PRESS RELEASE CONTACTS: For Immediate CoMeD President [Rev. Lisa K. Release Sykes (Richmond, VA) 804-364-8426] July 13, 2008 CoMeD Sci. Advisor [Dr. King (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) 973-263-4843]

WASHINGTON, DC - In the United States Court of Federal Claims, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the contention by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), that mercury in vaccines does not cause autism, has suffered an unexpected setback. In a June 27, 2008 Autism Omnibus Proceeding (OAP) conference, attorneys for the DHHS announced that they were withdraw-ing two key written reports and any statements which relied on those reports. Those key reports, written by two world-renowned toxicologists (Dr. Laszlo Magos, formerly from the Medical Research Council Laboratories, England, and Dr. Thomas Clarkson, from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY USA), were the toxicological pillars underpinning the government's claim that Thimerosal does not cause autism.

On July 3, 2008, the three OAP Special Masters recorded that they had granted the DHHS' request to withdraw the expert reports of Drs. Magos and Clarkson. In addition, their court order[1] stated: " respondent would be permitted to withdraw any reliance on those two expert reports, and that we would not consider those reports at all in resolving those test cases."

Ironically, though Drs. Magos and Clarkson were expected to testify to the safety of Thimerosal in vaccines, their previous publications clearly document its significant toxicity. For example, Dr. Clarkson, working under a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), essentially declared that organic mercurial antiseptics, including Thimerosal, should be heavily restricted or withdrawn, "as the fact that mercury readily penetrates intact membranes and is highly toxic seems to have been forgotten" in a peer-reviewed study published in 1977.[2]

With the recent publication of studies proving a link between Thimerosal exposure and autism, the current exodus of experts who are willing to testify for the DHHS that Thimerosal does not cause autism appears to be escalating.

Tellingly, Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former director of the National Institutes of Health, also recently said: "I think the government or certain public health officials in the government have been too quick to dismiss the concerns of these f amilies without studying the population that got sick."


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[2] Fagan DG, Pritchard JS, Clarkson TW, Greenwood MR. Organ mercury levels in infants with omphaloceles treated with organic mercurial antiseptic. Arch. Dis. in Childhood 1977; 52: 962-964.