July 9, 2007

NAA: No on California AB 16

California legislators need to hear from ALL of us on AB 16 BEFORE July 11!

California’s AB 16, approved last week by the Senate Education Committee, would remove all public input and legislative review on childhood vaccines added to the mandatory immunization schedule, automatically adding every new vaccine approved by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

  • Passage of this bill will set a dangerous precedent for all of us, whether or not we live in California.
  • We’ve seen what public input has done to prevent Gardasil from becoming mandated in some states, as even many in the mainstream medical community opposed forcing the HPV shot on young girls.
  • Merck, the drug company behind AB 16 and Gardasil, wants to ensure that public opinion, scientific debate, and common sense will never again stand in the way of profit.
  • If this bill passes in California, similar legislation will most likely find its way to every other state.


The California Senate Health Committee meets this Wednesday, July 11.


Senator Sheila Kuehl (Chair)
Senator Samuel Aanestad (Vice Chair)
Senator Elaine Alquist
Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Senator Dave Cox
Senator Abel Maldonado
Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod
Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas
Senator Darrell Steinberg
Senator Mark Wyland
Senator Leland Yee

Last week’s testimony from parent Rick Rollens is below. Please read this powerful statement, contact the California Senate Health Committee members now, and pass this message along to family members and friends. We can’t let Merck get away with stealing our civil rights, gaining even more power to foist poorly tested and potentially harmful products on our children.

Mr. Chairman and Members:

My name is Rick Rollens. This is my 33 year of being in and around the Capitol. For 24 years I served in the State Senate in numerous positions including a chief of staff to a Senator, chief consultant to the Senate Rules Committee, creator and director of the Office of Senate Floor Analyses, and finally as Secretary of the Senate. In 1996 I resigned my post ion as Secretary of the Senate in order to dedicate my life to finding effective treatments and a cure for my beloved son Russell who suffers from vaccine induced regressive autism.

Since leaving the Senate, I have been extremely active in the autism world. I am a co-founder of FEAT...Families for Early Autism Treatment, a co-founder of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, a Speaker's appointee to the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism, Superintendent O'Connell's appointee to his Autism Advisory Committee, I have served as a national board member of ASA, the NIH Autism Advisory Committee, and currently serve on numerous autism organizations throughout California, the nation, and the world. My family and I have been featured in dozens of local, state, national and international media stories about autism and the autism epidemic, the crown jewel of them all is this (SHOW NEWSWEEK) cover story in Newsweek magazine that featured my son Russell on the cover and a feature on Russell's story of his decent into autism at 6 months old after receiving numerous shots at his well baby check up and immediately suffering a classic adverse vaccine reaction leading to his acquired full syndrome autism. That day changed his life and the lives of ALL who know and love him. Russell is not alone.

Today, California is adding 10 new children a day, seven days a week, like Russell to our DD system. In 1980 when California first enacted it's mandatory immunization law, autism accounted for 3% of all the intakes into our DD system. Today, autism only the fastest growing condition entering the system but now accounts for 64% of all the new intakes. In 1980 the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000, today it is 1-150, and in some areas high as 1-84 children. Twenty years ago there were 2700 persons with autism in our system, today there are 34,000. In the past 9 months alone, we added more children with autism to our system then we did over the 16 YEAR period from 1971-1987! 886 new children in the past 3 months alone.

The most telling fact is that over 91%, or 9 out of 10 persons currently in our system were born after 1980, the year that California's mandatory immunization law was enacted. There is a tsunami of young children aged 3 to 17 years old accounting for nearly 80% of the autism population moving through the system.

I am here today to vehemently oppose AB 16. AB 16 represents an outrageous and arrogant attempt by the makers of the HPV vaccine and Vioxx, as well as those who front for them in the public health community, to strip away from the Legislature and the Governor the responsibility that has been in statute for nearly 30 years to review and approve or reject the addition of new vaccines to the mandatory childhood immunization schedule; and instead, turn over that responsibility to one and a group of their own, a non-accountable bureaucrat, the state Director of Public Health and a Committee 3,000 miles away of vaccine promoters who have yet to reject an application for adding a new vaccine to the schedule, and numerous members of which are personally and professionally conflicted for accepting research and professional funding and career opportunities from the same vaccine manufactures that are suppose to be regulating. Their behavior and actions have become subject to Congressional investigation and review.

AB 16 as introduced would have added Merck's HPV vaccine to the mandatory schedule. After extensive public hearing and debate in the Assembly Health Committee, it was clear that there was little support to approve the bill and the author refused to even let the bill come up for a vote. This was the second new vaccine that has been rejected by the Legislature in the past five years. I guess enough was enough in the minds of the vaccine manufacturers and their followers. The bill was subsequently gutted and amended the bill to include the provisions before you today.

Keep in mind, that today in California children receive up to 30 doses of vaccines by the age of 6 years old, most of which are administered starting moments after birth through the first two years of life when healthy brain development is most important. If the provisions of AB 16 had been in effect during this current decade, the number of doses of vaccines our children would have been subjected to would have increased to 40 doses. Throughout the country, including right here at the M.I.N.D. Institute, dozens of research projects are currently underway examining the connection between the immune system, vaccines, and autism.

And lastly, be aware that there are over 300 new vaccines currently in development and in the pipeline, including vaccines for such things as nicotine addiction, diarrhea, mononucleosis, cocaine, methamphetamine, and stomach ulcers. These vaccines, as well as vaccines currently in use today contain such potent toxic and poisonous agents as mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, aborted fetal tissue, MSG, live viruses, and killed bacteria.

Mr. Chairman and Members, the system we have in place today has served us well for nearly three decades. You and your constituents and future members of the legislature and their constituents have a real say in the very serious issue of what new vaccines are added to MANDATORY childhood immunization schedule. There is sunshine in the current process, this bill takes away the sunshine away and replaces it with a wink and a nod by unaccountable bureaucrats and members of a Committee that have not seen a vaccine they can say no to.

On behalf of the children and their families of today, and the children yet to be born, please reject this horrific proposal. Keep this process in the hands of the people's representatives, do not hand over the future of our children's very health to those who would profit both personally and professionally by approving this bill. Please vote no. Thank you.

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