July 10, 2015

NY Times Letter: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., on Mercury in Vaccines

To the Editor:

Re “California, Camelot and Vaccines” (column, July 5): Frank Bruni says mercury has been removed from most American vaccines. But there are large doses in some tetanus and meningitis vaccines, and in about a third of the more than 150 million doses of flu vaccine available this past flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu shots, including for pregnant mothers and infants over 6 months.

Mr. Bruni says he sides with the C.D.C. version of what the science says. There is a peril in faith in government orthodoxies. Scathing reports by House and Senate subcommittees paint the C.D.C. as a cesspool of corruption, including scandalous conflicts with the $25 billion vaccine industry.

In August a C.D.C. senior vaccine scientist, Dr. William Thompson, invoked federal whistle-blower protection, confessing that C.D.C. scientists had buried data linking vaccines to autism and other neurological harms.

In researching our book, “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,” Dr. Martha R. Herbert, Dr. Mark Hyman and I identified hundreds of peer-reviewed studies by government and university scientists showing that thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative, is a devastating toxin linked to neurological disorders now epidemic in American children. Among these were 39 studies strongly suggesting that thimerosal causes autism.

The media’s undue reverence for the C.D.C. has emboldened bad agency behavior that jeopardizes vaccine safety. The best way to promote vaccine compliance is through intense media scrutiny that will restore integrity and credibility at the C.D.C.

I am pro-vaccine, but I want safe vaccines, robust regulators and transparent science.


New York

The writer is an environmental lawyer.

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