I was surprised and disturbed by your answer to the woman who asked about mercury in vaccinations. There is actually a strong correlation drawn through research between thimerosal and autism. Recent research shows that certain children cannot excrete the mercury. That aside, I could accept your statement that you are unconvinced. However, to say that you are unconvinced of mercury causing any neurological symptoms is a surprisingly unenlightened statement, particularly for a medical professional. Mercury has been known as a neurotoxin for more than 150 years.
I find your remarks particularly interesting in light of all the news on mercury in the environment–in which absolutely no one disputes that mercury is a known neurotoxin. Whether thimerosal is the sole cause of autism remains to be seen, but after reading most of the research on the subject, I can tell you it definitely plays a role.
You should also be cautious about reassuring people about its removal from vaccines. The push to remove thimerosal was purely voluntary, and no vaccines were recalled, which means they are still being administered in many offices because they do not expire until late this year. Furthermore, a recent random study of vaccines from four companies (two of which were billed as mercury free) showed mercury still existed in all shots tested.
I implore you to take a more active role in reading the research, because each person you falsely reassure becomes a potential victim of mercury poisoning.
I appreciate your comment, and I have reviewed the literature fairly extensively for my upcoming book, False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear. But what I found does not show a convincing proven cause/effect relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism in humans. I am not saying that mercury is not a neurotoxin–of course it is. And I am not saying that thimerosal shouldn’t have been removed from vaccines at the first sign of any association with neural irritability–even in mice. It should have been removed long ago.
But saying that an unnecessary additive should be removed and saying that it is directly causing autism are far different things. If we are to have credibility as critics of drug company carelessness and callousness, we cannot blur our categories, using toxic doses of mercury as a synonym for thimerosal, when two large scientific trials did not show an association with thimerosal and autism in humans. Do we need more large studies on the effects and side effects of vaccines and additives such as thimerosal? Of course we do. But jumping to conclusions prematurely means scaring the public unnecessarily and is not the same thing as justifying careless vaccine-making.
Is anything being done about the mercury in the seafood we consume? Isn’t the government spending tax dollars to make sure our waters aren’t polluted? If the agency that is responsible for clean water is not doing its job, shouldn’t the consumption of fish be banned the same as eating beef would be if mad cow disease broke out?
I do believe that increasing mercury in our waters is problematic and tied to pollution. And I think that children and pregnant women especially should eat only certain kinds of fish and limit quantities. But mercury isn’t the only problem with water pollution, just as mad cow, a rare disease, is more of a signal of improper beef scrutiny than the major problem or risk (that would be salmonella).