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movielib 10-30-05 10:55 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152110,00.html


Vaccination-Autism Link Unproven
Friday, April 01, 2005
By Steven Milloy

Radio shock jock Don Imus (search) is on a rampage about the vaccine preservative thimerosal (search) allegedly causing autism (search).

A closer look at the facts, however, reveals that while thimerosal is safe, Imus unfortunately appears to be suffering from a case of Charlie McCarthy Syndrome, with his eco-crusader wife as the ventriloquist.

Since the beginning of March, Imus has been ranting about thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination from fungi and bacteria in countless vaccines administered to adults and children since the 1930s.

But in 1999, frenzied and junk science-fueled activists goaded wobbly-kneed pharmaceutical companies, federal public health agencies and the American Academy of Pediatrics to agree to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Thimerosal was so dangerous, you see, that no one noticed it during more than 60 years of regular use -- that is, until the late-1990s, when the mercury-containing preservative was blamed by some parents for causing autism in their children.

Autism is a little-understood complex developmental disability that affects individuals in the areas of social interaction and communication. Symptoms of autism typically don’t become apparent until a child reaches 16-36 months in age and has trouble progressing from saying a few words to expressing more complex ideas.

Parents whose children “turn” autistic often erroneously associate the onset of autistic behavior with some contemporaneous event such as vaccination. Given that mercury (search) can produce neurotoxic effects (search) -- although typically only at relatively high exposures associated with accidental poisoning -- it’s easy to understand how the thimerosal scare came about. It’s less easy to understand, however, why the public health establishment caved in to this unfounded scare.

Many reputable medical organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, have examined the claims against thimerosal, and none have found scientific support for the scare. A study published in the September, 2004 medical journal Pediatrics, for example, examined 12 studies published between 1966 and 2004 that sought to find a potential link between thimerosal vaccines and autistic-type disorders.

“Studies do not demonstrate a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autistic spectrum disorders (search),” concluded researchers from the Children’s Hospital and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers further concluded that the range of blood mercury levels (search) measured in children after vaccination is not in the known range of mercury toxicity. It’s the dose that makes the poison, after all.

The researchers also noted that, while several studies reported correlations between thimerosal and autistic disorders, they had “significant design flaws that invalidated their conclusions.”

Other researchers even reported in January 2004 that, “The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism.”

Imus acknowledges the mainstream medical view that thimerosal is safe, but says he doesn’t care. He’s convinced that pharmaceutical companies are hiding the truth “to cover their rear-ends.” Imus is pressuring publicity-seeking politicians like Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., -- who has appeared on his radio program several times -- to take action. In lighter moments, Imus jokes that thimerosal is to blame for his own sudden mood swings and irritability.

The force behind the 60-something Imus’ thimerosal tirade appears to be his 30-something wife, Deirdre, who is the founder and director of something called the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology (search) located in the Hackensack University Medical Center. The mission of Deirdre’s Center is to educate and take action “to identify and eliminate the carcinogens and environmental factors that assault and ravage our lives.”

Although there is no sound scientific evidence linking substances in the environment with childhood cancer – genetics and infective agents seem to be the most likely causes of childhood cancer, which, fortunately, is relatively rare – this doesn’t seem to bother Deirdre, whose bio describes her education, experience and expertise as “a graduate of Villanova University with a B.A. in International Relations. She ran track at Villanova and has since then completed several triathlons and has run the New York City Marathon twice, most recently in the time of 3 hours 31 minutes.”

Imus noted on his program that while Deirdre doesn’t claim to be an expert on thimerosal, she does know “an awful lot about it.” Right.

Her bio doesn’t mention where she might have gained that “awful lot” of knowledge, but it does point out that “Deirdre was recently featured as a 'Woman of Substance and Style' in Organic Style Magazine" and that the Imus ranch “was recently the cover feature in Architectural Digest and Deirdre takes particular pride in having designed and decorated a total of 17 buildings, including an authentic circa 1880’s western town and a 14,000 square foot hacienda.”

The Deirdre-and-Don show reminds me of the sad story of famous baby doctor Dr. Benjamin Spock (search), who severely damaged his credibility with the final version of his book “Baby and Child Care” published at the end of his life.

At the urging of his second wife, a political activist and health food advocate who he married when he was 73 and she was 32, Spock irresponsibly recommended that children be raised on a vegan vegetarian diet with no milk, eggs and meat after age 2.

I don’t really care if Imus wants to thrust his wife’s wacky anti-chemical agenda on his listeners, but the public shouldn't to be scared about vaccine safety, and politicians and public health policy shouldn’t be influenced by such antics.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,153527,00.html


Vaccine Disease Protections Outweigh Side Effects
Monday, April 18, 2005
By Steven Milloy

It’s quite unusual for me to write follow-up columns, but I had such an overwhelming response to my recent column regarding the disputed link between childhood vaccines and autism (search) that I felt this was one of those rare occasions that merits immediate further comment.

Roughly 95 percent of my reader responses came from parents of autistic children angered by my column because they feel passionately that thimerosal (search)— a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines for over 60 years — causes autism. The other five percent came mostly from medical professionals who applauded the column because, like me, they advocate the mainstream medical opinion that thimerosal-containing vaccines aren’t related to autism.

Although this debate has raged for years, and will likely rage for many more, a decisive turn for many in the medical community came with the 2004 release of a definitive report from the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (search) which reviewed several decades worth of studies concerning a possible link between thimerosal and autism.

In addition to stating that it saw no convincing evidence of such a link, the IOM panel went one step further and recommended that no further research funding be directed toward trying to find one. That unusual recommendation carried a lot of weight since IOM review panels are thought of by medical professionals as the “gold standard” of scientific peer review.

Naturally, I sympathize a great deal with the plight of those parents who wrote to me since autism remains one of the most mysterious and devastating conditions known to medicine — both for the children who suffer from it and for their caregivers.

I certainly respect their search for answers. Yet at the same time I want to express in the strongest possible terms how important it is that parents not allow this controversy to frighten them away from getting routine vaccinations for their children.

A survey published in the November 2000 issue of the medical journal Pediatrics reported that 25 percent of all parents have serious concerns about some or all of the vaccines required in the standard immunization schedule.

Bowing to that fear, states such as Colorado and Oregon even offer parents the opportunity to refuse to have their children participate in the routine vaccination schedule. As one might expect, in communities like Boulder, Colo., where some parents have opted out of vaccinating their children, diseases like whooping cough are making an alarming comeback.

It’s well-known that the failure to get children vaccinated can lead to disfiguring, disabling and even fatal diseases. But what parents may be less aware of is that opting out of the standard immunization schedule isn’t simply a matter of individual choice — it also has profound implications for public health around the world.

Epidemiologists refer to “herd immunity” (search) as a population’s overall resistance to epidemics once that population achieves a 90 percent vaccination rate. Among a “herd” of 90 percent immune individuals, a non-immunized person enjoys a fairly low risk of contracting whatever deadly communicable diseases to which the “herd” is immune.

As the herd’s immunity falls below 90 percent, however, not only do the non-immunized individuals face a greater danger of becoming ill, but the greater availability of more non-immune persons provides the diseases with an “opportunity,” if you will, to replicate throughout the population in the form of various epidemics.

Each epidemic, in turn, strikes hardest at those individuals least capable of defending themselves — the elderly, the newborn, the immuno-comprised, and, of course, pregnant women and their developing fetuses.

So the occurrence and recurrence of preventable diseases does not simply create a toll of individual suffering; there is also an incalculable toll on our public health system in the form of missed opportunities for disease eradication. Awful diseases like smallpox, polio, measles, and diphtheria have been eradicated or at least made exceedingly rare in the U.S. thanks to the public's cooperation with the standardized vaccination schedule.

Parents who are unconvinced by the reassurances of the medical community and remain concerned about getting their children vaccinated should note that thimerosal-reduced and thimerosal-free vaccines (search) began coming on the market in 1999 -- again, not because thimerosal is a proven risk, but to allay concerns over vaccine safety.

Many critics have argued, however, that traces of thimerosal (and/or mercury, one of its components) can still be found in many vaccines, so parents wishing to avoid such substances altogether should ask to see package inserts and discuss the issue with their health care provider.

But parents shouldn’t be discouraged from getting their children vaccinated. Vaccines can sometimes have side effects, some of them serious — although mainstream medical opinion holds that autism is not one of them — yet these side effects pale in comparison to a scenario of large-scale declining immunity and increasing epidemics in our society-at-large.

Gallant Pig 10-31-05 12:01 AM

Good stuff movielib, keep it coming.

movielib 07-05-06 05:35 PM

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-mmr070406.php


Public release date: 5-Jul-2006
[ Print Article | E-mail Article | Close Window ]

Contact: Ian Popple
[email protected]
514-843-1560
McGill University
Measles Mumps Rubella and mercury-based immunizations cleared as causes of autism

Montreal 4 July 2006 -- Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) like autism and Asperger Syndrome have been on the rise for years. Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccines and thimerosal–containing vaccines (which are approximately 50 percent ethylmercury) have been suggested as possible causes. A new MUHC study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics tomorrow, assesses the link between childhood immunizations and PDD in 28,000 Quebec children and finally clears MMR vaccines and thimerosal–containing immunizations as risk factors.

"There is no relationship between the level of exposure to MMR vaccines and thimerosal–containing vaccines and rates of autism," says Dr. Eric Fombonne, Director of Pediatric Psychiatry at The Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC and lead investigator of the new study. Thimerosal was used to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination in the manufacture of various vaccines until its elimination from vaccine formulas in 1996 in Quebec. "According to our data, the incidence of autism was higher in children who were vaccinated after thimerosal was eliminated from vaccines," says Dr. Fombonne.

"In the past, concern about a potential link between MMR vaccinations and autism led some parents to take the drastic step of refusing to inoculate their children against dangerous childhood diseases like measles," says Dr. Fombonne. "This action resulted in resurgence of the measles, which caused the deaths of several young children in Europe." Dr. Fombonne's study indicates that autism rates continued to increase even with reductions in the use of MMR vaccinations. "We hopes this study will finally put to rest the pervasive belief linking vaccines with developmental diseases like autism," says Dr. Fombonne.

Autism is a neuropsychiatry disorder that impairs a child's ability to communicate and interact with others. The prevalence is about 65 cases per 10,000 people (about 1 child in 155) making autism one of the most common childhood disorders. The Psychiatry Department at The Montreal Children's Hospital sees about 350 new cases of autism each year. However, Dr. Fombonne stresses that there is no demonstrated autism epidemic. He attributes the rise in autism rates to a broader definition of autism and greater awareness of the disorder.
I predict that no one will listen to this and we will see many "Thimerosal causes autism" articles in the future and none will ever cite this study or the many others that say there is no link.

kantonburg 07-05-06 07:43 PM

You would post this as my son got his last MMR shot today.

criptik28 07-05-06 09:26 PM

God, people, just immunize your kids. Sheesh.

Rockmjd23 07-05-06 09:57 PM

I still can't believe people don't do it in this day and age. Foolish and irresponsible. If you don't want to, go move to a deserted island.

kvrdave 07-05-06 11:47 PM

Its the gluten that is making your kids sick, people!!!! STOP THE GLUTEN!!!

darkside 07-06-06 07:58 AM

Definitely keep your unimmunized little vermin away from my kids.

Duran 07-06-06 08:20 AM

It's easy to question vaccinations when you've never met anyone that even knows someone that's had one of the diseases. It reminds me of the Head & Shoulders commercial - "But you don't have dandruff!"

Exactly.

Vibiana 07-06-06 08:24 AM


Originally Posted by darkside
Definitely keep your unimmunized little vermin away from my kids.

And away from me, too. The vaccinations I got as a kid have all run out.

mosquitobite 07-06-06 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by kvrdave
Its the gluten that is making your kids sick, people!!!! STOP THE GLUTEN!!!

:grunt: My husband is allergic to gluten. :grunt: It's a PITA!

kvrdave 07-06-06 10:22 AM

Duh...I just said that. :)

xmiyux 07-06-06 10:47 AM

We got our daughter immunized except for the chicken pox vaccine. I would rather her get it when she is younger rather than be inher 20's and decide she isn't getting the booster and get it as an adult when it is more dangerous.

kvrdave 07-06-06 10:56 AM


Originally Posted by xmiyux
We got our daughter immunized except for the chicken pox vaccine. I would rather her get it when she is younger rather than be inher 20's and decide she isn't getting the booster and get it as an adult when it is more dangerous.


I agree. It seems like Washington is starting to make it mandatory if they don't get it by age 10 or something.

But I remember when we had chicken pox parties with my kids, and we will probably do the same with the new one. We tried to do the same thing with polio, but that didn't turn out as well. :(

kgrogers1979 07-06-06 11:21 AM

My brother had a fatal reaction to the MMR vaccine. He was perfectly fine before having the shot, but less than 24 hours later he was dead. It is extremely rare, but things like this do happen.

ben12 07-06-06 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
My brother had a fatal reaction to the MMR vaccine. He was perfectly fine before having the shot, but less than 24 hours later he was dead. It is extremely rare, but things like this do happen.

The chances of this happening are MUCH LESS than the chances of getting a horrible disease that you're not immunized against. So immunizations are still the way to go. Sorry about your brother, though. That's always been the downside of vaccines. Some people will die from the vaccine, but the number of ppl that die are much less if you immunize your society.

JasonF 07-06-06 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by mosquitobite
:grunt: My husband is allergic to gluten. :grunt: It's a PITA!

Good point -- pita bread does contain gluten. Thanks for sharing!

CRM114 07-06-06 12:44 PM

Just wanted to add ... You can exempt your child in public schools from immunizations for medical or religious reasons. The school also reserves the right to remove your child from the student body during any perceived outbreaks.

Jadzia 07-06-06 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by ben12
The chances of this happening are MUCH LESS than the chances of getting a horrible disease that you're not immunized against. So immunizations are still the way to go. Sorry about your brother, though. That's always been the downside of vaccines. Some people will die from the vaccine, but the number of ppl that die are much less if you immunize your society.

Horrible diseases? Like measles or mumps or chicken pox?

I think I would rather have my child sick for two weeks and then have life-long immunity, than possibly dying from some unknown reaction to a toxin injected in his system.

It's funny how a disease only becomes so "horrible" after they develop a vaccine for it. My sister had mumps as a child, I had chicken pox as a child, my ex-boyfriend had measles in his 20's. Somehow we are all still walking around! Our grandparents and their parents all somehow lived until ripe old ages without vaccines for common childhood illnesses.

Reminds me of that big debacle a few months ago about the "mumps outbreak". The reporters and the CDC were freaking out on the news about it but then they would interview the people who had it and they were like "I had a sore throat for a few weeks." :lol:

One of the reasons why they had the mumps outbreak was that the vaccine doesn't work. That's why most of the kids that got it were vaccinated and they were around 20 years old. So they were not "immunized" against any disease. And by the way, mumps as a child is very mild, it is only if you get it after puberty that it poses any risk of sterility. So that is why the natural state is to get it as a child and have life-long immunity. These vaccines for routine child diseases are only serving to screw up how your immune system is supposed to work.

Jadzia 07-06-06 03:13 PM


Originally Posted by darkside
Definitely keep your unimmunized little vermin away from my kids.

If you believe your kids are immunized then what do you have to worry about? :hscratch:

Jadzia 07-06-06 03:16 PM


Originally Posted by Duran
It's easy to question vaccinations when you've never met anyone that even knows someone that's had one of the diseases.

And it's easy to question not-vaccinating when you've never met anyone that has been damaged by a vaccine.

CheapBastid 07-06-06 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by Jadzia
I truly believe that autism is caused by the inablity of many children to fully process out all the toxins that are present in vaccines.

You have any reputable evidence for your 'belief'? You can truly believe in Unicorns and Vampires if you like, luckily believing in those things doesn't really hurt anyone.

twikoff 07-06-06 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by CheapBastid
You have any reputable evidence for your 'belief'? You can truly believe in Unicorns and Vampires if you like, luckily believing in those things doesn't really hurt anyone.

Im sure its her degrees in medical science and chemistry that give her these beliefs..

oh wait.. :whofart:

Duran 07-06-06 04:03 PM


Originally Posted by Jadzia
And it's easy to question not-vaccinating when you've never met anyone that has been damaged by a vaccine.

That's because it's so freaking rare.


Originally Posted by wikipedia
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles is a leading cause of vaccine preventable childhood mortality—there were 30 million cases and 875,000 deaths caused by measles every year.[2] The WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that the global immunization drive has cut measles deaths by nearly half between 1999 and 2004 (from 871,000 in 1999 to an estimated 454,000 in 2004), "thanks to major national immunization activities and better access to routine childhood immunization."

Tell the parents of a child killed by the measles that it isn't a horrible disease.

kvrdave 07-06-06 04:08 PM


Originally Posted by Jadzia
Horrible diseases? Like measles or mumps or chicken pox?

I think I would rather have my child sick for two weeks and then have life-long immunity, than possibly dying from some unknown reaction to a toxin injected in his system.

I would agree if there weren't children who actually died from those diseases, and they die in greater numbers than those who die from the shots.


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