A lot has been written about
possible link between early childhood
vaccines and autism, but the controversy is still alive.
What could be decisive moment in tipping the balance to one or
the other side is just taking place in the U.S. Court of Federal
Claims (USCFC), where the parents of 12-year old Michelle
Cedillo will try to convince the court that their daughter
autism has been caused by the MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella)
vaccine when she was 15 months old.
If they succeed, it will be a precedent for the
vaccines/autism link, and open the door for over 4800 other
cases that piled up since 1999 (CNN).
What are the chances for this to happen? Should be decent,
even good. For one, this court doesn't require hard evidence,
only to show that the vaccination probably caused the ailments.
Cedillo's theory that it all resulted from the combined effect
of mercury-based vaccine preservative - thimerosal - for
suppressing Michelle's immune system, and weakened measles virus
from the vaccine consequently - and unplanned - taking a hold in
her body, is certainly possible.
Besides, mercury itself is a super-potent neurotoxin. By the
time she was seven months old,
Michelle was already injected with
112.5μg of thimerosal
from the vaccines she received. This
quantity of thimerosal contains
56μg of ethyl-mercury. Little is known about its toxicity;
according to a recent preliminary study (Burbacher, 2005), it
appears to be significantly more toxic that methyl-mercury. If
so, Michelle may have been exposed to
much more than the
official safe limit of mercury
- which is 0.1μg/kg/day of ingested
methyl-mercury for children - from this single source alone.
no one can tell how safe is the official "safe" level. There is
really no reliable scientific basis for it. No long term
scientific study has ever been conducted for health effects of
mercury alone, let alone for the synergistic effect with many
other toxins and risk factors that children are exposed to.
On the flip side, if the court decides in favor of the
Cedillo family, they will be entitled only to a fraction of the
compensation they could expect in a regular court. The reason is
that the USCFC, formed in 1986, is a no-fault policy court,
which basically protects vaccine manufacturers - and steady
vaccine supply - from the negative effect of lawsuits. The
compensation budget - at present $2.5 billion within the
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program - comes from a special vaccine tax. In fact, any compensations
ordered by this court
be, in effect, paid by the consumer,
not by vaccine
manufacturers, or the government.
But if the March 2006 ruling of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of
Appeals holds, the three thimerosal manufacturers can be sued
directly in regular courts, on the grounds that the preservative
is not inherent vaccine ingredient, hence it is not covered by
the no-fault National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act policy. The
Cedillo USCFC decision would be crucial for those trials.
The biggest obstacle for the Cedillo family is
the government, which is effectively the defendant in this case
(US Department of Justice, Civil Division). It is the government
that not only allowed, but made mandatory vaccination of
millions of children that resulted in toxic exposure harmful to
undetermined number of children.
It is no surprise that its official stand on the thimerosal/autism link changed from "possible" in 1999 to "no
link" in 2004. The "petitioners" (plaintiff) were already denied
access to the government's database which was used for the 2004
USCDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) study that found "no
link between thimerosal and autism", despite
this study's result being one of the major arguments by the defense.
If anything, this shows that you need to be
well informed when it comes to your health, and
especially health of those most precious and most helpless in
your life - your children. Unfortunately, it may not be