New, Thorough Study of Possible Mercury-Autism Link Proposed By Rep. Maloney
WASHINGTON, DC - At a news conference today to discuss developments in the possible link between vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal and autism, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) announced that she is drafting legislation that would mandate the federal government to conduct a more thorough, scientific study of mercury and autism. The proposed study would compare the incidence of autism in the general population with incidence of autism in a comparison group - identified populations in which children are not vaccinated for religious or personal beliefs.
The idea for the legislation stems from the reporting of Dan Olmsted of United Press International, who has found apparent drastically lower incidence of autism in the Amish and other populations that do not vaccinate their children. To date, no autism study of note has used a control group in which children that were never vaccinated were compared with children that did receive vaccinations containing the preservative thimerosal.
"While I do not know if mercury causes autism, I can say definitively that parents deserve answers about this epidemic," said Maloney. "Right now, I believe that there are still more questions than answers. We have the potential for a much more thorough and conclusive study of mercury and autism, and someone in the medical community should take a look. American parents deserve at least that much."
Maloney plans to introduce the legislation at the end of April, after consulting with interested parties. A draft of the legislation is available at: http://maloney.house.gov/documents/health/mercury/20060330DraftAutismBill.pdf.
At the National Press Club event, Maloney joined Olmsted; David Kirby, whose book Evidence of Harm has drawn much attention to the possible mercury-autism link; Lee Grossman, President of the Autism Society of America; and numerous parent advocates.