FEAT DAILY NEWSLETTER Sacramento, California
"Healing Autism: No Finer a Cause on the Planet"
July 25, 2001 Search www.feat.org/search/news.asp
Evidence of a Science Bending Rogue Group Within CDC? Centers for Disease Control and Obfuscation -----Commentary by Teresa Binstock
[Yesterday the FEAT Daily Newsletter reproduced a news post from the
Sunday Times in England who reported on an official study used by the CDC to
claim that there is no vaccine-autism connection -- as being significantly
flawed, "New Autism Doubt On Mercury In Vaccines" by Rosie Waterhouse.
http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/07/22/stinwenws01001 . The
report quotes the study's author admitting error - error serious enough to
discredit the study and embarrass the CDC. The following commentary is by
Teresa Binstock, a reputable researcher in the area of Developmental &
Behavioral Neuroanatomy. -LS]
As summarized by Rosie Waterhouse's news item, a transcript of the
CDC's secret meeting about thimerosal effects indicates that a small group
within the CDC acknowledges major flaws within its initial study of the
autism epidemic's link to vaccinal ethylmercury.
Despite this awareness, this small but influential group within the
CDC (ie, the group that enacted the fatally flawed "study") has touted and
continues to use the study's "conclusions" -- eg, on the webpages of the
American Academy of Pediatrics (spring, 2000) and at the recent Institute of
Medicine (IOM) hearing (July 16, 2001).
What the CDC's secret meeting transcript conveys is that the study's
data about autism were insufficient.
As a result, conclusions about rates of autism in the pediatric cohort
from several HMOs in the study are fictional.
Yet invalid findings do not stop this CDC group from continuing to
disseminate misleading conclusions.
Importantly, as indicated by reporters' rhetoric in recent Boston
Globe and Lancet articles about the IOM hearing, a tradition of respect for
the CDC enables the phony conclusions to be presented as if valid.
Paragraphs that follow are an attempt to set forth a summary of what
this "rogue group" within the CDC has achieved and continues to achieve.
The seriously flawed CDC "study" -- initially distributed as RL Davis
et al, spring 2000 -- had at least three major flaws:
A) The HMO data had major under-reporting of autism;
B) Data analysis by Davis et al did not include susceptible subgroups
likely to be more affected by injected ethylmercury;
C) Davis et al relied upon the EPA's "safe" limit for methylmercury,
which had been derived in relation to gradually ingested mercury and which,
therefore, minimized the fact that during the 1990s human infants and
toddlers had been injected with bolus doses of ethylmercury, which persisted
in their bodies during a post-vaccinal, extended pulse of cytokines, which
alter permeability of intestinal tissue and of the blood-brain barrier.
These several factors -- and others identified by analysts, eg, Thomas
Kurt, MD -- indicate that the rate of autism "documented" by Davis et al was
an extreme under-representation of the actual rates of autism among children
within the HMOs whose data Davis et al utilized.
Despite these flaws the CDC's rogue team has continued to distribute
and utilize the flawed data and the misleading conclusions derived.
The CDC's rogue team has stated and continues to state that an
association with autism was not found.
Note: this statement is inaccurate and is quite different from what
the CDC ought be stating, namely, that the study design was inadequate for
evaluating a link between thimerosal (TMS; 49.6% ethylmercury by weight) and
the increased incidence of autism.
Yet despite the flawed study, the CDC's team continues to tout the
study's "conclusions" as if valid, which they are not!
At the IOM hearing (7.16.01), the CDC presented summaries of its
"Phase 1 and Phase 2" studies (ie, several versions of what had been called
RL Davis et al, spring of 2000) as if the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies had
had valid methodologies and had thereby derived valid conclusions about
autism and thimerosal.
In fact, during the hearing, the CDC appeared content to convey the
impression that conclusions from the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies were
legitimate. (See The Lancet for medical-reporter's rhetoric indicating how
well the CDC succeeded in obfuscating the significance of vaccinal
Furthermore, the CDC's rogue team and a U of Washington research group
are designing a Phase 3 study wherein a link between autism and thimerosal
will not be explored.
At the IOM hearing, the impression conveyed by the U Washington
presenter was that there was no need to study what had already been found to
In my opinion, this requires a severe leap of faith.
Even Alice in Wonderland might pause incredulously.
The CDC acknowledges (off the record and in secret meetings) that the
Phase 1 and Phase 2 Davis et al studies were seriously flawed in regard to
autism, yet the CDC is happy to proceed with a Phase 3 study that omits
autism -- because, so we were told, there was no finding of an
autism/thimerosal study in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies.
In other words, despite the fact that the CDC's Davis et al
methodology was fatally flawed in regard to autism and thimerosal, the CDC's
rogue team and their U of Washington allies seem quite willing to continue
diverting attention away from the substantial likelihood that
physician-injected ethylmercury has been an etiologic factor in many cases
of autism and related disorders.
If ADHD, Tourette's, PDD, and PDD/NOS are added, then the number of
children adversely affected by physician-injected thimerosal is potentially
At the IOM hearing, presenter Mark Blaxill summarized epidemiological
similarities between autism's increase and the increased use of vaccines
He also expressed dismay that the CDC group most responsible for
developing and encouraging TMS-injections into neonates (via the HepB
vaccine) is the group that also has been conducting and superintending
studies intended to evaluate the relationship between autism and
Given the 1990s history of injecting thimerosal and the recent history
of CDC-led "studies" about thimerosal, the CDC's conflict of interest is
The actions by the CDC's rogue team appear to be masking and diverting
attention away from thimerosal's adverse effects in hundreds of thousands of
Excerpts from the CDC's secret meeting -- obtain via the Freedom of
Information act -- were presented to IOM by representatives of SafeMinds
As an official submission to the hearing, the SafeMinds letter to IOM
is to be posted on the IOM website -- as will other materials that implicate
thimerosal injections as having damaged many of America's children (and
those in other countries too).
Having the CDC team that developed and encouraged early infant
injections with TMS also be running studies about TMS is akin to having Al
Capone investigate the liquour business in 1930s Chicago.
That the CDC's confict of interest is having a real effect is seen in
i) The CDC continues to trumpet the Phase 1 and Phase 2 conclusions
as if valid, which they are not;
ii) The CDC continues to utilize the EPA's so-called "safe" limit for
ingested organic mercury despite the fact that vaccinal ethylmercury was
iii) The CDC continues to perform data analysis while ignoring the
fact that some children are more susceptible to adverse sequelae from bolus
exposures to toxic metals;
iv) The CDC is allowing a major "Phase 3" study to proceed without
autism as a focus;
v) The CDC's rogue team uses its organization's prestige as a lever
whereby the flawed conclusions autism/thimerosal conclusions of Davis et al
are presented as if acceptable and useful -- eg, in allowing Phase 3 to omit
At the IOM hearing, an autism-parent suggested that the HMO data
utilized by the CDC ought be analyzed by professionals selected by trusted
Not surprisingly, the CDC's Dr. Chen -- apparently a leading actor in
the development and use of the HepB for neonates and infants -- took the
microphone and offered reasons why independent analysis ought not occur.
After the meeting, Beth Clay -- assistant to Congressman Dan Burton --
commented that the CDC seems quite ready to allow new "outsiders" to view
the HMO data so long as the CDC selects who those outside experts are.
In my opinion, outside analysis of the CDC's primary data for Davis et
al ought occur; and the analysts ought be persons not within and not
hand-picked by the CDC.
Furthermore, the CDC's conflict of interest already has a track record
of diverting attention away from the link between injected ethylmercury and
A solution is needed to the CDC's conflict of interest.
By continuing to misuse Davis et al conclusions -- the CDC's rogue
team continues to shape public opinion and near-future research regarding
the link between thimerosal and autism.
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