Supports "Mercury Free Vaccine Act of 2005"
HR.881 Introduced to Protect Children, End Controversy
Autism Society of America (ASA), February 23, 2005
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of America (ASA), the nation's oldest and largest organization
dedicated to the supporting individuals and families dealing
with autism, is pleased to announce its support of the
bipartisan move by Congressman David Weldon, MD (FL-15) and
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to assure the removal of
childhood mercury exposure through vaccines. HR 881, the
"Mercury Free Vaccine Act of 2005" was introduced last week in
the US House of Representatives.
"Enormous discussion and research has been given to this issue,"
states Lee Grossman, President of ASA, "and while some progress
has been made to remove the hazard of thimerosal from childhood
vaccines, the lingering threat remains. Government agencies now
report that as late as January 2003 there was mercury in infant
vaccines still in the marketplace. HR 881 will clear up these
issues and assure that parents are not forced to refuse to
immunize as a way of preventing mercury exposure."
Grossman refers to thimerosal, a vaccine preservative comprised
of 49.6% ethyl-mercury, a known neurotoxin. In 1999, the United
States Public Health service and the American Academy of
Pediatrics called for the removal of thimerosal from all
vaccines with potential pediatric administration. Unfortunately,
because no mandate for the removal was instituted,
mercury-containing vaccines remain in the marketplace and
parents are increasingly confused.
Many physicians and researchers suspect thimerosal may
contribute, either directly or through a series of events, to
neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.
"Regardless of your position in the debate, everyone is in
agreement that the injection of mercury into infants and
pregnant women is an unnecessary practice" stated Dr. Cathy
Pratt, Chair of ASA's Board of Directors.
The Weldon-Maloney bill came in response to increased scientific
research from respected institutions such as Columbia
University, University of Arkansas, Northeastern University, and
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which clarifies that
the ethyl mercury in thimerosal can be harmful to the brains of
developing fetuses and young children. Many families in the
autism community have called for this action since the 1999
"ASA appreciates the leadership role Congressman Weldon a
practicing physician and Congresswoman Maloney have taken in
protecting our nations' children. The "Mercury Free Vaccine Act
of 2005" logically addresses a problem that must be resolved.
This is why ASA supports its passage," concluded Grossman.
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