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Monday, October 03, 2005

Autism advocacy organizations demand response from AAP

for immediate release
October 3, 2005

Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 417-818-9030
Bobbie Manning (Buffalo, NY) 716-713-6625
Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI) 401-632-7523

Autism advocacy organizations demand response from American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and government to autism epidemic at The Power of Parents Rally, October 7-8

Autism community unites for protest of government failure to address mercury-autism link and AAP promotion of mercury-containing vaccines

Washington – Oct. 3 - Over 70 autism advocacy and related organizations will converge on Capitol Hill October 7th and 8th to spotlight the lack of attention the one in 166 children now diagnosed with autism are receiving from Congress and the AAP.

Representing hundreds of thousands of families from across the country, the groups are demanding congressional investigation into the link between mercury and neurological disorders, and what role government agencies and others may have played in covering up relevant information.

“If Congress can hold hearings at a moment’s notice regarding millionaire baseball players choosing to inject themselves with steroids, why are they ignoring children who had no choice in being injected with mercury?” wonders Robert Krakow, president of Advocates for Children’s Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning. “Their lack of response after years of pleas and submissions of relevant documents from parents is disgraceful.”

The rally and press conference coincide with the annual AAP convention where parents will call attention to conflicting AAP statements on the threat to children’s health posed by mercury exposure. Earlier organizational statements have urged strict measures to lower mercury exposure among children, but the AAP has recently expressed strong opposition to officials in states considering bans of mercury-containing vaccines.

“How can pediatricians tell us not to let our kids eat too much fish, but then aggressively oppose legislation to halt direct injection of mercury? Whose side are they on—our kids’ or the pharmaceutical industry’s?” questioned Laura Bono, board chair of the National Autism Association. “They can’t have it both ways. Either mercury is a neurotoxin, or it isn’t.”

Parents will also appeal to the AAP to address the immediate medical needs of children diagnosed with autism, charging that effective biomedical treatments have been brushed under the rug in favor of psychiatric referral.

“There is hope if we can persuade pediatricians to actually look at what’s going on biomedically with these kids,” said Moms Against Mercury co-founder Amy Carson. “If the AAP isn’t looking out for the best interests of our children, who is?”

For more information on The Power of Parents rally, go to www.nationalforce.org

Think Autism. Think Cure.

Posted by Becca

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