If you do a Google search for SafeMinds the link you get says “SafeMinds Autism Mercury Thimerosal”. SafeMinds considers itself to be a part of the “Autism Collaboration” (which, as far as I can tell, is the group that is supporting Andrew Wakefield now that he has lost his job with Thoughful House). A member of SafeMinds holds a chair on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
So I think it safe to say that they pitch themselves as an autism charity. If you were to donate, say, $1,560, would you expect some or all of that money to go towards something that might help the autism community?
Well, if you had paid for the the Pass the Popcorn but HOLD THE MERCURY! Safeminds Theatre PSA Campaign that SafeMinds recently put on, you would be mistaken. The campaign was an effort to raise money to put this public service announcement (PSA) into theaters this week.
You can find details, where else, on the Age of Autism blog. If you go there, you will see that three people donated at the $1,560 level, each such donation would put the PSA on 25 screens all week in New York or Los Angeles. Many others donated at lower levels.
The Age of Autism had another fund-raiser recently. That story was met with skepticism even though it was, I have been told, supported by Andrew Wakefield himself. The fundraiser was for legal aide for an autism family. So far, about $1800: enough to put the PSA on a little more than 25 screens. None of the prominent “editors” of the Age of Autism blog came forward in support.
SafeMinds. Age of Autism. At least you know what their priorities are. Autism isn’t number 1, vaccines are.
One might respond that to SafeMinds (and Age of Autism), vaccines and autism are not separate issues. They still subscribe to the idea that thimerosal in vaccines caused an autism epidemic. That by preventing thimerosal containing vaccines being given to infants and pregnant women is, in their view, preventing autism.
To that I answer: why spend money putting the PSA on screens in Los Angeles? In 2006, California law prohibited administering thimerosal containing vaccines to children under 3 and to women who are pregnant. Yeah, they are warning pregnant women and parents of young children against—something they aren’t going to get anyway. But that doesn’t stop SafeMinds from putting an image of a syringe next to big puddles of mercury in front of families.