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Stunned by Opinions Endorsing Mercury in Childhood Vaccines, SafeMinds Renews Call for Phase Out


Opinions recently published in Pediatrics advance a callous approach to the health of the world's children.  The authors rationalize using a handful of studies they hope will counter well-justified science about exposure to mercury and its known links to brain damage. 


The causal link between brain damage and mercury - mercury in any form, especially the organic forms including ethylmercury found in the vaccine preservative thimerosal - has been well-established.  Hundreds of articles on studies have been published over the past 75 years by the world's most respected scientists - whose only association is a shared goal of the scientific search for truth. 


Eric Uram, SafeMinds' Executive Director believes the WHO is seeking help to justify their call to keep mercury in the international vaccine supply.  "Obviously the World Health Organization reached out for support in continuing the use of mercury in vaccines given to infants and pregnant mothers.  SafeMinds thinks this idea is scientifically and morally bankrupt and vaccine policy-makers should agree with well-established science, researchers and parents in rejecting it."


The open-ended blanket exemption for the Global Mercury Treaty, proposed by WHO and endorsed by the opinions in Pediatrics, would provide companies with no incentives to change the status quo and could reverse efforts to eliminate mercury exposures.  This endangers the welfare of children by perpetuating mercury in pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) including vaccines in developing countries and opens the potential to the return of mercury preservatives into products, even those where it had already been removed, including US domestic infant and children vaccines.


SafeMinds believes going against the definitive scientific evidence on mercury toxicity would be unprecedented in public health policy.  "Frankly, the opinions found in the editorials are not only incorrect; they are irrelevant to an evidence-based vaccine policy.  The fact is the science clearly shows all forms of mercury, including thimerosal, are known to affect the brain and are poison to the human body," said Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, and Vice-President of SafeMinds.


SafeMinds supports the timely global phase-out of thimerosal from all PPCPs, including vaccines.  Technology to provide all children in the world with the safest vaccines possible has a price difference estimated by WHO at about $4 per child and would be more than offset by reduced costs to treat mercury-impacted children and provide a healthier and more productive future workforce.


PEDIATRICS, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published three independent editorials that state calling for removal of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from pediatric vaccines in 1999 was hasty and erroneous.  Then, in turn, the authors endorse the position of the World Health Organization (WHO) to exempt thimerosal from the United Nations Environmental Program Global Mercury Treaty currently under negotiation. 


PEDIATRICS  clearly states the opinions expressed are the authors and not necessarily those of the AAP or its Committees.  According to Uram, "Decisions affecting millions of children globally should not be based on opinions but on sound science. 


Today's science clearly shows that all mercury exposure is dangerous, especially for children.  Mercury is more toxic than lead, and considered the second most toxic element on Earth after plutonium.  Justifying injecting it into humans turns science-based policy to protect public health right on its head."


For more information go to  www.safeminds.org


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