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Monday, October 10, 2005

Sadly, recent column on autism was way off the mark

by Anne McElroy Dachel
The Free Lance-Star

In his column ["Of autism and vaccines: It's time to debunk the mercury myths," Sept. 25], Dr. Paul Offit seems to feel that mercury injected into little babies is perfectly safe, but the statistics and new scientific research say otherwise.

In 20 years, the autism rate has gone from one in 10,000 to one in every 166 children. Furthermore, one in every six schoolchildren today has a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder or some other neurological disorder like speech and language delay.

This epidemic increase happened coincidentally with the increase in mercury-containing vaccines in the childhood schedule starting in the late 1980s. The best our federal health agencies can tell us is that it's all due to "better diagnosing."

The Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can point only to easily flawed and manipulated population studies to "prove" mercury is safe when injected into little babies.

The truth is the federal government has never conducted specific tests on the neurotoxicity of thimerosal, although hundreds of published studies and documents attest to its extreme toxicity.

The CDC and FDA should be utterly embarrassed to make safety claims based on such a pathetic history of oversight. Our federal health agencies are also the ones whose members have more than 700 conflict-of-interests waivers for direct financial ties to the vaccine makers.

More and more independent research shows the great potential for harm from the use of the second- deadliest element on Earth.

After the Vioxx tragedy, there are plenty of reasons to question federal health agencies' claims of safety.

Anne McElroy Dachel
Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Anne McElroy Dachel is media relations coordinator for the National Autism Association.

Posted by Becca

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