Is the CDC Deliberately Hiding the Truth about the Link between Autism and Mercury in Vaccines?

October 31, 2011
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thimersolThe latest scandal to hit the CDC is explosive: what appears to be a deliberate cover-up of damning scientific data.

Thimerosal, a controversial mercury compound used as a preservative in certain vaccines, was removed from all vaccines in Denmark in 1992. A subsequent Danish study showed a marked decline in autism rates following the removal of thimerosal, indicating a clear link between mercury in vaccines and the development of autism.

Documents obtained by the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD) through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suggest that officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were fully aware of the Danish data, yet published an article about the study in the journal Pediatrics which excluded this information, manipulated the data to misrepresent the decline as an increase, and propagated the erroneous conclusion that thimerosal in vaccines does not cause autism.

As CoMeD noted, one of the Danish study’s co-authors was aware of the omission in the initial draft of the Pediatrics article, and alerted CDC officials in a 2002 email: “Attached I send you the short and long manuscript about thimerosal and autism in Denmark. I need to tell you that [your] figures do not include the latest data from 2001, but the incidence and prevalence are still decreasing in 2001.”

The lead author of the Pediatrics article seemed to be aware of the missing autism data, because he replied in an email, “I am not currently at the university but I will contact you and <names withheld> tomorrow to make up our minds.” Despite this, the data from 2001 showing a decline in autism was not mentioned in the draft of the Pediatrics article, and in a 2002 letter to the editor of Pediatrics, CDC officials encouraged expedited review and publication of the article. The misleading article was published by Pediatrics in 2003.

CoMeD, led by biochemist Brian Hooker, PhD, is demanding that the CDC launch an immediate investigation of the officials involved to determine if there was scientific fraud. CoMeD is also calling for a full retraction of the deceptive Pediatrics article.

The CoMeD work and other elements of this scandal have also been brilliantly reported by Tim Bolen on his must-read Bolen Report.

This is not the first scandal to hit the CDC in recent years. Earlier this year, Dr. Poul Thorsen, one of the co-authors of the Pediatrics article and “scientist-in-residence” at the CDC from 2000 to 2002, was indicted in Atlanta for fraud and money laundering in relation to his $11 million grant from the CDC. And just last week, Dr. Kimberly Quinlan Lindsey, a top CDC official, was arrested and charged with two counts of child molestation and one count of bestiality.

While thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines in the US, it is still routinely used in vaccines given to children in the Third World— in other words, to kids who may have compromised immune systems to start with, if their diet has been poor or the quality of the water they drink is bad. They need more protection, not less. In the US, thimerosal is still found in many flu shots, which are becoming increasingly routine for adults and strongly encouraged for the elderly and children.

Speaking of flu shots, a new study on the effectiveness of flu vaccines has been published in the British medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. The media is reporting that the study says flu shots are “only about 60% effective”—a lower percentage than the public had been told previously. Unfortunately, even the 60% figure is misleading.

In the study, test subjects were divided into two groups. The control group was not vaccinated; only 2.7 percent of them caught the flu. The treatment group received the vaccine, and of them, only 1.2 percent caught the flu. That means that for every 100 adults vaccinated, only 1.5 of them will avoid influenza as a result. Mike Adams has a fascinating analysis that reveals where the misleading 60% figure comes from (hint: it’s called “massaging the numbers,” and it’s an old statistical trick that the vaccine and pharmaceutical industries use to inflate their reports on the drug’s effectiveness).

Even the CDC admits, on its own website, that flu shot immunity is at best temporary. Why the shot does not confer the kind of immunity provided by other vaccines is not explained, but it presumably has to do with the changing nature of the flu virus. What is also not explained is why the CDC may recommend exactly the same shot two years in a row, which suggests that the agency does not think the flu virus has significantly changed, but the shot a year earlier is not expected to confer any remaining immunity. What is never explored is the possibility that the shot simply fails to confer much immunity at all, which could be tested by seeing if immunized people actually do get the flu, something that the government refuses to do.

Regular readers will know about vitamin D as a natural way to prevent and treat influenza viruses—including Swine Flu. A Japanese study last year showed that schoolchildren who were given vitamin D3 supplements were three times less likely to develop cold or flu symptoms as children who did not take the vitamin.

Speaking of Japan, an article in a respected medical journal points out that infants there get twelve vaccines, not the twenty-six that US infants are supposed to get. Infant mortality is also less than half what it is overall in the US. Clearly it needs more research. The same article states that the US administers more infant vaccines than any other developed nation and ranks behind 33 developed nations in infant mortality.

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