by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and David Kirby
Even as the evidence connecting America's autism epidemic to vaccines mounts, dead-enders at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -- many of whom promoted the current vaccine schedule and others with strong ties to the vaccine industry -- are trying to delay the day of reckoning by creating questionable studies designed to discredit any potential vaccine-autism link and by derailing authentic studies.
On January 12, a cadre of mid-level health bureaucrats left over from the Bush administration ignored Federal requirements for advance notice in order to vote to quietly strip vaccine research studies from funding allocated by Congress in the Combating Autism Act (CAA) of 2006. Members of Congress had said that this money should be used to study the vaccine-autism connection.
These rogue bureaucrats -- members of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee -- held an unannounced vote to remove previously approved vaccine studies from funding under the CAA. Nearly all of the "Federal" members of the panel voted to remove the two studies, whose estimated cost was $16 million - or 1.6% of the billion dollars authorized by Congress for autism. The panel's civilian members, in contrast, voted nearly unanimously to retain the funding.
IACC's action to halt vaccine-autism research flies in the face of congressional intent. The bill's authors clearly stated that vaccine research should be funded. Even the esteemed Institute of Medicine has condemned CDC's methods. In 2005, an IOM panel condemned CDC for its "lack of transparency" in vaccine-autism research.
The bureaucrats responsible for this scandal are on the wrong side of history and it's hard to not attribute an obstructionist motive to their act since vaccine-autism research has already entered the realm of mainstream science. Serious scientists (except those tied to the vaccine industry) no longer debate whether vaccine-autism research should be done, but rather how it should be done, and by whom.
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