Thursday, January 31, 2008
Mercury Study Released Early to Help AAP Bash ABC

by Barbara Loe Fisher


The AAP leadership is just not going to give up insisting that it is a very, very good thing to inject mercury into infants and children. They are going to twist themselves into pretzels trying to defend the indefensible premise that a known neurotoxin belongs in childhood vaccines, as evidenced by today's early release of a methodologically questionable "study" by Michael Pichichero, M.D. purporting to exonerate the mercury-based vaccine preservative, thimerosal, from any responsibility for children developing vaccine- associated autism. http://www.pharmalive.com/News/index.cfm?articleid=510116&categoryid=40

The study, originally scheduled to be published Feb. 4 in the AAP journal, Pediatrics, was released "early" in an effort to blunt the impact of tonight's broadcast of a fictional drama on ABC-TV that highlights the ordeal of a family whose son developed autism after receiving mercury-containing vaccines.

Here is what all the fuss is about (for today at least): Pichichero claims his study of about 200 babies and children, who were injected with vaccines containing ethyl mercury (thimerosal), showed that measurable mercury levels in the blood of the children were gone within 3.7 days. This, says Pichichero, is much quicker than the average 44 days it takes for methyl mercury (found in fish) to be undetectable in the blood. Ergo, he says, exposure to thimerosal does not cause brain damage or autism!

Not so fast, says Thomsas Brubacher, M.D., a scientist who studies the biological effects of ethyl mercury on primates. "Just because it came out of the blood doesn't mean it is excreted from the body. It could have gone to the brain. In primates, you actually get more mercury in the brain after exposure to ethyl mercury than with methyl mercury - it has an easier time crossing the blood brain barrier."
http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/2008 0130/vaccine-mercury-leaves-blood-fast

Now, whether you think that all or part of the autism epidemic has been caused by children getting too many mercury containing vaccines or whether you think that a subset of children suffering with autism have been affected by mercury containing vaccines or you believe mercury containing vaccines do not play any role at all in the autism epidemic:


News Flash for the AAP and pediatricians everywhere: there is no mother on this planet who would, willingly, ask you to inject her baby with mercury. It does not matter if ethyl mercury has been "proven" or "not proven" to be the cause of the autism epidemic. It is simple from a parent's perspective:


The AAP leadership and doctors inside and outside of government, who have become apologists for unsafe vaccines and one-size-fits-all vaccine policies, are dancing like clowns as they threaten freedom of the press and attempt to cover-up vaccine injuries and deaths not only potentially caused by thimerosal - but also potentially caused by many other biological mechanisms involved in vaccine induced brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism. The dance would be almost comical if their stubborn defense of mercury in vaccines did not reveal so much more about a cavalier disregard for scientific truth and human life.


"The latest chapter in the debate over whether childhood vaccines can cause autism was written Wednesday with release of a study that showed the controversial mercury-containing preservative thimerosal is rapidly excreted from babies' bodies and can't build up to toxic levels....."Though it's reassuring to affirm that these immunizations have always been safe, our findings really have greater implications for world health," Pichichero said. "Replacing the thimerosal in vaccines globally would put these vaccines beyond what the world community could afford for its children." The study findings were to be released Monday in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics. But they were released early by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is requesting that the ABC network cancel the premiere episode of a new show Thursday dealing with the thimerosal-autism controversy...... Still, at least one vaccine critic worries that inoculations are making children prone to autism, a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, communication problems, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. And if it's not thimerosal, then it must be some other vaccine-related interaction, said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center. "There are many biological mechanisms involved in vaccine-induced brain and immune system changes that could quite well lead to autism," she said. "Mercury doesn't belong in any product," Fisher added. "Mercury doesn't belong in vaccines whether it's proven or not proven that mercury is a problem in vaccines." - Forbes (HealthDay News) January 30, 2008

"One of the few researchers who studies the effects of ethyl mercury is Thomas Burbacher, PhD, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and director of the infant primate research lab at the National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle. Burbacher's studies of ethyl mercury and thimerosal in primates are cited by both sides of the thimerosal debate. Burbacher says that just because ethyl mercury is gone from an infant's blood soon after it receives a dose of thimerosal -- a half-life of just 3.7 days in the Pichichero study -- doesn't mean it's gone from the body. "Just because it came out of the blood doesn't mean it is excreted from the body. It could have gone to the brain," Burbacher tells WebMD. "In primates, you actually get more mercury in the brain after exposure to ethyl mercury than with methyl mercury -- it has an easier time crossing the blood-brain barrier." Sallie Bernard is co-founder and executive director of SafeMinds, an organization that advocates "sensible action for ending mercury-induced neurological disorders." Bernard says the Pichichero study is valuable because it makes it clear that the body handles ethyl mercury very differently from the way it handles¬ methyl mercury. "That is why we need real safety studies to look at the effects of ethyl mercury," Bernard tells WebMD. "We need not look at blood levels and excretion times, but at what goes on in the brain and what any ethyl mercury-induced changes in the brain are doing to children." - Daniel DeNoon, Web MD (January 30, 2008) http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/2008 0130/vaccine-mercury-leaves-blood-fast