If you’ve vaccinated your child with MMR (an immunization vaccine used against measles, mumps, and rubella), you might not like the latest whistleblower revelations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the very agency whose primary job is to keep Americans safe from health threats. According to the whistleblower, CDC has been manipulating and suppressing scientific data that links MMR and autism.

Today, one in 68 kids develops autism, a 30 percent increase from two years ago. In 2010, the figure was one in 150. The historical rate is four out of a thousand. Some studies propose that the increase in autism cases is due to new diagnostic methods and a wider interpretation of autism itself, but that may not appease all parents.

More than 5,500 cases alleging a causal relationship between vaccinations like MMR and autism have been filed under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims between 2001 and 2009.

The MMR vaccination was introduced in 1971. It requires two doses. The first injection is given to babies within a month of their first birthday. The second is given before school, between the ages of three and five. No federal vaccination law exists, but all 50 states require certain vaccinations for children entering public schools. Depending on the state, children must be vaccinated. In other words, you may have no choice.

The giant pharmaceutical company Merck sells drugs and vaccines like MMR with a turnover of $50 billion per annum. In 2011, they paid a $900 million fine for Vioxx painkiller that produced 40,000 lethal heart attacks (and gave another 80,000 surprised citizens a remarkable jolt). They also developed Fosamax, a drug for osteoporosis that can cause bone rot.

Merck was selling Vioxx to 25 million Americans before they were forced to shut down due to a class action lawsuit. But this wasn’t really a problem for them. Merck has a few billion dollars set aside for these sorts of legal cases – call it a collateral-damage fund in the name of science, or profits rather.

But vaccines are special.

In the case of vaccines, the manufacturers don’t even need a legal budget, because The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act protects them from lawsuits. President Reagan signed this act into law in 1986.

Mulling the Link Between MMR and Autism

A sensible, slightly worried current or future parent might search Google for “MMR and autism” and see what comes up. The first hit would be Wikipedia’s MMR and Autism controversy piece, which states that the link between MMR and autism centers around a “1998 fraudulent research paper” and that “anti-vaccination activities result in a high cost to society,” amid other details and claims.

The same sensible parent will most likely feel better again, believing everything they’ve heard about MMR and autism to be a bucket of hogwash. Later, when her child begins to demonstrate savant-like qualities in building 30-foot Lego towers and rocking Rachmaninov at 3 years old while being void of other faculties, the same sensible parent might search Google for “MMR and autism” again.

(Editor’s Note: This was edited to correct some information about thimerosal in the MMR vaccine). 

Eventually, said sensible parent has to decide who or what to believe. On one hand, she has the conspiracy theorists equating vaccination with depopulation. On the other, there’s the nationally accepted mindset that vaccination saves lives.

The gray area between the two is tough to navigate. Parents can read pro-con arguments on vaccines. They can dig through independent historical highlights like this one from RobertScottBell.com:

“When vaccination programs were expanded after the war, the number of autistic children increased greatly. … The U.S. occupied Japan and forcibly vaccinated (children); (Japan’s) first case of autism was diagnosed in 1945.”

Parents might listen to a holistic M.D. who believes that a child is more susceptible to harm from an injection like MMR when the mother is mineral-deficient (and because of soil depletion, most of us are, in fact, deficient in minerals). But the alternative experts are increasingly absent from mainstream media, and parents are unlikely to read any of that.

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It’s understandable, then, that a lot of sensible parents don’t make up their minds at all. So, at this rate, the incidence of autism will reach one in five children in less than two decades.

P.S.: The baby pictured above is perfectly healthy.

Jan Wellmann was born in Helsinki, Finland, in a very cold atmosphere. Later, he rebelled, believing that he belonged to an extinct Gecko species that could only thrive in tropical climates, and escaped to California. He now lives in L.A., where he projects multiple fractured images of himself, some of them reminiscent of human behavior.

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