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August 24 DC Protest - Vaccine-Autism Activists Join In

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Activist attending the 3 day protest in Washington DC this month have one thing in common. They want to raise awareness of the fact that the pharmaceutical industry has knowingly injured Americans with dangerous products to increase profits and the nation's regulatory agencies have aided and abetted them.

Since the discovery in recent years of cover-ups by the FDA and drug makers, involving injuries caused by drugs such as Prozac and Vioxx, the similar pattern of cover-ups of injuries caused by the nation's vaccine program should come as no surprise.

During the 1990s, as the number of vaccines on the Federal Immunization Schedule nearly tripled, and vaccination rates soared to nearly 95% for five year olds, the number of kids diagnosed with autism and other neurological disorders skyrocketed.

And, there is only one commonality in all the injured children - they received vaccines that contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.

Vaccines are the only product whose use is mandated in all 50 states, requiring children to be vaccinated before entering day care facilities and schools. According to a 1999 report by the General Accounting Office, an estimated 12 million vaccinations are given to children each year in the US.

During the 1990s, some 40 million children were vaccinated. Since the government literally forced children to be vaccinated with thimerosal for decades, it now has an obligation to find a cure for the epidemic of autism and other related disorders and to hold the vaccine-makers financially responsible for the damage caused by their products.


The country is in the midst of the worst man-made epidemic in history. Twenty years ago, autism only affected one in 10,000 children. However, the Autism Autoimmunity Project reports that the disorder strikes 1 in 150 (or 1 in 68 families) today.

In dealing with this epidemic, the first order of business has to be to find a way to force the government to ban thimerosal in all vaccines. Most unsuspecting people do not realize that thimerosal is still contained in some products, such as flu vaccines.

In addition, even though thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines in the US, drug companies are still knowingly injecting thimerosal into millions of children all over the world each year. The global market for vaccines is still a goldmine. For instance, UNICEF, the World Health Organization's parent body, buys 40% of all vaccines used in developing countries, and Merck is its sole supplier. Merck makes Recombivax HB, a Hepatitis B vaccine that contains thimerosal. Eli Lilly invented thimerosal, and it has licensing agreements with drug companies in 40 countries that make the product.

The EPA recommends ingesting no more than 0.1 micrograms of mercury, and the FDA recommends no more than 0.4 micrograms per day for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and small children, which amounts to a recommendation that they eat no more than 12 ounces of tuna per week, because the EPA says, "mercury consumed by a pregnant or nursing woman or by a young child can harm the developing brain and nervous system."

Yet the government still recommends that children aged 6 to 23 months and pregnant women get the flu vaccine with its 25 micrograms of mercury which amounts to 250 times the safety limit for mercury intake set by the EPA for fish-eaters.

During the late 1980s and 1990s, while approving new vaccines and adding them to the childhood immunization schedule, the government agencies responsible for drug safety, failed to add up the cumulative amounts of mercury that a child would receive in shots during one doctor visit, or over the course of the full vaccine schedule.

In 1999, while conducting a review of all mercury containing products, the regulatory agencies finally got around to looking at vaccines and discovered that the mercury being injected into children through vaccines vastly exceeded the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Professor Lynn Adams, of Radford University, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in autism, said that in1999, a study determined that the average child received 33 doses of 10 different vaccines by the age 5.

By 1999, the FDA definitely knew about the accumulative dangers of thimerosal to our children. We know this because the staff for Rep Dan Burton (R-Ill) obtained an internal FDA e-mail written on June 29, 1999, by former FDA scientist Peter Patriarca, that specifically discussed the dangers when offering a "pros and cons" assessment of a statement on thimerosal about to be released by the FDA, and listed the questions and accusations that would inevitably be lodged against the FDA after its release. He said people are bound to question:

(1) FDA being 'asleep at the switch' for decades, by allowing a potentially hazardous compound to remain in many childhood vaccines, and not forcing manufacturers to exclude it from new products. (2) various advisory bodies aggressive recommendations for use. (3) the dose of ethyl mercury was not generated by 'rocket science': conversion of the % of thimerosal to actual ug [micrograms] of mercury involves 9th grade algebra. (4) What took the FDA so long to do the calculations? (5) Why didn't CDC and the advisory bodies do these calculations while rapidly expanding the childhood immunization schedule?

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Evelyn Pringle is an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
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