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CDC Covered-Up Data Showing Mercury-Containing Thimerosal in Vaccines Caused Autism

November 8th, 2011

CDC Covered-Up Data Showing Mercury-Containing Thimerosal in Vaccines Caused Autism

By and


Vaccines that included the mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, have been conclusively linked to increases in autism. Now you're probably thinking “So what? We already know this. And thimerosal has now been banned (mostly) -- our trusted Government in action.  Right?”

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Not quite. The real story is shocking news: the Center for Disease Control (CDC) – our “in loco parentis” US Government agency – knew this for years and intentionally lied to us about it. In fact, they covered up data and even falsified data to give the impression that thimerosal was perfectly safe … and they knew it wasn't; they knew it was a cause of autism in children!

Why would the CDC do this? Who are they really working for? Obviously, not the public whose taxes, by the way, pay their salaries. Our guess, at Smart Publications, is that, like the FDA, they are heavily influenced (or is it “controlled by”) the Pharmaceutical Industry.

But now the truth is coming back to bite them. The thimerosal scandal’s really hitting the fan now. CDC’s own documents make it very clear that every single one of the five studies CDC used to show the safety of mercury in vaccines was intentionally faked.

It’s beyond doubt that the CDC deliberately altered, massaged, and manipulated data to foist a false conclusion on physicians and the public in a widely published study in Pediatrics (Madsen KM et al., 2003). The researchers of that study claimed that “The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism.”

We now know that the above statement was an intentional lie, and both the study authors and the CDC knew it. In fact, precisely the opposite was what really happened: In Denmark, the discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in 1992 was followed by a decrease in the incidence of autism. (Oops, looks like the real evidence strongly suggests mercury-containing thimerosal is a cause of autism.)

CDC’s own recently and reluctantly revealed documents show that in 2002, they knew about the decrease in autism in Denmark. Why did they deliberately lie about it in the above mentioned Pediatrics study of 2003? One wonders, especially since on July 9, 1999, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a joint statement saying that “Thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible,” while also claiming there was no evidence the use of thimerosal as a vaccine preservative had caused any true harm.  What? Say again? The only way we can make sense of this verbal contortion is to recognize it as a wee bit of ass-covering double speak.

Manufacturers got the subtext message and mobilized to remove thimerosal from their routine infant vaccines at the speed of light; it was pretty much gone by the summer of 2001. CDC knew thimerosal caused harm, and they also knew Eli Lilly & Co., the pharmaceutical giant with the patent on thimerosal, would be in – forget hot – boiling water if the truth came out. Thus, the cover up.

Parents picked up on the hidden agenda as well and quickly organized effectively, persuading Congressman Burton to focus his congressional hearings on thimerosal, and successfully opposing a rider to the Homeland Security Bill in 2003 that would have protected Eli Lilly from legal action. 

It was the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD) that was finally able to expose the CDC’s lies as seen in their published news report: Scandal Exposed in Major Study of Autism and Mercury. CoMeD forced CDC to give them access to documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Among the documents was an email from 2002 in which one of the co-authors of the Danish study had alerted CDC officials that the 2003 Pediatrics’ study conclusion was a lie: “Attached I send you the short and long manuscript about thimerosal and autism in Denmark. I need to tell you that [your] figures do not include the latest data from 2001, but the incidence and prevalence are still decreasing in 2001.” [emphasis added]

CoMeD, led by biochemist Brian Hooker, PhD, began in 2004 trying to look into the “research evidence” upon which CDC based its claim that thimerosal was “safe and effective.” It took six years for CoMeD to get access to CDC internal memos. After reading them, CoMeD is calling for a full retraction of the deceptive Pediatrics article and demanding that CDC launch an immediate investigation to determine if there was scientific fraud.

If you want more gory details, Tim Bolen, consumer activist, can fill you in @ The Bolen Report on the CDC cover up. He outlines the timeline regarding knowledge of damage due to thimerosol in infant vaccines along with his questions to Hooker on this topic.

In an email Hooker sent to Bolen, Hooker notes that not only were the 5 studies used by CDC to “prove” thimerosal “safe” faked, but CDC was funding the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to then use these studies to exonerate thimerosal.  CDC paid the IOM $2.7 million to “find” that vaccines were "generally safe on a population basis," and provided the 5 manipulated studies to the IOM, so they could then declare thimerosal “safe.”

I don’t know about you, but I am hopping mad. When I think about how many children’s brains have been irreparably damaged, how many families’ lives have been deranged, how much taxpayer money has been used to harm children all over the world, I cannot but hope (1) those guilty are found to be so, and (2) their sentence is a 21st century variation on that old favorite, a cup of hemlock: Let them quaff a nice “safe” thimerosal-laced cocktail.

Well, on second thought, an outcome with more positive karma would be for more of us to follow the example set by Hooker and CoMeD. Let’s leverage the FOIA and jumpstart our society towards greater transparency of information.

One more thought -- the way to protect our babies against exposure to potentially brain-damaging vaccine additives (or the potentially harmful effects of the plethora of vaccines recommended for infants) is to not expose them to this battery of vaccines!  Since the infectious diseases against which vaccines are supposed to provide protection are – with the exception of polio and tetanus – rarely life-threatening,  giving  just oral polio and tetanus and taking actions to ensure our children have a strong, healthy immune system offers another rational option. This is the choice we both made for our own children. 

Want to take action yourself to protect your baby’s health without “assistance” from the pharmaceutical companies? Read: The Infant Survival Guide-Protecting Your Baby From the Dangers of Crib Death, Vaccines and Other Environmental Hazards

Articles of Interest from Smart Publications Health & Wellness Update


1. Those who have autism are far more likely to have genetic defects in genes related to the production of glutathione, a critical anti-oxidant which is also involved in the detoxification of mercury. This both supports thimerosal containing vaccines as, at the very least, likely to exacerbate vaccine-related sequale in children prone for autism and also emphasizes that there’s a genetic component to the etiology of autism. Environmental exposure in healthy individuals is unlikely to be sufficient to cause problems and it was exposure of healthy individuals to thimerosal which vaccine makers used to demonstrate vaccines safety.

2. As noted in the article, thimerosal has been removed from nearly all vaccines, and all vaccines are available in thimerosal-free versions. On what basis, then, does the article continue to oppose vaccination? This is ridiculous.

3. Prior to this century, infectious disease was the #1 cause of mortality worldwide. Even if we assume that 100% of autism cases are caused by vaccines, and non-thimerosal containing vaccines still somehow caused autism it would still makes sense to get kids vaccinated. Even if we attribute much of the increase in modern lifespan to things like improved sanitation, air conditioning (which reduced incidence of malaria), antibiotics better medicine and better nutrition, it still makes sense to vaccinate kids. Vaccines are, to borrow the authors own words, “rarely life threatening.” The only reason there’s any discussion of harms is that they’re applied on such a tremendously wide scale that even very highly improbable sequale become relevant.

4. Population studies are problematic when used by the “for” or “against” thimerosal camp since “autism” likely consists of numerous different disorders, lumped together. For population studies to be useful we’d need a well-defined physical test for autism that was consistent over a given period of time.

i just read your autism article, but i have to say it is not (yet) convincing. i used to think that there was a link (and there very well may be) but better data and analysis is needed. it was worth removing thimorosol on the basis of the precautionary principle, but i do not yet see that a causal link has been established. and the existence of possibly fraudulent reports is certainly not a proof that there is a link.

here is the opposite viewpoint:

i think alot of these infants and children have some kind of defect before birth, and after birth they get these vaccinations and they cause some kinds of problems.

What I would find most convincing re: a cover up is to know how many of those alleged to be involved in covering up this putative fact had knowingly had their children vaccinated .  Just as I have always been interested in how many tobacco company representatives smoked 1+ packs a day of “non-disease inducing” cigarettes.  It’s once thing to foist dangers upon a populace knowingly to which one would not expose oneself or ones family…... quite another to believe the dangers to be so minimal that you would expose yourself and your family.

Reply to Peter:

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your comments. You are absolutely correct that proof of CDC
manipulation of the data in the five studies that have been used by IOM to
“prove” thimerosal is safe is not equivalent to proof of a causal link
between thimerosal and autism.

Our post was not intended to prove the latter point but to call attention to
the CDC falsification of the data.

In the “Science-Based Medicine” blog by Gorski you cite, in which Gorski
argued in 2010 that thimerosal could not possibly be contributing to autism,
Gorski is relying upon “science-based evidence” (in particular, the Price et
al study published in Pediatrics 2010) that we now know, via the revelations
of CDC manipulation of the data, to be false. Gorski should now provide his
readers with an updated version of his 2010 blog; he’ll need to change the
title from “The final nail in the mercury-autism hypothesis?” To something
like “CDC finally nailed in falsifying data to cover up the
thimerasol-autism link.”

Contrary to what Gorski claims, not only has it not been proven that
thimerosal—mercury in vaccines—is totally safe, with no possible
adverse effects on infants’ rapidly developing brains, but scientific
evidence of a causal link between thimerosal and autism does exist. Mercury
is well known to be a neurotoxin. If you enter “mercury” in the search box
on PubMed, “mercury neurotoxicity” immediately pops up as a search option.
If you run the search, as of 11-10-11, 804 papers will come up. If you
narrow your search to “mercury thimerosal autism,” a number of very recent
papers will appear. Please see below for just a few of these recent PubMed
abstracts on this topic.

Geier DA, Kern JK, Geier MR. The biological basis of autism spectrum
disorders: Understanding
causation and treatment by clinical geneticists. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars).
PMID: 20628444

Schultz ST. Does thimerosal or other mercury exposure increase the risk for
autism? A review of current literature. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars).
2010;70(2):187-95. PMID: 16264412

Geier DA, King PG, Sykes LK, et al. A comprehensive review of mercury
provoked autism. Indian J Med Res. 2008 Oct;128(4):383-411. PMID: 19106436

Geier DA, Kern JK, Garver CR, et al. Biomarkers of environmental toxicity
and susceptibility in autism.J Neurol Sci. 2009 May 15;280(1-2):101-8. Epub
2008 Sep 25. PMID: 18817931

Kern JK, Geier DA, Adams JB, et al. A biomarker of mercury body-burden
correlated with diagnostic domain specific clinical symptoms of autism
spectrum disorder. Biometals. 2010 Dec;23(6):1043-51. Epub 2010 Jun 9.
PMID: 20532957

Geier DA, Geier MR. A case series of children with apparent mercury toxic
encephalopathies manifesting with clinical symptoms of regressive autistic
disorders. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007 May 15;70(10):837-51.
PMID: 17454560

Hi Lara,

Your comment, imo, contains much better information to fuel the terms of debate than the original article did. One should stay away from relying on Bolan and similar folks with various types of agendas. And, of course, if discrediting a study was tantamount to proof, the retraction of the famous Lancet study that first posited the link would have nailed that shut. We need to avoid referring to conspiracy theories as validations. It would be worth doing a meta study on this issue.

What does anyone think about the idea that lack of vitamin D could be linked to Autism? John Cannell, MD has mentioned this and it seems interesting. This is from an article written by Bob Berman who interviewed Dr. Cannell on Vitamin D:

“Many researchers now fear that the explosive increase in autism is a result of pregnant mothers having close to no vitamin D in their bodies and then young babies and infants being similarly shielded from the Sun. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that virtually no infants are getting enough vitamin D. The inadequacy figures, even using the CDC’s pre-2011 lower recommendations of what they thought the body should have, was that 90 percent of infants are deficient.”
It goes on to state: “According to Cannell, the highest autism rates occur in areas that have the most clouds and rain, and hence the lowest blood levels of vitamin D. A Swedish study has strongly linked sunlight deprivation with autism. Moreover, blacks, whose vitamin D levels are half those found in whites living at the same latitudes, have twice the autism rates. Conversely, autism is virtually unknown in places such as sunny Somalia, where most people still spend most of their time outdoors. Yet another piece of anecdotal evidence is that autism is one of the very few afflictions that occur at higher rates among the wealthier and more educated - exactly the people most likely to be diligent about sunscreen and more inclined to keep their children indoors.”

It seems to make sense but then again also seems a little too neat and tidy so I don’t know what to think.

Heck, just like with cancer, increasing autism rates could simply be a non-linear function of exposure to our increasingly toxic environment with its 80,000 household and industrial chemicals, inc. mercury.

@Sally - Several things that you have to be careful about when parsing studies that claim to show vitamin D deviciency;

1. 25D (Calcidiol) is usually what’s tested for. Low levels of Calcidiol can have several causes. One is the underproduction of calcidiol due to lack of sunlight. But another very significant cause is overconversion of 25D to 1,25D (calcitriol) due to chronic inflammation. Most studies interpret as “deficiency” what sometimes may be a marker for chronic inflammation. I’d suspect that it is this chronic inflammation in children and possibly in some parents which is likely to account for some of the effect you’re seeing. This would square with the notion that children with Autism have defects related to glutathione production, which is a critical anti-oxidant.

A good sign that inflammation rather than underproduction of 25D is the cause of a given problem is increased arterial calcification/heart disease which is caused by over-activation of the Vit D receptor.

The literature gives some support that this is the case with autism.

Without intervention, adults with autism spectrum disorder appear to be at significant risk for developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cancer by midlife.

(Note: Technically, Vit D is not a vitamin since your body can produce it. But I try to use terms people will be familiar with.)

2. Correlation does not demonstrate causation. There are some effects of sunlight (such as on the pineal gland, vis a vis melatonin and serotonin which will correlate with low levels of 25D but won’t be cured by supplementation. It’s always better to get sunlight than to supplement.

3. “Moreover, blacks, whose vitamin D levels are half those found in whites living at the same latitudes, have twice the autism rates.”

Cite? A quick search suggests the opposite.

“Five sites identified a higher prevalence of ASDs for non-Hispanic white children than for non-Hispanic black children.”

Also, countries like Somalia are going to have horrid diagnostic procedures and I’d question any epidemological study from that location unless it was very carefully done. Given how long it takes to identify autism spectrum disorders in the US, it’s certain that most Somali children with Autism will fall through the cracks.


@Peter Byrne - Also, people are living longer, having kids later in life and not dying of infectious disease nearly as often.

Infectious diseases tend to selectively kill off the sick. I don’t want to go back to the “old days.” But eliminating lethal infectious disease must have an effect on the population.

Reply to Ryan:
Hi Ryan,
Your thoughtful and well informed comment is greatly appreciated. Research into issues with glutathione production in autistic children is such an exciting and promising area of investigation! Frankly, not just for individuals with autism, but for all of us, given the increasing demands the 21st century environment is placing on our capacity to detoxify toxins. I am closely following this research and am hopeful this line of inquiry will, over the next several years, provide us with much we can do to protect both our children and ourselves. 

You ask why we continue to oppose the barrage of vaccinations recommended by the CDC. Why did we not give our children any other vaccines except for oral polio and tetanus? Have you looked at the CDC vaccination schedule for children aged 1 month to 6 years lately? Here’s a link to it:

Within the first 2 months of life, infants are supposed to have gotten HepB, Rotavirus, Diptheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type b, Pneumocococcal and Inactivated Polio vaccinations. (As I noted, we felt oral polio and tetanus were a good idea, but not this whole shebang—especially at 1-2 months of age.) If you have traveled to third world countries and been vaccinated beforehand, you know that even adults often react to vaccines. Giving a 1 or 2 month old infant, whose immune system is still far from robustly developed, this number of vaccines may not be such a wonderful idea. Vaccines – even the thimerasol-free versions – are not innocuous. Please see below at the end of this response for a list of recent PubMed papers looking at vaccine-related ADR incidence in children.

You correctly note that “prior to this century, infectious disease was the #1 cause of mortality worldwide” – but are vaccines the reason this is no longer true? (And I would like to reiterate that infectious disease is no longer the case in the 21st century.) One could certainly argue that huge improvements in public health practices around sanitation, clean water, a safer food supply are the key reasons infectious disease incidence has so greatly diminished. Take just the example of hand washing. Remember how Semmelweis’ attempts to convince obstetricians to wash their hands between deliveries were rejected in the mid-1800s? It was not until 1865, the year Semmelweis died [he was committed to an asylum for his “unscientific beliefs” where he ironically died of septicemia at age 47], that Pasteur’s germ theory was confirmed. When the one simple sanitary measure of hand washing began to be used, mortality from infection acquired during childbirth was quickly reduced to below 1%.

Today, in the U.S., our major threats to life and health are properly prescribed and administered drugs, which are the 4th to 6th leading cause of death in America. Drugs are only surpassed as today’s leading causes of death by chronic degenerative diseases – CVD, diabetes, cancers – none of which are infectious or are prevented by vaccines. It is my contention that we best serve ourselves and our children by supporting our bodies’ ability to produce a strong immune response to potentially infectious pathogens. We do this with a healthful whole foods diet and additional nutritional supplements, which we need for 2 reasons: 1) the research indicates that our foods, even if organically grown, do not contain the same levels of many nutrients as they did 50 years ago. 2) We are now daily assaulted by 1,000s of potentially toxic man-made chemicals, e.g., pesticides, POPs, BPA, to name just a few.

Here are a few recent PubMed abstracts that provide statistics on vaccine-related ADRs:

Hawcutt DB, Mainie P, Riordan A, et al. Reported Paediatric Adverse Drug Reactions in the UK 2000-2009. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21988288

Aagaard L, Weber CB, Hansen EH. Adverse drug reactions in the paediatric population in Denmark: a retrospective analysis of reports made to the Danish Medicines Agency from 1998 to 2007. Drug Saf. 2010 Apr 1;33(4):327-39. PMID: 20297864

Hawcutt DB, Mainie P, Riordan A, et al. Reported Paediatric Adverse Drug Reactions in the UK 2000-2009. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21988288

Aagaard L, Christensen A, Hansen EH. Information about adverse drug reactions reported in children: a qualitative review of empirical studies. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Oct;70(4):481-91. PMID: 20840440

Weisser K, Meyer C, Petzold D, et al. [Adverse drug reactions following immunization in Germany pursuant to the German Infection Protection Act and the German Medicinal Products Act from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2007 Nov;50(11):1404-17.PMID: 17999134

Reply to Sally—one other consideration here re vit D is that without sufficient vit K, in the form of vit K2, on board, the calcium (for which absorption is increased by vit D3) is likely to be deposited in the arteries, kidneys, breasts, rather than in bone. Please check out my review of the latest reserach on K2—it’s one of the lead articles on the LMR homepage.

Reply to Peter’s 2nd comment—RIGHT ON! Absolutely!

Thank you everyone for the thought provoking information.

@Ryan, the article I read wasn’t very academic and didn’t cite a reference for that stat, one of the reasons I wasn’t sure what to think about it.

@Lara, I will read your article, thanks for the tip!

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