Hearings will begin on June 11th at the U.S. Federal Claims Court to determine if autism is linked to vaccines and their components, including the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. As the Autism Omnibus Proceeding approaches, parents of children diagnosed with autism are calling attention to the conflicts of interest they believe continue to threaten the safety of vaccines.
Among the concerns cited by parents are the close ties between pharmaceutical companies and government regulatory agencies. A July, 2003 UPI investigation revealed the following:
- In two cases in the past four years, vaccines endorsed by the CDC were pulled off the market after a number of infants and adults appear to have suffered devastating side effects, and some died. Critics now worry about a possible link between vaccines and autism, diabetes, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome, among other ailments.
- Members of the CDC's Vaccine Advisory Committee get money from vaccine manufacturers. Relationships have included: sharing a vaccine patent; owning stock in a vaccine company; payments for research; getting money to monitor manufacturer vaccine tests; and funding academic departments.
- The CDC is in the vaccine business. Under a 1980 law, the CDC currently has 28 licensing agreements with companies and one university for vaccines or vaccine-related products. It has eight ongoing projects to collaborate on new vaccines.
Dr. Paul Offit, MD, former chairman of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which guides vaccine policy decisions at the CDC, embodies the conflicts of interest concern of parents. Dr. Offit has been a long-time defender of injecting mercury, a known neurotoxin, into infants and pregnant women. He is also co-patent holder of the RotaTeq vaccine with pharmaceutical giant Merck, a funder of his research for over a decade. Offit is speaking against parents today in support of the vaccine program and pharmaceutical companies at a press conference sponsored by Every Child by Two, a group also funded by pharmaceutical companies and supportive of injecting mercury into infants.
"In my opinion, as glaring as Dr. Offit's conflicts are, what's even more disturbing is that such close ties between vaccine policy decision makers and vaccine manufacturers are routine," said parent and National Autism Association board member Scott Bono. "The bottom line has become vaccine profit rather than vaccine safety. Children diagnosed with autism are suffering the consequences of an unprecedented greed, and their parents aren't going away until the public knows the full details of this man-made disaster."
Source: PNR Newswire