To what degree of scientific certainty can we prove that current epidemic of autism was caused by the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, in childhood vaccines?
In response to this question, David Ayoub, MD, told Independent Media TV, ''I can state that the certainty of the science supporting mercury as a major cause of autism is probably more overpowering than the science behind any other disease process that I studied dating back to medical school.''
?I think a disease that effects more individuals than AIDS or cancer, in previously normal infants and children,? he states, ?has created a sense of urgency amongst researchers.?
According to Ayoub, ?A growing number of experimental, epidemiological and biochemical research, has unequivocally shown that mercury is directly linked to the development of autism spectrum disorders and is significantly toxic to the gastrointestinal, immunological, metabolic and neurobiological systems in children.?
?The science of causality is known and understood down to the manner in which mercury impairs the neural pathways of attention,? he adds, ?I really don't see the need for more research to prove causality.? He believes the focus should be ?directed towards methods to remove mercury from the body and repairing those biochemical systems that are injured by mercury.?
Ayoub is the Director of the Prairie Collaborative for Immunization, an organization that is self-funded, which aids organizations, journalists, and legislators obtain accurate information to assist their work. He is also the author of the report, ?Pregnancy and the Myth of Influenza Vaccination-Is it safe, is it effective, is it necessary? What the CDC documents reveal.?
Vaccines With Thimerosal
When asked what vaccines still contain the mercury-based, thimerosal, Ayoub said, ?The major culprit today is the influenza vaccine.? About 80% of flu vaccines contain as much as 25 micrograms of mercury per dose. Since the EPA has set a limit of 0.1 mcg/kg (1 kg =2.2 lbs), Ayoub warns, everyone who receives the vaccine will be overdosed.
He explained that in 1999, ?the Public Health Service (including the CDC and FDA), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal levels in vaccines should be reduced or eliminated.?
However, he adds, ?Contradicting its own policy, the CDC then increased mercury exposure to the fetus and infant by allowing the inoculation of pregnant women and young infants with the mercury-containing influenza vaccine.?
On May 28, 2004, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice of the CDC released its annual report with recommendations for the prevention of influenza. The report included pregnant women amongst those who should receive the flu vaccine, even though the report noted only a minimal benefit from the vaccine in pregnant women:
?Researchers estimate that an average of 1-2 hospitalizations can be prevented for every 1,000 pregnant women vaccinated? (1, page 10)
In fact, for the 2003-04 flu season, the CDC reported ?only 3 to 14% of those who got vaccinated were protected against the flu.? It seems overly aggressive, Ayoub maintains, for the CDC to recommend that all pregnant women be vaccinated when, in fact, scientific data to date shows only marginal benefits and the only documented benefit seems to be fewer hospitalizations, not fewer morbidities or mortalities.
The benefit of influenza vaccination during pregnancy becomes even more questionable when considering the resulting risks to unborn infants. According to the ACIP, the safety of influenza vaccination is established by the following research:
One study of influenza vaccination of 2,000 pregnant women demonstrated no adverse fetal effects associated with influenza vaccine."
However, according to Ayoub, ?In the April 12, 2002 MMWR, this same statement was followed by the caveat ?additional data are needed to confirm the safety of vaccination during pregnancy.? The comment was then dropped from the CDC?s 2004 version of the report, but no new safety data was cited.
This solitary reference cited to establish influenza vaccine safety was co-authored by researchers at Boston University in 1973, but Ayoub advises that, ?Upon closer inspection ... the study appears to have very little to do with influenza vaccine safety, but rather that of polio vaccination safety during pregnancy.?
It is inexplicable, Ayoub says, that the ACIP would cite a paper in support of its conclusion of influenza vaccine safety while the Institute of Medicine rejected the same paper on the basis of the flawed analysis of polio vaccine safety.
Few doctors realize that most flu vaccines contain 25 micrograms of mercury per dose. Both the EPA and FDA?s allowable daily exposure limits are 0.1 microgram per kg, meaning that recipients of a flu vaccine must weigh at least 550 pounds to meet federal exposure guidelines.
Therefore, by injecting the mother, the fetus would receive a dose of mercury that exceeds the federal limits by several hundred-fold. Furthermore, Ayoub adds, all federal guidelines are based upon studies of exposure tolerances in adults, not a fetus.
He questions why the CDC is so certain that ethylmercury can be safely injected into children or pregnant women, when the FDA and EPA have stated that ingestion of methylmercury can have harmful effects on the fetus, with warnings such as:
?some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system. . . . Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. . . While it is true that the primary danger from methylmercury in fish is to the developing nervous system of the unborn child, it is prudent for nursing mothers and young children not to eat these fish as well.?
More recent studies have detailed the life-long damage of mercury to the brains of unborn children. For instance, on Feb 28, 2005, the Associated Press reported, ?Lower IQ levels linked to mercury exposure in the womb costs the United States $8.7 billion a year in lost earnings potential, according to a study released Monday by researchers at a New York hospital.?
The Mount Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment combined a number of previous studies to determine hundreds of thousands of babies are born every year with lower IQ associated with mercury exposure, according to AP.
Lead researcher and pediatician, Leonard Trasande, reports that annually, between 316,588 and 637,233 infants are born with umbilical cord blood mecury levels linked to IQ loss.
As an example, Trasande said each year, about 4% of babies are with blood mercury levels between 7.13 and 15 micrograms per liter. That level of mercury causes an IQ loss of 1.6 points, the researchers concluded.
A 1.6 point drop in IQ could cost a person more than $31,000 in potential earnings over a lifetime, the study calculated, due to missed educational opportunities or jobs.
Manufacturers of the flu vaccine themselves, include package inserts that admit adequate studies have not been conducted on this vaccine. For example, the Fluzone insert stated:
?Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza Virus Vaccine. It is not known whether Influenza Virus Vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity.?
Considering the rapid growth of autism, and other related neurodevelopmental disorders, and the number of reports documenting the causal relationship to mercury-based preservatives, Ayoub advises, ?influenza vaccines should not be administered to pregnant women, and perhaps other high-risk groups, especially young children.?
Why Would FDA & CDC Approve Mercury-Based Vaccines?
Ayoub believes that the CDC and FDA embrace marginal research and unsupported policies because of conflicts of interests. It may come as a surprise to most physicians, he explains, ?that the CDC has a built-in conflict of interest with regards to its dual role in vaccine policy.? One limb of the CDC that oversees vaccine safety has a budget of approximately $30 million, while the limb that promotes vaccine usage (ACIP and NIP) has a $1 billion budget, he says.
The CDC and FDA policy decisions are made through physician advisory panels whose members often have financial relationships with the very same pharmaceutical companies that they are supposed to regulate.
For example, during a congressional hearing on potential conflicts of interests at the FDA, it was revealed that 60% of the advisory members who voted to approve the poisonous rotavirus vaccine had financial ties to the drug companies manufacturing the vaccine. The committee also found that 50% of the CDC members were tied to the rotavirus makers.
However, according to Ayoub, the CDC and FDA do not have exclusive rights in coddling the industry. An investigation of doctors involved in co-authoring forty-four different Clinical Practice Guidelines for drug companies found:
85% of guideline authors have some sort of relationships with drug companies, and they are often not disclosed
38% of respondents said they had served as employees or consultants for drug companies; 58% received research money
59% had links with drug companies whose medications were considered in the particular guidelines they authored, almost all cases predating the guideline creation process
These numbers may be even greater, as only 52% of authors responded
?Most clinicians would be surprised by these revelations which challenge the blanket trust of a healthcare governance with uncomfortably close ties to the pharmaceutical industry,? Ayoub says.
Available Treatment For Autism
When asked what treatments are available for autism, Ayoub said ?The buzz these days is chelation,? but there is no short answer to this. Suffice it to say, there are 2 ways to get mercury out of the body - one is pull it out directly by chelation agents.?
The 2 top chelation people in the world are Gary Gordon, MD, and Rashid Buttar, MD, he adds.
Chelation agents such as DMPS and DTPA, are given orally, by IV, and recently with transdermal as a cream. According to Ayoub, the agents essentially bind free blood or loosely bound heavy metal agents, and eliminate them through stool and urine. They lower the total body burden and allow for natural redistribution from brain to blood for further removal. Ayoub claims side effects are uncommon, and the process is far safer than a vaccine.
The other method of removing mercury from the body is through a variety of biomedical therapies, all dietary or supplemental, ?most of which act to jumps start the bodies own internal mercury detoxification pathways,? Ayoub explains, but ?the science here is very sophisticated,? he added.
However, unfortunately, ?many parents read about a diet or supplement, try one or two therapies on their own and fail,? he says, and that ?treatment is very dependent upon the experience of the health care provider, critically so,? he advises.
Why The Constant Denial?
Ayoub was asked why government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, are working so hard to keep the truth about the mercury-autism link hidden. He says it is a long story, but the main reason is because if they admitted guilt, it would mean the government agencies, drug companies and medical organizations, ?have taken part in the largest iatrogenic epidemic known to man.?
The fallout over admission of causality would be unprecedented, Ayoub adds. The lost confidence in American medicine would likely cause people to turn to alternative methods of medicine, and a rise in deeper investigation might reveal the truth about other suppressions related to cancer therapy, hypertension Rx, or Atherosclerosis.
Ayoub told Independent Media, ?This is really the tip of the iceberg and I see a waterfall effect.?
(Evelyn Pringle is a columnist with Independent Media TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government)
Ayoub spoke at the AutismOne conference in Chicago in 2004, and will appear at the conference again in May, 2005. His CD-ROM titled, "Science and Politics of Vaccine-Induced Autism,? contains resource materials and was distributed at the DAN! conference in LA last fall. David M Ayoub MD, The Prairie Collaborative for Immunization Safety Email Raypoke@mac.com