Thimerosal Risk Hidden by Feds, Big PharmaJun 2, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
In 2005, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. published a lengthy examination of the history of Eli Lilly´s deadly mercury compound, thimerosal, in vaccines and its decades-long history of suppressed data about dangers to those receiving it. Following is the third in a series of information from that piece, which described the outcome of a 2000 meeting—The Simpsonwood Conference—in which a group of government scientists and health officials met for a secret, highly-secluded meeting convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the coming days, we will continue to provide more information from this important paper on this dangerous health issue.
According to Kennedy, “The story of how government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public is a chilling case study of institutional arrogance, power, and greed.” Kennedy said he was “drawn into the controversy only reluctantly” but notes that as both a lawyer and environmentalist, he “spent years working on issues of mercury toxicity” and “frequently met mothers of autistic children who were absolutely convinced that their kids had been injured by vaccines.”
Kennedy said that he was skeptical and “doubted that autism could be blamed on a single source.” He also understood the government’s standing in reassuring parents that vaccinations are safe and necessary to rid society of deadly childhood diseases. Kennedy also added that he was often in agreement with known skeptics such as Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, who criticized his colleagues on the House Government Reform Committee for jumping to conclusions about autism and vaccinations saying, "Why should we scare people about immunization until we know the facts?"
Kennedy stated that he became convinced about the reality of the thimerosal link to the rising epidemic of childhood neurological disorders after reading the Simpsonwood Conference transcripts, studying the leading scientific research, and speaking with many of the nation´s pre-eminent mercury authorities on mercury. Kennedy notes that five of his children belong to what is often referred to as the “Thimerosal Generation,” the group of people born between 1989 and 2003 and who received heavy doses of mercury from vaccines.
At a House Government Reform Committee in 1999, Patti White, a school nurse, said, "The elementary grades are overwhelmed with children who have symptoms of neurological or immune-system damage. Vaccines are supposed to be making us healthier; however, in twenty-five years of nursing I have never seen so many damaged, sick kids. Something very, very wrong is happening to our children." As of the date of the Kennedy piece, written in 2005, over 500,000 kids were suffering from autism and pediatricians were diagnosing over 40,000 new cases annually. Until 1943, the disease was unknown. In 1943, autism was identified and diagnosed among eleven children born in the months after thimerosal was first added to baby vaccines in 1931.
Some dispute the rise in autism is caused by thimerosal-tainted vaccinations, arguing that the autism rise is a result of better diagnosis. Because most of the new cases seem to affect a single generation of children, this theory seems, at the very least, questionable.