Monday, March 15, 2010

US Court Rules Thimerosal Does Not Cause Autism.


US Court Rules Thimerosal Does Not Cause Autism.


The New York Times (3/13, A11, McNeil) reported, "In a further blow to the antivaccine movement, three judges ruled Friday in three separate cases that thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury, does not cause autism."

The rulings "are the second step in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding begun in 2002 in the United States Court of Federal Claims," which "combines the cases of 5,000 families with autistic children seeking compensation from the federal vaccine injury fund." The fund pays "families of children hurt by vaccines," but it "has never accepted that vaccines cause autism."
        The Los Angeles Times (3/13, Maugh, Zajac) reported, "The cases that three judges, called special masters, chose to rule on as test cases were considered among the strongest, so the outlook appears grim for others making the same claim." In one case, Special Master Denise K. Vowell wrote that "petitioners propose effects from mercury in [vaccines] that do not resemble mercury's known effects in the brain, either behaviorally or at the cellular level."
        "The cases had been divided into three theories about a vaccine-autism relationship for the court to consider," the AP (3/13, Schmid) reported. The court previously "rejected a theory that thimerasol can cause autism when combined with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine," and "a theory that certain vaccines alone cause autism." But, Friday's "ruling doesn't necessarily mean an end to the dispute...with appeals to other courts available." Reuters (3/13, Fox) and AFP (3/13) also covered the story.


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