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Genetics Journal Thimerosal/Autism Study the 'Best Science Drug,Company Money Can Buy'

Critique of Industry-Funded Immune Globulin Study Uncovers Sample Manipulation, Design Flaws

NIXA, Mo., June 26, 2007 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An analysis released today critically examined a recent industry-sponsored study ruling out a link between autism and Rh immune globulin (RhIg) injections, some of which contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. Besides extensive design flaws, the analysis uncovered manipulation of the study sample, so that earlier data revealing a positive autism-RhIg association was concealed.

"This study is just another example of the pharmaceutical industry's corruption of research to suit its own purposes," according to National Autism Association president and parent Wendy Fournier. "They back the study designs that give the desired results of no harm."

Johnson & Johnson, parent company of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, which manufactures the once mercury-sterilized RhIg shot RhoGAM, funded the study. It was published in the May 2007 American Journal of Medical Genetics (AJMG) by Judith H. Miles and T. Nicole Takahashi of the University of Missouri.

A University press release entitled, "Study Finds No Link Between Autism and Thimerosal in Vaccines" suggested deliberate deception as immune globulins are not vaccines. J & J's involvement in the study was not disclosed in the press release, and J&J's role as the parent of Ortho and the largest manufacturer of mercury-containing RhIg were not communicated in the published paper. Dr. Miles has served as a paid consultant in autism-related litigation involving RhIg, which was also not divulged.

The critical analysis, conducted by the nonprofit research organization SafeMinds, examined earlier data from a 2005 poster presentation of the Miles and Takahashi research. They found that between the 2005 and 2007 versions, the control groups changed and major portions of the original autism samp
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