Evelyn Pringle September 2005
According to newly discovered research, which was supported by a grant from the American Medical Association, government agencies have known for 60 years that Thimerosal was neither safe or effective, and that it should have been removed as a preservative in pharmaceutical products.
In 1948, Dr Morton of the Department of Bacteriology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr North of the Philadelphia General Hospital, and Mr Engley of Camp Detrick, published the results of their study in the Journal of the American Medical Association evaluating the use of mercurials in medicine.
The article, "The Bacteriostatic and Bactericidal Action of Some Mercurial Compounds on Hemolytic Streptococci: In Vivo and In Vitro Studies" explained that "Mercurial compounds have been employed as disinfectants since the beginning of bacteriology."
"Indeed, for a long period mercurial compounds, such as bichloride of mercury, headed the list of chemical which were thought to be effective in the killing of microorganisms," it said.
However, the authors basically state that Thimerosal as a preservative is useless, "It is not highly germicidal and especially does not possess high germicidal value in the presence of serum and other protein mediums. The loss of antibacterial activity of mercurials in the presence of serum proves their incompatibility with serum."
In addition, the researchers warned of the toxicity of Thimerosal. "The comparative in vitro studies of mercurochrome, metaphen and merthiolate [Thimerosal] on embryonic (developing) tissue cells and bacterial cells by Salle and Lazarus [Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology & Medicine, February 1935] cannot be ignored," they said.
These investigators found Thimerosal was 262 times more toxic for embryonic tissue cells than for Staphylococcus aureus.
More than 10 years before the results of the above study were published, Nye [Journal of the American Medical Association, January 1937] and Welch [from the Food and Drug Administration, Journal of Immunology 1939] also found the same mercurial compound more toxic. "Not only is there a direct toxic action of the mercurial compounds on the cellular and humoral components of the animal body, but there is also the possibility of sensitization," they said.
In addition, Mr Engley subsequently published an article in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1950, titled, "Evaluation of Mercurials as Antiseptics" in which he declared, "...mercurials are ineffective in vivo and may be more toxic for tissue cells than bacterial cells, as shown in mice (Nungester and Kempf, 1942) (Sarber, 1942) (Spaulding and Bondi, 1947) tissue culture (Salle and Catlin, 1947) and embryonic eggs (Witlin, 1942) (Green and Kirkeland, 1944), and with leucocytes (Welch and Hunter, 1940)."
Due to the FDA ignoring the scientific findings and warnings of its own researchers, Thimerosal remained in vaccines for the second half of the century and has now been linked to an epidemic in autism, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a wide range of other neurological problems.
Drug companies deserve to be sued. Proof has surfaced that shows they have been knowingly injecting this poison into children for many years. A 1991 company memo which surfaced last fall in a lawsuit involving vaccine maker, Merck, proves beyond any doubt, that the company knew infants were being injected with unsafe amounts of Thimerosal in 1991.
A copy of the memo was obtained by attorneys for Vera Easter, a Texas woman who blames drug makers for injuring her 7-year-old son, who is autistic and mentally retarded. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas against vaccine makers Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis Pasteur, Wyeth; as well as Thimerosal inventor Eli Lilly.
The 7 page memo describes how a 6-month-old baby who received shots on schedule would receive doses of mercury many times higher than established safety guidelines and specifically states: "If eight doses of Thimerosal-containing vaccine was given in the first six months of life (3 DTP, 2 HIB, and 3 Hepatitis B) the 200 micrograms of mercury given, say to an average size of 12 pounds, would be about 87 times the Swedish daily allowance of 2.3 micrograms for a baby of that size."
The memo even warned that the best way to go is to switch to dispensing the actual vaccines without adding preservatives. However, it went on to point out the potential loss of profits and said that while eliminating preservatives was the best solution, there was a cost consideration the head of Health Services has to consider. Several large ampoules or bottles are more expensive than a smaller number of larger packages.
Authored by Merck's then senior Vice-President, Maurice Hilleman, the memo was sent to Dr Gordon Douglas, head of the company's vaccine division. A disclosure of this information in 1991 could have prevented millions of children from being injured.
Even after drug makers began claiming they had removed Thimerosal from vaccines, they left all previously manufactured vaccines on the market which was clearly deceptive to parents who believed they were injecting Thimerosal-free vaccines into their babies. In September 1999, Merck declared in a press release: "Now, Merck's infant vaccine line is free of all preservatives."
However, On March 8, 2005, the LA Times reported, "Merck & Co continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical."
As it turns out, the company continued to distribute vaccines containing Thimerosal until October 2001, according to a June, 2003 FDA letter sent to Rep David Weldon (R-Fla), a doctor, in response to his inquiry. Weldon called what Merck did "misleading."
"You had people literally into 2002 getting shots with mercury, having been told it was all taken out in 1999," he told the Times.
To this day, vaccines with full doses of Thimerosal are still out there. Last time I checked, I found products with expiration dates as late as September 2005.