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Parent Groups Denounce IOM Report Refuting Vaccine Autism Connection

The political pressure on IOM to sweep a generation of children under the rug and maintain current vaccine policy at any and all cost was too great for them to bear. If anybody tells you that you can put your concerns to rest about vaccines causing autism, forward these releases to them and ask how can anybody rest with this kind of cover up going on? Pay careful attention to the research that was excluded as well as the rush to get this report out before the science hits the fan. What is equally as disturbing are the releases by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting the flawed and irresponsible position of closing the door on important ongoing research. Please consider using this information to write letters to your legislators, local papers or to call your local news.

Congressman Weldon Calls IOM Conclusions Premature and Hastily Drawn

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2004
Contact: Jaillene Erickson, (202) 225-3671 or(202)-549-2933 [email protected]

Weldon Calls IOM Conclusions Premature and Hastily Drawn

Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D. (FL) Issued The Following Statement

Today's report is premature, perhaps perilously reliant on epidemiology, based on preliminary incomplete information, and may ultimately be repudiated. This report will not deter me from my commitment to seeing that this is fully investigated, nor will it put to rest the concerns of parents who believe their children were harmed by mercury-containing vaccines or the MMR vaccine.

Unfortunately, this report will lead many clinicians to believe that thimerosal is safe and there is no problem with the MMR; however, it will do nothing to allay the concerns of thousands of parents of autistic children. It will only drag the IOM under the cloud of controversy that has currently engulfed CDC. This concern is what lead me earlier this year to request that Dr. Julie Gerberding delay this meeting and report.

In 2001 the IOM stated that it is "unclear whether ethylmercury [from vaccines] passes readily through the blood-brain barrier." The IOM recommended several biological and clinical studies to answer this question and whether this mercury could cause developmental problems. These studies were in large part never done. Yet IOM chose to ignore the need for this research and instead has focused its analysis on the data available today, most of which is statistical, but there is much more research that needs to be done before it can definitively be said that thimerosal does not contribute to NDDs. Even today, the IOM cannot tell you with any degree of certainty what happens to ethylmercury once injected into an infant. Does it go to the brain? Does is cause developmental problems?

The IOM's scope of investigation was severely narrowed for this review. In 2001 the IOM considered thimerosal's relationship with nuerodevelopmental disorders as a whole, but here they only consider Autism. This raises suspicions that this IOM exercise might be more about drawing pre-designed conclusions aimed at restoring public confidence in vaccines rather than conducting a complete and thorough inquiry into whether or not thimerosal might cause neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, the author of one of the studies upon which the IOM relies, recently stated in an April 2004 letter to Pediatrics: "The bottom line is and has always been the same: an association between thimerosal and neurological outcomes could neither be confirmed nor refuted, and therefore, more study is required." It was after this study was published that the IOM scope was narrowed.

Unfortunately, the epidemiology studies that the IOM bases its findings on are not immune from conflicts or controversy. Many of the authors have conflicts of interest including funding from vaccine manufactures, employment by manufacturers, or conflicts in that they implemented vaccine policies that are now being investigated. Furthermore, the studies were designed to examine entire populations and would miss subgroups of genetically susceptible populations. Much like the infamous 1989 study by The National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD) which missed the link between folic acid deficiencies and neural tube defects, the epidemiology studies reviewed by the IOM in drawing today's findings, could easily have missed a link between thimerosal and NDDs. The IOM report is based on studies examining populations in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and the United States - all of whom have different vaccines, vaccine policies, and mercury exposures. Study results are only as reliable as the design of such studies. Relying on these studies to draw conclusions is shaky ground.

The IOM is not immune to error and has been forced to reverse itself before, most recently reversing a long-standing finding that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was not due to Agent Orange exposures. A similar reversal is a very real possibility here.

With regard to the MMR vaccine, the IOM review of this matter is totally premature; the NIH is only now attempting to duplicate the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Half of Dr. Wakefield's work has been demonstrated to be correct. Attempting to draw "conclusions" at this time is counterproductive. Statistical studies of this matter are of little benefit, only a clinical pathological study will lay this issue to rest.

Lastly, I am also troubled by the lack of liability or accountability by these decision-makers should they be proved wrong. I want more than just a "sorry" from them should their conclusions be found erroneous a few years down the road. Too many lives are at stake.

National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) Says IOM Played Politics In Report On Autism And Vaccines

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Washington, D.C. - The nation's largest and oldest parent-led vaccine safety organization is charging that today's report on autism and vaccines issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) seriously jeopardizes the credibility of IOM to make an objective scientific analysis of vaccine risks. Calling the report a case of "political immunology," NVIC is also releasing a letter written by NVIC President Barbara Loe Fisher to the National Academy of Sciences on December 18, 2000 expressing concern about the ideological and professional conflicts of interest of members of the Committee.

"This report is a case of political immunology masquerading as real science. With it, the Institute of Medicine takes a step toward weakening its reputation as an independent body capable of making an objective scientific analysis of complex medical risk issues which are influenced by government policy and industry profits,'' said Fisher.

In her 2000 letter to IOM, Fisher pointed out that, unlike the 1991 and 1994 reports issued by the Institute under a congressional mandate from the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, the current Immunization Safety Review Committee was assembled at the request of and funded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), specifically the Center's for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). DHHS is responsible for the research, development, regulation, policymaking and promotion of mass use of vaccines. At the time, she questioned whether the Committee could remain objective when assessing vaccine risk issues which affect entrenched public health policy due to the fact that (1) the CDC and NIH were directing and funding the Committee's work; and (2) Committee members had a public health policy background and were receiving NIH research grants or were employed by universities receiving NIH, CDC and vaccine industry research grants.

"For this Committee to reject emerging biological mechanism evidence of a causal relationship between vaccines and brain damage leading to autism in favor of flawed epidemiological studies primarily using old medical records is tragic. For this Committee to basically give the green light to government and industry to eliminate autism from cost benefit analyses of thimerosal risks is beyond belief because it could pave the way for mercury to remain in vaccines here and around the world. Failing to consider the fact that DPT and MMR vaccine induced brain inflammation can lead to brain damage in some children, including autism, is just one example of how simplistic and superficial this analysis of the relationship between vaccines and autism is. When the real science comes out demonstrating that vaccines can cause autism in genetically susceptible children, this Committee's conclusions will be meaningless,'' said Fisher.

NVIC has been calling for independent, non-governmental, non-industry research into the genetic and other biological high risk factors of vaccine associated brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism, for the past two decades. Today's IOM report discouraged further research into vaccine-associated autism. NVIC also supports removing vaccine risk research and monitoring from the CDC and NIH because of conflicts of interest.

National Autism Association Questions IOM and CDC Cover-Up -- How Far Will They go to Protect Toxic Vaccines?

Tuesday May 18, 6:04 pm ET

Riddled With Conflicts of Interest, Institute of Medicine Releases Report Derived From Flawed Data, Says National Autism Association

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A report released today has parents and researchers shocked at how far the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will go to protect the reputation of the vaccination program. After CDC-funded hearings were held in front of an IOM panel on February 9th regarding the connection between vaccines and autism, IOM released its decision today by stating there is no connection, despite strong clinical evidence from accredited doctors and researchers that suggests otherwise.

To reach their decision, the IOM relied heavily upon CDC's Vaccine Safety Database (VSD) study published in the Journal of Pediatrics in November, 2003. Many critics have come forward questioning its validity. The study's author, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, works for a leading vaccine manufacturer. He also authored the first CDC VSD study in 2000, obtained through FOIA, which found a statistically significant link between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism, but the study was not released to the public.

The National Autism Association (NAA), supporting families and physicians looking for effective treatments for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, says the report proves the IOM has not been able to divest itself from vaccine policies. And tragically, in doing so, they have failed society by their blindness to the issue at hand. "It appears the IOM's admitted fear of an undermined vaccination program has led to this decision, not scientific evidence," says Lori McIlwain, Executive Director of the National Autism Association.

NAA states they are for safe vaccines and stand by the clinical evidence that was presented to the IOM from highly accredited researchers, along with medical records of affected children. "Thousands of parents have seen the regression of skills in their children following thimerosal-containing vaccines," says Jo Pike, President of the National Autism Association. "Many of these same children are progressing rapidly with biomedical interventions addressing mercury poisoning. The cause and effect should not be ignored," she says.

In their report, the IOM panel dismissed strong clinical and epidemiological evidence presented during the hearings. These studies include:

* Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier presented epidemiological evidence that children who received thimerosal-containing vaccines were six times more likely to have autism than children who did not.

* Mady Hornig, MD, showed mice that had been given thimerosal-containing vaccines and subsequently developed harmful repetitive behaviors similar to those of autism.

* David Baskin, MD, showed the neurotoxic affects of ethylmercury and how such damage can lead to apoptosis of cells.

* Jeff Bradstreet, MD, showed that autistic children had six times more mercury in their bodies than age and vaccine-matched controls.

* Boyd Haley showed that autistic children have less mercury in their hair than controls hypothesizing that autistic children can not detoxify as easily as regular children.

"The IOM took over 10 years to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome and over 20 years to acknowledge Agent Orange poisoning," says Laura Bono, NAA Chairman. "We are asking the IOM to affirm the mass poisoning of thousands of children through mercury in their vaccines. We are confident that the truth will eventually come out and we will not be deterred until it does."

For more information, visit
Contact: Lori McIlwain, (919) 468-6455
Laura Bono (919) 403-9443

SafeMinds Outraged That IOM Report Fails American Public

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Joe Giganti, 703-928-9695 [email protected]

Washington, D.C.- SafeMinds-America's leading scientific organization investigating the risks that mercury- containing medical products pose to our children-issued the following statements in response to the release of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Vaccine Safety Committee report on the link between mercury-containing vaccines and autism.

"The IOM has not only compromised their integrity and independence but also failed the American public, especially mercury-injured children with autism, by towing the CDC, FDA, vaccine industry line. This committee and its report clearly chose to ignore groundbreaking scientific research on the mercury-autism link, and instead the IOM has issued a flawed, incomplete report that continues to put America's children at risk.

"The problem with this report begins with its violation of nearly every tenet of medical science. Respected researchers everywhere do not support the IOM belief that proof can be solely found in epidemiology. Yet, the IOM wants the public to buy into the absurd belief that this report, bought and paid for by the CDC, is complete, independent and trustworthy. Since the committee is disbanding following this report they will not have to answer later for their failures today.

-Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, NP, president of SafeMinds

"This is the classic bait and switch scheme. The IOM calls hard scientific evidence 'theoretical' and theoretical science, hard. This report is a failure by any acceptable scientific standard. By utilizing a series of proven flawed studies as your foundation for another report is not science, it's irresponsible. Keeping America's children at risk so as not to rock the boat is unconscionable.

"SafeMinds is pro-vaccine, as long as every available scientific resource has been used to reasonably guarantee its safety. Saying more clinical evidence is needed, and then not supporting the funding of such research is nothing more than Washington double-speak shrouded under the guise of science. The IOM has served neither science nor the American public well here today."

-Mark BIaxill, MBA, director of SafeMinds

"That these groups want the public at large to trust this report as objective, scientific fact is an absolute abuse of the trust so many Americans put into the IOM and the government's health services to protect our families. From the inception of the IOM's involvement in this matter, even government officials openly questioned their ability to truly be free of the we-must-vaccinate-at-any-cost cartel's influence, and this report has left little doubt that the answer is no. This is why Congress must act now to protect out children and pass HR4169 the Mercury-Free Vaccines Act of 2004. "You cannot use science as cover for protectionism of vaccine policy, policy makers' reputations and the vaccine industry. Another flawed report-government issued or otherwise-will not stop SafeMinds from continuing its mission to foster science and educate the public."

-Sallie Bernard, executive director of SafeMinds

SafeMinds will post a full analysis of this IOM report on its website ( in the very near future. - IOM Chooses Poor Math Over Good Science To Clear Thimerosal

Carthage, Missouri - - A philanthropic organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, physicians and the public regarding the dangers associated with the use of Thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative used in vaccines intended for infants, children and pregnant women - issued the following statement in response to the release of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee report on the link between vaccines containing Thimerosal and autism.

"Any physician who gives credence to this IOM report may as well suggest their patients see an accountant to diagnosis and cure disease. Epidemiology is statistics; not medical science. It is subject to the same manipulation of the bottom line as seen in the Enron scandal. Having personally listened to every moment of the IOM presentations and after reviewing hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers, we can say unequivocally, the scientific, clinical and biological evidence; including toxicological, chemical and pharmacological data, shows a strong relationship between Thimerosal, a known neurotoxin, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The report is fraught with conflict of interests and by their own admission, narrowly constructed. This leads us to question their motivation. The scope of this report was defined and paid for by the CDC. They wanted a report to exonerate the CDC's National Immunization Program for its role in mandating the injection of a toxic substance into millions of children. They got want they paid for.what a coincidence!"

Alan D. Clark, M.D.
Lujene G. Clark

Unlocking Autism - The Great And Powerful Oz Behind The Curtain Of The IOM Has Spoken...

He says that there is no connection between autism and vaccines. He says the "science" is in. It is not in the form of pure science. It is in the form of skewed epidemiological studies and manipulated statistics. It is not even comparing apples and oranges. It is comparing apples and ostrich eggs...not even in the same category.

So now what? Has your opinion changed given their findings? Are you still one of the parents out there under what the IOM is calling an apparent 'misperception' that vaccines contributed to your child's autism? Are you one of the parents who has administered chelation to your child and seen positive results? Did you have a child that tested high for mercury and other heavy metals? You are not alone. There are thousands of parents like you and we hear from you at Unlocking Autism every single day.

There is absolutely no reason for you to feel powerless. If you remember, in the movie, everyone else was afraid and cowered before the great Oz, but one brave little girl from Kansas, just one, named Dorothy pulled back the curtain and exposed Oz...who wasn't nearly as great and powerful once the curtain was removed, was he? In fact, it turned out that Oz was nothing more than a Snake Oil salesman in real life.....

If you believe that your child was affected by the mercury in their vaccines, you need to rise to the occasion and focus your energies. This is the year to do it. Washington is paying attention. But they have told us over and over again, they need to hear from more parents.

Lucky for you, there is already a mechanism in place for this issue. If you are one of the families that has been affected, you might want to review Congressman Dave Weldon's bill HR 4169. The bill was introduced to Congress on April 2nd of this year and calls for a ban on the use of mercury in vaccines, in all states....period.

The IOM has spoken. Have you? There has been a flurry of activity and outrage on the internet all day given their most recent report, but if this is really an issue that so greatly affects our community, then there should be more than 15 Congressmen who have signed on to support HR 4169 after seven weeks. If you need a place to direct your anger at the IOM statement today, call your Congressional office tomorrow, send an email, send a fax and if you are in support of this bill let them know. If you cannot get to Washington to meet with your Congressmen, fine. Lucky for you there is a mechanism in place for that, too. They represent you and live in their district which is where you live. They come home. Call their local office and set up an appointment and meet with them there.

Or better yet, get a group of families in your area together, determine what issues you all want to discuss with them and call and invite them to come to your home. And yes...have your kids there. Put together a pot luck dinner, get a couple of area OTs or speech therapists or bring your own ABA person to help with your kids and visit with your Congressman in a familiar setting. Invite the press to come to the home visit too and let them know the press is coming. It doesn't need to be a big formal event but it can be incredibly effective.

If you need information, contact Unlocking Autism and we can send you a grass roots kit that will provide you with information about pending pieces of legislation that directly affect your family up on Capitol Hill, information on how to set up a house party and contact your Congressman or Senator.

If you are looking for a powerful tool to show them to get your point across regarding mercury, visit  and for $29.95 + s/h you can purchase a copy of Thief in the Night, a documentary based on the plausibility of the autism/vaccine/thimerasol connection. It is 46 minutes long and full of valuable information presented in an easy to understand and concise manner. You can order one and bring it with you to your Congressman's district office. You can also show them the documentary at your home when you have a gathering like the one suggested above.

If you do this, we would greatly appreciate it if you would select our organization that referred you when placing this order. Human Kind Productions has agreed to donate $3.00 for each DVD purchased back to Unlocking Autism to fund our grass roots education programs. Just use the drop down list on the order page to select Unlocking Autism as the organization you support.

Don't just get mad. Direct your anger. Focus it. The power we have as a community would be UNBELIEVABLE if we would only focus it. Oz is not expecting us to do it.

Cochi at the CDC threw down the gauntlet in an article last month.

"I don't think this problem can be solved in the near-term by legislators," he said.

He's wrong.

A few days later, the Governor of Iowa signed into law a bipartisan bill that effectively bans the administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to children in that state.

The IOM has spoken. It is time for the people to speak. Our community has followed the proper channels for years and it has come down to this: The people have a voice. You elected your voice to go to your state legislature or to Washington to represent you. Make it speak for you and your family. Be persistent, not belligerent. Have good manners. Let the members of the Congressional Autism Caucus know that they didn't just sign up for that as a resume piece or for political positioning. Present your argument in a clear concise manner but stay on them until you know if they are voting Yea or Nay on the issue.

Congressmen who have already signed on to Co-Sponsor HR 4169 include:

Congressman Rick Renzi (AZ)
Congressman Robert Wexler (FL)
Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr. (FL)
Congressman Jerry Weller (IL)
Congressman Dan Burton (IN)
Congressman Michael Michaud (ME)
Congressman Collin Peterson (MN)
Congressman Scott Garrett (NJ)
Congressman Major R. Owens (NY)
Congresswoman Sue Kelly (NY)
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY)
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
Congressman Zach Wamp (TN)
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)
Congressman Nick Lampson (TX)

Lenny Shafer's Autism Report - Government Abandons Autism Research, A Generation of Autistic Children

Government Abandons Autism Research, A Generation of Autistic Children The IOM report: driven by greed, politics and conflicts of interest.

By Lenny Schafer - Editor and Publisher

The Federal public health agencies further signal a covert policy of abandonment of relevant autism research and along with it, a generation of children stricken with the disorder -- now with IOM's urgings and permission -- as indicated in the IOM's dismissive report today on the vaccine-autism connection.

The key message in the IOM report is an unusually pat assertion that there are absolutely no possible connection between mercury and autism, despite evidence to the contrary, and that no one should bother looking any further at the safety of vaccines in this matter.

Indeed, at the "Autism Summit" held late last year in Washington DC, the government signaled its intent to ignore the growing autism epidemic by focusing on research that may bear fruit ten years from now. Most of the research they have relied on so far to exculpate vaccines (and themselves) is statistically based, highly prone to manipulation, and keeps scientists at a maximum distance from actually examining any children with late onset autism.

Public Health officials and vaccine manufacturers have far too much to lose should any connection be further established, and as such are the least reliable source for any related research they fund. This is plain common sense. Expecting an unbiased government review of the science to find the source of autism, is like expecting OJ Simpson to find the "real" killers of his ex-wife and her friend. He never will, and they never will, not even ten years and $65 million from now -- because they do not want expose themselves as the cause.

That the government's contracted IOM is asking that we please no longer look into any vaccine-autism connections should be a red-flag to do just the opposite.

It is critically important now that parents pull together and put their resources into funding research the government continues to ignore. Do not waste your private donations on research that avoids the clinical findings, biomedical and environmental causes, and most importantly your afflicted children.

If is the intention of the government to put to rest the vaccine-mercury-autism controversy with this pre-fixed IOM report, they will quickly realize they have failed. If anything, families of autism will be more committed than ever to expose the cause of the autism epidemic, find the treatment and cure -- and then perhaps bring to justice the criminals responsible before, during and after this profound epidemic and its profane cover-up. It is criminal by its massive scope alone. The country's inoculation program, the vaccine manufacturer's profits, and the protection of esteemed medical reputations will be the least of their worries.

It is President Bush's responsibility for the policies of his administration and the egregious whitewash they have produced. But keep in mind that the previous Democratic administration held the same policies on ignoring autism. There is no reason at this time to believe that a new president will make any difference, unfortunately. We cannot wait for political leaders to decide to do something meaningful about this epidemic; they done little so far. Liberals want to expand the big-brother powers of public health agencies, not reform them, and conservatives want to expand the influence and wealth of their client pharmaceutical industry. Just as it always has been, autism is a task that falls to the afflicted families to solve for themselves and not to naively leave the government foxes in charge of this henhouse.

Releases from the Guards of the Status Quo

AMA Welcomes New IOM Report Rejecting Link Between Vaccines and Autism

American Academy of Pediatrics: Scientific Panel Rejects Vaccines as Cause of Autism

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