Two clinicians who "utilize detoxification methods in their clinical practices" together with a third author have published anepic review inTranslational Psychiatryclaiming to evaluate the evidence for the involvement of environmental contaminants in autism. While we obviously want to limit contaminant exposure, autism doesn't emerge here as the reason for doing so. Something that does emerge, however, looks a lot like bias and not much like systematic evaluation.
Given that the review is so wide-ranging (it's really a laundry list of studies), I've focused here on a category that's likely of greatest interest: 'autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and toxicant exposures'. (The rest of the review features the same general problems I characterize below.)
Some potential candidates in this category have been investigated to the point of redundancy, including mercury (per the review: "the largest prospective study reported no significant association between methylmercury and ASD"). Others, like "air pollution," are vague and variable, at best, involving studies with layers of mathematical contortions and conflicting conclusions that seem to cancel each other out. That doesn't even include the gaping holes in the underlying assumptions, which I've addressed elsewhere.
Willingham: "In other words, based on the five studies with the best (prospective) design, the evidence for an association of autism with toxicants is on life support."
This is laughable. This woman will protect industry AT ALL COSTS. Toxins don't really affect the development of children and anyone who says they do is just WRONG.
BIAS IN ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH? How about the blatant conflicts of those protecting the vaccine makers?
I guess we're back to BLAMING MOMS for autism: old moms, fat moms, drinking moms, smoking moms, moms who marry older dads, moms who have babies too close together, moms with bad antibodies, moms who lack vitamin D. That's the research that counts.
Willingham isn't troubled by the total ignorance surrounding a disorder affecting 2 percent of kids. There's never any urgency about autism. It's that curious diagnosis that we have all the time in the world to figure out.
She's been outspoken about no real increase, better diagnosing. Autism is just a fact of life. Learn to accept it.
The most telling phrase is at the top of every article. "I write about the science they're selling you." And I'm sure all those producing fertilizers, pesticides, vaccines, chemically enhanced food, etc. really like this lady.
What a timely piece. It flies in the face of what Dr. Brian Hooker found out about the CDC.
For nearly ten years, Brian Hooker has been requesting documents that are kept under tight wraps by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His more than 100 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have resulted in copious evidence that the vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is still used in the flu shot that is administered to pregnant women and infants, can cause autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Hooker, a PhD scientist, worked with two members of Congress to craft the letter to the CDC that recently resulted in his obtaining long-awaited data from the CDC, the significance of which is historic. According to Hooker, the data on over 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997, which was analyzed by CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, MD, “proves unequivocally that in 2000, CDC officials were informed internally of the very high risk of autism, non-organic sleep disorder and speech disorder associated with Thimerosal exposure.”
When the results of the Verstraeten study were first reported outside the CDC in 2005, there was no evidence that anyone but Dr. Verstraeten within the CDC had known of the very high 7.6-fold elevated relative risk of autism from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy. But now, clear evidence exists. A newly-acquired abstract from 1999 titled, “Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to Thimerosal containing vaccine in first month of life” required the approval of top CDC officials prior to its presentation at the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) conference. Thimerosal, which is 50% mercury by weight, was used in most childhood vaccines and in the RhoGAM® shot for pregnant women prior to the early 2000s.
Just as the private pharma-CDC meeting in Simpsonwood, GA in 2000 failed to get the media's attention, this evidence will be universally ignored.
While national vaccination rates among children entering kindergarten at public schools are high overall, with nearly 98.2 percent being fully immunized, an increasing number of parents are opting to exempt their kids from shots in some parts of the country.
In California, exemption rates are increasing, especially in certain geographical pockets such as Marin County where rates doubled from 4.2 percent to 7.83 percent between 2005 and 2013. In the past decade in Oregon, exemption rates have also doubled, leading the state to have the highest exemption rates of any state.
Diseases are breaking out in these hotbeds of vaccine refusal. During a countrywide pertussis outbreak in 2010, California saw a third of the country’s cases. Ten people died during the outbreak in the Golden State.
Amazing that so much effort goes into promoting vaccines. Look at the maps. Personally I'd like see autism rates mapped out state by state---except that CDC doesn't do that. They only collected data at "14 sites" in the U.S. for the one in 88 rate. What does that mean? Something that affects a million children deserves more research.