Families will make case for vaccine link to autism

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Slayadragon, May 12, 2008.

  1. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    This is not directly about CFS, but I'm putting it here since a lot of people seem to find the Yasko approach (which was developed to address toxicity in autistic kids) of interest and/or of use with regard to their CFS.

    (Rich Van K's methylation approach is similar to Yasko's.)


    Families will make case for vaccine link to autism

    By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press WriterMon May 12, 7:34 AM ET

    The Institute of Medicine said in 2004 there was no credible evidence to show that vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal led to autism in children. But thousands of families have a different take based on personal experience.

    Some of them are going to court Monday as attorneys will attempt to show that the mercury-based preservative triggers symptoms of autism.

    Two 10-year-old boys from Portland, Ore., will serve as test cases to determine whether many of the children and their families should be compensated. Attorneys for the boys will attempt to show the boys were happy, healthy and developing normally — but, after being exposed to vaccines with thimerosal, they began to regress.

    Thimerosal has been removed in recent years from standard childhood vaccines, except flu vaccines that are not packaged in single-doses. The CDC says single-dose flu shots currently are available only in limited quantities. In 2004, a committee with the Institute of Medicine concluded there was no credible evidence that vaccines containing thimerosal caused autism.

    Overall, nearly 4,900 families have filed claims with the U.S. Court of Claims alleging that vaccines caused autism and other neurological problems in their children. Lawyers for the families are presenting three different theories of how vaccines caused autism.

    The Office of Special Masters of the claims court has instructed the plaintiffs to designate three test cases for each of the three theories — nine cases in all — and has assigned three special masters to handle the cases. Three cases in the first category were heard last year, but no decisions have been reached.

    The two cases beginning Monday are among the three that focus on the second theory of causation: that thimerosal-containing vaccines alone cause autism. The plaintiff in the third case originally scheduled for hearing this month has withdrawn and lawyers and court officials are working to agree on substitute case.

    Hearings in the test cases for the third theory of causation are scheduled in mid-September.

    Lawyers for the petitioning families in the cases being heard this month say they will present evidence that injections with thimerosal deposit a form of mercury in the brain. That mercury excites certain brain cells that stay chronically activated trying to get rid of the intrusion.

    "In some kids, there's enough of it that it sets off this chronic neuroinflammatory pattern that can lead to regressive autism," said attorney Mike Williams.

    In the end, the families' attorneys hope to convince the special master hearing their case that thimerosal belongs on the list of causes for the inflammation that leads to regressive autism.

    To win, the attorneys for the two boys, William Mead and Jordan King, will have to show that it's more likely than not that the vaccine actually caused the injury.

    Many members of the medical community are skeptical of the families' claims. They worry that the claims about the dangers of vaccines could cause some people to forgo vaccines that prevent illness.

    "I think that what's so endearing to me about the anti-vaccine people, is they're perfectly willing to go from one hypothesis to the next without a backward glance," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

    Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. Dr. Andrew Gerber, a psychiatrist, said that medical experts don't have a comprehensive understanding of what causes autism, but they do know there is a strong hereditary component.

    Toxins from the environment could play a role, but currently, data does not support that they do, Gerber said.

    Arguments are scheduled to go on throughout the month. A final decision could take several more months. Claims that are successful would result in compensation taking into account lost earnings after age 18 and up to $250,000 for pain and suffering.

    The families or the federal government can also appeal the decision of the special master to the Court of Federal Claims or to a federal appeals court.

    The court Web site says more than 12,500 claims have been filed since creation of the program in 1987, including more than 5,300 autism cases, and more than $1.7 billion has been paid in claims. It says there is now more than $2.7 billion in a trust fund supported by an excise tax on each dose of vaccine covered by the program.

  2. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Press Release
    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Theresa Wrangham - SafeMinds, (404) 934-0777
    Lyn Redwood - SafeMinds, (404) 932-1786

    Infant Vaccines Produce Autism Symptoms In New Primate Study By University Of Pittsburgh Scientists


    ATLANTA, GA –Findings released today showed that infant monkeys given vaccines officially recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) exhibited autism-like symptoms. Lead investigator Laura Hewitson of the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues presented study results at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in London. Safety studies of medicines are typically conducted in monkeys prior to use in humans, yet such basic research on the current childhood vaccination regimen has never before been done.

    The abstracts presented at IMFAR, the world’s top autism science conference, describe biological changes and altered behavior in vaccinated macaques that are similar to those observed in children with autism. Unvaccinated animals showed no such adverse outcomes. The vaccines given were those recommended for U.S. infants in the 1990s, including several with the mercury preservative thimerosal and the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine. Rates of autism spectrum disorder among children born in the 1990s surged dramatically, from about 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 150 children.

    “This research underscores the critical need for more investigation into immunizations, mercury, and the alterations seen in autistic children,” stated Lyn Redwood, director of SafeMinds. “SafeMinds calls for large scale, unbiased studies that look at autism medical conditions and the effects of vaccines given as a regimen.”

    The group’s request for research echoes that of Dr. Bernadine Healy, Former NIH Director, in a CBS interview earlier this week. She asserted that public health officials have been too quick to dismiss an autism-vaccine connection when the research has been insufficient. The government recently conceded a federal vaccine court case which agreed that a child regressed into autism as a result of 9 vaccines given on one day.

    “The full implications of this primate study await publication of the research in a scientific journal,” noted Theresa Wrangham, president of SafeMinds. “But we can say that it demonstrates how the CDC evaded their responsibility to investigate vaccine safety questions. Vaccine safety oversight should be removed from the CDC and given to an independent agency.”

    # # #

    The Coalition for SafeMinds is a nonprofit organization founded to investigate and raise awareness of the risks to infants and children of exposure to mercury from the environment and medical products, including thimerosal in vaccines.

  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    An article in Today's Daily Telegraph can be read at
    [This Message was Edited on 05/26/2008]
  4. tansy

    tansy New Member

    24 May 2008


    Briefing by Journalist Who Covers Vaccine-Autism Debate is Sponsored By Lord Robin Granville Hodgson, Baron Hodgson of Shropshire

    U.S. Journalist David Kirby, author of the award winning book 'Evidence of Harm, Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic – A Medical Controversy', will give a special briefing on this debate at the Houses of Parliament in London, on Wednesday, 4 June.

    Mr. Kirby will speak about recent legal, political and scientific developments in the United States in the ongoing vaccine-autism controversy. The briefing is open to Peers in the House of Lords, Members of Parliament, their Staff, members of the Media, and Invited Guests.

    The briefing will take place on Wednesday, 4 June at 3:30PM at the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, Committee Room 4. It is being sponsored by His Lordship Robin Hodgson, Baron Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Shropshire.

    In addition to his Parliament briefing, Mr. Kirby will also give a free public lecture on Wednesday 4th June, 6:30-10PM at Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London.

    In addition, Mr. Kirby will attend an informal reading, book signing and Q&A on Friday 6th June, 4:00-7:00PM at Gudrun Jonsson, 2 Napier Road, Kensington, London.

    Among the subjects to be addressed by Mr. Kirby are:

    1) A recent case in the US Vaccine Court in which the federal government conceded that vaccines induced autism in one little girl – and updates on other cases in the court.

    2) Growing evidence of a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and autistic regression, and case studies of several ASD children with mitochondrial issues.

    3) State-of-the-art research underway at top universities on the connection between environmental toxins, mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, glutathione depletion, neuro-inflammation and autistic encephalopathy.

    4) Declarations by all 3 US Presidential candidates that autism is epidemic and calling for more research into vaccines and mercury as possible causes.

    5) Recent studies linking ASD risk with heavy metals and other contaminants in air pollution.

    The visit is sponsored by US autism organizations Generation Rescue, Autism Research Institute, National Autism Association, Coalition for SAFE MINDS, and Talk About Curing Autism.

    David Kirby is a former contributor to The New York Times and a writer for the popular blog, The Huffington Post. 'Evidence of Harm' debuted on The New York Times bestseller list in 2005 and is still widely read today. It won the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award in 2005 for Best Book. Kirby has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s Larry King Live, NBC’s The Today Show, MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning, CNN Headline News, Air America, and many others.

    More information about Evidence of Harm is available at www.evidenceofharm.com

    Mr. Kirby’s essays at Huffington Post can be viewed at www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby
    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2008]