The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recently revealed, as a result of oversight requests by Congress, a research paper written by Thomas Verstraeten, MD titled “Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first month of life” that documents statistically significant adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. The announcement of yet another thimerosal paper that was written by CDC officials, but not publicly made available until now, is sending ripples throughout the autism community and elsewhere.
According to the newly released document, CDC epidemiologic surveillance officers utilized the Vaccine Safety Datalink (a large linked database from four health maintenance organizations in Washington, Oregon, and California) containing demographic, medical and immunization data on over 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997 to conduct the investigation. The data was categorized according to cumulative exposure to ethylmercury (thimerosal) after the first month of life and the subsequent risk of the infant developing degenerative, neurologic or renal disorders. In the paper the authors found an elevated relative risk (RR) for the following disorders: Autism 7.6, nonorganic sleep disorders 5.0 and speech disorders 2.1. In a court of law, a relative risk of 2.0 typically implies cause and effect.
The newly released document mirrors an earlier analysis obtained by SafeMinds through a Freedom of information act request filed in early 2000. This is when SafeMinds obtained hundreds of emails, minutes to the now famous Simpsonwood meeting and the “Generation Zero” data, the first computerized run of the Vaccine Safety Datalink investigation into thimerosal containing vaccines and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.
This early run of the data occurred prior to the CDC changing the entrance criteria for the study making it mandatory that all children in the study to have received at least two polio vaccines the first year of life as a proxy for being fully vaccinated. Altering the entrance criteria by adding this new requirement essentially removed the control group of infants who had not been vaccinated. This would be the same as studying the incidence of lung cancer in two pack a day smokers and a three pack a day smokers and not including any non-smokers.
According to personal communications with Dr. Verstraeten and FOIA emails, this alteration in the entrance criteria was done after CDC saw the results where exposure to thimerosal resulted in numerous statistically significant detrimental outcomes, such as the ones reported in the newly released document. The findings were communicated among the researchers by Dr. Verstraeten via an email titled “It just won’t go away” referring to the associations between thimerosal exposure and adverse outcomes. View FOIA e-mail string here.
In subsequent presentations and publications of the data the authors never reported the fact they altered the initial entrance criteria after seeing these highly significant results. For a complete analysis of the numerous manipulations and alterations of the VSD data please see the SafeMinds analysis of all the VSD data.
SafeMinds is committed to the removal of mercury (thimerosal) from all vaccines and medications globally and continues to seek an in depth investigations into the CDC thimerosal research and justice for those injured.