Two weeks ago I took a break from blogging to spend time with family who came to visit. Last week was a work catch up week, and I have only begun to catch up with all that has happened in the autism world while I was gone.
As I have been reading, I am seeing things that are surprising me. It is freaking me out a little.
Something has changed around the Cedillo Trial.
I have been following autism news for three years and I have never seen the kind of stories/events that are surfacing.
Dave Weldon and Carolyn Maloney have introduced bipartisan legislation, the Mercury Free Vaccines Act of 2007. Autism Speaks has uncharacteristically decided to back it and oppose AB 16 in Sacramento that would mandate that the State of California automatically adopt any vaccine that the CDC puts on the schedule (and pushed the HPV vaccine). They have never taken a stance on vaccines before. AS is also listing mercury research that was funded by CAN before the merger on their web site, but someone who spends a lot of time on the site said they didn't remember every seeing this page there before. (Anyone know if this is new, or remember seeing it in the past?)
AS has also stepped into the insurance coverage legislation in PA and announced legislative efforts on their web site.
The CDC issued a response to Verstraeten/VSD on their web site with lots of references to thimerosal studies. (I haven't had a chance to read it yet), but how long has it been there? It is not dated and David Kirby, who is a guy who keeps track of these things, didn't even know it was there until a few days ago.
The run up to the Wakefield MMR Trial has reignited doubt in the vaccine in the UK and articles like these are coming out:
At Last They Admit It, This Jab CAN Harm Your Child
The Truth About MMR
DANGERS OF MMR JAB 'COVERED UP'
The Autism Research Institute is now being backed by the giant Autism Society of America, which is now teaming up with Easter Seals who will now make Autism their priority.
Over the last three years, my blog has been visited occasionally by CDC and NIH and a few other government agencies. These visits were few and far between, and always interesting to me when they happened. But now, ramping up with increasing frequency since about April, my blog has been regularly visited by The Powers that Be CDC, NIH, FDA, EPA, HHS, the House and the Senate, The Department of Justice (who are the governments "defendants" in the Cedillo Trial), The Department of Veterans Affairs, The US Forestry Service, The Naval Research Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, The US Census Bureau, dozens of foreign, state and local governments, a slew of Canadian government agencies, dozens of medical centers/health organizations/universities/dental schools including CHOP (Paul Offit's hospital), Johns Hopkins, The Cleavland Clinic, our pharma friends at Johnson & Johnson and Glaxo Smith Klein, Immunize.org, media corporations Tribune and Gannett, The World Health Organization and even one visit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Apparently the Department of Justice is curious to know when and if the Evidence of Harm movie will be coming out.
Here is my blog traffic graph for the last three years.
2005 - nice little blog with decent traffic. 2006 - took a break from blogging for most of the year. 2007 - Started to write again. Feb/March stats broke but I didn't notice. April was Autism Awareness Month (Damn that is a lot of awareness). May - residual autism awareness?? June - suddenly I am twice as fascinating as I have ever been on my best month! July - on track to have 8,000 visitors despite the fact that I have been on vacation most of the time.
As much as I would love to believe that it is my brilliance that people are coming for, it is probably a safer bet that more people (and more people in positions of power to do something) are awakening to the reality that autism is preventable and treatable and are taking valuable time out of their day to investigate for themselves.
Last month I said that the tide had turned. I think I might have been righter than I thought I was and that the tide might start moving faster than I had anticipated.
Even if I had 40 hours a week to sort all this stuff out, I don't think I could do a decent job. I am just going to start posting references to stories with out much comment just so I can get as much out as possible.