By Theresa A. Deisher, Ph.D.
Just when the pharmaceutical industry thought the vaccine-autism controversy had been resolved, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee has recommended further study of vaccine safety. A perceived fear of the safety of the U.S. vaccination schedule has led increasing numbers of parents to opt out of full compliance. The numbers of children who are not fully vaccinated has now reached a point where “herd” immunity may be compromised, compelling the Centers for Disease Control to hold town-hall meetings and convene a Vaccine Safety Working Subgroup. Despite research ruling out mercury (Thimerosal) or the measles portion of one specific vaccine, autism continues to rise to a level of one in every 64 children in the UK.
The NVAC draft report recommends further study of the potential for vaccines to contribute to autism in children who have underlying mitochondrial disease, a worthwhile study given the clinical history of such children developing autism after vaccinations (see Poling case). What the NVAC has overlooked, however, in their recommendations, is that epidemic regressive autism is associated with the switch from using animal cells to produce vaccines to the use of aborted human fetal cells for vaccine production. Now when we vaccinate our children, some vaccines also deliver contaminating aborted human fetal DNA. The safety of this has never been tested.
Autism and autism spectrum disorder are polygenic diseases, meaning that multiple genes have been shown to be associated with these diseases. Studies have also clearly shown that there is an environmental component, a trigger, that is required. Vaccines are an obvious potential environmental trigger for autism because of the almost universal childhood exposure to vaccines in first world countries. The vaccine-autism connection was first hypothesized following the introduction of a new measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to the U.S. in 1979, with complete U.S. market share by 1983, and to the UK in 1988. Autism rates began to rise in the U.S. after 1979 and rose dramatically after 1983, and likewise rose in the UK after 1988, leading physicians to suspect a link. Initially, the measles component of this vaccine, MMR II, was suspected to be the culprit. Subsequent studies have also focused on the presence of mercury in vaccines, which incidentally, the MMR II vaccine did not contain.
Those studies have largely ruled out the new measles portion of the MMR II or mercury as the environmental trigger for autism. However, the compelling temporal association between this new MMR vaccine and autism cannot be ignored or explained away. What has been ignored is the fact that this new MMR vaccine introduced the use of aborted fetal cells for vaccine production. At one point, as much as 94 percent of children in the U.S. and 98 percent of children in the UK were given this vaccine.
Today, more than 23 vaccines are contaminated by the use of aborted fetal cells. There is no law that requires that consumers be informed that some vaccines are made using aborted fetal cells and contain residual aborted fetal DNA. While newer vaccines produced using aborted fetal cells do inform consumers, in their package inserts, that the vaccines contain contaminating DNA from the cell used to produce the vaccine, they do not identify the cells as being derived from electively aborted human fetuses. (See the Varivax—chicken pox—package insert for the presence of MRC5 residual DNA.)
In other words, they tell you what is in the vaccine, but they don’t fully inform you where it came from. The earliest aborted fetal cell-produced vaccines such as Meruvax (rubella) and MMR II do not even inform consumers that the vaccines contain contaminating DNA from the cell used to produce them. Furthermore, it is unconscionable that the public-health risk of injecting our children with residual contaminating human aborted fetal DNA has been ignored.
How could the contaminating aborted fetal DNA create problems? It creates the potential for autoimmune responses and/or inappropriate insertion into our own genomes through a process called recombination. There are groups researching the potential link between this DNA and autoimmune diseases such as juvenile (type I) diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus. Our organization, Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, is focused on studying the quantity, characteristics and genomic recombination of the aborted fetal DNA found in many of our vaccines.
Preliminary bioinformatics research conducted at SCPI indicates that “hot spots” for DNA recombination are found in nine autism-associated genes present on the X chromosome. These nine genes are involved in nerve-cell synapse formation, central nervous system development and mitochondrial function.
Could genomic insertion of the aborted fetal DNA, found in some of our childhood vaccines since 1979, be an environmental trigger for autism? Could the fact that genes critical for nerve synapse formation and nervous system development are found on the X chromosome provide some explanation of why autism is predominantly a disease found in boys? Could the “hot spots” identified in these autism-associated genes be sites for insertion of contaminating aborted fetal DNA?
These questions must be answered, and quickly. Recent literature suggests that autism spectrum disorder may now impact one out of every 100 children. The pharmaceutical industry is also currently moving to replace more animal-produced vaccines with aborted-fetal-cell production and also to produce biologic drugs using aborted fetal cells.
The practice of using aborted fetal cells for vaccine and drug production creates wrenching moral dilemmas for parents and consumers, ignores informed consent rights, and exposes our children and ourselves to contaminants lacking safety evaluations. We cannot ignore this issue in good conscience, and we cannot afford to wait.
Dr. Deisher is president of Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (www.soundchoice.org), as well as a cofounder and the research and development director for Ave Maria Biotechnology Company (www.avmbiotech.com), which promote pro-life biotechnology. This article is an adaptation and update of Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute’s June 2009 newsletter and is published with its kind permission. For more information on Dr. Deisher, see "Providing real choice: A conversation with Dr. Theresa Deisher" in American Life League's Celebrate Life magazine (January-February 2009) .