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Government moves past the vaccine-autism debate

By Amy Pisani

Hi everyone, I’m not sure how familiar you are with the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, but it is the committee within the department of Health and Human Services which coordinates all efforts concerning autism. Check out the press release below regarding their recent meeting from IACC member Alison Singer’s organization, the Autism Science Foundation. It’s great to see that the government is moving past the vaccine-autism debate.

Autism Science Foundation Agrees with Decision to Keep Vaccine Research Out of the IACC Autism Plan

(November 11, 2009—New York, NY) Autism Science Foundation President and Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee member Alison Singer joined her colleagues on the IACC in voting to eliminate references in the autism strategic plan that could imply that vaccines cause autism or that call for additional vaccine research.  “Draft materials submitted to the IACC suggesting vaccines and/or vaccine components were implicated in autism were rejected by the committee because the IACC determined that they were not based on good science,” said Singer.  In addition, the two research objectives proposed that specifically called for additional vaccine research were not approved.

Two initiatives in the plan, one old and one new, could allow for vaccines to be studied as part of larger environmental initiatives if circumstances warranted.  First, the IACC voted to retain language from the 2009 plan calling for studies of environmental exposures outlined in the 2007 IOM report “Autism and the Environment”, which could include vaccines. The IACC also voted unanimously to add a new objective to study whether or not there are certain subpopulations that are more susceptible to environmental exposures such as immune challenges (including naturally occurring infection, vaccines, and/or immune disorders).

“More than a dozen studies indicate that neither vaccines nor any specific ingredients in vaccines cause autism.  The IACC affirmed that there is no reason to call out vaccines as a specific area worthy of further study in relation to autism,” said Singer.  “Vaccine safety research is an ongoing process at the CDC.  If some new science were uncovered that brought vaccines into question, then new studies could be done under the auspices of this strategic plan. But there is nothing in the plan that specifically calls for additional vaccine research because there are no data implicating vaccines as a possible cause of autism. While research on environmental factors is important, it makes little sense to pursue a specific study of vaccines, the one environmental factor that science has already ruled out.”

Singer added that some groups seem to be misinterpreting the inclusion of the word “vaccines” in the list of examples of immune challenges as a mandate for vaccine research, and have issued misleading statements. “Based on the votes taken yesterday, the IACC was clear in its position about autism and vaccines.  But if there is public confusion about this new research objective then I will try to make sure we clarify it at our next meeting,” Singer said. The IACC will continue its work on the plan at a meeting on December 11, 2009 with the goal of finalizing the revised plan by January, 2010.

Singer was appointed to the IACC in 2007 by HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.

To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation, visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org

  1. DustineJackson
    November 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    The government doesn’t move past anything, they simply re-organize themselves to create an illusion of progress….it wouldn’t matter if they were still in the autism vaccine debate because they–the individuals who work inside government agencies serving autistic populations–don’t know what the hell they are doing. Then you have Ms. Jenny McCarthy, who is the biggest joke ever, playing the role of a mother with autism to add to the chaos and confusion. Autism has become a big money maker and it’s a damn shame because there are families out here who are dying. Who are suffering. Who are dealing with things like face scratching, head hitting, running into traffic, clawing eyes out, having seizures, sensory issues, dietary issues and getting [expletive removed] medical care from doctors who are overwhelmed with the epidemic of misdiagnosed kids coming in the office whose moms are now pushing for the autism diagnosis, with schools pushing it too, so they can get more services and more money. God, it’s all such a flipping MESS. I saw on You Tube some good examples of what people go through dealing with kids with autism…a real eye opener….who the hell is helping these families? Government? Heck no. Hollywood? Hell no. They can’t handle hard cases of autism like the one I saw with self injurious behavior on you tube. It’s too much reality. They want to parade around some kid who has a mild case or is really Landau Klaffner, PDD ADHD or Aspergers and say this is the face of autism. Jesus….this is all such a scam….true autism is nothing like you are being shown most the time in the media…..especially these [expletive removed] who make movies…they are way off

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