pick a a topic. Or is all just one complicated blur. Or maybe it will be like the other tired arguments...autism is caused by MMR...no wait, it's thimerosal....no, oK, it's too many vaccinations. Yeah, that's it.

Three words or you....de novo mutations.

Please be sure to read David Gorski's Science-Based Medicine post on Wilson's inaccurate, irresponsible "Investigative Report"

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=71

You may, if you wish, craft a letter of your own to send to the station manager,

Bob Sliva
Vice President/General Manager
WXYZ-TV
20777 West Ten Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48037

Now I'm confused. The U.S. Department of HHS uses my tax dollars, hires the top two published mercury experts in the world, pays them tens of thousands of dollars for reports (which would put this issue to rest) and now they are not going to testify or use these said reports. What are they going to rely on now for their foundation, testimony from Eric Fombonne (a psychiatrist). Why didn't they put these clowns away once and for all? What's their stradegy? Am I missing something? It's almost like they (the gov.) were afraid of what they were going to say. Help me out here. This is freaking me out. Maybe injecting Ethylmercurric Chloride into infants really can cause problems.

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy....

Get a hold of yourself! For crying out loud!

Legal strategy is a whole art form in itself. Don't give yourself an aneurysm trying to make conclusions about the world based on courtroom strategy. Whatever their rationale is, it is not uncommon. It happens all the time. What you need to do is stop making any conclusions based on court tactics.

All their actions should "say" to you or "mean" is that's what these attorney's have decided to do in these court proceedings...that's it!

BTW, who's injecting ethylmercurric cholride into infants?

I can see why you are freaking out an confused.

"BTW, who's injecting ethylmercurric cholride into infants?" From Merck Index,13th Edition. Thimerosal, "Prepd by reacting ethylmercuric chloride with thiosalicylic acid". Also from Merck, Ethylmercuric Chloride, Caution: Highly toxic. Chronic exposure causes permanent injury to brain." My God, what have we done?

Tommy, or is it Tommy-boy?

What part of the word 'prepd', as in prepared, is confusing to you? Table salt can be prepd from chlorine (deadly) and sodium (explosive, highly reactive).

Or, do you feed yourself dirt because plants are prepared by a process of growing them in dirt? Plants...dirt...preparation aside, they must be the same.

Maybe while you're at it, you can share more wisdom and explain the differences between chronic exposure and acute exposure?

"My God, what have we done?"
We've obviously let a generation of kids grow up to be scientifically and logically illiterate. Your comments clearly illustrate this.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Jul 2008 #permalink

I've found the problem with EqualEd and some others here. You see things are do not exist. You say:

"(my) posts are full of calling people dimwits, idiots, moron and liars."

I did facetiously use the word idiot referring to how you feel about people like me who are skeptical. But if you see me using the word dimwit, moron or liar you must be reading my posts like you read any research that doesn't support your point of view. Yessir, YOU are a REAL scientist, eh?

By Still Skpetical (not verified) on 14 Jul 2008 #permalink

"Maybe while you're at it, you can share more wisdom and explain the differences between chronic exposure and acute exposure?" Chronic would be repeated exposures like injecting infants with ethylmercuric chloride at birth,2,4,6,12 and 18 months of age. Acute would be a bolus dose. Kinda like injecting a newborn preemie with a 25,000 part per billion solution of alkylmercury to protect them from Hepatitus B, an adult life style disease. Let me know if you need me to do the fifth grade math for you.

By Tommy-Boy (not verified) on 14 Jul 2008 #permalink

Still Skeptical/They're freaking out now/whatever

It took me a grand total of less than 5 seconds to find the word 'dimwit' used by one of your personas.

If somehow -despite 'co-incidently' being on at the same time as these persons, having the same writing style, making the same grammatical and spelling mistakes and having the same "everyone else is an idiot" attitude as these other people - you are not these other people then you would still only be half right.

Even in the extremely unlikely event that you are only "Still Skeptical" then you're still getting what you give. You know, just like to tried to give out in that post of yours where you protested your innocence.

You are getting it flung back at you , no more, no less. Deal with it.

Deal with it? Deal with THIS - I have never posted here under any other pseudonym. Beyond paranoid, you are clearly delusional when that you think you can match posts by style and spelling. This isn't about posting my innocence, it's about outing you as a phoney who plays fast and loose with the facts. Since you undeniably did it my own words, why should anyone believe you don't also do it with your view of good science? Now you can go back to watching C.S.I., Sherlock.

By Still Skeptical (not verified) on 14 Jul 2008 #permalink

Tommy-too-many-names....C.W.

Injecting infants with ethylmercurric chloride? Was the chemistry 101 lesson for you confusing? I looked for pictures for you.

Can you please explain that one for us again? What is being 'injected' at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 months again that you are so worried about? And why?

HepB...the adult life-style disease: http://www.hbvadvocate.org/hcsp/articles/Hepatitis%20B%20in%20Children%…

Can you help me out with that math again? How many die each year in the U.S.? And when you mean life-style, does that include birth? Maybe you can tell me how to figure out percentages, like going from an average of 260,000 new diagnosis in the 80's to 78,000 in 2001. What's that change as a percentage again?

RJ, You don't need any chemistry class to open a Merck Manual and read, "Thimerosal; Prepd. by reacting ethylmercuric chloride with thiosalicylic acid" and "Ethylmercuric Chloride, Caution: Highly toxic. Chronic exposure causes permanent injury to brain."

"What is being 'injected' at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 months again that you are so worried about? And why?"

See above paragraph for what and why. As far as your math question, I have no idea what you are talking about.

By Talkin Tommy (not verified) on 14 Jul 2008 #permalink

"You don't need any chemistry class to open a Merck Manual and read"

I think you do need a chemistry class. Thimerosal is NOT ethylmercuric chloride. It is used in a reaction....hence the term CHEMISTRY. Get it. Hydrogen and oxygen...together make water. Or, is water really oxygen. I suggest you run this experiment by trying to breath water...which is really oxygen according to your eloquent and insightful interpretation of chemistry.

What injections are you concerned about that supposedly contain ethylmercuric chloride or thimerosal?

"As far as your math question, I have no idea what you are talking about."

Help me out with the "adult-lifestyle disease" HepB. Apparently, some infants didn't get the memo and, well...as it turns out they have the disease. In fact, a lot of children have been spared the disease because of the vaccine. I was asking you to figure out what the decrease is as a percentage. Start with 78,000 new cases per year in 2001 (U.S. alone) compared to 260,000 new cases per year during the 80's. Geee Tom, why do you think the numbers of infected people have dropped?

Saying that something scary is used in the "preparation" of something else is obvious scaremongering. It is like telling us that blue corn tortillas are poisonous because lye or lime water was used to prepare the corn (the alkalinity releases essential nutrients from the grain, it was on Scientific American Frontiers, w w w.pbs.org/saf/transcripts/transcript502.htm#4 ).

You would probably try to tell me that lutefisk is poisonous because lye is used in its preparation (being part Norwegian I actually like the stuff, it is kind of like jelled fish), or that pickles are bad because of the alum... or that tapioca is bad because the cassava root started out as poisonous... or that red kidney beans have a toxin that is removed by cooking (w w w .cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap43.html) or that cheese or yogurt are bad because bacteria are required for their preparation.

(by the way, the Bad Bug Book is pretty cool: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/intro.html )

Of course, how thimerosal is prepared is kind of pointless since as noted above: The pediatric vaccines are all thimerosal free (even the influenza vaccine is available without thimerosal). This was covered in Orac's treatment:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/investigative_reporter_steve_…

Now, Tommy, perhaps you can answer this question (no one else wants to): What verifiable evidence do you have that the DTaP vaccine is riskier than pertussis (which produces a pertussis toxin), diphtheria (which produces a diphtheria toxin) and tetanus (which produces two toxins, tetanospasmin and tetanolysin)?

Remember, verifiable evidence has to be real scientific literature from a peer reviewed journal (except Medical Hypotheses, if you want to know why, grab a dictionary and look up the word "hypothesis").

Ethylmercuric Chloride, the fungicide, is reacted with thiosalicylic acid to increase it's solubility in water so it could be added to medical products at a much higher concentration than if using Ethylmercuric Chloride alone. This is thimerosal (added to vaccines at 1/4 the concentration that Ethylmercuric Chloride is used as a pesticide on seeds). Quite clever. Gin and tonic; preprd. by mixing gin with tonic. Oh good, now the gin won't get me drunk because it is mixed with 1oz. tonic!

Those are your words...if that's how you think chemistry works, then so be it. I guess there is no better way for one to be declared an idiot. You have done a better job by yourself than I ever could.

Today's exercise...what does the word "reacted" mean in your statement?

Still Skeptical - going by the strength of your reaction, I'll say I hit the spot. However, it's not my place to come onto someone elses blog and accuse someone of posting under several supiciously identical pseudonyms, so in the unlikely event that you are only 'Still Skeptical' then I would like to apolgise for putting words in your mouth. I will henceforth consider you and your doppelbloggers to be seperate people.

However, I would like to point out that all of the words I attributed to you are in this actual thread, whereas several of the ideas and concepts you accuse me (and others) of are not contained within the wording or gist of my (or their) posts, and in some cases the opposite is clearly stated. For you to accuse me of playing fast and loose with the facts is clearly undeserved and unforgivable.

Consider this our last contact.

p.s. to Tommy-boy, do you even know the difference between a compound and a mixture? Can you have access to a science teacher? They may help correct your misunderstandings.

Tommy, how much thimerosal is in the vaccines given to children?

What evidence is there that the DTaP is riskier than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis?

"Tommy, how much thimerosal is in the vaccines given to children?"

Here you go HCN. These are the total Hg concentrations. Multiply times two for thimerosal concentrations. Sorry, I know nothing about the DTaP other than it's mercury and aluminum concentration.

2000 parts per billion or ug/l (ppb) mercury = Vaccines with trace amounts of Thimerosal are supposed to contain less than 1 microgram of mercury (Hg) per 0.5 ml dose (1 microgram (µg) of Hg per 0.5 mL is the same as 2 µg of Hg per mL which is the same as 2000 µg/liter; micrograms per liter is parts per billion ppb).

25,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose, Hepatitis B vaccine vials, administered at birth from 1991-2001 in the U.S. and twice more by age one.

50,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose DTaP and Haemophilus B vaccine vials, administered 4 times each in the 1990s to children at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age and currently preservative level mercury in multi-dose flu, meningococcal and tetanus (7 and older) vaccines. This can be confirmed by simply analyzing the multi-dose vials.

Where do you get those numbers? How much thimerosal is each vaccine? Which vaccines?

Because when I check http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm I get the numbers for DTaP to be "Free" for two manufacturers, and for several the words "never contained thimerosal".

Now I know you are just making it up as you go along.

Now go and find the information on the risks of DTaP versus the actual diseases. Come back when you have some real references. Here I'll help you get started:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedi…

HCN,

You may want to check the FDA reference you supplied. The table is three years out of date and the vaccines/manufacturers in the table may currently only cover a minority of the vaccines administered recently or none at all.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Jul 2008 #permalink

Aside from the fact that thimerosal is not mercury...or methylmercury, or ethlymercuric chloride...it is not, nor has been, in nearly all vaccines for some time. Furthermore, even in your wildest, nightmare, worst-case scenario...the total dosages YOU provided still amount to less than what a child would be exposed to from eating one tuna fish sandwich.

Tommy...it's OK to be ignorant. It's not ok to be ignorant and delusional to the point you do not realize you are wrong. How often do we need to point out each fundamental mistake before you will question the possibility that you may be wrong? Why is justifying this fantasy so important to you? Wouldn't you rather really know the truth?

Actually, forget what I said. Saty delusional for a bit longer.

Can you tell us all, according to the biological/chemical universe of Tommy how "mercury", that is supposedly in vaccines, at those levels, some how causes autism? Is it magic mercury in the vaccines? Because mercury toxicity has been well documented by the medical and public health communities for centuries now, and it's nothing like autism. I know, I know...those pesky facts keep popping up. But maybe you could tell us. This should be really good. (Please be sure to point out that mercury is a neurotoxin as your key piece of evidence).

HCN, The CDC is the perpetrator of this crime. They are pathological liars. Go here for thimerosal numbers. http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm

(i.e. 25 ug per 0.5 ml = 50 ug per ml or 50,000 ug per liter which is parts per billion (ppb). The Hepatitus B contained 12.5 ug per 0.5 ml)

The DTaP and Haemophilus B used in the U.S no longer have thimerosal. Only the ones sent to 3rd world countries still contain 50,000 ppb mercury. Unfortanetley, aluminum is still added to childhood vaccines at a level higher than what has been linked to gulf was disease (1). This may be why the autism numbers, as imprecise as they are, stay up.

DTaP (for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis): 170-625 ug, depending on manufacturer
Hepatitis A: 250 ug
Hepatitis B: 250 ug
HIB (for meningitis; PedVaxHib brand only): 225 ug
HPV: 225 ug
Pediarix (DTaP-Hepatitis B-Polio combination): 850 ug
Pentacel (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination): 330 ug
Pneumococcus: 125 ug

(1) Petrik MS, Wong MC, Tabata RC, Garry RF, Shaw CA. Aluminum adjuvant linked to gulf war illness induces motor neuron death in mice. Neuromolecular Med. 2007;9(1):83-100.

RJ, You have zero credibility. You are not worth a response.

Autism is simply a term from the psychiatric DSM-IV manual. It's nothing but a smokescreen. It provides an alibi for the drug companies who added mercury to vaccines at levels 250 times higher than hazardous waste levels (based on toxicity characteristics). It provides an alibi for the CDC, FDA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the other drug company cronies who are responsible for the safety of our children. It provides an alibi for the people who administered this poison. It provides an alibi for health insurance companies so they don't have to pay for treatment for these sick kids. It provides an alibi for psychiatrists so they can force powerfull anti-psychotic drugs on these kids who are already terribly confused.

There will never be an identifiable cause for autism. There are though 11 published papers which identify the underlying medical condition of autism as neuroinflammatory disease. My favorite is " Neuroglial activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism". This was published by John Hopkins University. Now, do you want to debate whether mercury, a known neurotoxin, added to childhood vaccines at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA identifies as hazardous waste, causes neuroinflammatory disease? Do you want to debate whether brain damaged kids behave in a way so that some psychiatrist can label them as somewhere on the "spectrum"? What a scam!

"You have zero credibility. You are not worth a response."

I don't need to represent credibility to you. Our statements (yours and mine) speak for themselves, and everyone can read them. I am capable of answering all of your questions in a way that can be examined by all and discussed. You, on the other hand, continually avoid answering the direct questions. What do you think that says about you personally and the positions you take? So, again, why are struggling so hard to perpetuate this fantasy and deny both the facts and avoid a rational discussion?

Whow! Actually trying now. Wow.

First, in any discussion such as this, you are going to convince anybody with blanket accusations and conspiracy theories. This, however, is the reason for your position. This is the basis of your delusion and your fantasy world. Your vision of the world and people is pretty cynical...and sad.

"There will never be an identifiable cause for autism."
I totally disagree. Like schizophrenia, it will remain illusive for sometime, but like all knowledge, it is just a matter of time.

Inflammation may be a component, but there are many causes for inflammation. Furthermore, inflammation may be a result. Because inflammation may be a factor, you cannot conclude with what has been done so far that it is the driver of the disorder.

Wait a minute. Did 't you just say that we'll never now? Sounds like you already know to me.

in any case, back to mercury...in all it's molecular forms (according to you). Again, you cannot avoid the obvious: mercury toxicity (on neurons and other tissues) is well characterized an understood. It is nothing like autism. How do you explain the discrepancy in your model?

Yes, we can use the term spectrum, because there are severe and mild forms, illustrated by all of the people that have been examined and recorded. There are varying degrees of symptoms. Again, that evidence is clearly articulated and obvious. Is this part of your delusion too?

"HCN, The CDC is the perpetrator of this crime. They are pathological liars. Go here for thimerosal numbers. http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm"

Still lots of zeros in those columns. You are being selective and scaremongering.

Now tell me exactly how the DTaP is more dangerous than tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Provide some real evidence.

http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm

Why would you supply this link to make your point? In fact, you made ours. Doctors are not giving children vaccines with thimerosal.

And what was with the other numbers supplied anyway?(Hepatitis A: 250 ug, Hepatitis B: 250 ug, etc)
Do you know what these numbers represent? This is almost funny watching you stumble all over the place, throwing numbers around and not knowing what they are.

Autism News Beat linked to this thread in a "Best and Worst Autism Coverage" post, and what strikes me about the Steve Wilsons of the world is a total inability to recognize their own asses when handed to them on a platter. The initial dimwittedness could be excused if there was any acknowledgment that every point they raise has been chewed, spat out, and found wanting of any substance.

By Kerry Maxwell (not verified) on 28 Dec 2008 #permalink