Don't miss Yesterday's revelation that Insel's brother is a vaccine maker, or Insel's testimony last week before Senator Harkin that completely misrepresents the state of the science.
Take Action Today: The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is requesting public comment on year two of the strategic plan for autism research and budget. The annually updated plan is the heart of the Combating Autism Act and was designed to improve transparency, accountability, and the expansion of research aimed at finding the cause (so that new cases could be prevented) and effective treatments for autism.
The request for information can be found here
[http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-MH-09-013.html] The web-based form for comments can be found here [http://www.acclaroresearch.com/oarc/rfi/]. The form has space for input on six separate questions. Question 3 relates to cause, and question 4 relates to treatment. The current version of the plan can be found here
The most important areas for comment on questions 3 and 4 are that these areas are dramatically under-funded, especially on the question of environmental cause. Although there is a strong consensus in the scientific literature that autism is caused by environmental triggers in genetically susceptible individuals, most of the "cause" money is devote to searching for the elusive "autism gene" and not for the environmental triggers that might actually lead to prevention.
The two programs of vaccine research that were part of the approved draft plan last December must be restored. This is of the greatest urgency as these will examine the role vaccines play in the chronic diseases of childhood, especially autism, and lead to either focusing on other environmental triggers or changes in the schedule/screening in order to reduce vaccine-caused chronic illness. These two initiatives are:
1) "Study the effect of vaccines, vaccine components, and multiple vaccine administration in autism causation and severity through a variety of approaches, including cell and animal studies, and understand whether and how certain subpopulations in humans may be more susceptible to adverse effects of vaccines by 2011. Proposed costs: $6,000,000
2) Determine the feasibility and design an epidemiological study to determine if the health outcomes, including ASD, among various populations with vaccinated, unvaccinated, and alternatively vaccinated groups by 2011. Proposed costs: $10,000,000
These two initiatives were unlawfully deleted last January in an orchestrated effort by IACC Chairman Tom Insel and CDC to pursue a policy of deliberate ignorance. Tom Insel's family ties to the development of the Hib vaccine recently revealed by AoA
tism.html#more] explains his hostility to vaccine research and his bizarre
claim to Senator Harkin
ism.html#more] that it was time to "move on" from vaccine research.
"Cause" research should also include the intensive real-time study of children as they first manifest symptoms of autism.
"Treatment" research should focus on behavioral and biomedical interventions actually in use throughout the community.
The web form surprisingly does not provide a specific place for comments on the introduction, mission, and vision statements, but crucial changes and upgrades are needed here. Although the present plan claims autism is a national health emergency, it must contain specific steps to address autism with the same urgency as, e.g., SARS, H1N1, Chinese toys, and E. Coli. At a minimum, the funding process must be revamped to move research quickly into the lab and out into the field. The budget must be increased substantially to reflect the astronomical cost to families and society and the benefits of preventing new cases and implementing treatments leading to practical recovery.
Listing of AoA Articles on IACC strategic plan
The "Not" Combating Autism Act in Action by Katie Wright, July 28.[http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/07/the-not-combating-autism-act-in-action.html#more]
A Mother Delivers When the IACC Fails.