Thimerosal: a descriptive study, published in Lancet in 2002.
Pichichero did not declare any conflicts, despite the Lancet 's strict policy requiring that conflicts be disclosed. However, in a subsequent New York Times article, Pichichero admitted that he had done work for Lilly and other drug companies. But a fact that must have slipped his mind was that in an earlier article in American Family Physician, Pichichero had
The author has received research grants and/or honoraria from the following pharmaceutical companies:
Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Bristol Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lilly & Company; Merck and Co.; Pasteur Merieux Connaught; Pfizer Labs; Roach Laboratories; Roussel-Uclaf; Schering Corporation; SmithKlineBeecham Pharmaceuticals; Upjohn Company; Wyeth-Lederle.
In defending thimerosal, officials will often refer to the World Health Organization as a body that has found it safe. Well in a June, 2001 WHO report, the agency itself refers to vaccine manufacturers as a full and equal "partner. " When the WHO was worried that regulations had affected drug maker 's costs, it stressed the need to get them to stay in the market, and even proposed a "communication strategy that would take account of public concern about adverse effects of vaccines. "
So, in a subsequent WHO meeting on April 15-16, 2002, a decision was made to "lobby Ministry of Health and senior regulators " on the thimerosal issue and to "develop a strong advocacy campaign to support the ongoing use of thiomersal. " It can readily be seen that the WHO has similar reasons to those of the CDC to support the industry 's position.
As thimerosal containing vaccines continue to be shipped to countries all over the world, its becoming more and more apparent that these cozy "partnerships "
wield a considerable amount of power when it comes to making decisions related to vaccine safety.
Who Knew What And When
The well-documented sordid history of thimerosal, including the continuing misrepresentations by its inventor, Eli Lilly, confirms that the product should never have been used in childhood vaccines, and should have definitely been removed prior to the doubling of the content that resulted from the addition of the HIB and Hepatitis B vaccines in the late 1980 's to mid-90 's.
Mercury in vaccines was tested and shown to be lethal many times over the past 40 years. In May of 1967, an article was published in Applied Microbiology, titled "Enhanced Toxicity for Mice of Pertussis Vaccine When Preserved with Merthiolate. " The abstract states:
Pertussis vaccines preserved with 0.01% merthiolate
(thimerosal) are more toxic for mice than unpreserved vaccines prepared from the same parent concentrate containing the same number of organisms.
In this study, twenty mice were injected with a vaccine with no thimerosal and none died. 30 others were injected with the same vaccines, plus thimerosal, and 5 died. The article stated that "it would not be surprising if injection of this vaccine influenced the susceptibility of the mouse towards a mercurial preservative. " The authors also noted that "other laboratories " had observed toxicity of final lots of preserved vaccine when the vaccines themselves were "atoxic or only slightly toxic. "
In 1972, Lilly received an article that confirmed that thimerosal had caused 6 deaths when too much of it had been used, which said: "The symptoms and clinical course of the 6 patients suggests subacute mercury poisoning. "
In 1975, autopsies on squirrel monkeys treated with thimerosal-containing nose spray, determined that mercury accumulated in the brain "which may represent a potential hazard in the chronic use of thimerosal as a preservative in products intended for human use. "
By the late 1970 's, vaccine companies realized the need to remove thimerosal because of its poisonous effects. In an October 12, 1979 memo, Merck scientists discussed the "potential problem " of having mercury in its flu and meningococcal vaccines, as well as the Hepatitis B vaccine that was under development and
asked: "Should a program of replacement be initiated now to guard against any spontaneous rally to avoid its (thimerosal) use in injectables? "
This memo proves that the industry knew about the dangers long before the mercury-loaded Hib and Hep B vaccines were added to the schedule in the 1980 's and 1990 's.
In 1986, an article titled, "Organic Mercury Compounds and Their Toxicity, " noted that thimerosal had caused problems and stated that it was "now accepted that multidose injection preparations are undesirable, and preservatives should not present in unidose preparations. "
In the early 1990 's, the level of thimerosal in vaccines increased drastically, and in many cases doubled. The drug companies knew that adding 3 or four HIB vaccines and as many as 3 Hep B shots would substantially increase the level of mercury injected into infants at a critical period of brain development.