autism commercials

1 IN 95 MILLION?
AND NOW, THE RRRRREST OF THE STORY

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John Hain – Carmel/United States – Pixabay

The Autism commercials by clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger, NASCAR’s Jamie McMurray, Golf’s Ernie Els, and numerous others, are catchy and well done.  They are meant to tug first at your heart, and then at your pocketbook.  But should you buy into what they are selling?

Don’t get me wrong; autism is a devastating health problem that needs research dollars.  However, there are few in the medical research community who are willing to actually pull out all the stops, and go for the jugular of this epidemic.  And why not?  It’s politically incorrect to question government health policies that have to do with childhood vaccinations.

Several years ago (2005), the West Plains Quill ran a week-long series on Autism.  These articles discussed just about everything about Autism except the VACCINATION CONTROVERSY.  So I sent a letter to the editor, hoping to provide a voice for those who cannot provide a voice.  After being told that my letter would not printed because it was, “too long” and that it was, “inflammatory” or, “could start an epidemic,” several of my patients started hounding the editor.  A year later, he finally relented and published the letter.  The public response was outstanding.  Not only did I not have any rebuttals (public or private), I had many people say to me, “Thank you for putting that information out there!  My child was also one of those who was normal until just after they had their shots.”  These people were not crackpots, weirdos, or money-grubbers.  They were folks that you and I work with and rub shoulders with every day.

Here is the letter (with a few added comments and links)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

_ Seemingly unheard of twenty years ago, autism has exploded into our culture like a bomb —– a toxic mix of behavior disorders, weakened immune systems, despair, and inner confinement.  Although there has been a great deal of research and debate about the exact cause(s) of autism; finding straightforward answers to this question may require us to ask some very difficult questions —- questions about our country’s government-mandated vaccination policies.

I believe that even the biggest opponents of our current vaccination laws would probably admit that childhood vaccinations are not the sole cause of autism. On the other hand, there appears to be far too much evidence (both anecdotal and empirical) linking the two together.  Let’s be honest with ourselves; who actually believes the medical community or government when they trot out a few “homegrown” studies — studies done by the vaccine manufacturers themselves — and then authoritatively tell you that this research shows absolutely no link between vaccination and autism?  The fox seems to be guarding the hen house!

Claims that childhood shots are causing autism are not simply coming from out of thin air. This is especially true with current legislation that curtails one’s ability to bring suit against the vaccine manufacturers. The debate is being fueled by large and ever-increasing numbers of reports from around the world that say, My child was bright-eyed, attentive, playful, happy, and healthy —- until they received their shots. These are the children marked by the chronic neurological / immune system problems that we call autism.

Although the debate is not new, the autism / childhood vaccination fight has been turned up a notch in recent years, in large part because of a 1998 study which was published in The Lancet (a prestigious British medical journal).   A young gastroenterologist (Dr. Andrew Wakefield) was, along with a dozen colleagues, studying inflammatory bowel disease in children.  Noting the relationship between the immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems that had been previously observed by Dr. Asperger in 1961 (Asperger Syndrome—a disease in the Autism Spectrum Disorders {ASD} family), he “stumbled” onto a discovery of his own.  He noticed that there was a distinct relationship between the development of measles, measles vaccinations, vaccine reactions, the development of inflammatory bowel disease, and autism. Wakefield’s team of researchers said there was not evidence of a causal link between the shots and autism, but the possibility of some sort of a relationship was raised.  The Lancet published his findings —– and the medical / political backlash against Dr. Wakefield and his fellow researchers was both immediate and brutal.

Wakefield was blasted by the British government as well as officials of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Johns Hopkins University Medical School professor Neal Halsey M.D. said it was “highly inappropriate” for Dr Wakefield or his team to even “discuss” the matter. Dr. Wakefield was further castigated by the medical academia because he had accepted money from a legal aid fund for the victims of vaccine induced autism (his research was in part financed by this group). Opponents said his research was invalid due to conflict-of-interest (For Pete’s sake. Who would finance this sort of research —- the pharmaceutical companies? Get real!).  As a result, ten of the thirteen authors signed a formal retraction of their study. Dr. Wakefield never did sign the retraction, and although he has been blacklisted by the medical research community and vilified in the media, he continues his research and lecture schedule even today.

Why do I bring up the conflict-of-interest issue? Because I believe it strikes at the heart of understanding why one rarely sees doctors and scientists tackling this and numerous other medical issues in an unbiased fashion. Editor-in-Chief, Marcia Angell M.D. published in the May, 2000 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine an editorial entitled “Is Academic Medicine for Sale?” Her main theme? “The extent to which academic medicine [medical research] has become financially intertwined with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries”. Subsequent studies published in NEJM by Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer and others, have revealed that virtually 100% of all drug (and vaccine) research published in peer-reviewed medical journals is tainted by “serious” and often multiple, financial conflicts of interest. Just weeks after publishing her editorial based on over 20 years experience with the Journal, Dr. Angell was replaced.  (More on CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST in Medicine.)

[The NEJM actually changed their policy on research because of Angell’s “expose“.  They said that since it was nearly impossible to find research that was not tainted by financial conflict of interest; they would allow it.]

I would also like to address a key reason that we do not hear more about the vaccine/autism link. I call it Ostrich Syndrome. When the people who are legally obligated to report adverse vaccine reactions, “bury their heads in the sand” and ignore them, we have a crisis. In the United States, adverse vaccination reactions are under-reported to governmental reporting agencies such as the Vaccination Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), by 90% to 99% depending on whose studies and surveys you examine.

[n a recent Meta-Analysis of nearly 40 studies on this very topic, the average under-reporting was shown to be almost 95%.  This means that for every adverse event that is reported; nineteen are not!]

Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reports, “Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler estimated in a 1993 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that less than one percent of doctors report injuries and deaths following the administration of prescription drugs”. “This estimate,” says Fisher, “may be even lower for vaccines. In one study that our organization conducted in New York in 1994, only 1 doctor in 40 ever reported to VAERS.” This leads us to ask, “With all of the obviously skewed statistics floating around, just how many Americans may be afflicted with autism?”

Although the rate of autism most often cited by public health officials is around 1 in 1,000 children, numerous organizations including the CDC have reported communities with rates nearly 10 times that. As autism rates continue to soar, 1 in 150 appears to be a closer estimate of today’s rate [2011 rates are closer to 1 in 100]. As you will start to notice, the question of a potential vaccination / autism link seems to be not so much a medical question as much as a political one.

[The autism rate is now just over 1 in 30 (HERE) with no end in site and no ‘official’ explanation from the medical community as to why.]

HISTORY & MECHANISM OF AUTISM
It was not until the early 1940’s that autism was first reported. It is interesting to note that the original pioneers of autism research, Drs. Rimland and Kanner, both recognized that autism in its early years, was most prevalent in the children of well educated, successful, upper-middle-class parents…….parents wishing to take full advantage of the “latest medical advances” and “medical miracles,” namely vaccines. Now however, regardless of parent’s educational level or ability to pay, most children receive a mandated schedule of vaccinations. Many experts believe that this is why autism is no longer a “rich person’s disease,” but seen equally across all socioeconomic levels.

What exactly is the specific mechanism by which childhood vaccines can cause or contribute to autism? No one knows for sure. I will tell you that in researching this link between the two, I came across scores of scientific articles from around the world, linking vaccinations to an array of neurological problems including autism. A fascinating read on this subject is Dr. Harris Coulter’s book, Vaccination, Social Violence, and Criminality.The Medical Assault on the American Brain.   But why would anyone call vaccination an assault on the brain?  Can anyone say, “Quciksilver“?

The chief mechanism that explains the vaccination / autism association is mercury.  MERCURY, which is widely considered to be the single most toxic, non-radioactive element on the planet, may well be the “smoking gun” in the debate over what is causing autism. Vaccines have historically contained mercury (thimerosal) as a stabilizing agent or preservative. And by the time that they are just several months old, our precious babies who are vaccinated on government-mandated vaccination schedules have amounts of mercury in their bodies that can far exceed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits. An excellent, well documented book on this subject is Dr. David Kirby’s Evidence of Harm, Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy.

What can be done to reverse or even slow down our ridiculously high rates of autism? How about some unbiased, independently-funded research?  To date, the only studies that have discounted the role of the MMR vaccination in the development of autism have been funded by, or financially tied to, vaccine manufacturers.  DR. EDWARD F. YAZBAK, an expert in infectious disease and child development, and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1963, had this to say in a piece he authored for the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons in the winter of 2003.

“Once rare, autism has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. that cannot be attributed to changes in diagnostic criteria which have actually become more restrictive.  To date, studies of a potential relationship to child relationship to childhood vaccines [and autism] have been limited and flawed.”

COURT IS IN SESSION — BUT WHO CARES?
Republican Senator, Dan Burton of Indiana watched as his grandson become autistic just days after receiving 9 (nine) inoculations at the same doctor visit. Five years ago, he convened congressional hearings into the link between mercury, childhood vaccination policies & protocols, and skyrocketing rates of autism. Governmental health officials visibly squirmed as he asked them about THIMEROSOL (mercury) in vaccines. “You mean to tell me,” said Burton, visibly upset, “that we have been using mercury in vaccines since 1929 and the only study was done in 1929, and every one of those people got meningitis and died?”   Here are just a few excerpts from the testimony:

  • Mary Megson M.D. reported a total deficiency of Vitamin A in virtually all autistic children as early as 15 months of age. This she said is the result of the MMR, and along with DPT “toxoids” accounts for the unusually high percentage of night blindness and loss of three-dimensional vision in autistic children.
  • Molecular Biologist, Dr. John O’Leary found measles (not natural measles but from genetically engineered measles virus created specifically for the vaccine) in the intestinal tracts of 96% of autistic children compared to 6.6% of normal children. [We now know that the normal GUT FLORA is severely disrupted in autistic children as well.  Because of this, we know that antibiotic abuse contributes to Autism as well [HERE].
  • V. Singh M.D. studied over 400 autistic children and found that all of them had experienced a serious autoimmune hyper-response to measles virus (vaccine) to varying degrees, in which their own body attacked the lining of their nervous system (demyelinization).  [It’s not a coincidence that virtually 100% of autistic children are GLUTEN SENSITIVE, and have a wide variety of BOWEL & ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS.]
  • Dr. Andrew Wakefield noted an almost 100% incidence of Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia (swollen lumps throughout the intestinal tracts) in autistic children. The culprit that his research shows is causing these autoimmune, inflammatory, bowel disorders?  Mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde, all COMMON ingredients in many vaccines.

Why did I write this letter? It’s surely not because it is going to help me win a popularity contest in the community (especially the medical community). I simply believe that if The Quill is going to publish articles about autism, they need to completely research and report the entire issue. I find it problematic that the vaccination / mercury / autism link was not explored in any part of this series of articles. I would sincerely hope that reading this letter creates a desire for people to learn more about the vaccine/autism link, and to research the subject for themselves and the sakes of their children and grandchildren.

Sincerely,
Dr. Russell Schierling

An Addendum to the letter that was signed and faxed to the Quill in May of 2005.  It was faxed in July of 2005.
Less than two weeks ago, on the 1st of July, Missouri Governor, Matt Blunt signed into law, legislation that will limit (not completely ban, but “limit”) the amount of thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines designated for children under three years old as well as pregnant women. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to pass this piece of legislation because no one could adequately explain the nearly 850% (eight hundred and fifty percent — GULP!) increase in autism in Missouri’s children since 1991. The Southeast Missourian newspaper out of Cape Girardeau, MO has been following the autism / mercury story for well over a year and has published over 30 related articles since April of 2004. They covered the Mercury / Vaccination issue.  Surely The Quill could do a similar job of reporting.

Sincerely,
Dr. Russell S. Schierling

Just to let you know, it took The Quill over a year to finally print my letter (they claimed for the longest time that if they printed an inflammatory letter like mine, it would start a disease epidemic in the region). The Quill finally relented as the result of numerous calls by patients who, unfortunately, have autistic kids whom they believe were injured as the direct result of childhood vaccinations. The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

A Quick Update on this Issue of “Mercury Free”:
Although much has been learned about the relationship between autism and mercury in the years subsequent to this letter being sent to The Quill, the government still stands pat on its position that vaccinations have nothing to do with autism.  However, we now know that infants and children have varying degrees of ability to handle mercury. We also know that that mercury injected directly into the bloodstream bypasses all of the body’s normal defenses (i.e. the digestive tract). We have also learned that the new “Mercury Free” childhood vaccines have not significantly lower childhood autism rates —- a fact that officials have exploited in order to declare that there is no link between childhood vaccines and autism.  However, some researchers believe they have found the answer to this dilemma.

Most vaccines are manufactured in huge batches of tens of millions to hundreds of millions of doses. Most are also manufactured with mercury in them (yes, you read this correctly).  Because most of the world does not yet have laws against mercury in their vaccines, the vaccines are manufactured with mercury, which is then chemically removed for “Mercury Free” states here in America (Missouri, for instance), or a certain few countries that have instituted bans on mercury-containing vaccines (Japan and parts of Europe). Thus they can claim that they are making “Mercury Free” vaccines.

Unfortunately, researchers have noted that it is impossible to remove all of the mercury from vaccines because some of it always remains permanently bonded to proteins in the vaccine itself. Thus, adverse reactions seem to happen at virtually the same rate as they did with earlier vaccines.

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