Safe Minds Special Weekend Edition
Please forward to all who may be interested.
This video has been some months in the making and its release today is highly appropriate given the new allegations regarding Dr. Andrew Wakefield, which we believe to be calculated primarily to attempt to end the debate over vaccines and autism, rather than having any merit. Please watch the video and then read the commentary below:
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This past spring, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius was interviewed by Reader’s Digest. In her interview, she stated that people who question vaccine safety should not be given equal weight by the press, compared to public health officials. Since the vaccine/autism controversy is back in the news this week, we thought that it was important to help the press understand that they need to do their homework on this issue. The health of 4 million infants a year in the United States and millions more worldwide is riding on the ability of our press to finally delve into this issue and think critically about it. Vaccines are a multi-billion dollar industry internationally and for many pharmaceutical companies, it is the fastest -growing segment of their business. Even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) make money from licensing of vaccines. There is also a swiftly revolving door between the CDC, the FDA and the vaccine manufacturers in terms of recruiting. For example, former CDC director, Julie Gerberding, is now the head of Merck’s vaccine division. Truly unconflicted research in this area is rare and SafeMinds has information obtained through FOIA requests indicating that the CDC has massaged data to its own benefit in the past. We would truly like to see all journalists investigate this debate and not just follow the party line.
SafeMinds has been mischaracterized as an anti-vaccine group. We are actually a group of concerned citizens who know too much to stay quiet. The truth is that we actually read the research (not just the abstracts and not just the big journals) and look at the details. The associations between autism and mercury and autism and vaccines are still open questions. The majority of the studies that claim to “prove” that autism is not associated with Thimerosal or MMR (the entire rest of the childhood schedule has never even been looked at in this regard) have significant conflicts of interest, havesignificant flaws in their methods and/or do not answer the whole question. On the other side of this debate, and rarely mentioned by the press, are the biological studies that continue to be published supporting these associations.