June 13, 2007

NBC's Ethics Breach Angers Autism Parents

[UPDATE: NBC's web site reporting that she is 'formerly' of Johnson & Johnson. Will get confirmation of this].

NBC's stunt, using a Vice President of thimerosal lawsuit defendants Johnson & Johnson as their Chief Medical Expert without disclosing her real job is media relations for the Corporation, has garnered the ire of autism parents. Lots and lots of autism parents:

Mr. Steve Capus, President NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
June 13, 2007

Dear Mr. Capus:

The undersigned organizations are writing to you regarding the concerns among families of vaccine-injured children across the country over NBC's recent coverage of the Autism Omnibus proceedings. In particular, we take issue with the comments Dr. Nancy Snyderman made during yesterday's Today show.

While one would hope a "First do no harm" philosophy would have some bearing on the information Dr. Snyderman provides to viewers, clearly it does not.

Dr. Snyderman's ties to Johnson & Johnson, defendants in vaccine injury litigation, are obviously dictating the agenda in her appearances on your network at the risk of the safety of our children. This conflict of interest calls into serious question your journalistic integrity and credibility.

NBC's viewers were exposed to a blatant falsehood yesterday as Dr. Snyderman claimed that vaccines no longer contain mercury. This is not the case,and this misinformation has unfortunately given America’s parents a false sense of security that vaccines are now mercury-free. This false claim puts all of America's children and the unborn at risk of great harm.

The mercury-based preservative thimerosal has never been fully removed from childhood vaccines as Dr. Snyderman vehemently claimed. A simple check on the FDA's website would have confirmed this: http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm#t1. Mercury is still in most flu, tetanus, and diphtheria/tetanus vaccines--and an array of vaccines still contain "trace" amounts. (The term "trace" must be used loosely as this aspect of vaccine production is not being regulated and there is some variation on what constitutes a trace amount. As children often receive multiple "trace" amounts of mercury in one sitting, cumulative amounts and potential adverse effects are as yet unknown.)

While no reputable medical practitioner in this country would allow even "trace" amounts of lead to be injected through vaccines given its known neurotoxicity, physicians continue to allow mercury, which exceeds the toxicity of lead by more than 100-fold, to be routinely injected into humans.

As a physician representing NBC, Dr. Snyderman has failed to tell the truth about mercury-containing vaccines and the known dangers associated with them. There is simply no excuse for such careless and false reporting while this country is in the throes of a childhood epidemic of neurological disorders.

During Monday's NBC Nightly News Dr. Snyderman stated, "there really is no science" behind the autism/mercury link. Vaccines and the mercury-based preservative thimerosal have not been ruled out as a cause of autism. To the contrary, there are literally thousands of scientific, peer-reviewed studies supporting the extreme neurotoxicity of mercury and the relationship between mercury exposure and neurological injury. The following link provides a copious amount of research which contradicts what Dr. Snyderman told the American public: http://www.generationrescue.org/studies.html

The CDC's own study conducted in 2000 clearly shows the agency knew that injuries were occurring to children from mercury-containing vaccines, yet the data was manipulated to obscure the link. Lead researcher Dr. Thomas Verstraeten had this to say regarding the CDC’s thimerosal findings:

"...we have found statistically significant relationships between the exposure and outcomes for these different exposures and outcomes. First, for two months of age, an unspecified developmental delay, which has its own specific ICD9 code. Exposure at three months of age, tics. Exposure at six months of age, an attention deficit disorder. Exposures at one, three, and six months of age, language and speech delays which are two separate ICD9 codes. Exposures at one, three, and six months of age, an entire category of neurodevelopmental delays, which includes all of these plus a number of other disorders." (Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, page 40, Simpsonwood meeting transcript)

The full transcript of this secret, closed-door meeting held by the CDC at the United Methodist Retreat Center, Simpsonwood, can be read at NoMercury.org or PutChildrenFirst.org.

Many European countries have banned the use of thimerosal/mercury in vaccines for many years. Seven states have passed legislation banning the use of thimerosal/mercury in vaccines and similar legislation is pending in over 30 additional states. If there was no science to back up the dangers of using mercury in vaccines, we wouldn't be seeing such legislative efforts to ban its use.

In her most recent NBC appearance, Dr. Snyderman was asked why parents were filing claims on behalf of their vaccine-injured children, to which she answered matter-of-factly, "money." This cavalier statement alone goes far beyond contempt and displays an appalling ignorance of the emotional and financial devastation faced by families of vaccine-injured children. This must be addressed by an immediate apology from NBC to all the parents of children suffering from vaccine-induced illnesses.

We urge you to speak with the growing number of scientists who have published research supporting a causal link between mercury in vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, and can provide you contact information for these researchers.

Reporting false information is a disservice to the American people. When it comes to the children and the unborn in this country, we should err on the side of safety, regardless of personal belief, conviction, or backing from the pharmaceutical industry.

Based on the misinformation presented by Dr. Snyderman, and the potential for harm this has brought to bear upon children, we ask for her resignation. We will accept nothing less than a full and public retraction of her false statements, along with an apology from your
network.

We expect an immediate response to our request. We can be contacted
at 828-776-0082 or amy@....

Respectfully,
Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning (ACHAMP)
Autism Healing Network
Autism Recovery Resources of Washington (ARROW)
Autism Solution Center, Inc
Autism Society of Oregon – Lane County Chapter
Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD)
David A. Geier,Vice-President Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc.
Developmental Delay Resources (DDR)
Dr. Boyd Haley, Bio-Chemist, Chemistry Department University of Kentucky
Educate Before You Vaccinate
Foundation For Autism Information and Research
Foundation for Mercury Injured Children
Generation Rescue
John Wilson, MD Great Smokies Medical Center
K Paul Stoller, MD, President, International Hyperbaric Medical Association
KindTree Productions, Inc
Mark R. Geier, MD, Ph.D., FABMG, President Genetic Centers of America
Maryland Autism Recovery Coalition
Mercury Free Maryland
Moms Against Mercury
Moms of Hope
National Autism Association
No Mercury
SOAR! Salem Oregon Autism Resources
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)
Texas Autism Recovery
TN4SaferVaccines
Treating Autism in the UK
UnInformed Consent
US Autism and Asperger Association
World Mercury Project


4 comments:

Miriam said...

Thank you so much for writing this blog. I am completely addicted!

I am a Marriage & Family Therapist and also in a PhD program for Medical Family Therapy where my research and clinical focus is working with families who have a family member with ASD.

I am reading and learning as much as I can about the ASD/vaccine link. I am trying to pass it on to soon to be and new parents that I know in my personal life to help prevent further damage to children from vaccines, but it is hard to get my message across with the media presenting a false counter argument.

Have you read "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies" by Kenneth Bock? I want to get his message across to the numerous clients I see on a daily basis dealing with all the childhood epidemics, but I struggle with not feeling like I know enough yet and if it is out of my scope of practice.

Anyway, thanks again for writing and keeping the world informed about the TRUTH!

kay said...

Hi, I've never written on or to a blog before. The letter to NBC was wonderful, Ginger. Thank you on behalf of all of us who are in this fight with you and your family.

My grandson has autism. I know what his parents do every single day, in their efforts to help him and teach him. It's non-stop.

I certainly hope NBC fires this Dr. Snyderman, and I hope people understand WHY. She said her thing last week, and on Saturday in the Washington Post's editorial about the week's events re the Vaccine Hearings, the writer made the same identical false comment about there no longer being mercury in vaccines. Patently untrue!

I have now written to the Washington Post and I hope many other parents do too.Their editorial was dismissive about the pain families suffer when their child has autism. The Post pretty much said, "Oh, well....we just don't know enough about it yet."

I say "We know the truth, or at least a good part of it." Now we must help get the word out despite the efforts of those who hide in the deep pockets of big pharmaceuticals. Our children's health is soooo much more important than the pro-vaccine lobbyists' extra income.

Junkyard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junkyard said...

Junkyard said...
Keep fighting the good fight, Ginger.

I am shocked that so many people are oblivious and even sometimes downright hostile to autism and our search for its causes and a cure.

I posted a comment about Dr. Snyderman and the whole thimerosal/autism link at a DailyKos, and I'm disappointed that so many people there chose to label me as a "conspiracy theorist."

The media is really behind Big Pharm on this one and so much of the public is buying their side of the story.