Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Autism Rising or Not? Mercury Disproved as Autism Cause or Not?

In an exchange at Autism AutismNewsBeat, the host of a blog which claims to serve as an evidence based autism resource for journalists, (it is really more of an ideologically driven Neurodiversity blog), has taken the position that there has been no real increase in autism over the past two decades. Yet ANB fails to understand that in taking that position he is disavowing the assertion by many that a thimerosal (mercury preservative in vaccines) causal connection to autism was disproved by the increase in autism rates after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines in 2002:
"(10) AutismNewsBeat says:

“Will the media herd ever note that the same authorities who say that they can’t be sure that autism is really increasing today because of the 93-94 diagnostic definition changes state that that thimerosal was disproven as an autism trigger because autism increased after the alleged removal of thimerosal from vaccines in Denmark in 2002?”

Harold knows that there is a difference between an increase in “autism”, and an increase in “autism diagnoses”. There are no data to show one way or another that autism prevalence has increased much over the last two decades. But it is indisputable that autism diagnoses have grown considerably.

ANB simply fails to grasp, or more likely acknowledge , that by claiming there is no real increase in autism diagnoses he is trashing the claim that autism continued to increase after removal of thimerosal from vaccines. By doing so he is arguing against the claim that any thimerosal (mercury in vaccines) autism connection has been disproved. (Except for flu vaccines but no one gets flu vaccines right?).

Perhaps AutismNewsBeat should tell Dr. Paul Offit to change the title to Chapter 6 of his novel "Autism's False Prophets" from "Mercury Falling" to "Mercury Falling, Autism Who Knows".

One point on which everyone, except perhaps AutismNewsBeat, should be able to agree is that if autism was rising after the removal of thimerosal there is no reason to assume that autism is not rising today. Conversely, if autism is not rising to day there is no reason to conclude that a causal connection between thimerosal and autism has been disproved.

Which is it folks? Autism Rising or Not?. Thimerosal (Mercury) as Autism Cause Disproved or Not?

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Unknown said...

I have monitored this very closely after the removal of thimerosal there was a slight down tick in CDC numbers we went from 1 in 150 to 1 in 166 and then now 1 in 91. Of course NO publicity was given to the 1 in 166 numbers.... Environment is driving this epidemic Hopefully we will wake up before it is too late! TannersDad Tim Autism Advocate

Jerry said...

He's claiming there is no increase in autism rates, he's not claiming there is no increase in autism diagnoses.

I could be reading it wrong, of course.

coc said...

Hi Tim, The 1 in 166 number got huge play in Ireland, mostly due to the coincidence that there are 166 deputies sitting in the parliament there. I'm not sure I've ever seen data tracking the CDCs incidence data over the years? What exactly have you been monitoring? Do you have a source for that?