The federal members of the IACC cannot be allowed to get away with these tactics.
From the Autism Action Network (formerly A-CHAMP)
Send a Letter to Your Reps, Key Officials and The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
Autism Action Alert:
Protest Federal Autism Committee’s Deceitful Reversal on Vaccine-Autism Research
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The inexcusable actions of the Federal members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) in retracting vaccine-autism studies must be stopped. Sound science must move forward, not thwarted by Federal agencies with vested interests in on-going vaccine-autism injury litigation.
The autism advocacy organizations listed below implore parents of children with autism - and all those who care about the burgeoning rate of autism and its toll on the health of our children - to take immediate action.
We are asking you to write a letter of disapproval to key government decision-makers on autism. Click here for a sample letter and instructions on sending. Your letter will be sent to President Obama, your Senators and Representatives, HHS Secretary Tom Daschle, the Senate HELP Committee, Senators Christopher Dodd, Joe Lieberman, and Edward Kennedy, and Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Barton.
Your letters are needed NOW. The next IACC meeting is Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - less than two weeks away!
Here is what happened. Click here (http://www.safeminds.org/pressroom/iacc-blocks-vaccine-autism-research.html) here (http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/01/iacc-rescinds-vaccine-research-initiatives.html) for more details.
In a highly unusual departure from procedure, government representatives to the IACC voted on January 14th against conducting studies on vaccine-autism research despite approval of the same studies at their prior meeting on December 12, 2008. The research was supported by numerous autism organizations and requested by IACC’s scientific work groups and Congress. The maneuver to re-vote was initiated by the IACC’s representative from the CDC and pushed through by the IACC Chair, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health of NIH. Review of the studies was not listed on the committee’s official agenda, in violation of normal committee practice.
Unlike most Federal advisory committees, the IACC is dominated by government representatives occupying 12 of the 18 seats. Dr. Insel admitted at the meeting that HHS agencies (which includes NIH and CDC) have a conflict of interest in conducting vaccine-autism research due to “Vaccine Court” litigation in which HHS is the defendant. Of the 6 non-government (public) members, 5 voted to retain the vaccine research at the January meeting. The lone dissenting public member resigned from her organization, Autism Speaks, the night before the meeting. Autism Speaks has issued a statement denouncing her vote.
The Federal members of the IACC must know that the autism community objects to their manipulation of committee procedures to block unbiased research on the possible link between vaccines and autism.
They must hear that parents demand reinstatement by the IACC of the vaccine studies that were already part of the IACC’s Autism Research Strategic Plan, and to restore the funding already allocated to this research.
They must acknowledge the inherent conflict of interest of the NIH/CDC in conducting research on vaccine safety. Research initiatives MUST be coordinated by an independent committee that includes equal numbers of representatives from the autism-vaccine injured community and conducted by independent and non-biased entities.
We also urge parents to attend the February 4th IACC meeting in Washington DC if they are able to. Click here for the IACC website http://iacc.hhs.gov/events/ to register. We encourage you to sign up to make a public comment at the meeting.
Autism Action Network (AAN)
Autism Research Institute
National Autism Association (NAA)
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)
U.S. Autism & Asperger Association