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Commentary

Editorials/Op-ED: Vaccines and autism
Washington Times, 7-15-05

The Washington Times weighs in on the purported link between thimerosol and autism, and how ignorance about the causes of autism has led some activists to pin the blame on their favorite target: corporate America.

If true, as activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote recently in a provocative Rolling Stone article, and "our public-health authorities knowingly allowed the pharmaceutical industry, to poison an entire generation of American children," then "their actions arguably constitute one of the biggest scandals in the annals of American medicine."

No doubt, but Mr. Kennedy's "conspiracy" so far rests on thin evidence, not to mention a certain degree of ideological spin. …

Studies done…by the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine have found no evidence that a correlation exists between thimerosal and autism, though a few suggested that further study was needed. European studies have reached similar conclusions. The journal Pediatrics conducted the most recent review of these studies in September 2004 and found that the "studies do not demonstrate a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and Autistic Spectrum Disorder" and that epidemiological studies "that support a link demonstrated significant design flaws that invalidate their conclusions."



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