in Newsweek 1943-2009 (full timeline)
Mysterious Vaccine Court created in 1986 by the pharmaceutical industry, with the support of Congress, rules in favor of Bailey Banks against HHS.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s Los Angeles-based non-profit autism organization, today announced that the United States Government has once again conceded that vaccines cause autism. The announcement comes on the heels of the recently unsealed court case of Bailey Banks vs. HHS. The ruling states, “The Court found that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration of the MMR vaccine…a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to PDD [Autism].”
In a curious and hypocritical method of operation, the mysterious Vaccine Court not only protects vaccine makers from liability but supports a policy that has tripled the number of vaccines given to U.S. children – all after being made aware of the fact that these vaccines do, in fact, cause autism and repeatedly ruling in favor of families with children hurt by their vaccines.
“It was heartbreaking to hear about Bailey’s story, but through this ruling we are gaining the proof we need to open the eyes of the world to the fact that vaccines do, in fact, cause autism,” said Jenny McCarthy, Hollywood actress, autism activist, best-selling author and Generation Rescue board member. “Bailey Banks’ regression into autism after vaccination is the same story I went through with my own son and the same story I have heard from thousands of mothers and fathers around the country. Our hope is that this ruling will influence decision and policy-makers to help the hundreds of thousands of children and families affected by this terrible condition.”
Banks vs. HHS is the second known case where the Vaccine Court could not deny the overwhelming evidence showing vaccines caused a child’s autism. The first was the case of Hannah Poling in March of 2008, where the court found in her favor and awarded her family compensation.
Jim Carrey, Hollywood legend and Generation Rescue board member, reacted to the news, “It seems the U.S. government is sending mixed messages by telling the world that vaccines don’t cause autism, while, at the same time, they are quietly managing a separate ‘vaccine court’ that is ruling in favor of affected families and finding that vaccines, in fact, were the cause. For most of the autism community the question is no longer whether vaccines caused of their child’s autism. The question is why is their government only promoting the rulings that are in favor of the vaccine companies.”
Why is a secret court, which no one knows about or understands, quietly paying these families for vaccine injuries and autism? Deirdre Imus, Generation Rescue board member and founder of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology says, “Over the past 20 years, the vaccine court has dispensed close to $2 billion in compensation to families whose children were injured or killed by a vaccine. I am not against vaccines and my own child has been vaccinated. But, I share the growing concerns of many parents questioning the number of vaccines given to children today, some of the toxic ingredients in vaccines, and whether we know enough about the combination risks associated with the multiple vaccines given to children during critical developmental windows.”
To help spread the word of the Banks ruling, Generation Rescue also bought a full-page ad that will run in the USA Today on 02/25/2009, which has a daily circulation of 2,272,815.
On February 12, the federal “Vaccine Court” in Washington issued a sweeping ruling in three highly touted “test cases” against families who claimed that their childrens’ autism had been caused by vaccines. The Special Masters in those three cases found that Petitioners failed to establish causation between MMR vaccines, the mercury-laced vaccine preservative thimerosal, and autism (the court decision, which is under appeal, deferred any finding on a thimerosal-only theory of causation). The rulings could have a significant precedential impact on some 5,000 families who opted to bring their cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP) hoping that the vaccine court would officially hold that the MMR vaccine or thimerosal had caused autism in their children.
The New York Times joined the government Health Agency (HRSA) and its big pharma allies hailing the decisions as proof that the scientific doubts about vaccine safety had finally been “demolished.” The US Department of Health and Human services said the rulings should “help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism.” The Times, which has made itself a blind mouthpiece for HRSA and a leading defender of vaccine safety, joined crowing government and vaccine industry flacks applauding the decisions like giddy cheerleaders, rooting for the same court that many of these same voices viscously derided just one year ago, after Hannah Poling won compensation for her vaccine induced autism.
But last week, the parents of yet another child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were awarded a lump sum of more than $810,000 (plus an estimated $30-40,000 per year for autism services and care) in compensation by the Court, which ruled that the measels-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine had caused acute brain damage that led to his autism spectrum disorder.
The family of 10-year-old Bailey Banks won their case quietly and without fanfare in June of 2007, but the ruling has only now come to public attention. In the remarkably clear and eloquent decision, Special Master Richard Abell ruled that the Banks had successfully demonstrated that “the MMR vaccine at issue actually caused the conditions from which Bailey suffered and continues to suffer.”
Bailey’s diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which has been recognized as an autism spectrum disorder by CDC, HRSA and the other federal health agencies since at least the 1990s.
In his conclusion, Special Master Abell ruled that Petitioners had proven that the MMR had directly caused a brain inflammation illness called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) which, in turn, had caused the autism spectrum disorder PDD-NOS in the child:
The Court found that Bailey’s ADEM was both caused-in-fact and proximately caused by his vaccination. It is well-understood that the vaccination at issue can cause ADEM, and the Court found, based upon a full reading and hearing of the pertinent facts in this case, that it did actually cause the ADEM. Furthermore, Bailey’s ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his developmental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD [an autism spectrum disorder]. The Court found that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration of the MMR vaccine, and that this chain of causation was… a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to Pervasive Developmental Delay.
The Bailey decision is not an isolated ruling. We now know of at least two other successful ADEM cases argued in Vaccine Court. More significantly, an explosive investigation by CBS News has found that since 1988, the vaccine court has awarded money judgments, often in the millions of dollars, to thirteen hundred and twenty two families whose children suffered brain damage from vaccines. In many of these cases, the government paid out awards following a judicial finding that vaccine injury lead to the child’s autism spectrum disorder. In each of these cases, the plaintiffs’ attorneys made the same tactical decision made by Bailey Bank’s lawyer, electing to opt out of the highly charged Omnibus Autism Proceedings and argue their autism cases in the regular vaccine court. In many other successful cases, attorneys elected to steer clear of the hot button autism issue altogether and seek recovery instead for the underlying brain damage that caused their client’s autism.
For over a decade, claims have been made that vitamin and mineral supplements may improve the symptoms of autism in a natural way. While not all researchers agree about whether these therapies are scientifically proven, many parents and an increasing number of physicians report improvement in people with ASD when using individual or combined nutritional supplements. Malabsorption problems and nutritional deficiencies have been addressed in several as-of-yet unreplicated studies. A few studies suggest that intestinal disorders and chronic gastrointestinal inflammation may reduce the absorption of essential nutrients and cause disruptions in immune and general metabolic functions that are dependent upon these essential vitamins. Other studies have shown that some children on the autism spectrum may have low levels of vitamins A, B1, B3, and B5, as well as biotin, selenium, zinc, and magnesium; while others may have an elevated serum copper to plasma zinc ratio, suggesting that they may benefit by avoiding copper and taking extra zinc to boost their immune system. Other studies have indicated a need for more calcium. There are several laboratories that test for nutritional deficiencies, but many insurance companies will not pay for these tests. Perhaps the most common vitamin supplement used for individuals with ASD is vitamin B, which plays an important role in creating enzymes needed by the brain. In several studies on the use of vitamin B and magnesium (which is needed to make vitamin B effective), almost half of the individuals with autism showed improvement. The benefits include decreased behavioral problems, improved eye contact, better attention span, and improvements in learning. Other research studies have shown that other supplements may help symptoms as well. Cod liver oil supplements (rich in vitamins A and D) have resulted in improved eye contact and behavior of children with autism. Vitamin C helps in brain function and deficiency symptoms like depression and confusion. Increasing vitamin C has been shown in a clinical trial to improve symptom severity in children with ASD. If you are considering the addition of vitamins or minerals to your child’s diet, a laboratory and clinical assessment of nutritional status is highly recommended. The most accurate method for measuring vitamin and mineral levels is through a blood test. It is also important to work with someone knowledgeable in nutritional therapy. While large doses of some vitamins and minerals may not be harmful, others can be toxic. Once supplements are chosen, they should be phased in slowly (over several weeks) and then the effects should be observed for one to two months.
http://www.autism-society.org By Autism Society of America – February 20, 2009
PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 2 February 2009, pp. 475-482
OBJECTIVE. Thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative in vaccines administered during infancy, has been suspected to affect neuropsychological development. We compared the neuropsychological performance, 10 years after vaccination, of 2 groups of children exposed randomly to different amounts of thimerosal through immunization.
METHODS. Children who were enrolled in an efficacy trial of pertussis vaccines in 1992–1993 were contacted in 2003. Two groups of children were identified, according to thimerosal content in vaccines assigned randomly in the first year of life (cumulative ethylmercury intake of 62.5 or 137.5 µg), and were compared with respect to neuropsychological outcomes. Eleven standardized neuropsychological tests, for a total of 24 outcomes, were administered to children during school hours. Mean scores of neuropsychological tests in the domains of memory and learning, attention, executive functions, visuospatial functions, language, and motor skills were compared according to thimerosal exposure and gender. Standard regression coefficients obtained through multivariate linear regression analyses were used as a measure of effect.
RESULTS. Nearly 70% of the invited subjects participated in the neuropsychological assessment (N = 1403). Among the 24 neuropsychological outcomes that were evaluated, only 2 were significantly associated with thimerosal exposure. Girls with higher thimerosal intake had lower mean scores in the finger-tapping test with the dominant hand and in the Boston Naming Test.
CONCLUSIONS. Given the large number of statistical comparisons performed, the few associations found between thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development might be attributable to chance. The associations found, although statistically significant, were based on small differences in mean test scores, and their clinical relevance remains to be determined.
The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper reports today that the British government was desperately trying to prevent secret files on the proven dangerous Pluserix MMR vaccine from being released publicly under the UK’s Freedom Of Information laws. In a recent case they have been forced to open the files up to scrutiny:-
And here is some of what will be discovered.
The UK’s Department of Health and others appear to have been reckless as to the safety of British children over the manner in which Glaxo company, Smith Kline & French Laboratories Ltd’s Pluserix MMR was introduced and used on British Children in 1988
By Dan Olmsted
In 1990, Merck & Co., manufacturer of the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine known as the MMR, made a significant but little-noticed change: It quadrupled the amount of mumps virus in the combination shot, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. Then in 2007 it reversed course, reducing the amount to 12,500 units. Neither the measles nor the rubella (German measles) component of the MMR was changed at all — each remained at 1,000 units throughout.
Merck also makes the single-component mumps shot, and in 1990 it also increased the potency of that shot by the same amount, from 5,000 to 20,000 units. But unlike the MMR shot, the standalone mumps shot’s potency was not scaled back in 2007. It remains at 20,000 units.
These changes were mentioned in passing recently during an informal conversation with a Merck scientist. I started looking for an explanation for the sequence of events, but Merck did not respond to a detailed written request for comment.
Absent such an explanation, simple logic dictates the reduction had something to do with the MMR in particular rather than the mumps vaccine in isolation. But what? And what about the timing — the increase in 1990 and the decrease in 2007?
The huge rise in autism cases began about the time the mumps component in the MMR was raised in 1990. One theory, dismissed by Merck and federal public health officials, is that viral interference between the components in the MMR could create a persistent sub-clinical measles infection in a subset of vulnerable children; and because the measles virus can cause brain damage, that could lead to autism.
A study released last week by the M.I.N.D. Institute at UC Davis reported that most of the fivefold increase in full-syndrome autism — from 9 in 10,000 children in 1990 to 44 in 10,000 children in 2000– is real and cannot be accounted for by broader categories or diagnostic substitution. And from 1990 to 2007, the mumps portion of the MMR was higher by roughly the same amount — quadruple.
Merck’s decision to cut back on the increase in the mumps vaccine also is surrounded by interesting timing. The cutback, in 2007, came at the same time Merck announced it was suspending its recently introduced, much-hyped four-in-one shot, ProQuad — the MMR with the chickenpox vaccine added to it. In suspending ProQuad, Merck cited a shortage of chickenpox vaccine; subsequently, a study showed ProQuad caused twice as many fever-induced seizures as separate MMR and chickenpox shots given at the same time, and a CDC advisory committee withdrew its preferential recommendation of the vaccine. Merck won’t say when ProQuad will return to the market.
An investigation I conducted while at UPI in 2006 found two cases of regressive autism in one small city — Olympia, Wash. — in clinical trials leading up to approval of the vaccine. Merck said the parents originally failed to report those cases to it (though the pediatricians paid to conduct the studies for Merck certainly knew about them and would have been expected to report them); the company alerted the FDA only after my inquiry.
The Merck scientist I spoke with recently also acknowledged that viral interference can affect the potency of individual MMR ingredients; that explains why the company added a whopping dose of chickenpox vaccine to the ProQuad shot, several times more than the standalone chickenpox vaccine contains. Using the same amount of chickenpox vaccine in the MMR shot as the standalone vaccine simply wouldn’t have protected children against the disease, because more virus was needed to offset the interference from the other components.
A significant number of parents of children with regressive autism cite the MMR as the proximate cause — they say their child was developing normally until the shot, then in many cases had a serious physical reaction within a short period of time and began losing developmental milestone and showing typical signs of the disorder. Some also developed severe gastrointestinal problems, an ailment first described in cases of regressive autism following the MMR shot by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in Britain in 1998; he named it autistic enterocolitis and found measles RNA in the children’s GI tract, suggesting persistent infection.
In looking at whether the increase in mumps potency in 1990 could buttress this theory of the autism epidemic, two questions arise: Is there evidence that increasing the mumps portion of the MMR could have any impact on measles infectivity or create symptoms consistent with those described by Wakefield and parents? And, could ProQuad’s higher rate of measles rash and fever-induced seizures be a warning sign that something is amiss with the MMR itself, especially beginning in 1990 when Merck tinkered with the proportions of the components?
The answers seem to be, yes and yes.
In the real world, children rarely get two viral illnesses at once — for instance, chickenpox and rubella. But when they do, viruses tend to interact — or interfere — with each other in unpredictable and synergistic ways. One example: Studies in the UK and Iceland showed that when mumps AND measles epidemics hit these populations in the same year, the risk of inflammatory bowel disease spiked. That’s an epidemiological argument for immune interference, and a striking fit with the observations by Wakefield, and thousand of parents, that a similar condition occurs in many children with regressive autism after they get the measles-mumps-rubella shot.
A related finding comes from a study funded by Merck. In 2005, the study reported that the four-in-one ProQuad shot — the MMR and chickenpox — was “generally well tolerated” and had a safety profile similar to the MMR and the chickenpox shot (also made by Merck and called Varivax) when given separately.
But there were a couple of interesting differences. First, “Measles-like rash and fever during days 5-12 were more common after the first dose of MMRV [ProQuad]” than after the MMR and Varivax given separately. The difference was substantial — 5.9 percent who got the MMRV had the rash and 27.7 percent had fever, compared to 1.9 percent with rash and 18.7 fever after getting separate shots. While that did not alarm the researchers, it could be a foreshadowing of the doubled rate of fever-induced seizures that was spotted after ProQuad was approved.
Second, even though the new element in ProQuad was the chickenpox portion, something new and unexpected was also going on with the mumps and measles components. “Geometric mean titers to measles and mumps were significantly higher after 1 dose of MMRV than after administration” of MMR and Varivax separately, according to the study’s summary. Later, the authors state: “This suggests that the measles and mumps virus replication is greater after MMRV than it is” after the MMR and Varivax given separately.
In non-scientific language, it looks like the addition of another live virus — chickenpox — potentiated the measles and mumps components: It kicked both viruses into higher gear and they replicated at rates higher than in the MMR. At the same time, the researchers observed a greater incidence of measles-like rash, and fever, in those who got ProQuad. Were the increased measles and mumps viruses interacting in some unexpected and potentially dangerous way?
Then, for whatever reason, sometime between February and December of last year Merck reduced the mumps component of the MMR from 20,000 units to 12,500 while leaving the standalone mumps shot as it was. During that same period, it decided to suspend production of ProQuad. In April 2007, it announced the suspension, and said no more would be available after July. Then in early 2008, Merck’s study showing the doubled risk of seizures in ProQuad was unveiled and the CDC withdrew its recommendation.
And just last month, Merck said it would stop making the individual MMR component shots including, of course, the mumps shot. That leaves the MMR as the only vaccine in town, and it means there will no longer be a mumps vaccine formulation on the market with the dose the MMR contained from 1990 to 2007.
None of this might matter if not for the fact that measles is capable of causing cause catastrophic brain damage and death; that’s an argument for the measles vaccine. In medical parlance, it’s a neurotoxic virus.
“The invasion of the CNS [central nervous system] by MV [measles virus] is apparently not an uncommon event, as reflected by the finding of genomic sequences in normal autopsy cases and the widespread distribution of MV in in neurons, glial cells and vascular endothelial cells of the diseased brain,” according to “Measles Virus Infections of the Central Nervous System” by Uwe G. Liebert of the University of Leipzeig, Germany, published in Intervirology in 1997. “The susceptibility of the host as well as his age and immune status at the time of infection constitutes significant factors for disease progression.”
Merck acknowledges the three viruses can indeed interact to affect a child’s immune system, although in ways it says are not harmful.
A Merck scientist publicly discussed the interference issue at a CDC meeting in 2004, the year before ProQuad was approved, according to agency minutes. Dr. Florian Schodel “confirmed the possibility that the chickenpox virus component of ProQuad was causing a local immune suppression and an increase in measles virus replication. … The current hypothesis is that the varicella and measles virus are co-infecting the same or proximate areas of the body and engaging in a specific interaction, but how that works is as yet unknown.
“He said the interference appeared to involve only the chickenpox and measles viruses – ‘there is no such effect for the mumps or rubella vaccines administered locally at the same time.’”
Yet based on Merck’s own 2005 study cited above, ProQuad triggers an increase in mumps virus replication, too. Live viruses in ProQuad seem to be behaving in ways “as yet unknown” that cause immune suppression, co-infection, interaction and increased replication. Even without ProQuad on the market, interaction between the MMR components and the chickenpox virus remains a possibility. The CDC started recommending the chickenpox shot in the mid-1990s at the same 12-month well-baby visit as the MMR.
That suggests the pattern highlighted by ProQuad could be at work through the increased mumps component of the MMR and the addition of chickenpox to the childhood immunization schedule in the mid-1990s. The lesson could be that combining live viruses, and then increasing them or adding new ones, is inherently dangerous, especially when invasion of the brain by one of them “is not an uncommon event.”
As Andy Wakefield told me when I was working on the series in Olympia describing the children in the ProQuad clinical trials who became ill after the vaccination and subsequently regressed into autism: “It’s actually heartbreaking, listening to these parents, for more than just the immediate reasons their child has met this fate. It’s that you’re staring into an abyss,” Wakefield said. “You’re listening to stories which reflect the fundamental misconception of vaccine manufacturers of what viruses are and what they do.”
Two additional points worth noting: After the increase in 1990 and decrease in 2007, there is still more than twice as much mumps virus in the MMR as there was in 1990.
The changes in the mumps virus component of the MMR serves as a potent reminder of something else: MMR is not one thing but three different exposures. And over the period 1980-2009 the MMR has changed significantly at least twice, making epidemiological studies even more difficult to interpret.
Age of Autism Blog:
A study reports that men with autistic children do not prefer curvier women like most “normal” men. So is it Dad’s fault for chasing down Olive Oyl or Mom’s fault for resembling a pipe cleaner (in my case, a Q-tip, thanks to the tangle of hair.) Holy Donut Holes! I knew I should have eaten more crullers in college…. You men can thank me for finding a way to get her (jerking head to thataway) on A of A. Send a donation. ;)
Someone spent money on this study.(Quick, check Autism Speaks’ grants list and get back to me, won’t you?) KS
Men who do not find the shape of the curvier woman most attractive could be more likely to father children with autism, according to a study.
Researchers showed 100 men with autistic children pictures of curvy women, women with athletic frames and more rounded women and found that they do not have a preference on which figure they find more attractive.
The new research from the University of Bath suggests that fathers of autistic children do not share the preference of men across the world for the curvier woman.
The study: “A Preliminary Investigation into the Potential Role of Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) Preference within the Assortative Mating Hypothesis of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Brosnan M, Walker I. J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Jan;39(1):164-71. Epub 2008 Jul 4.
“Of particular interest to studying the etiology of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) is the potential for multiple risk factors to combine through non-random mechanisms-assortative mating. Both genetic influences and a high-testosterone prenatal environment have been implicated in the etiology of ASDs, and given that waist-hip ratio (WHR) is indicative of a woman’s circulating testosterone level, a man attracted to higher-than-average WHR women is likely to have a higher-than-average prenatal testosterone exposure for their offspring. We show that whereas fathers of children without ASD show a statistically reliable preference for WHRs at the low end of the normal range, indicative of women with low testosterone levels, fathers of children diagnosed with ASD do not consistently show this preference.”
The Vaccine Hard Sell at Pediatrics-Age of Autism
A Shot of Reality
By Michael Wagnitz, B.S.
As a chemist with 27 years of experience evaluating material for heavy metals, I find it unfortunate that the journal Pediatrics has allowed Dr. Paul Offit to repeat misinformation regarding the use of neurotoxic metals in vaccines. He scolds Dr. Bob Sears for not giving the proper scientific credit to the paper, “Weight of Evidence Against Thimerosal Causing Neuropsychological Deficits” (1), published in the NEJM. Let’s take a look at the quality of this paper starting with the impartiality of the authors:
Dr. Thompson – the lead investigator – is a former employee of Merck.
Dr. Marcy has received consulting fees from Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and MedImmune.
Dr. Jackson received grant money from Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis. He received lecture fees from Sanofi Pasteur and consulting fees from Wyeth and Abbott. Currently, he is a consultant to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
Dr. Lieu is a consultant to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Dr. Black receives consulting fees from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Merck, and grant support from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Merck, and Novartis.
Dr. Davis receives consulting fees from Merck and grant support from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.
(The above information was included in the fine print of the published article)
The article states that any child with a preexisting neurological condition was eliminated from the study. Isn’t this what the study was supposed to examine, whether thimerosal causes neurological damage? These preexisting conditions included encephalitis and meningitis. The possibility that thimerosal might cause these conditions was eliminated from consideration.
Children were eliminated for other reasons from the study. One group excluded was children whose birth weight was under 2,500 grams, or 5.5 pounds. The number of babies eliminated because of this was not reported. Babies of this weight are not rare and they are not excluded from any vaccine. In fact, in a study published last year in Pediatrics, it was shown that low weight babies had a much higher rate of autism (2). In the end, only about 30% of the original study participants remained. The authors seemed to weed out anyone who didn’t fit their desired conclusion. Offit says (and I quote), “It is hard to imagine a better conceived, better designed study on the subtle effects of mercury poisoning”. No Offit, it’s hard to imagine a better conceived and better designed study to obfuscate the issue concerning the safety of thimerosal.
Offit tells us how aluminum in babies formula and breast milk dwarfs the amount in vaccines. What he doesn’t explain is that aluminum is only dangerous once it’s in the bloodstream. Aluminum is not absorbed through the gut. It is 100% absorbed through vaccination. He ignores the paper published in 2007 linking aluminum in vaccines to Gulf War Syndrome (3) . If it can harm healthy, adult, combat ready soldiers, at a lower dose per body weight, what is it doing to newborns?
Here is one subject Offit never touches; multi-dose vaccine vials, including current versions of the flu, tetanus and meningococcal vaccines, contain 50,000 ug/l of Hg, a level 250 times higher than what the EPA classifies as hazardous waste (4). All these vaccines are recommended for children. Primates exposed to injected ethylmercury from vaccines, as opposed to equal doses of ingested methylmercury, end up with twice as much Hg++ deposited in the brain (5). This form remains permanently trapped and has been identified as the primary toxic agent in degenerative brain diseases (6). State of the art research has shown us that autism is a degenerative brain disease (7).
Parents understand the difference between truthful information from honest, caring professionals like Dr. Bob Sears and the aggressive, bullying tactics that Offit and others are trying to sell them. The cat is out of the bag and it’s not going back in.
By Anne Dachel-Age of Autism
…Offit’s article, The Problem With Dr Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule, (HERE) led to a response from Dr. Sears (HERE) that is running on his website. I hope readers will take the time to read both pieces to understand first-hand what was said by each of the doctors.
Blog Article here
My personal view, they are both in the wrong.
Offit chooses to dismiss the bad science, cherry-picks his information as well to suit his own agenda and wallet, and believes in ‘survival of the fittest’ no matter what the cost to the children involved.
Sears portrayed the good and the bad in a poorly written ‘cut and paste’ type of way. Having read his book, there was plenty of misinformation to be read. Maybe I will point those areas out sometime:) Other than the delay or selective schedule that some parents may opt to do, there was nothing about his book I found informative. Why? Because anyone could have found the package inserts, CDC information, and other basic information with a simple search on the internet, for FREE.
I do applaud Sears for standing up for himself. Why Offit felt the need to dis his book is beyond me. You would think he would be pleased that some parents would at least consider some vaccines versus none at all. Could it be because his own has own book flopped so badly? Or was it his own way of making himself ’look better’, or ‘puffing himself up’ by knocking somone else down, given the negativity that surrounds himself that he caused himself?
Maybe, just maybe, his words are a mirror to his soul and God help us all…
By John Erb-Age of Autism
….This experience twenty years ago shaped my view of Autism and the direction of the research journey I have taken. In 2003 I finally put my ideas to paper. In the book called The Slow Poisoning of America, I theorized that something was actually causing the brains of those with ASD to grow too much. The culprit: Monosodium Glutamate. Introduced to the America diet in 1950 it is an amino acid added to food to make it taste better and to vaccines to stabilize the active ingredients. At the time I published this idea I had little scientific evidence to support it, more of a “hunch” than hard core science. But over the last 5 years I have gathered enough published medical studies to validate a highly probable link between this excitotoxin and the Autism epidemic.
Suddenly the pieces of the puzzle began to take shape. The studies I had gathered that showed people with ASD had larger brains and the ones that revealed an odd difference in white and gray brain matter made sense when glutamate was considered. The main reason mercury has been pushed has been due to the abnormal deposits of it found in people with Autism. But in studies mercury has always been shown to reduce the growth of the brain, not increase it. Carol Hornlien, food scientist and creator of www.msgtruth.com revealed the reason: High levels of MSG reduces the liver’s production of Cysteine. This leads to a reduction in Glutathione which aids in the removal of heavy metals in the body. With less Glutathione, the metals collect in the body. High Mercury would then be a symptom of Autism, and not the cause.
In spite of the lack of funding to explore the connection, recent studies have supported the possibility. Page and Daly et al in 2006 concluded that “Abnormalities in glutamate/glutamine may partially underpin the pathophysiology of autistic spectrum disorders. Shinohe, Hashimoto et al in 2007 determined that their “study suggests that an abnormality in glutamatergic neurotransmission may play a role in the pathophysiology of autism. Even in 2001 Glutamate was being scientifically connected with Autism. Purcell, Jeon et al. concluded that “subjects with autism may have specific abnormalities in the AMPA-type glutamate receptors and glutamate transporters in the cerebellum. These abnormalities may be directly involved in the pathogenesis of the disorder.”
Read Full Blog Here
By Scott Laster
A study titled “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” by Brimacombe et al was published in 2007 in the Journal of Child Neurology. The results of this study may have implications on the current debate over philosophical exemptions in New Jersey, and may yield important clues on how future public health policy might identify sub-groups that are susceptible to vaccine injury.
In this study, family histories were examined in a cohort of 164 autistic children referred to The Autism Center at New Jersey Medical School-University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark over a 2-year period (2001-2003). The study found that a family medical history of certain illnesses was prevalent at significantly higher rates in the autism cohort versus the general population, such as thyroid disorders (20.8% in autism cohort vs 1.6% in general population), rheumatoid arthritis (10.4% vs < 1%), epilepsy (5.6% vs < 1%), and diabetes (23.2% vs 6.3%). The average age of the autism cohort studied during this 2001-2003 period was 6.6 years.
This study did not define autism prevalence rates in New Jersey for sub-populations with each specific family medical history. However with the autism prevalence data from the CDC for the state of New Jersey for the 1994 birth cohort (MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries February 9, 2007), calculations can be performed on this data to approximate the “risk of autism” for children in New Jersey born with certain family medical histories.
Disclaimer: the following calculations are mine only, and have not been vetted with the authors of the “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” study. As a further disclaimer, there is nothing in the “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” study which refers to vaccines or indicates in any manner that the authors think that vaccines might be a causal factor in autism (on the contrary, the authors write that “… This work supports the underlying presence of genetic factors in the etiology of autism.”)
Per the CDC autism prevalence data, the 1994 birth cohort in New Jersey had a 1 in 94 risk of developing autism. In the following table, I calculated the risk of a child developing autism if born in that 1994 New Jersey cohort with certain family medical histories. A child born to family with a history of thyroid disorders had a 1 in 7 risk of autism (over 13 times higher than the risk of autism in the general population). For rheumatoid arthritis, the autism risk was at least 1 in 8 and potentially higher (as with some illnesses as noted in the table, the data on general population prevalence in the “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” was insufficient to determine if autism risk was higher than 1 in 8). For epilepsy the risk was at least 1 in 15 (or higher); for diabetes, the autism risk was 1 in 26.
Notes on these calculations: Although it is plausible that a child whose family medical history included multiple of these illnesses would have an autism risk higher than the autism risk from each individual illness, the “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” study did not evaluate such combinations. Similarly although it is plausible that a boy with family medical history of thyroid disorders would have an autism risk even higher than the 1 in 7 shown in the table, the “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” study did not evaluate the risk of family medical history for boys versus girls. Thus to be conservative, I’ve not included any analysis of autism risk for boys versus girls or for family medical history with multiple illnesses in this table.
What are the potential lessons from this analytical exercise?
1. If vaccines contribute to autism in a susceptible sub-population, the public health challenge will be to determine how to identify the sub-groups that should utilize an alternative vaccination schedule or go without vaccines altogether (and thus rely upon the overall ‘herd immunity’ to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases, as is already the policy for certain susceptible sub-populations). The absence of an answer on how to identify the susceptible sub-groups could be a major factor in the reluctance of the CDC to formally concede that vaccines may be linked to autism in a susceptible group of children. However, the “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” study provides clues as to the identity of the susceptible sub-groups, and further provides a method (clinical analysis of family medical history) to determine whether an individual child belongs to a susceptible sub-group.
2. The “Familial Risk Factors in Autism” did not study vaccines and does not provide any evidence (one way or the other) as to whether vaccines cause autism. However, it does provide evidence that New Jersey families with certain family medical histories have a far higher risk of a child developing autism. This research was recently published in 2007, and has not yet had time to be incorporated into public health policy such that susceptible New Jersey families could obtain a medical exemption based upon family medical history. Many New Jersey families, after much personal research, have concluded that there is a significant possibility that vaccines contribute to autism. Suppose that a New Jersey family with a family medical history of thyroid disorders knows that their child has a 1 in 7 chance of developing autism (based upon the above analysis of the “Familial Risk of Autism” study), and also has concluded that vaccines will further increase their child’s risk of autism. Shouldn’t such a family be allowed to have a philosophical exemption from vaccines?
By J.B. Handley
There’s a reporter named Gardiner Harris who writes for the New York Times. I’ve probably talked to a hundred or so reporters in my time and he is unquestionably the biggest jackass I have ever encountered. Aside from being snide, cynical, wildly biased, dismissive, and arrogant, there’s also this ditty, in a private email to me that explains it all:
“but scaring parents away from life-saving medicines is no way to improve this terrible situation. i have met parents who lost their children to vaccine-preventable diseases, and they are haunted. if you had your way, there would be far more of these haunted souls. i hope to prevent that from happening.” – Gardiner Harris
So, he’s also a vaccine zealot.
One of the key issues put forward by the attorneys for the families in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding was whether the measles virus could survive for years in children with autism without being eradicated by the body.
Recent research from the University of Manchester points to the continued persistence of viruses in the body where they may be responsible for the amyloid plaques which are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. (“Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 DNA is Located within Alzheimer’s Disease Amyloid Plaques”, The Journal of Pathology, Volume 217, issue 1, pages 131-138) The research was also highlighted in an article in Science Daily. (“Cold Sore Virus Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, December 7, 2008)
The way to cool the hot debate on vaccine safety is to turn to science and get the facts, and here, there is reason for optimism. Last August, the National Institutes of Health embarked on an effort entitled “Research to Advance Vaccine Safety,” involving five of its institutes plus the CDC. The operating premise: Vaccines are of vital importance to human welfare, and new and better technology enables researchers to address as never before gaps in knowledge about how to use them more safely and effectively. Areas the NIH wants to see tackled include:
Vaccine response. Vaccines do more than stimulate antibodies. Yet there is scant research on the way the complex networks of specialized white blood cells and immune chemicals behave in response to the currently licensed vaccines and their assorted nonvaccine components. Reactions vary among children and those of different ages, and sometimes, vaccines can induce overly sensitive immune reactions. Studies showing that early childhood vaccination may promote chronic allergies, for example, beg for further research.
Susceptible groups. The recognition that vaccines can be unsafe for some children made headlines last spring when experts determined that Hannah Poling, who had an unknown mitochondrial disorder, suddenly and dramatically developed autism as a toddler in reaction to nine immunizations administered at once, validating many parents’ concerns. Recently, serious complications from the new smallpox vaccine have been tied to specific gene variations, and there is ongoing concern that rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions have been triggered by the hepatitis B vaccine in those with genetic susceptibility. The NIH wants to identify risk factors and biological markers predictive of adverse reactions, which could protect vulnerable groups and allow better clinical trials.
Vaccine schedules. The one-size-fits-all vaccine schedule has served the public well but has yet to be tested for optimal efficacy and safety. The NIH proposes comparisons of the immunologic and physiologic effects of different combinations of vaccines administered on different schedules. Supporting this need is a 2008 Canadian study that found that delaying the diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus vaccination a few months cut the risk of childhood asthma by 50 percent.
Immune capacity. As infants leave the womb’s sterile environment, their immune system is virtually a blank slate, soon molded by generally benign and natural exposures—to pollen in the air, proteins in food, microbes on their mother’s skin. It’s assumed the little ones can handle with the same ease a sudden and concentrated exposure to the less benign antigens in vaccines. Research on the capacity of the young immune system to do so needs further investigation, particularly with the flood of new vaccines on the horizon.
Dr. Healy formerly headed the NIH.
By Kelli Ann Davis
Today, during the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2nd National Stakeholder Meeting on the Review of Priorities in the National Vaccine Plan, Stanley Plotkin, Executive Advisor to the CEO of Sanofi Pasteur and Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania made a startling revelation: Sanofi Pasteur is lobbying members of the Senate for liability protection.
According to Plotkin, Sanofi Pasteur is concerned about the “legal issue of vaccinating while pregnant” and feels it is “important to keep non-negligence issues” out of the tort system; he stated, “it needs to be addressed” and then went on to say, “I don’t know how it should be done but it needs to be addressed considering what’s happening recently.”
Recently, several documents have been brought to my attention which, when viewed together, suggest that the Department of Defense has legitimate concerns about vaccine injuries and their possible connection to autism, perhaps more so than other branches of the Federal Government.
These documents raise several questions that I am currently trying to get answered from DOD officials:
1) Autism may be an “adverse event” of Tripedia (DTaP) use
According to the website of the Vaccine Healthcare Centers Network, run by DOD and CDC, autism is listed as an “adverse event” associated with use of the Tripedia triple vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
My questions are: Why does autism appear here? Does VHC consider autism to be a possible adverse event of DTaP use, or has it simply been reported that way by parents?
2) Patients who have bad vaccine reactions should avoid multiple vaccines in the future
According to this VHC slide, any patient who has a “Systemic Event” following immunization – defined as “symptoms and signs of illness after vaccination” and “any reaction that does not involve the injection site” – should avoid multiple vaccines in the future, if possible.
My questions are: Is that standard DOD policy? Is there an alternative schedule for these patients? Does this advice apply to children of service members as well? Why is this information not shared with civilian doctors and pediatricians?
3) Patients who develop serious neurological diseases might need vaccine exemptions in the future
This VHC slide says that a patient who develops a severe neurologic disease following vaccination might need temporary or permanent exemption from future vaccines. Such diseases include peripheral neuropathy, encephalopathy (including autism, presumably) Guillain-Barré syndrome and progressive focal neurologic disease. Such patients should be given temporary exemptions from future vaccinations.
Meanwhile, risks for recurrent reactions should be assessed before additional doses are given, and “permanent vaccine exemption may be required.”
Again, is this DOD policy? Are such exemptions given? Because autism is listed as a “severe neurological disease,” would those patients (ie, children of service members) also be exempt from future vaccinations? And, on a related note, does VHC consider autism to be a “neurological disease,” as opposed to a developmental/behavioral disorder?
4) Mercury, and possibly thimerosal may cause autism and dementia
According this slide (#22) on the vaccine preservative thimerosal, from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), “exposure to mercury in utero and children may cause mild to severe mental retardation and mild to severe motor coordination impairment.” The slide also seems to indicate that autism and dementia might questionably be “health effects” of mercury or thimerosal exposure.
My question is: Why does autism appear on a list of health effects on a slide about thimerosal, even if it is followed by a question mark?
5) Alternative biomedical treatments may be prescribed for thimerosal exposure
The same slide says that “treatments” for thimerosal exposure include: “Methyl-B12, ointment DMPS, & glutathione (GSH).” These are all alternative (some would say fringe, radical and dangerous) treatments being used today by thousands of autism parents and their children’s physicians, with varying degrees of success (including reports of full recovery).
Methyl-B12 – has been shown to repair damage to the process of methylation, and to restore methionine and glutathione levels in patients with autism to within normal ranges.
DMPS – is a sulfur-based amino acid used in the process of chelation – in which sulfur molecules bind with heavy metals such as mercury, and eliminate them from the system.
Glutathione – is a sulfur-based protein that binds with heavy metals and eliminates them from the system. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant. Many children with autism show signs of glutathione depletion, heavy metal accumulation and oxidative stress.
My questions are: Was the speaker simply refering to treatments that some people have tried, or is the AFID endorsing these treatments for thimerosal toxicity and/or autism? On what evidence is this based? Are Methyl B-12 and GSH, like chelation, considered standard of care in the military for mercury toxicity? Can you explain why autism families in the military have these treatments covered, (at thousands of dollars a year), even if they also have an autism diagnosis? Is this why military insurance will pay for visits to doctors in the Defeat Autism Now network, which advocates the use of these non-traditional treatments?
I eagerly await the replies from VHC and AFID officials, and will update this blog as soon as I hear anything.
Meanwhile, regardless of the Pentagon’s positions on the above questions, we know for certain that DOD is concerned about the risk of injury from multiple vaccines.
In fact, it may even need to reconsider the practice.
“We have preliminary findings from one of our many on-going research studies that suggest a relationship between adverse events and multiple vaccinations exist,” US Army Colonel Renata J. M. Engler, MD, director of the VHC, (a “collaborative network” of the Defense Department and the CDC), wrote to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “These findings will require validation, but heighten our concern for the current clinical practice of multiple vaccinations.”
“The more drugs one is exposed to, the greater the likelihood of having an adverse event so as vaccine numbers increase, and (sic) we will see more people who have efficacy or safety issues,” Col. Engler said. “The standard of care (ie, in the context of mixing vaccines) is to minimize drug exposures because of the recognition that the more drugs being used, the greater the chance of a reaction and potentially a serious adverse event.”
I wonder when the CDC and America’s pediatricians will issue an equally thoughtful and cautionary statement, instead of their usual reassurance that small children can easily get 100,000 shots at once, without a single “serious adverse event” among them.
VHCN _the page that is now under revision you can view here.
I’m still trying to get my mind around the 452 page government report recently released on Gulf War illness and its implications for the vaccine/autism controversy.
For those keeping score, two years ago the National Academy of Sciences released a report asserting there was no such thing as Gulf War illness. (“VA-Funded Report Unable to Find Evidence of a Complex of Symptoms”, www.msnbc.com, September 13, 2006).
The congressionally mandated report entitled “Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans” is devastating in its findings. As reported in the November 17, 2008 of USA Today (“Gulf War Syndrome is a Real Illness, Study Finds”), “The illness resulted from exposure to chemicals and anti-nerve-gas vaccinations received, and no effective treatment has been found. It affects 25% of the 695,000 U.S. Gulf War vets (author’s note – approximately 173,000 service members) and perhaps 55,000 British veterans.”
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses. Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans: Scientific Findings and Recommendations (pdf)
November 17, 2008
Scientists have identified a relationship between two proteins in the brain that has links to both nicotine addiction and autism. The finding has led to speculation that existing drugs used to curb nicotine addiction might serve as the basis for potential therapies to alleviate the symptoms of autism.
The discovery identified a defining role for a protein made by the neurexin-1 gene, which is located in brain cells and assists in connecting neurons as part of the brain’s chemical communication system. The neurexin-1 beta protein’s job is to lure another protein, a specific type of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, to the synapses, where the receptor then has a role in helping neurons communicate signals among themselves and to the rest of the body.
This function is important in autism because previous research has shown that people with autism have a shortage of these nicotinic receptors in their brains. Meanwhile, scientists also know that people who are addicted to nicotine have too many of these receptors in their brains.
“If we were to use drugs that mimic the actions of nicotine at an early time in human brain development, would we begin to help those and other circuits develop properly and thus significantly mitigate the deficits in autism? This is a novel way of thinking about how we might be able to use drugs to approach autism treatment,” said Rene Anand, associate professor of pharmacology in Ohio State University’s College of Medicine and principal investigator of the research.
“It would not be a complete cure, but right now we know very little and have no drugs that tackle the primary causes of autism.”
The drugs in question are known as cholinergic agents, which interact with the brain to counter nicotine addiction. Anand said the medications could be retailored for use in children in an effort to increase the level of neurexin-1 beta protein in the brains of people with autism.
More neurexin would in turn not only enhance the presence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but also a host of other proteins that are important for the proper formation and maturation of synapses. Proper synapse function is critical to the nervous system’s ability to connect to and control other systems of the body.
“Now that these associations have been made, we believe that nicotine in smokers’ brains possibly increases the level of neurexin-1 and, as a consequence, helps bring more receptors to the synapses and makes those circuits highly efficient, reinforcing the addiction. In autism, we have the opposite problem. We have a lack of these receptors, and we speculate that neurexin levels are lower,” he said.
Anand presented the research Monday (11/17) at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.
Autism symptoms include impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive or severely limited activities and interests. An estimated three to six of every 1,000 children are diagnosed with autism, and boys are four times more likely than girls to have the disorder, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Anand and colleagues were studying drug abuse and addiction when they discovered the neurexin-1 beta protein’s relationship to a certain type of nicotinic receptor. The timing of the discovery was key, as it built upon two other research groups’ previous observations: The brains of people with autism and other neurological disorders that were examined after their death showed a 60-percent to 70-percent decrease in specific nicotinic receptors, and some patients with autism have mutations in the neurexin-1 gene that suggest the gene’s improper functions could play a role in the disorder.
“These have all been ‘association studies.’ None has been able to prove what causes autism,” Anand said. “And then we accidentally discovered that neurexin-1 and nicotinic receptors tangle. So we knew that there was a genetic link to the process leading to synapse formation, and we had nicotinic receptors that had disappeared in the brains of autistic patients. Our finding filled a gap by saying there is a physical and functional association between these two things occurring in the brain.”
Neurexin has implications for tobacco addicts, as well, Anand said. Yet another group of researchers recently found that people with a mutation in the neurexin-1 gene were more likely to be smokers, meaning changes in the gene’s functions that lead to excess levels of the nicotinic receptors might make people more susceptible to nicotine addiction.
“Our research reveals how changes in the functions of neurexin could affect the guidance of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to their functional destinations in nerve cells, perhaps increasing receptors in tobacco addicts while decreasing them in autistic individuals, thus increasing susceptibility to these devastating neurological disorders,” Anand said.
The finding also has implications for nicotine addiction because drugs known to alter neurexin’s guidance of nicotinic receptors within nerve cells could be used to suppress tobacco addiction.
This work is partially funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and by an OSU Medical Center Research Day Travel Award.
Coauthors of the study are Stephanie Amici and Susan McKay of Ohio State’s Department of Pharmacology; Shi-Bin Cheng, Xiao-Qin Ren, Magdalen Treuil and Jay Rao of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans; and Jon Lindstrom of the University of Pennsylvania.
Source: Ohio State University
Autism, Vaccines and Human Nature By Lisa Jo Rudy
For decades, the magical team of Penn and Teller have been traveling the world, making TV programs, and entertaining Vegas audiences with a show that specifically and effectively debunks the idea that “seeing is believing.” The Amazing Randi has offered $1000000 to anyone that can demonstrate paranormal abilities under laboratory conditions – a prize which is still outstanding.
Despite these high-profile efforts to convince the public that seeing is not believing, many, many people believe wholeheartedly in scientifically unproven phenomena ranging from UFO’s to ESP to communication with the dead. Many of those people will tell you flat out that scientific studies can’t possibly trump the fact that they experienced those phenomena themselves. Some will even say “seeing is believing,” and they will mean it.
Despite a basic understanding of probability, untold millions believe, wholeheartedly, that they will beat the odds in the lottery or at the casino. Millions are presented with convincing studies and public education campaigns that make it crystal clear that smoking, poor diets and lack of exercise lead to life-threatening illness – yet they believe that they will beat the odds.
Knowing all this, I can’t help but feel that doctors and researchers have a strenuous uphill battle on their hands as they strive to explain the science behind vaccines, and the math behind risk analysis.
I just received a book called Do Vaccines Cause That?! by Drs. Martin Myers and Diego Pineda. The purpose of the book, as I understand it, is to demystify vaccines – and thus to make it clear to parents that the risks inherent in avoiding vaccines are far, far greater than the risks inherent in having their children vaccinated. To make the book friendlier, the authors include cartoons – and the publisher created a fun, engaging cover and selected a relatively large font. This really does make the book easier to read, and friendlier to approach.
Flipping through the table of contents, I was impressed by the chapter titles. “Vaccine Side Effects and Risk Perception: What if My Child Is the One in a Million?” and “Cause or Coincidence: How Do I Tell Whether or Not a Vaccine Caused That?!” While the use of exclamation points and question marks may be a little overwhelming, the topics, I thought, were right on.
But when I actually read the chapters, I found that the book was going in a direction quite different from what I expected. The question “What if My Child Is the One in a Million” is unlikely to be resolved, for example, by the authors’ discussion of relative risk. Of course it’s true that we’re taking a greater risk by driving our child to the doctor for a vaccination than we are by allowing the doctor to inject our child. But if our knowledge of relative risk really influenced our behavior, casinos, cigarettes and Keno games would have long since perished from the Earth.
If we live in the world, we can’t avoid cars. We CAN avoid vaccines. So… the real question here is not “what’s riskier than vaccines?” but rather “is there any reliable way to know whether my child is likely to have an adverse reaction to vaccines, and if so – will you, my pediatrician, use that technique to ensure the safety of this shot?”
It’s one thing to involve your child in the daily risks of modern life. It’s another to knowingly and deliberately subject your child to a medical procedure that (at least according to some) could lead to serious consequences. I know, I know – risk analysis tells me there’s virtually nothing to worry about. But were I, today, faced with the question of vaccinations for a newborn infant, would I be comfortable in “just saying yes?” Being a human mother living in today’s world, I’m not sure the choice, even for me, would be simple.
…My message is still up there on the EOH message board, it’s message #17717 and you can read it for yourself. Now, you may disagree with the message I wrote, you may disagree with its tone, and you may disagree with my reaction to the situation at hand. But, at least you know the circumstances that surrounded the decision I made, and that’s what I really want you to know.
I really want you to know and understand what happened and why I wrote the note I wrote because once you do, you can see what a profoundly dishonest and manipulative liar Paul Offit really is.
You see, this post from EOH, or at least an excerpt from it, actually made it in to Paul Offit’s book, that book that will remain nameless, but the one we all know the name of. Yup, a piece of my post from EOH, the one where I was trying to tell the person hassling one of our Rescue Angels at work to back the hell off, made Offit’s book.
But, you wouldn’t know that from what Offit wrote.
You see, Paul Offit has a passage using a portion of this post, but it’s used for an entirely different reason. Rather than try to explain, I’m just going to share the passage from the book that will remain nameless, on page 145:
AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORP. ET AL. V. FERRARI ET AL. (S07G1708)
Attorneys for Appellants (Manufacturers): Lowell Fine, Leslie Suson, Robert Hays, Matthew HarmanAttorney for Appellees (Ferraris): Lanny Bridgers
Filed under: Autism News, News Articles, State/U.S. Laws | Tagged: AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORP. et al. v. FERRARI et al | Leave a Comment »
Robert Krakow on why he believes a flu vaccine caused autism in his son
The pharmaceutical companies and government health authorities don’t want the “vaccine-autism” theory in civil courts.
It is so important you understand this idea, I’ll say it again.
The pharmaceutical companies and government health authorities don’t want the “vaccine-autism” theory in civil courts.
That’s why the recent unanimous Georgia Supreme Court decision allowing plaintiffs to sue for vaccine injuries in civil court if the damage is due to a “design-defect” is so important.
“The Supreme Court of Georgia on Monday upheld a state appeals court ruling that could open the door to product liability claims against vaccine manufacturers by the parents of autistic children. Justice George H. Carley wrote for a unanimous court that a Fulton County suit against manufacturers filed by the parents of an autistic child may to go to trial. The justices rejected what Carley described as a “far-reaching interpretation” of a federal vaccine statute that defendant vaccine manufacturers argued gave them sweeping immunity from liability….. Carley specifically focused on Congress’ intent. He wrote that a reading of the federal vaccine act “and the congressional intent behind it show that the Vaccine Act does not pre-empt all design defect claims.” Instead, Carley noted, the federal vaccine law “provides that a vaccine manufacturer cannot be held liable for defective design if it is determined, on a case-by-case basis, that the injurious side effects of the particular vaccine were unavoidable.” But, the judge added, “The conditional nature of this clause contemplates the occurrence of side effects which are avoidable, and for which a vaccine manufacturer may be civilly liable. In order to bar all liability for defective design and to permit liability only for manufacturing and warning defects, Congress could easily have ….. made the bar to civil liability conditional on proper preparations and warnings.” “As the statute is actually written, however,” Carley continued, “it is best understood as barring liability only for those side effects which were unavoidable by means other than proper manufacturing and packaging. Conversely, if such effects were avoidable by a feasible, alternative design, liability is not completely barred.” Neither can federal law nor, by extension, Congress unilaterally pre-empt state causes of actions, Carley said. Instead, the justice noted that the question of whether a particular vaccine is unavoidably unsafe — and therefore subject to immunity from liability — is a question of fact for a jury to decide.” – R. Robin MacDonald, Law.com (October 7, 2008) http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425070398
“A Missouri appeals court Tuesday upheld an $8.5 million judgment for a St. Louis man who contracted polio after receiving an oral vaccine as a child. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals’ Eastern District also ruled that the vaccine’s manufacturer owed about $2.8 million for prejudgment interest on top of the award because it refused to accept a pretrial settlement offer that was less than the amount awarded by a jury. Cortez Strong contracted polio in June 1987, shortly after receiving a second dose of the vaccine Orimune, which was made by American Cyanamid Co…..Strong sued American Cyanamid and the pediatrician who administered the vaccine. In 2005, a St. Louis jury cleared the doctor of liability but ordered American Cyanamid to pay Strong $1.5 million for pain and suffering, $2 million for future lost earnings and $5 million for future pain and suffering. The company appealed, contending there was insufficient evidence that it was legally liable for Strong’s injuries. The company also sought to have the judgment reduced or set aside or that a new trial be ordered. Strong also appealed, seeking to be allowed to introduce rebuttal evidence against the physician and to have American Cyanamid be ordered to pay interest on the award. The appeals court rejected each request except Strong’s appeal for prejudgment interest. “ – Chris Blank, Associated Press (October 8, 2008)
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October 19, 2008
In 2006, Indiana’s insurance commissioner ruled that a law adopted earlier required private health insurers to cover applied behavior analysis, a specific and costly type of autism therapy. In the past two years, other states have adopted their own laws ordering insurance coverage for this treatment.Arizona: Effective June 30, 2009. Covers therapy costing as much as $50,000 per year up to age 9, $25,000 per year up to age 16.
Florida: Effective April 2009. Covers $36,000 per year, $200,000 lifetime up to age 18.
Louisiana: Effective Jan. 1, 2009. Covers $36,000 per year up to age 17.
Pennsylvania: Effective July 1, 2009. Covers $36,000 per year up to age 21, no lifetime cap.South Carolina: Effective July 1, 2008. Covers $50,000 per year up to age 16.
Texas: Took effect Jan. 1, 2008. Covers children over age 2, up to age 6.
Source: Autism Speaks and state insurance commissioners
Ronald Reagan himself was troubled by the vaccine compensation bill and was quoted as saying, “Although the goal of compensating those persons is a worthy one, the program has…serious deficiencies.”
…The Reagan administration seemed to be particularly concerned with two issues: who was going to pay for the compensation required for vaccine injury, and the precedent of the federal government indemnifying private companies from liability.
…The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was actually part of a larger bill, the Omnibus Health Bill (S. 1744), that was introduced in the waning days of the 99th Congress in late 1986. Leading a four-year effort to pass the controversial legislation on vaccine liability was a Congressman from the 30th District of California, Henry Waxman. Waxman’s bill was supported by vaccine manufacturers, who were lobbying very hard on its behalf, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
…In the waning days of the 99th Congress, the bill’s passage was up in the air, with the White House declaring plans to veto the entire Omnibus package, due almost exclusively to the provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Congressman Waxman, the bill’s author, was unyielding, and worked the press to his advantage in the final days declaring:
“This bill is the first step to taking care of children hurt in the process of protecting society from epidemics and to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines. If the President vetoes it, he will leave these children to fend for themselves and leave the country with risks or shortages or skyrocketing prices. If he vetoes it, I hope he has some emergency plans to start making vaccines himself because the manufacturers tell us they may very well stop.”
And, with the final threat of losing the entire manufacturing base of vaccine makers coming from Henry Waxman and the AAP, Ronald Reagan made the bill law on November 15, 1986 “with mixed feelings.”
That might be his part in it but this is far from the whole story. I urge you to read A Stolen Life. It is also backed up in the 1985 senate hearing S827(you can get a free copy) which will educate you on how it all came about and by whom. This is the SOLE reason we have the system we have today and those are the key players you have to thank for it.
An Atlanta couple’s lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers can go to trial on claims a childhood vaccine caused neurological damage to their young son, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.
In a landmark decision, the state high court unanimously ruled that Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari’s lawsuit is not barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. The court upheld a prior decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals, which was the first appellate court in the nation to make such a ruling.
When the Ferraris’ 18-month-old son, Stefan, received his vaccines, he was a healthy verbal boy. Now 10, Stefan has not spoken since, according to court records.
A year after Stefan received his vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris filed suit, contending that the manufacturers should have made vaccines without the preservative before Stefan was vaccinated.
The companies argued that the 1986 vaccine act shields manufacturers from liability in civil lawsuits for damages caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.
In Monday’s ruling, written by Justice George Carley, the state Supreme Court said the vaccine act “clearly does not preempt all design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers.”
Instead, it provides “that a vaccine manufacturer cannot be held liable for defective design if it is determined, on a case-by-case basis, that the injurious side effects of the particular vaccine were unavoidable,” the ruling said.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution October 06, 2008
Georgia family challenges federal vaccine law
Stefan Ferrari got his required vaccines before he was 18 months old. At the time, his parents said, he was a healthy, verbal boy.
But after his last round of booster shots, Stefan stopped speaking and, now 10 years old, he has not spoken since.
vaccines caused neurological damage to their young son. On Tuesday, the family’s lawyer asked the Georgia Supreme Court to let the case against two vaccine manufacturers, Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, go forward.
Lawyer Lanny Bridgers told the court it was bad timing when Stefan received his last shots. A year later, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris contend that manufacturers should have made vaccines without thimerosal before Stefan was vaccinated.
But a lawyer arguing on behalf of the manufacturers told the state high court that the suit is barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.
The law says no vaccine maker shall be held liable in a civil action for damages arising from an injury or death caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.
The exceptions are if the vaccine was improperly prepared or contained improper directions or warnings. Neither of these were involved in Stefan’s case, Daniel Thomasch, a lawyer for the manufacturers, told the court.
“It was the clear intent of Congress to pre-empt precisely the claims that are at issue here,” he argued.
Congress passed the law after hundreds of lawsuits were filed against vaccine manufacturers. The litigation increased insurance costs, drove out some manufacturers and threatened the continued production of some vaccines, even though the lawsuits were largely unsuccessful, Thomasch said.
“It has been a remarkably successful program,” he said of the 1986 law. “This wasn’t a rescue of the industry. It was an important step to make sure vaccines remained available in the United States.”
Seven of eight courts to consider challenges to the 1986 act have ruled in favor of the manufacturers. Last year, the Georgia Court of Appeals became the first court in the nation to rule the act did not pre-empt state law allowing such lawsuits. The manufacturers are appealing that decision to the state Supreme Court.
Bridgers, the Ferraris’ lawyer, told the justices that courts should review vaccine challenges on a case-by-case basis, not bar them completely. Otherwise, complaints must be brought in Washington before the U.S. Court of Claims where there are restrictions on the amount of awards, he said.
“Did Congress really intend to create an opt-out provision that allows the child to be thrown out of court?” Bridgers asked the justices. “I think not.”
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 05/20/08
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 WAS one the worst things that could have happened to our children in this country. If it wasn’t for NCVIA, our nations children would have better protection instead of vaccine manufacturers hiding under the act and acting like they have no accountability! It’s been 20 years too long and it’s time as a country we stand up and hold them accountable!
Everyone should get a copy of the Senate hearing S.827 and read it cover to cover. It’s free to all U.S. citizens. You’ll learn why we have NCVIA it, how it came about, and who the key players were. If you don’t want to read that, then read A Stolen Life. What Marge Grant wrote in her book can also be found in the Senate hearing, so it is officially on record.
HERE is David Kirby’s slide presentation from the Vaccine/Autism meeting in DC. 9/28
Mark Blaxill, briefing on Capitol Hill. HERE are slides from his presentation, titled, Why the Autism Crisis Has Become So Controversial and Why Families Need Your Help.
By F. Edward Yazbak MD, FAAP
The CDC tried again and …failed again
But this time, it validated Andrew Wakefield’s findings
*The following critique was to be published on the Web Site of the Vaccine Autoimmune Project on Monday September 15, 2008. Unfortunately the VAP web site was the target of malicious hacking. I am grateful to John and Jackie Fletcher for their invitation to feature it on JABS
The charts and notes (HERE)
I used the “Autism Rates by Birth Years” data from TACA Now and compared it to public records about vaccine histories. I found that since the DTP vaccine in 1949 the ONLY time period with NO increase in autism cases is also the only time period with NO vaccines added to the CHILDHOOD schedule. The hep b was licensed during this time but it was not given to children until 1990. Also, the Hib was reformulated for infants in 1987, but due to a shortage, it was not added to the schedule until 1990 (There was a HUGE jump in autism rates in 1990). See for yourself.
This link also includes information about the NNii (National Network for Immunization Information) conceding that after vaccinations children’s aluminum levels are above the minimal risk, but they say it’s no big deal. I disagree. The CDC says that aluminum toxicity causes neurological delays and thin bones, and the CDC cites a study named “Thin Bones Seen in Boys with Autism.” No one else is talking about this correlation, so I’m trying to tell everyone whom I think can help.
The NNii also says that aluminum has been used in vaccines for 75 years. I don’t know what vaccine they are talking about. In 1949 DTP was the first vaccine (on the current Childhood schedule) to contain aluminum and was licensed during the first significant increase in autism rates. Also FYI, according to Wikipedia, mercury thermometers are not even allowed on some airliners because mercury reacts with aluminum. Many childhood vaccines contain(ed) both aluminum and mercury.
An 11-year-old boy with autism and his family cannot proceed with their case against pharmaceutical companies after a judge ruled that federal law pre-empts state claims against companies if their vaccines are FDA-approved.
Jared Wright, 11, of Texas, was given six vaccines during the first year-and-a-half of his life.
Five of the vaccines contained the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal. Jared’s parents, Howard and Jacqueline Wright claim the mercury in the vaccines caused Jared’s autism.
The vaccine makers named in the product liability lawsuit were Aventis Pasteur Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., and Wyeth.
But Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New granted the companies summary judgment and wrote that the drug makers are shielded from liability by the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
22(b) of the Vaccine Act expressly pre-empts claims of design defects or a failure to warn the public about a vaccine’s dangers.
“Congress clearly intended when it enacted the Vaccine Act to exercise its constitutionally delegated authority to preempt all state design defect claims without case-by-case determination that the side effects are unavoidable,” New wrote.
The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was created as a no-fault system by the federal government to provide recovery of damages to people hurt by vaccines and to reduce the potential financial liability of vaccine makers due to injury claims.
The Wright’s attorney Marc P. Weingarten of Locks Law Firm, had argued that the drug companies were negligent because the public and doctors were kept in the dark about the use of mercury in vaccines.
But Judge New ruled that violating the protection provided by the Vaccine Act might destabilize the supply of child vaccines.
Weingarten said the case is “an extremely important issue to be heard by the courts of Pennsylvania” because of the federal pre-emption issues arising in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation in both state and federal jurisdictions.
Proponents of vaccines argue that major studies have not found a link between the use of thimerosal and neurological injury.
But scientists pointing to the case of Hannah Poling earlier this year, put the industry on notice that pre-existing conditions in children, such as mitochondrial disorder in Hannah, might result in autism after vaccinations.
In March, Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, appeared with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN and confirmed that vaccines can trigger autism in a subset of vulnerable children. That video is available via YouTube on the web site of Adventures in Autism.
To overcome this federal safety blanket for drug makers, the plaintiff would have to show the pharmaceutical companies engaged in fraud or wrongfully withheld information from the FDA; or failed to exercise due care even though the manufacturer complied with federal laws and regulations.
Ultimately, measures aimed at reducing the right to file liability lawsuits against drug and device makers is one tool of the tort reform movement.