Awesomeness, thy name is…

13 02 2009

(No “Ignorance…” this week. This week’s winners are too awesome)

The U.S. Court of Claims. As you’ve probably seen, they recently ruled that there was no evidence whatsoever for a link between autism and vaccines, throwing out the three test cases, and by extension making it clear what the decision would be for the remaining 5,000 cases.

The special master in the Cedillo case said that,

“After a thorough review, I find that the evidence offered by respondent is substantially more persuasive concerning this issue.  I find that the evidence falls far short of demonstrating that it is “more probable than not” that thimerosal-containing vaccines can damage infants’ immune systems.”

Regarding the expert testimony of Dr. Jeffrey Brent,

“Dr. Brent did not dispute that mercury in some of its forms, at certain dosages, can be toxic, or even fatal, to humans.  But he stressed that Dr. Aposhian was inappropriately relying on instances of mercury toxicity involving mercury in forms quite different from the ethylmercury found in thimerosal, and  on instances involving exposure to vastly greater amounts of mercury than the small amounts used as preservatives in vaccines.

As to the forms of mercury, Dr. Brent explained that the many different types of mercury have toxological properties quite different from one another, so that it is inappropriate to generalize, as Dr. Aposhian does, from one form of mercury to another.


Dr. Brent also testified that Dr. Aposhian’s causation theory erroneously ignored the “dose- response” principle, a foundation of medical toxicology.  Dr. Brent explained that almost any substance can be toxic if administered in high enough quantities, while substances that are toxic at high doses can be harmless or even beneficial at low doses.”

Regarding “genetic hypersuceptibility” :

Petitioners have suggested that there may exist a group of humans who, unlike most humans,are genetically “hypersusceptible” to mercury, leaving them vulnerable to immune system damage when exposed to ethylmercury.  Dr. Aposhian’s testimony seemed to assert this theory.  (Tr. 92, 115, 129-131.)  After review, however, I find that petitioners have failed to demonstrate that this theory has any validity. First, neither Dr. Aposhian nor any other of petitioners’ experts pointed to any scientific research  that even suggests that such “hypersusceptibility” exists.

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