The political pressure on IOM to sweep a generation of children under the rug
and maintain current vaccine policy at any and all cost was too great for them
to bear. If anybody tells you that you can put your concerns to rest about
vaccines causing autism, forward these releases to them and ask how can anybody
rest with this kind of cover up going on? Pay careful attention to the research
that was excluded as well as the rush to get this report out before the science
hits the fan. What is equally as disturbing are the releases by the American
Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting the flawed
and irresponsible position of closing the door on important ongoing research.
Please consider using this information to write letters to your legislators,
local papers or to call your local news.
For Immediate Release: May 18, 2004
Contact: Jaillene Erickson, (202) 225-3671 or(202)-549-2933 Jaillene.Erickson@mail.house.gov
Weldon Calls IOM Conclusions Premature and Hastily Drawn
Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D. (FL) Issued The Following Statement
Today's report is premature, perhaps perilously reliant on epidemiology,
based on preliminary incomplete information, and may ultimately be repudiated.
This report will not deter me from my commitment to seeing that this is fully
investigated, nor will it put to rest the concerns of parents who believe their
children were harmed by mercury-containing vaccines or the MMR vaccine.
Unfortunately, this report will lead many clinicians to believe that
thimerosal is safe and there is no problem with the MMR; however, it will do
nothing to allay the concerns of thousands of parents of autistic children. It
will only drag the IOM under the cloud of controversy that has currently
engulfed CDC. This concern is what lead me earlier this year to request that Dr.
Julie Gerberding delay this meeting and report.
In 2001 the IOM stated that it is "unclear whether ethylmercury [from
vaccines] passes readily through the blood-brain barrier." The IOM
recommended several biological and clinical studies to answer this question and
whether this mercury could cause developmental problems. These studies were in
large part never done. Yet IOM chose to ignore the need for this research and
instead has focused its analysis on the data available today, most of which is
statistical, but there is much more research that needs to be done before it can
definitively be said that thimerosal does not contribute to NDDs. Even today,
the IOM cannot tell you with any degree of certainty what happens to
ethylmercury once injected into an infant. Does it go to the brain? Does is
cause developmental problems?
The IOM's scope of investigation was severely narrowed for this review. In
2001 the IOM considered thimerosal's relationship with nuerodevelopmental
disorders as a whole, but here they only consider Autism. This raises suspicions
that this IOM exercise might be more about drawing pre-designed conclusions
aimed at restoring public confidence in vaccines rather than conducting a
complete and thorough inquiry into whether or not thimerosal might cause
neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, the author of one of the
studies upon which the IOM relies, recently stated in an April 2004 letter to
Pediatrics: "The bottom line is and has always been the same: an
association between thimerosal and neurological outcomes could neither be
confirmed nor refuted, and therefore, more study is required." It was after
this study was published that the IOM scope was narrowed.
Unfortunately, the epidemiology studies that the IOM bases its findings on
are not immune from conflicts or controversy. Many of the authors have conflicts
of interest including funding from vaccine manufactures, employment by
manufacturers, or conflicts in that they implemented vaccine policies that are
now being investigated. Furthermore, the studies were designed to examine entire
populations and would miss subgroups of genetically susceptible populations.
Much like the infamous 1989 study by The National Institute of Child and Human
Development (NICHD) which missed the link between folic acid deficiencies and
neural tube defects, the epidemiology studies reviewed by the IOM in drawing
today's findings, could easily have missed a link between thimerosal and NDDs.
The IOM report is based on studies examining populations in the United Kingdom,
Denmark, Sweden and the United States - all of whom have different vaccines,
vaccine policies, and mercury exposures. Study results are only as reliable as
the design of such studies. Relying on these studies to draw conclusions is
The IOM is not immune to error and has been forced to reverse itself before,
most recently reversing a long-standing finding that chronic lymphocytic
leukemia (CLL) was not due to Agent Orange exposures. A similar reversal is a
very real possibility here.
With regard to the MMR vaccine, the IOM review of this matter is totally
premature; the NIH is only now attempting to duplicate the work of Dr. Andrew
Wakefield. Half of Dr. Wakefield's work has been demonstrated to be correct.
Attempting to draw "conclusions" at this time is counterproductive.
Statistical studies of this matter are of little benefit, only a clinical
pathological study will lay this issue to rest.
Lastly, I am also troubled by the lack of liability or accountability by
these decision-makers should they be proved wrong. I want more than just a
"sorry" from them should their conclusions be found erroneous a few
years down the road. Too many lives are at stake.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Washington, D.C. - The nation's largest and oldest parent-led vaccine safety
organization is charging that today's report on autism and vaccines issued by
the Institute of Medicine (IOM) seriously jeopardizes the credibility of IOM to
make an objective scientific analysis of vaccine risks. Calling the report a
case of "political immunology," NVIC is also releasing a letter
written by NVIC President Barbara Loe Fisher to the National Academy of Sciences
on December 18, 2000 expressing concern about the ideological and professional
conflicts of interest of members of the Committee.
"This report is a case of political immunology masquerading as real
science. With it, the Institute of Medicine takes a step toward weakening its
reputation as an independent body capable of making an objective scientific
analysis of complex medical risk issues which are influenced by government
policy and industry profits,'' said Fisher.
In her 2000 letter to IOM, Fisher pointed out that, unlike the 1991 and 1994
reports issued by the Institute under a congressional mandate from the National
Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, the current Immunization Safety Review
Committee was assembled at the request of and funded by the federal Department
of Health and Human Services (DHHS), specifically the Center's for Disease
Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). DHHS is responsible for
the research, development, regulation, policymaking and promotion of mass use of
vaccines. At the time, she questioned whether the Committee could remain
objective when assessing vaccine risk issues which affect entrenched public
health policy due to the fact that (1) the CDC and NIH were directing and
funding the Committee's work; and (2) Committee members had a public health
policy background and were receiving NIH research grants or were employed by
universities receiving NIH, CDC and vaccine industry research grants.
"For this Committee to reject emerging biological mechanism evidence of
a causal relationship between vaccines and brain damage leading to autism in
favor of flawed epidemiological studies primarily using old medical records is
tragic. For this Committee to basically give the green light to government and
industry to eliminate autism from cost benefit analyses of thimerosal risks is
beyond belief because it could pave the way for mercury to remain in vaccines
here and around the world. Failing to consider the fact that DPT and MMR vaccine
induced brain inflammation can lead to brain damage in some children, including
autism, is just one example of how simplistic and superficial this analysis of
the relationship between vaccines and autism is. When the real science comes out
demonstrating that vaccines can cause autism in genetically susceptible
children, this Committee's conclusions will be meaningless,'' said Fisher.
NVIC has been calling for independent, non-governmental, non-industry
research into the genetic and other biological high risk factors of vaccine
associated brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism, for the past
two decades. Today's IOM report discouraged further research into
vaccine-associated autism. NVIC also supports removing vaccine risk research and
monitoring from the CDC and NIH because of conflicts of interest.
Tuesday May 18, 6:04 pm ET
Riddled With Conflicts of Interest, Institute of Medicine Releases Report
Derived From Flawed Data, Says National Autism Association
WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A report released today has parents and
researchers shocked at how far the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) will go to protect the reputation of the vaccination
program. After CDC-funded hearings were held in front of an IOM panel on
February 9th regarding the connection between vaccines and autism, IOM released
its decision today by stating there is no connection, despite strong clinical
evidence from accredited doctors and researchers that suggests otherwise.
To reach their decision, the IOM relied heavily upon CDC's Vaccine Safety
Database (VSD) study published in the Journal of Pediatrics in November, 2003.
Many critics have come forward questioning its validity. The study's author, Dr.
Thomas Verstraeten, works for a leading vaccine manufacturer. He also authored
the first CDC VSD study in 2000, obtained through FOIA, which found a
statistically significant link between thimerosal containing vaccines and
autism, but the study was not released to the public.
The National Autism Association (NAA), supporting families and physicians
looking for effective treatments for autism and other neurodevelopmental
disorders, says the report proves the IOM has not been able to divest itself
from vaccine policies. And tragically, in doing so, they have failed society by
their blindness to the issue at hand. "It appears the IOM's admitted fear
of an undermined vaccination program has led to this decision, not scientific
evidence," says Lori McIlwain, Executive Director of the National Autism
NAA states they are for safe vaccines and stand by the clinical evidence that
was presented to the IOM from highly accredited researchers, along with medical
records of affected children. "Thousands of parents have seen the
regression of skills in their children following thimerosal-containing
vaccines," says Jo Pike, President of the National Autism Association.
"Many of these same children are progressing rapidly with biomedical
interventions addressing mercury poisoning. The cause and effect should not be
ignored," she says.
In their report, the IOM panel dismissed strong clinical and epidemiological
evidence presented during the hearings. These studies include:
* Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier presented epidemiological evidence that
children who received thimerosal-containing vaccines were six times more likely
to have autism than children who did not.
* Mady Hornig, MD, showed mice that had been given thimerosal-containing
vaccines and subsequently developed harmful repetitive behaviors similar to
those of autism.
* David Baskin, MD, showed the neurotoxic affects of ethylmercury and how
such damage can lead to apoptosis of cells.
* Jeff Bradstreet, MD, showed that autistic children had six times more
mercury in their bodies than age and vaccine-matched controls.
* Boyd Haley showed that autistic children have less mercury in their hair
than controls hypothesizing that autistic children can not detoxify as easily as
"The IOM took over 10 years to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome and over 20
years to acknowledge Agent Orange poisoning," says Laura Bono, NAA
Chairman. "We are asking the IOM to affirm the mass poisoning of thousands
of children through mercury in their vaccines. We are confident that the truth
will eventually come out and we will not be deterred until it does."
For more information, visit www.NationalAutism.org.
Contact: Lori McIlwain, (919) 468-6455
Laura Bono (919) 403-9443
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Joe Giganti, 703-928-9695 Joe@VeritasMediaGroup.com
Washington, D.C.- SafeMinds-America's leading scientific organization
investigating the risks that mercury- containing medical products pose to our
children-issued the following statements in response to the release of the
Institute of Medicine (IOM) Vaccine Safety Committee report on the link between
mercury-containing vaccines and autism.
"The IOM has not only compromised their integrity and independence but also
failed the American public, especially mercury-injured children with autism, by
towing the CDC, FDA, vaccine industry line. This committee and its report
clearly chose to ignore groundbreaking scientific research on the mercury-autism
link, and instead the IOM has issued a flawed, incomplete report that continues
to put America's children at risk.
"The problem with this report begins with its violation of nearly every
tenet of medical science. Respected researchers everywhere do not support the
IOM belief that proof can be solely found in epidemiology. Yet, the IOM wants
the public to buy into the absurd belief that this report, bought and paid for
by the CDC, is complete, independent and trustworthy. Since the committee is
disbanding following this report they will not have to answer later for their
-Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, NP, president of SafeMinds
"This is the classic bait and switch scheme. The IOM calls hard scientific
evidence 'theoretical' and theoretical science, hard. This report is a
failure by any acceptable scientific standard. By utilizing a series of proven
flawed studies as your foundation for another report is not science, it's
irresponsible. Keeping America's children at risk so as not to rock the boat
"SafeMinds is pro-vaccine, as long as every available scientific resource
has been used to reasonably guarantee its safety. Saying more clinical evidence
is needed, and then not supporting the funding of such research is nothing more
than Washington double-speak shrouded under the guise of science. The IOM has
served neither science nor the American public well here today."
-Mark BIaxill, MBA, director of SafeMinds
"That these groups want the public at large to trust this report as
objective, scientific fact is an absolute abuse of the trust so many Americans
put into the IOM and the government's health services to protect our families.
From the inception of the IOM's involvement in this matter, even government
officials openly questioned their ability to truly be free of the
we-must-vaccinate-at-any-cost cartel's influence, and this report has left
little doubt that the answer is no. This is why Congress must act now to protect
out children and pass HR4169 the Mercury-Free Vaccines Act of 2004. "You
cannot use science as cover for protectionism of vaccine policy, policy makers'
reputations and the vaccine industry. Another flawed report-government issued
or otherwise-will not stop SafeMinds from continuing its mission to foster
science and educate the public."
-Sallie Bernard, executive director of SafeMinds
SafeMinds will post a full analysis of this IOM report on its website (www.SafeMinds.org)
in the very near future.
Carthage, Missouri - - A philanthropic organization whose mission is to
educate policy makers, physicians and the public regarding the dangers
associated with the use of Thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative used in
vaccines intended for infants, children and pregnant women - issued the
following statement in response to the release of the Institute of Medicine
(IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee report on the link between vaccines
containing Thimerosal and autism.
"Any physician who gives credence to this IOM report may as well suggest
their patients see an accountant to diagnosis and cure disease. Epidemiology is
statistics; not medical science. It is subject to the same manipulation of the
bottom line as seen in the Enron scandal. Having personally listened to every
moment of the IOM presentations and after reviewing hundreds of peer-reviewed
scientific papers, we can say unequivocally, the scientific, clinical and
biological evidence; including toxicological, chemical and pharmacological data,
shows a strong relationship between Thimerosal, a known neurotoxin, and
The report is fraught with conflict of interests and by their own admission,
narrowly constructed. This leads us to question their motivation. The scope of
this report was defined and paid for by the CDC. They wanted a report to
exonerate the CDC's National Immunization Program for its role in mandating
the injection of a toxic substance into millions of children. They got want they
paid for.what a coincidence!"
Alan D. Clark, M.D.
Lujene G. Clark
He says that there is no connection between autism and vaccines. He says the
"science" is in. It is not in the form of pure science. It is in the form of
skewed epidemiological studies and manipulated statistics. It is not even
comparing apples and oranges. It is comparing apples and ostrich eggs...not even
in the same category.
So now what? Has your opinion changed given their findings? Are you still one
of the parents out there under what the IOM is calling an apparent 'misperception'
that vaccines contributed to your child's autism? Are you one of the parents who
has administered chelation to your child and seen positive results? Did you have
a child that tested high for mercury and other heavy metals? You are not alone.
There are thousands of parents like you and we hear from you at Unlocking Autism
every single day.
There is absolutely no reason for you to feel powerless. If you remember, in
the movie, everyone else was afraid and cowered before the great Oz, but one
brave little girl from Kansas, just one, named Dorothy pulled back the curtain
and exposed Oz...who wasn't nearly as great and powerful once the curtain was
removed, was he? In fact, it turned out that Oz was nothing more than a Snake
Oil salesman in real life.....
If you believe that your child was affected by the mercury in their vaccines,
you need to rise to the occasion and focus your energies. This is the year to do
it. Washington is paying attention. But they have told us over and over again,
they need to hear from more parents.
Lucky for you, there is already a mechanism in place for this issue. If you
are one of the families that has been affected, you might want to review
Congressman Dave Weldon's bill HR 4169. The bill was introduced to Congress on
April 2nd of this year and calls for a ban on the use of mercury in vaccines, in
The IOM has spoken. Have you? There has been a flurry of activity and outrage
on the internet all day given their most recent report, but if this is really an
issue that so greatly affects our community, then there should be more than 15
Congressmen who have signed on to support HR 4169 after seven weeks. If you need
a place to direct your anger at the IOM statement today, call your Congressional
office tomorrow, send an email, send a fax and if you are in support of this
bill let them know. If you cannot get to Washington to meet with your
Congressmen, fine. Lucky for you there is a mechanism in place for that, too.
They represent you and live in their district which is where you live. They come
home. Call their local office and set up an appointment and meet with them
Or better yet, get a group of families in your area together, determine what
issues you all want to discuss with them and call and invite them to come to
your home. And yes...have your kids there. Put together a pot luck dinner, get a
couple of area OTs or speech therapists or bring your own ABA person to help
with your kids and visit with your Congressman in a familiar setting. Invite the
press to come to the home visit too and let them know the press is coming. It
doesn't need to be a big formal event but it can be incredibly effective.
If you need information, contact Unlocking Autism and we can send you a grass
roots kit that will provide you with information about pending pieces of
legislation that directly affect your family up on Capitol Hill, information on
how to set up a house party and contact your Congressman or Senator.
If you are looking for a powerful tool to show them to get your point across
regarding mercury, visit www.humankindproductions.com and for $29.95 + s/h
you can purchase a copy of Thief in the Night, a documentary based on the
plausibility of the autism/vaccine/thimerasol connection. It is 46 minutes long
and full of valuable information presented in an easy to understand and concise
manner. You can order one and bring it with you to your Congressman's district
office. You can also show them the documentary at your home when you have a
gathering like the one suggested above.
If you do this, we would greatly appreciate it if you would select our
organization that referred you when placing this order. Human Kind Productions
has agreed to donate $3.00 for each DVD purchased back to Unlocking Autism to
fund our grass roots education programs. Just use the drop down list on the
order page to select Unlocking Autism as the organization you support.
Don't just get mad. Direct your anger. Focus it. The power we have as a
community would be UNBELIEVABLE if we would only focus it. Oz is not expecting
us to do it.
Cochi at the CDC threw down the gauntlet in an article last month.
"I don't think this problem can be solved in the near-term by legislators,"
A few days later, the Governor of Iowa signed into law a bipartisan bill that
effectively bans the administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to
children in that state.
The IOM has spoken. It is time for the people to speak. Our community has
followed the proper channels for years and it has come down to this: The people
have a voice. You elected your voice to go to your state legislature or to
Washington to represent you. Make it speak for you and your family. Be
persistent, not belligerent. Have good manners. Let the members of the
Congressional Autism Caucus know that they didn't just sign up for that as a
resume piece or for political positioning. Present your argument in a clear
concise manner but stay on them until you know if they are voting Yea or Nay on
Congressmen who have already signed on to Co-Sponsor HR 4169 include:
Congressman Rick Renzi (AZ)
Congressman Robert Wexler (FL)
Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr. (FL)
Congressman Jerry Weller (IL)
Congressman Dan Burton (IN)
Congressman Michael Michaud (ME)
Congressman Collin Peterson (MN)
Congressman Scott Garrett (NJ)
Congressman Major R. Owens (NY)
Congresswoman Sue Kelly (NY)
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY)
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
Congressman Zach Wamp (TN)
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)
Congressman Nick Lampson (TX)
Government Abandons Autism Research, A Generation of Autistic Children The
IOM report: driven by greed, politics and conflicts of interest.
By Lenny Schafer - Editor and Publisher
The Federal public health agencies further signal a covert policy of
abandonment of relevant autism research and along with it, a generation of
children stricken with the disorder -- now with IOM's urgings and permission
-- as indicated in the IOM's dismissive report today on the vaccine-autism
The key message in the IOM report is an unusually pat assertion that there
are absolutely no possible connection between mercury and autism, despite
evidence to the contrary, and that no one should bother looking any further at
the safety of vaccines in this matter.
Indeed, at the "Autism Summit" held late last year in Washington DC, the
government signaled its intent to ignore the growing autism epidemic by focusing
on research that may bear fruit ten years from now. Most of the research they
have relied on so far to exculpate vaccines (and themselves) is statistically
based, highly prone to manipulation, and keeps scientists at a maximum distance
from actually examining any children with late onset autism.
Public Health officials and vaccine manufacturers have far too much to lose
should any connection be further established, and as such are the least reliable
source for any related research they fund. This is plain common sense. Expecting
an unbiased government review of the science to find the source of autism, is
like expecting OJ Simpson to find the "real" killers of his ex-wife and her
friend. He never will, and they never will, not even ten years and $65 million
from now -- because they do not want expose themselves as the cause.
That the government's contracted IOM is asking that we please no longer
look into any vaccine-autism connections should be a red-flag to do just the
It is critically important now that parents pull together and put their
resources into funding research the government continues to ignore. Do not waste
your private donations on research that avoids the clinical findings, biomedical
and environmental causes, and most importantly your afflicted children.
If is the intention of the government to put to rest the
vaccine-mercury-autism controversy with this pre-fixed IOM report, they will
quickly realize they have failed. If anything, families of autism will be more
committed than ever to expose the cause of the autism epidemic, find the
treatment and cure -- and then perhaps bring to justice the criminals
responsible before, during and after this profound epidemic and its profane
cover-up. It is criminal by its massive scope alone. The country's inoculation
program, the vaccine manufacturer's profits, and the protection of esteemed
medical reputations will be the least of their worries.
It is President Bush's responsibility for the policies of his
administration and the egregious whitewash they have produced. But keep in mind
that the previous Democratic administration held the same policies on ignoring
autism. There is no reason at this time to believe that a new president will
make any difference, unfortunately. We cannot wait for political leaders to
decide to do something meaningful about this epidemic; they done little so far.
Liberals want to expand the big-brother powers of public health agencies, not
reform them, and conservatives want to expand the influence and wealth of their
client pharmaceutical industry. Just as it always has been, autism is a task
that falls to the afflicted families to solve for themselves and not to naively
leave the government foxes in charge of this henhouse.
AMA Welcomes New IOM Report Rejecting Link Between Vaccines and Autism http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040518/dctu083_1.html
American Academy of Pediatrics: Scientific Panel Rejects Vaccines as Cause of