RFK Jr., Vaccines and the Reality Based Community

by: Jawis

Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:36

(I'm a fan of RFK Jr's passionate advocacy. Until he veers off into the not-quite-reality-based weeds.  Jim raises some very important points here.  And it's not just about this one case. - promoted by Paul Rosenberg)

Yesterday, I wrote a Quick Hit about an email campaign trying to prevent RFK Jr. from being picked as head of the EPA or Secretary of the Interior due to his stance on vaccinations. DarkSyde has since done a brief rundown of the reaction from the science blogging community.

There were two main criticisms of the campaign to stop RFK Jr. The first was that his stance on vaccines isn't too extreme. These commenters opposed my comparison with creationists and global warming deniers. The second was that even if his stance is anti-science it's not the scientific area he would be responsible for at the EPA or Department of the Interior, so it shouldn't matter. I will address these points below the fold.

Jawis :: RFK Jr., Vaccines and the Reality Based Community
I won't spend much time on the safety of vaccinations since this is a political blog. Commenters in the Quick Hit took exception when I said that RFK's anti-vaccine stance was similar to global warming denial. But, I firmly stand by the claim that they are qualitatively the same. Numerous studies have been done on the vaccine-autism link. Generally it has been found that only smaller and/or poorly managed studies show any link. No large well managed studies have ever shown a link. From Doja and Roberts (2006)

In particular, some have suggested an association between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism. Our literature review found very few studies supporting this theory, with the overwhelming majority showing no causal association between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism. The vaccine preservative thimerosal has alternatively been hypothesized to have a possible causal role in autism. Again, no convincing evidence was found to support this claim

This knowledge is combined with the fact that since Denmark, Canada, and US removed thermosil from vaccines their autism rates have not declined at all. Here is a list of organizations that accept the safety of our vaccines and support the current vaccination schedule.

American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Physician Assistants
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians
American Medical Association
American Public Health Association
March of Dimes
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

The scientific community is not having a debate. The debate is among the cranks who get lots of free air time in the name of "balance", just like creationists and global warming deniers.

There are severe consequences of making parents afraid to vaccinate their kids. Measles has become an epidemic in the UK due to parents being mislead about the safety of vaccines. In the US we now have the highest measles rate since 1996.

Unsurprisingly, unvaccinated children die of preventable diseases.

Secondly, RFK's stance on vaccines was not some one time off-the-cuff statement. He has run a coordinated campaign railing against the dangers of vaccines. It started with his Deadly Immunity article that ran in Salon and Rolling Stone. Medical/science blogger, Orac at Respectful Insolence called it the "biggest, steamingest, drippiest turd" he had ever seen Salon publish. Skeptico said it was "completely dishonest" and full of "lies, damned lies, and quote-mining." The entire article was a hit piece ranting about a giant conspiracy including the CDC, Big Pharma, doctors and researchers. RFK then hit the airwaves on 20/20 and Good Morning America to continue his fear mongering. He also joined in Jenny McCarthy's Orwellian "Green Our Vaccines" rally which was filled with various anti-vaccination cranks. RFK Jr. has been an outspoken activist trying to make parents afraid of vaccinating their children.

You may still be wondering what this has to do with the EPA or the Department of the Interior.  RFK Jr. has a great record on conservation issues, and vaccines are not in the purview of these agencies. The fact remains though that these are research oriented agencies. They fund research and that research is used to make recommendations on policy. The heads of these agencies must respect the research done by their scientists. RFK Jr. has shown a predisposition for favoring his own pet theory over the best available scientific evidence. After eight years of the Republican war on science we cannot afford to promote our own quacks to high ranking positions in charge of evidence based policy making.

The heads of these agencies have a great deal of autonomy, and we have to fill high level posts with the best people possible. RFK Jr. has been a great advocate for conservation and the environment. He would probably make a great Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources. That fits his skill set, and his contrarian beliefs would not be a hindrance. But, the head of EPA and the Secretary of the Interior need to first and foremost respect research and be willing to go wherever the evidence takes them. There are more than enough qualified progressives for these jobs. The 22 to Know in David's post below list two better possibilities. Now is not the time to settle.

We must ensure that progressives remain in the reality based community. The reality based community should actually supercede the progressive community. Progressive policies should never contradict reason and evidence. We laugh at the crazies the Republicans have let in to power. We joke about Palin and dinosaurs or Inhofe and global warming because it is a joke that people with such irrational beliefs ever achieved such power.  

Finally, we have to remember that now is the time to wage ideological wars within the progressive community. It won't be too long until the STFU brigades will be back out in full swing telling us how we need to get in line or we'll lose the House or Obama won't be re-elected. So please argue forcefully and in good faith because we are all on the same side.    

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Disqualifying (4.00 / 8)
I have a BS in physics, although science is not my career. I spend as much time with science blogs as I do political blogs. RFK Jr's position here simply disqualifies him from serving such an important role. It is the equivalent of creationism. I hope he is not selected.

As a plug, I would like to point to the great weekly podcast from the New England Skeptical Society here:


They often discuss the anti-vaccine nuts.

I split my time... (4.00 / 3)
between science, progressive, atheist, and feminist blogs. Luckily, there is a lot of overlap among them. It really is the science blogs that are attacking on this, though. They've been hurt more by Bush's war on science, so I think it hits closer to home.

[ Parent ]
Disqualifying to question? (0.00 / 0)
I'm disheartened that none of the posters bothered to note that the big outbreak in measles the author worries about is a jump to 131 cases over 7 months? I.e. fewer than 20 cases per month? 9% of these cases were known vaccinated, or 11 cases.

There were almost 140 cases in the US in 1997, 116 cases in 2001. Now there were 127 cases until around July 1, 4 more cases for July. How many in the 3 1/2 months since? CDC doesn't say. Would you guess maybe no news means lack of bad news? Basically there were 2 small flareups earlier this year. How many deaths? None?

We're comparing this disease to where it was in the 1950's, 3-4 million cases per year, 450 deaths per year. Is it possible to judge 19 cases/month as something less than a reason to panic?

Vaccines are ideological on both sides and are big business as well. While people cite absence of studies that work against immunizations, there was a scandal about 2 years ago if memory serves regarding improper FDA review of drug trials. Rather than dismissing people who are concerned about the excessive number of vaccines (adolescent vaccination against sexually transmitted hepatitis?) and think maybe our government isn't always forthright, perhaps treating concerns as something responsible parents should do and responding with data in perspective would help your cause. Citing a single death from diptheria in 14 years doesn't help you sound objective, nor is imparting Soviet death rates to American hygienic conditions. And if we trusted CDC opinions implicitly, we should know that the AIDS crisis has now infected 90% of America as predicted by the wisdom of the 1980's CDC.

[ Parent ]
Re: Disqualifying to question - kookie with statistics (0.00 / 0)
I have a whacko right-wing friend who in 2005 like many of his nutty buddies predicted that the downturn in movie ticket sales showed that Hollywood was in terminal decline and optimistically that they were now flocking to Fox and other right-wing venues for news and entertainment.

In the years since, I now send him updated information on the continued success of Hollywood in breaking domestic, international and home DVD sales. But at one moment in time, if you extrapolated the worst news ever far into the future, you would believe Hollywood would be a vacant lot by 2015.

[ Parent ]
Why would we compare it to the 1950's? (4.00 / 1)
The majority of people still get their kids vaccinated. The fact measles rates are remotely close to the 1950's shows that the vaccines have worked incredibly well. Yes, the current measles rate is still quite low, but it has grown over the last decade because of the fear mongering of the anti-vaccine crowd.  

[ Parent ]
That's enough to start an epidemic (4.00 / 1)
With a highly contagious disease, each of those instances is like lighting a match in a paper factory.

Your comment about AIDS suggests that you understand that these things grow exponentially.  Just apply that understanding to a disease that spreads many times faster into the non-vaccinated population.

[ Parent ]
anti-vaccination hysteria (4.00 / 9)
Is one of the non-rational beliefs that seems to be concentrated on the left.  We're so used to seeing the right go haring off on idiotic anti-reality crusades (like abstinence only and creationism) but we must avoid promoting our own unrealists.

RFK in charge of the EPA would have some symbolic value (it would infuriate the right) but I agree it is not worth it if he decides he believes in some crank theory that falls within his regulatory purview and acts on it.

The left generally... (4.00 / 3)
has wooier new age types. Generally, such people are less interested in legislating their beliefs than fundamentalist Christians are so it isn't a problem. The anti-vaccine thing has just risen to this anti-science crescendo because it feeds off of scared and guilt laden parents.  

[ Parent ]
There's a subset of (4.00 / 3)
issues that might be called New Age Crankery, which this falls squarely under. Which is not to say that everything New Age is wrong, just to say that these are lefty in general.  

[ Parent ]
Though It Bears Noting That Many Righties Subscribe To These Things, Too (0.00 / 0)
It's a variant on the phenomena investigated by Chip Berlet back in the 1990s in Right Woos Left, but in a different key, as it were.  Both sorts of right/left crossover can, unfortunately, be found in the late-night programming at KPFK, Pacifica radio in Los Angeles.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
the right wing embrace of (4.00 / 1)
"narratives" and other psuedo-po-mo jargon is another example of how New Ageyness (at a higher level of "class") crossed over into the right's territory. Turns out you can take the Marxism out of Fredric Jameson, and run a country on it.

[ Parent ]
Yes. (0.00 / 0)
KPFK has become progressively (or not) worse over the last few years.  Ian Masters has been pulling his hair out over the situation.  I feel sorry for him because his show is so full of serious, smart guests; and much of the rest of the station is paranoid leftist.

[ Parent ]
even if (4.00 / 3)
it doesn't affect his policy making (and I doubt it could), it would be I think a damaging thing for the left, and for the country at large. How can we say "no more business as usual" if we make a politically-motivated appointment of someone who would be disqualified on grounds of competence.

"Heckuva job, RFK."

[ Parent ]
That doesn't really follow (4.00 / 1)
he has a kooky stand on vaccines, therefore he isn't competent in running an agency?

That's fine if people think RFK's views should disqualify him (personally I think he'd be fine at DOI, but not at EPA given these views), but let's not turn him into some evil or incompetent person based on it. If we're going to throw someone under the bus for not subscribing to evidence-based decision-making and view-making, then the least you can do is hold yourself to the same standard.  

[ Parent ]
I do not think (4.00 / 2)
you can possibly separate "competence" from "ability to rationally judge situations". RFK Jr.'s reporting on vaccines was not just wrong; it was incompetent, in that it did not judge what is good or bad information. This is a form of competence necessary for the EPA administrator.

[ Parent ]
That's fine. (0.00 / 0)
That's your opinion. I disagree and that is my opinion.

Like I said, I don't care if he's an administrator or not. I would feel less comfortable if he was admin at EPA. There definitely are plenty of very good environmentalists waiting in the wings to lead either of these agencies. I just don't like the tenor of this conversation and how it's been developing.

I wonder if all these people opposed Bob Casey Jr.'s election to the senate because of his anti-choice views. Now there's a position where the person actually does have an impact on the issue at hand.  

[ Parent ]
i'm not following (4.00 / 1)
Should we, or should we not, "throw someone under the bus for not subscribing to evidence-based decision-making and view-making"? My answer, when it comes to running a Federal agency, is "yes".

I don't know much about RFK's advocacy work, but he should stay there instead of being given a policy/science position. And I do think much of the Bush problem stemmed from the GOP making that very mistake: "I liked your rabble-rousing about X, come be head of the scientific management of X." There's a problem there because "X" was often "anti-abortion" or whatever, but there's another problem even if "X" is something you like.

[ Parent ]
My point was (0.00 / 0)
that people claim he is not able to run an agency due to incompetency stemming from his beliefs about vaccines. I do not believe the evidence warrants such a conclusion. Therefore, people are not following their own standards in judging people based on their ability to draw conclusions based upon the available evidence since they themselves are drawing conclusions that do not flow from the best available evidence.  

[ Parent ]
not a very good point (0.00 / 0)
two comments up you say

That's your opinion. I disagree and that is my opinion.

which is correct. But here you are saying that there is some absolute logic that needs to be applied here.

Most of us are saying things similar to mcc, you can't

separate "competence" from "ability to rationally judge situations". RFK Jr.'s reporting on vaccines was not just wrong; it was incompetent, in that it did not judge what is good or bad information. This is a form of competence necessary for the EPA administrator.

you seem to feel that the vaccine issue is an isolated issue that doesn't reflect RFKjrs general judgement. We disagree, although you agree that he shouldn't be head of the EPA, so I'm not sure what we are arguing about here (since I agree with 9/10 comments you make on this site).

As for Bob Casey Jr., I don't recall him being challenged in the primary, although I was paying more attention to Lamont-Leiberman at the time. I would probably have supported a challenger to him for the pro-life issue. But in a general election, you only have 2 choices, and he was far, far better than the alternative.

With an appointment, you have lots of choices, so I think you can be more selective about who you support/oppose.

[ Parent ]
EPA versus DOI (0.00 / 0)
1. I think his views are troublesome for EPA because they relate to the mission of that agency (environmental health). They do not relate to the mission of DOI.

2. Casey was challenged in a primary. But you are right that in a general election you only have two choices. So I'll give you that.

3. It's a fair concern I suppose about this whole episode indicating he will not be competent for such a post. However, knowing what DOI does, I still do not believe it would impact his ability to do that job. Unless people think this indicates that he will be appointing all sorts of anti-ESA people who don't believe in science (basically he'd be retaining all the Bush admin. appointees) then I think this whole thing is overblown. If people had limited their concerns to EPA, then I probably wouldn't have made a single comment on this issue. But I just don't think it applies to DOI.

Now again, I'm not saying that RFK Jr. MUST be DOI secretary. I don't care who is as long as they are a strong environmental advocate and do the job well (which includes of course, fostering and promoting evidence-based decision making for issues that fall under the purview of the department). I'm just saying that I don't think his views on vaccines should necessarily disqualify him from this post because I don't think those views impact one's ability to carry out the duties of the job. Others disagree. I'm ok with that. I don't think at this point we're going to come to any more common ground (although we are fairly close). In fact, even if Bobby was EPA admin. I would hazard that he would work to remove mercury as a preservative in vaccines, not vaccines themselves (which would be fiercely opposed by all sorts of groups). What do you think?

[ Parent ]
I think it's more than views (4.00 / 2)
For me, the vaccine thing is a data point that says that he doesn't have a rational approach to problems.

Elsewhere in this or other threads people have also cited his opposition to cape wind and his crediting of weird conspiracy theories in Ohio 2004 as other examples where he has not taken a rational approach. (I haven't looked at those in detail)

So I'm pretty much against him having him at the head of any agency. These are all massive organizations, and leading such an organization requires a lot of skills. Other than the fact that he has been a strong environmental advocate, what makes you think he would be a good pick to lead one of these agencies?

[ Parent ]
I'm in agreement (4.00 / 1)
about the vaccines. I would prefer this position go to somebody else.

thanks for bringing this up (4.00 / 4)
Every party has special interest groups with a bizarro one-note topic; one of the reasons the GOP crashed was its complete take-over by them, to the point where major Bush administration officials also believed in the immanent second coming. The vaccine-autism "link" is no link, but it is an extremely powerful issue for a small segment of parents of autistic children.

This is crazy (4.00 / 4)
Who even suggested this guy?  We've got thousands of good scientists who are capable administrators on the Democratic side.  Instead, we have to have an up-or-down decision on a crackpot.  If his surname wasn't Kennedy he'd be nobody.

The Politico article says... (0.00 / 0)
the pick is mainly about pleasing the Kennedy's for their support in the election, as well as the Clintons. It can't be seen as anything but an unqualified politically motivated pick.

[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 1)
I agree with the diary and do not support RFK for a cabinet post, but he does have a lot of credibility on environmental issues and is very active on it.  It's not like he's another Brownie with no relevant experience or qualification for a post.

It's just that he has a set of disqualifying actions which should trump his good points.

[ Parent ]
True. (0.00 / 0)
He isn't an Arabian horse expert.

[ Parent ]
Which Is Why I Think He's Best Kept OUT of Government (0.00 / 0)
Let him continue as an advocate, and hopefully not waste too much time and energy on the nutball stuff.

I could actually see him as qualified for a narrower post, but there's always the tendency to promote people from within without considering the full implications.  So best to keep him out of government altogether.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
This seems to be a really reactivating conversation (3.33 / 6)
Because it involves children and basic assumptions about science and medicine. I am a Ph.D. chemist and I would have serious reservations about an EPA administrator who advises parents to ignore the best possible science on an important public health issue.  

really pains me... (4.00 / 1)
RFK Jr. would be such a powerful ally in the fight to end Mountaintop Removal here in West Virginia, it really pains me to hear of attacks from the left on the possibility of him having a cabinet position.

That said, I do appreciate the logic of your arguments. Also, I fear that his high profile would detract from, rather that add to, the ability to address many of the issues that need to be addressed. It may be a technocrat gets the work done better than a "lightening rod."

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue

The 22 to know... (4.00 / 3)
article lists Daniel Kammen as a progressive choice for EPA and Susan Williams for DOI. There is no reason to think both wouldn't work hard against mountain top removal. In the end, we need qualified and capable people in charge of these agencies not necessarily passionate and outspoken activists. I'm not saying we should completely shun RFK Jr., just that he should not head a research oriented agency.

[ Parent ]
Dan Kammen looks like a good pick (4.00 / 1)
and I am sure there are others who are good as well.

Hopefully we can move this discussion towards looking at several of the options out there. I think part of the heat from the discussion here and on Dkos has been that it seems like those of us opposed to RFKjr are just shooting down someone who has fought for the environment.  

[ Parent ]
Noone is saying (4.00 / 4)
That we shouldn't have someone at EPA who is willing to fight and fight hard for the environment. We just think that we shouldn't have someone who doesn't seem to value the research that is being done.

[ Parent ]
completely understand (4.00 / 3)
There's such a limited number of people who have spoken out against Mountaintop Removal, he's one person we definitely know would be an ally. The other names floated may also turn out to be great, it's just hard to know where they stand ahead of time.

Ultimately, I'd rather have someone who is strong on decision-making based on science, too. We'll all come out ahead that way.

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue

[ Parent ]
Cape Wind (4.00 / 4)
... mister broken record here, but RFKjr is also helping Uncle Ted and The Nimbys use dubious science to defeat a wind energy project off the coast of Cape Cod that would interrupt Ted's view.  Does anyone doubt that EPA would suddenly take an antagonistic interest in Cape Wind should RFKjr take over?  And what would that do for wind power efforts elsewhere?

Mr Environment sacrificed his credibility for the sake of the view from the family compound.  

And yes, the vaccine stuff is, in and of itself, disqualifying.

I had forgotten about that. (4.00 / 2)
Fighting against that wind farm rather than being good examples to the rest of the country was just awful. They should have welcomed it with open arms, but instead they added to stigma of wind power.  

[ Parent ]
Word (4.00 / 2)
Here is a link detailing RFK's ridiculous opposition to the Cape Wind project. He claims that his concern is for fishermen whose nets would become tangled in the undersea cables, although the cables would be buried six feet under the sea floor.

I consider the vaccine business disturbing anti-science demagoguery, but as others have noted it would not be directly relevant to EPA or Interior. However, his bizarre and irrational NIMBYism in response to Cape Wind suggests that he would be susceptible to unscientific arguments in environmental matters as well.

Can't think of a good reason to support RFK for this job over the many more qualified candidates, other than "Kennedy."

[ Parent ]
What exactly is this dubious science you speak of? (0.00 / 0)
RFK wants to preserve the sound and its local industry.  I see nothing wrong with that.

AS an environmentalist, I support wind power, including wind power on the high seas. I am also involved in siting wind farms in appropriate landscapes, of which there are many. But I do believe that some places should be off limits to any sort of industrial development. I wouldn't build a wind farm in Yosemite National Park. Nor would I build one on Nantucket Sound, which is exactly what the company Energy Management is trying to do with its Cape Wind project.
Nantucket Sound is among the most densely traveled boating corridors in the Atlantic. The turbines will be perilously close to the main navigation channels for cargo ships, ferries and fishing boats. The risk of collisions with the towers would increase during the fogs and storms for which the area is famous. That is why the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises, which transport millions of passengers to and from the cape and islands every year, oppose the project. Thousands of small businesses, including marina owners, hotels, motels, whale watching tours and charter fishing operations will also be hurt. The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston estimates a loss of up to 2,533 jobs because of the loss of tourism -- and over a billion dollars to the local economy.

Nantucket Sound is a critical fishing ground for the commercial fishing families of Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod. Hundreds of fishermen work Horseshoe Shoal, where the Cape Wind project would be built, and make half their annual income from the catch. The risks that their gear will become fouled in the spider web of cables between the 130 towers will largely preclude fishing in the area, destroying family-owned businesses that enrich the palate, economy and culture of Cape Cod.
All of us need periodically to experience wilderness to renew our spirits and reconnect ourselves to the common history of our nation, humanity and to God. The worst trap that environmentalists can fall into is the conviction that the only wilderness worth preserving is in the Rocky Mountains or Alaska. To the contrary, our most important wildernesses are those that are closest to our densest population centers, like Nantucket Sound.

There are many alternatives that would achieve the same benefits as Cape Wind without destroying this national treasure. Deep water technology is rapidly evolving, promising huge bounties of wind energy with fewer environmental and economic consequences. Scotland is preparing to build wind turbines in the Moray Firth more than 12 miles offshore. Germany is considering placing turbines as far as 27 miles off its northern shores.

If Cape Wind were to place its project further offshore, it could build not just 130, but thousands of windmills -- where they can make a real difference in the battle against global warming without endangering the birds or impoverishing the experience of millions of tourists and residents and fishing families who rely on the sound's unspoiled bounties. .

[ Parent ]
I'm not going to get into the whole issue... (4.00 / 2)
but it was pointed out that the cables would be underground and no threat to fishing gear. That letter actually again shows his willingness to twist the facts to serve his purpose. Also, if no industry should be going on there because of its natural splendor, what's with all the shipping lanes and fishing he is defending?

[ Parent ]
well said (4.00 / 1)
I was going to write a similar diary sometime this weekend. But it probably wouldn't have been as well written.

Now I can work on those reviews that are due....

Core progressive value=Science-based policy (4.00 / 1)
Check out this cool interactive graphic of the assault on science under Bush.



Cape Wind (4.00 / 3)
I think we can add his NIMBYism on the Cape Wind project to the list of reasons why he should not be heading up the EPA.

John McCain <3 lobbyists

Thank you for this post (4.00 / 6)
The most important task facing the EPA will be restoring credibility and respect for science within the EPA. After the ravages of the Bush years, there really is no criteria for EPA head more important than these two things. Given his history*, RFK Jr. fails on both counts.

This is simply the wrong person for this job. And given that-- between the need to heal the Bush wounds and the looming challenges of climate change and Obama's ambitious energy plans-- the EPA is likely to be one of the most important, touchy jobs held within this next administration, this is simply the worst place possible to engage in patronage or "let's get a token Kennedy in there" logic. We cannot afford an EPA chief chosen on any criteria but merit-- and we cannot afford to neglect ability to place environmentalism on a strong scientific basis when considering merit.

* And, frankly, the vaccines are not the only issue, though they are certainly the most important one. Consider RFK Jr's terrible journalism concerning Ohio in the 2004 elections, which trivialized the very real issues of voter disenfranchisement and voting machine fraud by mixing credible and non-credible evidence indiscriminately (exit polls are more reliable than an actual vote? really?) and loading up his writing with distracting accusations he could not possibly prove. Or consider that his most well-publicized environmental crusade in recent years was his attempt to keep wind farms from intruding on the view at his Massachusetts ocean retreat. Never mind whether either of these two things was appropriate. Instead ask this question: The EPA in the next eight years will have to sell a partisanly-divided and sometimes skeptical public on environmental policies with tricky justifications; is RFK Jr. someone who can be legitimately convincing under such circumstances?

Well put. (0.00 / 0)
RFK Jr. has a long history of putting his own interests and desires above the evidence. I admire his passion, but he is not fit to run a research oriented agency.

[ Parent ]
Methylmercury is a known neurotoxin (4.00 / 1)
A recent study, published in the International Journal of Environment and Health, says that the methyl form of organic mercury (found in fish) can harm fetuses at levels that, until now, have been considered to be completely safe.

The researchers say that neurodevelopmental disorders of possible environmental origin affect between 5% and 10% of babies born worldwide, leading to dyslexia, mental retardation, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, and autism.

The toxicity of methylmercury is well known, but the researchers believe that the medical world has underestimated the risk of brain damage associated with exposure to this compound...Professor Grandjean emphasizes that...'Until there is enough evidence to rule out effects of certain chemicals on the developing nervous system, a cautious approach would involve strict regulation of suspected developmental neurotoxicants and prudent counseling of expectant mothers regarding exposures to untested substances'

While there may not be conclusive proof of a thimerosal-autism link, it should certainly not be ruled out and parents should approach the issue with caution.  There are plenty of mercury-free vaccines which can be used as substitutes.  

Not proof of anything... (4.00 / 2)
except that methylmecury is a neurotoxin, which we've known for decades. That is why the vaccine-autism hypothesis was first proposed even though they use ethylmecury in vaccines. There is nothing in this study to indicate that ethylmecury is riskier than we thought. Also, this new study doesn't explain why epidemiological studies do not show a link between vaccines and autism. Study after study has shown there is no link. Mercury is a neurotoxin, but it has not be linked to autism.

[ Parent ]
Actually its not disproof of anything. (0.00 / 0)
Meanwhile, actual cases exist in which neurological disorders have been developed shortly after children have been given vaccines.  What may be causing confusion is that vaccines containing ethyl mercury may trigger underlying genetic conditions such as mitochondrial disorders.  

Government health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health, met in Indianapolis Sunday to discuss whether cellular diseases known as mitochondrial disorders should be considered in research on autism.
At the heart of the issue for many specialists and concerned parents is whether vaccines -- suspected by some people as being a cause of autism -- might trigger mitochondrial disorders, which lead to autism.

One high profile case was a lawsuit awarded to the daughter of a neurologist in Georgia.

Autism in the U.S. has reached epidemic levels, at 1 in 150 children. Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has recently upgraded autism to "an urgent health threat." The most contentious issue of the autism debate is the link to routine childhood vaccines. My daughter's case, Hannah Poling v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has changed this debate forever. Hannah has pointed us in a new and promising direction -- the mitochondria.
On Nov. 9, 2007, HHS medical experts conceded through the Department of Justice that Hannah's autism was triggered by nine childhood vaccinations administered when she was 19 months of age.
To understand Hannah's case, it is important to understand mitochondria, which act like batteries in our cells to produce energy critical for normal function. Because the government's concession hinged on the presence of Hannah's underlying medical condition, mitochondrial dysfunction, some claim the decision is relevant to very few other children with autism. As a neurologist, scientist and father, I disagree.
Emerging evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction may not be rare at all among children with autism. In the only population-based study of its kind, Portuguese researchers confirmed that at least 7.2 percent, and perhaps as many as 20 percent, of autistic children exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction. While we do not yet know a precise U.S. rate, 7.2 percent to 20 percent of children does not qualify as "rare." In fact, mitochondrial dysfunction may be the most common medical condition associated with autism.

[ Parent ]
Actually, it just happens... (4.00 / 2)
that we give children vaccines that are spread out of the course of ages 6 months to two years, and autism develops around 12-18 months or so, so it makes sense that parents would sometimes first notice symptoms soon after a vaccine.

The fact you quote the Poling case shows you are not arguing in good faith. Poling had a very rare mitochondrial disease that went into regression shortly after being vaccinated due to fever. The regression of her disorder caused autism-like symptoms. From Respectful Insolence:

The bottom line is that it is fever from any source, be it a vaccine reaction or, more commonly, an infection that can exacerbate mitochondrial disorders and provoke encephalopathy. Moreover, because of the confounding factor of multiple ear infections, it's not 100% clear that her vaccinations even caused her regression, although it is certainly possible. None of this, of course, has stopped antivaccinationists from taking this ball and running with it as far as they can as though it were some sort of bombshell admission that's suddenly going to invalidate the years of science that have gone against them.

[ Parent ]
autism is quite variable (4.00 / 2)
It is a spectrum disorder. I know a lot of moms whose kids have autism. Some of their babies showed symptoms right away. It is not accurate to say that it always manifests around 12-18 months.

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[ Parent ]
You're right... (4.00 / 1)
that isn't accurate. Good thing I didn't say that autism always manifests itself around 12-18 months. I offered those as a typical range which means it would not be uncommon for the first symptoms to arise around a vaccination. Broadening the range only makes the point for me.

[ Parent ]
Mitochondrial disorders are no longer rare. (0.00 / 0)
Environmental factors can damage mitochondria.

-- Up to 1 in 50 children (2%) may be at risk for mitochondrial dysfunction.

-- Thimerosal, mercury, aluminum, pollution, pesticides, medicines and prenatal alcohol exposure have all been shown to damage mitochondria.

-- Up to 20% of all children with autism may have underlying mitochondrial dysfunction.

-- The CDC is aware of this situation and is immediately taking measures to address the current national vaccine schedule.

-- The genetic susceptibility for mitochondrial dysfunction is not rare.

-- This DNA mutation alone may not be enough to confer cellular dysfunction; doctors believe there is an environmental trigger as well.

-- Children with mitochondrial dysfunction are more likely to regress into autism following a fever and illness from viral infections or a vaccine reaction.

-- Some changes in the vaccine schedule will almost surely be made. The most difficult decision is how and when to vaccinate children with proven mitochondrial dysfunction.

The fact is that it is more difficult to obtain research money for environmental studies because of the potential impact on pharmaceutical litigation.

It was reported in the Boston Globe by Carey Goldberg on Aug 13, 2007 that "Researchers now believe that autism can be caused by genes in combination with environmental triggers. The question is, what are those triggers?" (subscription)

Dr. Martha Herbert, a Harvard neuroscientist and Massachusetts General Hospital neurologist, said a few years ago, autism researchers would be marginalized if they talked about environmental factors. But now, "any major article or proposal concerning the causes of autism is coming to be considered incomplete if it doesn't talk about a potential role of environmental factors."
Career-wise, "It has not been safe for scientists to work on this problem" of possible environmental factors in autism, said Mark Blaxill of Cambridge, cofounder of Safe Minds, a parent group. But the rates of autism have reached epidemic proportions, he contends, and clearly, genes cannot account for such rapid change.
California public health researchers reported early findings that among 29 women who had lived near farmland sprayed with pesticides called organochlorines during the first trimester of pregnancy, eight bore children who developed autism. That was six times the risk of autism in a control group who did not live near sprayed farmland. The researchers cautioned that the findings were highly preliminary, but called for further research into a possible pesticide-autism link.

[ Parent ]
Plenty of proof for thimerosal toxicity (0.00 / 0)
The truth about John McCain. what planet do you reside at??
Written in 1948 by Dr.Engley
"We found thimerosal is toxic down to a level that is almost unbelievable. Down to 1.10, maybe 100 nanograms...a millionth of a gram and that is about as toxic as you can get,"
It is clear from this research supported by a grant from the American
Medical Association that Thimerosal is neither efficacious nor safe,
and should be removed as a preservative in prescription biologics and
pharmaceutical products, as well as from topical over-the-counter
products such as Butt-Balm that have Thimerosal present in their formulations
as an active ingredient
Dr. Engley "if they had followed through on our 82 report the vaccines would have been freed of thimerosal and all this autism they tell me would not have occurred"

A NIH study from Thomas Burbacher on Thimerosal and primates, if it works the same? turns into ethyl mercury then it enters the brain of the child and it metabolizes into inorganic mercury. And research has shown that the most damaging to the mitochondria,a toxin that depletes the glutathione, inorganic mercury Methyl mercury was not found as bad also monosodium glutamate (MSG, added to many Asian foods) I will bet MSG in children's vaccines is far worse than injested. MSG may also exacerbate a mitochondrial disorder
Burbachers findings also that it clears the blood quicker is misinterpreted. Because thimerosal according to a
deposition from sigma Aldrich reluctantly given,
on how thimerosal targets the organs of the body.
Most prefered is the brain and the lining around
the brain. Recently Dir. Gerberding of the CDC
in an undated mea copa concurred the research used
to disprove a link in the VSD was useless. And that was the lion share of the studies done to disprove a link now one must come to a conclusion either they at the CDC are STUPID? or CRIMINAL? I guess that one is open for discussion mean while the NIEHS also said the research done over seas was worse.  

Denmark studies proof of the CDC lieing to the American people

Because when they were claiming the numbers went up on autism after removing thimerosal.  this dropped from heaven,  But more importantly, a review of e-mails exchanged between the Danish researchers and the CDC reveals that the statement "From 1991 until 2000 the incidence increased and continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, including increases among children born after the discontinuation of thimerosal" may not have been true.In an e-mail on 11/13/2002 at 09:24, "co-author" Marlene B. Lauritsen informed Drs. Madsen, Thorsen and Schendel of the CDC:

"But the incidence and prevalence are still decreasing in 2001". The sentences, before and after that unequivocal statement, were blackened with a magic marker before they were released through the Freedom of Information Act.
this proves these people are rotten to the core

[ Parent ]
From wikipedia (4.00 / 3)
Unlike methylmercury, ethylmercury has not been found to bioaccumulate.[1] The toxicity of ethylmercury is not well studied, but exposure standards based on methylmercury (such as those currently recommended by the EPA) are not demonstrated to be equivalent for ethylmercury.[2]


Please, take off the conspiracy goggles. We know vaccines keep kids healthy and do a lot of good. They have saved a lot of lives. Everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated because the rare few who cannot be vaccinated due to real medical concerns rely on everyone else for herd immunity.  

[ Parent ]
I'm arguing against the preservative, not the vaccine (4.00 / 2)
There is no reason that vaccines cannot be mercury free.  The fact is that it has certainly not been proven that thimerosal is 100% safe.  Like food preservatives, it may not have any effect on 99% of the population.  But if you are the parent of a child who goes into anaphylactic shock after consuming Sodium metabisulfite (a common food preservative), then you will certainly be careful do give that child sulfite-free foods.  That does not mean you have to starve the child.

In other words, let's say that your family has a known genetic risk of a mitochondrial disorder.  Based on what is known at this point, it would certainly be prudent to give your child vaccines that are mercury free.  What we need to do is make the process less difficult for concerned parents to find mercury free vaccines.  The argument is not about "No vaccines vs vaccines".  

Children's Hospital, for instance, orders both versions to offer patients a choice, according to spokesman Marc Lukasiak.

For providers, mercury-containing pediatric vaccine shots are about $4 per dose cheaper than mercury-free versions, and they also are easier to store.

Both versions of the flu shot must be kept refrigerated. But while mercury-free versions of the vaccine are produced in bulky single-dose shots, the mercury-containing vaccine is kept in vials that contain 10 doses, allowing more vaccine to be stored in less space.
And in a study released Sept. 26 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers did find a possible connection between boys receiving high doses of mercury from vaccines and developing motor and verbal tics. Such tics can be symptoms of autism or other neurological problems.

The potential connection had been seen in two previous studies and "might merit more consideration," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a CDC teleconference call with reporters on Sept. 26. .

[ Parent ]
Mercury levels are already... (4.00 / 1)
trace in all US vaccines except for flu shots. Also, this fear mongering about the safety of vaccines has directly led to parents not getting their children vaccinated.  

[ Parent ]
not in a multi-use vial (0.00 / 0)
Babies getting a dose at the tail end of a multi-use vial can get a very high amount of thimerosol or aluminum if the nurse has not always shaken the vial adequately before use.

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[ Parent ]
Some infants may have difficulty processing thimerosal (0.00 / 0)
A 2002 study published in The Lancet showed that 71% of infants exposed to thimerosal had detectable levels of mercury, while 13% of the non exposed infants had detectable levels.

Furthermore, researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock found in 2005 that the lack of glutathione in some children may be an underlying cause of an inability to neutralize heavy metals such as those found in thimerosal.

On April 3, 2005 Robert Lee Holtz reported on this in the LA Times article "Study Links Free Radicals to the Spectrum of Autism; A metabolic flaw may account partly for the range in severity shown in children with the developmental disorder, scientists report" (subscription)

The new findings also may help shed light on the condition's range in severity because maturing neurons and synapses are especially vulnerable to this biomolecular bombardment. Autism could therefore cause different symptoms and degrees of severity in children depending on when the disorder is triggered.

Normally, the body shields itself from such damage with a chemical produced by every cell called glutathione, which neutralizes oxygen free radicals. It binds to them, altering their electron balance and sees them safely expelled from the body.

By analyzing blood samples from 95 autistic children and 75 healthy ones, researchers led by biochemist S. Jill James at the University of Arkansas determined that levels of this protective antioxidant were abnormally low in many autistic children.

They presented their work at the Experimental Biology 2005 conference in San Diego.

The finding is suggestive, several experts said, because glutathione also is crucial for neutralizing toxic heavy metals such as mercury, which is found in food, the air and, at one time, a vaccine preservative called thimerosal.

[ Parent ]
Bring back thimerosal! (0.00 / 0)
We already know that removing thimerosal from vaccines (as several countries have done) does not slow the rise in autism.  Of course, there was no reason in the world to think that it would.  Since the main neural effect of mercury is to demyelinate neurons, perhaps it could be used as a medicine in cases where there is overmyelination.  The only disorder I know of that fits that description is... autism.  Since the ethylmercury isn't very bioavailable, I suggest that we go further and use a form of methylmercury.  Or perhaps we could have mothers be required to eat a lot of tuna while pregnant.  It would probably be very tough luck for those kids who develop MS-like syndromes (not to mention the kidney damage, hormonal problems, etc. that come from mercury poisoning) but adding mercury would be a better bet for decreasing autism than removing the mercury.

[ Parent ]
More important than ideology! (4.00 / 6)
I think being reality based is more important -- way more important -- then ideology.  Conservative judges both overturned Intelligent Design and created gay marriage, because they were reality based.

I'm not liberal because I swore some fealty to the Goddess of Liberalism, I'm liberal because liberals get it right more often than not.  If I have to choose between policy coming from someone whose natural instinct is liberal, but has no grounding in reality, or someone whose natural instinct is conservative, but is reality based, I'll take the reality based conservative.

Anti-vaccine IS NOT anti-science (4.00 / 1)
As a medical doctor heavily involved in treating autistic children and having personally spent many hours reviewing the medical literature, I can say that the vaccine issue is complex and fraught with bias and misinformation.

The media and those agencies that set medical policy have consistently presented a view of vaccinations and vaccine studies that is based on poor science. This view is rife with conflicts of interest between those that set vaccine policy and those that benefit financially from mass vaccination. The claim that the association between thimerisol and autism has been refuted is based on a study from which autistic children were excluded because they couldn't take the necessary tests involved in the study! This is just one example of the poor science that is used to support industry mandated mass vaccination.

Further, the safety data supporting the  current vaccine schedule in nonexistent. There is not one safety study that has shown the current schedule of giving 32 vaccines to a child by age 2 years is safe. Not one. Nor has there been any investigation into the epidemic rise in chronic disease in children during the same time that the number of vaccines given has increased 3 fold.

There is far more information and evidence both supporting concerns over vaccines and questioning their efficacy than I can possibly state here. So before you rile RFK for his anti-science stance you need to take a thorough look at the vaccine issue. And don't forget to read about the statement by Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, that vaccines can trigger autism in a vulnerable subset of children. A statement not picked up by the mainstream media.

Citations? (4.00 / 1)
The claim that the association between thimerisol and autism has been refuted is based on a study from which autistic children were excluded because they couldn't take the necessary tests involved in the study!

It's actually based on lots of studies. The one I cited in the post was a literature review from 2006 regarding the correlation between thimerosal and autism. So, that's just a boldfaced lie that makes me less likely to believe anything else you have to say. But, let's continue.

Further, the safety data supporting the  current vaccine schedule in nonexistent. There is not one safety study that has shown the current schedule of giving 32 vaccines to a child by age 2 years is safe. Not one.

That's actually complete bullshit too. Firstly, the CDC recommends vaccination for 14 diseases, which leads to about 23 total shots. Secondly, that CDC link above has papers about multiple vaccine safety and the American Academy of Pediatrics has another one on their site. I did that without even cracking open PubMed. But, let's wrap this up.

nd don't forget to read about the statement by Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, that vaccines can trigger autism in a vulnerable subset of children.

End on a high note. What Gerberding said that got the anti-vacciners all riled up was this:

Well, you know, I don't have all the facts because I still haven't been able to review the case files myself. But my understanding is that the child has a -- what we think is a rare mitochondrial disorder. And children that have this disease, anything that stresses them creates a situation where their cells just can't make enough energy to keep their brains functioning normally. Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you're predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.

She admits that vaccines can cause fevers and fevers can cause mitochondrial disorders to regress. This isn't new or amazing, and the whole actually was played up in the traditional press.

[ Parent ]
given that this is dginsburgs first comment (4.00 / 2)
on the site, we may have attracted some attention from the anti-vax forces.  

[ Parent ]
Well, that's unfortunate, but unsurprising. nt (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
many shots contain more than one vaccine (0.00 / 0)
So 23 shots before age 2 does not mean 23 vaccines.

I support spreading out vaccines over a longer period of time.

In Japan they begin vaccination at a later age than we do, by the way. Are they anti-science in Japan?

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[ Parent ]
It's 14 vaccines that are spread... (4.00 / 2)
over 23 shots.

No one is saying that the Japanese are anti-science. I haven't seen the Japanese ranting in the US press about how dangerous our vaccines are. I haven't see the Japanese equating us with fascists for disagreeing with their stances on childhood vaccinations. I have seen RFK Jr. doing both those things.

If had just said at some point that "Hey maybe we should spread out the vaccine schedule." we wouldn't be having this debate. Instead he went into full conspiracy mode and lied to make his points. He also likened those disagreeing with him to Mussolini and Hitler. That is not someone who respects science and evidence based policy. That is the problem.

[ Parent ]
but they are getting two, three or four doses (0.00 / 0)
of most of those vaccines. It could easily add up to 32 doses.

Recently my two-year-old started a parents' morning out program. We had delayed the MMR until right before he started. I didn't realize the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine was required for this program. I called the pediatrician's office and tried to schedule an appointment. They said we'd have to wait until at least a month after he received the MMR before they would give him the varicella.

This surprised me, because when my five-year-old was a toddler, we had the option of getting just an MMR or an MMRV, which also contained varicella.

Why do they now insist on separating varicella from MMR by at least a month, when they used to give varicella in the same shot as MMR? I assume it's because a small subset of children had an adverse reaction.

Let me ask you something. Do you think it would be harmful to give babies all 23 shots within the first six months of life? How about within the first six weeks? If not, why not?

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[ Parent ]
we give our children one shot at a time (0.00 / 0)
and make sure the nurse is using a single-use vial, not a multiple-use vial in which heavy metals can accumulate at the bottom.

The vaccination schedule promoted by most pediatricians in the US is very different from what many other western countries use.

A lot of doctors consider it unwise to give a newborn a bunch of shots containing heavy metals.

Dr. Robert Sears is well-regarded and in the mainstream, and he recommends a different vaccination schedule so that babies do not get more than one shot at a time containing aluminum.

How do you explain the disproportionate number of autistic kids who have rh-negative mothers if it has nothing to do with thimerosol? Thimerosol used to be in the rhogam shots the mothers got during pregnancy. Why would the mother's blood type be associated with a higher risk of autism?

I think we need to remember that autism is a spectrum disorder that has many causes. I have seen a study suggesting a higher risk of autism in babies whose mothers had labor induced, for example. Some autistic children (not all!) have food sensitivities as well, and their symptoms improve on the gluten free/casein free diet.

The diarist seems to be ideologically committed to the position that no vaccines have ever pushed a child onto the autism spectrum.

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I am ideologically committed... (4.00 / 1)
to the position that the best evidence available indicates that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism. The beliefs of one "maintstream" doctor aside. There could be any number of reasons that RH+ mothers are more likely to have autistic children. Is there evidence that the increased incidence has stopped since we quit giving thimerosal to mothers? Because there hasn't been any change in general autism rates since Denmark, Canada, and the US got rid of thimerosal in vaccines.

[ Parent ]
something like half of autistic children (0.00 / 0)
have rh-negative mothers. I don't know what year they removed thimerosol from rhogam, and I don't know if it's been long enough for them to have research on whether that has improved.

I am not anti-vaccine, but it seems like you are closed to the possibility that a small subset of children could be adversely affected by vaccines.

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[ Parent ]
A small subset of children... (4.00 / 2)
are adversely affected by vaccines. There just isn't evidence showing that autism is one of those adverse effects. Those who medically shouldn't get vaccines are protected by herd immunity, which is why we must keep vaccination rates high, and not scare overly anxious parents

[ Parent ]
heavy metals don't accumulate (4.00 / 1)
in the bottom of vials.  If they are in solution, they are evenly distributed throughout the solution. If they have precipitated (highly unlikely in those concentrations) they wouldn't go into the syringe. Besides, when they take the solution from the vial, they invert it before drawing out the solution.  

[ Parent ]
question for the diarist (0.00 / 0)
Why do you think Bill Frist tried to slip immunity for pharma companies into the Homeland Security bill?

Why should they worry about lawsuits if there is absolutely no chance that any child could be neurologically harmed by vaccines?

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Where is the evidence... (4.00 / 1)
that the immunity was directly tied to autism concerns? Large companies wanting liability protection is nothing new.

[ Parent ]
it was directly tied to vaccines (0.00 / 0)
and I assume if they were worried about lawsuits related to vaccines, that's because of autism.

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[ Parent ]
Why assume that? (0.00 / 0)
Vaccines can become contaminated, and there could be any number of other liability issues. You're just seeing autism because that's what you are looking for.

[ Parent ]
there have already been many many lawsuits (4.00 / 1)
related to autism and vaccines. Even though they were without merit, I'm sure the companies didn't want to go through the expense of litigating them. Since they had Frist wrapped around their little finger, they got the immunity provision. but that doesn't mean that the original suits had merit.  

[ Parent ]
Vaccines have not been dismissed from autism (0.00 / 0)
There is no possible way to appropriately comment on the flawed studies cited, particularly Denmark & the plethora of epidemiological ones paid for by the US government. The fact is, there is a great body of evidence showing otherwise, such as Burbacher et al who showed ethyl mercury does clear primate blood faster than methyl, but it also is deposited into the brain faster and more than methyl mercury. Former NIH director Bernadine Healy stated in a CBS interview that the NIH was told not to find susceptible groups in their vaccine study, a HUGE violation of scientific method. Jill James, PhD has found those with autism have abnormally higher oxidative stress compared with non-autism controls, in particular excessively high oxidized glutathione and abnormally low free glutathione.

Dr. Arthur Krigsman has found numerous gastrointestinal issues affecting those with autism from lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, entercolitis, and even chronic measles infections. Pessah et al and Vargas et al has found immunological issues in the brains of those with autism including neuroglial activation, neuroinflammatory states in the brain impacting the cerebral cortex, white matter, and cerebellum.

Vaccines have been proven time and time again to illicit a variety of these same issues in infants. Literature is filled with case reports of various reactions and deaths associated with vaccines. Thankfully a subset of those receiving immunizations, but a set nonetheless. As my college professor said last week, literature statistics is just literature statistics until your child is the number.

There is an inflammatory process going on in the body of those with autism. Thousands of parents have not dreamed their child's regression, such as mine regressing over a two week period at nine months of age after a hep B shot while scabbed over with chicken pox. Court cases have found vaccines to autism "autism symptoms" even though we all know the diagnosis of autism itself is a set of symptoms.

So be against RFK Jr as secretary of what ever. As a Conservative myself, I'm not a big Kennedy fan anyway. But I will stand and gladly cheer any Kennedy or anyone else willing to put forward the research that has yet to be done to finally find the cause/cure of autism. As Dr. Healy stated, science should not be afraid of what it may find. Science should look squarely at the facts. As another person said whose name I cannot remember, we cannot dismiss vaccines simply because it would be too horrible to recognize they are doing to some children what they are doing to some children.

Until then, I only pray that President-elect will not hold his claim that parents and physician do not have a right to decide medical procedures based on personal need. Indeed, we need not turn to a nazi realm of forced medical procedures.

I can prove autism is caused by thimerosal and other compounds (0.00 / 0)
Asking the CDC to investigate this would be the same as asking ENRON to investigate ENRON the thieves and the cowards will always lie, after all how do you admit you are responsible for a lost, dumb down generation.
speech delay
explosive disorders in children
Bi polar
peanut allergies
child hood diabetesand the list goes on !!!!
what do all these kids have in common ?
Answer Vaccines
To many  66 by age 18
To soon starting at birth
To many toxins  mercury aluminum msg antifreeze just to name a few vaccinating this way is the same as putting a loaded revolver to our children's head and playing Russian roulette with five in the chamber no autism but one brain disorder for life kind of stupid considering it was found to be useless as a antimicrobial but the damage is done. And the poor child that gets the autism bullet will cost states 3.2 to 5 million eachfor something that never even worked I am getting sick to my stomach just writing about this atrocity 1948 warned by a AMA study Thimerosal useless for an antimicrobial toxic down to one one millionth of a gram, he Dr. Engley suggested to remove it from everything,  the lead researcher said "It's as toxic as it gets"  THE WARNING WAS IGNORED1982 Repeated warning From Dr. Engley Same warnings   again THE WARNING WAS IGNOREDAt that time the rate of Autism was one in ten thousand.Moving forward to 1999 more vaccines more mercury and aluminum and other compounds, and toxins
the rate of Autism one in every five hundred
children.Moving forward to 2002 even more vaccines more mercury, and aluminum,other compounds and toxins
rate of Autism one in every two hundred and fifty children.moving forward to 2004 the rate of Autism an astounding one in every one hundred sixty six children.Moving forward to present in 2008 in Minnesota the Autism rate is one in every eighty two children and if the four to one ratio boys affected more than girls applies to Minnesota
that means one in every twenty something boys
maybe effected.The fools don't know when to stop, maybe when we cannot defend this country, because all the boys have a mentality of a three or four year old, they will think about that very stupid statement We cannot rule out that this maybe happening to a small subset group of children. It doe's appear under the watchful eye of the CDC that small subset grew and grew all the while the CDC said we don't know if it's a real increase or not. I believe our school districts can refute that with the astronomical amount their spending on the autistic and the add adhd speech delayed and bipolar, explosive disorders, and the list goes on This is the FDAs own words not mine But an FDA officer said it best in an email obtained through the FOIA act to another colleague
" were afraid the public will perceive us asleep at the switch for decades for allowing this dangerous compound to remain in the vaccines"
They were talking about thimerosal, the next paragraph is a scientist that has nothing to gain either way and his teams findings.   Just before he died he Dr. Engley set the record straight on thimerosal, you see a person dieing has nothing to lose.  But if you are the CDC that has poisoned a generation of children,  It's a little embarrassing that on your watch we lost a generation of children.   Dr. Egan from CBER he is from an arm of the CDC and the NIH was being asked by Congressman Burton why is it, Dr. Egan that there has not been any research done on thimerosal since 1929 and the only research was done on 22 people dieing of mendingitis and they all died.  And we do not know if it was safe or not.  This man that was so sure of him self, after Congressman Burton said Dr. Eagan on your watch we lost a generation of children.   This man that was so cocky became like a worm, he could not answer the congressman.  He could not speak his eyes were as big as saucers, it took two women from health and human services to escort him out of the building.  Remember what I said about Valerie Williams she was at that hearing and when Dr. Eagan came out escorted by two women from health and human services, she stuck the microphone in his face and ask why is it Dr. Egan that there has not been any research done on thimerosal since 1929 and the only research was done on 22 people dieing of mendingitis.  He was catatonic a woman from health and human services said if you want to no anything else, contact our press office.  If he had done nothing and was not guilty why the sudden transformation  From super Doc to a worm in a catatonic state ???  From 1948 AMA paid for study, since it's toxicity has never been studied I contacted the CDCs own toxicologist and asked how they could allow this to happen and they responded we were told to stay away from toxicity issues of thimerosal. You see you don't find what your not looking for. This is Dr. Engley and his research teams findings  
"We found thimerosal is toxic down to a level that is almost unbelievable. Down to 1.10, maybe 100 nanograms...a millionth of a gram and that is about as toxic as you can get,"
he said." But the FDA, and the CDC did not listen.  200 PPB is liquid toxic waste the children from the 90's, some received 32,500 Parts Per Billion at one setting on one day. And we wonder what happened to the kids. "Dr. Frank Engley is a retired chairman and professor of Microbiology at the University of Missouri. verstreatens work was if a child recieves  62.5 micrograms of Thimerosal by age 3 mos that child has a 2.48 times risk of recieving add, adhd, speechdelay, or autism,keep in mind some children recieved 9 vaccines on 1 day 7 of which contained the thimerosal. Example congressman Burtons grandson, 9 vaccines on 1 day 7 of which contained the thimerosal in two days full blown Autism. Also example, Hannah Polling9  vaccines on 1 day and she was destroyed and what I am getting at is If 62.5 at 3 mos can cause a 2.48 times risk what can 162.5 micrograms at 1 day in 1 setting ? maybe 11 times risk and from what I get by reading the simpsonwood meeting they were worried about 62.5 being  2.48 times risk because 2.0 is leagle meaning you have proved causation I guess with proving at 2.00 causation 11 times is proving mass poisoning.   This was taken from the actual report
It is clear from this research supported by a grant from the American
Medical Association that Thimerosal is neither efficacious nor safe,
and should be removed as a preservative in prescription biologics and
pharmaceutical products, as well as from topical over-the-counter
products such as Butt-Balm that have Thimerosal present in their formulations
as an active ingredient.
Just before this courageous researcher died he set the record straight, another quote from Dr. Engley and probably the most important of all that truly shows how the CDC, FDA, AAP, IOM, and the NIH, all were asleep at the switch for decades. And even to present, QUOTE
"if they had followed through on our 82 report the vaccines would have been freed of thimerosal and all this autism they tell me would not have occurred"
 My son was born in 1990 if they had listened to the report and followed through my son would be playing football in school instead he is being babysitted in school with the mental capacity of a about a two yr old thanks CDC FDA AAP IOM you truley are serving the people well  NOT!!!!! Who was this courageous researcher that apparently loved children, here are the credentials of this great man Dr.Frank Engley studied thimerosal as far back as 1942. Dr. Engley is responsible for the 4 year School of Medicine at the University of Missouri. He has consulted for the CDC, IOM, NASA, FDA, EPA, CIA, AAMI, USP, Armed Forces Epidemiological boards, Army, Navy, Air Force as well as Director of research grants and training grants for NIH. Engley Served on the Council of the NIH Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and a consultant on many Epidemiological Boards too many to list. Dr. Engley has been a visiting Professor in over 40 foreign countries medical schools. He has produced films, written text books, Laboratory Manuals, over 100 publications, served on editorial boards for numerous scientific journals and periodicals, including four American, two British and one German. Engley is certified by the American Board of Micro Biology and served as the Chair of the Laboratory of American Public Health Association. He has been listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who among Consultants and Who's Who in the World. His toxicity studies of mercurials in human tissue culture revealed the mercurials were extremely toxic for human cells and the Thimerosal -- the most active, toxic down to the nanogram. The amounts of mercury have gone down but vaccines still have 100 times that amount when they are in preservative free and reduced thimerosal vaccines. Now who do we listen to ? a man who is nearing the end of his life and has nothing to gain, or Paul Offit vaccine sales man extraordinaire with a vacc. patent that he will not even disclose how much money he has made off the broken bodies of little children.One of my favorite quotes from
Dr. paul Offit
I don't think full disclosure is a good idea
he was talking about how much info.
parents should know about the ingredients of vaccines
So from that quote I get he want to hide the
damage done to our kids so he and his cronies cannot be sued
 FOOD FOR THOUGHT this was taken from a book from  1953  Russell being quoted as saying
we would put mercury in vaccines, and other compounds to produce a partial lobotomized state
Seems this old boy knew 1953 what mercury could do to a child's brain  

Those who dont learn from history are destined to repeat history (0.00 / 0)

Patrick please take the time to read this, I took the time to hunt an peck it out and copy and paste.   You can make history, on this so important subject and stop the needless mass poisoning of American children and the children of the world. And even better you could be an important link that helps get these kids better for they and the families are truly suffering.  You will read this excerpt later "(In fact, only 1 in 500 children exposed to the teething powders developed the disease).

In 1950 authoritative British medical opinion was still cautious about the mercury hypothesis-an understandable caution, yet responsible, as it turned out, for the prolongation of the epidemic, with uncountable cost in human and financial terms, for several years later"
200 to 400 billion every year in the next 10 years for the life time care cost that was said 5 yr's ago.  We just bailed out wall street to the tune of 700 billion one time bailout.  lets use common sense here can we afford $200 to $400 billion every year? for the life time care of a lost generation.   keep in mind they just announced they need 21 more years, but before that press release in another press release they are saying that they were canceling a chelation study on autism because it is to dangerous but when you read this Email you will soon learn they are lying. Because it is very embarrassing every time a child is recovered from something that they say is not possible.  
Seems to me arrogancy is costing American children their lives and the US an astronomical amount of money sound familiar ?  Pinks with uncountable cost in
human and financial terms, for several years later"   Don't you think we should learn by now from history ? and if the CDC is poisoning children should they not be accountable ?
Patrick this also was sent to a reporter, this is on the history of mercury poisoning from teething powders and Pinks.  Which also because of route of exposure is a much worse problem vaccineal induced autism and other childhood chronic disease by thimerosal exposure.
Remember Pinks was ingested mercury, it goes through the body's defence mechanisms, the filtering organs.  Vaccineal goes full strength to the brain and the lining around the brain the reference on this truth is from a deposition by Sigma Aldrich, in it the executive explains very reluctantly that thimerosal targets the organs of the body especially the brain and the lining around the brain
I have this in a video, the CDC is trying to defend the indefensible mercury is and according to1953 and way before is and always has been very toxic and this vaccineal mercury according to Dr. Burbacher NIH paid for studies is more the twice as toxic as the fish or AKA methyl mercury vaccineal is ethyl mercury.
 This was sent to another reporter I'm forwarding it to you Mrs Daues Tom I am fixing to tear apart your little world that there is no scientific studies linking Thimerosal to autism, just think of mitochondria dysfunction disorder, google it and find that the very cause is, toxins such as in vaccines.  "Vaccinations contain at least four neurotoxins: mercury, formaldehyde, MSG and aluminum hydroxide. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have been looking at the possible effects of the fourth item in this list. They injected mice with anthrax vaccine containing aluminum hydroxide. After 20 weeks studying the mice, the team found statistically significant increases in anxiety (38 percent); memory deficits (41 times more errors than the sample group); and allergic skin reaction (20 percent).
On autopsy, brain tissue samples showed that 35 percent of the cells were in the process of destroying themselves
According to Chris Shaw, lead researcher for the project, his research shows a link between aluminum hydroxide and symptoms of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease. "No one in my lab wants to get vaccinated," he said
Just a thought the HPV for little girls has by the time they recieve the three doses 700 micrograms of aluminum with what Chris Shaw found you know a little thing like neron cell death it does appear we are assaulting their little brain with neron warfare what do you want to bet it will show up later in Oh! I don't know maybe early onset Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's the FOOLS never learn
"This totally creeped us out. We weren't out there to poke holes in vaccines. But all of a sudden, oh my God-we've got neuron death!" (www.straight.com/content/cfm?id=16717).
According to Chris Shaw; lead researcher, his research shows a link between aluminum hydroxide and symptoms of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease. "No one in my lab wants to get vaccinated.  Just a thought, we could learn from this statement From scientist's that know, and not just those spouting CDC propaganda as most are. Who try to defend putting toxic chemicals in our children's vaccines.
A NIH study from Thomas Burbacher on Thimerosal and primates, if it works the same turns into ethyl mercury then it enters the brain of the child and it metabolizes into inorganic mercury. And research has shown that the most damaging to the mitochondria that depletes the glutathione is, inorganic mercury and monosodium glutamate (MSG, added to many Asian foods) I will bet MSG in children's vaccines is far worse than indicated MSG may also exacerbate a mitochondrial disorder
. So Tom it seems that we may have stumbled upon what autism really is and maybe the much worshipped FLU vaccine is causing the symptoms of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease. And I would be willing to bet that's where chronic fatigue syndrome is coming from.  For you see we have always had a subset group that cannot dump heavy metals just do a google on Pinks disease it was one in five hundred children that contracted the disease Pinks which turned out to be mercury poisoning through teething powders the next statements are from history and you could exchange the word pinks for autism and you would have today's headlines but these are from history pinks was affecting one in five hundred children. It seems we had as the CDC puts it, a subset group that was vulnerable even back then. It seems we are repeating history. But unlike those children who got better and recovered,after the doctor.s reported the drug of choice was chelating. Today our children aren't given the same chance to get better.  The cure that was once used is now conveniently called anecdotal evidence. If it worked then, it will work now. If it was not dangerous then, it's not dangerous now. Please look at this historical document entitled "The rise and fall of Pink Disease". And please keep in mind that pink disease was contracted through oral ingestion of Mercury. Where as our children today are injected with Mercury. Oral ingestion travels through the bodies organs that filters out Mercury. And injected Mercury by-passes those filtering organs. It seems the opponents and sceptics that grew old and disappeared from the scene are back and repeating history . . . In the article below just remove the word Pinks and insert the word Autism
and you will have today's disaster in a man made disease just like Pinks
was and today it is a very well accepted as to the origin of the disease is being mercury poisoning.                    This document is from history Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London.This paper explores the social and medical history and context of pink
disease (acrodynia), a serious disease of infants and young children
that baffled the medical world during the first half of the twentieth
century until it was shown to be caused by mercury poisoning. In the
English-speaking world the commonest source of the mercury was teething
powders, which were widely available and advertised with increasing
sophistication. Efforts to control them (such as the BMJ's campaign against
'Secret Remedies') were as yet unsuccessful. The article discusses the
social conditions that influenced the existence and recognition of pink
disease, the delay in finding its cause, the way in which it was
explained as a virus infection or nutritional deficiency and why it seldom
occurred outside the teething period. It discusses both professional and
lay attitudes to health and diseases during the early twentieth century.
and provides a model of how the disease developed in a specific social
setting and how the medical profession attempted to deal with it within
the limitations of contemporary professional thought.
The resistance
to the evidence of mercury poisoning is typical of resistance to new
medical knowledge and declined only when the opponents and sceptics grew
old and disappeared from the scene. Meanwhile, the cause having been
identified and accepted, pink disease disappeared
but its consequences
emerged much later, in an unexpected quarter, as a cause of male
infertility.Publication Types:
Historical ArticlePMID: 11619497 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE Here's proof of the history of chealation working to stop an epidemic
and the stupidity of the mainstream medical at large back then, It does appear that they have not gotten any brighter or maybe there just as
greedy.[05/28/2000 1:44:08 AM](In fact, only 1 in 500 children exposed to the teething powders developed the disease). In 1950 authoritative British medical opinion was still cautious
about the mercury hypothesis-an understandable caution, yet responsible, as
it turned out, for the prolongation of the epidemic, with uncountable cost in
human and financial terms, for several years later We in the autism community are always told, chelation is dangerous and voodoo science at best antadotal evidence.  Also don't look for mercury in your kid it's probibly not in there anyway and it is very expensive.  It cost $90 dollars to test my son for mercury toxicity my sons levels were high in mercury he has a inability to excrete heavy metals and he has low glutathione the same as Hanah Poling.  But the CDC could learn from these next lines.from history.  It doe's appear that what the CDC and the AAP has been saying is dangerous, was the standard of care for industrial mercury poisoning and stopped the pinks disease epidemic, and in their own words from history
"Several physicians gave their pink disease patients dimercaprol with gratifying cures"
If you research why they are saying chelation is dangerous It's is because a child named adama was killed in a chelation therapy accident.   But what they will not tell you is that when it happened that week a person from the CDC said (it was an accident they used the wrong chelation drug it was for heart patients it stripped out the boys calcium and that killed the boy it had happened twice before and had it been regular chelation it would have been fine for it usually is harmless).  
Also it is on the CDCs own website if you get to much mercury it's necessary to chelate
But slowly the evidence was stacking up against mercury. Dimercaprol
(British anti-Lewisite; BAL) is a chelating agent developed for military use
against possible gas attacks and in the 1950s was the standard treatment for
industrial mercury poisoning. Several physicians gave their pink disease
patients dimercaprol with gratifying cures. (The drug was never tested in a
proper controlled clinical trial as the disease disappeared before such a trial
could be organized
.) Why dangerous now, when we can see it clearly wasn't then could it be the children getting better if chelated at an early age (like Christian Wright  from autism speaks who began to speak after chelation again for the first time since the vaccines took the child's voice away the grand son of the CEO of NBC and GE,)  Proves this is a revisiting of mercury toxicity, And that is embarrassing to the CDC not to mention that this could end careers and send people to prison. Also destroying documents from the Vaccine Safety Data link is a felony.
I wish reporters would do their own leg work and stop asking the fox if he ate the eggs, Just what do you expect the answer to be ??
 I believe these Emails obtained through the FOIA puts this in perspective     This email was from a senior FDA officer  or  CDC officer
This was not rocket science this was 9th grade math how could this have happened
CDC to another CDC agent
whats in the vaccines! how could the FDA approve a preservative with out knowing how much mercury it contains what else is lurking that we don't know about
AS read at a congerssional hearing on vaccines And
it is no longer going to wash, that  their is no evidence of a risk
AS read at a congerssional hearing on vaccines FDA officer to an FDA officer"
were afraid the public will perceive us asleep at the switch for decades for allowing this dangerous compound to remain in the vaccines
" notice he did not say perceivable dangerous compound These are the same people that you trust to tell you the truth about the flu vaccines containing mercury     All you have to do is dig, and you get to the truth. Isn't that your job?

Warkany and Hubbard's reports of an association between mercury
exposure and the disease was confirmed by several other workers, though
these later reports also noted that urinary mercury levels were often high in
healthy children too. In the rare cases of industrial mercury poisoning that
occurred, astute clinicians noted that in the recovery phase after the acute
illness, a condition indistinguishable from pink disease could be seen for a few
weeks.  We in the autism community are always told, my child was vaccinated and he is fine. and I think this explains why. These below are from history on pinks aka mercury poisoning

Clearly, if mercury was responsible for the disease, it could not be
simple poisoning, or all exposed children would suffer in a dose related
manner; the children who became ill must be excessively sensitive to the
poison (idiosyncrasy). In fact, only 1 in 500 children exposed to the teething powders developed the disease

You could change Parliament to CDC in the next lines and have today's thimerosal Autism delima  And there the matter rested at impasse between the mercury hypothesis
and the manufacturers of mercurials. In the absence of decisive evidence,
Parliament declined repeated calls to ban the products (although several states
in USA and Australia did so), and the disease remained a chronic and fearful
The impasse was finally broken in 1953 by Dr J G Dathan of
Stokes-on-Trent. Upset and incensed by the miserable deaths of 2 of his young
patients and refusing to certify the deaths as due to natural causes, he referred
the cases to the coroner. The scientific cases for and against the mercury
hypothesis were arrayed against each other in an English court of law-surely
an unusual setting for a scientific debate.
The jury found that the deaths were caused by mercury poisoning from
Steedman's teething powder-in one case by frank overdose and in the other
because of unusual sensitivity of the child-and fearing litigation or
Parliamentary action the manufacturers immediately removed the mercury
from their preparations and recalled all old stocks.
The other manufacturers gradually followed suit. 3 years later, in
Sheffield, the intake of mercurials and the incidence of pink disease had both
dropped sharply and by 1966 Warkany, the originator of the mercury
hypothesis was able to write a final 'post mortem' article on pink disease in
the "American Journal of Diseases of Children"-a rare, but deserved accolade
for a dedicated (and lucky) medical scientist.
The story illustrates the difficulty of achieving change when doctors are confronted by powerful commercial interests, and finds an echo in the 1980s
in the continuing sagas of tobacco and lead. This is specially so when the
companies can muster 1 or 2 experts who will say that "the evidence is not yet
In truth it is still not proven beyond doubt that mercury caused pink
disease and it is still possible that an epidemic virus, now fortunately passed,
caused it. Of course, that explanation is very implausible and now that the
disease is departed no one is sufficiently interested to do more experiments. It
is also true that had the world had waited for 100% proof of cause and effect,
our children would probably still be ravaged by this dreadful, but preventable
It would be dishonest to close the pink disease story without one last
remark, though as scientists we are embarrassed to have to make it. Warkany
and Hubbard's original 1948 study on urinary mercury were drawn from
Warkany's own practice in Cincinnati where the disease was rare and where
teething powders were rarely used. Had the control urines been taken from
the geographical areas where patients came from, mercury would have been
found in several apparently normal, healthy children, thus making the
association far less striking. If Warkany and Hubbard had done a
scientifically impeccable trial, the cause might never have been noticed.

Do we need a industry insider for EPA no thats why Kennedy will make a good pick (0.00 / 0)
For to long corp. have ruled the roost the watch dog had become the lap dog the bush admin. had the current EPA destroying research that proved chemicals dangerous they were blacking out things and saying it was for security
reasons that is why
Bush tried to seal the documents for ever in the VSD now do you seal what makes your case. and do you seal it for ever ?  If there is no proof in the VSD that thimerosal damaged children why not open it up
. to public scrutiny.  After all the CDC is supposed to do everything in the public eye with complete transparency
not in secrete that is an agency that has gone rogue.
have you not heard Pharma lobbies new admin for FDA commish.  Now we need another four years of Big Pharma
in control now don't we.  


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