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Thimerosal and Autism Timeline


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How did the idea that a mercury-based preservative (thimerosal) causes autism come to be?

This timeline is the historical account of an unbelievable, but true, story.

It’s the story of parents who knew something was wrong and never gave up. The story of brave scientists who told the scientific truth. And a story of unsung heroes - the child victims whose lives were devastated and forever changed by vaccines.

To the heroes who have sacrificed so much: this timeline is to honor you with the hope that our nation will have a true understanding of your suffering.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Thimerosal and Autism Timeline

  1. 1. Thimerosal and Autism Timeline from
  2. 2. The 1920s As the 1920s came to a close, Dr. Morris Kharasch of Eli Lilly introduced the world to a new mercury compound -- Thimerosal -- and filed a patent for the compound on June 27, 1929. Used by both consumers and hospitals in everything from their nasal sprays to eye drops to ointments to vaccines, Thimerosal/Merthiolate became a dangerous component of everyday life.
  3. 3. June 27, 1929 Thimerosal is patented and would be used in vaccines starting in 1931. Picture of Dr. Morris Kharash
  4. 4. June 27, 1929 Eli Lilly fellow Dr. Morris Kharasch files a patent for a new mercury compound (Thimerosal). The new mercury compound, thought to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, would first be used by Eli Lilly in vaccines and many over-the-counter products. Burton, D. (2003). Mercury in Medicine (Congressional Report E1011–30).
  5. 5. October 1929 “Eli Lilly and Company registered Thimerosal under the trade name Merthiolate. Merthiolate's purported use was to kill bacteria and prevent contamination in antiseptic ointments, creams, jellies and sprays used by consumers and in hospitals. Thimerosal was also used in nasal sprays, eye drops, contact lens solutions, immunoglobulins and most importantly here – vaccines.” (p.3) Burton, D. (2003). Mercury in Medicine (Congressional Report E1011–30). Eli Lilly Door
  6. 6. The 1930s The 1930’s served to be a lethal building decade for Thimerosal/Merthiolate. Before testing on the mercury compound began, the United States started to include Thimerosal/Merthiolate, along with dangerous heavy metal aluminum, in vaccines. It took until 1937 for the first animal model study to test the toxicity of thimerosal/Merthiolate to be done. The test resulted in all guinea pigs inoculated with as low as 0.1 micrograms of thimerosal/Merthiolate mixtures dying within 24 hours. Despite this outcome, Thimerosal continued to be included in over-the-counter products and many childhood vaccines would contain 50 mcg of Thimerosal (25 mcg of mercury).
  7. 7. 1931: One Flawed Study Over 70 years later, the FDA would testify before Congress that the only known Thimerosal “safety testing” on humans was documented in a 1931 published research paper, “Merthiolate as a Germicide,” by Eli Lilly scientists W.A. Jamieson and H.M. Powell. Powell, H.M. & Jamieson, W.A. (1931). Merthiolate as a Germicide. Am. J. Hyg, 13, 296–310.
  8. 8. 1931: One Flawed Study - pt. 2 How Jamieson and Powell reported their findings was part of the controversy: “During the pre-antibiotic 1920’s, meningitis was a killer. Out of sheer desperation, the treating physician at a hospital dealing with dozens of patients facing a sure death from meningitis, tested Thimerosal on about two dozen patients. He injected the Thimerosal intravenously, without apparent side effects. However, the treatment was not successful and all of the patients died. The leading industry scientists of that era involved in Thimerosal research published a paper that made a brief reference to this study: ‘‘Merthiolate was injected intravenously into 22 persons . . . these large doses did not produce any anaphylactoid or shock symptoms.’’ In the paper, the authors acknowledge that Dr. K.C. Smithburn, the clinician who treated the meningitis patients, was not convinced of its efficacy: ‘beneficial effects of the drug were not definitely proven.’ Drs. Powell and Jamieson also noted in 1930 that a ‘wide range of toxicity and injury tests should be done.’ There is no evidence that Drs. Powell and Jamieson took their own advice and conducted studies to address these concerns.” (p. 4) Burton, D. (2003). Mercury in Medicine (Congressional Report E1011–30).
  9. 9. 1931: One Flawed Study - pt. 3 The dishonest findings of the Eli Lilly scientists, Jamieson and Powell, would be explained in 2007 by D.A Geier et al. ”First, in their article, Powell and Jamieson (1931) failed to reveal that the subjects evaluated by Smithburn and his colleagues (1930) had, in fact, had meningitis, and were not healthy, a revelation that would have called into question Powell and Jamieson’s conclusions regarding the nontoxicity of Thimerosal. It should be noted that Powell and Jamieson (1931) provided a table in which the 22 subjects injected with Thimerosal were identified. These subjects, based upon the information provided in the table, received massive doses of mercury from intravenous administration of Thimerosal. The table notes that approximately one-third of the patients were followed for only 1d after the therapy. The table failed to note, however, that most probably this follow-up period was so short because these individuals died. The table also noted only one patient was followed for 62 d. This maximum follow-up length of 62 d was far too short to accurately discern any chronic damage produced by the mercury, because mercury toxicity manifests fully only several months after exposure. The study was also flawed because any neurological and/or other damage observed was likely attributed to the meningitis rather than the Thimerosal exposure. Additionally, Powell and Jamieson (1931) specifically commented that they evaluated patients, in particular, for shock or anaphylaxis-type immediate reactions to the administration of Thimerosal. It is important to note that these outcomes are not typical of mercury toxicity in humans.”
  10. 10. 1931: One Flawed Study - pt. 4 “Second, it is also apparent that Powell and Jamieson (1931) failed to emphasize their disturbing animal toxicity data. In fact, Powell and Jamieson (1931) had already determined that administration of low milligram doses of Thimerosal per kilogram body weight in several different animals was acutely toxic and resulted in significant numbers of animals dying within days of exposure.” (p. 577 D.A Geier et al.)
  11. 11. 1931: Warnings Be Damned Thimerosal (mercury) containing vaccines are first used in the U.S. Another heavy metal, aluminum, is also being used in vaccines.
  12. 12. 1931 - 1938: Autism is Born The very first children diagnosed with autism were born. A description of the first autism cases would later be published by child psychologist Dr. Leo Kanner. In his 1943, research paper Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact he would describe the condition as “differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported
  13. 13. 1931 - 1938: Autism is Born - pt 2 Dr. Morris Kharasch who patent Thimerosal would also patent ethyl-mercury fungicides: From Dan Olmstead’s 2005 UPI article, The Age of Autism: Mercury Goes to Work. “Kharasch made pioneering studies on organomercurials important in agriculture (as seed disinfectants) and medicine (the antiseptic merthiolate).’ We asked Boyd Haley, a professor and former chair of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky, to look at the early ethyl mercury fungicide and Thimerosal patents. ‘You're on to something,’ said Haley, who is controversial for his belief that mercury is behind a range of neurological disorders including autism. ‘The whole problem -- and if you read these patents, it just jumps out at you -- is that ethyl mercury was not water-soluble. You had no delivery. All Kharasch did was really very simple straightforward chemistry. He coupled ethylmercury to an organic acid to make it water-soluble.’ Haley speculated that if ethylmercury-based fungicides caused some of the early cases, it might have been because the fathers got it on their clothes, sprayed it on their gardens or used it in their labs to control fungus. ‘If they ever took any home or got it on their hands, they could end up with big problems,’ Haley said…”
  14. 14. 1931 - 1938: Autism is Born - pt 3 Through the book Age of Autism and a series of articles by the same authors explains the link between mercury exposure and the first autistic children. The authors describe how the first autistic children came in contact with the same ethylmercury patents developed by Dr. Morris Kharasch. Donald Gray Triplett, one of the first children identified with Autism by Dr. Kanner
  15. 15. 1931 - 1938: Autism is Born - pt 4 First 11 children* diagnosed with Autism *In his 1943 research paper, Dr. Leo Kanner identified each child with an alias and case number in his research papers. DOB Birth Name Alias Case No. August 29, 1931 Vivian Ann Murdock Virginia S. 6 February 3, 1932 unknown Elaine C. 2 May 1932 David Newcomb Speck Alfred L. 8 September 8, 1933 Donald Gray Triplett Donald T. 1 October 30, 1933 Bridget Muncie Barbara K. 5
  16. 16. 1931 - 1938: Autism is Born - pt 4 DOB Birth Name Alias Case No. 1935 unknown Paul G. 4 May 23, 1936 Frederick Wellman Frederick W. 2 November 16, 1937 John Trevett Herbert B. 7 November 17, 1937 William Ritchey Miller Richard M. 3 September 19, 1937 Lee Ruven Rosenberg John F. 10 August 8, 1938 unknown Charles N. 9
  17. 17. 1935: Deemed Unsafe for Dogs A letter by the Director of Biological Services, Pittman-Moore Company, is written to Dr. Jamieson of Eli Lilly. In the letter it states, ‘‘we have obtained marked local reaction in about 50 percent of the dogs injected with serum containing dilutions of Merthiolate varying from 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 5,000 . . . no connection between the lot of serum and the reaction. In other words, Merthiolate is unsatisfactory as a preservative for serum intended for use on dogs . . .” (p. 9) Burton, D. (2003). Mercury in Medicine (Congressional Report E1011–30).
  18. 18. 1937: Thimerosal Killed Them All The first animal-model study testing the toxicity documented, “two sets of 7 flasks each were treated with an amount of Merthiolate varying in dilution from 1 to 100 to 1 in 10 million of the medium in each series. . . The guinea-pigs inoculated with 1 of the mixtures after 24 hours all died; the first of Merthiolate poisoning” (p. 962). Cummins, S. L. (1937).Merthiolate in the treatment of tuberculosis. Lancet, 230,962– 963. S.L. Cummins
  19. 19. The 1940s Summary: Most of the 1940s focused on Thimerosal use in vaccines and over-the-counter products. In 1947, it was discovered that there was a direct correlation between the use of mercury-laced teething powders and the diagnosis of childhood mercury poisoning also called acrodynia or “pink disease.” Once the mercury-laced teething powder was no longer given to children, acrodynia cases declined, showing the very serious dangers of mercury. It was also proven that mercury compounds were more toxic for embryonic tissue cells and leukocytes than for bacterial cells. Despite these discoveries, the Thimerosal-containing pediatric combination vaccine, diptheria, tetanus and whole cell pertussis (DTP) was licensed in the United States in 1947.
  20. 20. 1947: Acrodynia, Mercury Poisoning Mercury-laced teething powders are discovered to be the cause of acrodynia, a form of childhood mercury poisoning. Infants and children who have acrodynia will often have peeling hands and feet which look pink so the disease is also called “pink disease.” In 1947 acrodynia (or pink disease) would decline after mercury-containing teething powders are no longer given to children.
  21. 21. 1947: Acrodynia, Mercury Poisoning - pt 2 ● In 2001 it would be discovered that the childhood mercury poisoning disease acrodynia (sometimes referred to as pink disease), would also share many of the same symptoms as the childhood disorder autism. Acrodynia comparison combined.
  22. 22. 1947: Acrodynia, Mercury Poisoning - pt 3 In their study published in 2011, Ancestry of Pink Disease (Infantile Acrodynia) Identified as a Risk Factor for Autism Spectrum Disorders, S. Kerrie and D.W. Austin reveal that pink disease survivors are much more likely to have grandchildren with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), further helping to unlock the autism puzzle.
  23. 23. 1947: Pediatric Thimerosal Vaccine The combination vaccine diphtheria and tetanus and whole-cell pertussis (DTP) is licensed for pediatric use in the U.S. This vaccine will contain Thimerosal.
  24. 24. 1948: Smallpox Vaccine American children are now required to show proof of only the smallpox vaccine in order to attend school. This vaccine does not contain Thimerosal.
  25. 25. 1948: Solution Merthiolate The label on a bottle of ‘Solution Merthiolate, 1:1,000, Stainless’ purchased as recently as June 1947, states that it is ‘a stable, stainless, organic mercury compound of high germicidal value, particular in serum and other protein media.’ It is not highly germicidal and especially does not possess high germicidal value in the presence of serum and other protein mediums. The loss of antibacterial activity of mercurials in the presence of serum proves their incompatibility with serum . . . The comparative in vitro studies on Mercurochrome, Metaphen and Merthiolate on embryonic tissue cells and bacterial cells by Salle and Lazarus cannot be ignored.
  26. 26. 1948: Solution Merthiolate - pt 2 These investigators found that Metaphen, Merthiolate and Mercurochrome were 12, 35 and 262 times respectively more toxic for embryonic tissue cells than for Staphylococcus aureus. Nye and Welch also found the same three mercurial compounds more toxic for leukocytes than for bacterial cells. Not only is there direct toxic action of the mercurial compounds on the cellular and humoral components of the animal body, but there is also the possibility of sensitization. (p. 41) Morton, H. E., North, L L., and Engley, F. B. 1948. The Bacteriostatic and Bactericidal Actions of Some Mercurial Compounds on Hemolytic Streptococci: In Vivo and In Vitro Studies. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 136, 37–41. Video Interview with Frank B. Engley, Ph.D.
  27. 27. 1949: Vaccine Licensed in the U.S. Pediatric combination vaccine diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and whole-cell pertussis vaccine (DTP) is licensed in the U.S. This vaccine contains Thimerosal.
  28. 28. The 1950s Summary: In the 1950s, Dr. Frank Engley determined Thimerosal was significantly toxic to human tissue culture cells, further proving that Thimerosal is considerably more dangerous to healthy cells than bacteria. Overall, this discovery showed that the mercury in Thimerosal did more harm than good.
  29. 29. 1956: Thimerosal’s Toxicity Dr. Frank Engley determines Thimerosal is significantly toxic to human tissue culture cells at 10 parts-per-billion (ppb). Engley, F. B., (1956). Mercurials as Disinfectants: Evaluation of mercurial antimicrobic action and comparative toxicity for skin tissue cells. Soap & Chemical Specialties, pgs. 199, 201, 203, 205, 223-225. "Nobody has ever studied Thimerosal, I'm NOBODY" – Dr. Frank Engley, 2007
  30. 30. The 1960s Summary: The 1960s was a decade of new research, discoveries and ideas. First, Dr. Bernard Rimland founded the Autism Research Institute and Autism Society of America. He challenged the notion that autism was caused by mothers who didn’t bond with their children and informed parents that autism is a treatable biological disorder. Rimland’s research and discovery helped many autistic children to greatly improve and recover. Secondly, it was discovered that the pertussis and Thimerosal-containing vaccines were more toxic and deadly than beneficial.
  31. 31. 1963: Measles Vaccine Measles vaccine is first made available in the U.S. This vaccine does not contain Thimerosal.
  32. 32. 1967: Mumps Vaccine Mumps vaccine is first made available in the U.S. This vaccine did not contain Thimerosal.
  33. 33. 1967: History with Autism The Autism Research Institute is founded by Dr. Bernard Rimland, who first challenged the notion that autism was caused by mothers who did not bond with their children (a.k.a. refrigerator mothers). In the years to come, Dr. Rimland will teach parents that autism is a treatable biological disorder. Many autistic children will greatly improve and recover due Dr. Rimland’s research and encouragement. Dr. Rimland also founded the Autism Society of America in 1965. Dr. Bernard Rimland discusses his history with Autism (1) Dr. Bernard Rimland discusses his history with Autism (2) Dr. Bernard Rimland discusses his history with Autism (3) Dr. Bernard Rimland discusses his history with Autism (4)
  34. 34. May 1967: Pertussis Vaccines Researchers found, “Pertussis vaccines preserved with 0.01% Merthiolate are more toxic for mice than unpreserved vaccines prepared from the same parent concentrate and containing the same number of organisms. ...An increase in mortality was observed when Merthiolate was injected separately, before or after an unpreserved saline suspension of pertussis vaccine.” Nelson, E.A. & Gottshall, R.Y. (1967). Enhanced Toxicity for Mice of Pertussis Vaccines When Preserved with Merthiolate. Applied Microbiology, 15 (1967), 590-593.
  35. 35. 1968: RhoGAM RhoGAM, made by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Inc., is the first licensed Rho(D) immune globulin. RhoGAM contains 10.5 mcg of mercury from Thimerosal. RhoGAM will be provided to all Rh-negative pregnant women after the delivery.
  36. 36. 1969: Rubella Vaccine Rubella vaccine is first made available in the U.S. This vaccine does not contain Thimerosal.
  37. 37. The 1970s Summary: In the 1970s, it was discovered that the mercury in Thimerosal was able to easily penetrate intact membranes and cross the blood-brain and placenta barriers of animals. Reports showed that 10 out of 13 babies who were treated with Merthiolate antiseptic containing Thimerosal died, further proving the highly toxic nature of mercury to all. Therefore determining that Thimerosal/Merthiolate should be heavily restricted or withdrawn from hospital use.
  38. 38. 1971: MMR Vaccine The combination vaccine of Measles, Mumps and Rubella is made available in the US. The combination MMR vaccine does not contain Thimerosal.
  39. 39. 1971: Rho(D) for Pregnant Women Another Rho(D) immune globulin is licensed by Bayer Corporation: BayRho-D. Bayer’s Rho(D) immune globulin will contain 35 mcg. of mercury from Thimerosal. It will be provided to pregnant women after the delivery.
  40. 40. 1971: Takahashi Report Takahashi, et al., report, “A pronounced migration of the radioactivity into the cortices of cerebrum and cerebellum, especially in the occipital lobe, was observed in monkey 8 days after receiving 203Hg-ethylmercuric chloride.” This demonstrated preferential accumulation of ethylmercury in the brain (versus methylmercury). This is important as ethylmercury is produced by the break- down of Thimerosal in vivo. Takahashi, Tadao, et al. Time-Dependent Distribution of 203Hg-Mercury Compounds in Rat and Monkey as studied by Whole Body Autoradiography. The Journal of Hygienic Chemistry 17 (2) (1971): 93-107.
  41. 41. 1975: Gasset Report Gasset, et al., report, “A comparison of topical and subcutaneous administration of Thimerosal to rabbits shows that a substantial concentration of mercury was present in blood and tissues of the treated animals and their offspring. Thimerosal was found to cross the blood-brain and placenta barriers.” Gasset, A.R., Itoi, M., Ishii, Y. & Ramer, R.M. Teratogenicity of ophthalmic drugs. II. Teratogenicity and tissue accumulation of Thimerosal Archives of Ophthalmology, 93 (1975): 52-55.
  42. 42. 1977: Heinonen Report Heinonen, et al., report that topical application of Thimerosal in pregnant women resulted in a 2.69- fold greater risk of malformed infants in a large hospital study. The study authors directly state that Thimerosal “was associated with malformations overall, and with uniform malformations.”
  43. 43. 1977: D.G. Fagan Report D. G. Fagan, et al., report 10 out of 13 babies died who were treated for umbilical hernias with the antiseptic Thimerosal. The study’s authors recommend, “organic mercurial antiseptics should be heavily restricted or withdrawn from hospital use, as the fact that mercury readily penetrates intact membranes and is highly toxic seems to have been forgotten."
  44. 44. The 1980s Summary: The dangers of Thimerosal/Merthiolate became even more apparent in the 1980s. Despite a 22-month-old child dying from mercury poisoning after being treated with Thimerosal/Merthiolate for an ear infection and the FDA determining Thimerosal is not an effective treatment option, mercury and Thimerosal remained in infant vaccines and over-the-counter products for years to come. The 1980s also saw the passing of the National Childhood Vaccine Act by Congress, which protected vaccine makers from being sued by those injured from their vaccines. Compensation for vaccine injuries were paid out of taxes, not by vaccine manufacturers. By 18 months, U.S. infants born during this decade would receive 100 mcg. of mercury from vaccines. In 1989, the CDC would recommend a new mercury-containing vaccine (containing an additional 25 mcg.), which would increase the total amount of mercury from vaccines to 125 mcg. received by 18-month-old infants.
  45. 45. 1980: CDC Vaccine Following the recommended CDC vaccine schedule, children by age 18 months would receive 100 mcg of mercury in their vaccines. Throughout the 1980s Autism continues to be a rare childhood disorder with an autism rate of 1-2 children per every 10,000.
  46. 46. 1982: Dr. Frank Engley Panel Review Dr. Frank Engley along with other members of an FDA panel reviewed Thimerosal in over-the-counter products and noted: “It was found to be 35.3 times more toxic for embryonic chick heart tissue than for Staphylococcus aureus.” A 1950 study showed that Thimerosal was no better than water in protecting mice from potential fatal streptococcal infection.” They further concluded “...Thimerosal is not safe for over-the-counter topical use because of its potential for cell damage if applied to broken skin and its allergy potential. It is not effective as a topical antimicrobial because its bacteriostatic action can be reversed.” However, Thimerosal would remain in over-the-counter products for another 16 years. Source: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare. Mercury- containing drug products for topical antimicrobial over-the- counter human use: establishment of a monograph. Federal Register 47 (January 5, 1982); 436–442. Interview with Frank Engley, PhD, by Ashley Reynolds of KOMU News
  47. 47. April 20, 1983: Merthiolate Kills The Ocala Star-Banner reports a 22-month-old dying from mercury poisoning after her ear infection was treated with Merthiolate (Thimerosal). This case was also documented by J. Rohyans et al. (1984). A 22-month-old girl died of mercury ingestion via ear irrigations that were subsequently swallowed after draining through tympanostomy tubes. Her total exposure to mercury was 40 mg/day over a 30-day time period. Prior to death, she showed symptoms typical of autism including unprovoked screaming episodes accompanied by back arching, staring spells, lack of voluntary muscle movements, tremors and inability to feed herself.
  48. 48. 1986: National Childhood Vaccine Act National Childhood Vaccine Act of 1986 is passed by Congress and provides total liability protection to the vaccine makers. U.S. citizens are no longer able to sue a vaccine manufacturer if they are injured by vaccines. Compensation for vaccine injuries is now paid out of taxes, not by vaccine manufacturers.
  49. 49. 1987: Research Project The Commission of the European Communities initiated a research project of 10 known or suspected spindle poisons including Thimerosal. Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D. "Timeline." Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  50. 50. 1988: Concerns With Thimerosal Dr. Wolfgang Maurer became concerned with the use of Thimerosal in 1988 when he took the job as head of the Official Medicines Control Institute, submitting papers to both the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet entitled “Unconsidered Risk Due to Thimerosal in Anti-Lymphocytic Globulin Preparation” (1). These papers were not accepted for publication. In January of 1992 Dr. Manfred Hause of the Paul-Ehrich-Institut raised these concerns in an official manner to the Commission of the European Communities, Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP). In his letter to the CPMP, he makes the following important points, “it is well known that even low amounts of organic mercury compounds may cause rare untowards reactions in man, mainly allergic reactions. Other undesired properties have also have been seen in experimental studies or were described in the scientific literature: mutagenicity, teratogenicity, embryo- and neurotoxicity…Based upon the principle that- whenever an additive which can be a matter of concern is not necessary to ensure some essential property of a medicinal product its use should be avoided- in June of 1991 the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute has encouraged manufacturers to discontinue the addition of organic mercury compounds into immunoglobulins. This initiative has been generally appreciated and in the meantime nearly all manufacturers have informed our institute on the measures taken to implement the recommended change. It can be predicted that this will be achieved by the end of 1992.” Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D. "Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  51. 51. January 22, 1988 The CDC recommends the newly licensed Haemophilus b Conjugate vaccine (Hib) be administered one time at 18 months old. This vaccine would contain 25 mcg. of mercury from Thimerosal. By age 18 months old, U.S. children will now receive a total of 125 mcg. of mercury from their vaccines.
  52. 52. The 1990s The 1990s identified the direct correlation between vaccines with the mercury compound, Thimerosal, and the increase in autism diagnosis. Starting in 1990, the ACOG recommended Rho(D) immune globulin, which contained Thimerosal, be given for the first time during pregnancy. In 1991, during a 9-month period of time the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule would go from injecting 125 mcg. to 237 mcg. by age 18 months. In addition to this increase in mercury given to infants, it was recommended that newborns prior to leaving the hospital receive a mercury-containing hepatitis B vaccine. All of these firsts would coincide with another first: the first autism epidemic now emerges. The FDA reported that over 30 licensed vaccines contained Thimerosal and infants who received these vaccines at several visits may be exposed to more mercury than FDA guidelines allowed. This report encouraged the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Public Health Service to provide a joint statement in 1999 recommending mercury be removed from vaccines. However, despite these discoveries and statements, the CDC decided vaccines containing Thimerosal are safe enough to continue to use in infants.
  53. 53. 1990: ACOG Recommendation A mercury-containing injection is recommended for the first time during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) would recommend Thimerosal-containing Rho(D) immune globulin during pregnancy and after the delivery for the first time in 1990. Prior to 1990, the ACOG recommendation was Rho(D) immune globulin only after the delivery. Due to this recommendation, the unborn child of mothers who receive Rho(D) immune globulin will be exposed to high levels of mercury. Pregnant women could receive more than one mercury-containing injection (amniocentesis or abdominal trauma). Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (1990). Prevention of D isoimmunization. ACOGTech Bulletin number 147.
  54. 54. January 1991 A new mercury-containing vaccine (Haemophilus b) is recommended for the first time. The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP, the CDC committee which decides the U.S. vaccine schedule) recommends another three doses of the Haemophilus b vaccine (Hib). Each dose of this vaccine will contain 25 mcg. With the three newly recommended doses of the Hib vaccine, U.S. children by 18 months old will be receiving 200 mcg. of mercury from their recommended vaccines.
  55. 55. 1991: Dr. Samuel Katz Dr. Samuel Katz and his ACIP committee in 1991 would recommend the largest increase in the amounts of mercury U.S. children would receive by 18 months old. Further, this 1991 ACIP committee made a second detrimental recommendation: newborns prior to leaving the hospital receive a mercury-containing vaccine (hepatitis B). In 1999, the CDC will initiate its own study on the incidence of autism resulting in children exposed to various levels of mercury in Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Dr. Thomas Verstraeten is the lead researcher on the study. In a Dec. 17, 1999 email (entitled “It just won’t go away!”) to his colleagues in the NIP, Verstraeten reports "all the harm is done in the first month of life.”
  56. 56. 1991: Dr. Samuel Katz - pt 2 From UPI article it is revealed: “Some of the officials involved in the agency's 1991 decision to recommend that all infants receive the Hepatitis B vaccine also had close ties to vaccine manufacturers. Dr. Sam Katz was the advisory committee chairman at the time. A professor at Duke, Katz said 30 percent of children who get the disease get it from unknown causes, possibly in daycare. He said the CDC tried to give the shots to teens, but it was hard to get them to show up for all three doses. ’So they said, 'Well, we've got a captive audience and we want to give it to the newborns anyways.'" Katz developed a measles vaccine now manufactured by Merck, which also manufactures a Hepatitis B vaccine. Katz said when he was chairman of the committee in 1991 he also worked as a paid consultant for Merck, Wyeth and most major vaccine manufacturers.”
  57. 57. 1991: Mercury-poisoning Symptoms U.S. children, who are now receiving the highest levels of mercury from Thimerosal- containing vaccines, will display symptoms that look identical to mercury poisoning. These mercury- poisoning symptoms also look like symptoms of autism. The U.S. now begins to see a new autism epidemic emerge. Vaccine Mercury Burden and Autism Risk Graph Source
  58. 58. 1991: Mercury-poisoning Symptoms - pt 2 *Note: Mercury was never totally removed from vaccines intended for infants or pregnant women. In May 2004, for the first time the CDC recommended the flu shot for pregnant women and infants 6-23 months- old. Many flu shots in 2004 and today contain 25 mcg of mercury. Other vaccines still contain mercury as well.
  59. 59. September 1991 A second mercury-containing vaccine (hepatitis B) is recommended nine months after the mercury-containing Hib vaccine recommendation. The CDC for the first time recommends newborns, prior to leaving the hospital, should receive a mercury-containing hepatitis B vaccine. ACIP recommends three more Thimerosal-containing vaccines for U.S. children, the hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine contains 12.5 mcg. of mercury. By age 18 months, U.S. children are now receiving 237.5-250 mcg.* of mercury from their vaccines. *depending on vaccine manufacturer
  60. 60. 1991: Reduce Mercury Exposures Dr. Maurice Hilleman memo. Maurice Hilleman is a well- known vaccinologist who in his 1991 internal Merck memo advised his colleagues to reduce Thimerosal (mercury) exposures especially in pediatric vaccines and look for alternatives for Thimerosal. This memo was not heeded by Hilleman’s industry colleagues. The Merck memo by Dr. Maurice Hilleman would not be made public until 2005.
  61. 61. 1992: Denmark Makes Changes Denmark phases Thimerosal (mercury) out of vaccines. According to a 2000 CDC report the U.S. autism rate for children born in 1992 is 1 in 150.
  62. 62. 1992-1993: Dangerous Vaccines Sweden phases Thimerosal out of vaccines. Which vaccines contain mercury - and how dangerous is it if the vaccine contains mercury? Mercury compounds, such as Thimerosal, were previously used as preservatives in most vaccines in the childhood vaccination program. The vaccines used in the Swedish childhood vaccination program have been free of the mercury-containing preservative (Thimerosal) since 1992-93. Previously the use of mercury compounds in the vaccines had no detectable adverse effects, but general environmental considerations have led to the removal of mercury containing preservatives from the vaccines. Nowadays phenoxyethanol, an organic phenolic compound with low toxicity that breaks down and disappears quickly from the body, is used as a preservative in vaccines. Several vaccines are delivered in disposable containers and contain no preservatives at all.
  63. 63. 1993: Thimerosal, the Inhibitor As described in Mutation Research (1993, 287:17) Thimerosal was identified as a strong inhibitor of microtubular assembly, a process that is essential for proper neuronal development.
  64. 64. September 13, 1994 On September 13, 1994 a hearing chaired by Dr. Manfred Hause was held at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut regarding the use of Thimerosal as a preservative in vaccines. All vaccine manufacturers selling vaccines in Germany were invited. There was no representative of a US federal health agency at this meeting. This said, representatives of the following vaccine manufacturers selling in North America were present: 1) Dr. Thomas Eckhardt (Wyeth) 2) Ron Salerno (Merck Sharpe Dohme) 3) Ricky D. Smith (CLI Swiftwater, PA) and 4) Raafat Fahim (Connaught Toronto/CLL now Aventis Canada). What is particularly interesting from the minutes of this meeting is the opinion of Lederle Arneimittel, stating “data from the USA confirm that the risk associated with the use of vaccines containing Thimerosal is small.” There was no discussion in the minutes of the 1994 meeting of the possible toxic accumulations of Thimerosal from the increasing number of vaccines being administered. Yet, we do know that Merck’s chief vaccine scientist, Maurice Hilleman did examine this issue in depth in a memo to R. Gordon Douglas, the Chief Executive Officer of Merck, in early 1991. Further, this issue was discussed at the World Health Organization (unknown year but April 15-16) at a meeting that was attended by Dr. William Egan of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). In addition, according to an email provided to me by Dr. Maurer he did discuss the issue of Thimerosal-containing vaccines with Dr. Elaine Esber of the FDA in December of 1993 at a meeting in Vienna, Austria (personal communication between Ms. Liz Birt, Esq. and Dr. Maurer). Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  65. 65. 1996: Austim Rate for Children According to a 2004 CDC report, the U.S. autism rate for children born in 1996 is 1 in 125.
  66. 66. 1997: Vaccines Poisoning Infants Mr. C. Bruce Pittman informed his superiors at Merck that Thimerosal, as an “intact” molecule, did not have any anti-microbial properties; in other words, it was the ethyl-mercury that killed the microbes, not Thimerosal. Mr. Pittman was conducting this research as an employee of Merck and as part of his dissertation at Lehigh University. He was told by his superiors at Merck he could not publish his work. He was able to obtain his master's degree at Lehigh, and his paper was read by his professor in a closed room with the caveat that no copies of the paper were to be made. This research was disseminated to scientists at Merck as high as the vice president level in 1997. Bruce presented interim results in late 1998 and his final results in March of 1999. In addition, Mr. Pittman told Liz Birt that in his final presentation in March of 1999 that he informed Merck employees (which included officers of the company) that between 6 to 8 micrograms of ethyl-mercury were being delivered to an infant’s central nervous system with each vaccine containing Thimerosal. At the end of this meeting Mr. Pittman walked out with the female executive director and mentioned that Merck could be poisoning infants with these vaccines. The individual said nothing. Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  67. 67. November 21, 1997 The Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA) was signed into law. This act called for a review of all medicines and biologics that contained mercury. The FDA Modernization Act will prove to be too late to save many U.S. children from being overdosed on a potent neurotoxin -- mercury.
  68. 68. 1998: Autism Rate for Children Rising Children are now receiving 237.5 mcg. of mercury from vaccines by age 18 months. According to a 2006 CDC report, the U.S. autism rate for children born in 1998 is 1 in 110.
  69. 69. June 21, 1998 An email was sent by Roger Williams of the FDA to Peter Cooney and Joseph De George on June 21, 1998, specifically referring to the European Medicines Agency/Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (EMEA/CPMP) about “not using Thimerosal in vulnerable groups such as infants, toddlers and pregnant women.” Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  70. 70. November 23, 1998 Dr. Leslie Ball of the FDA asked internal reviewers to perform a Medwatch query on Thimerosal. Medwatch is the FDA’s database for reporting adverse drug events. On January 7, 1999, Dr. Ball was informed by Fredrick Varricchio of FDA that there were 7,000 reports containing the word Thimerosal on FDA’s Medwatch (18). He stated “I have some results for you. Problem is that there are 7,000 reports that mention Thimerosal. What to do now. Obviously looking at all 7,000 is a brute force approach.” On February 16, 1999, an email was sent to the “Mercury Reviewers” from Steven Aurecchia regarding “Screening Spreadsheet for Mercury Studies.” This document specifically states “Please make a reference for each of the references you have received, even if it is not a study per se. Just specify the nature of the reference in column two, e.g. case report, general or review article, etc.” Source:Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  71. 71. January 7, 1999 As indicated in an email between FDA officials Frank Varrichio and Leslie Ball, healthcare workers started to become concerned about the cumulative Thimerosal exposure to infants from their vaccinations. In looking at the National Library of Medicine website (i.e., Pubmed), Varrichio finds 7,000 references to Thimerosal. Rather than examine all of these references, Varrichio recommends looking at the summary of every 100th report.
  72. 72. April 14, 1999 The FDA was reading its formal position to vaccine manufacturers. A particularly telling email from Richard Kenney of FDA summed up the frustration of certain individuals at FDA dealing with the manufacturers on the Thimerosal issue: “It seems the only way a letter to industry will have any impact is to impose a requirement (if that can be done under FDAMA!). I vote to encourage manufacturers to work toward removing Thimerosal from all products, and require them to formally justify its necessity in any product under IND. With respect to CDER’s and other’s interest in the issue, we are the only ones where most of our products are targeted toward infants”. Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  73. 73. May 5, 1999 Tom Clarkson, a methyl mercury expert from University of Rochester sent the following email to Dr. Leslie Ball: “Ethylmercury has caused more outbreaks of poisoning similar to those caused by methylmercury. It is more rapidly converted to inorganic mercury in the body than is methylmercury. Thus is may be somewhat less toxic but is neurological effects are the same. As a first pass one might use the risk parameters for methylmercury.” Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D.,L.L.M., and James Moody, J.D. "Timeline." Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. 15 July 2005. TS. Tom Clarkson
  74. 74. June 29, 1999 Fears that the FDA, CDC and vaccine policy makers will appear to have been “asleep at the switch.” Peter Patriarca, the then Director of the FDA Office on Vaccine Research and Review, issues an email to CDC officials (including Roger Bernier, Chief Science Officer of the National Immunization Program and Jose Cordero, Director of the National Immunization Program) discussing how to handle the Thimerosal crisis. Patriarca expresses fears that the FDA, CDC and vaccine policy makers will appear to have been “asleep at the switch” for decades allowing Thimerosal (a potentially hazardous mercury compound) to remain in childhood vaccines. Further, there is fear because no one did the calculation of cumulative mercury exposure as the policy makers continued to recommend more and more vaccines be added to the schedule. Finally, the email at the top of the page indicates that there had been an “interim plan” in place for many years to remove Thimerosal from vaccines. Only now that there was public outcry did these officials consider implementing the plan.
  75. 75. June 30, 1999 Dr. David Blois of Merck called Dr. Kathryn Zoon of FDA and Mr. Mark Elengold; the teleconference with Merck did not happen until July 1, 1999 at 8:00 A.M.; notes from this call reflect the following statements by the manufacturers; 1) transition to a Thimerosal free vaccine would take greater than 6 but less than 24 months; 2) the general consensus was that AAP would not act independently, clear that Neal Halsey agrees, and that he (Neal Halsey) still may want AAP to take the lead; 3) Martin Preliminary Draft Meyers from CDC was on the teleconference as well and the note reflect his concern that the "core communication message must be continue to vaccinate children." Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D.,L.L.M., and James Moody, J.D. "Timeline." Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. 15 July 2005. TS.
  76. 76. July 1, 1999 Dr. Elaine Esber and Dr. Norman Baylor of FDA called Dr. David Williams, President and COO of Pasteur-Merieux-Connaught ("PMC"). Notes taken during this conference call reflect the concern of PMC of FDA's response to the AAP position and that FDA is encouraged to "be careful in damning any use of the product Thimerosal." (emphasis added) Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D.,L.L.M., and James Moody, J.D. "Timeline." Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. 15 July 2005. TS.
  77. 77. July 2, 1999 Peter Patriarca addresses his colleague at the FDA in a confidential email, echoing the concerns of his previous email to CDC officials. He also outlines “talking points” defending the FDA’s actions and explaining the use of Thimerosal (mercury) as a preservative in infant vaccines. This email was leading up to a public announcement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Public Health Service (PHS) regarding Thimerosal containing vaccines on July 7, 1999.
  78. 78. July 2, 1999 Dr. Ruth Etzel, USDA Division of Epidemiology and Risk Assessment, writes and to the American Academy of Pediatrics team involved with the July 7, 1999 public announcement. Dr. Etzel recommends a parallel path to the response of Johnson and Johnson to the 1982 outbreak of tainted Tylenol tablets: (1) act quickly to inform pediatricians that the products contain more Thimerosal (mercury) than we realized, (2) Be open with consumers as to why they didn’t catch this earlier, and (3) show contrition. Dr. Etzel also alludes to the fact that despite these issues, the PHS will not show a preference to Thimerosal (mercury) free products.
  79. 79. July 3, 1999 CDC outlines alternative position claiming EPA and WHO guidelines for cumulative mercury exposures not exceeded. Ben Schwartz of the National Immunization Program in the CDC, issues an email outlining an alternative position to Dr. Etzel, where he claims that EPA and WHO guidelines for cumulative mercury exposures have not been exceeded. Dr. Ben Schwartz’s approach “to address the Thimerosal problem” was to add up daily acceptable amounts of mercury which infants could receive over a 3 month period of time and use the 3 month total as an acceptable mercury level for infants to receive in one day. This logic would be no different than a pediatrician giving an infant 90 days’ worth of allowable Tylenol doses in one day and trying to convince parents that it was safe. This approach is nothing but trickery, meant to defend Thimerosal while sacrificing children. Dr. Benjamin Schwartz
  80. 80. July 5, 1999 The following medical doctors stated in a letter: We continue to be gravely troubled by the recommendation to encourage "use (of) vaccines that do not contain Thimerosal.” Martin Meyers, M.D. Ragina Rabinovitch, M.D. Scott Dowell, M.D.
  81. 81. July 5, 1999 - pt 2 Jose Cordero, M.D. Peter Patriarca, M.D. Walt Orenstein, M.D.
  82. 82. July 5, 1999 Martin G. Meyers, M.D. NVPO, Regina Rabinovitch, M.D. NIH, Peter Patriarca, M.D.FDA, Jose Cordero, M.D. for Walt Orenstein NIP/CDC and Scott Dowell, M.D.NCID/CDC "liaison members" to AAP issued a letter that stated the following: "As your liaison members we do not vote on proposed Academy policy but we would like to comment on the "final draft" circulated on Saturday. We continue to be gravely troubled by the recommendation to encourage "use (of) vaccines that do not contain Thimerosal". We believe that this will result in a delay for many children to get some of their immunization, the development of vaccine shortages, and will place the pediatrician in the "middle": she will have to choose between giving the less preferred vaccine or no vaccine. Over the weekend, we and our colleagues have developed the concept of "prudent selection" which the PHS plans to be its recommendation to accompany the release of our joint statement. This will outline a series of options within the context of the existing guidelines that permits the pediatrician to use up their existing supplies of vaccines. We urge you to consider revising your recommendations or at least taking the time to consider the option we intend to put forth. We would be pleased to allow you to examine our working paper as soon as it is available (hopefully be Tuesday a.m.). It would be far better were the Academy and the PHS aligned together in our recommendations." (emphasis added) Source:Birt, Elizabeth, J.D.,L.L.M., and James Moody, J.D. "Timeline." Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. 15 July 2005. TS.
  84. 84. July 7, 1999 U.S. Government health officials responded to the Thimerosal issue, first time. There are a flurry of emails issued in late June – early July among FDA, CDC and AAP officials. This is the first time that we see U.S. Government health officials have officially responded to the Thimerosal issue (mercury). This leads to a joint AAP-PHS statement on Thimerosal, issued on July 7, 1999: Joint AAP – PHS Statement issued re known serious risk by failure to immunize versus much smaller of exposure to Thimerosal (mercury). Here is an excerpt, which far minimizes the panic of the associated vaccine policy agencies: "The recognition that some children could be exposed to a cumulative level of mercury over the first six months of life that exceeds one of the federal guidelines on methylmercury now requires a weighing of two different types of risks when vaccinating infants. On the one hand, there is the known serious risk of diseases and deaths caused by failure to immunize our infants against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases; on the other, there is the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of neuro-developmental effects posed by exposure to Thimerosal. The large risks of not vaccinating children far outweigh the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of cumulative exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines over the first six months of life. Nevertheless, because any potential risk is of concern, the Public Health Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agree that Thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible. Similar conclusions were reached this year in a meeting attended by European regulatory agencies, the European vaccine manufacturers, and the US FDA which examined the use of Thimerosal-containing vaccines produced or sold in European countries."
  85. 85. July 9, 1999 The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Public Health Service provide a joint statement recommending mercury be removed from vaccines.
  86. 86. July 7 and July 31, 1999 The CDC is provided the opportunity from vaccine makers Merck and Smithkline Beecham to reduce the cumulative amount of mercury in vaccines from 237.5 mcg to 100 mcg (by 18 months). If the CDC had accepted the offers from Merck and Smithkline Beecham infants born starting in September 1999 would have received the same amount of mercury from vaccines that children received in the 1980s when the autism rate was 1 in 10,000. However, the CDC did not accept this offer and mercury levels in vaccines remained the same.
  87. 87. August 11, 1999 The National Vaccine Program held a conference on Thimerosal in vaccines. An email was sent from Geoffrey Evans of HRSA regarding the Lister Hill meeting. This email stated "The purpose of the meeting was to get everyone "on the same page" regarding the issue of mercury in vaccines, not to set policy, but to exchange information. (60) Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  88. 88. September 24, 1999 Lou Cooper, M.D. of AAP sent the following email to Bruce Gellin, M.D., Sam Katz, M.D. and Walter Orenstein, M.D the then acting head of CDC. "Ed. Can't say I am pleased about the material you sent, but my response has several parts. 1. I support states in adjusting immunization policy where appropriate for local circumstances. CDC and AAP committees generally make room for such adjustments. I am not sure of the data which support a MA variation at this time.; 2) This particular shift seems first of all to be based on revision of all that was discussed by the PHS including the FDA and CDC and multiple AAP experts in July and the consensus of what was presented at the broadly-based conference at NIH on Aug 11. So that is troubling.; 3) I agree with you that the timing of a shift back to universal Hep B vaccine in Massachusetts newborn nurseries BEFORE there is sufficient Thimerosal-free vaccine seems to add an unnecessary element of confusion for clinicians and the public and fuel for the antivaccine arguments of folks already so inclined.; 4) At this stage of our knowledge of Hep B vertical transmissions, sophisticated health systems should have well-routinized appropriate serologic testing for all pregnant women getting prenatal care. There was full agreement about what to do for what should be a small number of untested women who present higher risks; 5) So for me, bottom line is that it sounds like someone(s) with vested interests that give perspective different from mine and our AAP COlD is massaging data and reaching a conclusion that I hope doesn't spread to other states (emphasis added); 6) When sufficient Thimerosal-free vaccine is available this issue will be moot Democracy is tough. Thanks for letting me comment. I have· shared this with three folks who may have more to offer and should be alert to what MA is doing." (61) What is interesting about this email is that as earlier as September, only two months after the joint statement was crafted there was movement AWAY from delaying the birth dose of Hepatitis B until sufficient Thimerosal free vaccine was available. We are unsure who the individuals with "vested interests" who are "massaging the data" are but we suspect it was individuals at federal health agencies in concert with individuals at the vaccine manufacturers.
  89. 89. September 24, 1999 - pt 2 "In order to prepare such a statement that CDC folks can be comfortable with, we should redraft the notice to readers to contain more information about Hg blood levels that a pregnant woman might experience as a result of the flu vaccination and why such levels are judged to be safe. (Bernier for NIP)" (emphasis added). What this email clearly illustrates is the extent of the CDC "spin" on the entire Thimerosal issue. Their primary focus is on protecting the integrity of the immunization program not on safety. Time after time the CDC makes blanket statements regarding the "safety" of Thimerosal with no data. It is certain individuals at FDA like Dr. Ball who are consistently attempting to correct the record. It is the FDA that is stating that there is no science to back up CDC's position. Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  90. 90. October 19, 1999 CDC circulated a "Proposed ACIP Statement on Thimerosal." CDC also prepared a PowerPoint presentation which is attached to the statement. What is interesting about these documents is the concern at CDC of the cost to the agency of returning Thimerosal containing vaccines "CDC estimates there is at least $5.9 million in Thimerosal containing DTaP vaccines purchased through CDC's contracts in state, local and provider's present inventories. There is no return credit for vaccines not used when supplied through public purchase. The number of vaccine manufacturers with whom CDC contracts for DTaP would be reduced from 4 to 1. One company would be excluded entirely from CDC's market. Another company's market share would drop from 44% to 0%. The Hepatitis B (P & A) vaccine that is preservative-free is no sufficient to meet the national need though consideration of a combination Hib-Hep B vaccine could reduce this problem. There may be increased risk with respect to vaccine supply when the U.S. market is totally dependent up<;>n one manufacturer. Sole source contracts eliminate competitive pricing." In addition to the PowerPoint document a chart was prepared listing the "pros and cons" of stating a preference for Thimerosal free vaccines. One of the "pros" is listed as "faster potential reduction in number of infants with exposure" on the next line the "con" listed was "potential liability and loss of confidence if adverse association is later documented." Source:Birt, Elizabeth, J.D., L.L.M., & James Moody, J.D."Timeline" Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. July 15, 2005. TS.
  91. 91. 1999: It Just Won’t Go Away! The CDC initiates its own study on the incidence of autism resulting in children exposed to various levels of mercury in Thimerosal containing vaccines. Dr. Thomas Verstraeten is the lead researcher on the study. In a Dec. 17, 1999 email (entitled “it just won’t go away!”) to his colleagues in the NIP, Verstraeten reports that all the damage is done in the first month of life. In “Generation Zero” of his data analysis, it can be seen that the children that receive the highest dose of mercury in the first month are 7.62 times more likely to get anautism (2990 on the chart) diagnosis. Also, within a presentation that Verstraeten gave at the 1999 Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference (an internal conference at the CDC), showing the autism risk along with a 1.8 times risk for any neurological disorder, 2.1 for speech disorders and 5.0 for non-organic sleep disorders. The [BSH1] Verstraeten study went through 5 more data iterations, using alternative HMO datasets, stratification methods and statistical “Olympics” all designed to obfuscate the 7.62 number seen in the “generation zero” study. This took over 4 years as the final paper was not published until 2003. Even then, Verstraeten himself said that the study was “neutral” and did not exonerate Thimerosal, but indicated that more study was necessary (as recorded in his 2004 letter to the editor of the Journal
  92. 92. 1999: It Just Won’t Go Away! - pt 2 Frank Destefano Thomas Verstraeten Robert Davis
  93. 93. November 26, 1999 CDC decides vaccines containing Thimerosal (mercury) are safe enough to continue to use in infants, despite overtures by vaccine manufacturers that can supply the U.S. with entirely Thimerosal-free stock. Dr. Koplan in his reply to SmithKline Beecham states that the CDC plans to “continue to provide the States with a choice among currently licensed brands of the DTaP vaccine.” In other words, the CDC would NOT provide SmithKline Beecham with an exclusive contract for DTaP for the first half of 2000 and further would NOT recommend the Infanrix formulation over any competitive, Thimerosal-containing product. Thus, the CDC had already made its decision regarding Thimerosal-containing vaccines: that they were safe enough not to make a preference for Thimerosal-free formulations. Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, CDC Director 1999
  94. 94. The 2000s Summary: While the new millennium brought about new evidence and proof that exposure to Thimerosal (mercury) was directly related to the increase in autism rate, the CDC with the help of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) will tell the world mercury in vaccines is not linked to autism. The world is never told the CDC and IOM based their message of “mercury in vaccines is not linked to autism” on fraudulent epidemiological science. The world is also never told crucial information about the IOM conclusions. In a paper written by George Lucier, Ph.D., the former Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program, HHS, he provides these crucial details about the IOM conclusions: “…..the Committee Chair stated, before any evidence was presented, that the Committee would never determine that autism was a true side effect. Statements like this would not be made if the deliberations were intended to be objective and based on scientific facts. The IOM concluded in 2004 that Thimerosal does not cause autism but this conclusion is tainted because of the prejudicial statements made by the Committee at the onset of deliberations and the undue reliance on research conducted by scientists who did not disclose conflicts of interests in their publications. Inexplicably, the IOM Committee seemingly ignored a vast body of science, including epidemiology studies, indicating that Thimerosal causes neurodevelopmental disorders.”
  95. 95. The 2000s - pt 2 Despite the first court case filed against mercury poisoning/vaccines and medical studies proving the dangers of Thimerosal, the 2000s saw a rise in administering vaccines containing Thimerosal. Even though the Thimerosal labels read, “Exposure to mercury in utero and in children may cause mild to severe mental retardation and mild to severe motor coordination impairment,” the CDC pushed these mercury-laden vaccines on pregnant women and infants. Meanwhile, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry continued to release studies showing the direct link between Thimerosal (mercury) and autism.
  96. 96. 2000: Autism Rate Climbing According to a 2008 CDC report the U.S. autism rate for children born in 2000 is 1 in 88.
  97. 97. June 7, 2000 Quotes from the June 7, 2000 Simpsonwood Meeting Notes: Emphasis added to quotes. The transcript from this meeting was obtained through a FOIA request by parents. Dr. Verstraeten, pg. 40-41: “…we have found statistically significant relationships between the exposure and outcomes for these different exposures and outcomes. First, for two months of age, an unspecified developmental delay, which has its own specific ICD9 code. Exposure at three months of age, Tics. Exposure at six months of age, an attention deficit disorder. Exposure at one, three and six months of age, language and speech delays, which are two separate ICD9 codes. Exposures at one, three and six months of age, the entire category of neurodevelopmental delays, which includes all of these plus a number of other disorders." Dr. Bernier, pg. 113: "We have asked you to keep this information confidential. We do have a plan for discussing these data at the upcoming meeting of the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices on June 21 and June 22. At that time CDC plans to make a public release of this information so I think it would serve all of our interests best if we could continue to consider these data. The ACIP work group will be considering also. If we could consider these data in a certain protected environment. So we are asking people who have a great job protecting this information up until now, to continue to do that until the time of the ACIP meeting. So to basically consider this embargoed information.”
  98. 98. June 7, 2000 - pt 2 Dr. Verstraeten, pg. 165: "Personally, I have three hypotheses. My first hypothesis is it is parental bias. The children that are more likely to be vaccinated are more likely to be picked and diagnosed. Second hypothesis, I don't know. There is a bias that I have not recognized, and nobody has yet told me about it. Third hypothesis. It's true, it's Thimerosal. Those are my hypotheses." Dr. Johnson, pg. 198: "This association leads me to favor a recommendation that infants up to two years old not be immunized with Thimerosal containing vaccines if suitable alternative preparations are available. I do not believe the diagnoses justifies compensation in the Vaccine Compensation Program at this point. I deal with causality, it seems pretty clear to me that the data are not sufficient one way or the other. My gut feeling? It worries me enough. Forgive this personal comment, but I got called out of an eight o'clock for an emergency call and my daughter-in-law delivered her son by C-section. Our first male in the line of the next generation, and I do not want that grandson to get a Thimerosal containing vaccine until we know better what is going on. It will probably take a long time. In the meantime, and I know there are probably implications for this internationally, but in the meantime I think I want that grandson to only be given Thimerosal-free vaccines." Dr. Weil of the AAP, pg. 207: "The number of dose related relationships are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant. The positive relationships are those that one might expect from the Faroe Islands studies. They are also related to those data we do have on experimental animal data and similar to the neurodevelopmental tox data on other substances, so that I think you can't accept that this is out of the ordinary. It isn't out of the ordinary."
  99. 99. June 7, 2000 - pt 3 Dr. Clements, pg 247- 249: "I am really concerned that we have taken off like a boat going down one arm of the mangrove swamp at high speed, when in fact there was not enough discussion really early on about which was the boat should go at all. And I really want to risk offending everyone in the room by saying that perhaps this study should not have been done at all, because the outcome of it could have, to some extent, been predicted, and we have all reached this point now where we are left hanging, even though I hear the majority of consultants say to the Board that they are not convinced there is a causality direct link between Thimerosal and various neurological outcomes." "I know how we handle it from here is extremely problematic. The ACIP is going to depend on comments from this group in order to move forward into policy, and I have been advised that whatever I say should not move into the policy area because that is not the point of this meeting. But nonetheless, we know from many experiences in history that the pure scientist has done research because of pure science. But that pure science has resulted in splitting the atom or some other process, which is completely beyond the power of the scientists who did the research to control it. And what we have here is people who have, for every best reason in the world, pursued a direction of research. But there is not the point at which the research results have to be handled, and even if this committee decides that there is no association and that information gets out, the work that has been done and through the freedom of information that will be taken by others and will be used in ways beyond the control of this group. And I am very concerned about that as I suspect it already too late to do anything regardless of any
  100. 100. June 7, 2000 - pt 4 "My mandate as I sit here in this group is to make sure at the end of the day the 100,000,000 are immunized with DTP, Hepatitis B and if possible Hib, this year, next year and for many years to come, and that will have to be with Thimerosal containing vaccines unless a miracle occurs and an alternative is found quickly and is tried and found to be safe." "So I leave you with the challenge that I am very concerned that this has gotten this far, and that having got this far, how you present in a concerted voice the information to the ACIP in a way they will be able to handle it and not get exposed to the traps which are out there in public relations. My message would be that any other study, and I like the study that has just been described here very much. I think it makes a lot of sense, but it has to be thought through. What are the potential outcomes and how will you handle it? How will it be presented to a public and media that is hungry for selecting the information they want to use for whatever means they in store for them?…but I wonder how on earth you are going to handle it from here."
  101. 101. June 7, 2000: Simpsonwood A secret meeting is held between CDC scientists and industry consultants (including representatives from vaccine manufacturers) at Simpsonwood, Georgia. At this meeting, the scientists and consultants discuss how to approach the initial data from the Verstraeten et al. (CDC) study showing a relationship between Thimerosal (mercury) exposure and autism incidence. It is egregious that vaccine manufacturers would be involved in vaccination policy decisions where they have potential product liability. Concerning the meeting, Dr. Robert Chen (then head of the Immunization Safety Office of the CDC) stated, “We have been privileged so far that given the sensitivity of information, we have been able to manage to keep it out of, let's say, less responsible hands..." Concerning the data, there was an effort to develop statistical methodologies that would manipulate the data in such a fashion to remove the statistically significant relationship between Thimerosal and autism. Specifically, Dr. Philip Rhodes (NIP at the CDC) states, “So you can push, I can pull. But there has been substantial movement from this very highly significant result down to a fairly marginal result.” The full Simpsonwood meeting transcript may be viewed here.
  102. 102. 2000: RFK, Jr. and Simpsonwood RFK, Jr. describing Simpsonwood
  103. 103. June 18, 2000 The first Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Thimerosal in medical products. Chairman Burton asked Dr. Egan the following question: "When did the FDA and CDC first start being concerned about mercury in vaccines?" Dr. Egan responded, "I guess that the major concern started somewhere around May of 1999?" In addition, Dr. Egan was asked by Congresswoman Chenowith-Hage at the same hearing: "With regards to the introduction of the Hib vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccine, could you advise the committee on what studies were done with regards to these new vaccines that would prove Thimerosal safe?" Dr. Egan's response was "There is a long history of the use, the safe use of Thimerosal, you know, in vaccines since they were-since it was first introduced. And at that time (1990) there was no data to suggest that the added mercury from the introduction of those vaccines would be harmful." These statements by Dr. Egan either reflect the gross incompetence of Dr. Egan or are patently false. Mr. Burton: “And the FDA and CDC are committed to phasing it out. Why not take it out today; 8,000 children are going to be immunized today. We understand that there is a supply for every child in America of non mercury-orientated drugs. Why is it that we are not phasing it out today?” Mr. Egan: “There are a couple of things. If l can first address its use as a preservative, it is an effective preservative, and it is demonstrated to be an effective preservative. All of the preservatives that are used in vaccines are required to meet the USP definition of a preservative, meaning that the test article, the vaccine with the preservative in it is taken. There are five challenge organisms that are added, there are three bacteria and two fungi, and these are added at 0.1 milliliter of each of the bacteria and fungi in a concentration between 100,000 and a million organisms, and within 14 days the preservative is required to reduce the bacterial count by 99.9 percent."
  104. 104. June 18, 2000 - pt 2 It is clear that Dr. Egan either completely forgot about this conversation with Mr. Raza and was also unaware of the problems of abscesses following the administration of DTP vaccines containing Thimerosal or he committed perjury. Source: Birt, Elizabeth, J.D.,L.L.M., and James Moody, J.D. "Timeline." Letter to Lauren Fuller, Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. Senate HELP. 15 July 2005.
  105. 105. September 2000 The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences is commissioned for meetings and studies on vaccine safety. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences is commissioned through an Intra-Agency Agreement (IAA) between the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct 8 separate meetings leading to 8 reports on vaccine adverse effects, including a meeting and report on Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism. The IOM is paid a total of $2,043,000 to conduct these studies. The IOM Immunization Safety Review (ISR) committee is formed to preside over the meetings and write the subsequent reports. Closed door meeting transcripts of the IOM ISR committee include statements by the chairperson Dr. Marie McCormick (Harvard School of Public Health) such as “[CDC] wants us to declare, well, these things [i.e., vaccines] are pretty safe on a population basis” (p. 33, closed door transcripts from 1/12/2001) and “we are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect” (p. 97, closed door transcripts from 1/12/2001). Transcripts are available for perusal here. This contradicts Dr. Bill Egan’s testimony before the Committee on Government Reform on July 18, 2000 on this issue. Mr. Burton: “And mercury is a poison?” Mr. Egan: “Yes, it is. It is neurotoxic.” Mr. Burton: "And the FDA and CDC are committed to phasing it out. Why not take it out today; 8,000 children are going to be immunized today. We understand that there is a supply for every child in America of non-mercury-orientated drugs. Why is it that we are not phasing it out today?" Mr. Egan: "There are a couple of things. If I can first address its use as a preservative, it is an effective preservative, and demonstrated to be an effective preservative. All of the preservatives that are used in vaccines are required to meet the USP definition of a preservative, meaning that the test article, the vaccine with the preservative in it, is taken. There are five challenge organisms that are added, there are three bacteria and two fungi, and these are added at 0.1 milliliter of each of the bacteria
  106. 106. March 23, 2001 First Mercury Poisoning/Vaccine Case Filed The law firm of Waters & Kraus, LLP, based in Dallas, Texas, announced today that it has filed the first known civil case alleging that the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal, used recently in more than 30 childhood vaccines, has caused mercury poisoning in many children. Counter, et al v. Abbott Laboratories, et al, (Case No. GN 100866, 200th District Court - Travis County, Texas). The symptoms of mercury poisoning are, in many cases, identical to the symptoms of autism, although the suit does not allege that all persons suffering from the symptoms of autism do so as a result of mercury poisoning. However, many children suffering from mercury poisoning have been previously diagnosed with autism due to the similarity of symptoms. Press Release: First Mercury Poisoning/Vaccine Case Filed Press Release: Eli Lilly Documents Reveal Dangers of Thimerosal Legal Matters: Eli Lilly And Thimerosal
  107. 107. April 2001 Autism: a Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning research paper is published. Parents begin to learn autistic symptoms and mercury poisoning symptoms are identical. Source: Generation Rescue
  108. 108. June 2001 CDC and the United Kingdom collaborate to investigate any correlation between Thimerosal (mercury) containing infant vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. A relationship is forged between the Private Health and Life Science (PHLS) agency in the UK, represented by Dr. Elizabeth Miller, and the CDC, represented by Dr. Thomas Verstraeten and Dr. Robert Chen, to investigate any correlation between Thimerosal containing infant vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. The funds for the study were granted by the World Health Organization, but email correspondences made it clear that Dr. Verstraeten and Dr. Chen had decision authority on the funds granted.
  109. 109. July 16, 2001 The Institute of Medicine (IOM) holds a meeting on Thimerosal (mercury) containing vaccines. In this meeting, data are presented primarily to support at least a correlation between autism incidence and Thimerosal exposure. At the conclusion of the meeting, the CDC anticipates that the IOM report will conclude that a correlation between autism and Thimerosal containing vaccines cannot be ruled out, due to the inadequacy of data at the time of the meeting.
  110. 110. August 2001 The CDC, through NIP Deputy Director Dr. Diane Simpson, contacts research groups in Denmark and Sweden to initiate studies on the incidence of autism as related to the phase out of Thimerosal (mercury) in Denmark in 1992 and in Sweden in 1988. The email traffic around these correspondences is highly redacted but is included as an attachment.
  111. 111. October 1, 2001 The IOM ISR committee issues a report stating the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between Thimerosal (mercury) containing vaccines and autism. By this time, relationships had been forged in Denmark, Sweden and the U.K. with the CDC NIP. Relationships with Denmark and the U.K. were tied financially to the CDC.
  112. 112. November 2002 Members of Congress insert a “hidden provision” into the Homeland Security Bill to prevent any lawsuits over the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal.
  113. 113. November 26, 2002 The NY Times reports: The Bush administration asked a federal claims court today to seal documents relating to hundreds of claims that a mercury-based preservative in vaccines, Thimerosal, has caused autism and other neurological disorders in children.
  114. 114. May 2003 Mercury in Medicine – Taking Unnecessary Risk Congressional Report is published. After three years of Congressional Hearings on vaccines the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness of the Committee on Government concludes: “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding the lack of safety data regarding injected Thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies' failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.” Despite the conclusion of the 2003 congressional report, “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic,” the unborn, infants and children are still receiving Thimerosal (mercury) containing vaccines. Congressman Dan Burton - Chairman of the Committee on Government Reform
  115. 115. May 2003 - pt 2 One of several hearings held by Dan Burton:
  116. 116. June 2003 The American public had been told mercury was out of vaccines. The truth: mercury remained in vaccines. From Put Children First: This letter refutes the often-reported fallacy that Thimerosal was removed from children's vaccines in 1999. In fact, Thimerosal-containing vaccines were in the market with expiration dates as late as September 2002, as this letter explicitly states. (It's also worth noting that the FDA has no mechanism for tracking vaccines on the shelf, so it's plausible that vaccines were in the supply chain well past their expiration dates).
  117. 117. August 2003 American Journal Preventative Medicine paper uses separate datasets - Sweden, Denmark & California attempting to deny causal relationship mercury to autism. A publication supporting the use of Thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines, coauthored by a CDC employee (Diane Simpson) and a CDC consultant (Paul Stehr-Green) appears in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (AJPM). This paper compiles separate datasets from Sweden, Denmark and California to attempt to deny a causal relationship between Thimerosal and autism. Severe methodological flaws include the use of Denmark data that exclude key information showing that autism rates actually decreased after the removal of Thimerosal in vaccines, the use of inpatient cohorts for the data from Sweden (which do not accurately reflect overall population trends), difficulties in comparing the low Thimerosal exposure levels in Denmark and Sweden to the much higher levels in the U.S. and misrepresentation of increases in autism rates in California that mirror the rise in the uptake of Thimerosal containing vaccines in this State. Emails obtained from the CDC via the FOIA show Dr. Simpson and Dr. Stehr-Green scouring the world for data that would be “helpful” for publication. Dr. Simpson in an email to Stehr-Green writes, “It is possible that the data won’t help us at all, but we won’t know until we see it.” One must infer that helpful data would be those that exonerate Thimerosal.
  118. 118. September 2003 Denmark publication (first) in Pediatrics, “proving mercury safe in vaccines." This is after the publication was rejected by the Journal of the American Med Assn (JAMA) and Lancet. In order to get the publication accepted in Pediatrics, Dr. Jose Cordero (at the request of Dr. Poul Thorsen) writes a letter requesting expedited review in the publication. The publication omits key data showing that autism diagnosis rates in Denmark actually decreased after Thimerosal was phased out of infant vaccines in 1992. This fraud was perpetrated with the full knowledge of the CDC.
  119. 119. October 2003 The second Denmark publication appears in the JAMA. This publication recycles data from the first Denmark publication, uses a flawed database where 10-25% of the older cohorts disappear from the records and skews the data to favor younger children that didn’t receive Thimerosal. Reanalysis of the publication by the group SafeMinds shows a 2.3 times greater risk in receiving an autism diagnosis among the children receiving Thimerosal containing vaccines.
  120. 120. October 21, 2003 Congressman Dave Weldon who is a medical doctor writes CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding regarding his concerns about the soon to be published Verstraeten study in Pediatrics.
  121. 121. November 2003 The CDC’s own publication from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (a compilation of data from 9 separate U.S. HMOs) appears in the journal Pediatrics. This study represents 5 iterations in which the relative risk of an autism diagnosis in children exposed to Thimerosal has reduced from 7.62 times to a level beneath statistical significance. In the actual publication, autism risk data is not shown but is explained as statistically insignificant. The lead author, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten left the CDC in July 2001 and at the time of publication was employed by vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. This represents a gross conflict of interest as GSK had produced Thimerosal containing vaccines implicated in the autism increase worldwide. The CDC has refused to release email traffic between NIP officials and Dr. Verstraeten relevant to this publication, after the point where Verstraeten became a GSK employee. Subsequently, in 2004, Dr. Verstraeten, in a letter to the editor of Pediatrics, explains that this study is a neutral study and cannot be used to rule out a relationship between Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism. This is despite the fact that the CDC widely touts the publication as exonerating Thimerosal.
  122. 122. 2004: Thimerosal Exposed Dr. George Lucier former Director, Environmental Toxicology Program National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explains how the 2004 IOM outcome was already predetermined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The IOM 2004 report on Thimerosal-containing vaccines was funded by the CDC. The record shows that the IOM was inappropriately influenced by the CDC. Transcripts of an early organizational meeting in (IOM transcript Jan 2001) reveal statements to the effect that the Committee would not conclude that Thimerosal caused neurodevelopmental disorders because the CDC did not want the IOM to conclude a causal association. This kind of prejudicial push to a particular conclusion is totally inappropriate for a funding agency requesting an objective evaluation by an IOM Committee or any Committee for that matter. Moreover, the Committee Chair stated, before any evidence was presented, that the Committee would never determine that autism was a true side effect. Statements like this would not be made if the deliberations were intended to be objective and based on scientific facts. The IOM concluded in 2004 that Thimerosal does not cause autism but this conclusion is tainted because of the prejudicial statements made by the Committee at the onset of deliberations and the undue reliance on research conducted by scientists who did not disclose conflicts of interests in their publications. Inexplicably, the IOM Committee seemingly ignored a vast body of science, including epidemiology studies, indicating that Thimerosal causes neurodevelopmental disorders. In fact, Congressman Weldon (Weldon 2004) expressed concern that the committee members were biased and had conflicts
  123. 123. 2004: Pieces to the Autism Puzzle Pieces to the autism puzzle: Many autistic children have a defect in the enzyme (MTHFR) that starts the methionine synthase pathway to make glutathione. Glutathione is a sulfur amino acid needed to help the body excrete toxins especially toxic metals (mercury, aluminum). James et al. study, “We observed a significantly increased frequency of the homozygous mutation 677CT allele (TT): 23% in the autistic children compared to 11% in the control population ( <0.0001). Additionally, the heterozygous 677CT allele (CT) was present in 56% of the autistic children compared to 41% in the control population (<0.0001). Somewhat paradoxically, the normal 1298AA allele was significantly higher in the autistic group, 55%, compared to the controls, 44% (<0.05). Despite the increased frequency of normal 1298AA alleles, the compound 677CT/1298AC heterozygous mutations were more prevalent in the autistic population, 25%, than in controls, 15% (=0.01).”
  124. 124. 2004: Pieces to the Autism Puzzle - pt 2 “Overall, the data show an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) associated with common mutations affecting the folate/methylation cycle. These associations by themselves may provide a partial explanation for a subgroup of children genomically at risk for ASD disorders.” In a related article, Blumkin et al. stated that "MTHFR deficiency was reported as a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder..." In a later article (James et al. 2006 Am J Med Genet Part B 141B:947), Dr. James and her team showed that autistic children in general were much more likely to have other genetic mutations that compromised the methionine synthase pathway. These children possessed a compromised ability to combat “oxidative stress” caused by environmental toxins. Extremely low exposure levels of Thimerosal induce an incredibly high level of oxidative stress as demonstrated by Yel et al. 2005 (Intl J Molec Med 16:971) and Baskin et al. 2003 (Toxicological Sci 74:361), among many others.
  125. 125. 2004: U.K. Phase The United Kingdom phases Thimerosal out of vaccines.
  126. 126. February 2004 The CDC very hastily commissions the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee (ISR) IOM VSR committee to complete a 9th and final analysis of “Autism and Vaccines.” This is despite requests from many officials from the autism community including Dr. David Weldon, a U.S. Congressional representative from Florida. In the IOM ISR meeting, data is presented from the 4 previously mentioned publications representing epidemiological data only. In addition, unpublished data from the U.K. are presented to exonerate Thimerosal (Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the PHLS). In a February 3, 2004 phone call, Dr. Julie Gerberding (CDC director at the time) indicates to Weldon that the meeting is preliminary and was NOT to make a final determination on vaccines and autism.
  127. 127. May 14, 2004 The Institute of Medicine, Immunization Safety Review (IOM ISR) committee report on “Vaccines and Autism” dismisses any link to Autism by Thimerosal. Completely counter to the words of Dr. Gerberding in her February 3, 2004 phone call to Dr. David Weldon, The IOM ISR committee report on “Vaccines and Autism” summarily dismisses any link between Thimerosal exposure, infant vaccines and Thimerosal, based solely on the five epidemiology studies, each essentially commissioned and funded by the CDC (only one study considered the more aggressive vaccination schedule used in the U.S., the Verstraeten et al. 2003 CDC study). The IOM's report is widely touted to “shut the door” on the Thimerosal/autism debate and is used in Vaccine Court (NVICP) to deny claims of harm due to Thimerosal exposure. The conclusions in this report will provide many AAP Pediatricians and the media the “conclusive evidence” that there is no link between vaccines/Thimerosal and autism.
  128. 128. May 28, 2004 Mercury containing flu vaccines (25 mcg.) are recommended by the CDC for infants and for the first time the most vulnerable - all the unborn and infants 6 to 23 months. Thimerosal (mercury) containing flu shots will begin to be administered to pregnant women and infants 6 months to 23 months. The CDC does not recommend a preference for pregnant women and infants to receive Thimerosal mercury-free flu shots. So most pregnant women and infants will receive 25 mcg. and 12 mcg. of mercury (respectively) from this vaccine. Eli Lilly’s Material Safety Data Sheet warns: Reproduction: Thimerosal - Decreased offspring survival. Mercury - Changes in sperm production, decreased offspring survival, and offspring nervous system effects including mild to severe mental retardation and motor coordination impairment. Read more here.
  129. 129. August 2004 A consumer advocacy group, HAPI, tests vaccines that made the claim of being “mercury-free.” Their findings, “All four vaccine vials tested contained mercury despite manufacturer claims that two of the vials were completely mercury free. All four vials also contained aluminum, one nine times more than the other three, which tremendously enhances the toxicity of mercury causing neuronal death in the brain.”
  130. 130. September 2004 The Andrews et al. U.K. study, which was presented in draft form at the Feb. 2004 IOM IVSR committee meeting, appears in print in the journal Pediatrics. This study again denies any relationship between Thimerosal exposure in infant vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Funding for the study was controlled in part by the CDC.
  131. 131. February 8, 2005 '91 Memo Warned of Mercury in Shots The Merck Memo news story was written by the award winning LA Times Investigative Consumer Journalist, Myron Levin. Prior to writing the now famous LA Times Merck Memo story, Myron Leven wrote about the tobacco industry, auto and tire safety and product liability issues. This story revealed that Merck in 1991 knew infants who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish.
  132. 132. February 17, 2005 The Institute of Medicine issues the report, “Vaccine Safety Research, Data Access and Public Trust.” This report is essentially a scathing indictment of how the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) is operated without any public oversight, despite a project budget that eclipses $190 million taxpayer dollars. The report’s main recommendation is, “The committee recommends that a subcommittee of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee that includes representatives of a wide variety of stakeholders (such as advocacy groups, vaccine manufacturers, FDA and CDC) review and provide advice to the NIP on the VSD research plan annually. The subcommittee charged with this role could be the existing Subcommittee on Safety and Communications or a subcommittee created specifically for the purpose.” The entire report may be read here. The CDC "accepted" their recommendations but there still is not an oversight committee in place for the VSD.
  133. 133. December 2005 DPT Vaccine maker, Sanofi Pasteur Inc., includes the following in their package insert (emphasis added): “Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting.”
  134. 134. December 7, 2005 Autism is not found in unvaccinated children who are patients of one of the largest Chicago Pediatric Practices. "We have a fairly large practice. We have about 30,000 or 35,000 children that we've taken care of over the years, and I don't think we have a single case of autism in children delivered by us who never received vaccines," said Dr. Mayer Eisenstein. Read more here. Dr. Mayer Eisenstein
  135. 135. 2006: Journal of Toxicology Study A new study in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A (Geier et al. 2006 J Tox Env Health 69:1481) shows that children receiving Thimerosal containing DTP and Hib vaccines were 2.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those who received the Thimerosal-free DTPH combination vaccine. This study was completed using the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Service (VAERS) database.
  136. 136. July 2006 Eric Fombonne, expert witness for respondents in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, publishes the paper, “No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Pediatrics 118:1664. This paper includes data obtained without parental consent from 180 children with PDD. In July 2009, McGill University opens an investigation on potential research misconduct by Dr. Fombonne, based on these allegations. Although the results of this investigation have never been released, Dr. Fombonne has been recently demoted from his role as Director of the Child Psychiatry Department at Montreal Children’s Hospital. Eric Fombonne
  137. 137. 2007: Autism Rate Keeps Climbing According to a 2013 CDC report the US Autism rate for children born in 2007 is 1 in 50.
  138. 138. May 2007 From the research of Geier DA and Geier MR, it is learned, “Children with ASDs (28.30%) were significantly more likely (odds ratio 2.35, 95% confidence interval 1.17-4.52, p < 0.01) to have Rh-negative mothers than controls (14.36%).”
  139. 139. Summer - Fall 2007 Three test cases in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program are heard in “Vaccine Court” and a part of the Autism Omnibus Proceedings. Each of the six cases is dismissed due in part to the five aforementioned, flawed, fraudulent epidemiological studies.
  140. 140. November 7, 2007 The U.S. Department of Justice issues the 4C report stating that they conceded the case of Hannah Poling vs. DHHS. DOJ attorneys stated “DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations Hannah received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii).” The report was signed by Peter D. Keisler, Timothy P. Garren, Mark W. Rogers, Vincent J. Matanoksi, Linda S. Renzi and Lynn E. Ricciardella.
  141. 141. November 30, 2007 Dr. Andrew Zimmerman issues an opinion on the case Hannah Poling vs. DHHS that states, “The cause for regressive encephalopathy in Hannah at age 19 months was underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, exacerbated by vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic energy reserves… Epilepsy is a result of the original brain injury in Hannah. Its appearance was delayed but was part of the same pathogenesis that led to autistic encephalopathy.”
  142. 142. May 15, 2008 A new study of the Vaccine Safety Datalink, appearing in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences (Young et al. 2008 J Neurol Sci 271:110), shows significantly increased incidences of autism, autism spectrum disorders, tics, attention deficit disorder and emotional disturbances with mercury exposure from Thimerosal- containing vaccines.
  143. 143. September 2008 A new study in the journal Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry (Gallagher et al. 2008 Tox Env Chem 90:997) shows that boys who received the full Hepatitis B vaccine series before 2000 were nine times more likely to receive a diagnosis of developmental disability than boys who did not receive the vaccine. This is important because Thimerosal was not removed from the Hepatitis B vaccination series until 2002.
  144. 144. 2009: Not Your Typical Animal Testing Rodrigues et al. reports that, in rat studies, “Of the total mercury found in the brain after TM exposure, 63% was in the form of Ino-Hg, with 13.5% as Et-Hg and 23.7% as Met-Hg.” This affirms the previous work of Burbacher et al. (2005) on macaque monkeys where high levels of inorganic mercury, recalcitrant to excretion, accumulate and persist in brain tissues following Thimerosal exposure.
  145. 145. April 9, 2009 A new study in the journal Cellular Biology and Toxicology (Minami et al. 2010 Cell Biol Toxicol 26:143) showed that the induction of metallothionein (MT) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein was observed in the cerebellum and cerebrum of mice after Thimerosal injection, as MT is an inducible protein. Metallothionein is a marker that would indicate the presence of mercury in these brain tissues as this study supports the possible biological plausibility for how low dose exposure to mercury from Thimerosal containing vaccines may be associated with autism.
  146. 146. June 2009 A new study in the journal Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry (Geier et al. 2009 Tox Env Chem 91:735) demonstrates that Thimerosal levels consistent with those found in Thimerosal containing vaccines causes mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired oxidative-reduction activity, degeneration and death in human neuronal and fetal cell lines. Thimerosal damage was similar to that implicated in autistic disorders.
  147. 147. December 2009 Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC Director from 2002-2009, is named as President of Merck’s vaccine division. From Dr. Joseph’s Mercola’s article, “….just consider the fact that Merck makes 14 of the 17 pediatric vaccines recommended by the CDC, and 9 of the 10 recommended for adults.”