I have been hearing and reading a lot lately that because "the mercury has been taken out of vaccines" and the autism rates continue to climb or have remained steady, that's all the proof we need that mercury-containing vaccines do not cause autism.
That's a gross oversimplification compounded by a lie.
The lie is that mercury is out of vaccines. That is simply not true. During this past flu season, 90 percent of the flu shots contained thimerisol (which is 49.5 percent ethylmercury). And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continually expanding the age groups of children recommended to receive that shot, a de facto requirement because the states turn around and make those recommendations compulsory without telling parents they can opt out. The tetanus and diphtheria vaccines still contain mercury, as well, and your doctor may still be administering mercury-containing shots remaining in the office's stock.
Furthermore, Dr. Randall Neustaedter OMD said on a radio program I heard last year that thimerisol is still used in the preparation of many vaccines, but manufactures don't have to disclose it. The Food and Drug Administration isn't exactly a stickler for a strict definition of zero, as they allow foods that claim to have "zero trans fats" to contain trans fats and the manufacturers just manipulate the serving size down to four crackers. That practice looks like the model of transparency compared to how mercury in vaccines is disclosed.
Perhaps more importantly, many vaccines -- including MMR, chickenpox and polio -- never contained mercury. Yet thousands of parents noticed their children regressed with just those vaccines alone. The MMR left probably the most insidious trail, and the attempts by the medical establishment to deny Dr. Andrew Wakefield's brave and compelling research is enough to make most thoughtful people question the integrity of the former. Wakefield and others have shown over and over again that the strain of the measles virus in the MMR vaccine is implicated in regressive autism and inflammatory bowel disease.
The gross oversimplification comes in because autism is a complex disease and it's causes are complex and overlapping. What's clear is that there is a strong environmental cause, and that some trigger or series of triggers seems to set off a cascade of decline in susceptible children. Whether that susceptibility is genetic or not is not well understood, because the emerging field of epigenics tells us that inheritance is far more sophisticated than simple genetics, and we can actually damage our inheritable DNA during our own lifetime. It's the scientific equivalent of the sins of the father. Interestingly, the first autism cases might have been passed down from the mercury exposure to the children's parents.
Mercury may well be the leading environmental cause, and vaccines are certainly not the only ways our bodies are exposed to the neurotoxin. We're breathing and drinking it in the form of pollution, mostly from coal-fired power plants.
And we have no idea how mercury is interacting in our bodies with other environmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, poor diet, and even the other ingredients in vaccines and the increasing number of other pharmaceuticals we're pumping into our children. Polypharmacological studies are about as rare as honey bees after repeated applications of Roundup. We simply have no idea how the unprecedented number of chemicals in our lives are interacting, let alone what the injected foreign DNA and genetically manipulated viruses and bacteria are doing at the biochemical convention going on in our cells.
California recently released its latest autism statistics, and the trend is not good. During the past nine months, the state added roughly 2,700 new autism cases. Twenty years ago there were that number of total cases in the entire system, and now they are being added every 9 months. There are no genetic epidemics, and no one has been able to find the tens of thousands of adults with autism in the state there would have to be to demonstrate this is just an epidemic of diagnosis. Of the nearly 34,000 autism cases now in the California system, 92 percent of the children were born after 1980, with 84 percent under the age of 21 and 78 percent under the age of 18.
In an e-news release in response to these latest figures, Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center had this to say:
The autism epidemic is not just about mercury or aluminum or formaldehyde or phenoxyethanol or gluteraldehyde or sodium borate or any other single component of vaccines. Vaccine induced brain inflammation and chronic neuroimmune dysfunction is a complex, multi-factoral interaction between genetic and other host biological high risk factors and one or more live virus and killed bacterial vaccines given simultaneously and repeatedly in the critical first few hours, days, weeks and months of life.
All of the biological mechanisms and high risk factors have yet to be identified. But we know that during the past 25 years, as the numbers of doses of vaccines public health officials insist on giving children have more than doubled, we have fundamentally changed the way that humans experience their environment in the critical developmental period when the brain and immune system develop most rapidly.
The autism epidemic in this country, and increasingly around the world, will only be addressed when we have the courage to look at its causes squarely, without regard for what it says about the extent of our own folly.