FEAT DAILY NEWSLETTER    Sacramento, California    http://www.feat.org
           "Healing Autism: No Finer a Cause on the Planet"
News to: FEAT@feat.org   Search: http://www.feat.org/search/news.htm
Thursday, April 6, 2000

Statement of Rick Rollens: Autism and Vaccine Connection Press Conference
      [More hearing news and testimony to come.]

       Hello.  My name is Rick Rollens.  I live in Granite Bay, California.
I am the father of a 9 year-old son whose descent into the world of autism
began at the age of 7 months old after receiving numerous vaccinations in a
single day; the same story that is told by thousands of other parents of
children throughout the country whose healthy, normally developing children
have become autistic after vaccinations.  I am a founding member of FEAT
(Families for Early Autism Treatment), and a co-founder of the University of
California, Davis  M.I.N.D. Institute (Medical Investigation of
Neurodevelopmental Disorders). The M.I.N.D. Institute, which was created by
four dads with autistic children, is committed to undertaking good science
research to discover the causes of autism, including the aggressive pursuit
of research into the autism / vaccine connection.
      Our country is in the middle of an autism epidemic.   In California
alone, we have experienced a 273% increase in autism during the past 11
years.  We are adding six new children with autism a day, seven day's a
week, to our developmental services system.
      The cost to taxpayers in California and the rest of the country for
each new child with autism is estimated by the California Department of
Developmental Services at $2 million each. Last year alone, we added 1,944
new children to our system creating a taxpayer liability of $3.8 billion for
just the kids from California, and just in one year.
      According to the U.S. Department of Education, every state in our
country is reporting significant increases in the number of children with
autism.  We all know there is no such thing as a genetic disease epidemic.
      As parents, we are demanding that substantial research dollars be
immediately made available to independent research facilities like the
M.I.N.D. Institute to fund independent research into the biological
mechanisms of vaccine induced autism.
      We are also deeply concerned about the 200 new vaccines currently in
development, knowing full well there are inadequate and non- existent safety
studies on the interaction and cumulative effects of the current 33 doses of
vaccines our children are required to take today.
      Our concerns are heightened even further when we hear one of this
country's leading vaccine proponents quoted as saying "No one knows what
dose of mercury, if any, from vaccines is safe. . . we can say there is no
evidence of harm, but the truth is no one has looked."
      We fear that adding a new vaccine every year to an already overloaded
childhood vaccination schedule will further the likelihood that vaccine
induced autism will continue to rage out of control. The ultimate goal for
all parents of autistic children is the development of effective treatments
and a cure for our children. We are NOT going to cease our efforts until
that goal has been achieved.

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