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

le were removed. Calculations based on the original data indicate that children with autism "were 71% more likely to have been exposed to RhIg in utero than their non-ASD siblings," according to the SafeMinds analysis.

NAA's Fournier points out that the RhIg study fits a recurring pattern for thimerosal research with drug company/researcher ties. Manipulation of data to reach a desired conclusion was seen in CDC studies conducted in 2000 showing a relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and a range of adverse neurological effects including autism. The data was manipulated to lower the relative risk factor before publication in the journal Pediatrics in 2004. Lead investigator Dr. Thomas Verstraeten left the CDC to work for vaccine maker Glaxo-Smith-Kline in 2001 while the data alterations were ongoing, but his employment was not disclosed by the journal. Likewise, Dr. Michael Pichichero, an Eli Lilly-funded researcher and holder of numerous vaccine patents, tried to clear thimerosal as harmful by conducting a blood mercury evaluation after infant vaccination which missed peak blood levels, had a sample size too small to detect susceptible subgroups, and failed to address implications of the findings for long term mercury deposition in the brain. His industry ties were not disclosed by the journal, The Lancet.

"While this latest RhIg effort is the best science drug money can buy," points out Ms. Fournier, "NAA feels that the public and families with autism deserve better quality studies. This is a critical product safety issue." RhIg is given to approximately 15% of all pregnant women.

To read the entire analysis, go to http://www.safeminds.org. For more about autism, visit http://www.nationalautism.org.

Contacts:

Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 401-632-6452

Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI) 401-632-7523<
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