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Rat On a Hot Tin Plate: New Evidence Shows Ethyl Mercury from Vaccines Causes Abnormal Brain Development in Infants

Posted Nov 03 2009 12:00am

Rat on plate By Mark Blaxill

As we enter the heart of flu season, industry pressure to rehabilitate thimerosal (the ethyl mercury-based vaccine preservative) has been escalating. Just last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece blaming swine flu vaccine shortages on the demand for mercury-free formulations. According to the author, venture capitalist Scott Gottlieb, one of the main reasons you can’t get the swine flu vaccine is that the Obama administration has been “too cautious” in managing vaccine safety. He blamed three “fateful policy decisions” for restricting swine flu production, one of which was that “the government demanded single-dose syringes because they contain smaller amounts of thimerosal than multi-dose vials.” According to Gottlieb, “This mercury-containing vaccine preservative continues to stir concern it can trigger childhood autism, even though this has been firmly disproven.”

Coming from Gottlieb, this argument should be taken with a grain of salt (Gottlieb has acknowledged relevant conflicts. As a former FDA official in the Bush administration, see (HERE), he had to recuse himself from decisions involving Eli Lilly drug approvals; Eli Lilly sponsored research led to the invention of thimerosal). But Gottlieb was merely the point man for a commonly held view in the vaccine and medical industries. And over the last few months the vaccine industry has shifted their promotional activities into overdrive, eagerly exploiting the opportunity to market the novel threat of the swine flu. In the process they have bundled their full throttle marketing of flu vaccines with a renewed push to eliminate what they see as unnecessary obstacles to flu vaccine production (what others might call prudent product safety measures).

But this new propaganda blitz suggesting that thimerosal is safe—and that merely providing a thimerosal free option is excessively cautious—has scant scientific evidence to support it.  Indeed, the overwhelming weight of evidence from animal studies suggests that exposing infants and fetuses to ethyl mercury always was, and continues to be, a bad idea.

In September, a new animal study from a group at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw provided the latest evidence of harm to infants from vaccine level doses of thimerosal. One of the methods they used, a heat sensitivity assessment called the “hot plate test”, had a special resonance for me. I saw my daughter flunk a real life version of this test just a few days before she got her formal diagnosis of autism.

Sick rats

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