January 4, 2006

Evidence Of Harm to Make News in 2006

From David Kirby:


Bestselling Book About Mercury, Vaccines and Autism in Paperback this February; Author Named “Person of the Year” by Nation’s Leading Autism Magazine;

Movie Rights Optioned by Hollywood’s Participant Productions

NEW YORK – The New York Times bestseller “Evidence of Harm – Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, A Medical Controversy,” continues to make news in 2006, and was just named the 5th best selling science book for 2005 by Amazon.com.

“Evidence of Harm” will be issued in PAPERBACK this February, with a new postscript that updates readers on every aspect of the growing controversy over the past year -- including new science and new political developments. It also includes recent media coverage, and an update on the lives of the parent activists profiled in the book.

Meanwhile, author David Kirby has just been named “PERSON OF THE YEAR” by Spectrum, the nation’s largest and most influential autism magazine. Kirby, who will appear on the cover of the February issue, will be honored by the magazine at a reception in Long Island, NY, this spring.

Finally, “Evidence of Harm” has been optioned by a rising MOVIE COMPANY: Los Angeles-based Participant Productions. Formed to produce films on important current topics, Participant has released titles that earned strong buzz in 2005. Its movies have been nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards, including Best Drama for “Good Night and Good Luck,” Best Dramatic Actress (Charlize Theron) for “North Country,” and Best Director (George Clooney) for “Syriana.”

Two respected producers have signed onto the Evidence of Harm project: Nick Wechsler, who recently produced “North Country,” and Ross Bell, producer of “Fight Club.”

“Evidence of Harm” is the story of parents with autistic children who suspected that their illness sprang from unsafe levels of mercury in their vaccines. These parents take on Big Business, Big Science and Big Government in order to learn the truth. Ultimately, they uncover compelling evidence that Thimerosal could very well have played a role in the disease. Despite industry and government resistance, the parents, joined by medical, scientific, legal, and political allies, are getting closer to establishing their claim.

DAVID KIRBY has been a contributor to The New York Times for seven years, where he covers science and health, among other subjects, and has been a writer for over fifteen years. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

PRAISE for Evidence of Harm:

“Kirby follows the tug of war between government health agencies and the parents and their supporters. Kirby does an admirable job of clarifying most of the scientific background (but) doesn't offer his own verdict on the debate -- although he makes the unassailable point that American health agencies lagged in calculating the amount of mercury being injected into babies.” – The New York Times & The International Herald Tribune

“Kirby's portrayal manages to make his protagonists seem far from crazy. They have been derided as dangerous anti-vaccination zealots, but Kirby sets their focus on the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal against ‘modern science's near-religious faith in all things genetic.’ The battle rages on, and while Evidence of Harm offers no prospect of a truce, it does provide crystal clarity on an often misunderstood side of the argument.” – The Washington Post

“Evidence of Harm is a gripping investigation. Much like the 9/11 commission's report, it is an alarming page-turner. Keep your eye on California, where autism cases are closely tracked. If autism-related diagnoses decline over the next year or two following the introduction of thimerosal-free vaccines, the finding will further fuel this simmering controversy.” – Newsday

“One controversy looks likely to fester. Big Pharma would love to put it to rest, but the publication of a well-researched book is likely to push it to the fore. It isn’t a stretch to say Big Pharma’s fortunes are tethered in part to the Amazon.com sales rank of Evidence of Harm. If a link is found, the potential liability makes asbestos litigation look like belonging to a small claims court. Whichever side the reader ends up believing, Evidence of Harm makes one thing clear: this is an issue that will not go away.” – Financial Times

“Kirby delivers a well-written story that weaves in startling facts and takes you on a roller-coaster ride into the homes of families devastated by autism. It tells tales of government bureaucracy and political cronyism that, if true, are appalling. It took me several weeks to read Evidence of Harm. Maybe it was the detail-filled narrative from the parents' point of view that made me put the book down every so often and walk away. I shared their pain, their anger, their feeling of helplessness.” – Bloomberg News

“Avoiding hyperbole while writing about a possible medical catastrophe is no easy task, but David Kirby has created a fine balance of investigative and personal detail in Evidence of Harm. He creates a picture that is as terrifying as anything dreamed up by Hitchcock. Kirby's in a delicate position, searching for the truth between frantic parents (he focuses on the founders of political action group Safe Mind) and the self-protective pharmaceutical industry (the author thanks the nameless person who placed a pro-Eli Lilly litigation rider into the Homeland Security Act of 2002). The book is never dull--there is a continual urgency in the material that resists pedantry. However undecided the experts, readers will likely land firmly in one angry camp or the other. – Amazon.com

“Perhaps, as evidence accumulates, the thimerosal theory may be validated. Perhaps not. Inquiry into the etiology and treatment of autism continues, though the seeming finality of the IOM report may stifle important research into environmental causes. Kirby’s book, as biased as it is, prompts us to dig deeper into this vital issue. One can only hope that medical and lay readers alike will react to the book responsibly, with both skepticism and an open mind.” – The Lancet

“An engrossing David and Goliath story in which the giant is an amalgamation of big government bureaucrats and pharmaceutical lobbyists. Walking the middle line, Kirby’s book remains one of the most thoroughly researched accounts of the thimerosal controversy thus far. It's accessible in its handling of medical topics and compelling in its recounting of the parents' fight to advance their agenda in the face of both political and scientific roadblocks..” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) ***

“A riveting new book that examines this controversial but biologically plausible link, Evidence of Harm lines up the known evidence while telling the stories of a handful of determined parents forced to become their own detectives. You'll get eye-opening glimpses into the trenches where once normally developing kids slip into the shuttered world of autism and where their parents refuse to be bounced off the walls of seemingly impenetrable bureaucracies. Highly recommended.” – Knight Ridder Newspapers

Elizabeth Coxe, – 646) 307-5563 – elizabeth.coxe@stmartins.com
David Kirby – 718-230-4250 – dkirby@nyc.rr.com

1 comment:

Robin Nemeth said...

Hi Ginger. I came across this old blog post of yours this morning when I was doing a search on ‘Participant Productions’ and ‘Evidence of Harm’. Trying to find out—exactly whatever DID happen with the production of that movie?
I’d written them, of course, when the project dropped off of their ‘in development’ list. And wasn’t surprised when I never did hear back. But what is a bit more surprising to me (tho it shouldn’t be) is that it seems that no one has any idea. Oh sure, speculation abounds. But nobody would seem to know. A google search on the topic turns up nothing but five to seven year old stories.
So I saw the movie The Help yesterday afternoon. Cause I’d read the book and really liked it. And I thought to myself what a good idea it would be to try to do something with my husband that we could enjoy together. We’d seen a movie a couple of weeks ago but it was a guy flick, so I kind of felt as well that he owed me, (and so did he.)
Imagine my horror when the opening credits showed the words ‘Participant Productions’.
I should have demanded my money back right then and there. As it happens, I did speak to the manager after the movie, and settled for having him listen to me rant as it wasn’t really fair to expect my money back now was it? Not after sitting there watching the whole movie. Something I am very not proud of myself for and something that afterward made me want to upchuck.
Good movie. But that doesn’t change the fact that it was produced by a ‘socially relevant’ film company that finds it more profitable to keep THIS particular topic shelved.
So, my lovely evening out with the husband turned into one more instance where I was faced with a situation where I couldn’t help but want to scream. You might as well have asked me to chew off my own arm as not rant about the fact that PP, a ‘socially relevant’ film company, couldn’t be bothered with the social relevance of a couple of hundred children per year lost completely to shit smearing, head banging autism.
Just one more bunch of hypocrites. Just one more group of people who profit off of the censorship. And why was I not at all surprised to learn that Kim’s promoting their movie on her site?
I guess nothing surprises me anymore.