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Hall of Fame: Background (next page) click for a PDF of this page
Separately in North Carolina, a toxicologist, Dr. Rashid Buttar, was equally suspicious that mercury and other toxic metals may be the root cause of autism. In the late 1990s, he, too, began to treat autistic children by addressing toxic metals. He found the work to be emotionally draining and with his busy patient load of adult cancer and heart patients, decided to stop treating autistic children in 2000. Soon after, his own son began to exhibit clear signs of mercury poisoning and Dr. Buttar redoubled his efforts to find an agent to remove the toxin that he was certain was causing all of his son's symptoms: mercury. Importantly, Dr. Buttar is believed to be the first board-certified toxicologist to have a mercury-poisoned child. As such, he was particularly suited to understand both the cause and treatment of autism. Dr. Buttar took the most effective agent for removing mercury from the body, DMPS, and reformulated it into a transdermal form that would be safer and simpler to administer to young children. After two years of treatment, his son fully recovered.
In Congress, Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) also faced autism first hand with the diagnosis of his grandson. With a reputation for integrity and a keen eye for truth, Congressman Burton began asking questions of health authorities. The more he heard from them, the more suspicious he became. Using his platform as Chairperson of the Committee on Government Reform, Chairman Burton began to hold hearings on mercury and autism, bringing scientists, researchers, and physicians on both sides of the issue from around the world to testify before his committee. The result of his three-year investigation is Mercury in Medicine: Taking Unnecessary Risks and concludes that mercury is causal to autism. Joined by fellow Representatives Weldon, Maloney, and Leahy, Congressman Burton has been a beacon of truth and has remained relentless in furthering the true understanding of autism, famously telling the leadership of the CDC and FDA, "I'm not going away."
Moving at Lightspeed Towards Mercury...
With the beginning of the new millennium, the knowledge of mercury's toxic effects grew and the science became even clearer. In 2001, the publication of Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning by founders of SafeMinds demonstrated that the symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning are exactly the same. Also in 2001, the Autism Research Institute (ARI) convened a Consensus Conference on the Detoxification of Autistic Children. The physician attendees had treated over 1,500 autistic children for heavy metal poisoning. The purpose of the meeting was to arrive at a consensus document that would recommend the safest and most effective methods for detoxifying autistic children. Their position paper was the first proof to the larger medical community that detoxification through chelation was working to treat autistic children. (For an updated version of this study, released in February 2005, click here.)
By 2003 and 2004, the pace of scientific and medical evidence accelerated with the release of a wide range of studies implicating mercury including: The Committee on Government Reform's Mercury in Medicine - Taking Unnecessary Risks; Reduced Levels of Mercury in First Baby Haircuts of Autistic Children; A Case-Control Study of Mercury Burden in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder; and Thimerosal Induces DNA Breaks, Caspase-3 Activation, Membrane Damage, and Cell Death in Cultured Human Neurons and Fibroblasts.
Dr. Mark Geier and his son David made a particularly important contribution to the field by being the first independent research team to analyze the CDC's own vaccine safety database. Their analyses found strong, significant correlations between the amount of Thimerosal dosing and the subsequent development of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. After the CDC published it's own study claiming a "neutral" correlation (meaning inconclusive), the Geiers published a critique of the CDC's study identifying flaws in the methodology and manipulation of data to achieve the neutral outcome. Their study, Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Heart Disease in the United States, published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons in the Spring of 2003, is a powerful rebuttal to the CDC study.
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