Monday, June 11, 2007

Lawsuits related to autism and vaccines

Today there have been widepread media reports about lawsuits by parents against the Food and Drug Administration, claiming that autism in their kids resulted from vaccines licensed by the FDA. Some of the issues involve thimerosal autism and claims of gradual mercury poisoning.

Media reports claim that these lawsuits are now filed against the federal government because vaccine manufacturers are supposed to be immune.

Nevertheless, the lack of legal protection for pharmaceutical companies has been mentioned as a major hindrance in manufacture of sufficient quantities of influenza vaccines, and particularly the ability to develop an avian influenza vaccine and manufacture it quickly in sufficient quantities if there is a pandemic. A relevant story by Jeffrey Birnbaum “Vaccine Funding Tied to Liability: Trial Lawyers Save Move Would Hurt Consumers” appeared in The Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2005, here. However, it appears that the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (S 2291) was passed in early 2006 to provide government compensation to victims of vaccine deficiencies and some indemnification of manufactures, at least in situations involving public emergencies. This legislation was controversial and has been called a threat to consumers. Here is another A-champ “Update on Pharmaceutical Community Immunity Legislation” by the Advocates for Children’s Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning, link here.

Because autism occurs more often in males than females, and has sometimes clustered with multiple births, there definitely appears to be an inherited susceptibility to it, including vulnerability to certain toxins. Milder and now widespread pervasive developmental disorders include Asperger syndrome, which may be so mild as often to fall within the range of what is normal in a modern pluralistic society, as simply “different”. Even this may have a genetic and biochemical basis.

Other stories: Mercola thimerosal

Quick Note: Release of Georgia honors student Genralow Wilson blocked by appeal of federal district court order, CNN story.

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