Grant the anti-childhood vaccine fanatics this; they are dogged. No amount of data and no number of studies from any array of sources will sway them from their beliefs – or claimed beliefs – that thimerosal, a mercury-containing vaccine preservative once used in many such injections, is causing the so-called “autism epidemic.”
Therefore a California Department of Public Health study in the current Archives of General Psychiatry hasn’t either. Nevertheless, for the rest of us there are two valuable lessons. First, the lack of a thimerosal connection to the developmental disorder has once again been reaffirmed. And second, those fanatics really and truly are fanatical – as a British Medical Journal book reviewer put it, an “angry and paranoid universe.”
These people operate over 150 anti-vaccine web sites that claim not only a thimerosal-vaccine connection but a Massive World Wide Conspiracy to cover up of the alleged link. They are often hateful people who have sent death threats to Public Health Service officials who subsequently quit their jobs in fear.
As a precautionary measure – surely influenced by the anti-vaccinationists – thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines as of March 2001 (except flu shots, which contain a trace amount.) The angry paranoids and those who make a living catering to them confidently declared that soon the California data would show a dramatic drop in diagnoses.
Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .
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