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New Study Rules Out Vaccination-Autism Link, But Is It Good Science?

A new study conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in this month's issue of the journal Pediatrics suggests that there is "no link between neurological disorders such as autism and mercury in childhood vaccines, despite an earlier unpublished study by the CDC, which found a significant link between the two." The study has already been trumpeted in the mainstream media, but critics of the study say the data it contains were in fact manipulated by the CDC to achieve the findings it contains, to protect the federal government and vaccine manufacturers from embarrassment and potential lawsuits. Among those critics is Safe Minds, self-described as "a research organization dedicated to identifying causes of autism in children."

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by Safe Minds, "expose concern on the part of the study's author, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, that his findings indicated a link between Thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines and the alarming rate of autism in children exposed to the toxic substance.

"Once Dr. Verstraeten began working for vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), he altered the data, sampling and methodology of the study so that results would point to enough inconsistencies to cast doubt that mercury in vaccines causes autism.

"Dr. Verstraeten is not named as an employee of GSK in the study, but rather is misidentified as an employee of the Centers for Disease Control. GSK is one of only five vaccine manufacturers in the world and produces mercury-laced vaccines."

Safe Minds and other critics of the study allege that, "Data was manipulated, in part, by adding in samples from Harvard Pilgrim, an HMO in Massachusetts, the only state in the country that severely underreported autism in the years looked at in the study, appearing to have almost no cases compared to a nearly 500% increase in other states. Using Harvard Pilgrim data helped skew results so that a conclusion of "inconsistencies" between Harvard Pilgrim and other HMO's appears to disprove a link between mercury-laced vaccines and autism."

For specific analysis on the data manipulation, see www.safeminds.org/verstraeten/verstraeten.html

[Commentary: In other words, the data the CDC is touting in its study is bogus, yet the media has already reported that we can all be assured there is no connection between vaccines containing Thimerosal (such as the MMR - Measles, Mumps, Rubella - vaccination) and autism. Business as usual at the CDC, I'm afraid. And similar bad science occurs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), too. How else do we explain the nearly 800,000 people killed in this country each year by the medical drugs and procedures approved by these agencies? (See first news item above.) The fact that a medical journal such as Pediatrics chose to publish such a flawed study calls into question the integrity of such journals, as well. But don't expect the changes that are necessary to ensure fair and credible medical studies and reporting to occur in-house. It simply will not happen so long as Big Pharma's powerful influences continue to hold sway.]


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