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Poul Thorsen is Still In Charge of Public Danish Autism Registers

Posted Jan 14 2011 12:00am

Poul Thorsen By Ulla Danielsen

The scandalised danish autism researcher, Dr. Poul Thorsen, who once was chief of the now defunct research unit Nanea at Aarhus University is still in a powerful position as an autism researcher.

Seemingly unaffected by the suspicions of financial fraud surrounding him and by the charges raised by danish police for coarse tax evasion, Poul Thorsen is still in charge as “data responsible” for three danish public registers.

One of these registers is the “National Register for Autism Spectrum Disturbances”. Another is “Biomarkers Associated with the Development of Autism.” The third register concerns “Identification of biologic/biochemical markers for preterm birth.” The research is classified as “Private research.” 

This can be checked by anybody who wish to do so, at the homepage of the danish authority, Datatilsynet.

A scandal at Aarhus University was a public fact, when the university in 2010 on January 22 issued a statement to its collaborating partners in which the university distanced itself from it’s former high profile, CDC sponsored, autism researcher Poul Thorsen.

 Aarhus University decided to issue the statement in response to a number of requests on the part of CDC Denmark project partners.

The problem was, that a considerable shortfall in funding at Aarhus University associated with the CDC grant was discovered.

However strangely it may seem, when Aarhus University issued it’s statement about Poul Thorsen, the danish authority Datatilsynet, which is responsible for the proper use of data and registers in Denmark, was not a recipient.

This is confirmed by head clerk, Lena Andersen, Datatilsynet, in response to a phonecall by the reporter of this story.

According to head clerk Lena Andersen, nobody in the house of Datatilsynet have had any knowledge of the existence of the “press release” from Aarhus University.   

However Datatilsynet has been in contact with Poul Thorsen on several occasions and the danish authority has given Dr. Poul Thorsen standard permissions to continue his work with the danish registers. – He has briefed us, when he went to the USA and he has received standard answers allowing him to continue his work with the registers for which he is the data-responsible person, says head clerk Lena Andersen, Datatilsynet by phone in December 2010.

The first time Poul Thorsen called Datatilsynet on his own initiative was in 2008 before he left Denmark for USA.

From the beginning the scandal  about  the former high profile scientist Poul Thorsen, who together with his research team has published world-famed epidemiological science allegedly proving “no link” between mercury in vaccines and autism, and “no link” between MMR-vaccines and autism has been weird.

For instance it is strange, that the danish police after one and a half year still has not interrogated the man about the suspected financial fraud, which left the university of Aarhus with a financial deficit of around 10 million danish crowns. Not only has the danish police not yet spoken to the man. They have not even been looking for him.

Secondly it is also very strange, that danish police shortly before Christmas still hadn’t declared the completed charge with coarce tax evasion for Poul Thorsen at his address in Odense in Denmark.

When a charge has been declared, the press can get access to the indictment. But not as long as it hasn’t been declared.

Furthermore - if the police does not succeed in declaring the charge, for instance because the charged person has vanished, danish law require, that the person be searched.

The ten-million-danish-crowns-question this January 2011 is, why the danish authorities and the danish police are so hesitant to take the necessary steps in the case of the formerly high profile danish autism researcher?

US Senator Robert Kennedy Jr. on march 11 2010 wrote in The Huffington Post, that if Thorsen is found guilty of fraud then it would cast serious doubt on the validity of both danish studies.

Numerous internet-based autism groups have also indicated that Thorsen’s research should be considered compromised if he is convicted.

A reader of AoA previously has put spotlight on an email from danish Marlene Lauritsen, one of the authors of the danish autism studies, to her fellow authors of the danish studies.

The transcript of an e-mail recovered through the FOIA is heavily redacted but gives the following information:

From Marlene Lauritsen dated November 13, 2002, to Poul Thorsen, Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, and Diane Schendel (CDC).

Re: Manuscript about Thimerosal and autism

"Dear Poul, Kreesten and Diane Schendel,

Attached I send you the short and long manuscript about Thimerosal and autism in Denmark. ...(long redacted sentence(s?)...
I need to tell you that the figures in the manuscripts do not include the latest data from 2001. I only have these figures as a paper version and they are at work......(redaction).... But the INCIDENCE AND PREVALENCE ARE STILL DECREASING (emphasis added) IN 2001. ....(redacted sentence)....

From Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, dated November 13, 2002, to Marlene Lauritsen, Poul Thorsen, and Diane Schendel.

Re: Manuscript about Thimerosal and autism

Hi Marlene,

(Redacted Sentences...) I am not currently at the univeristy but I will contact you and Poul tomorrow TO MAKE UP OUR MINDS. (emphasis added).

Best regards, Kreesten"

Less than 30 days later the study was submitted for publication in Pediatrics

All involved apparently had "Made up their minds" the study would conclude the very opposite of what this e-mail seems to conclude, writes the reader of AoA, who concludes with the following remark:

I personally think that this e-mail shows that every study that includes ANY of these as authors should carefully reconsidered or even "retracted".

They absolutely knew, months ahead of time, that they were going to have to fudge (read fake) the data to make it conclude thimerosal was not contributing the the rise in autism.

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