Compare the differences between this cautious NY Times letter (most
likely heavily edited) from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and RFK's article on
the same topic in a right-wing journal (also, below)!
- Mitchel Cohen
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., on Mercury in VaccinesJULY 10,
California, Camelot and Vaccines” (column, July 5): Frank Bruni says
mercury has been removed from most American vaccines. But there are large
doses in some tetanus and meningitis vaccines, and in about a third of
the more than 150 million doses of flu vaccine available this past flu
season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual
flu shots, including for pregnant mothers and infants over 6
Mr. Bruni says he sides with the C.D.C. version of what the science says.
There is a peril in faith in government orthodoxies. Scathing reports by
House and Senate subcommittees paint the C.D.C. as a cesspool of
corruption, including scandalous conflicts with the $25 billion vaccine
In August a C.D.C. senior vaccine scientist, Dr. William Thompson,
invoked federal whistle-blower protection, confessing that C.D.C.
scientists had buried data linking vaccines to autism and other
In researching our book, “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,” Dr. Martha
R. Herbert, Dr. Mark Hyman and I identified hundreds of peer-reviewed
studies by government and university scientists showing that thimerosal,
a mercury-containing preservative, is a devastating toxin linked to
neurological disorders now epidemic in American children. Among these
were 39 studies strongly suggesting that thimerosal causes
The media’s undue reverence for the C.D.C. has emboldened bad agency
behavior that jeopardizes vaccine safety. The best way to promote vaccine
compliance is through intense media scrutiny that will restore integrity
and credibility at the C.D.C.
I am pro-vaccine, but I want safe vaccines, robust regulators and
ROBERT F. KENNEDY Jr.
The writer is an environmental lawyer.
Press trusts government too much on vaccines
Exclusive: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. rips columnist for
relying on 'scandalous' CDCRobert F. Kennedy Jr. serves as
Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Chief
Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of
Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising
Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation
Clinic and is co-host of "Ring of Fire" on Air America
by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Frank Bruni’s angry tirade against me in
his Sunday New York Times column took me by surprise. Last February,
we’d had a brief, friendly and mutually respectful telephone
conversation. He had written an article about vaccine safety at the end
of January, and I asked if he would allow me to show him some of the
recent scientific studies linking thimerosal to a range of brain
injuries. I also wanted to show him the transcripts of statements by CDC
whistleblower Dr. William Thompson discussing the troubling disarray and
deception within CDC’s vaccine program.
Bruni told me he would be delighted to look at the materials. He said he
was under deadline at the moment, but he cordially invited me to call
back to schedule lunch. Both of us are busy, so I was not surprised that
he did not return my follow-up call the next week. Bruni now reveals that
he was deliberately dodging my phone call because he was frightened that
I would use the lunch meeting to “scaremonger” him.
It’s disappointing that a columnist for America’s leading publication can
be “scaremongered” by facts. The sad outcome is that instead of the
enlightened, civil debate our country deserves, Bruni delivers in this
past Sunday’s column the same tired species of invective and ad hominem
attack that have long characterized the vaccine controversy.
In the two instances that he ventures from insult into substance, Bruni
gets it wrong. He erroneously suggests that mercury has been removed from
all pediatric vaccines. In fact there are massive doses of mercury in
some meningitis vaccines – now mandated for all schoolchildren in New
York – and in vaccines given to pregnant women, infants and annually to
public school kids. To the ingredients of those vaccines, pharmaceutical
companies have recently added aluminum adjuvants that act synergistically
to dramatically amplify the neurotoxicity of the remaining mercury.
Finally, pharmaceutical companies merely reduced mercury levels in
pediatric vaccines given to American children. We continue to send the
range of pediatric vaccines fully loaded with mercury to children in
developing nations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, a
practice that will haunt our country in many dreadful ways.
In defending thimerosal safety, Bruni alludes to the debunked industry
canard that the ethylmercury in vaccines is less persistent in the body
and therefore less toxic than the heavily regulated methylmercury in
fish. However, the best and most recent science shows that ethylmercury
is twice as persistent in the brain (Burbacher et al. 2004) and 50 times
as toxic as methylmercury in fish (Guzzi et al. 2010).
Bruni acknowledges that he relies on CDC’s version of what the science
says rather than reading science himself. There is a peril in unctuous
faith in government orthodoxies. Four scathing federal studies by
Congress, the U.S. Senate, the HHS inspector general and the HHS Office
of Research Integrity paint CDC’s vaccine division a cesspool of
corruption due to scandalous conflicts with the $30 billion vaccine
industry. In August, CDC’s senior vaccine scientist, Dr. William
Thompson, invoked federal whistleblower protection, confessing that CDC
supervisors systematically require vaccine division scientists to bury
data linking vaccines to autism and other neurologic harms.
In our book, a review of the published science, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr.
Mark Hyman and I identified hundreds of peer reviewed studies by leading
government and university scientists showing that thimerosal, a
mercury-containing preservative, is a devastating neurologic toxin linked
to neurological disorders now epidemic in American children, including
ADD, ADHD, low IQ, speech development delays and tics.
I have posted a
digest of these studies on my website. We found no published study
proving thimerosal safe.
Bruni is left making the strange and anemic argument that if
pharmaceutical companies were truly driven by greed, as purportedly
cynical thimerosal opponents believe, Pharma’s best business strategy
would be to stop manufacturing vaccines, let contagions run rampant, and
then profiteer on medicine sales. I’m not jumping into that shark tank
with Bruni, but I will dip in one toe by pointing out that Pharma is
making plenty of dough selling Adderall, Prozac and dozens of other
best-selling drugs to treat the neurological injuries that now affect one
in six American children. All these illnesses are consistent with
symptoms documented in mass mercury poisonings around the globe.
Frank Bruni and other American journalists need to start reading the
science themselves and stop allowing compromised government bureaucrats
tell them what the science supposedly says.
The media’s undue reverence for CDC has emboldened bad agency behavior
that jeopardizes vaccine safety. The best way to promote vaccine
participation and compliance is through intense media scrutiny that will
restore integrity and credibility at CDC.