What Am I Missing?

13 Oct

JB Handley, golden boy of Generation Rescue recently spoke to another newspaper. I thought the reporter did a very good job of showing both sides of the issue (Kirby, Olmsted take note).

I did however, have to read the article a few times until it sunk in. These were the passages that confused me.

Jamie’s moods progress fluidly from joy to concentration to panic. He has full run of his parents’ sprawling home, a hypoallergenic realm with wool carpets, insulation made from blue jeans and HEPA filters to clean the air.

One afternoon this summer, Jamie dragged his father by the finger to a mattress in the middle of the basement floor and, holding onto both of his hands, began jumping up and down, lofting higher and higher with each leap. The game was an autistic obsession. The blond boy sprang up again and again, never tiring, his face frozen in an expression of total joy.

Jamie eventually moved from the mattress to his train set, another obsession, and later to the table, where he covered reams of paper with spiraling circles, using his teeth to uncap each pen in the box until all the lids and pens lay on the floor where he cast them aside. All the while, he didn’t speak a word.

Three months later, Jamie had learned to point at things he wanted and to wave goodbye. He still screamed shrilly, ran back and forth, and didn’t speak in front of a reporter. His parents have augmented the biomedical regimen with other treatments—speech and occupational therapy and applied behavioral analysis, an intensive program that teaches autistic children to mimic “normal” behaviors, like waving goodbye.

So what am I confused about? Well, Jamie sounds exactly like my child. She does all the things Jamie is listed as doing above. In fact, in terms of her progress, she sounds ‘further along’ than Jamie. She has a few words now and the beginnings of a sentence or two although of course, like Jamie she has setbacks and meltdowns.

In fact the only appreciable difference between them as far as I can tell is that JB and Lisa chelate Jamie and we don’t chelate our daughter.

As I say, I’m totally confused. I thought chelation was supposed to ‘cure’ or ‘reverse’ autism? I was expecting to read about a Son-Rise style reversal where Jamie is verbal, engages constantly with the reporter etc. What I’m reading here is the normal progression of an autistic child. Now, granted I don’t know the exact program that Jamie is on but I know he must’ve been on it for a few months now. I’m also aware that he’s on TD DMPS. Read into that what you will.

I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit shocked by this. I was curious as to what a ‘recovered’ autistic child would be like and now it seems I have my answer – they’re just like an autistic child but without the sometimes painful comorbidities. If the Handley’s have removed those painful comorbidities then they’re to be congratulated. I am, however, at a loss to explain their statement that:

evidence that their cure is working can be seen in Jamie’s behavior

Cure for what? Mercury poisoning? Possibly. Autism? I really don’t think so. I didn’t before but I’m even less convinced after reading this.

139 Responses to “What Am I Missing?”

  1. Kev November 7, 2005 at 10:28 #

    _”The movie would be based upon the book Evidence of Harm, hardly a work of fiction 🙂 “_

    I didn’t say the book was a work of fiction, I said the film would be. It can’t possibly be otherwise unless all the protagonists will be playing themselves. ‘Based upon’ does not equal ‘the same as’.

    _”Rough translation: Cut the crap, respondent . I’m the boss here and your not looking too good._”

    You should’ve kept reading Sue. The Master is indeed being as lenient as he possibly can and has broken all past precedents for this type of action – however what the court is saying is that sooner or later the Omnibus case will need to start coughing up some evidence and he’s spelling out a timetable for them to do so. And when I say evidence Sue, I mean scientific evidence. Something that is in extremely short supply on your side of the debate. He’s also making it plain that he knows there are scientific studies underway that cover the issues involved and that he’ll be expecting no more delay based on the excuse that the science hasn’t been done yet.

    _”Where am I questioning the word of the scientist? Please advise. I would be very interested in hearing what Mr. Hawking had to say about thimerosal in vaccines…”_

    Oh dear Sue I thought the reference to ‘rhetorical device’ would be enough to spare your blushes. I guess not. Here’s the …’for Dummies’ guide to English usage:

    Sometimes when a person wants to make a wider point they use famous figures who may _or may not be_ connected to the case they’re arguing but who are representatives of their whole field. You can’t get much more famous than Tom Cruise in the world of Hollywood nor Stephen Hawking in Science. An example: when someone is being questioned by someone else, if they feel they’re being questioned too heavily they might say: “I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition!”

    It may amaze you to learn that the Spanish Inquisition _arent’ actually there_ when people say these things – they are one example of a rhetorical device.

    _”Again Kev, I am looking to see where you went so terribly wrong. Last August you believed that your daughter’s Autism was triggered by her vaccines and you were convinced that thimerosal needed to be fully investigated. What changed since then? Do tell._”

    You really should keep reading Sue. I’ve said this so many times its getting boring: I have no problem with the idea that autism _may_ be _triggered_ be an environmental agent (triggered is not the same as caused). What I think though is that thiomersal in vaccines is not that trigger. I think that because of two things. My own personal experience and the weight of scientific knowledge on the subject.

    I _still_ have no issue with thiomersal being removed from vaccines and as I’ve said countless times, I’m _glad_ its not in there anymore. The issue though is quite simple: does (or did) thiomersal in vaccines cause autism? The answer is no.

    I suspect the bit you’re interested in is the ‘my own personal experience’ bit so I’ll point you to two posts of mine that detail why I don’t discuss Megan publicly any more.

    HN – don’t worry about the limit, put in as many as you need :o) all that’ll happen is it’ll get modded and then I’ll release it.

  2. Sue M. November 7, 2005 at 16:42 #

    Oh Kev –

    Kev wrote:
    “I didn’t say the book was a work of fiction, I said the film would be. It can’t possibly be otherwise unless all the protagonists will be playing themselves. ‘Based upon’ does not equal ‘the same as’.”

    – What is your point here? I will be happy if the movie BASED UPON Evidence of Harm goes down in history similar to Schindler’s List. I can assume that you could see the correlation between the two?

    Kev wrote:
    “Oh dear Sue I thought the reference to ‘rhetorical device’ would be enough to spare your blushes”.

    – I can assure you that I am not blushing. I will admit after your FIRST reference (way back) to Mr. Hawking, I missed your “rhetorical device”. I actually thought that you had finally found a scientist that I could take a look at in regards to his opinions about thimerosal in vaccines. As I stated previously, it took me about 5 seconds to realize that Mr. Hawking had no comment on this topic… So what you see after that, is something called sarcasm (look it up). I am still interested in hearing what Mr. Hawking would have to say about thimerosal in vaccines. If he is such a good scientist then he’ll figure it out… 1 + 1 = 2 ….

    Kev wrote:
    ” What I think though is that thiomersal in vaccines is not that trigger. I think that because of two things. My own personal experience and the weight of scientific knowledge on the subject”.

    – I had previously read your posts about why you are keeping your daughters information private from now on. I can understand that and take no issue. However, you must agree that it lessens the weight of your arguments. A year ago, you believed x. Today you believe Y. We really have NO IDEA how you got from x to y. It must have been some pretty heavy duty personal experience or some really compelling scientific evidence (do tell). Now, I suppose that it is possible that you really had no information on thimerosal back in Aug. of 2004 — maybe you were very new to the controversy. If that’s the case then I would say that you have a lot of time to make up. Keep plugging away, you’ll get there soon.

    Kev wrote:
    “I still have no issue with thiomersal being removed from vaccines and as I’ve said countless times, I’m glad it’s not in there anymore. The issue though is quite simple: does (or did) thiomersal in vaccines cause autism? The answer is no”.

    – How about replacing ’cause’ with ‘trigger’ and add ‘to genetically susceptible children’. Making the argument “Does (or did) thimerosal in vaccines trigger autism in genetically susceptible children”? Does that change your view at all? With that change being made, I don’t see how you can be so sure as to say the answer is no. As far as I can see, this issue is not yet resolved. Are you able to predict the future?

    -Sue

  3. Sue M. November 7, 2005 at 17:06 #

    HN-
    Have you come up with any “experts” who talk about the immune system dysfunction and GI problems of MANY ASD children? Still waiting. I’m pretty sure that I’ll continue to wait….

    As for your question about the amount of thimerosal that a child born after 2001 would receive via vaccinations. First, you need to look at the expiration dates of the vaccines given (some thimerosal containing vaccines didn’t expire until 2003). I hope that you are not looking at the approval dates on the FDA website that you referenced as the date that thimerosal was actually removed completely from the vaccine. Are you? That would be foolish. Then, of course, you would need to add in any (or most) flu vaccines that the child received. Then add in any of the “trace” amounts the child received in their vaccinations. Then, of course, any additional vaccines that the mother may have had while pregnant with the child (ie flu vaccination). So, I am sorry but I am unable to answer that question accurately without further input from you.

    You wrote:
    “I am still wondering what vaccine is more dangerous than the actual disease”.

    — I thought that I kind of went over this before… you can go back to see previous posts. In addition, I will say — in my opinion, the flu vaccine … easily.

    -Sue

  4. HN November 7, 2005 at 18:15 #

    You still have not come up with any real references. I asked the question again because in your previous posts you NEVER answered it. You still are not answering the other question of how much thimerosal a kid born after 2001 had (here’s an idea, just list how much YOUR kid had… you should know exactly how much, right?) You also seem to have an irrational fear about a teenager getting a MICRO amount of thimerosal in a flu vaccine, neglecting the real fact that he is in a specific group with a very severe heart condition. Check out http://www.familiesfightingflu.com/ .

    You are not looking at the real risks.

    It reminds of the time when someone at work was telling us how organic food was absolutely necesary, because the regular produce stuff was dangerous (by the way there is no such thing as inorganic vegitables, that is just silly) — while at the same time puffing away at her cigarette.

    Try again… and try to remember how to do the research and post real references.

    Again, here is the quicky lesson on how to research and post URL’s… First go to the webpage (usually starting at a reliable one like http://www.medlineplus.gov or http://www.pubmed.gov or http://scholar.google.com, http://www.medscape.com is also good but you need to be registered, which is free ). Do a search using the relevant words (thimerosal, vaccines, autism, etc).

    Sometimes I use http://news.google.com to find relevant articles. It was through that site that I found this very interesting article on chelation for autism:
    http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CAE25.htm

    When you find an article that is relevant and makes a point… Select in the address window the URL (you select by holding down the left button on the mouse and then moving the mouse over all the text you wish to select, then release the left mouse button), then click “CTRL-C” (That means you hold down the CTRL button which is located on the same row as the space bar AND the “C” at the same time). Go to the comment box and the click “CTRL-V” (same thing, hold down the “CTRL” key and the letter “V’ at the same time). The selected text, which should be the URL of the reference, should be in the comment box. That saves you from having to hand type in the URL and the relevant quotes (by the way, the quote you had from Mark Geier in the “Sordid History” of pertussis was wrong, I found the paper, you mistyped it completely).

    Do you understand that? If not, then head on down to the bookstore and pick up a book like this:
    http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesTitle/productCd-0764539418,subcat-OS.html

    You’ll notice that I have used several URL’s in my posts with relevant information. Including the one which listed the reason and history of thimerosal, and the studies that have shown that there NO reason to connect the MICRO amounts to autism.

    If you have information to the contrary, please present it. And not just quotes from some random person. You need to post the actual title of the paper, the author, the journal, the date and the URL link to either the PubMed index or the journal website.

  5. clone3g November 7, 2005 at 19:49 #

    Sue wrote: How about replacing ‘cause’ with ‘trigger’ and add ‘to genetically susceptible children’.

    Could you please, please tell us the genetic susceptibility you keep talking about?

    Sue wrote: Have you come up with any “experts” who talk about the immune system dysfunction and GI problems of MANY ASD children? Still waiting. I’m pretty sure that I’ll continue to wait….

    Sue, as I’ve pointed out before, there are more real scientists investigating these issues in children with autism than there are DAN! doctors. No matter what you hear at those DAN! conferences, they aren’t at the bleeding edge of research. Many of them are quick to embrace the latest research and use it to support their own ideas but there’s a vast chasm between doing research and agreeing with it. I wonder why the JHU group didn’t call on any of the DAN! Scientists when they set out to demonstrate neuroglial activation. Maybe McCandless was busy at the Volcano Sex retreat.

    What is your thing with “My experts” and “Your experts?”
    How about good science and bad science? Can you tell the difference? Chin up, most juries can’t either.

    It’s not enough to say that mercury causes immune dysfunction or GI problems. I can’t think of a single substance that doesn’t at some level. I don’t think your experts will get up in court and say “It just does! It’s mercury, the second most toxic substance…..”

    So I’ll pin you down on this. How does mercury cause these problems at relevant levels and why can’t we simulate this in lab animals or measure these things in autistic children? Unless you can answer these questions you really shouldn’t lean on the immune and GI points for your argument. I don’t know how long you’ve been at this but your experts have only recently embraced immune dysfunction as part of autism. The mercury crowd dismissed the immune research as irrelevant years ago but now they realize they have to keep up with the times. Anytime you want to present a single (that means 1) bit of DAN! Science for argument feel free. But please be specific and try to avoid general statements like “genetic susceptibility” while shouting that we can’t have a genetic epidemic. From all we’ve read from you thus far, this is where you’ll want to change the subject.

    FYI, There’s a difference between making an argument and arguing.

  6. Sue M. November 7, 2005 at 19:55 #

    Hey HN-

    I don’t NEED to do anything. You are frankly, a bore. The fact that I now know that you’re the shortest person in your family, that your son is in the 11th grade and 200+ pounds, that he has a genetic heart condition, that he has to have a prophylactic antibiotics before having his teeth cleaned, the fact that you work with a smoker who promotes organic food, etc… is all irrelevant to me. I don’t care.

    For the record, when you post link after link after link of nonsense (Fumento, pathguy, Ratbags, Skeptico) you lose people very quickly. It dilutes your whole argument. Stick to your most relevant points and link them… Do not overdo it… it is annoying. Even ask your friends 🙂 …

    Again, bad reading comprehension, HN… Where did I say that the quote referenced by Mark Geier was from the “Sordid History” paper? I didn’t. I would suggest that you always re-read my posts before commenting on them, you just keep screwing up. Any other comments on the “Sordid History” paper other than not finding the quote that I never attributed to that paper?

    -Sue

  7. Sue M. November 8, 2005 at 00:32 #

    Clown (aka Clone)
    I think that you may have made your first good point. That point being that there is a difference between making an argument and arguing. I admit that at times I may cross that line. It is difficult when you are surrounded by ignorance 🙂 … It is on that note, that I will move on from this for now. Frankly, I got to thinking… Why am I wasting so much time on about 10 people? Silly me.

    -Sue

  8. HN November 8, 2005 at 03:55 #

    _Again, bad reading comprehension, HN… Where did I say that the quote referenced by Mark Geier was from the “Sordid History” paper? I didn’t. I would suggest that you always re-read my posts before commenting on them, you just keep screwing up. Any other comments on the “Sordid History” paper other than not finding the quote that I never attributed to that paper?_

    Hmmm… maybe you did not. You actually alluded to it, you presented a quote without indicating WHERE it came from. You wrote lots of quotes without showing WHERE they came from, not even the title of the paper or book…

    For all we know, you just made them up.

    Which is pretty much where most of the “science” of Buttar, Blaxill, Binstock, Wakefield, Geier, Olmsted, Kirby, Haley, Holmes, Redwood, Bernard, Rimland, Deth, Karzinal, Yazbek, Cutler, Bradstreet, McCandless, Enayati, Fudenberg, Gallup and Roger comes from. Their imaginations… if the data does not fit their “facts”, they just change the data… or change the meaning in the classic hair mercury paper torn apart at:
    http://photoninthedarkness.blogspot.com/2005/07/perfect-example-of-how-not-to-do-study.html

    If you have evidence that any of the above are real biochemists without a financial link to some kind of “cure”… please present it. Please provide all references.

    In the mean time there is this analysis of many of the websites about vaccination on the web:
    http://www.jmir.org/2005/2/e17/

  9. Kev November 9, 2005 at 13:59 #

    _”What is your point here? I will be happy if the movie BASED UPON Evidence of Harm goes down in history similar to Schindler’s List.”_

    _”So what you see after that, is something called sarcasm (look it up).”_

    Sarcasm? Really? Well, practice makes perfect I guess.

    _”I am still interested in hearing what Mr. Hawking would have to say about thimerosal in vaccines. If he is such a good scientist then he’ll figure it out… 1 + 1 = 2…”_

    You keep saying that Sue and I’m still not sure what you mean by it. The facts are that there is no science that supports a causative link between thiomersal and autism – if you think there is, please post the link to the study. Any decent scientist looks for science that is transparent and replicable. Something that the Geiers, Buttar and the various other people that constitute science on that side of the debate are sadly incapable of producing.

    _”I had previously read your posts about why you are keeping your daughters information private from now on. I can understand that and take no issue. However, you must agree that it lessens the weight of your arguments.”_

    I can see that it lessesn the weight of my ability to prove my thinking in regard to my daughter. It in no way lessens the weight of the peer reviewed science that also underpins my beliefs.

    _”A year ago, you believed x. Today you believe Y. We really have NO IDEA how you got from x to y. It must have been some pretty heavy duty personal experience or some really compelling scientific evidence (do tell).”_

    Both. And no, I don’t tell. Shortly after posting on the EoH maillist several people followed me back here. One of them took it upon himself to post comments on every post he could find where Megan was discussed. One of the emails this person sent me told me to have ‘your retard daughter put down’. The fact is Sue, as can be seen from the post where John Best Jr makes an appearance, there are some very disturbed people on your side of the debate. I have no inclination to expose anything about Megan to them. I’m not even happy about mentioning her anymore but that is next to impossible.

    _”How about replacing ‘cause’ with ‘trigger’ and add ‘to genetically susceptible children’. Making the argument “Does (or did) thimerosal in vaccines trigger autism in genetically susceptible children”? Does that change your view at all?”_

    Two things. Firstly, I entered this debate after reading the crap on the Generation Rescue website. They don’t say ‘trigger’ they say ‘mercury poisoning is autism’. When they change their tone I’ll change mine.

    Secondly, what is this genetic susceptibility? Where is it identified? Which peer reviewed paper has discussed it? Its just another supposition with nothing to back it up. The whole of the mercury = autism argument is the same. there’s nothing of any substance to back it up.

    If mercury causes autism why aren’t there millions more autisitc people? yeah – genetic susceptibility. A case unmade.

    If mercury causes autism then why does *the science and the numbers* refute the idea of an autism epidemic? The best answer I’ve heard from those on your side of the debate to this question is that they know lots of people with autistic kids. How reliable. Another case unmade.

    If mercury causes autism then why does it affect boys in 75% more cases than girls? Don’t tell me – testosterone affects the ability to blah blah blah…Yet another case unmade.

    If mercury causes autism then why are the symptoms of mercury poisoning and autism almost nothing alike? Except when you read that Bernard et al ‘paper’. One more case unmade.

    Here’s the bottom line Sue – you see autism as a bad thing to be eradicated and you want it gone from your kids. There’s absolutely nothing I can say that would sway you from that opinion. You choose belief. I choose evidence.

  10. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 15:25 #

    Ok, apparently HN and Kev want to continue so I will bite. To be honest, absolutely NOTHING else goes on here unless someone from “my side” posts so what the heck…
    Before I comment on the above two posts, I have one question for Kev. Have you read Evidence of Harm? If so, when? This is not a trick question. Your OPINION will not be lessened if you haven’t. I am just curious.

    -Sue

  11. Kev November 9, 2005 at 15:39 #

    _”To be honest, absolutely NOTHING else goes on here unless someone from “my side” posts so what the heck”_

    Nothing on this blog or nothing in this particular thread? If the former then you’re not looking hard enough, if the latter then yes, nothing goes on until someone responds.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve read large sections of EoH but not read the whole thing.

    Not sure why this stops you commenting on either mine or HN’s comments though…

  12. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 16:07 #

    Kev –

    It didn’t stop me from commenting on either of the posts. I was just curious and wanted to get it out of the way and not have it buried in another post that got lost 🙂 …

    I appreciate your honesty that you have not read EoH. After diligently going through the above post from HN which sent me to the Prometheus blog (more on this later) I went to his Part 1 of How NOT to do a Study… I saw the following comment from you. You wrote:

    “You know, I always thought Blaxill was a Doctor! Blimey”.

    This confused me a bit. I KNEW that anyone who actually read EoH would know for certain that Blaxill was NOT a doctor. It was made very clear – over and over again. So, I just wanted some clarification on this. It is always good to know your audience. Now, I could have this wrong. It could be possible that Blimey is some sort of sarcastic term for you (whereby you actually did know that Blaxill was not a doctor). If so, I’m sure that you will set me straight.

    As for this blog, I see that there are other posts, etc. I guess that my point was that until someone on “my side” comments it seems VERY quiet. I think that you would agree? This is not meant as a slight on your blog, it is just a fact. It is most interesting (to me at least) when the other viewpoint is addressed.

    -Sue

  13. Kev November 9, 2005 at 17:28 #

    _”This confused me a bit. I KNEW that anyone who actually read EoH would know for certain that Blaxill was NOT a doctor. It was made very clear – over and over again. So, I just wanted some clarification on this. It is always good to know your audience. Now, I could have this wrong. It could be possible that Blimey is some sort of sarcastic term for you (whereby you actually did know that Blaxill was not a doctor). If so, I’m sure that you will set me straight.”_

    Ha! No – ‘blimey’ is simply a British term of expressing surprise. The surprise stems from the fact that I’d got it into my head that he was a Doctor. I can’t remember reading any specific passages in EoH that say if he is or isn’t, but I can’t remember _not_ reading them either so….

    re: the blog – no offense taken. It fluctuates really. There’s definitely an upsurge when I talk about something dear to the heart of some of the people on either side of the debate and thats a mixed blessing – its good to get debate going and hear all sides but sometimes it gets openly abusive. I’ve only ever had to ban 2 people and close 2 threads but its still a pain.

    I tick over quite nicely on non-contraversial threads- comments are not always the best indicator of popularity. I know for example that I have over 150 readers via feedreaders such as Rojo, Gator, Bloglines etc but a lot of these people read the web dev stuff rather than the autism stuff.

  14. hollywoodjaded November 9, 2005 at 18:50 #

    Sue M. said:
    “Frankly, I got to thinking… Why am I wasting so much time on about 10 people? Silly me.”

    Hi, Sue: I am fairly sure there are more than ten readers following this exchange, fwiw. Actually, I have been wondering if you were going to reply clone3g’s query…

    “How does mercury cause these problems at relevant levels and why can’t we simulate this in lab animals or measure these things in autistic children?”

    Thanks.

  15. clone3g November 9, 2005 at 20:04 #

    Sue: Why am I wasting so much time on about 10 people? Silly me.

    Yeah, I know you’re holding out for the 12. Bye Sue ’em

    P.S. Please don’t call me clown. It hurts me deeply and I cry for days.

  16. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 21:26 #

    Hey Hollywood –

    It should be obvious as to why I don’t make Clone’s posts a priority. Look above and throughout this thread.

    As to your question about lab animals, etc. Look here:

    Click to access burbacher.pdf

    After reading that, you can read this summary of the study. Please note, that it is peer-reviewed:
    http://www.voiceoftheenvironment.org/heavymetal/article.php?id=461

    Then, of course there is the study done by Mady Hornig back in May of 2004. Have you read that one?

    -Sue

  17. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 21:34 #

    I actually prefer this analysis of the Burbacher study better:

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/293631/vaccine_additive_linked_to_autism/index.html?source=r_health

    -Sue

  18. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 21:52 #

    HN-

    My quote from Mark Geier came from here:

    http://www.generationrescue.org/quotes.html

    Read them all. There’s some good ones there.

    Now, HN, you wrote this:

    “Which is pretty much where most of the “science” of Buttar, Blaxill, Binstock, Wakefield, Geier, Olmsted, Kirby, Haley, Holmes, Redwood, Bernard, Rimland, Deth, Karzinal, Yazbek, Cutler, Bradstreet, McCandless, Enayati, Fudenberg, Gallup and Roger comes from. Their imaginations…”

    — Pretty vivid imaginations that ALL of these people have, isn’t it? They would also all have to work in unison to make sure that all their studies, arguments, personal stories about their kids, stories about the kids they are treating, etc. all match up to implicate Thimerosal… I would ask you, why? Why would each of them do that? If you are going to say that they EACH have something to gain from this — then I’m afraid that you will have to show me that.

    As for your link to the Prometheus blog… THAT is supposed to have “torn up” the classic hair mercury study. Apparently, we have VERY different views of torn apart. Really, try again. Who is “Prometheus” anyway. Other than some dude who posts here… hardly makes him an expert.

    -Sue

  19. clone3g November 9, 2005 at 22:07 #

    Sue, which part of the Burbacher study do you think simulates autism in humans? I realise the monkeys didn’t speak and weren’t toilet trained so maybe that fits your definition of autism but I missed the parts where they acted autistic and were cured through chelation. Likewise for Mady’s mice-capades.

    If you have read either study and you truly understand them, you should be able to explain in your own words without citing a news article “analysis”

    Are you one of those guests that hang around the front door after everyone has gone home? How many times are you going to say goodbye? Now run along or change the subject again. The party’s over. I’ll call you a cab.

  20. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 22:15 #

    Kev –
    You wrote:

    “Ha! No – ‘blimey’ is simply a British term of expressing surprise. The surprise stems from the fact that I’d got it into my head that he was a Doctor. I can’t remember reading any specific passages in EoH that say if he is or isn’t, but I can’t remember not reading them either so…”

    — It was quite clear from you post on the Prometheus blog that you had not read EoH. Mr. Blaxill is referenced 50 times in the book (starting on page 44 and the last reference is on page 414). I got that from the index of the book. It is made quite clear that he is not a doctor.

    My only point in pointing that out to you is that it surprises me to be honest. It seems that the main characters in the thimerosal/autism saga are referenced in the book and it is “their” story. You seem to want to disagree with the theory but you don’t even bother to read about what brought them to where they are today? Again, to me, it says alot about your actual desire to see both sides of the argument and analyze them.

    I know that if the government/CDC/FDA/AAP were to make a similar book or statement about the truth as they saw it in regards to this matter, “we” would read it word for word and try to get an understanding about their side. Ok, THEN we would destroy their argument but at least we would read it first…

    -Sue

  21. Sue M. November 9, 2005 at 22:30 #

    I’m sure that Clone will be devastated but above is another example of why I won’t answer Clone’s questions anymore. Yuck!

    -Sue

  22. clone3g November 9, 2005 at 23:48 #

    Anymore? You haven’t responded to any. Try that it vaccine court Sue. Yuck, yuck 🙂

  23. HN November 10, 2005 at 00:19 #

    I see Sue has FINALLY learned to post links.

    I hate to break it to you, but unfortunately it has been shown that the GR website is NOT a valid source of science information.

    There have been large scale studies that have shown over and over and over again that autism is not caused by vaccination, the real science points to genetics, and the increase to increased awareness:
    http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/159/1/37
    and
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15364187
    and
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/113/5/e472
    and
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14519711&dopt=Abstract
    and
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/112/3/604
    and more and more….

    If you have VALID evidence to the contrary, please present it… So far you have not. While you are looking for the valid evidence, try to find the answer to this question: “Which vaccine is more dangerous than the actual disease?”

  24. Kev November 10, 2005 at 11:03 #

    _”My only point in pointing that out to you is that it surprises me to be honest. It seems that the main characters in the thimerosal/autism saga are referenced in the book and it is “their” story. You seem to want to disagree with the theory but you don’t even bother to read about what brought them to where they are today? Again, to me, it says alot about your actual desire to see both sides of the argument and analyze them.”_

    Just as I was saddened by your desire to conduct the debate through Hollywood earlier, I am also saddened by your desire to see the Media conduct this debate. The story of EoH is the story of a minority of parents in North America. It is based on their *belief*. Belief that you share. Thats fine but what *I* go by is *science*. And the place to get science and an understanding of science is from scientists, not journalists.

    The thing that underpins all aspects of this debate is the quality of the science, not the anecdotes of Dan Olmsted or David Kirby or whomever stars and directs in the upcoming film. The science that underpins your side of the debate is very very shaky. Its conducted by people who have already reached conclusions and are working backwards from them. Thats not science, its propaganda. The science on that side of the debate has been shown to flawed, not replicable, not transparent, not peer reviewed and not even relevant in some cases.

    In short, this whole issue is only tangentially related to EoH.

    _”I know that if the government/CDC/FDA/AAP were to make a similar book or statement about the truth as they saw it in regards to this matter, “we” would read it word for word and try to get an understanding about their side. Ok, THEN we would destroy their argument but at least we would read it first…”_

    Well, again, thats up to you. Unfortunately, proper science is conducted not ‘in books’ but in peer reviewed science-based journals. To date, you have destroyed none of the science that underpins my position – in fact, you merely seem to be in denial about it as you’ve discussed none of it. You said earlier you’d answer HN and my points in a previous comment and I note we are still waiting. Again, thats up to you. As I said earlier, there’s nothing I could say that would make you change your mind as it is closed.

  25. Sue M. November 10, 2005 at 20:47 #

    HN-

    HN wrote:

    “I hate to break it to you, but unfortunately it has been shown that the GR website is NOT a valid source of science information”.

    — According to whom, HN? Your side. You need to do better than that.

    Let’s go through the studies that you link to above.

    1) Let me quote a section from the first study that you reference:

    “Although it is possible that unidentified environmental factors have contributed to an increase in autism, the timing of the increase suggests that it may be due to improved awareness, changes in diagnostic criteria, and availability of services, leading to identification of previously unrecognized young children with autism”.

    — Hardly a slam dunk for you. Notice, Although it is possible that unidentified ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS have contributed to an increase in autism, etc… Then they go on to say it MAY be due to improved awareness, etc… They are leaving the door wide open here. Therefore, it deserves much more research.

    2) Second study: MMR link denied.

    — Wait, aren’t we talking about thimerosal here? I do believe that the MMR/thimerosal issue goes hand in hand, but I wont’ go down that road right now — Let’s focus on thimerosal.

    3) The Genetics of Autism study.

    — This was originally received for publishing in 2002. That is old news in this saga. Not only that but did you check out two of the authors of this study? They were graduates of the class of 2004 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Looks like this was a Medical school paper that they wrote — I wonder what grade they received?

    4) Danish study.

    — Ok, so you didn’t read EoH either, did you? I can tell. Anyone who has read the book would know that anything associated with Hviid, Danish epidemiology studies, and the Statens Serum Institut cannot be trusted. Really. Here are a few quick reasons why.
    1) Hviid works (or worked) for the Statens Serum Institut. This is an instution similar to the CDC in the US. The Statens Serum Institut also manufactures vaccines. This is a huge conflict of interest.
    2) Did you know that the children in Denmark only received one thimerosal-containing vaccine (pertussis)? They received far less thimerosal than the children in the US. The Statens Serum Institut also stopped manufacturing the pertussis vaccine with thimerosal in 1992 — years before the US. To compare the two, is like comparing apples to oranges.
    3) The Danish had some very interesting ways to report the numbers of children with autism. I don’t have time to go over it with you but you SHOULD be able to find the information. Maybe you could go out and borrow EoH from the library.

    5) Another Flawed Danish study.

    — Surprise, surprise — It’s Denmark again. See above.

    HN wrote:

    “Which vaccine is more dangerous than the actual disease?”

    — You are starting to sound like a broken record here. I have answered this before. This will be the last time that I answer this question…. The answer: The flu vaccine….

    -Sue

  26. Sue M. November 10, 2005 at 20:54 #

    Kev –

    Kev wrote:
    “Thats fine but what I go by is science”.

    — What science, Kev? I went back through this blog and I haven’t seen your examples of science. Can you point them out to me? Before doing so, be sure to see my post above to HN. I hope that you weren’t talking about flawed epidemiology studies, too?

    Kev wrote:
    “You said earlier you’d answer HN and my points in a previous comment and I note we are still waiting”.

    — Really, what did I miss? Let me know. I would be happy to answer them.

    -Sue

  27. Kev November 10, 2005 at 21:21 #

    _”What science, Kev? I went back through this blog and I haven’t seen your examples of science. Can you point them out to me? Before doing so, be sure to see my post above to HN. I hope that you weren’t talking about flawed epidemiology studies, too?”_

    Then you need to go back and keep looking Sue. I note in your response to HN you refer to flawed studies. Again, thats your opinion to which your entitled but again, the _science_ doesn’t back you up.

    And I’m afraid its just not enough to attempt to refute (however badly) the science on this side of the debate – you need to start providing some of your own. Relying on pot-boilers written by journalists only gets you so far.

    _”Really, what did I miss? Let me know. I would be happy to answer them.”_

    I’ve asked you twice now to show me the peer reviewed study that demonstrates a causative link between thiomersal and autism. You’ve dodged it twice now. I’ll ask you for a third time.

    I’d also like to see the peer reviewed joural published study that shows how thiomersal favours males in 75% of cases.

    I’d also like to see the science that goes along with the assertion that there is an autism epidemic.

    Without these things, your theory is dead in the water.

    Autism has existed before thiomersal. Thats both accepted in open discussion and in peer reviewed journals.

    Current science shows that prevalence is high but stable. For your theory to hold water you need almost no autistics, followed by a massive and climbing increase in the 90’s, followed by a subsequent decrease someimte very very soon. And, sorry, contrary to what both David Kirby and Rick Rollens believe, the California numbers cannot be used to prove or disprove this point – thats according to California themselves.

    There you go, thats enough for you to get on with.

  28. Sue M. November 10, 2005 at 22:45 #

    Kev –

    What science are YOU talking about? I haven’t seen where YOU have posted any in this debate. By this debate, I mean this entry. I’m sorry if I don’t have time to go through each of your postings from long ago. I would also have to know if you had changed your opinion since the entry (remember Aug 2004)? You certainly don’t have to but it would help if I could answer specifically to your “science” as I did for HN.

    I hope that even you could see how the Danish studies are flawed. Let’s review: Lead scientist has a major conflict of interest. Children in Denmark given FAR less thimerosal than children in the US. “Interesting” ways of reporting cases of autism. I can only imagine the grief that I would get from you guys if I tried to pass that along as the SCIENCE on my side.

    You guys will be crying about “peer-reviewed” studies until you are blue in the face. It is so old. Then I give you a peer-reviewed study (Burbacher), it’s not good enough. It’s actually quite comical. Let me just do this for you. Go through all these studies and comment when applicable:

    http://www.generationrescue.org/evidence_reports.html

    This will be in the New York Times tomorrow:

    Click to access 051111.pdf

    – Sue

  29. Kev November 11, 2005 at 02:19 #

    _”What science are YOU talking about? I haven’t seen where YOU have posted any in this debate. By this debate, I mean this entry. I’m sorry if I don’t have time to go through each of your postings from long ago.”_

    Which is odd as you don’t seem to mind going through my archives when you think it suits your case. You seem less keen when you think it won’t.

    _”I hope that even you could see how the Danish studies are flawed. Let’s review: Lead scientist has a major conflict of interest. Children in Denmark given FAR less thimerosal than children in the US. “Interesting” ways of reporting cases of autism. I can only imagine the grief that I would get from you guys if I tried to pass that along as the SCIENCE on my side.”_

    I thin you need to read read this regarding how ‘flawed’ the Danish studies are.

    And if you want to talk about amounts of thiomersal I’d like to see the science that shows why the UK rate of autism is so close to the US one when our exposure to thiomersal is far, far less then the US. You can add that to the list of questions that I asked you before and that you _still_ haven’t answered.

    _”You guys will be crying about “peer-reviewed” studies until you are blue in the face. It is so old. Then I give you a peer-reviewed study (Burbacher), it’s not good enough.”_

    What does it show? Does it show that thiomersal causes autism? No? Didn’t think so.

    The absolute best that the science from your side of the debate can tell us is that mercury is a known neuro-toxin. Hardly news. Oh yeah and that apparently someone out there is capable of diagnosing monkeys and mice as autistic.

    I’ll go through all those studies when you’ve answered the questions that you said you would and that so far I’ve had to ask you four times in some cases. Stop dodging the questions and stop pretending that EoH is the issue when it is not. Autism is the issue and the science underpinning it. So put up or shut up.

  30. HN November 11, 2005 at 03:19 #

    Burbacker’s paper ONLY pointed out that you cannot compare methylmercury with ethylmercury. Period. Nothing else. It ONLY means that the EPA use of methylmercury as a guideline is inaccurate.

    As the ONLY science paper you’ve cited, it is not a very strong arguement for anything.

    Neither the New York Times nor GenerationRescue are good places to get real science. Even some of the journals indexed at http://www.pubmed.gov are suspect (one of them being “Medical Hypothesis”).

    It does not matter what Kirby’s EoH says about the Danish studies… because it is written by a journalist with an agenda. The same goes for Olmsted — they both started with a conclusion and worked backwards, disregarding any data contrary to their view (that is truly evident in Olmsted’s case, he probably never even looked at the http://www.clinicforspecialchildren.org website).

    I truly have no intention of reading EoH, just like I have no intention of reading anything written by Kevin Trudeau. What I HAVE read recently is _Polio, an American Story_ (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195152948/ ) and _The Great Influenza_ (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143034480/ )… the latter should be read AFTER Gina Kolata’s book about the 1918 flu epidemic (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743203984/ ). By the way, Gina Kolata is just about the only NY Times journalist who can accurately write about science. In addition I have read _Plagues and People_ (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385121229/ ) and _Yellow Fever, Black Goddess_ (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201328186/ … not that good, the _Plagues and People_ book is much better).

    There are some other uneducated reviews of the Danish study… like from Blaxill using all his financial wizardry… but without an ounce of any scientific background. Sometimes all they seem to do is try to descredit the agency, but without sufficient grounds:
    http://oracknows.blogspot.com/2005/08/dispatches-from-road-part-ii-danish.html

    Which is funny, because in their next breath they start citing “experts” like Wakefield (paid by lawyers for specific results, was associated with Bradstreet in selling supplements), either Geier (MedCon, lawsuit consultants) and Boyd Haley (sells quack tests and supplements at Altcorp) — ALL of whom have some financial tie to vaccine lawsuits and/or selling a “treatment”. Yet, for some kind of twisted “logic” we are told to believe THEM more than our county public health department, the CDC, the US Public Health Service, UK’s NHS, the Danish public health agency, the World Health Organization, and the public health agencies in several other countries.

    Here is a real review of the studies:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/114/3/793 ,
    “Conclusions. Studies do not demonstrate a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD, and the pharmacokinetics of ethylmercury make such an association less likely. Epidemiologic studies that support a link demonstrated significant design flaws that invalidate their conclusions. Evidence does not support a change in the standard of practice with regard to administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines in areas of the world where they are used. “

  31. Sue M. November 11, 2005 at 22:52 #

    HN-

    HN wrote:

    ” Burbacker’s paper ONLY pointed out that you cannot compare methylmercury with ethylmercury. Period. Nothing else. It ONLY means that the EPA use of methylmercury as a guideline is inaccurate”.

    — I will assume that you mean Burbacher. If you really read the study you would know that it says that ethyl mercury (found in thimerosal) is MORE TOXIC than methyl mercury (found in fish). That is important to me.

    You claim that this is the only science paper that I’ve cited. Let me acquaint you with the 26 others which I posted in response to Kev:

    http://www.generationrescue.org/evidence_reports.html

    It seems that both you and Kev want to refer to some blogger named “Orac Knows” to debate the issue of the Danish studies. I would be interested in seeing some of his peer-reviewed studies that he has done on children with autism (when you get a chance, no rush). Actually, come to think of it, “Orac Knows” doesn’t even know how to debate the issue of the Danish studies instead he leaves it to someone named Krisjan Wager. Please provide the proper qualifications that make Krisjan an expert. Listen, the Danish studies are flawed. Move on.

    You seem confused, so let me remind you of something. There are two issues which we can discuss. I would only like to get involved with one of them. The two issues are as follows:

    1) The overall state of our vaccination policy. The standards, the good, the bad, etc.

    — I’m not interested in debating this at all. In fact, you may find that we actually agree on much of this.

    2) The fact that I believe that thimerosal triggers autism in some children.

    — This is the debate that we are focusing on. You can tell me that you have read 100 books detailing every disease that we currently have a vaccine for. That is not the issue here. The issue is… have we poisoned children by subjecting their developing brains to a known neurotoxin. Please stop confusing the two issues.

    Oh boy, HN, it looks like the Pediatrics article that you reference above is old (Sept 2004). It needs to be re-done after the peer-reviewed Burbacher study came out in April of 2005. Let me show you a few reasons why.

    1) Pediatrics study (your study) says:

    “Pharmacokinetic studies suggest that the half-life of ethylmercury is significantly shorter when compared with methylmercury”.

    The review of the Burbacher study (my study) says this:

    ” Burbacher and colleagues found ethylmercury’s fast breakdown leaves higher levels of so-called “inorganic” mercury in the brain. Inorganic mercury lingers in the brain for a year or more, potentially altering certain cells. A previous study has shown such damaged cells are also found in children with autism. Using monkeys, Burbacher found the brains of thimerosal-exposed infants had twice as much inorganic mercury as methylmercury- exposed infants”.

    — Houston, we’ve got a problem …

    2) Pediatrics (your study) says:

    “Five points about the EPA guideline should be noted: it is based on oral ingestion of methylmercury, not ethylmercury: … All of these points are not directly relevant to thimerosal in vaccines, yet EPA guidelines have been applied to ethylmercury in thimerosal”.

    — Dumb asses… Basically we know that the two types of mercury are completely different but what the hell… we’ll compare them anyway… Come on, people.

    -Sue

  32. HN November 11, 2005 at 23:55 #

    The Pediatrics paper is one year old. Big deal. It is a study of the research going back over 40 years, it even includes the problems with some of the data correlation from the Geiers. If you have any SUBSTANTIAL reason to discount it, please do.

    You are misrepresenting what the Burbacker paper said, but you are quoting those same results in your last paragraph.

    The commentary in OracKnows is from a Danish citizen who was explaining the factors relating to the Danish health care system. This was because the criticisms towards the Danish vaccine studies were NOT on the merits of the techniques, but on the relationship between the Danish health system and the vaccine manufacturer (which was the Danish government). I can assume she, as a citizen of Denmark, would have a pretty good idea of how her county works.

    You seem to be having a bit of trouble understanding how science works. You keep linking to GR, but that is a biased site that does not anyone qualified to evaluate the studies.

    First off the list of papers on the page include some dubious journals… including “Medical Hypothesis” (none of the authors of first paper have ever seen real mercury poisoning, and none of them are qualified to even diagnose it… nor are any bio-chemists, also get a dictionary and look up the word “hypothesis”).

    You should do a search of what kind papers get published by the “Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons” (third paper)… it is quite an eye-opener! This organization is mostly political (libertarian), and one that any sane person should back away from quickly!

    There are several studies that say things obliquely (and probably do show thimerosal as a cause of autism, they are just being misinterpreted like the Burbacker paper)…. plus one by Blaxill (sorry, having a Masters in Business Administration does not qualify a person for medical expertize)… and then one the last page a congressional testimony… NOPE… does not have any scientific merit.

    Sorry, none of those show in any way shape or form that thimerosal causes autism. None of them can hold a candle to the several large scale population studies in Denmark, UK, Sweden, and the USA that show absolutely NO relationship between vaccines and autism:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/114/3/577

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12880876&query_hl=11

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/112/5/1039

    Also, note that if we go back to the first part of this blog entry we will see that it is questioning the use of chelation, specifically a topical cream sold by an osteopath named Rashid Buttar. What evidence is there that that cream even transfer through the skin? What evidence is there that the cream actually chelates anything? What evidence is there chelation affects autism (and do not point to a paid ad!.. that is not evidence!)?

    Also, it has been shown in real life (like in the case of the pink girls, http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/168/2/201 ) that after chelation of true heavy poisoning, the brain damage that has occured is NOT repaired. That is the problem with REAL heavy metal poisoning, it is permanent. Sure, you can stop any further degradation with chelation (especially for lead poisoning), but you are not going to get any real improvement. So with all the cries of “cure, cure, cure”… there is no evidence that chelation does anything for autism.

  33. Sue M. November 12, 2005 at 02:28 #

    HN-

    Am I in the twilight zone? Seriously.

    The conclusion of the Pediatrics paper has been obliterated by the Burbacher study. That is not SUBSTANTIAL? What planet are you from? Please re-read what I previously wrote above. I am assuming that you didn’t read it carefully enough. How do I know that? Well, for one thing, I actually pointed out the fact that you spelled Burbacher’s name
    wrong and then in your most recent post you spelled it wrong again 2 times. Listen, I’m not the spelling Nazi, but your lack of comprehension skills have been noted many times, by me, throughout this post. This is just another example.

    HN wrote:

    “This was because the criticisms towards the Danish vaccine studies were NOT on the merits of the techniques…”

    — If you read EoH or if you were really and truly interested in this issue you would KNOW that the Danish studies are flawed in many ways. The “technique” is VERY MUCH in question. I could go into with you but really I would be wasting valuable time. Do some of your own research.

    HN wrote:

    ” You seem to be having a bit of trouble understanding how science works. You keep linking to GR, but that is a biased site that does not anyone qualified to evaluate the studies”.

    — This is horrible English. I’m not even sure I understand what you are saying. I will say that you may not like the GR site. That is fine. The reports, etc. that are on there are from different people, different perspectives, etc. You would need to actually read the studies before you can challenge them. It would be one thing if JB Handley had conducted all those studies or it was all his opinion. I could see you disregarding it, but as I hope you see, he has just put them together in an easy format for people. So, why don’t you go through the 26 studies that I linked you to and tell me why each of them should be disregarded.

    Let’s look at your studies above:

    1) The first one that you link to says this:

    “Results. Contrary to expectation, it was common for the unadjusted results to suggest a beneficial effect of thimerosal exposure”.

    — Oh goodie, a known neurotoxin injected into innocent babies, has a beneficial effect on them. Sign me up… NOT!

    2) The second study that you link to says this:

    ” RESULTS: In all three countries, the incidence and prevalence of autism-like disorders began to rise in the 1985-1989 period, and the rate of increase accelerated in the early 1990s. However, in contrast to the situation in the United States, where the average Thimerosal dose from vaccines increased throughout the 1990s, Thimerosal exposures from vaccines in both Sweden and Denmark-already low throughout the 1970s and 1980s-began to decrease in the late 1980s and were eliminated in the early 1990s”

    — The beginning of this Results section, indicates what we already know the rates started increasing in the late 1980’s and accelerated in the early 1990’s (works for my theory). Now, it gets messy for me because after all, they are referencing the VERY FLAWED Danish studies. Sorry.

    3) The third study…

    – Oh, HN, you are in way over your head. Verstraeten? You don’t even want me to go here. Someday, if and when you read EoH or do more research you will hang your head in embarrasment over posting this one. Let me quote from EoH this is in regards to a memo that Verstraeten wrote:

    “It just won’t go away,” the subject line read. Verstraeten did not specify what “it” was, but one could reasonably assume he meant the “signal” between thimerosal exposure and certain outcomes.”
    In the memo, he said, “all the harm is done in the first month,” without defining what the “harm” was. And he ended with this plea: “Some of the relative risks increase over the categories, and I haven’t yet found an alernative explanation. Please let me know if you can think of one.”

    — If you are interested I will tell you that this specific study (Verstraeten) is analyzed in detail on pages 283-288 of EoH. You need to read the book before embarrassing yourself further. At the time this “study” was published, Mr. Verstraeten was a proud employee of a vaccine manufacturer. He knows, HN, Verstraeten knows…

    -Sue

  34. Sue M. November 12, 2005 at 15:44 #

    Kev –

    Kev wrote:

    “Which is odd as you don’t seem to mind going through my archives when you think it suits your case. You seem less keen when you think it won’t”.

    — Guilty as charged, I suppose. Don’t we all do that at times? Let’s be honest. Having said that, even on those trips back through your blog entries, I really DIDN’T see much in regards to scientific studies, etc. If you really have science on your side and you are willing to present it confidently then go for it. Otherwise, don’t. HN can speak for you. That’s been working out well.

    The Danish studies … I already stated my opinions about that issue. You can read them above.

    Now to go over a few of your previous questions.

    1) About testosterone: Please see the following:

    http://www.generationrescue.org/facts.html

    — Quick facts numbers 9 and 10 should help here. Go ahead and cry about it not being a peer-reviewed study published in a blah, blah, blah… ?

    2) About an autism epidemic. Please see the following:

    http://www.generationrescue.org/mercury_myths2.html

    — Specifically, Myth #6 should help here.

    3) The causative link issue.

    – I’m not sure what you want me to say about this, Kev. I can’t imagine that you want to start injecting poor babies with an overload of thimerosal to see whether or not they develop autism or not. Certainly, that would be tragic. So, we will have to work with mice (Hornig) and primates (Burbacher).

    Now, having said that we are conducting a very sad and tragic experiment overseas now as we ship our poison to faraway lands. Here’s a quote from EoH by David Kirby:

    “Autism has rarely been reported outside of industrialized countries, at least until recent years. A good example is China, where companies such as Merck and Glaxo-SmithKline have begun an aggressive pediatric marketing campaign, selling millions of dollars in vaccines to the Communist Government, including pediatric hepatitis B, DTP, HiB, MMR and others. On August 11, 2004, the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported that children suffering with autism in that country had suddenly and unexpectedly skyrocketed. In a few short years, the number of reported cases jumped from nearly nothing to some 1.8 million children in 2004. One researcher “estimated that the number of Chinese children with autism was growing at an annual rate of 20 percent, even higher than the world average of 14 percent,” the news agency reported. Other increases in autism cases are currently being reported in such far-flung countries as Indonesia, Argentina, India and Nigeria. If thimerosal is one day proven to be a contributing factor to autism, and if U.S.-made vaccines containing the preservative are now being supplied to infants the world over, the scope of this potential tragedy becomes almost unthinkable.”

    — I suppose these countries are just now learning how to diagnose children who can’t speak with autism. What are they feeding the doctors these days to make them so brilliant?

    4) As for the UK numbers.

    — I have no idea. Since you live in the UK why don’t you go off and do some research of your own on this? I’m not about to do ALL of your homework for you.

    Kev wrote:

    “The absolute best that the science from your side of the debate can tell us is that mercury is a known neuro-toxin”.

    — Imagine that. My side thinks that it is a crime to inject infants with a known neuro-toxin and that this known neuro-toxin causes neurological problems in children. Boy are we silly. Hello, what’s the problem here?

    Ok, so I have put up (as much as I intend to do for now). Take it or leave it. The option is there for you to respond or not. You seem to be getting a bit testy so I won’t be surprised if you don’t bite. That is fine. No, really, it is.

    As for you saying that I am pretending that EoH is the issue when it isn’t, I will say this. I am trying NOT to make EoH the issue. If I am, I apologize. It is just that the book answers alot of the questions that have been raised. If you read it — you will understand my point of view and how I got here. I was a believer before EoH, but the book helps to put the argument together in the time frame that it happened, etc. As you can see from my answer to HN, it told the story of the Verstraeten story, etc. It helps. It would help you to read the book so that minimally you could see what my side has to say.

    -Sue

  35. clone3g November 12, 2005 at 21:31 #

    Sue said: ” Burbacher and colleagues found ethylmercury’s fast breakdown leaves higher levels of so-called “inorganic” mercury in the brain. Inorganic mercury lingers in the brain for a year or more, potentially altering certain cells. A previous study has shown such damaged cells are also found in children with autism. Using monkeys, Burbacher found the brains of thimerosal-exposed infants had twice as much inorganic mercury as methylmercury- exposed infants”.

    Sue, the “certain cells” in question here are microglia. Note the use of the word potentially. That’s important because Burbacher is obviously aware of the potential for mercury to induce microglial activation. If you read the full text, pay close attention to the part where microglial cell activation is discussed. You may have to read it a few times (I did) before realizing that the authors did not observe this in their primate subjects. They are actually discussing a different study where exponentially higher doses of mercury were used. OK, so Burbacher noted a higher ratio of inorganic to organic mercury in the brains of monkeys exposed to thimerosal as compared to the methylmercury exposed group. Methylmercury is many times more toxic to brain cells than inorganic mercury, including astroglia and microglia but neither group showed any evidence of necrosis or apoptosis, let alone neuroglial activation. If half-life of organomercury compounds and clearance from the CNS is the issue why not sacrifice the primates in a year and measure levels then? I can assure you there would be significantly less mercury and very little microglial activation. So if the theory is that inorganic mercury from thimerosal is trapped within the brain and causes microglial activation, similar to that reported by Vargas, et al., why didn’t Burbacher see similar patterns of neuroglial activation in any of the primates? If anything that sounds like a pretty good case for no evidence of harm at the levels used in vaccines. The Vargas group acknowledges that neuroglial activation may be cause or effect but Burbacher failed to show either using mercury free vaccines with added thimerosal, no matter how you slice the Rhesus pieces.

  36. Sue M. November 14, 2005 at 02:46 #

    Clone –

    Is that really you? You are being so civil. I hope that I won’t regret it but I will engage with you here. For the record, I’m no scientist (shocked?), so anything that I write here is for discussion only. Feel free to tell me where I am wrong.

    Clone wrote:

    “Methylmercury is many times more toxic to brain cells than inorganic mercury, including astroglia and microglia but neither group showed any evidence of necrosis or apoptosis, let alone neuroglial activation”.

    — I’m confused. You write that methylmercury is many times more toxic to brain cells than inorganic mercury, etc. Isn’t this study showing that this is not true? He (Burbacher) notes that “knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental toxicity of thimerosal is needed to afford a meaningful assessment of the developmental effects of thimerosal-containing vaccines”. Basically, he is shattering the “myth” that ethylmercury is the “safe” kind of mercury. We have little to no information on thimerosal and Burbacher for one seems well, CONCERNED (to say the least).

    Clone wrote:

    “If half-life of organomercury compounds and clearance from the CNS is the issue why not sacrifice the primates in a year and measure levels then? I can assure you there would be significantly less mercury and very little microglial activation

    — I actually think that it would have been a good idea to take a look at the primates after a longer period of time- but no one asked me. How can you ASSURE me of what would happen? Burbacher says, “The longer-term effects (greater than 6 months) of inorganic Hg in the brain have not been examined. In addition, whether similar effects are observed at lower levels in the developing brain is not known”. How do you, Clone, know what will happen? Not being an ass, I’m just curious.

    Clone wrote:

    ” So if the theory is that inorganic mercury from thimerosal is trapped within the brain and causes microglial activation, similar to that reported by Vargas, et al., why didn’t Burbacher see similar patterns of neuroglial activation in any of the primates? If anything that sounds like a pretty good case for no evidence of harm at the levels used in vaccines”.

    — Not enough time passed for it to be seen. Maybe or maybe not? I don’t know, but obviously longer studies need to be done on this issue. Burbacher also writes, “it is important to note that a recent publication has demonstrated “an active neuroinflammatory process” in brains of autistic patients, including a marked activation of microglia (Vargas et al. 2005). Yikes!

    -Sue M.

  37. clone3g November 14, 2005 at 04:22 #

    Sue wrote: I’m confused. You write that methylmercury is many times more toxic to brain cells than inorganic mercury, etc. Isn’t this study showing that this is not true?

    No. This study does not show that. It doesn’t demonstrate toxicity at all since there was no evidence of damage in the CNS. At least none that was reported and I can’t believe that would be left out of the study if observed. Methylmercury is more neurotoxic than inorganic mercury. Check the literature.

    “I actually think that it would have been a good idea to take a look at the primates after a longer period of time- but no one asked me. How can you ASSURE me of what would happen?”

    Don’t take my word for it. Read some of Burbacher’s earlier work where he studied long term effects of mercury in the same species. 6, 12, 18 months. He also provides some good descriptions of neuroglial clustering and proliferation that is not consistent with the patterns observed by the Vargas group.

    “Not enough time passed for it to be seen. Maybe or maybe not? I don’t know, but obviously longer studies need to be done on this issue.”

    Are you saying that it would be premature to assume thimerosal, at the levels found in vaccines, acts a neurotoxin?

  38. Kev November 14, 2005 at 10:07 #

    I’m not ignoring you Sue, I’m having to clean up a bit of a mess left by a few nutters in a seperate thread. I’ll get back to you ASAP although it looks like you and Clone have covered most of the ground I was going to anyway.

  39. Kev November 17, 2005 at 16:56 #

    Regarding the fact that there’s no association between gender and mercury poisoning and yet there is a massive association between gender and autism, Sue said:

    _”—Quick facts numbers 9 and 10 should help here. Go ahead and cry about it not being a peer-reviewed study published in a blah, blah, blah… ?”_

    Out of ‘fact’ 9, only one sentence touched on the relationship between testosterone (sp?) and mercury. This one: *Testosterone accelerates mercury’s toxicity and helps explain why approximately 80%-90% of the cases of autism are male*

    No cite is given for it, no footnote is attached to it. The quote from Donald Miller is about Aluminium. The paragraph prior to that sentence is about aluminium and antibiotics. All you have here is the opinion of whomever wrote that scentence. If thats your science Sue then I really pity you. Show me some real science.

    Re ‘fact’ 10 – can you show me the peer reviewed paper that Haleys study appeared in? No? Then its just one mans opinion. Once again, show me some real science.

    Sue then said:

    _”About an autism epidemic. Please see the following: http://www.generationrescue.org/mercury_myths2.html
    —Specifically, Myth #6 should help here.”_

    Are you joking? GR say that the epidemic is supported by a *wide range of scientists, policy makers, and health care organizations* and then go on to list 3??? Two from Blaxill and none that are peer reviewed. These are just opinion. If you want some actual science, then try these:

    _”Variation in the administrative prevalence of ASD is associated with education-related spending, which may be associated with better-trained educational staff who can recognize the problem, and more and better trained in-school specialists who can provide screening. It is also associated with the availability of health care resources. Increased access to pediatricians and school-based health centers may lead to improved recognition of ASD. Interstate variability in the identification of ASD should be taken into account when interpreting the results of prevalence studies based on administrative data and the associated system characteristics taken into account by policy makers working to improve the recognition of ASD_”

    Link

    _”The incidence of research-identified autism increased in Olmsted County from 1976 to 1997, with the increase occurring among young children after the introduction of broader, more precise diagnostic criteria, increased availability of services, and increased awareness of autism. Although it is possible that unidentified environmental factors have contributed to an increase in autism, the timing of the increase suggests that it may be due to improved awareness, changes in diagnostic criteria, and availability of services, leading to identification of previously unrecognized young children with autism”_

    Link

    _”federal and state administrative changes in policy and law favoring better identification and reporting of autism are likely contributing factors to the prevalence increases and may imply that autism spectrum disorder has been underdiagnosed in the past.”_

    Link

    You may also find this New Scientist piece illuminating:

    _”One team, however, is ahead of the game. Back in July 1998, Fombonne and Suniti Chakrabarti of the Child Development Centre in Stafford, UK, started screening every child born in a four-year window (1992 to 1995) who lived in a defined area of Staffordshire, 15,500 children in total. As a result, they established baseline figures for autistic spectrum disorders – about 62 per 10,000. Then they did it again, in exactly the same place and exactly the same way, this time with all the children born between 1996 and 1998. In June this year, they reported that the prevalence of autism was unchanged (American Journal of Psychiatry, vol 162, page 1133). “This study suggests that epidemic concerns are unfounded,” concludes Fombonne.”_

    On the causation issue, Sue then said:

    _”I’m not sure what you want me to say about this, Kev. I can’t imagine that you want to start injecting poor babies with an overload of thimerosal to see whether or not they develop autism or not. Certainly, that would be tragic. So, we will have to work with mice (Hornig) and primates (Burbacher).”_

    Again, you can do that if you want. Can you tell me though – how do you diagnose a mouse as autistic? Where on the triad of differences are they different? How was their imaginative ability measured? How was their ability to socialise tested? Or was everyone too busy being shocked at the skull-chewing to worry about the actual autism diagnostic criteria?

    Neither of these studies show that thiomersal causes autism. One shows that thiomersal damagaes mice when you overdose them with it and one shows that mercury is a neurotoxin. Shocking news.

    Concering the fact that the rates of autism are just about the same for the US and the UK and yet only one vaccine in the UK ever contained thiomersal whereas multiple US vaccines did, Sue said:

    _”-I have no idea. Since you live in the UK why don’t you go off and do some research of your own on this? I’m not about to do ALL of your homework for you.”_

    Of which, the key phrase is *I have no idea*. Get your head out of the sand Sue. The research has been done – we have a very very similar autism rate and a very very dissimialr thiomersal rate. 1 + 1 = 2.

    Sue then said:

    _”My side thinks that it is a crime to inject infants with a known neuro-toxin and that this known neuro-toxin causes neurological problems in children. Boy are we silly. Hello, what’s the problem here?”_

    I have no issue with mercury being recognised as a neurotoxin. Thats not the issue. The issue is: does it cause autism? I have now asked you five (or is it six? I’ve lost count.) times to show your evidence that it does and so far you’ve avoided answering.

    _”Ok, so I have put up (as much as I intend to do for now). _”

    Right. Or, more accurately _can_ do.

    _”I am trying NOT to make EoH the issue. If I am, I apologize. It is just that the book answers alot of the questions that have been raised.”_

    No it doesn’t. It presents one side of a multi-faceted story. This whole thing is about science. Does thiomersal cause autism. You are welcome to your _opinion_ that it does but thats all that it is. The science says otherwise.

    Here’s why science is important.

    I’m a lay person. I can make sense out of a hardcore science paper with help but not alone as I’m not a scientist. I rely on people who are scientists (both on and offline) to translate for me. But the key issue for me is that science should be replicable and peer reviewed. Your side rubbish that and say its not important. It is. Its important because peer review is an international (meaning free of governmental control) process in which scientists from all over the world can freely offer opinion. If a study is done right it should be easy to reproduce the same results. Thats why ‘science’ such as that on the GR website is not science. The results are not reproducable and no actual scientists have ever verified either the accuracy or the usefulness of the methods or results concerned.

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