Autism: The Mercury Trail; Powerful Evidence Points to a Preservative in Vaccines as the Likely Culprit, Writes Margaret Cook

By Cook, Margaret | New Statesman (1996), August 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

Autism: The Mercury Trail; Powerful Evidence Points to a Preservative in Vaccines as the Likely Culprit, Writes Margaret Cook


Cook, Margaret, New Statesman (1996)


The classic juvenile tactic to get out of a scrape is to deny it vehemently, even if that means claiming black is white. Curiously, governments adopt the same technique, reinforcing their indignant denials with name-calling.

This has been the response from both US and British establishments to parental fears that autism is causally related to vaccines. Andrew Wakefield was sent packing after he suggested MMR vaccines were suspect. His failure to declare an interest in connection with his research was used to destroy his career, even though his lapse pales into insignificance beside the conflicting incentives present in the entire chain of vaccine-policy command from Cabinet Office to consulting room.

But it is more difficult to bully away the question of mercury in vaccines and its putative link with autism. A book published in the US this year, Evidence of Harm by David Kirby, makes a compelling case. Any unbiased doctor who reads it, following the golden rules of listening to the parents' stories and assessing the evidence the book quotes, cannot fail to be persuaded. Yet the response in the British Medical Journal, in a review by Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, is to rubbish it in a hectoring tirade, the theme of which is that parents are not reliable witnesses and the experts know best. How dare the parents side with "credulous journalists" and defy the "authoritative US Institute of Medicine"?

Since 1939 a preservative called thiomersal (thimerosal in the US) has been used in some vaccines, and it contains nearly 50 per cent mercury. Mercury is a nerve-cell poison, but the amounts in vaccines were said to be "traces" only. It was used in, among others, the diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine given in three doses early in infancy. It is not present in MMR or other vaccines containing live viruses. In the US, pre-school vaccinations are compulsory and, under this blanket, jabs upon jabs were added to make a worryingly crowded programme. It was nearly a decade before the Food and Drug Administration added up the mercury being injected into infants in the first few months of life, and then it found that it was well in excess of federal legal limits even for adults. In 1999 regulators in the US and Europe advised phasing out mercury in childhood vaccines in the shortest possible time--while continuing to deny it was harmful. Believe that if you will.

Autism and related disorders were unknown before 1939. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Autism: The Mercury Trail; Powerful Evidence Points to a Preservative in Vaccines as the Likely Culprit, Writes Margaret Cook
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.