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Vaccine preservative is not the cause of autism, say US officials

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7512.310-a (Published 04 August 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:310
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

    Thiomersal, a mercury containing preservative used in children's vaccines known in the US as Thimerosal, is not the cause of autism, said top officials from key US government agencies at a joint news conference on 19 July.

    The announcement, held one day before a rally sponsored by 11 autism groups in Washington, DC, caused a fierce reaction among parents' groups and several politicians, who criticised the government's claims as politically motivated and aimed, in part, at deterring product liability suits against makers of the vaccines.

    The conference was held jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Child Health Development, and the Food and Drug Administration. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, said the briefing was held because of concerns that unwarranted fear of vaccination could lead to the re-emergence of …

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