The continual failure by the CDC to to a vaxxed vs unvaxxed study has finally been given a kick in the pants by the Hon Bill Posey and if supported by enough people could actually happen. It is obvious why they do not want to do this study and they may be dragged kicking and screaming…but it will eventually be done as autism rates skyrocket.
I, like many in Congress, were frustrated with the lackluster response from the federal witnesses, particularly the CDC witness that was evasive and took more than five months to respond to the Committee’s questions. The responses that finally arrived this month were incomplete, often evasive, and showed a complete lack of urgency on the part of the CDC. I was also disappointed that the federal government witnesses did not have the courtesy to remain at the hearing to listen to the testimony of the public panel representing non-profit organizations and academic institutions focused on Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Parents, grandparents, educators, health professionals, and highly functional adults on the autism spectrum are frustrated at the federal response to this epidemic. There is much more that we could and should be doing.
Some believe that toxins like thimerosal, which is 50% ethylmercury, have played a role in the rise in autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities. In 2000 there was near universal agreement that mercury should be removed as a preservative for vaccines. Yet, today, nearly half of all annual flu vaccines, which are recommended for children and pregnant women, still contain mercury as a preservative—not simply trace amounts of mercury. It’s 2013! Why are we still injecting ethylmercury into babies and pregnant women?
I have been deeply disappointed in the failure of the CDC and the Department of Justice to see that Dr. Poul Thorsen is extradited to the United States to stand trial for orchestrating an elaborate scheme stealing more than $1 million from the CDC-Denmark grant. That money was supposed to be used to investigate the causes of autism and developmental disabilities. Instead it was diverted to personal use by Dr. Thorsen. Thorsen was a key author on 22 of the CDC’s key studies related to autism and developmental disabilities.
Before coming to Congress in 2009, I heard from some in the autism community who have advocated for a retrospective study to examine whether there are different health outcomes when comparing vaccinated children and unvaccinated children, including autism and chronic conditions. I have continued to hear these requests over the past four years. At the hearing I asked CDC if they had conducted such a study and they said they’ve done dozens of studies related to autism but never have looked at a comparison of vaccinated versus unvaccinated. In fact, a recent study they published compared fully vaccinated children to those who were not fully vaccinated, but for some reason it did not include data on completely unvaccinated children. Seems like common sense to do a study comparing vaccinated children vs unvaccinated and this week I was pleased to be joined by my colleague Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in introducing H.R. 1757, The Vaccine Safety Study Act. This would direct the National Institutes of Health to conduct a retrospective study of health outcomes, including autism, of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. That should bring an answer to this decades long question.