By Ginger Taylor
[Update: The day after this post was published and widely circulated by Age of Autism, January 26th, CDC replaced the Hungry Lie back onto their web site after five months. Their position has nothing to do with science.]
"Vaccines do not cause autism.”
to legal pressure from the three year campaign waged by the Informed
Consent Action Network (ICAN), CDC quietly removed the false
claim from their website on August 27th,
2020. They did it so quietly in fact, that neither anyone at ICAN,
nor the dozens of vaccine watchdog organizations, nor the tens of
thousands of Americans that have been decrying the false claim even
noticed, until someone at ICAN checked the site again on January
and found that The
was gone. A search of the Internet Archive shows the last day the
fraud was posted was August
and it was gone on August
ICAN deserves high praise for accomplishing the feat, the latest in a line of ongoing court victories. Their dogged legal team is led by Aaron Siri, the man who managed to get Dr. Stanley Plotkin, considered by the medical establishment to be the greatest living vaccinologist to admit that there is no research on the Pertussis vaccine and autism. Nor on any vaccine that is not the MMR.
This is of importance to me as my son regressed into autism after Pertussis, Hep B, and five other vaccines, none of which contained mercury, and he never received the MMR. So all the research that it thrown at me to prove to me that my son does not have vaccine induced autism, doesn't even apply to his case. Because there is no vaccine-autism research outside of MMR and Thimerosal that exists, other than the Hep B studies that find massive links, and health authorities don't like to talk about those.
ICAN's three year, Herculean accomplishment was met with joy, by the vaccine injury community, but also a bit of confusion. “But the page still says, "there is no link between vaccines and autism?” Thus I thought it was important to put their win into historical context.
of us who have become old fighting this fight have been front row to
the changing and contradictory claims of of CDC and her sister
“health authorities” as they try not to accurately answer the
question of whether or not their vaccine program created the autism
epidemic. Here I present a lengthy but incomplete history of how we
got here, and why ICAN should be lauded for turning back the clock to
the days where CDC even made a pretense of being truthful on this
Let's start with the cover story for The Hungry Lie. The story that mainstream medical professionals are told is true, and can't understand why the public doesn't believe them. Let's call it The Desperate Lie:
“It's that scoundrel Wakefield's fault.”
College of Physicians of Philadelphia says in their History
“The story of how vaccines came to be questioned as a cause of autism dates back to the 1990s. In 1995, a group of British researchers published a cohort study in the Lancet showing that individuals who had been vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) were more likely to have bowel disease than individuals who had not received MMR. One of these researchers was gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, MD, who went on to further study a possible link between the vaccine and bowel disease by speculating that persistent infection with vaccine virus caused disruption of the intestinal tissue that in turn led to bowel disease and neuropsychiatric disease (specifically, autism).”
The story of how vaccines came to be questioned as a cause of autism dates back to the first paper describing autism in 1943.
1943 - Roosevelt Administration
In his disorder defining paper "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact," published in Nervous Child in 1943, Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University included the first report of vaccine induced autistic regression. In Kanner's case series describing the first 11 children documented to have the disorder, case number 3, “Richard M.” is reported by his mother to have begun his developmental regression following a smallpox vaccination. From the paper:
“Case 3. Richard M. was referred to the Johns Hopkins Hospital on February 5, 1941, at 3 years, 3 months of age, with the complaint of deafness because he did not talk and did not respond to questions.”
“Following smallpox vaccination at 12 months, he had an attack of diarrhea and fever, from which he recovered in somewhat less than a week.”
“In September, 1940, the mother, in commenting on Richard's failure to talk, remarked in her notes: I can't be sure just when he stopped the imitation of words sounds. It seems that he has gone backward mentally gradually for the last two years.”
The time line of Richard M, according to the paper, is thus:
November 1937 – Born
November 1938 – Vaccinated with Smallpox vaccine
September 1940 – Mother reports developmental regression beginning approximately two years previously, the autumn of 1938.
February 1941 – Referred to Hopkins for evaluation, and in 1943, becomes the third child to be described as autistic by Leo Kanner in his disorder defining paper, the first paper published on autism, 52 years before Wakefield.
In the 40s and 50s, the Freudians were in command of the narrative on childhood mental health, thus maternal rejection of the child was asserted as the source of the rare disorder, until Bernard Rimland, Ph. D. ended the supremacy of the unfounded and misogynistic theory, and began the era of medical investigation into the origins of autism in the 1960s.
1976 - Ford Administration
In March of 1976, in Germany, Eggers published, “Autistic Syndrome (Kanner) and Vaccination Against Smallpox” wherein he described that:
“3-4 weeks following an otherwise uncomplicated first vaccination against smallpox a boy, then aged 15 months and last seen at the age of 5 1/2 years, gradually developed a complete Kanner syndrome. The question whether vaccination and early infantile autism might be connected is being discussed. A causal relationship is considered extremely unlikely. But vaccination is recognized as having a starter function for the onset of autism.”
1988 – Bush 41
From the first time I heard the name “Wakefield” in the media in the early 2000s, I had always known that the story that Wakefield kicked off the suspicion that vaccines may cause autism in 1998 was bogus, because the first time I heard the theory was in an undergraduate psychology class during the 88-89 school year at George Mason University. During a very short discussion on the rare childhood developmental disorder called “Autism” that Dustin Hoffman had portrayed in the movie Rainman, our professor noted that it may be cause by vaccines. I made a mental note, and decided to look into it when I had kids someday.
By the opening of the 1990s the vaccine-autism causation discussion was so widespread that the Institute of Medicine was including it in their reports on vaccine safety funded by the National Institutes of Health, published by the National Academy of Sciences and edited by none other than Harvard's Harvey Fineberg:
“Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines: A Report of the Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines; Howson CP, Howe CJ, Fineberg HV, editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1991.
The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health.
Parents have come to depend on vaccines to protect their children from a variety of diseases. Some evidence suggests, however, that vaccination against pertussis (whooping cough) and rubella (German measles) is, in a small number of cases, associated with increased risk of serious illness. This book examines the controversy over the evidence and offers a comprehensively documented assessment of the risk of illness following immunization with vaccines against pertussis and rubella. Based on extensive review of the evidence from epidemiologic studies, case histories, studies in animals, and other sources of information, the book examines: The relation of pertussis vaccines to a number of serious adverse events, including encephalopathy and other central nervous system disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, autism, Guillain-Barre syndrome, learning disabilities, and Reye syndrome. The relation of rubella vaccines to arthritis, various neuropathies, and thrombocytopenic purpura. The volume, which includes a description of the committee's methods for evaluating evidence and directions for future research, will be important reading for public health officials, pediatricians, researchers, and concerned parents.
Copyright © 1991 by the National Academy of Sciences.”
This inquiry, to my knowledge, resulted in the first position statement by US health authorities on vaccine-autism causation. They published:
“Evidence from Studies in Humans
The committee identified no case reports or other studies of autism following pertussis immunization. The sources examined include the CDC's MSAEFI system, which received no reports of autism (ICD 9 code 299.0) occurring within 28 days of DPT immunization from 1978 to 1990, a period in which approximately 80.1 million doses of DPT vaccine were administered through public mechanisms in the United States (J. Mullen, Centers for Disease Control, personal communication, 1990). The lack of reports of cases within 28 days of DPT immunization is not surprising, however, given that a diagnosis of autism is difficult, if not impossible, before age 3 years.
No data were identified that address the question of a relation between vaccination with DPT or its pertussis component and autism. There are no experimental data bearing on a possible biologic mechanism.
There is no evidence to indicate a causal relation between DPT vaccine or the pertussis component of DPT vaccine and autism.”
Of course they would not have any reports of Pertussis vaccine induced autistic regression, because the CDC's MSAEFI system, as they noted, only followed children for 28 days, and no child is diagnosed with autism within 28 days of onset. It is unheard of for a child to to even get an evaluation scheduled, must less completed in 28 days. So the system would not pick up any cases of vaccine induced autism.
This began the age of government obfuscation in vaccine-autism causation. The NIH funded project reported “no evidence” before they began any earnest search for evidence.
1998 – Clinton Administration
Andrew Wakefield, according to the current false narrative and revisionist history pushed by health authorities, mainstream medicine, and their media partners, magically erases a half century of history and discovers the vaccine-autism causation theory for the first time.
Wakefield simply did what Kanner did in 1943. Took patient histories, and including parental reports in a paper.
A great irony of course in the excoriation of Wakefield for the is that he and his colleagues never made the claim that vaccines were associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the 1998 retracted paper, reporting that, “We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.”
The greatest irony is that in his case series describing his observation of bowel disease in children with ASD, is that gut dysbiosis and inflammation are the two chief physical commodities in autism according to the medical establishment.
Andrew Wakefield was
The 1990s saw a dramatic rise in autism, from a rare disorder with only 11 cases diagnosed in the US in 1943, to occurring between 1 and 3 per 10,000 in the 70s and 80s, to approximately 1 in 250 cases by the end of the 20th century. In the UK the focus was on the MMR vaccine and potential causation. In the US the prime suspect was mercury exposure.
The the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) issued a joint statement through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on mercury and vaccines. They stated that in the U.S. vaccine program at the time, “some children could be exposed to a cumulative level of mercury over the first six months of life that exceeds one of the federal guidelines.”
The truth was that the amount of mercury in the childhood vaccination schedule grossly exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) maximum daily adult exposure for methylmercury, the form of mercury most closely related to thimerosal for which the government had established a guideline. The EPA sets the daily limit at 0.1 micrograms per kilogram of weight. Based on that guideline, a baby weighing approximately five kilograms (eleven pounds) at two months of age should not receive more than 0.5 micrograms of mercury on the day of a doctor’s visit. At the time the AAP and USPHS joint statement was issued, infants at their two-month visit routinely received 62.5 micrograms of THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA 207 mercury, or 125 times the EPA’s limit. Studies have suggested that, for thimerosal (ethylmercury), “the accepted reference dose should be lowered to between 0.025 and 0.06 micrograms per kilogram per day,” meaning that the exposure at the two-month visit could be as high as 500—rather than 125—times the safe level.3
In November 2002, Dr. Neal Halsey, director at the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the New York Times:
My first reaction was simply disbelief . . . if the labels had had the mercury content in micrograms, this would have been uncovered years ago. But the fact is, no one did the calculation.
At the time, USPHS claimed in their joint statement that,
“there [are] no data or evidence of any harm caused by the level of exposure that some children may have encountered in following the existing immunization schedule.”
However, the government made this safety claim before it had begun to look for evidence of harm. In November 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated a study to evaluate whether children receiving the highest amounts of thimerosal had suffered any ill effects. Thomas Verstraeten, the study’s lead epidemiologist , did not begin the study until four months after the government’s “no evidence of harm” claim. The CDC did not publish the results until 2003. The first phase of the Verstraeten study found an association between higher doses of thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders. In the second phase of his study, Verstraeten described his findings as “neutral.” Verstraeten was an employee of vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline by the time his study was finally published.
HHS further asserted in July 1999:
“Given that the risks of not vaccinating children far outweigh the unknown and much smaller risk, if any, of exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines over the first six months of life, clinicians and parents are encouraged to immunize all infants even if the choice of individual vaccine products is limited for any reason.”
With this single statement, the government took the position that the risk posed to children from exposure to thimerosal was both “unknown” and a “smaller risk” than exposure to childhood diseases. This suggested that public health officials could perform a risk-benefit analysis with no risk information for half of the equation.
HHS further asserted:
“[i]nfants and children who have received thimerosal-containing vaccines do not need to be tested for mercury exposure.”
On what basis could HHS make this statement? It had not done (and still has not done) the underlying research to show that these children were not at risk and should not be screened for mercury toxicity. Without hard evidence, the government nonetheless seemed eager to reassure parents that “no evidence of harm” meant “no harm”—even as it failed to look for evidence.
The mainstream media did not investigate HHS’s claims or recommendations, nor did it investigate those of vaccine safety advocates.
2005 – Bush 43 Administration
None of the problems with the joint statement, the investigation, or the CDC’s handling of the thimerosal question came to light until 2005, when investigative journalist and author David Kirby released the book, Evidence of Harm. The searing and detailed account exposed the questionable behavior and judgments of the CDC and HHS.11 Likely sensing the potential for public outrage, the CDC quickly took action and posted a notice on its website explaining that it would review the book and respond. By the end of 2005, however, the CDC had taken the notice down without responding. To this day, no US government agency has offered any response to the book.
2008 – Obama Administration
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has a table of known vaccine-induced injuries for which the government offers compensation. Created in 1991, the table has since listed “encephalopathy” as an outcome for the combination MMR (or any of the various individual measles, mumps, or rubella vaccines) and for the DTaP (or any pertussis-containing vaccines). The symptoms of this encephalopathy (a medical term meaning brain disorder, brain damage, or a change in brain functioning) in a child who is eighteen months or older include a “significantly decreased level of consciousness” which HRSA describes as follows:
(2) Decreased or absent eye contact (does not fix gaze upon family members or other individuals); or
(3) Inconsistent or absent responses to external stimuli (does not recognize familiar people or things).16
Many parents have reported these symptoms in their previously typically functioning children after neurological regression following measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and pertussis-containing (DPT or DTaP) vaccines. These parents, however, reported that those symptoms were not used to diagnose their children with a vaccine-induced encephalopathy but rather to diagnose them with autism. In addition, one of the signs of encephalopathy is seizure activity. Estimates suggest that one-quarter to one-third of those with an autism diagnosis also suffer from seizures.17
Were “vaccine-induced encephalopathy” and “autism” merely the same phenomenon, described from the vantage point of two different disciplines, medicine and mental health? Were many cases of autism merely misdiagnosed vaccine-induced encephalopathy, due to the lack of physician training regarding the recognition of vaccine injury? These questions never surfaced when the media ran stories regarding parental concerns about vaccine-induced autism—that is, until 2008, when the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) became national news.
In early 2008, Jon and Terry Poling announced to the press that HHS had conceded their daughter’s case of vaccine-induced autism. Ten-year-old Hannah Poling had regressed into autism after receiving nine vaccines in five shots during one office visit. The Polings argued that their daughter had a preexisting, asymptomatic, and undiagnosed mitochondrial dysfunction and sustained a neurological regression into autism from receiving vaccines at eighteen months of age. Jon Poling is a well respected neurologist who was at Johns Hopkins at the time, and his wife Terry is a registered nurse and an attorney. The Polings’ medical testing following their daughter’s regression was so thorough and their case so strong that HRSA conceded the case and elected to pay compensation without a hearing before the VICP. The government acknowledged, albeit in very evasive language, that vaccines were the culprit that led to Hannah Poling’s autism.
While the media had yet to rigorously scrutinize the vaccine-autism story, national and local consumer-safety and autism-awareness groups were organizing to share information and advocate for change. When CNN broadcast the Polings’ press conference live, the event poured gasoline on the already fiery vaccine safety debate. Federal public health officials were forced to comment on how vaccines cannot cause autism, even though they seemed to have done just that in little Hannah Poling. The government’s position on the Polings’ case and on vaccine induced autism were completely at odds with one another, and the government’s clumsy and conflicting answers raised even more questions about vaccine safety:
• Did vaccines cause Hannah’s autism?
• Is mitochondrial dysfunction rare?
• Did the government deliberately mislead the public about Hannah’s injury?
• Did the media pursue this news story appropriately?
Our government would not say that Hannah had autism, which she indeed does have.18 The concession document19 said that Hannah has “a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder.”20 By definition, a person diagnosed with a disorder will have features of that disorder. Government attorneys had full access to Hannah Poling’s extensive medical files, which disclose that she has DSM-diagnosed, full-syndrome autism. Yet, they referred to her neurological disorder using terms that sounded ambiguous, as if she has something like autism, but not autism. Hannah’s parents repeatedly clarified to the media that their daughter has full-syndrome autism. A scientific journal article21 further confirmed her diagnosis.
Where was the mainstream media? It failed in two respects. First, it continued to repeat the government’s euphemistic words, “autism-like symptoms,” thereby attempting to dodge the burning question—is the dramatic increase in the number of childhood vaccines causing the dramatic increase in autism incidence? Second, the media gave extensive airtime to vaccine-program defenders who seemed to turn the case on its head, blaming the victim for her own injury. In a twist of logic, they inferred that it wasn’t really the vaccines’ fault that Hannah was permanently injured; on the contrary, Hannah was merely a poor receptacle for lifesaving vaccines.
An article in the New Scientist declared, “Significantly, the government’s decision says nothing about whether vaccines cause autism. Instead, government lawyers concluded only that vaccines aggravated a preexisting cellular disorder in the child, causing brain damage that included features of autism.”22 This vague government pronouncement prompted the tongue-in-cheek response from a commenter, “Do cigarettes only aggravate preexisting genetic factors, causing lung damage including features of cancer?”23
In late 2010, reporter Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News summed up HHS’s position, “In acknowledging Hannah’s injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn’t ‘cause’ her autism, but ‘resulted’ in it.”24
A few days after the announcement, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding appeared on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta to explain the government’s position on the Poling case and vaccine-autism causation.
Gupta began the interview by noting that a child with regressive autism had been compensated and that the government had conceded that vaccines had caused her “autism-like symptoms.” He zeroed in on a key question. Gupta asked whether Hannah had “autism” or “autism-like symptoms.”
Gerberding never answered.
She instead claimed that she had not read the Poling case file. Gupta failed to challenge this extraordinary and implausible statement. Gerberding was at the helm of the government agency responsible for the U.S. vaccine program and reported directly to Congress. A government agency conceded that vaccines caused Hannah Poling’s autism-like symptoms and Gerberding had not read her case file before appearing on national television?
In another extraordinary statement, Gerberding proceeded to explain a way in which vaccines can cause autism:
“My understanding is that the child has what we think is a rare mitochondrial disorder and when children have this disease, anything that stresses them creates a situation where their cells just can’t make enough energy to keep their brains functioning normally. Now we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids, so if the child is immunized, got a fever or other complications from the vaccine then, if you are predisposed with a mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage, some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”24
Gerberding had just said that vaccines can cause autism in children with mitochondrial disorders.
Gupta passed right by this statement as well. Seeming not to have heard her, he instead asked, “As it stands, are we ready to say that vaccines do not cause autism?” Off the hook of the vaccine-autism causation question, Gerberding quickly responded,
“What we can say absolutely, for sure, is that we don’t really understand the causes of autism. We’ve got a long way to go before we get to the bottom of this, but there have been at least 15 very good scientific studies, and the Institute of Medicine which has searched this out and they have concluded that there really is no association between vaccines and autism.”25
Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, had just explained an association between vaccines and autism on national news. She then said there is no association between vaccines and autism.
Two weeks earlier, the CDC had held a conference call with concerned physicians and insurance companies to discuss the Poling case.26 During the call, experts presented information that Hannah’s preexisting mitochondrial dysfunction may not be so rare. An unpublished study of thirty children with regressive autism revealed that they all shared Hannah’s same biomarkers.27 On the call, it was estimated that up to one in fifty children, or two percent of the general population, may have a genetic mutation that places them at risk for mitochondrial dysfunction.28 This information had been in the press for three days when Gerberding gave the CNN interview and made the claim that Hannah’s condition was “rare,” but Gupta didn’t challenge her claim.
In The Washington Post, Gerberding offered additional, unsubstantiated words of reassurance to a concerned public:
“While we recognize, and have recognized, mitochondrial disorders are associated with . . . autism-like syndrome, there is nothing about this situation that should be generalized to the risks of vaccines for normal children.29”
Gerberding failed to explain the seemingly simple phrase “normal children.” Hannah seemed “normal” before her shots, as did tens of thousands of children who regressed into autism after their shots. In fact, Hannah was above average socially and so highly verbal that, at the age of sixteen months, she had been chosen to be a “typical peer” to model appropriate social skills to developmentally disabled children in an early intervention program. Millions of concerned parents wonder about vaccine safety and which of their “normal” children might be at risk of developing autism after vaccination. How could they know?
Gerberding’s Washington Post statement raised several troubling questions:
• By definition, regressive autism means that the children were, by all appearances, neurologically “normal” before their diagnosis. In the absence of criteria to identify susceptibility, aren’t all children “normal” before they regress into autism after vaccination?
• How many other children with regressive autism following vaccination have asymptomatic, undiagnosed mitochondrial dysfunction like Hannah Poling? Was Hannah diagnosed only because her father is a neurologist?
• In the Hannah Poling scenario, a seemingly healthy child suffered a vaccine regression that gave her autism. Autism affects one percent of all U.S. children. Why aren’t we screening children before vaccination to make sure they are not susceptible, just like Hannah was?
Dr. Anne Schuchat, the assistant surgeon general and director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC at the time, answered the last question in an interview in The Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Some have suggested that infants and children be screened for mitochondrial disorders before getting recommended vaccinations. Unfortunately, mitochondrial diseases are very difficult to diagnose and it is usually not possible to identify children with such disorders until there are signs of developmental decline. A definitive diagnosis often requires multiple blood tests and may also require a muscle or brain biopsy (removal of a portion for testing, usually under anesthesia). Therefore, providing routine screening tests on children who have no symptoms would bring other medical risks and raise many ethical questions.30
failed to mention that a simple blood test to screen for “soft
biomarkers” of mitochondrial dysfunction is available and
reasonably predictive.31 She further failed to mention the medical
risks and ethical questions raised by blindly vaccinating nearly all
children when we know that some will have mitochondrial dysfunction
that puts them at risk for neurological injury.
2009 – Obama Administration
The following year, Gerberding resigned from the CDC and joined Merck & Co., Inc., the pharmaceutical giant, as head of its vaccine division. Merck manufactures several childhood vaccines including the MMR. Notably, the MMR is the vaccine HRSA has admitted causes an encephalopathy that progresses into autism, and was among the vaccines that resulted in Hannah Poling’s regression into autism. While the autism advocacy community vigorously discussed and debated the Poling concession, Gerberding’s public statements on vaccine encephalopathy and autism, and her new employment, mainstream media once again remained mute.
During reporter David Kirby’s investigation of the Poling case, he requested clarification of the government’s position on whether or not vaccines could cause autism in light of the VICP decision. HRSA’s Office of Communications responded shortly after Gerberding left office with the Bush Administration,
From: Bowman, David (HRSA) [mailto:DBowman@hrsa.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 5 :22 PM To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Subject: HRSA Statement
In response to your most recent inquiry, HRSA has the following statement:
The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.
Some children who have been compensated for vaccine injuries may have shown signs of autism before the decision to compensate, or may ultimately end up with autism or autistic symptoms, but we do not track cases on this basis.
Office of Communications
Health Resources and Services Administration
Bowman asserts that vaccines don’t cause autism, but that they do cause brain damage that can result in autism. However, HRSA doesn’t track that. Kirby and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., published this email, but the mainstream media again failed to report it to the public.
Despite the admissions from both Gerberding and Bowman, CDC took no measures to review or change it's approach to the rising rates of both autism and vaccine rejectionism. The CDC's website in it's discussion of thimerosal,
“There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.”40
In carefully crafted, qualified language, the CDC no longer claimed “no evidence of harm” as it did in 1999 but rather that there is “no convincing evidence of harm,” implicitly recognizing that there was evidence of harm but the CDC has decided not to be “convinced” by it.
On he subject of “Vaccines and Autism” website offered this response to the question, “Do vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders?”
“A: [There are] many studies that have looked at whether there is a relationship between vaccines and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). To date, the studies continue to show that vaccines are not [sic] associated with ASDs.”41
This statement did not accurately depict the state of vaccine safety science . While some studies do not find evidence of an association between vaccines, heavy metal components such as thimerosal, and autism, many do. The peer-reviewed meta-analysis released by DeSoto and Hitlan, found that 74 percent of the relevant studies support an association between autism and heavy metals such as thimerosal.
In March 2010, while discussing the H1N1 flu, Readers Digest asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “What can be done about public mistrust of vaccines?” Sebelius replied,
“There are groups out there that insist that vaccines are responsible for a variety of problems despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. We have reached out to media outlets to try to get them to not give the views of these people equal weight in their reporting to what science has shown and continues to show about the safety of vaccines.”44
the Obama Administration nor Readers Digest clarified this remarkable
disclosure, thus it remains unclear which press outlets HHS
contacted, what HHS asked the press not to report, or who complied
with the request.
In early 2012, in preparation for the second edition of Vaccine Epidemic, the CDC was contacted directly to ascertain its current stance on vaccine-autism causation. Thomas W. Skinner public affairs officer from the Office of the Associate Director for Communication responded:
“Subject: Re: MI-Normal-Book author-Autism/Vaccine
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 20:32:40 +0000
From: Skinner, Thomas W. (CDC/OD/OADC)
Autism presents difficult challenges for thousands of families across the United States. Scientists do not know what causes autism. However, very thorough studies conducted by some of the world’s brightest scientists simply do not point to an association between vaccines and autism. Hopefully additional research will someday provide answers as to what is the cause or causes of autism.”
Because this statement was inconsistent with the current research, I sent Mr. Skinner a follow-up email, in which I brought to his attention a list of sixty studies (listed in appendix starting on page 389) that point to an association between vaccines and autism. I requested three pieces of information: (1) the list of studies that “do not point to an association between vaccines and autism; “ (2) the reasons for the CDC’s failure to mention any of the studies that point to an association between vaccines and autism; and (3) the person or panel responsible for approving his statement.
I received no reply.
While statements on the relationship between vaccines and autism had became more vague, qualified, and inconclusive over the years, suddenly the CDC became very emphatic on their position on vaccine-autism causation. Despite no new information that would justify such an expansive claim coming to light, in September The CDC declared on their web site that,
“Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.”
became official US policy.
The statement was the subject of much criticism, as of the 14 vaccines on the childhood schedule, only 1 of them, the MMR had had any inquiry undertaking on them that failed to find a link. And several studies did find links between MMR and autism.
2017 – Trump Administration
A review of the positions held by the various HHS departments, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, held four incompatible positions on the relationship between vaccines and autism, via the four different departments that he managed and that contribute information to the public on vaccine safety.
In answering the question, “Are vaccines linked to autism?” The departments' answers could be categorized thusly:
(HRSA) The Health Resources Services Administration’s position is: Yes.
David Bowman, a spokesman for HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration commenting on a case of vaccine encephalopathy and autism responded:
“[Vaccine Induced] Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.”
The Food and Drug Administration’s position can summed up as: Maybe. Sometimes.
On the FDA approved Tripedia vaccine package insert:
“Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequencies or to establish a causal relationship to components of Tripedia vaccine.”
The National Institutes of Health’s position can be characterized as: Probably not.
While NIH has not responded to requests for an official position statement on the matter, Dr. Francis Collins wrote on June 13th 2017, in his NIH Director’s Blog, in a post entitled Autism Spectrum Disorder: Progress Toward Earlier Diagnosis:
“Research shows that the roots of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) generally start early—most likely in the womb. That’s one more reason, on top of a large number of epidemiological studies, why current claims about the role of vaccines in causing autism can’t be righti.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphatically asserts: Absolutely not.
On their page on the relationship between vaccines and autism:
Do Not Cause Autism.“
“Vaccine ingredients do not cause autism.”
“There is no link between vaccines and autism.”
THE CHAIRS OF HRSA, CDC, FDA , and NIH
Agencies that report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services therefore held multiple and mutually exclusive opinions on the most significant vaccine safety question in the public forum. This should have been enough to trigger a systematic review of the information each agency is using, what biases are causing this wide range of positions, and whether or not fraud is in play.
Further, both NIH
are multiple vaccine patent holders, which is not disclosed to
patients or their guardians at the point of sale. HHS,
while posing as an impartial agency to research, regulate, and
recommend vaccines via NIH, FDA and CDC respectively, and as “vaccine
court” via HRSA to determine vaccine injury causation in individual
consumer claims, is robbing the consumer of informed consent by
failing to disclose that it is a profit partner in the very shots
that members of the public are allowing to be administered to
themselves or their minor children.
But even beyond that, these vaccine safety statements (save Bowman’s) ignore the more than a hundred research papers that demonstrate multiple links between vaccines and autism, and the mechanisms by which vaccines and their ingredients can cause autism, as well as at least 83 documented vaccine induced encephalopathy with autism claims paid by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
One Cabinet Member, four positions.
following three years of legal pressure from the Informed Consent
Action Network, without comment, The US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention removed The
from it's website where it has lived since 2015, deceiving hundreds
of millions of Americans and parents world wide.
CDC did not inform ICAN of their action and ICAN was not aware of the retraction until it was noticed the day after the installment of the Biden Administration.
Informed Consent Action Network issued the following press release
detailing their three year effort to take the CDC to task for the
ICAN, through its attorneys led by Aaron Siri, has been relentless in its legal demands and actions to compel the CDC to remove its blanket claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” from its website. We are excited to report that the CDC has finally capitulated to those demands!
It has removed this claim from its website!
The more than three-year journey for how ICAN, and its legal team, achieved this result is a story of determined persistence. Here are the highlights.
ICAN’s Opening Salvo (Oct. 12, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2018)
The journey began with a letter sent to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on October 12, 2017. That letter explained why the CDC cannot scientifically claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” on its website. ICAN then ended with the following demand: “Please confirm that HHS shall forthwith remove the claim that ‘Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism’ from the CDC website, or alternatively, please identify the specific studies on which HHS bases its blanket claim that no vaccines cause autism?”
To put HHS and the CDC (an agency within HHS) on their heels, mere days after sending this letter, ICAN also sent a FOIA request FOIA request on November 1, 2017, demanding:
All reports, scientific studies, and any other documents the CDC relied upon to support the assertion “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” located on its website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html.
The CDC quickly called ICAN’s counsel, Aaron Siri, regarding this request. After some negotiations, the CDC formally responded responded on November 7, 2017, stating that “A search of our records failed to reveal any documents beyond the records hyperlinked in the specific web site” to support the claim that vaccines do not cause autism. The CDC had thus revealed a truth, one that HHS could not run from in its response to ICAN’s letter.
On January 18, 2018, HHS responded to ICAN’s October 12th letter. In that letter, HHS provided a list of studies it said supported the conclusion on its website that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.” All of the studies cited related either to a single vaccine, MMR, or to a single vaccine ingredient, thimerosal. *None *of these studies support the claim that vaccines given during the first six months of life do not cause autism.
Given that HHS failed to support its claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism,” ICAN responded by letter dated December 31, 2018 wherein ICAN asserted that “HHS cannot scientifically claim that ‘Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism’” and “must therefore remove this claim from the CDC website until it can produce the studies to support the claim.”
ICAN’s Pincer Maneuver (Jan. 1, 2019 to June 18, 2019)
In order to keep the pressure on to force the CDC to be honest with the public, during the first six months of 2019, ICAN submitted numerous requests for communications among key personnel within the CDC relating to autism. Some of these requests sought emails going back decades. The key players within the CDC with regard to vaccines and autism now knew
we were watching, and that we would have their unvarnished, internal emails related to autism.
ICAN Drops the Gauntlet (June 19, 2019 to Dec. 30, 2019)
Now that ICAN had gathered the proof in the form of evidence and admissions it needed to hold the CDC’s feet to the fire, on June 19, 2019, ICAN demanded that the CDC produce copies of the studies it relies upon to claim that all the vaccines given during the first six months of
life “Do Not Cause Autism.” These vaccines include DTaP, HepB, Hib, PCV13, and IPV. ICAN also demanded that the CDC produce studies to support that the cumulative exposure to these vaccines during the first six months of life “Do Not Cause Autism.”
ICAN, of course, already had the CDC’s admissions on these points from its prior FOIA request in November 2017, the HHS letter exchange, and the CDC’s internal emails. The CDC had nowhere to hide and no way to dissemble. As expected, it responded to ICAN’s request with the same list of studies involving MMR or thimerosal. Not a single study supported that DTaP, HepB, Hib, PCV13, and IPV do not cause autism.
ICAN Battles the CDC in Court (Dec. 31, 2019 to March 5, 2020)
ICAN then put the pressure directly on the CDC. Instead of walking away after the CDC effectively admitted it did not have the studies ICAN sought, ICAN sued the CDC in federal court.
The suit focused on the CDC’s claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” on the basis that the CDC had not specifically listed the precise studies that it asserts support that claim. This lawsuit also quoted from the deposition of Dr. Stanley Plotkin, the godfather of vaccinology, who admitted under oath that he was “okay with telling the parent that DTaP/Tdap does not cause autism even though the science isn’t there yet to support that claim.”
After a lot of wrangling between ICAN’s counsel Aaron Siri, and the Department of Justice, which was representing the CDC, the CDC finally capitulated and signed a stipulation that entered as an order of the court on March 2, 2020 in which the CDC identified 20 studies as the universe of support it relies upon to claim that DTaP, HepB, Hib, PCV13, and IPV do not cause autism. Here is a summary of the vaccines these studies cover:
* 1 relating to MMR (not a vaccine ICAN asked about);
* 13 relating to thimerosal (not an ingredient in any vaccine ICAN
* 4 relating to both MMR and thimerosal;
* 1 relating to antigen (not a vaccine) exposure; and
* 1 relating to MMR, thimerosal, and
Incredibly, the one study relating to DTaP on the CDC’s list was a recent review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), paid for by the CDC, which conducted a comprehensive review looking specifically for studies relating to whether DTaP does or does not cause autism. The IOM concluded that *it could not identify a single study to support that DTaP does not cause autism*. Instead, the only relevant study the IOM could identify found an association between DTaP and autism.
In other words, the only study the CDC listed that actually looked at any of the vaccines given to babies during the first six months of life concluded that there are no studies to support that DTaP does not cause autism. Yet, the CDC chose that study as one of the few that supports its claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism”!
This reality is truly incredible because, when it comes to autism, vaccines are the one suspected culprit that the CDC claims to have exhaustively investigated but, yet, the CDC could not provide a single study to support its conclusion that the vaccines given during the first six months of life do not cause autism.
The CDC regularly complains that those raising concerns about vaccine safety are unscientific and misinformed. It is therefore truly stunning that when we asked the CDC for studies to support its claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism,” the March 2, 2020 stipulation and order made it abundantly clear that it was the CDC’s own claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” that was unscientific.
ICAN’s Coup de Grâce (Mar. 6, 2020 to Aug. 26, 2020)
And now for the coup de grâce. ICAN’s demands at the end of 2019 and over which it took the CDC to court in early 2020 were for the studies he CDC “relied upon” to claim that Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism. ICAN now had a court ordered stipulation that specifically listed the twenty studies the CDC “relied upon” to support this claim– none of which supported that the vaccines given during the first six months of life do not cause autism.
To assure that the CDC understood ICAN was never, ever, ever, letting this issue go, on March 6, 2020 (days after concluding the federal lawsuit) ICAN submitted the following FOIA demand to the CDC: “All studies supporting the claim that DTaP does not cause autism” and days later requested “Studies created or retained by CDC to support the claim that DTaP does not cause autism.” The difference between this and ICAN’s prior requests is subtle but powerful. Instead of asking for the studies the CDC “relied upon” to support that DTaP does not cause autism (as it did previously), ICAN was now seeking the studies that in fact support that DTaP does not cause autism.
In response to this request, the CDC could not list its MMR or thimerosal studies – its hands were tied. It understood there was nowhere left to hide its unsupported claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.” And it knew that ICAN would again take it to court, and this time the outcome could be even harsher.
The CDC Capitulates
On the heels of the foregoing, and dozens of related demands regarding autism that ICAN continued to press, in the dead of the night, and without any fanfare or announcement, on August 27, 2020, the CDC website removed the claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” from its website! The CDC had finally capitulated to the truth!
Compare for yourself the CDC’s autism-vaccine webpage on August 26, 2020 versus August 27, 2020.
You may be wondering why we waited until now to announce this amazing news. Well, ICAN and its legal team have been so busy fighting on dozens of vaccine related fronts (mandatory MMR vaccines, flu shot requirements, improper COVID vaccine trials, etc.) that we only realized the CDC’s vaccine-autism claim had been removed when we recently turned back to that front! Like a Mayan temple hidden in plain sight for hundreds of years, ICAN only recently discovered the CDC’s silent capitulation.
The most recent data from CDC shows that 1 in 36 children born this year in the United States will develop autism. This is a true epidemic. If the CDC had spent the same resources studying vaccines and autism as it did waging a media campaign against parents that claim vaccines caused their child’s autism, the world would be a better place for everyone.
To their credit, parents with autistic children have never backed down. In the face of incessant brow beatings by public health authorities, studies have found between 40% and 70% of parents with an autistic child continue to blame vaccines for their child’s autism, typically pointing to vaccines given during the first six months of life. These parents know what they experienced, what their parental instincts tell them, and
no amount of shaming can change that truth.
With the removal of the claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism,” it is ICAN’s sincere hope that our public health authorities have turned or will soon be turning the corner on this issue. That they will fund independent scientists to conduct the desperately needed studies of autism and the cumulative impact of the vaccines given during the first
six months of life.
The cries of parents who know that vaccines caused their child’s autism should no longer be ignored. The science must be done. And ICAN will continue to fight to make sure that that it is done.
The CDC’s website does continue to claim that “Vaccine ingredients do not cause autism” and so ICAN’s fight continues! Our next step will be to force the CDC to admit whether or not they are also making this claim for aluminum adjuvants used in vaccines. And if so, to produce the studies to support this claim. (See ICAN’s white paper on aluminum adjuvants and autism here.)
Of course, whether one or more ingredients, like water used in vaccines, does not cause autism is not really the issue. The question is whether the vaccine, the product itself as formulated, causes autism. And we now know that the CDC finally understands that it can no longer claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.”
This is the greatest defeat that The Hungry Lie has suffered yet, and the global community owes ICAN a debt of gratitude for their work greater than they will ever receive.
Remaining on the CDC's web site are other numerous false claims, that are yet to be addressed. The next one that must go is the lie that, “There is no link between vaccines and autism.”
This is not just untrue merely at this point in time, or a any time in the 21st century, it has never been true.
scientific record linking vaccine and autism began with the
scientific record on autism itself, and extends through a growing
body of research today. It began when Kanner took notes interviewing
Richard M's mother, and she reported his vaccine reaction and
subsequent regression into the disorder that would come to be called
“Autism” by Kanner when he published the first paper on the
Vaccine induced autism was reported before the word “autism” even existed.
In 2007 I grew tired of hearing that “there is no link between vaccines and autism,” and began keeping a list of research that linked vaccines and autism online. The list has now grown to more than 150 papers supporting the link, and is unfortunately woefully behind, as the project has no funding, and little time has been devoted it to it's development. Kanners report of Richard M's post-vaccine regression in 1943 is the last study on the list.
"157 Research Papers Supporting Vaccine/Autism Causation
Ginger Taylor, MS
Mainstream research has found that vaccines and their ingredients can cause the underlying medical conditions that committed physicians and researchers are commonly finding in children who have been given an autism diagnosis. These conditions include gastrointestinal damage, immune system impairment, chronic infections, mitochondrial disorders, autoimmune conditions, neurological regression, glial cell activation, interleukin-6 secretion dysregulation, brain inflammation, damage to the blood–brain barrier, seizures, synaptic dysfunction, dendritic cell dysfunction, mercury poisoning, aluminum toxicity, gene activation and alteration, glutathione depletion, impaired methylation, oxidative stress, impaired thioredoxin regulation, mineral deficiencies, impairment of the opioid system, endocrine dysfunction, cellular apoptosis, and other disorders.
The list, in whole or in part, has been called to the attention to countless numbers of state and federal health officials, but to my knowledge, no agency has ever undertaken a review of the research, in whole or in part, and applied the research to the assertion that “there is no link between vaccines and autism.” This despite the fact that the first paper on the list was conducted by CDC itself, run by the head of the CDC's Vaccine Safety Branch, Frank DeStefano, and found a 600% increase in autism in children who received the highest levels of mercury in their vaccines.
It can be plainly stated that the US National Immunization Program (now called the National Vaccine Plan) run by the US Department of Health and Human services, is the most nakedly corrupt sector of the US Government.
living American and most of the global population is impacted by
their open and unaddressed fraud.
No vaccine safety statement offered by any local, state, or federal authority remains untouched by this fraud, and no statement offered on vaccine safety by any of them should be believed and taken at face value.
2021 – Biden Administration
The day after this piece was published and widely circulated on The Age Of Autism, CDC replaced the Hungry Lie back onto their web site after five months. Again, without comment.
Their position on vaccine induced autism has nothing to do with science.