What the Government Agencies Actually Knew…
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
October 22, 2011
Today, I am going to talk about what US government agencies involved in vaccine regulation knew, and when they knew it regarding the problems of Thimerosal in vaccines. First though, I will talk about why this is important information to have.
In articles part one and two I showed you what Biochemist Brian Hooker PhD has been doing with his time since late 2004. Hooker has been trying to get public information about the five studies the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) claims it ordered, and now relies on, claiming that mercury in vaccines is safe and effective.
Here is what I said:
“In late 2004 Biochemist Scientist Brian Hooker PhD had had enough. He’d been looking, carefully, through the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s so-called “Evidence” that Thimerosal was “Safe and Effective” as a preservative in vaccines. Having read all of the then available CDC studies making that claim, he, as a PhD Scientist, couldn’t help but shake his head “NO.” To him, none of the purported proof was anywhere near being scientifically adequate. Far from it.
So, like any math teacher would do to a student he began to communicate to the CDC his questions. In essence he was saying “Show me your work. Show me how you came up with these answers” – a reasonable question series among scientists, teachers and students, and frankly, the population of Planet Earth.
What was CDC’s response? STONEWALL – a six year knock-down, drag-out brawl to get that information. Brian Hooker would not let up. Neither would the CDC.
Of course, as we know, EVERY American is entitled to review EVERY government agency’s actions and deliberations, with few exceptions – and Hooker eventually ended up filing a federal lawsuit against the CDC, and it is becoming VERY clear that the CDC employees, like it or not, are going to have to cough up all of their internal memos on the subject.
I suspect, after that, that all hell is going to break loose for, without doubt, with what internal memos Hooker already has gotten, it is already clear the in an order of magnitude, EVERY one of those CDC studies was faked with the intent of covering up the facts about how dangerous vaccines really are.
Let me repeat that – EVERY one of the CDC studies showing the so-called safety of mercury in vaccines has been intentionally faked, so as to lead the American Public, and every entity worldwide that relies on the CDC for information, to believe that mercury in vaccines is safe – it is not.
Why did the CDC employees do that? I will explain below. Keep reading.
Why would anyone knowingly cover up the dangers of Thimerosal in vaccines?
Here is what I suspect: There are THREE main reasons:
(1) What I call the “Vaccine Construction” is a combination of Federal/State Agencies and Vaccine Manufacturers banned together into a HOUSE OF CARDS made up of certain foundational beliefs: The construction’s whole current premise is made up of the idea that (a) vaccines are safe, (b) have always been safe, (c) they can be relied on, (d) the agencies can be trusted to look out for the public good, (e) that vaccines have an overlying wonderfulness that acts as a “Prevention” of disease, since, as they falsely claim “Vaccines have eradicated most diseases.”
If it can be shown that even one of these foundations is false, or even in question, the house of cards could blow over. This assault, questioning the validity of the original Thimerosal Studies, substantially attacks four of the five foundations (a, b, c, and d).
This would, without doubt, lead to the very end of the US Vaccine Program – and, most likely, the world vaccine program. Frankly, that’s a good thing.
On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Specific situations were set down setting exactly how, why and when vaccine injuries would be compensated for under this program. In short, when this story unfolds, one result will be the end of this compensation program – and the new lawsuits, justifiably filed, will do to the vaccine manufacturers what happened to the tobacco and asbestos industries – and that, frankly, is also a good thing.
The pharmaceutical industry is currently in big trouble financially, and frankly, is relying on those Federal/State agencies to bail them out with an INCREASED Vaccine Program. That won’t happen if the American people no longer trust the CDC, nor the Federal/State Agency with Vaccine Manufacturers “Vaccine Construction” – and they should not.
The end of the vaccine HOUSE OF CARDS.
(2) Vaccinology has become a religion in every sense of the word. This attack, as seen by the “Vaccine Construction” is an attack on their very basic beliefs. I’m going to do a separate article on this.
(3) All aspects of the Vaccine Program, whether US/Canada, or worldwide, would come into question. For instance – the increased schedule itself, with, or without, Thimerosal is certainly questionable.
What would happen if the vaccine manufacturers simply, right now, removed Thimerosal from vaccines and replace it with another preservative?
Two things: (1) The cost of individual vaccines would go up $.0001 (a tenth of a cent), and (2) Autism (1 in 110), and other neurological issues (1 in 6) would, as the original Danish study ACTUALLY showed, go down radically worldwide.
What would this do? The positive benefit to parents would be obvious. The Attorney Firms would have a field day because those five original fake studies have been used to defeat their arguments. Not any more.
Here is what Brian Hooker told me in response to my questions about the big picture…
When I first started to research the Vaccine/Autism situation I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of the problem. The people that I was using to gather information from had been involved in the issue sometimes for years. It became clear that this problem had been growing for twenty-five years. Just below is Hooker’s email to me. It says a lot.
“I wanted to give you a brief explanation of how the current suit against the CDC ties to the technical issues in the 5 studies. To step back and look at the overall picture, the CDC not only had to recruit scientists from Denmark, Sweden and the UK to do these studies, but they also had to work to make sure that the outcome of all studies was to exonerate Thimerosal from any harm. The former issue is very apparent in the emails that have already been released via the FOIA. We have shown that the CDC was tied to all 5 epidemiological studies in question both from a personnel as well as a financial standpoint. In other words, the CDC “underwrote,” in some way, shape, or form, each study. Some of these were directly funded (Verstraeten et al. 2003, Stehr-Green et al. 2003), some of these were quid pro quo (Madsen et al. 2003, Hviid et al. 2003) and in one case, CDC funneled money (I believe – this needs to be further confirmed via emails from the suit) through the World Health Organization to the U.K. research group (Andrews et al. 2004).
The link that is alluded to but hasn’t been fully established is that the CDC was involved in the “suspect techniques” and out-and-out fraud used in these studies to exonerate Thimerosal. The connection in the Denmark studies are clear (Madsen et al. 2003 especially): the Danish authors withheld causal data on Thimerosal and autism in order to change the results of their study, with the full approval and knowledge of the CDC. However, the other connections are a bit murky. Full emails from top CDC officials, that in context would suggest that they were point blank ordering CDC minions to exonerate Thimerosal at all costs, have been completely redacted (covered by black marker). Emails from Roger Bernier (CSO of the National Immunization Program of the CDC) and Walt Orenstein (Director of the National Immunization Program of the CDC) are consistently fully redacted. If we get at all the email traffic, I believe we will more clearly see the collusion to commit fraud on all the studies.
Meanwhile back at the ranch… The CDC was funding the Institute of Medicine to “use” these 5 studies to exonerate Thimerosal. The fact is that the CDC paid the IOM ($2.7 million) to find that vaccines were “generally safe on a population basis” (taken directly out of the IOM ISR Committee’s closed-door transcripts). In order to close the loop, the CDC had to provide the 5 manipulated studies to the IOM for their ISR committee to declare that Thimerosal is safe.”
Timeline regarding knowledge of damage due to Thimerosal in infant (and other) vaccines:
1988 – Sweden phases out Thimerosal from vaccines
1991 – Dr. Maurice Hilleman memo. Maurice Hilleman is a well-known vaccinologist who in his 1991 internal Merck memo advised his colleagues to reduce Thimerosal exposures especially in pediatric vaccines and look for alternatives for Thimerosal. This memo was not heeded by Hilleman’s industry colleagues (Reference 1 – Hilleman Memo (2)).
1990 – 1998 – There are 45 VAERS reports of vaccine adverse effects related to Thimerosal exposure in infant vaccines
1999 – There are a flurry of emails issued in late June – early July among FDA, CDC and AAP officials. This is the first time that we see U.S. Government health officials have officially responded to the Thimerosal issue. This leads to a joint AAP-PHS statement on Thimerosal, issued on July 7, 1999.
- Starting in Jan. 7, 1999 as indicated in an email between FDA officials Frank Varrichio and Leslie Ball, these health care workers started to become concerned about the cumulative Thimerosal exposure to infants in their vaccinations. In looking at the National Library of Medicine website (i.e., Pubmed), Varrichio finds 7000 references to Thimerosal. Rather than examine all of these references, Varrichio recommends looking at the summary of every 100th report (Reference 2 – Varricchio email 1999).
- On June 29, 1999, Peter Patriarca, the then Director of the FDA Office on Vaccine Research and Review, issues an email to CDC officials (including Roger Bernier, Chief Science Officer of the National Immunization Program and Jose Cordero, Director of the National Immunization Program) discussing how to handle the Thimerosal crisis. Patriarca expresses fears that the FDA, CDC and vaccine policy makers will appear to have been “asleep at the switch” for decades allowing Thimerosal (a potentially hazardous compound) to remain in childhood vaccines. Further, there is fear because no one did the calculation of cumulative mercury exposure as the policy makers continued to recommend more and more vaccines be added to the schedule. Finally, the email at the top of the page indicates that there had been an “interim plan” in place for many years to remove Thimerosal from vaccines. Only now that there was public outcry did these officials consider implementing the plan (Reference 3 – Patriarca to Bernier CDC 1999).
- On July 2, 1999, Peter Patriarca addresses his colleague at the FDA in a confidential email, echoing the concerns of his previous email to CDC officials. He also outlines “talking points” defending the FDA’s actions and explaining the use of Thimerosalas a preservative in infant vaccines (Reference 4 – Patriarca Memo 1999). This email was leading up to a public announcement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Public Health Service (PHS) regarding Thimerosal containing vaccines on July 7, 1999.
- Also on June 2, 1999, Dr. Ruth Etzel, USDA Division of Epidemiology and Risk Assessment, writes and to the American Academy of Pediatrics team involved with the July 7, 1999 public announcement. Dr. Etzel recommends a parallel path to the response of Johnson and Johnson to the 1982 outbreak of tainted Tylenol tablets: (1) act quickly to inform pediatricians that the products contain more Thimerosal than we realized, (2) Be open with consumers as to why they didn’t catch this earlier, and (3) show contrition (Reference 5 – Etzel Email 1999). Dr. Etzel also alludes to the fact that despite these issues, the PHS will not show a preference to Thimerosal-free products.
- On July 3, 1999, Ben Schwartz of the National Immunization Program in the CDC, issues an email outlining an alternative position to Dr. Etzel, where he claims that EPA and WHO guidelines for cumulative mercury exposures have not been exceeded. (This is totally wrong when you consider that vaccines are dosed immediately and not cumulatively over 3 or 6 months – a total CYA on the part of the CDC). This approach is nothing but trickery, meant to defend Thimerosal while sacrificing children (Reference 6 – Schwartz email 1999).
- On July 7, 1999, the Joint AAP – PHS Statement is issued. Here is an excerpt, which far minimizes the panic of the associated vaccine policy agencies: “The recognition that some children could be exposed to a cumulative level of mercury over the first six months of life that exceeds one of the federal guidelines on methyl mercury now requires a weighing of two different types of risks when vaccinating infants. On the one hand, there is the known serious risk of diseases and deaths caused by failure to immunize our infants against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases; on the other, there is the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of neuro-developmental effects posed by exposure to Thimerosal. The large risks of not vaccinating children far outweigh the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of cumulative exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines over the first six months of life.Nevertheless, because any potential risk is of concern, the Public Health Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agree that Thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible. Similar conclusions were reached this year in a meeting attended by European regulatory agencies, the European vaccine manufacturers, and the US FDA which examined the use of Thimerosal-containing vaccines produced or sold in European countries.” (Reference 7 – 1999 AAP – PHS Joint Statement).
- Late 1999 – The CDC initiates its own study on the incidence of autism resulting in children exposed to various levels of mercury in Thimerosal containing vaccines. Dr. Thomas Verstraeten is the lead researcher on the study. In a Dec. 17, 1999 email (entitled “it just won’t go away!”) to his colleagues in the NIP, Verstraeten reports that all the damage is done in the first month of life (Reference 8 – Verstraeten – It just won’t go away). In “Generation Zero” of his data analysis, it can be seen that the children that receive the highest dose of mercury in the first month are 7.62 times more likely to get an autism (2990 on the chart) diagnosis (Reference 9 – Generation Zero Verstraeten Study Data). The Verstraeten study went through 5 more data iterations, using alternative HMO datasets, stratification methods and statistical “Olympics” all designed to obfuscate the 7.62 number seen in the “generation zero” study. This took over 4 years as the final paper was not published until 2003. Even then, Verstraeten himself said that the study was “neutral” and did not exonerate Thimerosal, but indicated that more study was necessary (as recorded in his 2004 letter to the editor of the Journal Pediatrics, also (Reference 10 – Verstraeten letter to Pediatrics April 2004).
September 2000 –The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences is commissioned through an Intra-Agency Agreement (IAA) between the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct 8 separate meetings leading to 8 reports on vaccine adverse effects, including a meeting and report on Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism (IAA attached). The IOM is paid a total of $2,043,000 to conduct these studies. The IOM Immunization Safety Review (ISR) committee is formed to preside over the meetings and write the subsequent reports. Closed door meeting transcripts of the IOM VSR committee include statements by the chairperson Dr. Marie McCormick (Harvard School of Public Health) such as “[CDC] wants us to declare, well, these things [i.e., vaccines] are pretty safe on a population basis” (p. 33, closed door transcripts from 1/12/2001) and “we are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect” (p. 97, closed door transcripts from 1/12/2001). Transcripts are available for perusal at http://putchildrenfirst.org/media/6.4.pdf.
June, 2001 – A relationship is forged between the Private Health and Life Science (PHLS) agency in the UK, represented by Dr. Elizabeth Miller, and the CDC, represented by Dr. Thomas Verstraeten and Dr. Robert Chen, to investigate any correlation between Thimerosal containing infant vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. The funds for the study were granted by the World Health Organization, but email correspondences made it clear that Dr. Verstraeten and Dr. Chen had decision authority on the funds granted (Reference 11 – Miller Verstraeten Chen emails (2)). See page two.
July 16, 2001 – The IOM holds a meeting on Thimerosal containing vaccines. In this meeting, data are presented primarily to support at least a correlation between autism incidence and Thimerosal exposure. At the conclusion of the meeting, the CDC anticipates that the IOM report will conclude that a correlation between autism and Thimerosal containing vaccines cannot be ruled out, due to the inadequacy of data at the time of the meeting.
August, 2001 – The CDC, through NIP Deputy Director Dr. Diane Simpson contacts research groups in Denmark and Sweden to initiate studies on the incidence of autism as related to the phase out of Thimerosal in Denmark in 1992 and in Sweden in 1988. The email traffic around these correspondences is highly redacted but is included as an (Reference 12 – Simpson contacting Denmark Sweden and California (2)).
Oct. 1, 2001 – The IOM ISR committee issues a report stating the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism (Reference 13 – IOM Thimerosal Summary FAQ 2001). By this time, relationships had been forged in Denmark, Sweden and the U.K. with the CDC NIP. Relationships with Denmark and the U.K. were tied financially to the CDC.
Aug., 2003 – A publication supporting the use of Thimerosal in vaccines, coauthors by a CDC employee (Diane Simpson) and a CDC consultant (Paul Stehr-Green) appears in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (AJPM). This paper compiles separate datasets from Sweden, Denmark and California to attempt to deny a causal relationship between Thimerosal and autism. Severe methodological flaws include the use of Denmark data that exclude key information showing that autism rates actually decreased after the removal of Thimerosal in vaccines, the use of inpatient cohorts for the data from Sweden (which do not accurately reflect overall population trends), difficulties in comparing the low Thimerosal exposure levels in Denmark and Sweden to the much higher levels in the U.S.. and misrepresentation of increases in autism rates in California that mirror the rise in the uptake of Thimerosal containing vaccines in this State. Emails obtained from the CDC via the FOIA show Dr. Simpson and Dr. Stehr-Green scouring the world for data that would be “helpful” for publication. Dr. Simpson in an email to Stehr-Green writes “It is possible that the data won’t help us at all, but we won’t know until we see it.” One must infer that helpful data would be those that exonerate Thimerosal (Reference 14 – Simpson Stehr-Green email).
Sept., 2003 – The first Denmark publication appears in Pediatrics. This is after the publication was rejected by the New Eng J Med (NEJM) and the Journal of the American Med Assn (JAMA). In order to get the publication accepted in Pediatrics, Dr. Jose Cordero (at the request of Dr. Poul Thorsen) writes a letter requesting expedited review in the publication (Reference 15 – Cordero Letter to Pediatrics). The publication omits key data showing that autism diagnosis rates in Denmark actually decreased after Thimerosal was phased out of infant vaccines in 1992 (Reference 16 – Lauritsen email Denmark rates 2001). This was fraud was perpetrated with the full knowledge of the CDC.
Oct., 2003 – The second Denmark publication appears in the JAMA. This publication recycles data from the first Denmark publication, uses a flawed database where 10-25% of the older cohorts disappear from the records and skews the data to favor younger children that didn’t receive Thimerosal. Reanalysis of the publication by the group Safeminds shows a 2.3 times greater risk in receiving an autism diagnosis among the children receiving Thimerosal containing vaccines.
Nov., 2003 – The CDC’s own publication from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (a compilation of data from 9 separate U.S. HMOs) appears in the journal Pediatrics. This study represents 5 iterations in which the relative risk of an autism diagnosis in children exposed to Thimerosal has reduced from 7.62 times to a level beneath statistical significance[9-10]. In the actual publication, autism risk data are not shown but are explained as statistically insignificant. The lead author, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten left the CDC in July, 2001 and at the time of publication was employed by vaccine manufacturer Glaxo SmithKline. This represents a gross conflict of interest as GSK had produced Thimerosal containing vaccines implicated in the autism increase worldwide. The CDC has refused to release email traffic between NIP officials and Dr. Verstraeten relevant to this publication, after the point where Verstraeten became a GSK employee. Subsequently, in 2004, Dr. Verstraeten, in a letter to the editor of Pediatrics, explains that this study is a neutral study and cannot be used to rule out a relationship between Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism. This is despite the fact that the CDC widely touts the publication as exonerating Thimerosal.
Feb., 2004 – The CDC very hastily commissions the IOM VSR committee to complete a 9th and final analysis of “Autism and Vaccines”. This is despite requests from many officials from the autism community including Dr. David Weldon, a U.S. Congressional representative from Florida (Reference 17 – Weldon letter to Gerberding). In the IOM VSR meeting, data are presented from the 4 previously mentioned publications representing epidemiological data only. In addition, unpublished data from the U.K. are presented to exonerate Thimerosal (Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the PHLS).
May 14, 2004 – The IOM VSR committee report on “Vaccines and Autism” summarily dismisses any link between Thimerosal exposure and infant vaccines, based solely on the five epidemiology studies, each essentially commissioned and funded by the CDC (only one study considered the more aggressive vaccination schedule used in the U.S., the Verstraeten et al. 2003 CDC study). This report is widely touted to “shut the door” and the Thimerosal/autism debate and is used in Vaccine Court (NVICP) to deny claims of harm due to Thimerosal exposure (Reference 18 – IOM ISR Report on Autism and Vaccines). See page seven.
Sept., 2004 – The Andrews et al. U.K. study, which was presented in draft form at the Feb. 2004 IOM VSR committee meeting, appears in print in the journal Pediatrics. This study again denies any relationship between Thimerosal exposure in infant vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Funding for the study was controlled in part by the CDC.
Summer – Fall, 2007 – Three test cases in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program are heard in “Vaccine Court”. Each of the three cases is dismissed due in part to the five aforementioned, flawed, fraudulent epidemiological studies.
2009-2011 – A new IOM Immunization Safety Committee is formed to investigate adverse effects from infant vaccines. The IOM stands by the May 14, 2004 report on vaccines and autism and refuses to reconsider a potential causal link, despite the huge preponderance of new biological and epidemiological evidence from researchers not tied to the CDC.
Here is what I said in an earlier article…
It is worth repeating:
In short, very, very soon the CDC situation is going to heat up – one way or another. Why? Because all indications are that those emails and communications are the “smoking gun.” showing exactly why, how, and who, covered up the fact that the CDC knew how bad vaccines were, and are. And, who, why, and how the fake studies were arranged, paid for, and published.
Why is this important? Because the whole world of health care has come to rely on the integrity, and reliability of the CDC – which this information strongly contradicts. The issue of mercury, a deadly toxin, being used in vaccines, and protected by the CDC is monumental.
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen