Bias Found in Study of Thimerosal
SAFEMINDS ANALYSIS OF THIS STUDY:
SAFEMINDS PRESS RELEASE:
CDC MANIPULATED DATA IN STUDY ON LINK BETWEEN CHILDREN'S VACCINES AND AUTISM
CDC'S EARLIER RESULTS SHOWING SIGNIFICANT LINK COVERED UP -EXPOSED BY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT DOCUMENTS
WASHINGTON, DC - A new vaccine study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) containing manipulated scientific data is published in the November issue of Pediatrics. The study suggests no link between neurological disorders such as autism and mercury in childhood vaccines, despite an earlier unpublished study by the CDC, which found a significant link between the two.
Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by Safe Minds, a research organization dedicated to identifying causes of autism in children, expose concern on the part of the study's author, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, that his findings indicated a link between Thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines and the alarming rate of autism in children exposed to the toxic substance.
Once Dr. Verstraeten began working for vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), he altered the data, sampling and methodology of the study so that results would point to enough inconsistencies to cast doubt that mercury in vaccines causes autism.
Dr. Verstraeten is not named as an employee of GSK in the study, but rather is misidentified as an employee of the Centers for Disease Control. GSK is one of only five vaccine manufacturers in the world and produces mercury-laced vaccines.
Data was manipulated, in part, by adding in samples from Harvard Pilgrim, an HMO in Massachusetts, the only state in the country that severely underreported autism in the years looked at in the study, appearing to have almost no cases compared to a nearly 500% increase in other states. Using Harvard Pilgrim helped skew results so that a conclusion of "inconsistencies" between Harvard Pilgrim and other HMO's appears to disprove a link between mercury-laced vaccines and autism.
Harvard Pilgrim filed for bankruptcy in 1999 and was taken over by the state in 2000. One of their biggest problems was record keeping. Harvard Pilgrim, according to The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (Sept. 2000) used computers that had "little compatibility to communicate effectively with one another" and "incapable of consolidating the data accurately."
On July 14, 2000, and prior to his employment at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Verstraeten wrote in an e-mail to a colleague "& I at least feel we should use sound scientific argumentation and not let our standards be dictated by our desire to disprove and unpleasant theory"
From FOIA-obtained documents from "secret" meeting in June 2000 on unreleased findings.
Dr. Verstraeten: " When I saw this, and I went back through the literature, I was actually stunned by what I saw because I thought it [autism link] is plausible."
Colleague: "The number of dose related relationships are statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are statistically significant."
Colleague: "I do not want [my] grandson to get a Thimerosal containing vaccine until we know better what is going on."
Colleague: "perhaps this study should not have been done at all, because the outcome of it could have, to some extent, been predicted, and we have all reached this point now where we are left hanging&. I know how we handle it from here is extremely problematic."