Sunday, November 4, 2007

President Bush vetoing FY 2008 Funding Bill Because Mercury Ban is Included

Yesterday I wrote that I would do a little digging to find out why President Bush is vetoing the FY 2008 Funding Bill. The following excerpt from the site Infowars explains the pending veto. Now I know why the Autism Society of America is concerned.

Steve Watson, from Infowars, writes:

"President Bush is to veto a bill that would ban mercury in flu vaccines for children despite its known links to autism and other neurological disorders and despite the fact that he pledged in 2004 to support such a move when campaigning for re-election.

The White House stated on Tuesday that President Bush would veto the FY 2008 HHS-Labor-Education Appropriations Bill because of the cost and "objectionable provisions" such as a measure to ban the use of childhood flu vaccines that contain thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, a press release from Autism advocacy group Safe Minds states. Bush is calling for an amendment that would remove the children's safety provision from the bill."

Many parents who have children with autism believe that their child's condition is directly linked to the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal which is added to vaccines to prevent contamination. Watson also reports that the Institute of Medicine recommended against exposing pregnant women and children to thimerosal in 2001.
Thimerosal is added to flu shots and other vaccinations recommended for pregnant women and children.

From the FDA:

"Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound (an organomercurial). Since the 1930s, it has been widely used as a preservative in a number of biological and drug products, including many vaccines, to help prevent potentially life threatening contamination with harmful microbes. Over the past several years, because of an increasing awareness of the theoretical potential for neurotoxicity of even low levels of organomercurials and because of the increased number of thimerosal containing vaccines that had been added to the infant immunization schedule, concerns about the use of thimerosal in vaccines and other products have been raised. Indeed, because of these concerns, the Food and Drug Administration has worked with, and continues to work with, vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines."

I am not sure where I stand on this issue, although I have friends with children who have ASD who are opposed to the use of thimerosal in vaccines. Also, my son has a medical condition other than autism which inspires his specialists to suggest he get a flu vaccine. So, I do have an interest in this issue. I have heard there are safer alternatives to using thimerosal, but I have not heard what those alternatives are. If anyone out there does, please tell me by commenting on this post.


Philip Rudnick said...

"I have heard there are safer alternatives to using thimerosal, but I have not heard what those alternatives are. If anyone out there does, please tell me by commenting on this post."
The choice may be between a more-expensive-per-dose single-dose vial which requires no preservative, and a less-expensive-per-dose multiple-dose vial which requires, for sterility purposes, SOME preservative. But what study has ever been done to demonstrate that in a vaccine, thimerosal must be that preservative? To the best of my knowledge, none!

Here are some approved non-thimerosal preservatives used in various multiple-dose vials:
(Handbook on Injectable Drugs, 6th Edition, Lawrence A. Trissel, ISBN 0-930530-98-5)

Cyanocobalamin, 30 ml vial – benzyl alcohol, 1-1.5%
Estrogens, conjugated - benzyl alcohol, 2%
Hydrocortisone, 10-ml multiple dose vial-methylparaben, 1.5 mg; propylparaben, 0.2mg Insulin- “phenol or cresol 0.1 to 0.25 % may be present” !
Labetolol HCl – methylparaben, propylparaben
Multivitamins – benzyl alcohol, 1%
Nitroglycerin – ethanol, 10%
Pentazocine Lactate- methylparaben
Procaine HCl – chlorobutanol, 0.25%
Pyridoxine HCl – chlorobutanol, 0.5%
Quinidine Gluconate – phenol, 0.25%
Philip Rudnick

Hilary said...

Vaccine manufacturers can make single dose vials, and single dose vials do not require preservative. That's how you get around the thimerosal. It's slightly more expensive, but the vaccine manufacturers have the technology and said they could produce enough quantity. The govt however is not ordering it!