In the post below Kurt9 take me to task for not discussing the link between thimerosal and autism in a post about the morality of vaccination.
That’s because there isn’t any link, and until some trial lawyers pays me gobs of cash I’m not going to say there is. Tons of research have been done on the subject. No one who doesn’t stand to make a lot of money from lawsuits maintains that any link exists between thimerosal and autism.
I won’t recapitulate this well worn debate. (Quackbuster provides a good summation.) I will simply point out the last piece of evidence that puts the nail into the entire fraud once and for all.
Autism presents in the first three years of life. The bogus theory held that children received their first-year vaccinations with thimerosal, and then 6 months to 2 years later developed autism due to some entirely unprecedented form of mercury poisoning, that by an entirely unknown mechanism causes a highly specific form of unknown brain damage that alters personality and cognition without damaging any other part of the nervous system. (The fact that no other inorganic substance, including mercury, attacks the body in such a specific way didn’t slow anybody down. )
Since the 1930s, themerosal was used in a vast array of medical products to prevent bacterial contamination, and anyone who lived through that period received doses hundreds and thousands of times higher than vaccinated children did. By the late ’80s, the technology had grown old and was being phased out. Then the thimerosal and autism greed-fest began and the phase out accelerated. By 2000, virtually no childhood vaccine contained thimerosal. Only a small percentage of children today under ten have or will be exposed to thimerosal.
Now, since autism presents in the first three years, we should see an immediate and sharp drop in autism rates as thimerosal exposure plummets to near zero. Anybody can understand that.
Autism rates haven’t budged. In fact, they’ve gone up a bit. We’ve performed the one ironclad test of the causal link between thimerosal and autism and proved the hypothesis invalid. End of story.
The real story in thimerosal-autism hysteria is the the inability of the courts to prevent innocent people from being sued based on utterly bogus science. The silicone-breast-implant hysteria represents another example of bogus science leading to billions in lawsuits and thousands of lost jobs, all based on a hypothesis conclusively refuted when we stopped using the supposedly dangerous product.
Why do we even have a legal standard that we can sue somebody based on a wild guess? Why don’t people like Kurt9 who believe in these conspiracies so passionately never bother to test their own hypotheses?