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.

October 27, 2020

Epidurals Used During Labor Linked to Higher Autism Risk

Obstetric and Anesthesiology Organizations Don’t Agree with Study’s Finding A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that the rate of autism was higher in children whose mothers received epidurals during labor. Although, the study’s authors considered the risk only slightly higher. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were diagnosed in 1.9% of the children delivered […]

October 19, 2020

Too Little or Too Much Folic Acid in Pregnancy Can Cause Harm to Developing Brains

Researchers Look for a Goldilock’s Quantity to Establish Correct Dosage A new study from the MIND Institute at UC Davis found that high amounts of folic acid given to pregnant mice caused brain damage in their offspring. These findings were published last month in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Folic Acid has been shown to be […]

October 19, 2020

Meta-Analysis Shows Significant Relationship Between Mercury and Autism

Copper and Lead Also Analyzed But No Correlation Found A recent meta-analysis published in Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics investigated the possible role that concentrations of copper, lead and mercury may play in development of autism. The study analyzed 18 articles in which concentration samples of blood, hair and nails of 1797 patients aged 2 […]

October 13, 2020

Cow’s Milk Allergy May Be Overdiagnosed and Undermining Breastfeeding

Guidelines to Manage Allergy Written by Individuals Receiving Funds from Formula Manufacturers Dairy allergies have long been associated with autism. Now, a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that cow’s milk allergy (CMA) may be overdiagnosed in many infants. Using a food challenge protocol, this novel study found that only 1% of infants were […]

October 13, 2020

10 Tips to Manage Challenges of Mask Wearing

Face Masks Can be Agony for Kids with Sensory Issues As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, there will be times when mask wearing in public may become necessary. Mask wearing is uncomfortable for almost everyone, but adding autism and sensory defensiveness into the mix, this public health requirement can become downright miserable. Below are a few […]

October 13, 2020

Telehealth Proves Helpful For Parents Learning About ASD Behavioral Therapy

Study Shows Improvements in Parents’ Ability to Manage Challenging Conduct Not everything associated with the coronavirus pandemic and autism has turned out to have a negative consequence. A good example of this phenomenon is a Rutgers University study recently published in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis.  The study showed that telehealth sessions, used out […]

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