Brain damage in children ‘is caused by jab mercury’


By Lacy Johnston

Health Editor

Sunday Mail, June 16, 2002

CHILD autism may be caused by a mercury preservative in vaccines, according to documents obtained by the Sunday Express.

A dossier of evidence strongly links the additive to brain disorders such as autism, hyperactivity, learning difficulties and facial ticks.

The research is being used by dozens of parents in legal cases against vaccine manufacturers to show mercury exposure caused brain defects in their children.

It will also be the focus of a congressional committee investigation in America this week.

Nearly 30 legal firms across the US have launched actions on behalf of hundreds of children who they say were damaged.

If successful their cases are likely to spark similar claims in Britain.

The Department of Health insists mercury levels in UK vaccines are too low to cause concern.

However, the new documents show even these levels pose a risk to children — especially when combined with other sources of mercury from food and the environment.

Government health regulators in America, Canada and Europe have already called for the use of mercury in child jabs to be phased out.

But the latest news has alarmed doctors who say there should be an immediate ban on the use of mercury in all child vaccines.

One of the documents is a secret study by the American government’s Center for Disease Control which discovered a "statistically significant increase" in the rate of brain disorders, including autism, speech delay and hyperactivity and increasing amounts of mercury in vaccines.

A copy of the report, finalised two years ago, and marked "confidential" was sent to-Elizabeth Miller, a senior official at the UK’s Public Health Service Laboratory.

Another paper, ironically written by a senior UK Department of Health official, discovered mercury could cause immune problems, brain problems and genetic abnormalities, and concluded it should be banned from use in vaccines.

A third, by American scientists at the Robert Wood Johnson medical school, New Jersey found children exposed to low levels of mercury in the womb were at increased risk of brain disorders and other illnesses.

Another document shows a test in 1930 used to originally determine the safety of mercury in vaccines was highly questionable.

Among scientists giving testimonies to the congressional hearing is controversial MMR rebel Professor Andrew Wakefield, who first discovered a possible link between the measles mumps and rubella vaccine and autism.

Other scientists will examine whether the mercury-based preservative weakened the immune systems of some children and made them more susceptible to adverse reactions to the MMR vaccine.

Controversial Worcestershire GP Peter Mansfield - investigated by the General Medical Council for his stance against the combined MMR jab — is also worried. He said:

"Mercury is an extremely toxic material which affects the brain and has given rise to serious concern in the US and Europe. To administer a brain toxin to tiny infants is just crazy" Mercury is currently added as an antibacterial and preservative to the combined diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine and the influenza jab given to babies.

Three years ago public authorities in America recommended the discontinuation of the use of mercury in infant vaccines "as quickly as possible". At about the same time officials at the European drug watchdog the European Medicines Evaluation Agency made a similar ruling.

Jackie Fletcher, who runs Jabs which campaigns to highlight the potential dangers of vaccines, said:

"Children are reacting to vaccines and this could be caused by their components.

"The fact we still use mercury based vaccines is incredible."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We’re not planning on phasing out mercury vaccines. This is because the levels included pose no risk." However, he added: "Ha licensed alternative was offered to the Department of Health which didn’t contain mercury then we would consider using it."

• Evidence will also be presented to the congressional hearing that the measles virus has been found in the spinal columns of autistic children. This discovery adds to the theory that somehow the MMR vaccine is linked with neurological damage.