Infant Vaccines Produce Autism Symptoms in New Primate Study by University of Pittsburgh Scientists

Routine Safety Study That Government Scientists Refused To Do Illustrates Vaccine Program And Mercury Health Risks Says SafeMinds

ATLANTA, May 19, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Findings released Friday showed that infant monkeys given vaccines officially recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) exhibited autism-like symptoms. Lead investigator Laura Hewitson of the and colleagues presented study results at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in London. Safety studies of medicines are typically conducted in monkeys prior to use in humans, yet such basic research on the current childhood vaccination regimen has never before been done.

The abstracts presented at IMFAR, the world's top autism science conference, describe biological changes and altered behavior in vaccinated macaques that are similar to those observed in children with autism. Unvaccinated animals showed no such adverse outcomes. The vaccines given were those recommended for U.S. infants in the 1990s, including several with the mercury preservative thimerosal and the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine. Rates of autism spectrum disorder among children born in the 1990s surged dramatically, from about 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 150 children.

"This research underscores the critical need for more investigation into immunizations, mercury, and the alterations seen in autistic children," stated Lyn Redwood, director of SafeMinds. "SafeMinds calls for large scale, unbiased studies that look at medical conditions associated with autism and the effects of vaccines given as a regimen."

The group's request for research echoes that of Dr. Bernadine Healy, Former NIH Director, in a CBS interview earlier this week. She asserted that public health officials have been too quick to dismiss an autism-vaccine connection when the research has been insufficient. The government recently conceded a federal vaccine court case which agreed that a child regressed into autism as a result of 9 vaccines given on one day.

"The full implications of this primate study await publication of the research in a scientific journal," noted Theresa Wrangham, president of SafeMinds. "But we can say that it demonstrates how the CDC evaded their responsibility to investigate vaccine safety questions. Vaccine safety oversight should be removed from the CDC and given to an independent agency."

More information about SafeMinds (including neurodevelopmental disorders, autism and mercury exposure) may be found at

CONTACT: Lyn Redwood

404/932-1786

Theresa Wrangham

404/934-0777

CONTACT: Lyn Redwood, +1-404-932-1786; or Theresa Wrangham,+1-404-934-0777, both of SafeMinds

Web site: http://www.safeminds.org/

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Posted: May 2008

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