January 28, 2009
Vol. 13 No. 12
Autism, Vaccines and the CDC: The Wrong Side of History
Liability for Exercising Personal Belief Exemptions from Vaccination
Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury
Mercury Study Outdated; Based on Discontinued Technology
Message Therapy for Autism
Autism Groups Protest Federal Autism Committee's Deceitful Reversal on
Pope Invoke’s God’s Blessings on Autism Community for Autism Sunday
'All Ages and Abilities' - Anaheim Autism/ Asperger Conference
2009 Regional Autism and Asperger Conference in New Jersey
New Italian Thimerasol Study
Autism, Vaccines and the
CDC: The Wrong Side of History
By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and David
Kirby on huffingtonpost.com.
Even as the evidence connecting
America's autism epidemic to vaccines mounts, dead-enders at the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -- many of whom promoted the current
vaccine schedule and others with strong ties to the vaccine industry --
are trying to delay the day of reckoning by creating questionable
studies designed to discredit any potential vaccine-autism link and by
derailing authentic studies.
On January 12, a cadre of mid-level
health bureaucrats left over from the Bush administration ignored
Federal requirements for advance notice in order to vote to quietly
strip vaccine research studies from funding allocated by Congress in
the Combating Autism Act (CAA) of 2006. Members of Congress had said
that this money should be used to study the vaccine-autism connection.
These rogue bureaucrats -- members of
the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee -- held an unannounced
vote to remove previously approved vaccine studies from funding under
the CAA. Nearly all of the "Federal" members of the panel voted to
remove the two studies, whose estimated cost was $16 million - or 1.6%
of the billion dollars authorized by Congress for autism. The panel's
civilian members, in contrast, voted nearly unanimously to retain the
IACC's action to halt vaccine-autism
research flies in the face of congressional intent. The bill's authors
clearly stated that vaccine research should be funded. Even the
esteemed Institute of Medicine has condemned CDC's methods. In 2005, an
IOM panel condemned CDC for its "lack of transparency" in
The bureaucrats responsible for this
scandal are on the wrong side of history and it's hard to not attribute
an obstructionist motive to their act since vaccine-autism research has
already entered the realm of mainstream science. Serious scientists
(except those tied to the vaccine industry) no longer debate whether
vaccine-autism research should be done, but rather how it should be
done, and by whom.
And Congress concurs: "I want to be
clear that ... no research avenue should be eliminated, including
biomedical research examining potential links between vaccines, vaccine
components, and autism,pronounced Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of
the H.E.L.P. Committee at the bill's passage. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
said the bill should fund "environmental research examining potential
links between vaccines, vaccine components and autism. And last week,
Dodd called the potentially illegal maneuver to shut down vaccine
research, "contrary to the spirit of the bill."
These days, being opposed to
vaccine-autism research puts one outside of the "mainstream" (and let's
be clear, supporting such research in no way makes one "anti-vaccine"
-- that charge is a tired, diversionary charade -- an ugly lie
perpetrated by vaccine industry allies and their blind supporters.)
Recognizing this fact, the vaccine industry and its CDC allies have
continued to fund a series of deceptive and badly flawed studies
designed to dispute the connection between vaccines and the epidemic of
pediatric neurological disorders. The latest of these is the
controversial Italian study released this week intended to allow
Thimerosal's defenders to argue that the preservative is safe. The
study comparing two groups of Italian children, who received a moderate
level of Thimerosal vs. a moderately higher level, is so poorly
designed it could only find one child in 1400 who tested with autism.
The researchers did not include in the study the records of children
who received no Thimerosal. For years, a cadre of vaccine officials at
CDC has vigorously opposed funding for epidemiological studies that
include both vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts that might give us
useful information about causation.
The evidence of a potential link between
vaccines and autism is now so compelling that every national autism
organization firmly supports research into vaccination as a possible
trigger for the disorder, including Autism Speaks, the world's largest,
most well funded, well connected mainstream group.
Autism Speaks was co-founded by Bob
Wright, former CEO of NBC-Universal, former Vice Chairman of General
Electric. Autism Speaks, a staunchly pro-vaccine group, supports
vaccine research. Its statement on the issue is right down the middle.
Why has vaccine-autism research gone
mainstream? The reasons are many:
+Read more: is.gd/hsVn
See also: Autism Groups
Protest Federal Autism Committee's Deceitful
Reversal on Vaccine-Autism Research below under "ADVOCACY".
• • •
Liability for Exercising
Personal Belief Exemptions from Vaccination
Excerpt from Choices Should Have Consequences: Failure to Vaccinate,
Harm to Others, and Civil Liability
By Douglas S. Diekema, First
Impressions, Michigan Law Review.
Courts have repeatedly upheld compulsory
vaccination laws in the United States as a reasonable exercise of the
state’s police power—even in the absence of a disease outbreak. Such
laws survive constitutional challenge even in cases where they conflict
with the religious beliefs of individuals. In the first such case,
Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court held that: the liberty
secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within
its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to
be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint.
There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily
subject for the common good.
While both the harm principle and
Jacobson are primarily concerned with justifying coercive state action,
one could argue that laws requiring vaccination of citizens exist to
enforce a duty that each citizen has to every other member of the
community. These laws suggest that a duty exists, even though most
states provide the opportunity to opt out of vaccination on the basis
of personal beliefs. The existence of the duty to avoid harming others
does not cease to exist simply because one objects to the mechanism (in
this case vaccination) by which states ensure that protection.
In fact, parents who choose not to
vaccinate their children illustrate the “free-rider” problem—they take
advantage of the benefit created by the participation of others in the
vaccination program while refusing to participate and share equitably
in the risks and obligations of the program.
These individuals act unfairly to others
in the community by pursuing selfinterest ahead of civic
responsibility. Even if the community refuses to 2009] Failure to
Vaccinate 93 coerce or punish these free riders, they remain morally
culpable in an important way.
Finally, the expectation that parents
vaccinate their children to prevent harm to others is a reasonable one
for several reasons. First, vaccination offers direct, demonstrated
benefit to the child. Second, the safety of childhood vaccines is well
established and the risk of serious side effects or complications is
exceedingly rare. Finally, existing data clearly support the conclusion
that the risks to a child of remaining unvaccinated, even in the United
States, exceed any risks that might be attributable to vaccines
themselves. Given this, placing a duty on parents to vaccinate their
children is reasonable and represents prudent public policy.
+ Read more: tinyurl.com/bqtz3y
See also at tinyurl.com/bqtz3y :
Parents Should Not be Legally Liable for Refusing to Vaccinate their
Children by Jay Gordon.
Unintended Consequences: The Primacy of Public Trust in Vaccination.
Jason L. Schwartz.
Challenging Personal Belief Immunization Exemptions: Considering Legal
Responses by Alexandra M. Stewart.
Gambling with the Health of Others. Stephen P. Teret and Jon S. Vernick
The Problem of Vaccination Noncompliance: Public Health Goals and the
Limitations of Tort Law by Daniel B. Rubin and.Sophie Kasimow.
Note: The opinions expressed in COMMENTARY are those of the author and
do not necessarily represent the views of the Schafer Autism Report.
• • •
Much High Fructose Corn
Syrup Contaminated With Mercury
New Study Finds Brand-Name Food Products Also Discovered to Contain
Minneapolis – Mercury was found in
nearly 50 percent of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn
syrup (HFCS), according to a new article published today in the
scientific journal, Environmental Health. A separate study by the
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) detected mercury in
nearly one-third of 55 popular brand- name food and beverage products
where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient—including
products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.
HFCS use has skyrocketed in recent
decades as the sweetener has replaced sugar in many processed foods.
HFCS is found in sweetened beverages, breads, cereals, breakfast bars,
lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans
consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS. Consumption by teenagers
and other high consumers can be up to 80 percent above average levels.
“Mercury is toxic in all its forms,”
said IATP’s David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author in both studies.
“Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it
could be a significant additional source of mercury never before
considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the
FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food
In the Environmental Health article,
Dufault et al. found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples
of commercial HFCS. Dufault was working at the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration when the tests were done in 2005. She and co-authors
conclude that possible mercury contamination of food chemicals like
HFCS was not common knowledge within the food industry that frequently
uses the sweetener. While the FDA had evidence that commercial HFCS was
contaminated with mercury four years ago, the agency did not inform
consumers, help change industry practice or conduct additional testing.
For its report “Not So Sweet: Missing
Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup,” IATP sent 55 brand-name foods
and beverages containing HFCS as the first or second ingredient to a
commercial laboratory to be tested for total mercury. Nearly one in
three products tested contained detectable mercury. Mercury was most
prevalent in HFCS-containing dairy products, followed by dressings and
condiments. Attached is the summary list of the 55 products and their
total mercury content.
In making HFCS, caustic soda is used,
among other things, to separate corn starch from the corn kernel. For
decades, HFCS has been made using mercury-grade caustic soda produced
in industrial chlorine (chlor-alkali) plants. The use of mercury cells
to produce caustic soda can contaminate caustic soda, and ultimately
HFCS, with mercury.
“The bad news is that nobody knows
whether or not their soda or snack food contains HFCS made from
ingredients like caustic soda contaminated with mercury,” said Dr.
Wallinga. “The good news is that mercury-free HFCS ingredients exist.
Food companies just need a good push to only use those ingredients."
While most chlorine plants around the
world have switched to newer, cleaner technologies, many still rely on
the use of mercury cells. In 2005, 90 percent of chlorine production
was mercury-free, but just 40 percent of European production was
mercury-free. Four U.S. chlor-alkali plants still rely on mercury cell
technology. In 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama introduced legislation
to force the remaining chlor-alkali plants to phase out mercury cell
technology by 2012.
The Environmental Health article by
Dufault et al. can be found at: www.ehjournal.net.
“Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High
Fructose Corn Syrup,” by David Wallinga, M.D., Janelle Sorensen, Pooja
Mottl and Brian Yablon, M.D., can be found at: www.iatp.org.
• • •
Mercury Study Outdated;
Based on Discontinued Technology
PRNewswire - The Corn Refiners
Association (CRA) today challenged the relevance and accuracy of
information published by Environmental Health asserting that certain
tests found measurable levels of mercury in high fructose corn syrup.
"This study appears to be based on
outdated information of dubious significance. Our industry has used
mercury-free versions of the two re-agents mentioned in the study,
hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years. These
mercury-free re-agents perform important functions, including adjusting
pH balances," stated Audrae Erickson, President, Corn Refiners
Association. "For more than 150 years, corn wet millers have been
perfecting the process of refining corn to make safe ingredients for
the American food supply."
"It is important that Americans are
provided accurate, science-based information. They should know that
high fructose corn syrup is safe," continued Erickson. "In 1983, the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally listed high fructose corn
syrup as safe for use in food and reaffirmed that decision in 1996."
"High fructose corn syrup contains no
artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets FDA's
requirements for the use of the term 'natural,'" Erickson said.
• • •
Message Therapy for Autism
Chinese qigong massage therapy helps children with autism
In 2007, a small controlled study by Dr.
Louisa Silva and colleagues was published showing that children treated
with a five-month qigong massage methodology improved in sensory
impairment and developmental delay. The severity of autism was
reduced in measures of autistic behavior as well as measures of
language and social skills. The massage was given by a physician
trained in Chinese Medicine and the parents.
Last month the same group published
additional findings showing that trained early intervention staff and
parents could achieve the same results when giving the massage for five
months. The authors found that low functioning children responded
as well to the intervention as high functioning children, making the
case that the primary problem in autism is with the senses rather than
a fixed limitation in the brain. Of interest is the finding that the
improvement in sensory impairment was accompanied by an improvement in
self-regulation, as shown by improved digestion, sleep, and decreased
Sensory impairment is a mixed form of
hyper- and hypo- sensitivity that affects one or more senses. It can be
measured with several standardized assessment tools. In the case of
hyposensitivity, children are simply unaware of what is going on around
them. In the case of hypersensitivity, children are physically
uncomfortable in ordinary social settings, and thus are less open to
the learning that might otherwise occur in such settings. Both types of
sensory abnormality functionally reduce the information stream reaching
that reaches the child, and therefore diminishing the opportunities for
learning. On this basis alone, it is not surprising that individuals
with autism experience developmental delays.
The group has completed a larger
randomized, controlled study of the intervention which will be
published in summer 2009 in the American Journal of Occupational
Therapy. For more information about the project, visit www.qsti.org
Outcomes of a Pilot
Training Program in a Qigong Massage Intervention
for Young Children With Autism
Volume 62 / Number 5, American Journal
of Occupational Therapy.
Louisa M. T. Silva-MD, MPH, Robert
Ayres-PhD, Mark Schalock-BS
Sensory impairment is a common and
significant feature of children on the autism spectrum. In 2005, a
qigong massage intervention based on Chinese medicine and delivered by
a doctor of Chinese medicine was shown to improve sensory impairment
and adaptive behavior in a small controlled study of young children
with autism. In 2006, the Qigong Sensory Training (QST) program was
developed to train early intervention professionals to provide the QST
intervention. This article describes the preliminary evaluation of the
QST program as piloted with 15 professionals and 26 children and
outcomes testing using standardized tests of sensory impairment and
adaptive behavior. Results of outcomes comparing delivery by
QST-trained therapists with delivery by a doctor of Chinese medicine
showed that both groups improved and that there was no difference in
outcome between the two groups. The intervention and training program
are described, and implications for future research are discussed.
+ Full study here: is.gd/htHb
• • •
Autism Groups Protest
Federal Autism Committee's Deceitful Reversal on
From the Autism Action Network.
The inexcusable actions of the
Federal members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
in retracting vaccine-autism studies must be stopped. Sound science
must move forward, not thwarted by Federal agencies with vested
interests in on-going vaccine-autism injury litigation.
The autism advocacy organizations listed
below implore parents of children with autism - and all those who care
about the burgeoning rate of autism and its toll on the health of our
children - to take immediate action.
We are asking you to write a letter of
disapproval to key government decision-makers on autism. Click here for
a sample letter and instructions on sending. Your letter will be sent
to President Obama, your Senators and Representatives, HHS Secretary
Tom Daschle, the Senate HELP Committee, Senators Christopher Dodd, Joe
Lieberman, and Edward Kennedy, and Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe
Your letters are needed NOW. The next
IACC meeting is Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - less than two weeks away!
Click here is.gd/hsLb for more
entire article and take action now.
• • •
Pope Invoke’s God’s
Blessings on Autism Community for Autism Sunday
Autism Sunday the International Day of
Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome takes place on Sunday 8th
February 2009. A letter from the Vatican arrived in the UK for the
Co-Founders of Autism Sunday, advocates Ivan and Charika Corea who have
a 13 year old son, Charin who has autism.
They were delighted to read that His
Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has invoked God’s blessings blessing on
parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s
His Holiness the Pope will be praying
for the Autism Community on Autism Sunday. Ivan Corea co-founder of
Autism Sunday said in London: ‘We were thrilled to receive a letter
from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. We are also delighted that the
Pope said he shared the concerns over autism. We informed him of Autism
Sunday and were delighted at his immediate response. We urge World
Leaders to speak up for Autism on Autism Sunday. We are also calling on
autism campaigners around the world to use Autism Sunday to lobby and
campaign on the serious health and education issues.’
Cathedrals, Churches and religious
organisations are to pray for over 60 million people with autism and
Asperger’s Syndrome around the world. All faith communities have been
urged to do more for the Autism Community particularly during the
deepening global recession.
• • •
'All Ages and Abilities' -
Anaheim Autism/ Asperger Conference
Set for February 14-15
This is a comprehensive autism
conference offering practical information for children and adults of
all ages and abilities. It features more than 20 great speakers,
including separate tracks on Biomedical, Behavior, Speech/Social, Yoga,
Family/Life, Sensory Integration, and Teaching. Continuing Education
Credits (CEUs) are available.
Saturday & Sunday Feb.
14-15 Anaheim Convention Center (3rd floor) 800 W. Katella
Ave., Anaheim, CA, 92802 Learn more & Register Online: is.gd/hsFG
• • •
2009 Regional Autism and
Asperger Conference in New Jersey
The USAAA / CoMeD 2009 Regional Autism and Asperger Conference held
April 30 - May 2, 2009, in Voorhees, New Jersey (20 minutes from the
Philadelphia International airport) is now open for online
Reverend Lisa Sykes will deliver the
Keynote address about igniting a global debate on autism.
With twelve of the world leading autism
spectrum disorder speakers, 10 non-concurrent sessions and panel
discussions, every day at the USAAA / CoMeD 2009 Regional Conference is
packed with information including treating physicians, educational
therapies, nutritional interventions, legal issues, plus more.
After two days and a Thursday evening
session, you will leave the conference armed with tools of practical
protocols, valuable hope, and new resources for support for your child,
grandchild, patient, student, or yourself.
Click here to learn more: is.gd/htQ4
Due to the challenging economy and
thanks to our supporters, we are offering an early bird rate of $165
for the first person and $125 for a guest before March 31st. Together
that is only $7.25 per hour for each of you and all the sessions are
non- concurrent so you won't miss anything.
• • •
New Italian Thimerasol
This study is misleading and was not
scientifically worth doing
By John Stone to the editors of the
AAP Pediatrics in Review.
I note the conclusion of this study by
Tozzi, Bisiacchi, Tarantino, De Mei, D'Elia, Chiarotti and Salmaso .
However, I also note the limitations of the study as described in the
I ask how it would be possible to draw
any useful scientific conclusions from a study with such deficiencies
in relation to the issues it purportedly set out to investigate? But I
also reflect on the headline value of negative results for wider media
consumption, as in the Associated Press report by Carla K Johnson, with
contributions from Alberto Tozzi himself, Jennifer Pinto-Martin and
Paul Offit  claiming this strengthens the evidence base for vaccine
limitations should be considered in the
interpretation of our results. The cumulative intake of thimerosal was
relatively low, compared with that in other countries including the
United States, where vaccination schedules included more
thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first year of life. Moreover,
there was no comparison group with no exposure to thimerosal, although
our setting was appropriate to identify a dose response effect in the
absence of any evidence suggesting a threshold dose for observation of
an effect. Our analysis included only healthy children who were
selected during enrollment in the original trial, and some families
might have declined to participate in the present study because their
children had cognitive developmental problems. This might have reduced
the prevalence of adverse neuropsychological conditions and might have
made potential differences hard to detect.
The eligibility criteria of the original
trial also limited the participation of low birth weight children, and
only 55 children with birth weights of <2500 g underwent the
neuropsychological evaluation (data not shown). Moreover, only 1% of
children in this study received hepatitis B virus vaccine at birth.
Although no effect of birth weight according to thimerosal intake was
detected through multivariate analyses, our study was not powered to
detect an association of thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological
development in low birth weight infants.' 
 Alberto Eugenio Tozzi, Patrizia
Bisiacchi, Vincenza Tarantino, Barbara De Mei, Lidia D'Elia, Flavia
Chiarotti, and Stefania Salmaso, 'Neuropsychological Performance 10
Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing
Vaccines', Pediatrics 2009; 123: 475-482.
 Carla K Johnson, 'Study adds to
evidence of vaccine safety', Associated Press.
• • •
Wouldn't it make sense to study the kids who
got sick? 1,403 kids who don't have autism isn't a good study to see if
there is a link between thimerosal and autism. Am I missing something
here? Is this an example of a study that proves that there is no link
between autism and thimerosal? Shouldn't we be looking at the
kids who do develop autism?
- Shannon Ruhe
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