For decades, half of all childhood vaccines contained a chemical preservative called Thimerosal. Thimerosal is made from mercury, one of the most poisonous substances on Earth. Recently two investigative stories from WFAA a television station fromClick to return to the home page Dallas - Fort Worth Texas, reported that government regulators and some pharmaceutical companies knew of the dangers, but never told the public. The reports dated 5-21-2002 and 6-20-2002 highlighted the issue and suggested that children were harmed needlessly for decades.
The WFAA report stated that before the 1990s, 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism. But in the past decade, as the government has increased the number of mandatory vaccines, some recent studies suggest the rate of autism has risen to 1 in about 250 children. One of the stories highlighted the story of Jac Counter who was born normal and after numerous vaccinations became autistic. Upon testing it was found that the levels of mercury in his system were, "off the chart". His father, father Joe Counter said, "It's not that any one shot (did it)." "The Thimerosal or the mercury in one of my son's vaccinations - well, he didn't get one shot, he got 30 shots or whatever, or however many he got. And it was the cumulative effect that, at some point, his body said, 'Stop it, I can't take this any more.'"
In response to this and other reports of such problems, Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the Committee on Government Reform initiated a congressional hearing into this subject and issued a statement called "The Status of Research into Vaccine Safety and Autism." In his June 19, 2002 paper he stated, "I might have been like many of the officials within the public health community – denying a connection - had I not witnessed this tragedy in my own family. I might not have believed the reports from parents like Scott and Laura Bono, Jeff Sell, Jeff and Shelly Segal, and Ginger Brown, who came to me with pictures, videos and medical records. I might have been like so many pediatricians who discounted the correlation between vaccination and the onset of fever, crying, and behavioral changes. Because both of my grandchildren suffered adverse reactions to vaccines, I could not ignore the parent's plea for help. I could not ignore their evidence." He went on to recall his personal experiences by saying, "My only grandson became autistic right before my eyes – shortly after receiving his federally recommended and state-mandated vaccines. Without a full explanation of what was in the shots being given, my talkative, playful, outgoing healthy grandson Christian was subjected to very high levels of mercury through his vaccines. He also received the MMR vaccine. Within a few days he was showing signs of autism."
On of the most heated parts of the congressional hearing came when Congressman Burton was questioning the government health officials about what they knew of the dangers and when. "You mean to tell me that since 1929, we've been using Thimerosal," Congressman Dan Burton (R-Indiana) said to the officials, "and the only test that you know of is from 1929, and every one of those people had meningitis, and they all died?" As a result Burton has proposed bringing criminal charges if it's proven the government agencies were involved in a cover-up. "Look, I don't think it makes any difference whether it's a private company or a government agency," Burton said. "If they know they're harming somebody and they continue to let it happen, then they should be held accountable."
The WFAA story went on to report on Dr. Jane Siegel, a professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern in Dallas. The report noted that for the past five years, Dr. Siegel sat on the government vaccine committee that decides which vaccines are mandatory for children. Her comments were, "I believe there is no data thus far that's been looked at to prove that there's a connection, that there's a causative relationship," Siegel said. However, the investigative team provided a report that showed that just two years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did conduct a study, which showed that three-month-old babies exposed to just 63 micrograms of mercury were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop autism.
The story noted that "under pressure from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC, pharmaceutical companies agreed to stop manufacturing vaccines containing Thimerosal in March 2001. But while production may have ceased, vaccine vials already containing Thimerosal were not recalled."