BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday

Great article on the possible links between mercury, children's vaccines and autism - and our government's efforts to protect the drug companies from its customers - in Salon today.

Here.

(Yeah, you'll have to sign up for the day pass, but it shouldn't take more than 30 seconds to kick in.)

In the middle of the controversy? Our buddy - and future presidential candidate - Bill Frist.

The article was written by ROBERT KENNEDY JR:
"Deadly immunity"
When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data -- and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic.

*

June 16, 2005  |  In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Ga. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy. The agency had issued no public announcement of the session -- only private invitations to 52 attendees. There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva, and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly "embargoed." There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left.

The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children.

According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines -- thimerosal -- appeared to be responsible for a DRAMATIC INCREASE IN AUTISM and a host of other neurological disorders among children.

"I was actually stunned by what I saw," Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants -- in one case, within hours of birth -- the estimated number of cases of autism had INCREASED FIFTEENFOLD, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.
Long story short, mercury + vaccines = possible link to autism.
Even for scientists and doctors accustomed to confronting issues of life and death, the findings were frightening. "You can play with this all you want," Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results "are statistically significant." Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting's first day, was even more alarmed. "My gut feeling?" he said. "Forgive this personal comment -- I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on."
EVERYONE should have access to the same care and INFORMATION that a doctor would.

Enter the government and Bill Frist's ELI LILLY PROTECTION ACT:
But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line.

"We are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits," said Dr. Robert Brent, a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. "This will be a resource to our very busy plaintiff attorneys in this country."
Yes, those same plaintiff attorney's that are destroying our country and our freedoms.
"...The government has proved to be far more adept at handling the damage than at protecting children's health. The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to "rule out" the chemical's link to autism. It withheld Verstraeten's findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been "lost" and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism.

The drug companies are also getting help from powerful lawmakers in Washington. Senate Majority Leader BILL FRIST, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children.

On five separate occasions, Frist has tried to seal all of the government's vaccine-related documents -- including the Simpsonwood transcripts -- and SHIELD ELI LILLY THE DEVELOPER OF THIMEROSAL, from subpoenas. In 2002, the day after FRIST QUIETLY SLIPPED A RIDER known as the "Eli Lilly Protection Act" INTO A HOMELAND SECURITY BILL, the company contributed $10,000 to his campaign and bought 5,000 copies of his book on bioterrorism.
Hello, McFly? did you get that?

Frist tried to protect his buddies in the vaccine mess by slipping a rider in a HOMELAND SECURITY BILL. And if you've been paying attention for the past four years, you know that no one can mess with a homeland security bill.

Trixy hobbit!
Congress repealed the measure in 2003 -- but earlier this year, FRIST SLIPPED ANOTHER PROVISION into an anti-terrorism bill that would deny compensation to children suffering from vaccine-related brain disorders. "The lawsuits are of such magnitude that they could put vaccine producers out of business and limit our capacity to deal with a biological attack by terrorists," says Andy Olsen, a legislative assistant to Frist.
COME ON!

FOLKS, JUST READ THAT LAST SENTENCE AND DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.

Luckily, some level headed conservatives are getting involved in this issue:
Even many conservatives are shocked by the government's effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism.
Personal experience has a way of leveling the playing field.
"Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic," his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. "This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin." The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of "institutional malfeasance for self protection" and "misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry."
Please read Kennedy's full piece.

Back to Frist.

During the height of the Terri Schiavo case, Frist, a doctor, questioned the official diagnosis after watching the now famous video of Terri (a video that FOX NEWS played over and over and over again). Remember? It looked like Terri was "following a balloon" with her eyes are "responding" to her parents in the room.

At the time, Frist claimed that, "(The) footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state."

He's getting grilled on those comments today, now that we know that she was in a persistent vegetative state. And blind.

His defense? "I never made the diagnosis. I wouldn't even attempt to make a diagnosis based on a videotape."

Except...he did. ON VIDEOTAPE.

And speaking of Terri Schiavo - Micahel Schiavo's trouble are not over.

Enter JEB BUSH (with nudging from Sean Hannity, methinks).

"Probe Sought in Terri Schiavo 911 Call"

Hannity has been implying "murder" for some time now. Jeb, a presidential candidate himself, might be "thinking" the same thing:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Jeb Bush asked a prosecutor Friday to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, calling into question how long it took her husband to call 911 after he found her.

In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, BUSH SAID Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m., and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.
I would not want to be on the wrong side of the Bushies.

'Specially if you beat them in the court of public opinion.

"When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come?"


More later...

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