Cure Autism Now believes the Institute of Medicine's recent report, which rejects a causal link between MMR and thimerosal-taining vaccines and autism, is premature and should not be considered definitive. The IOM report unfortunately places greater emphasis on population-based epidemiologic studies using statistical analyses than on existing and emerging biological data from studies of individuals with autism which present biological mechanisms that may indicate a causal relationship. Cure Autism Now is aware of at least 15 ongoing studies, some of which are funded by CAN, that explore the potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism and believes these should be given serious consideration before a final verdict is made.
"We cannot ignore the rapid rise in the rate of autism that occurred during the 1990's, in tandem with the increased use of thimerosal-containing vaccines in the U.S.," said Peter Bell, Executive Director and CEO of Cure Autism Now. "We must continue to explore every possible avenue, including various environmental toxins, to get at the underlying issues that are affecting a generation of our children. Sadly, this report does not adequately address this issue."
Cure Autism Now supports IOM's call for a strong public health response to autism, including increased funding for more research. It is critical to hold the federal government accountable for its promise to fund more research to halt the autism epidemic our country faces. Today, one out of every 166 children born in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism, according to recent statistics published by the CDC. Cure Autism Now will continue to fund studies across a broad range of disciplines that will lead to the discovery of the causes, prevention, treatment and a cure for autism.