From the February 2009 Idaho Observer:

CDC finances bogus Italian study to support vaccine safety claims

by Child Health Safety

Documents disclosed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spends U.S. tax dollars in foreign countries on studies to claim the vaccination programs they promote for U.S. children are safe when they know the results of the studies will produce false and misleading negative results.

Just such a study recently published from Italy and funded by the CDC claims to show that the known neurotoxic mercury additive in vaccines, Thimerosal, is not harmful to children and the study has received wide-spread publicity ["Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines" Tozzi et al, Pediatrics 123:2:475-482].

Mercury is toxic in parts per billion. What the U.S. public is not being told is that the study was certain to be unable to detect any effect. The CDC internal email exchange obtained under FOIA shows that, to be able to detect any effect in children with the methods used, the dose applied by the age of three months had to be more than 50 millionths of a gram of mercury and more than 100 millionths of a gram by the age of six months.

Table 1 of the paper shows Italian children received by the age of three months two-thirds of that minimum amount, or no more 37.5 millionths of a gram. By four months they had only three-quarters of that minimum: 75 millionths of a gram and the maximum by six months was 100 millionths of a gram, not enough to hit or exceed the threshold needed.

The 2001 exchange of emails was between Dr. Thomas Verstraeten and Dr. Robert Chen of the CDC and Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the UK’s Public Health Laboratory Service. The exchange also shows a dose of 75 micrograms of mercury by the age of four months was insufficient to detect an effect. Chen and Miller were at the time looking into a possible study of British children since Italian infants were in the same category as British infants, receiving 75 micrograms by the age of four months, much less than what U.S. children were receiving.

Do not be deceived into thinking there are no problems with the lower levels of mercury. Studies like this Italian one and previous internal studies by the CDC are simply unable to measure the effects at lower levels; this is an issue of precision, not absence of effect.

There were many other deficiencies in the Italian study. Notably, the study only included healthy children in the original vaccine trial so those most at risk were excluded. The authors also excluded large numbers of other children most likely to be at risk. As an example of how unrepresentative of the Italian child population this study was, 70 percent of the Italian parents had college degrees.

Children excluded from the study included:

• an unknown number of underweight children who are likely to be more susceptible to injury because the body burden of mercury would be proportionately higher

• underweight children are likely to include premature infants [whose effective age is less and who are underdeveloped by the time they are vaccinated compared to full-term infants]

• all unwell children at time of vaccination (susceptible group)

• over 30 percent of children dropped out of the study and the authors acknowledged these may have included those injured, the parents not participating "because their children had cognitive developmental problems"

• there was no proper control group to make a comparison—the authors compared children who had mercury containing vaccines against children who had different vaccines with less mercury; not against children who had no vaccines or no mercury.

Only one case of autism was identified from medical records out 1,704 (an order of magnitude lower than the UK and the U.S.) which also casts doubts on the value of the study.

Evidence from the new Italian study of child disorders linked to vaccination provides strong evidence that independent impartial unbiased objective research is urgently needed comparing vaccinated against unvaccinated children. is an invaluable and continually updated resource for U.S. and UK vaccine-related news and politics.