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Mercury-Autism Link Not Found Because of Government Policy

  • Published: 2010-03-12 (Revised/Updated 2018-03-16) : Press Release by Coalition for Vaccine Safety
  • Synopsis: It is universally accepted that mercury is a neurotoxin and can damage the developing brain and the immune system.

Main Document

"It is universally accepted that mercury is a neurotoxin and can damage the developing brain and the immune system."

Special Masters Protect Vaccine Program and Deny Justice to Vaccine-Injured Children - Mercury-Autism Link Not Found Because of Government Policy, not Science

The Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) believes that the Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims wrongly decided that thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) do not cause autism. The Special Masters appear to have based their decisions on the government policy to protect the vaccine program rather than to fulfill their role to do justice by vaccine-injured children. In these three 'test case' decisions in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, petitioners William Mead, Jordan King and Colin Dwyer developed normally through the first year of life and then regressed into autism. They presented thousands of pages of scientific documentation and testimony. Their evidence showed that thimerosal, a mercury-laden vaccine preservative, more likely than not contributed to their autism.

"The deck is stacked against families in Vaccine Court. Government attorneys defend a government program, using government-funded science, before government judges. Where's the justice in that" asked Rebecca Estepp, a CVS steering committee member and mother of a petitioner in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding.

It is universally accepted that mercury is a neurotoxin and can damage the developing brain and the immune system. All three boys' health improved through medical interventions to reduce mercury toxicity and immune dysfunction. Nonetheless, the Special Masters concluded that petitioners failed to meet their burden of proof, even though Health and Human Services (HHS), the respondent in the proceeding, offered no alternative explanation other than genetic predisposition. The Special Masters appear to be following a misguided government policy that if they acknowledge a mercury-autism link, parents will stop vaccinating their children.

The breaking story of fraud at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving Dr. Poul Thorsen, a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote studies supporting the CDC's claims that there is no mercury-autism link, casts further doubt on the Special Masters' decisions. The emerging evidence of Dr. Thorsen's embezzlement of $2 million, falsehoods about his employment, and serious questions about his research throw into question the validity of the science at the heart of HHS's claim of no mercury-autism link.

The Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) is an alliance of organizations dedicated to vaccine safety representing over 75,000 families. In recent letters to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of House and Senate Committees charged with oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Coalition called for hearings to investigate HHS, the CDC and other government agencies. Those federal agencies have failed to comply with the terms of the 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (VICA). Specifically they have failed to provide critical vaccine safety science, including from the taxpayer-funded Vaccine Safety Datalink, on thimerosal, autism and other neuro-developmental disabilities.

The Special Masters' Omnibus Autism Proceeding decisions and revelations about Dr. Thorsen's actions only strengthen the Coalition's resolve in calling for immediate Congressional action to investigate vaccine safety - an issue that potentially affects every person in the country.

"We are confident that the truth will win out. We hope that Congress will intervene in what is clearly a miscarriage of justice to vaccine-injured children," said Jim Moody, an attorney and CVS steering committee member.

For more information on the Omnibus Autism Proceeding and vaccine safety, visit

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