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 12, 2018

Long Term Functional Improvement from an Achievable Diet and Nutrition Protocol

A new study by researchers at multiple universities has found that a comprehensive dietary and nutritional regimen is effective at reducing symptoms of autism, increasing functioning level and reducing associated gastrointestinal (GI) problems. The regimen is safe, uses readily available products, and can be implemented by the average family. Lead investigator James Adams of Arizona State University and colleagues tested a combination of supplementation with vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, sulfate through epsom salt baths, carnitine, and digestive enzymes, as well as a “healthy” diet. The creation of the treatment protocol was based on prior research showing effectiveness of each of the components individually. This study was the first to test them as a combined treatment over a period of one year. The goal was to determine if the components together would have an even greater positive effect than that reported for each individually. Another goal was to measure the effects of the diet and nutrition protocol over a longer period of time, as these types of interventions may take longer to show an effect than a standard drug.

April 05, 2018

Canada Announces Autism Prevalence Study Results – On Time and Going Up

While America’s attention has been focused on its southern border, our northern neighbors have announced the results of a Canadian autism prevalence study. The study received little attention in the U.S., despite its relevance to our situation here. The study found the prevalence of an autism spectrum disorder among Canadian children to be 1 in 66, or 15.2 per 1000 children. The study results were announced by the Public Health Agency of Canada and survey data was collected in 2015 and covered 40% of the Canadian school-aged population ages 5-17. Seven of the 13 provinces/territories in Canada participated in the survey.

March 29, 2018

Autism’s Co-Occurring Conditions: Time to Act

The evidence is piling up on the severe burden of health problems that accompany autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These problems are often unrecognized and not addressed. According to a new study from scientists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “the high prevalence and diversity of co-occurring conditions/symptoms in ASD suggest the need for a comprehensive system of care for these children.”

March 29, 2018

Cannabis for Autism: Biological Clue to Effectiveness

Many parents are reporting success using cannabis for their child with autism. A new study by researchers at Stanford University gives a clue to why cannabis might be effective for the person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study, “Plasma anandamide concentrations are lower in children with autism spectrum disorder,” found reduced amounts of a neuromodulator, anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA), in the blood of 60 children with ASD compared to 56 neurotypical control children. The children were ages 3-12 years. The ASD group had a confirmed autism diagnosis. The typical controls had no history of neurodevelopmental or mental health problems.

September 11, 2015

Acetaminophen as a cause of the autism pandemic? It makes absolutely no sense … at first.

My research looks at what causes harmful inflammation in people in Western societies. The triggers of inflammation are recent developments in human history, appearing after the agricultural revolution only 10,000 years ago. Most did not appear until just a few decades ago, as we entered the post-industrial age. 1 My favorite example is the loss of biodiversity from the human body. Humans have always been bathed inside and out with bacteria, viruses, fungi, worms, and other organisms, but in recent decades our bodies’ ecosystems have become much less diverse, to our detriment.

June 08, 2015

Duke University Study Finds Helminths are Beneficial to the Gut Biome Promoting More Good Bacteria and Less Bad

Acting on this discovery could have a profound affect on human health. The idea that from the ecosystem of the human body is leading to inflammation and disease is gaining widespread acceptance. This loss of diversity, known as “biome depletion”, is caused by a variety of factors in modern society and has an effect on every aspect of our body’s development and function, including our brain’s development and function. Most attention among scientists and the media alike has focused on the microbiome, the microorganisms or germs in our biome. However, a substantial body of experimental evidence points toward the presence or absence of larger organisms, helminths or worms, as having a generally more global effect on the body’s function, including alteration in the microbiome.

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