June 29, 2007

Requesting Answers and Actions from Autism Speaks

June 28, 2007

From: Ginger Taylor, M.S. of AdventuresInAutism.com

To: The Greater Autism Community

For just over a month I, and many others, have been writing about our concerns over the way Autism Speaks has been using its considerable resources. During its two year existence, funds have been directed toward projects that yield little improvement in the quality of life for those with autism and AS has reportedly shown an unwillingness to cooperate with, or even acknowledge the contributions of, all but a few large autism groups. This action is in direct conflict with the public image held out by AS that they listen to all those in the autism community and that they wish to speak for the autism community.

Because Autism Speaks is raising tens of millions of dollars a year from the public based on their claim that they are serving people with autism, they must be held to account if these funds are not indeed being spent on projects that serve autistics.

Thus far, the only response from anyone at Autism Speaks has come from Jon Shestack, founder of Cure Autism Now and board member of Autism Speaks. Mr. Shestak has posted a public letter stating his earnest intentions, asking for restraint and patience in criticizing AS to give them a chance to respond on the merits, and calling on the board of AS to do some self examination to see if it is time for a change in direction. I believed that his public stance was both reasonable and admirable, and I committed to waiting to hear from AS.

After a week, during which Mr. Shestak stated his intention to respond to my open letter to him, the silence has continued. It is rumored that AS has no plans to comment on the issues that have been raised because they believe that ultimately the controversy will not cut into their bottom line. I do not know if this is accurate information, but it may explain the deafening silence from AS.

In light of this, I am proposing that those in the greater autism community, those who have not been invited into the “Big Tent” that Autism Speaks has stated that it wants to be, express their concerns and frustrations directly to Autism Speaks in one concerted effort. For the next two weeks I will be collecting letters from those in the autism community, both from individuals and organizations, who wish to directly question AS on their direction, methods and actions, and who wish to make specific requests of them. I will be delivering these letters to Autism Speaks under one cover letter.

If you would like your letter to be included, here are the requirements:

  • Your letter to Autism Speaks be in good faith.  This is not an opportunity to vent the frustration that many of us have, but to open a constructive dialogue and attempt to get real answers and action. 

  • Your letter to AS be specific.  List specific complaints and specific actions that you want taken.  In my letter to Mr. Shestack I asked, “… if we compile a list of hard questions that we want answers to, a list of “awareness” messages that we want circulated, a list of service projects we want undertaken, a list of legislation that we want lobbied and a list of research that we want funded, will the AS board give us open, concrete answers and actions, or legitimate justifications where they will not?”  Your letter should be such so that AS can have the chance to make specific answers and take specific action.

  • Your letter to AS remain private for the time being.  Autism Speaks should have the opportunity to respond privately, either to you specifically or to the group as a whole, before the letters are made public.  You may not post your letter publicly until AS has had a reasonable amount of time to respond to it privately.  I will announce an agreed upon date.

  • Your letter must be signed and include your contact information.

  • Your letter must be submitted to me at ASLetters@AdventuresInAutism.com by July 13th, 2007

This debate as to how to best serve those with autism is becoming increasingly contentious. While that is regrettable, it is also reasonable because ultimately, the quality of the lives of millions of people world wide is at stake. It is my belief that the only thing that will change the tone of this debate is very frank, very transparent conversation followed by very concrete action. The days of paying lip service to the treatment and care of those with autism, and those yet to be born who may potentially be autistic, are long gone.

It is time for those who hold the most power in the autism world to allow themselves to be held accountable to those whom they claim to serve.

Ultimately the only value in this exchange will be if it leads to improvements in the quality of life for those with autism, their families and their care givers. It is my earnest hope that this will refocus our efforts onto serving them directly.

Ginger Taylor, M.S.

Saturday: Katie Wright on Air America

"Katie Wright, the mother of an autistic son who links his condition to thimerosol, the mercury preservative in childhood vaccinations", will be interviewed on the Ring of Fire radio show on Air America on Saturday.

June 28, 2007

Autism Speaks Aint Speakin'

For the last month or so other bloggers and I have been pointing out the serious ethical problems of Autism Speaks. Last week, one of the board members, Jon Shestack, wrote a personal note to those like me who have been critical of Autism Speaks, asking for us to use restraint in our criticism and to give AS the time to answer our charges on the merits. He also called on the board of Autism Speaks to do some soul searching to see if it was time for them to change direction.

Well more than a week has gone by since then, Jon Shestack has been arguing with some in the ND crowd, but no one at AS seems to be offering the "defense on the merits" that we are supposed to be waiting for.

So exactly how long are we supposed to wait patiently?

CDC: Out of Excuses on the Autism Study that "Should be Done"

CDC: Out of Excuses on the Autism Study that "Should be Done"
Posted June 27, 2007 | 11:01 PM (EST)

A simple study of autism rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated children "could be done and should be done" to help settle the raging debate that has now spilled into the US Federal Courts.

The words of some anti-vaccine zealot? An overwrought parent lashing out at something, anything, to blame? Or perhaps a greedy trial lawyer pining for the big bucks of injured-kiddie tort.

No, these were the measured, thoughtful remarks of CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, at a Washington press conference two years ago.

But Gerberding never ordered the study -- one that could silence this tiresome argument once and for all; a study that any rational person would concur "should be done."

Why not? One reason, the powerful director said, is that "very high levels of vaccination... record immunization levels," make it "very, very difficult to get an effective numerator and denominator to get a reliable diagnosis."

But maybe it's not that difficult to find an "effective numerator" (i.e., unvaccinated children) after all.

It certainly wasn't hard for the respected polling company, Survey USA, to find nearly 1,000 unvaccinated children living in nine counties in California and Oregon. All they had to do was pick up the phone.

Survey USA, commissioned by the anti-thimerosal group Generation Rescue, completed telephone interviews in 11,817 households with one or more children age 4 to 17. Of the 17,674 children inventoried, 991 were described as being completely unvaccinated.

Interestingly, the survey found that, among boys (who have neurodevelopmental disorders at a 4-to-1 ratio over girls) vaccinated children were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 224% more likely to have ADHD, and 61% more likely to have autism. Among boys aged 11-18, the increased autism risk was 112%.

This survey suggests there might be a trend here worthy of further investigation. But is it hard science? Of course not, and that is precisely my point.

We need the CDC, or some other well-funded agency, to conduct a comprehensive health study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, now, using the soundest epidemiological tools available.

And for those who think that phone surveys are a patently ridiculous way to study autism, consider this: The Survey USA methodology was based on the model that the CDC itself has employed in national prevalence studies for ADHD and autism. In fact, Dr. Laura Schieve, co-author of the CDC's two national autism phone surveys said that parent reports demonstrate "high reliability, or reproducibility."

Which brings us back to that numerator. There are clearly enough unvaccinated kids (outside Chicago there is an entire HMO-full) to finally do the study that Dr. Gerberding herself says "could and should be done."

Maybe the Survey USA poll is way off base. Maybe an actual scientific investigation, one that controls for bias and other potentially confounding factors, would show the exact opposite. Maybe, as one would hope and intuitively expect, vaccinated children are truly healthier and happier than unvaccinated children.

I hope that the CDC can prove that they are. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing? And like I have said before, it would certainly shut up the likes of me.

Now that Dr. Gerberding no longer has the excuse that "record immunization levels" preclude such a study, perhaps she might direct some of the recently appropriated Combating Autism Act funds to studying the two groups of children.

For those that disagree -- and I look forward to your rational comments on why this study should never be done -- I suggest you take up your concerns with the CDC director herself, and not with me.

After all, Dr. Gerberding is the one who said that this study "should be done." And I, for one, could not agree with her more.

PS: This week, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced the "Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Populations Act of 2007" (H.R. 2832). For more information on this legislation, please visit: http://maloney.house.gov

June 27, 2007

Kathy Fowler Medical Reporter for ABC7 in DC Offers Us A Good Story

In the past Ms. Fowler has produced some really balanced reports and here she does not dismiss parents concerns like most main stream media do.

Thank you Kathy.

Please make sure your flash player is up to date. Click here to update.

Offit's RotaTeq Safety Labeling Updated to Include Cases of Kawasaki Disease

Paul Offit, who believes that it is safe to inject babies with more than "100,000" vaccines at once (I emailed him to make sure he was not being misquoted, and he replied, "The figure of 100,000 is correct, and probably a little conservative."), has his vaccine labeling changed to note that it may cause Kawasaki Disease.

RotaTeq Safety Labeling Updated to Include Cases of Kawasaki Disease
Yael Waknine
Medscape Medical News 2007. © 2007 Medscape

June 19, 2007 — Changes have been made to the adverse reactions and postmarketing sections of the safety labeling for a live, oral, pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq, Merck and Company, Inc); it now includes cases of Kawasaki disease, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told healthcare professionals on Friday.

The poorly understood disease is uncommon in children, is characterized by high fever and blood vessel inflammation, and affects the lymph nodes, skin, mouth, and heart.

During a phase 3 clinical trial, 5 cases of Kawasaki disease were reported among 36,150 infants who received the vaccine, compared with only 1 case among 35,536 who were given placebo, according to an alert sent from MedWatch, the FDA's safety information and adverse event reporting program.

Three other cases have been reported through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) since the vaccine was approved on February 3, 2006. There is no known cause-and-effect relationship between the use of this or any other vaccine and Kawasaki disease, the FDA said, noting that the cases reported to date are not more frequent than what would be expected to occur by coincidence.

Rotavirus vaccine is indicated for the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants and children, which is caused by the serotypes G1, G2, G3, and G4, when administered orally as a 3-dose series to infants between the ages of 6 and 32 weeks.

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to report cases of Kawasaki disease and other adverse events potentially associated with the vaccine to VAERS by going online at www.vaers.hhs.gov or calling 1-800-822-7967 for a report form.

Additional information about the use of the vaccine can be obtained by contacting the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at 1-800-835-4709 or by e-mail at octma@cber.fda.gov.

She's Mad As Hell and Not Taking It Any More

Kendra is a mom who apparently got sick and tired of the biased and illogical media coverage and shot back.

Her points were so good that I am posting the original article and her response.

I encourage the Valley Independent to be brave enough to publish it.

I encourage the Media to come to grips with the fact that people don't believe the medical community and the government claims that vaccines have no relationship to Autism, and by choosing to report those claims unchallenged, the public trust in them will ebb right along with their trust of PHARMA sponsored medicine.

[UPDATE: Kendra heard back from the author who is the father of a 16 year old with autism, and has softened a great deal toward him. She may update her remarks here.

This was part of a series. The latest installment, published today, indeed adds balance to the previous column. I had written to the columnist myself yesterday, and his response was, 'wait and see'.

To me, the most interesting part of his column today was this:

My wife was invited to attend a special luncheon held by National Association for Autism Research in Pittsburgh to kick off Walk Far for NAAR. About nine other parents of autistic children sat around the same table and naturally they began to discuss their children's condition. One by one, they expressed the same belief that the MMR shot caused their children to become autistic.

Even supporters of NAAR, who are the most anti autism/vaccine link group in existance, firmly believe that vaccines "caused" their own children's autism.


I saw an online poll a few weeks ago that 89% responded that they believed there was a link between vaccines and autism. So if everyone apparently believes this, even NAAR's own charity event goers, even the authors of articles that are criticized by parents who are actually turn out to be on the same "side" as they are, then what are we arguing about? Why are the authorities allowed to ignore the link?

When is someone going to stand up in public and say that the Emperor has no clothes???

I feel like I am living in the twilight zone.]

Report Addresses Autism Levels
By Chris Buckley
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

(Editor's note: This is the second part of a four-day series of informational stories about autism and profiles of people who are afflicted with the condition.)

The results of the study sent shockwaves through the medical community.

The Centers for Disease Control announced earlier this year that it had determined one in every 150 children was afflicted with autism or an autistic spectrum disorder.

But Dr. Nancy Minshew was not surprised by the results.

The findings did not indicate an increase in the number of people with autism, but an increased awareness that autistic children are living in our society, Minshew said.

"No, it's not an epidemic, it's an issue of how well a job we're doing diagnosing these kids," said Minshew, professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh.

"In Pittsburgh, we're doing a pretty good job. But get an hour out of Pittsburgh and we're doing a poor job."

Minshew has spent 22 years studying autism and is director of the National Institutes of Health Collaborative Program's Excellence in Autism at the University of Pittsburgh. She said university-based diagnoses are most effective in identifying autism.

Minshew said recent surveys found similar results to the CDC report. The community of Brick Township, N.J., concluded in 2001 that the rate was one in 150. A cluster of studies done from 2001 to 2005 found results ranging from one in 150 to one in 170. Autism related agencies agreed to use a figure of one in 166

The national numbers are based on two CDC surveys encompassing 22 states, including Pennsylvania.

The Autism Society of Pennsylvania estimates there are about 75,000 people statewide with some form of autism and about 4,000 in the Pittsburgh region.

Still, Minshew said the figure may be even more startling. She said the CDC study could not reach home-schooled children and those in private schools.

Most pediatricians are not trained to diagnose autism, Minshew said. Regional centers for diagnosing and treating autism are needed, she said.

Collecting information on the number of autistic individuals is also hampered because families are not open to discussing their children. Society tends to cut off ties with families with autistic children.

Minshew recalled one parent of an autistic child who noted, "We don't have friends anymore. The only friends we have are the people who have an autistic child. Our old friends cut away."

MMR a cause?

Whether mumps, measles and rubella vaccinations are a cause of autism, especially the spike in autism cases in the past 20 years, has been debated.

In the June 16, 2005, edition of "Rolling Stone" magazine, an article titled "Deadly Immunity," by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., theorized a link between thimerosal in inoculations and autism in children.

Thimerosal is an antiseptic and antifungal agent that has been used as a preservative in vaccines, immune globulin preparations, skin test antigens, anti-venoms, ophthalmic and nasal products, and tattoo inks.

The compound is being phased out of most childhood vaccinations. Packaging the vaccines in single-dose vials eliminates the need for bacteriostatics such as Thimerosol.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, of the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, was the lead author of a controversial 1998 research study, published in the Lancet, which reported bowel symptoms in a selected sample of 12 children with autistic spectrum disorders and other disabilities, and alleged a possible connection with MMR vaccination.

Although in the paper the authors stressed no causal connection had been proven, Wakefield called for suspension of the triple MMR vaccine, recommending instead that the three vaccines be administered with one-year gaps.

A controversy surrounding his findings occurred in 2004, when it was reported in The London Times that some children in the study were recruited by an attorney preparing a lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer.

The interpretation of the possible connection to vaccination, but not the report itself, subsequently was retracted by 10 of the paper's 13 authors.

General Medical Council, the regulator of the medical profession in the United Kingdom, has since investigated the reports' claims and is preparing to conduct hearings.

Currently, the U.S Court of Federal Claims is conducting hearings on whether the vaccines caused autism. More than 4,800 families have filed claims alleging the link.

Parents of autistic children - especially those diagnosed from 1988 to 2000, when Thimerosol was used in the vaccines - believe a connection exists.

Matt Kadash was developing at the same rate as a normal infant, and was even ahead of the curve. He spoke words at 13 months, for example, his mother, Sandy Kadash recalled.

Then, suddenly, his development stopped. He stopped speaking. The Amity woman is sure she knows why.

"I blame it on the MMR shots," Kadash said.

Kelli Tencer, of California, also believes the MMR vaccination is the root of her son's autism. She saw a dramatic change after he received the vaccination at about 16 months.

"I believe there is a direct link," Tencer said. "My son was fine and developing normally until he had that first shot."

Minshew, though, said the connection is purely coincidental. She said children usually show signs of developmental regression consistent with autism from 12 and 22 months of age. MMR shots are routinely given during that period.

She challenged parents who still believe in the link to view videotapes of their child's first birthday to look for signs of early regression.

"They are not oriented to other people," Minshew said. "They do not get the idea of presents, cake, celebration - the interaction with other people."

Chris Buckley can be reached at cbuckley@tribweb.com or (724) 684-2642.


Do you ever stop when you hear all this and let the bat of common sense come up aside your head?

Anyone that repeats the "just better diagnosis" mantra cannot live in a reality based world. The story seemed to be about the CDC released data of 1 in every 150 but seemed to leave out the biggest shock that the CDC's study found. The study surprised the CDC by showing that diagnoses nationwide was abysmal. The CDC announced that their study showed that parents concerns and fears were being downplayed, ignorned, and neglected on average of 1 1/2 years after they expressed grave concerns. Does that sound like better diagnosis. No, instead, it sounds like what many of us know, that over 90% of all Autism diagnosis are parent driven. If this is the case then it would not have changed over time. A parent 20 years ago would have demanded just as adamantly "what is wrong with my child" as parents are demanding now.

Autism is not a unique skin rash that could be easily mis-identified as another rash. It is not a subtle condition and the signs and symptoms not easily missed. Missing autism is sort of like missing a grand mal seizure. The majority of those diagnosed will never live independently. They will require constant care for the rest of their typical lifespan. Autism is so devastating, there is no way it was ever missed in the past. When high-funcitoning or Aspergers is mentioned, even most of these individuals, while they may be verbally adept, will not lead an independent life either. Only the lightest affected could possibly "slip through the cracks" and those are probably more the ADD/ADHD area than autism. The criteria required to be met for an autism diagnosis under the DSM IV code are devastating and must incompass a majority of the areas across the Autism spectrum.

These so-called experts quoted in stories such as yours would like the American public to believe that our personal and collective memories are faulty. That we all lived among these people in the same numbers as now and we simply cannot remember them, but they were always there.

Many say other diagnosis are now more properly labeled Autism and were just mis-labeled or misunderstood before. How do they explain every school in America that is going broke from the sheer numbers. How do they explain the 20 year tenured teachers that cannot fathom the explosion in Autism and have never seen the kids in the numbers they are seeing now. Tiny towns with "Autism" classrooms, that never had an autistic student in over 50 years. Tiny towns with classrooms of kids unable to function in typical classrooms, unable to learn in a typical manner, unable to pay attention, sit still, grasp basic concepts, etc. etc. It would not have mattered what these kids were 'labeled' in the past, the schools still would have had to accomodate them, no matter the name that was put to their disability. But we all know that was not the case. Schools lack the facilities, staff, and training to deal with the tsunami of affected children.

I grew up in a town of less than 1,000 people. In my 12 years of education I never knew one kid with autism, or anyone I can remember that would have come close to meeting the criteria. I knew one child a few years older than me who was mentally retarded. 1 child many years older who was blind, and one a few years younger who died of cancer. My same home town now has Autism classrooms bulging at the seams. After coaching there for five years, four former athletes have informed me they have children diagnosed with severe Autism. Including myself, the former coach, that gives us five children with autism from 47 different mothers. But here in Oregon the rate state-wide is 1 in every 98. Of course this does not include ADD/ADHD, nor does it include the huge numbers of children now with life-threatening food allergies, the 1 in 5 with asthma, the 5000% increase in kids with diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc.

Those like Dr. Paul Offit, owner of a vaccine patent, like to attempt to scare the American public with threats that if autism or other serious immune system diseases are connected to vaccines that people will stop vaccinating their children and serious childhood diseases will return. Just talking about vaccines and Autism, he speculated could destroy the health of American children. UH, Hello. It seems Dr. Offit is a little out of touch with reality. He is assuming we have some gold standard of health in our children today that merits protection. Yet new studies just today from Offit's very hospital and designed and run by Harvard University say our children are sicker than in any generation. Perhaps Americans aren't buying it anymore. Parents see their children's classrooms with Medicine "cubbies" where nearly half of all student have regular medication including the devastating numbers of children on anti-psychots, risperdal, ritalin, and more. Children with ANA kits, inhalers, and insulin injection kits. When you look at the life-shortening devastating lifelong illnesses children are now suffering from it sure makes a week with the measles look like a picnic. If Dr. Offit was more of the same, protect the great health of American children, no thank you. If he is proud of the ranking of 37th in the world of infant mortality...no thank you.

I saw a mainstream media poll the other day in which 89% of respondents replied that they believed in a link between vaccines and autism. Maybe all of us parents aren't such fringe whackos after all. The pharmaceutical companies have proven their motivation with lies and falsifications of drug trials and Americans are rightfully sceptical of all their claims now.

Just like global warming, the debate is over. In fact, besides government denials, there never was a debate. Injecting mercury into childrens' bodies is criminal, no debate. Mercury is a known neurotoxin, no debate. Mercury causes neurological damage, especially in fetuses and children, no debate. Only in corporate America can there even be a debate over injecting babies with the 2nd most toxic substance on earth. There is no debate, only corporate greed and self-preserving denials. An Autism Mom said the other day, "Autism spilled on a school room floor is a toxic event, the schools are shut down, the hazmat team called in, young people decontaminated, health screenings are done, and a major long term clean-up occurs. But, inject mercury into an infant and it's called a well baby visit".

The medias refusal to use common sense, to ask the tough hard questions is only making them look as bad as the now professional liars, protecting their own collective butts. I don't know how you can even write this stuff anymore without laughing or crying, but you have to have lost all common sense to not question even the most basic tenets of the crap now being spewed forth by the self-protectionists. Can you even have two neurons left to rub together and not see the truth? Apparently not.

Kendra Pettengill

Roseburg, Oregon

Mother of a recovered child, formerly diagnosed with Autism

California: Vaccine Mandate Bill to Be Heard Wednesday

California is considering a bill that would take control of the mandated vaccine schedule out of the hands of the state authorities and hand the decision making over to a federal board.

The federal boards and their symbiotic relationships with the pharmaceutical industry are what got us in this mess in the first place.

From California based Talk About Curing Autism:

California Residents - Vaccine Mandate Bill to Be Heard Wednesday
Please contact the members of the Senate Education Committee listed below and ask that they vote "no" on AB 16. You can write, e-mail, call, or show up and testify against the bill on Wednesday. Click on each name below for contact information.

California State Senate Education Committee Members:
Senator Jack Scott(Chair)
Senator Mark Wyland (Vice Chair)
Senator Elaine Alquist
Senator Jeff Denham
Senator Abel Maldonado
Senator Alex Padilla
Senator Gloria Romero
Senator Joe Simitian
Senator Tom Torlakson

AB 16 (Hernandez), the bill that, among other things, would remove the review of the public and the approval by the Legislature and Governor of all new childhood vaccine mandates for every child in California and; instead, would automatically add every new vaccine recommended by a public health/vaccine manufacturer controlled panel adding dozens of new vaccines to the already 30 doses of vaccines California children receive today. It is the most significant bill ever introduced effecting children and vaccines since 1980 when California first mandated vaccines for California's children. This bill is a horrible example of special interest legislation. In my 34 years of working in and around the Capitol it is the worst.

The bill passed the Assembly after long and contentious debate, and will now be heard this Wednesday, June 27 at 9:30am by the Senate Education Committee in Room 4203, State Capitol.

Below is a copy of the bill as well as my testimony.

-Rick Rollens

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. Iam 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, mehamphetamine, 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.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.