As most persons interested in autism know, yet another study has shown that MMR vaccinations have no relation to autism. The purpose of these studies which undoubtedly involve the expenditure of funds and time seems to be in order to convince parents to go ahead and vaccinate their kids. This money could be spent on doing legitimate scientific work that could prevent and cure autism, or even help pay for job training programs or housing for autistics.
The latest study is nothing new. Many studies before this have shown evidence that not only does MMR have nothing to do with autism but thimerosal in vaccines and mercury don't either. Yet what is the point of doing study after study. There is clearly nothing that will convince a good number of parents that their offspring's autism was not caused by vaccines. We only have a vicious circle that in my opinion accomplishes nothing. In fact, in order to determine that there was no relationship between thimerosal and autism all one has to do is look at the 2003 update of the california report on the prevalence of autism showing that between birth years 1970 and 1990 when there was only one thimerosal containing vaccination prevalence of autism tripled. I have written about this.
Various explanations were given when I asked the persons pushing the vaccine hypothesis about this. Sally Bernard claimed that due to new laws mandating vaccination for school attendance caused a huge increase in uptake of the DPT vax. Mark Geier also made this same claim to me and added that at one time there were only three shots given to a child and then the number increased to five. The problem with this is that there would have had to have been a corresponding decrease in whooping cough over the same time period which would have been of a much greater magnitude than the corresponding autism increase. No more than three shots were ever given to a child before the age of 1. In UK where autism increases have paralleled those of the U.S., they have only had DPT as a thimerosal containing vaccine yet, only accelerated the schedule giving children shots at earlier ages during infancy. The fifth shot is a booster shot given to children at age 5 which obviously is inconsequential for causing autism.
One of the most interesting explanations was given to me by Boyd Haley who claimed that there were a number of thimerosal containing products such as ophthalmic solutions and other things besides vaccines that increased from 1970 to 1990. Yet, as far as I know, SAFEMINDS and the other mercury causes autism groups have never shown any data of thimerosal containing products besides vaccines.
Haley also told me in his correspondence with me that he could be convinced that there was no relationship between autism and thimerosal if a study were to be done comparing autism rates in vaccinated versus nonvaccinated children showing they had comparable numbers of children with the condition. It would seem that this argument is somewhat of an ace in the hole for those who believe that vaccines cause autism, they won't be convinced until such a study is done.
About five years ago during a brief series of email correspondences that I had with Mark Blaxill, he claimed that there were problems with all of the studies done. He stated part of the problem that SAFEMINDS had in trying to dispute the data against their position was that they had nowhere near the resources of the government and ergo had an uphill battle. Mark Blaxill along with SAFEMINDS colleague Lynn Redwood currently serve on the IACC which controls funding and research directions in autism. They still cling to this thimerosal hypothesis which means this will be direction research is headed in part. The fact that these people are chosen to partly run the show most likely means that research into the etiology of autism that could result in finding a cause or even a cure will be greatly hampered.
Yet, how valid is this limited resources argument of Blaxill's? If I am not mistaken his fellow mercury militia members Tom and Sally Bernard have a net worth of upwards $300 million. Rick Rollens when I met him boasted to me how he raised $40 million dollars for autism research by founding the MIND institute largely at California taxpayer's expense. Autism speaks I don't think have assets totalling more than about $20 million. I am not sure of these figures but even if you want to give a more conservative estimate that the MIND institute and autism speaks have combined assets of about $100 million then this still might be less than a third of the Bernard family's total assets. Anyone can correct me about any of these figures if I am wrong or grossly overestimating the Bernard's wealth.
Sally Bernard, if you read this, I am going to be a bit blunt. I think you should either put up or shut up. I think you and your husband Tom should fund that study of vaccinated versus nonvaccinated children and present the results to peer review. I am not talking about a journal like medical hypothesis where you published your autism novel form of mercury poisoning all those years ago, nor all of the amateurs including yourself who were involved in writing this and providing the data. I am talking about a real controlled study with hired professional scientists published in a much less speculative journal than medical hypothesis. I think you can afford to fund such a study. In the event that you can show much lower rates of autism in nonvaccinated children, all the power to you. If not, then maybe this issue can be settled once and for all. Perhaps you and Tom could pick up the tab for this study.