By Dr. Mercola
On February 15, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — chairman of The World Mercury Project, founded in November, 2016 — held a press conference at The National Press Club in Washington D.C., calling for an open and honest discussion about vaccine safety. Actor Robert De Niro, whose son has autism, was also in attendance.
During that press conference, Kennedy challenged journalists to do their job rather than simply regurgitate vaccine industry propaganda.
He also offered $100,000 to anyone who can find a published study indexed in PubMed proving mercury levels in vaccines are harmless for infants and developing fetuses at the levels given. As reported by Epoch Times:1
"Kennedy … said he's spent years watching the press repeat what public health officials say without critically questioning or citing primary sources and thus the press has failed as watchdog for the vaccine industry.
'We are going to offer a $100,000 reward, it's called The 100K Challenge, to any journalist or anybody else who can point to a single existing study that says that it is safe to inject mercury into babies and pregnant women at the levels that we are currently injecting them with the flu vaccine' …"
Vaccine Shills Coming Out of the Woodwork
Ironically, articles arbitrarily defending the mercury preservative thimerosal2 in vaccines are being published without producing much, if anything, in terms of evidence that it is safe to inject children and pregnant women with mercury in any amount. Take Kate Feldman's piece in the New York Daily News:3
"Robert De Niro and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are looking for proof that vaccines are safe, despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe. An FDA study in 1999 found that thimerosal … posed no harm except for hypersensitivity.
The CDC also provided research that shows no link between thimerosal and autism."
Aside from not providing a single reference or link to the CDC studies in question so that interested parties might follow up on them, Feldman fails in her journalistic duty by not addressing a single argument brought forth by the other side — and there are many to choose from.
This is typical of mainstream media, carelessly defending the safety of vaccines without addressing the evidence that has been accumulating for a long time suggesting otherwise. This includes:
✓ Whistleblowers who claim scientific fraud was committed to reach a conclusion about vaccine safety. For example, in 2014, William Thompson, a senior CDC scientist, confessed he conspired with colleagues to cover up links found between MMR vaccine and autism among African American boys.
According to Thompson, they eliminated the incriminating data in order to vanish the link. According to investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, the CDC has blocked Thompson from testifying in a medical malpractice case brought on behalf of a teenage boy who allegedly developed autism following vaccination.
Kennedy is one of the legal representatives in this case. The father is now suing the CDC in an attempt to force the agency to allow Thompson to testify.4
Kennedy and others have also brought forth evidence showing data manipulation was used to reach a desired conclusion of safety (see more below).
✓ The U.S. government has sealed vaccine injury compensation case results where autism was in fact linked to brain inflammation, vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation.5
✓ The fact that the FDA set the limit on the amount of aluminum allowed in vaccines (as an adjuvant) based NOT on safety studies but rather on the amount required to boost vaccine effectiveness — or the fact that many vaccine safety studies use improper placebos, meaning placebos that may be toxic rather than inert, thereby hiding or minimizing the adverse effects of the vaccine.
Aluminum as an adjuvant has in fact never been tested for safety. It was and still is ASSUMED to be safe, although there's plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.
Biochemist Lucija Tomljenovic, Ph.D., has published a number of papers6,7,8,9,10 that suggest aluminum-containing vaccines may be causing harm.
✓ Statistical correlations showing that countries where children get the largest number of vaccinations have higher autism rates compared to countries that do not vaccinate children with as many vaccines.
Tomljenovic discusses these findings in my 2015 interview with her. In the U.S., there's also a significant correlation over the last three decades between the number of vaccines and autism rates.
✓ Brand new research published on January 19, 2017, concluding there's "a significant relationship" between mercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines and the subsequent risk of emotional disturbance,11 based on data obtained from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database.
✓ As noted by Attkisson, Dr. Frank DeStefano, director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office has verbally acknowledged that vaccines "might" trigger autism, albeit "rarely,"12 adding, "It's hard to predict who those children might be."
This is an important admission that strikes at the heart of the matter and reveals a significant problem.
By not having any reliable way to screen children for risk factors that might predispose them to vaccine damage, and removing personal choice to boot, children are quite literally sacrificed "for the greater good."
But ask any parent of a vaccine damaged child whether it's a price worth paying when it's YOUR child, and you'll get a whole other perspective.
Thimerosal Safety and Vaccine Safety Are Not the Same Things
While Kennedy appears primarily focused on the potential role of thimerosal in causing vaccine damage, researchers have presented a number of other potential mechanisms of vaccine harm, including the long acknowledged ability of vaccines to cause brain inflammation (encephalitis/encephalopathy), the toxic effects of aluminum adjuvants and other toxic vaccine ingredients, and the hazards of immune overstimulation by virtually any means.
For example, pertussis toxin13 and live measles virus,14 can cause brain inflammation and permanent brain damage — regardless of thimerosal.
As noted by Tomljenovic, it's important to realize that autism is not just a brain disorder; it's also an immune system disorder. She calls it an immune system brain disorder, as the two systems are connected. In my 2015 interview with her, she said:
"You cannot influence the immune system at the periphery without changing something in the brain. Most of us know that from experience, because when you get the flu, your brain doesn't function very well … It's a neuroendocrine axis — basically, the immune system at the periphery and the central nervous system talk to each other.
If you increase an immune response artificially at the periphery, you are going to mess up the brain. They've done that artificially using what they call viral and bacterial mimics. I thought, 'Oh, that [is] like antigens in vaccines,' because that's exactly what's being used. Commonly in this type of research strong adjuvants are added to exaggerate the immune response ...
There is a huge body of research that shows if you overstimulate the immune system at the periphery, especially in the critical stage of early development, you are going to influence the brain in a negative way, and by doing so, you can create irreversible damage. This is research that is rarely discussed, because it really shows that there is reason to question the safety of the burden of vaccines given to infants."
Other Potentially Harmful Vaccine-Related Factors
So, while I hope Kennedy's passion and determination will further a more open public dialogue on, and scientific investigation into, vaccine safety, I believe it's a mistake to single out or focus all of the attention on thimerosal. Examples of other vaccine ingredients and factors related to vaccination that may be harmful to health include:
- Lack of research into the safety of the CDC's recommended childhood vaccine schedule that subjects infants and young children to 50 doses of 14 vaccines during the first six years of life, starting on the day of birth, including receipt of six to 10 vaccines on the same day.15
- Failure of one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and laws to acknowledge increased individual susceptibility to harm from vaccination that include genetic, biological and environmental high-risk factors often not identified, or dismissed as unimportant, by doctors and other vaccine providers.16
- Research showing an increase in death following receipt of inactivated vaccines. Aluminum adjuvants might be a factor, but it appears inactivated vaccines may also program your immune system in a way that decreases your body's ability to fight off disease later. To learn more about this, please follow the hyperlink provided.
- The gut-brain axis and the compelling synergy between compromised gut flora and autism, where vaccines can act as a trigger. To learn more, please see the hyperlinks, as I've written about this on previous occasions.
- The association between autism increases and the introduction of vaccines using human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants.17
- The potential for DNA fragments in vaccines to produce an exaggerated and potentially lethal immune response.18
My point is that vaccine safety is not merely an issue of answering the question "does thimerosal cause autism?" Even if thimerosal is removed from every single vaccine or is unequivocally exonerated as completely harmless, the issue of whether or not vaccines are safe in the long term would still remain, because there are so many other potential hazards and unanswered questions involved.
Thimerosal preservatives are not present in live virus vaccines such as MMR, and thimerosal amounts were substantially reduced or eliminated in most inactivated vaccines after the FDA and EPA told vaccine manufacturers in 1999 to remove mercury from childhood vaccines, yet vaccine damage, including the unexplained increase in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders among children, is still a pressing reality.
At present, thimerosal is primarily found in varying amounts in some inactivated influenza and meningococcal vaccines, and certain tetanus-containing vaccines (T, Td/DT).19
Moreover, vaccine safety is not simply a matter of proving or disproving the link between vaccines in general and autism specifically. There are many other, potentially severe side effects, including immune system dysfunction, that can lead to or exacerbate any number of health problems. Veterinary scientists have even noted increasing rates of autoimmune problems in dogs following vaccination.
So even if the thimerosal and autism issues were both resolved, the question of whether it's wise public health policy and safe to administer 69 doses of vaccines between birth and age 18 to every child, without exception, would still remain.
Can You Trust FDA and CDC Assurances of Safety?
Kennedy recently co-wrote an article in which he released documents revealing that officials at the FDA and CDC "knew that infant vaccines were exposing American children to mercury far in excess of all federal safety guidelines since 1999."20 According to Kennedy:
"[T[he regulators realized that a -month-old infant who received thimerosal-preserved vaccines following the recommended CDC vaccine schedule would have received a jaw dropping 187.5 micrograms of mercury …
There was no point in time from birth to approximately 16 [to] 18 months of age that infants were below the EPA guidelines for allowable mercury exposure. In fact, according to the models, blood-and-body burden levels of mercury peaked at  months of age at a shockingly high level of 120ng/liter. To put this in perspective, the CDC classifies mercury poisoning as blood levels of mercury greater than 10 ng/L."
The reason you've never heard about this is because the FDA concealed it with a statistical trick. By averaging the mercury exposure over a period of six months, the spikes in mercury on the days of vaccination disappeared. Voila — by massaging the way the data is reported the effect went from being 12 times over the level of mercury poisoning to being of no consequence. As noted by Kennedy:
"An analogy would be to compare taking two Tylenol tablets a day for a month to taking 60 Tylenol tablets in one day; the first exposure is acceptable, while the other is lethal."
This is why journalists who merely parrot the approved FDA and CDC talking points do readers such a tremendous disservice. Both agencies have been accused of malfeasance and cover-up of important safety data, and until or unless we get to the bottom of the truth, they cannot be relied on as the final arbiters of what's safe and what's not.
Kennedy has also reported that the CDC owns more than 20 different vaccine patents and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines each year, noting that those patents create a significant undisclosed conflict of interest when it comes to the agency's involvement in vaccine safety.21,22
What You Need to Know About Wakefield's 'Discredited Autism Study'
Mainstream media journalists like to insinuate that President Trump and Kennedy are somehow unduly influenced by Andrew Wakefield, a former gastroenterologist whose entire career was flushed down the proverbial tubes as a result of his raising the possibility of a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and development of autism in some children. As just one example, KUTV.com writes:23
"The fear that vaccines caused an increase[d] risk of autism in children originated with a 1997 study by a British surgeon, Andrew Wakefield, in a medical journal. According to PublicHealth.org, that research has since been 'completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest and ethical violations.' Wakefield lost his medical license."
What many people don't know is that Wakefield never actually performed a study to ascertain whether the MMR vaccine caused autism. What he — along with 12 other colleagues — did was to publish a case series paper in The Lancet, reporting that parents of 9 of 12 children they'd seen for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms told them their children's symptoms had begun soon after getting the MMR vaccine.
A case series paper is very different from a controlled study. It merely describes experiences of a single patient or group of patients with a similar diagnosis. As Wakefield points out in his book, "Callous Disregard," the purpose of a case series paper is to "generate new hypotheses." It is not supposed to suggest or investigate possible causality — and Wakefield's paper did not make any causal claims. Rather, he and his colleagues concluded:24
"We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immun[iz]ation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.
Wakefield was targeted for vilification even though he and his colleagues simply articulated the hypothesis. Eventually, the paper was retracted after generating massive international controversy and denials by public health officials and doctors giving vaccines to children, who claimed the paper unnecessarily frightened and caused parents to question the safety of vaccines.
However, to use Wakefield's case paper as "proof" that there is no link between vaccination and autism because one study, which raised the possibility of a potential link between MMR vaccine and autism was subsequently discredited and withdrawn, is patently misleading.
What happened to Wakefield is powerful testimony of the danger that research scientists and physicians face if they draw the ire of the vaccine industry, government health officials and medical organizations promoting mandatory vaccination. The threat to one's livelihood is in and of itself a factor that prevents much needed independent vaccine safety research.
Will Vaccine Safety Commission Become a Reality?
Last month, Kennedy told reporters that President Trump had asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. During the February 15 press conference, he said discussions about the establishment of such a commission are still ongoing. He's cautiously optimistic the White House will follow through on it.25,26
"I have been contacted three times by the administration since [January 10] and they tell me that they are still going forward with a commission," he said. "[Trump] told me he knew the pharmaceutical industry was going to cause an uproar about this. [Trump] said: 'I'm not going to back down.' [But] what happens within the administration is very obscure to anyone … I can't tell you what's going to happen."
Indeed, the vaccine industry's self-protection mode is now in overdrive. According to Science Magazine,27 " … [M]ore than 350 scientific and medical organizations, led by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), wrote to Trump on February 7, reminding him: 'Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines safe [sic] lives.'"
According to this letter, "Claims that vaccines are unsafe when administered according to expert recommendations have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature." Proving their point, 41 published studies were listed, all of which focused on and refuted links between vaccines and autism specifically.
However, as Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, commented in a press release after the Institute of Medicine in National Academy of Sciences released a report in 2013 on the safety of federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule:
"The most shocking part of this report is that the committee could only identify fewer than 40 studies published in the past 10 years that address the 0- to 6-year-old child vaccine schedule."
NVIC highlighted the fact that there is so little published research about the safety of the childhood vaccine schedule that the IOM committee could not determine whether the child vaccine schedule was or was not associated with development of a whole range of serious diseases and disorders in children, including autism:28
"Frequently citing a lack of enough quality scientific studies in the report, the IOM committee was unable to determine whether the numbers of doses and timing of federally recommended vaccines children receive in the first six years of life are — or are not — associated with health problems in premature infants or the development of chronic brain and immune system disorders in children, including: asthma; atopy; allergy; autoimmunity; autism; learning disorders; communication disorders; developmental disorders; intellectual disability; attention deficit disorder; disruptive behavior disorder; tics and Tourette's syndrome; seizures; febrile seizures and epilepsy.
"The committee said, 'No studies have compared the differences in health outcomes that some stakeholders questioned between entirely unimmunized populations of children and fully immunized children. Experts who addressed the committee pointed not to a body of evidence that had been overlooked, but rather to the fact that existing research has not been designed to test the entire immunization schedule.'"
From my point of view, there can be little doubt that we need to review the safety and effectiveness of the current vaccination program in the U.S., and that this review needs to include methodologically sound investigative studies that are not compromised by conflicts of interest within industry and government. As noted in a January 10, 2017, Facebook post by Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL):29
"Maybe we will finally find out why the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund has paid out over $3 BILLION for vaccine injuries — at the same time it is claimed that vaccines do not cause injuries."
Mar. 31 Revolution for Truth Rally On Capitol Hill
On Friday, Mar. 31, 2017, a Revolution for Truth rally will be held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1 to 5 p.m. Organized by Vaccine Injury Awareness League (VIAL) with support from Kennedy's World Mercury Project and other groups, the rally is being held to take a stand for freedom of thought, speech and conscience.
Those gathering in DC are protesting the exploitation of people's health by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries with the cooperation of government, and the corporatized mainstream media's biased coverage of environmental protection and vaccine safety and choice issues.
Speakers include doctors, attorneys, journalists, filmmakers, parental rights advocates and civil and human rights activists calling for truth, integrity and transparency in government and the media, with RFK, Jr. delivering the keynote address.