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U.S. Department of State Urged to Support Ban of Mercury in Vaccines

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CoMeD – On Thursday, August 18, 2011, scientists and advocates from the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD) met with officials from the United States (U.S.) Department of State and other government agencies.  This meeting discussed the inclusion of pharmaceuticals in the upcoming treaty negotiations in Nairobi, Kenya about a global treaty on mercury being developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  CoMeD had previously expressed its gratitude to see pharmaceuticals listed in "Annex C (Mercury-added product not allowed)" of the latest draft of the proposed treaty.

CoMeD, and the international coalition it leads, provided a compendium of the latest evidence for the serious danger represented by the on-going use of mercury in medicine, especially Thimerosal (49.6% mercury by weight) in vaccines as well as the continuing use of mercury-silver-amalgam fillings in dentistry.  Thimerosal, still used as a vaccine preservative and in-process sterilizing agent, is an unnecessary component in several vaccines, including influenza, and a sometimes-undisclosed component in other drugs.  Its use has been repeatedly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer, birth defects and miscarriage.  Those harmed most by Thimerosal in vaccines are the unborn and the newborn.  Finally, CoMeD explained the feasibility of using 2-phenoxyethanol, a much less toxic, non-bioaccumulative, cost-effective alternative to Thimerosal.

Members of CoMeD declared that, in terms of 21st Century science, medicine, law, and ethics, mercury-based medicines and products are clearly unnecessary bioaccumulative toxic materials, and, as such, they should be immediately banned for the sake of the public health.  CoMeD also explained that, while the U.S. Department of State may lack the power to protect the American public by directly making pharmaceuticals mercury-free, it is within the diplomatic power of the U.S. Department of State to recommend that, by treaty, all pharmaceuticals should be mercury-free.

In 1999, the U.S. Public Health Service and American Academy of Pediatrics called for Thimerosal to be removed from U.S. Thimerosal-preserved vaccines "as soon as possible".  Since then, Thimerosal has been removed from most of the previously Thimerosal-preserved, U.S. vaccines.  Dr. Mark Geier of CoMeD challenged the current inequities in the vaccines provided: "Children around the world, no matter their place of birth or their income level, deserve safe mercury-free vaccines.  The practice of providing mercury-reduced and mercury-free vaccines to developed countries while insisting that developing nations take mercury-preserved ones is wrong."

SOURCE Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD)
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