By Lisa Garber
The American Academy of Pediatrics and a World Health Organization committee agreed that thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that contains mercury, should not be banned by the United Nations, even though it has been frowned upon in the United States.
Rewind to 1999, however, and you would find the AAP asking for thimerosal’s removal from vaccines in the United States, due to the danger of youths being injected with too much mercury. And there was less evidence then as there is now that these vaccines could contribute to the development of autism and other neurodevelopmental problems. In a curious turn of events, however, the AAP agreed this month with the WHO commission when it advocated the use of thimerosal in vaccines to treat children around the world.
“It was absolutely a matter of precaution because of the absence of more information,” says Columbia University’s Dr. Louis Cooper, then AAP board of directors. “Subsequently an awful lot of effort has been put into trying to sort out whether thimerosal causes any harm to kids, and the bottom line is basically, it doesn’t look as if it does.”
A 2004 safety review by the US Institute of Medicine would come to the same conclusion, as does a 2010 assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dangers of Thimerosal and Vaccines
Thimerosal, however, is approximately 50 percent mercury. For every child and every dose, 62.5 ug of mercury comes with a vaccination against hepatitis B or MMR. According to the Federal Environmental Protection Guidelines, that’s 100 times the “safe” dose.
Vaccines also have a spotted history and questionable efficacy. An increasing number of people are shunning the injections despite pressure from their places of employment. According to findings by Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, the flu shot actually worsens H1N1 symptoms. Just a few of the studies implicating vaccines in contributing to leukemia and lymphoma include:
- Bichel, Post-vaccinial Lymphadenitis Developing into Hodgkin’s Disease, Acta Med Scand, 1976, Vol 199, p523-525.
- Stewart, AM, et al, Aetiology of Childhood Leukaemia, Lancet, 16 Oct, 1965, 2:789-790. [Listed under Vaccine Adverse Reactions.]
- Glathe, H et al, Evidence of Tumorigenic Activity of Candidate Cell Substrate in Vaccine Production by the Use of Anti-Lymphocyte Serum, Development Biol Std, 1977, 34:145-148.
These are, admittedly, older studies. While many have been conducted since, a highly profitable industry has also been built around vaccines, rendering many studies heavily biased and unreliable. What’s more, thimerosal isn’t the only harmful additive. Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, is another “preservative” found in vaccines.
Short-Sighted Humanitarian Efforts, Profits for Big Pharma
The AAP argues, however, that while thimerosal should remain sparse in American children, those abroad without access to vaccines should not get the same treatment.