Last week in hundreds of written news articles, television segments and talk radio shows we heard that all the "scientific evidence" supports the claim that thimerosal does not cause autism. This week that evidence will finally be presented. Now, will anyone from the mainstream media be paying attention?

If they are they will soon learn that only one of these studies was done in the United States. Why does this matter? While studies done in Denmark and Sweden only involved the use of 3 mercury containing vaccines, kids in the U.S. received 11. In addition, children in these countries did not receive a thimerosal containing vaccine at birth to protect them against the sexually transmitted disease Hepatitis B. So even if these studies in Europe were well designed, they do not reflect what happened in the U.S. We will learn that the CDC researchers had to re-evaluate their data 4 times before they got the conclusion they were looking for. What's more disturbing, the data this study is based on is from the taxpayer owned Vaccine Safety Datalink. The parents attorneys have been denied access to this raw data which would settle this dispute once and for all.

After this will be the May, 2004 Institute of Medicine position paper which was supposed to end this debate. We will learn that the CDC commissioned the the IOM to do this study and from e-mails obtained through the FOIA, we will learn that the CDC told them what conclusion they wanted. It also will be mentioned that the IOM ignored all the toxicological data presented at the February, 2004 hearing which contradicted their pre-determined conclusion. It will also be disclosed that the IOM's expert panel did not include a single toxicologist. Everyone on the panel had connections with the vaccine program.

Next up will be the study from Denmark. Denmark banned thimerosal in 1992 after their health authorities realized how much mercury kids were being injected with. As I mentioned earlier, kids from Denmark received only a third of the number of thimerosal containing vaccines as kids in the U.S. In the years prior to the banning of thimerosal the researchers only counted autistic inpatients. We will learn that in 1995 the researchers started counting autistic outpatients in addition to inpatients. Since outpatients outnumber inpatients by a factor of 13:1, one would expect a minimum increase in cases of autism of at least 13 fold. The conclusion of this study is that rates of autism went up after thimerosal was removed. I wonder why!

We're sure to hear form the Canadian psychiatrist who appears regularly as an expert witness testifying on behalf of the safety of thimerosal. Wonder if he'll read from the Material Safety Data Sheet that accompanies this product. You know, the one that says mercury (thimerosal) causes "mild to severe mental retardation in children". He'll be citing his own studies. One of his psychiatric studies examined mercury in the blood and hair of autistic patents. If you don't want to find something, look where it's not. The U.K. will weigh in with another statistical study. In this one 3/4 of the original subjects were deemed outliers due to low birth weight or other medical factors. Only the healthiest of the healthy remained in the study. This paper concluded that kids injected with mercury actually had higher IQ's. Oh yeah, the U.K. has also banned thimerosal containing vaccines.

Is this all they got? We'll finally find out. We constantly hear that we should not waste any more time and money on studying the thimerosal/autism link. I'm still waiting for the first study which tests the safety of thimerosal.

About the Author: Michael Wagnitz has over 20 years experience evaluating materials for toxic metals. He currently works as a chemist in the toxicology section of a public health lab evaluating biological samples for lead and mercury.