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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Mercury Debate on "Meet the Press"

By Melissa Ross
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- First Coast television viewers who've watched our coverage of the potential cause of rising autism rates can now see the debate go national.

It'll happen this Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, when host Tim Russert interviews David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic. Kirby will be featured along with Dr. Harvey Fineberg, director of the Institute of Medicine.

Kirby's best-selling book focuses on evidence that a mercury-based preservative once common in childhood vaccines may have contributed to America's autism epidemic. 1 in 166 children in this country is now diagnosed with autism or an autism-related disorder.

However, government officials at the IOM and the CDC say there is no proof of a link between mercury, a neurotoxin, and neurological disorders like autism. Dozens, if not hundreds, of studies examining a potential link have already been conducted, with conflicting results, and a massive new study is planned as the controversy continues to simmer.

In an interview by satellite, Kirby told First Coast News he's looking forward to a robust discussion.

"Tim Russert is one of the most respected people in the news business, and I think he's going to treat this story very evenhandedly, and we're going to be able to air both sides of the evidence."

Watch "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. Sunday on NBC 12.

Posted by Cy

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