SafeMinds Authored Commentary, Critiques & Presentations

SafeMinds has actively critiqued much of the research on the vaccine-autism link since 2000. Generation Rescue has provided two websites, fourteenstudies.org and putchildrenfirst.org, that provide critiques of the flaws of studies that are often used to refute the vaccine-autism link. Those websites include critiques written by SafeMinds, such as Analysis and Critique of the CDC’s Handling of the Thimerosal Exposure Assessment Based on VSD Information written as critique of the Verstraetten study. You will find other commentaries and critiques by SafeMinds below.

Urinary Excretion Study – SafeMinds Commentary (2/22/12)

Brief: Environment vs. Genetics
Why The Autism Epidemic Demands a New Approach

Background, Supporting Research and Analysis of Current Research Funding

Vaccines and Autism: What do Epidemiological Studies Really Tell Us?

This paper examines the epidemiological studies surrounding “autism and the MMR vaccine” and “autism and thimerosal”. It explains in detail the conflicts of interest, poor designs and unsupported conclusions in 16 different studies related to autism and vaccines. It includes the opinions of other authorities on these studies as well.

On-Time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes (June 2010)

SafeMinds tells you what’s wrong with this study and Sallie Bernard’s comments are published in Pediatrics

SafeMinds Safety First Comment to National Vaccine Program

A Roadmap to a Safety First Agenda for the National Vaccine Program: Suggestions for the Draft National Vaccine Plan from a Patient Safety Perspective (June 2009)

SafeMinds Response to National Vaccine Plan of 2008 Draft  (March 2009)

Latest Autism Gene Findings… Not Much (April 2009)

There’s a familiar rhythm to the most prominent autism gene hunt publications. Their authors hype their newly minted study aggressively in the media. The prestigious journals that publish them lend their imprimatur to press releases that say, “this study is a big deal.” The findings sound impressive in the press release (and the authors get plenty of time on camera and in leading newspapers to tell us how truly impressive they are). In the meantime–in papers that are so densely written that making sense of what they really say requires far more reflection than the media hype cycle permits–skillfully concealed evidence reveals the truly important new in the findings: the authors whisper quietly (if at all) that the new analysis negates the most important findings of some of the most prominent previous gene hunts, while crucial detail on their new findings is often relegated to “supplementary material” that’s not available on the publication date.  Read more.

SafeMinds Sponsors and Attends 25th International Neurotoxicology Conference

NIH & AUTISM: A Case Study in Barriers to Progress in Environmental Medicine
October 2008 Authored by Sallie Bernard, Mark Blaxill and Theresa Wrangham

Read paper or poster.

SafeMinds and National Autism Association – NIEHS-Sponsored Symposium on Environmental Factors in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (August 2005)

In August 2005, a two-day symposium was held in Bethesda, Maryland on the role of environmental factors in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Kenneth Olden – then the director of NIEHS – conceived the idea for the conference, and the meeting was sponsored by NIEHS. Two autism research groups, the Coalition for SafeMinds and the National Autism Association, co-organized the meeting with a team of researchers they recruited to the effort.

MMR and Autism in Perspective:  The Denmark Story (2004)

Authored by Carol Stott, Ph.D.; Mark Blaxill; Andrew J.Wakefield, M.B., FRCS for the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Autism and related developmental disorders, once rare, are now becoming a common problem in Western countries. Although frequently catastrophic in their effects, the current crisis has come up against a “duck-and-cover” mentality from many a dusty corner of conventional medical wisdom.  Read more.

Something is Rotten in Denmark (May 2004)

An Analysis of the Failures and Conflicts of Interest in Several Studies Used by IOM Vaccine Safety Committee Report. View Power Point

Generation Zero Full Analysis with Charts (2004)

Thomas Verstraeten’s First Analyses of the Link Between Vaccine Mercury Exposure and the Risk of Diagnosis of Selected Neuro-Developmental Disorders Based on Data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink: November-December 1999.  Click here for full analysis with charts, click here for Generation Zero Synopsis.

Analysis and Critique of the CDC’s Handling of the Thimerosal Exposure Assessment Based on VSD Information (October 2003)

View Power Point

Analysis of the Danish Autism Registry Data Base in Response to the Hviid et al Paper on Thimerosal in JAMA (October 2003)

A large percentage of diagnosed autism cases are lost from the Danish registry each year. In the ten years preceding 2000, 815 cases were lost, more than the 710 remaining in the registry in 2000. The vast majority of those lost cases would represent older children in the 2000 registry. Since the relative risk of the Hviid study is based on finding fewer older thimerosal-exposed children than younger unexposed children, the validity of their conclusion exonerating thimerosal in autism is questionable. More likely, the finding is a result of missing records rather than true lower incidence rates among the exposed group. Read more.

Danish Thimerosal-Autism Study in Pediatrics: Misleading and Uninformative on Autism-Mercury Link (September 2003)

A report by Madsen et al. published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in their journal Pediatrics claims to provide evidence against a link between autism rates and the mercury in thimerosal, a preservative used in childhood vaccines. Unfortunately, the study analysis is full of flaws and inaccuracies, invalidating the conclusions regarding thimerosal. The study adds little of value to the scientific literature on autism and mercury.  Read more.

SafeMinds Press Release:  Vaccine Health Officials Manipulate Autism Records to Quell Rising Fears over Mercury in Vaccines: Safe Minds Cites Unscientific Trending Techniques and Conflicts of Interest, Call Study’s Conclusions Doubtful

Commentary on Croen et al. (2002) The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California (April 2003)

Authored by Blaxill, Baskin and Spitzer Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 33, No. 2, April 2003

Lisa Croen and colleagues (Croen, Grether, Hoogstrate, & Selvin, 2002) suggest that the real incidence of autism has not increased. They propose instead that a pattern of “diagnostic substitution” has moved Californian patients who would previously have been diagnosed as mentally retarded (Croen, Grether, & Selvin, 2001) into the autism category. Their calculations purport to demonstrate that over 100% of the increase in autism from 1987–1994 is an artifact of changes in diagnostic practices. In your editorial commentary, Eric Fombonne praises the study, and claims “Croen et al. carefully analyzed the California dataset.”  Read more.

April 02, 2020

Robots Could Improve Socialization Skills for Children with Autism

A small robot, shaped like a bird, is perched on a desk in front of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While the child plays math games on a tablet, the friendly bird provides instruction and feedback–essentially coaching the child until each computer game is completed. This scenario is not a new plot line from an upcoming science fiction film.

April 02, 2020

Autism & Sleep Troubles

A Critical Concern and Least Studied Feature of the Spectrum – Ask any parent raising a child with autism about their daily challenges, a list will be produced fairly quick. Whether it is dealing with picky eating, rigid dressing and grooming routines, self-stimulatory behaviors, echolalia or all the above; managing these autism related issues takes an enormous amount of patience and dedication to remaining calm. By the end of the day, most parents are ready for peace, quiet and most of all rest. However, the respite that these parents desperately need is unlikely to easily occur.

April 02, 2020

As Coronavirus Curtails School and Therapy, Parents Can Turn to Exercise Instead

New Study Shows Therapeutic Benefits for Autism – Parents looking for therapeutic activities while their child with autism is home from school and therapists stay away due to the coronavirus outbreak can turn to exercise. A new study shows that physical activity has beneficial effects for core autism symptoms in addition to its benefits for physical health.

March 26, 2020

Autism Prevalence Still Rising per CDC

New Official Rate is 1 in 54, up 10% Since Last Report Progress Lacking in Early Diagnosis, Racial & Ethnic Disparities Found The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest prevalence estimates for autism. It reports 1 in 54 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The rate is an increase of […]

March 23, 2020

Socioeconomic & Racial Divide in Autism Numbers

New Study Shows Rates Escalating Among Poor but Declining for Wealthy Whites in California: A startling new study out of the University of Colorado Boulder exposed an unexpected trend. Autism rates are escalating for African American and Hispanic families as well as economically disadvantaged families, while the rates for wealthy Caucasian families have declined.

March 19, 2020

Dealing with the Coronavirus Emergency For Autism Families

Let’s face it, we are living in unprecedented times. The threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted normal life in ways most people would never think possible. Fully functional individuals are full of worry about easing the risk of illness for their families. Add a family member with a disability into the mix, and anxiety is likely to reach sky high. Especially since the CDC recognizes that those with neurological and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, epilepsy (seizure disorders), intellectual disability, and moderate to severe developmental delay] may have an increased risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons