Kris’ godson, Sammy, was in the newspaper recently, because his school is being shut down. Sammy attended an extended day program that specialized in helping autistic children.
We were surprised when we heard of Sammy’s diagnosis, but not for the reasons you might expect.
“What are the odds,” we asked ourselves, “that we’d have a godson AND a nephew who have autism?”
As it turns out the odds are quite good.
The current incidence of autism is 60 for every 10,000 children. That’s one child out of every 166 born. I was astonished. If autism is so prevalent, why didn’t I know any autistic kids when I was in school? Turns out there weren’t as many then. In 1988, 6 out of every 10,000 children had autism. That’s one out of every 1660. In just seventeen years, the number of intances of the disorder has increased tenfold.
What could have caused this alarming increase? Some suspect it was something environmental:
In 1988, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended important new additions to the nation’s infant immunization program, including three Hepatitis B immunizations (one injected at birth), and three Haemophilis B shots—all delivered by six months of age. Drug companies responded with vaccinations supplied in multiple dose containers preserved with the mercury-based antibacterial Thimerosal. Neither the CDC, nor the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which monitors the safety of vaccinations, expressed concerns at that time about the relatively high doses of mercury that newborn babies and infants would be exposed to through these shots.
A dramatic nationwide increase in autism followed directly on the heels of the abrupt rise in thimerosal exposure (Blaxill 2001).
I’d never heard of Thimerosal until I read recently about a leaked memo, which revealed drug company Merck’s big mercury coverup. Written by Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, a former SVP of Merck, to the (then) head of Merck’s vaccine division, Dr. Gordon Douglas, the memo says:
… infants who receive their vaccines on schedule would be dosed with as much as 87 times more mercury than is accepted as safe in daily consumption. “When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large,” wrote Hilleman.
(Public health officials did not find out about the high levels of mercury in vaccinations unti 1999- eight years after Hillman wrote this memo. )
Dr. Jill James is a former FDA senior research scientist who now works for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr James has recently published a new study that could explain why some kids who recieved immunizations containing the poison have autism, while some do not.
The new study shows that autistic children have a severe deficit in a chemical called glutathione. Our bodies use glutathione to remove poisons from the body.
When compared to normal health children, autistic children showed a significant impairment in every one of five measurements of the body’s ability to maintain a healthy glutathione defense. These findings are strong evidence that if these children were exposed to a potentially toxic dose of mercury or other compound they would be much less able to mount an effective defense.
Drug companies continue to say there is no hard evidence that the immunizations containing Thimerosal were unsafe.
When I was a little girl, I broke a thermometer on the floor at Grandma’s house. When I attempted to clean up I discovered a grand new game. Aunt Barbara found me half an hour later, on my hands and knees, chasing little silver globes of liquid around the chipped legs of the clawfoot tub.
“DON’T TOUCH THAT!” she shrieked, sweeping me up and away from the mess. Even in the early 70′s, Every mother knew that mercury was poison.
Common sense tells me that you don’t inject poison into babies, ever.
When corporate behavior flies in the face of common sense and the common good, their excuse needs to be better than, “There is no hard evidence it was unsafe .”
Update: A new book has been published on this topic called “Evidence of Harm“.