August 25, 2017

Entries for the Challenge and Our Responses

The criteria for submitting an entry into the $100,000 challenge was to send an English translation of the proffered study, a $50 processing fee, a letter explaining why the study qualifies for the reward, and the name and address to which the $100,000 check should be directed. The submissions were initially reviewed by staff to ascertain if they met the criteria for being considered a safety study.

From February 15th to August 15th we received 49 emails regarding the $100,000 challenge. Of those, many were requesting clarification, some were expressing comments or concerns and about one third included links for submission to the Challenge. We also received two mailed responses including one from a college professor who had students send in submissions as part of their class assignment.

None of the submissions received met the criteria of being classified as a safety study and all processing fees received were either returned to the applicant or destroyed at their request.

Below is a summary of the research that was submitted along with a summary response from WMP. Each applicant was informed that they could appeal the initial decision and request that the judges review the submission and rule on whether the research assured the safety of injecting thimerosal into pregnant women, infants and children. None of the applicants moved forward with an appeal.

Summary of Studies Submitted

Submitted TwiceResponse
Association between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism / Hviid et al.The study submitted addresses an association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. It does not address the issue of the safety of thimerosal in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.
Submitted TwiceResponse
Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association/Andrews et al.This study found an association between poor prosocial behavior at 47 months associated with thimerosal exposure by 3 months of age (odds ratio: 1.12; 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.23). Despite the author’s claim that there was no “convincing evidence” that early exposure to thimerosal had any deleterious effect on neurologic or psychological outcome, there was evidence. Unfortunately, this study does not prove thimerosal is safe to inject into pregnant women, infants or children.
Submitted OnceResponse
The Vaccine Challenge: Individually submitted editorial reports from college students.

The Origins of Vaccine and Autism Myth Debunked.

Correlation is Not Causation.

Thimerosal Challenge: Lack of a Challenge-Are Vaccines Safe?

Disease That Are Coming Back Due to Not Vaccinating.

Autism: Vaccines and Fevers During Pregnancy.

Differences in mercury and its Safety.

Behind the Interest of Researchers.

The Narrative of Autism and How it Got Us to Where We are Today.

Rising Autism Rates and Thimerosal in Pregnancy.

Thimerosal History Notable Factors of Autism Victims

Thank you for your interest in the World Mercury Project $100,000 Challenge.  We can understand why your students would be excited about this challenge given the overwhelming student debt crisis facing our young adults today.  In reading the submissions, unfortunately it appears that the students did not fully comprehend the challenge rule found on our website.  While we applaud their submission, none of the information presented meets the necessary criteria for safety as outlined in the challenge rules. Individual students contributed to the challenge by writing on a vaccine topic of interest, but as many had the similar underlying themes, we will summarize the general areas of contribution below.

A student focused on the research of Andrew Wakefield regarding the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.  This particular vaccine is a live viral vaccine and does not contain (and never has) the mercury based preservative, thimerosal.  The thimerosal would kill the live virus component of the vaccines rendering it ineffective. That said, it would be informative for this student and others to get acquainted with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a government run database that records adverse vaccines events. While the government admits that the vast majority of adverse events are not captured by the database for a host of reasons, your students will find the information illuminating from a research point of view. In the database, the students will see that while we can count the number of measles deaths on one hand in the past 10 years (usually in the immune compromised), VAERS data on the MMR vaccine cites an alarming number of severe adverse events and deaths that have occurred in previously healthy children. These adverse events go way beyond benign reactions and are ones that no parent would ever want for their child when the risk of measles deaths is normally so low. SmartVax.org is a wonderful website that helps individuals weigh the risks and benefits of vaccination.

A majority of students focused on the debate regarding vaccines and autism.  Research that does not find an association with autism does not mean that thimerosal is safe. Thus, again, the rules of the challenge weren’t followed. But to help them learn, we created a document that contains the 19 studies the CDC often cite to claim thimerosal doesn’t cause autism. The students will see that while the studies have incorrect stats and many have been cited as fraudulent by one of the authors, Dr. William Thompson,  the studies still found associations with thimerosal and IQ deficits, language delay and tics (Tourette’s Syndrome is a grave neurological disorder that has increased in the past 25 years). Review the 19 studies on our website.

Another student cites that the body can handle multiple antigens. This is still not answering the challenge but as they have put time into this argument, we will explain. The antigen is just one portion of a vaccine.  Vaccines contain other ingredients. Many of those ingredients are there to preserve the vaccine from contamination, others are powerful adjuvants like aluminum designed to stimulate the immune system. Others like formaldehyde, phenols and the contaminate glyphosate are toxins that should never be injected into the human body. These ingredients often cause health issues vs. the antigens themselves.

The students should research the fact that the vaccine schedule has NEVER been testing in its entirety. Multiple vaccines (the schedule) vs. no vaccines has never been tested by the CDC, FDA or vaccine manufacturer. As this is so basic to the vaccine program, many are shocked to hear that fact. Recently however, a independent, peer-reviewed study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations was published. The study found that vaccinated children were significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with infections, allergies, and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADHD.

Have your students research that the vaccines are never tested against a true placebo. After a bit of research, they will find that vaccine placebos are not comprised of a true inert ingredient like saline, but rather another already approved vaccine or the adjuvant. Meaning that the MMR or HPV might be tested against a placebo that contains the powerful adjuvants but not the antigens. Or one vaccine against another. What if both vaccines/adjuvants cause headaches? The signal won’t be apparent. This exercise waters down any statistical effects and is common if one wants to alter the statistics to erase a signal.

Do your students know that vaccine safety trials set the follow-up period as just a matter of days and weeks?  This barely allows for any severe adverse events and is far too short to assess for long term health outcomes like immune system and neurological disorders that manifest over time after an initial injury.

Are your students aware that if an infant or child is harmed by a vaccine their parents are not able to file a lawsuit against the manufacture?  The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) has paid over $3.6 billion for injuries since it went into effect in 1988. This money covers the cost to help raise the child and does not include penalties for injuries like a regular court case. Plus, death due to vaccines is capped at only $250,000. The students probably understand cases like death due to the painkiller, Vioxx, and that Merck hid the bad studies and only submitting the studies to the FDA where there were no adverse events. For that scientific fraud, Merck has since paid billions in damages for Vioxx injuries and death. Are we to assume that Merck does not perform these fraudulent antics in their vaccine division? (which by the way is headed by Ex-CDC Director, Julie Gerberding). In a study called Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the authors cite at least 83 claims paid by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that vaccines caused autism. Yet, the CDC still lies about this fact.

While some will agree that in all cases correlation does not mean causation, the evidence is strong that in some cases it does.  Here is one case where father and Johns Hopkins neurologist, Dr. Jon Polling, is interviewed by Sanjay Gupta of CNN. Dr. Poling explains how vaccines caused his child’s autism and how the government awarded the Poling’s money to provide health and care for their daughter’s lifetime care.

We thank you and the students for the submission and appreciate your time and effort. Like you, we want safe vaccinations. We offer this opinion that vaccination rates going down are actually caused by the failure of the Federal government to acknowledge the flaws in our vaccine program. And, until the policy makers address the problems systematically with sound program and science, parents will continue to refuse vaccines. Watch then National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Bernadine Healy describes this exact phenomenon and questions why the science has not been done by our vaccine program.

Enclosed is your check which we did not process. If you disagree with our review of the submission feel free to follow the appeal process on our website. We are also enclosing two items: the book, “Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak,” by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the video “Trace Amounts.” I hope that you and your students will watch the movie and read the book.

An Assessment of Thimerosal Use in Childhood Vaccines / Ball, et al.The review from Ball found that delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions from thimerosal exposure are well-recognized. The authors also identified acute toxicity from inadvertent high-dose exposure to thimerosal which included neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. They reported that limited data on toxicity from low-dose exposures to ethylmercury are available, but toxicity may be similar to that of methylmercury. Chronic, low-dose methylmercury exposure may cause subtle neurologic abnormalities. Depending on the immunization schedule, vaccine formulation, and infant weight, cumulative exposure of infants to mercury from thimerosal during the first six months of life may exceed EPA guidelines. The study did not assure the safety of injecting thimerosal into pregnant women, infants and children.
Autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines: Lack of consistent evidence for an association / Stehr-Green, et al.The study submitted addresses specifically autism and increased exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines and does not assure the safe use of thimerosal from the development of more subtle neurological damage from the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.
Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System by Robert Schechter et al.This study is of time trends in the prevalence children with autism and does not demonstrate that Thimerosal is safe in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women
Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism./ Institute of MedicineThis committee did not address the actual safety of injecting thimerosal into pregnant women, infants and children. In fact, in their 2001 report regarding exposure to thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders, the IOM recommended that sensitive populations such as pregnant women, infants and children not receive vaccines containing thimerosal. The IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee recommended that professional societies and governmental agencies remove thimerosal from vaccines administered to infants, children and pregnant women. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine reviewed the use of thimerosal in vaccines and the associations with only autism. Although the IOM committee concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism, the committee also acknowledged that the hypothesis that vaccines and components might result in harm in a genetically sensitive population “cannot be excluded by epidemiological data from large populations groups that do not show an association between a vaccine and an adverse outcome.” This is what was relied on to come to the conclusion of no association between vaccines and autism.
Examination of the safety of pediatric vaccine schedules in a non-human primate model: assessments of neurodevelopment, learning, and social behavior. / Curtis, et al.In this study, researchers found some animals showed poorer performance in learning–set testing, and identified instances of negative behaviors across the entire infancy period. Furthermore, there are noted differences between the study conclusion and the results that have not been addressed by the authors. For these reasons, this study does not meet the criteria outlined in the challenge.
Immunizations and Autism: A Review of the Literature / Doja, et al.This research submitted is a review of the literature relating to an association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. It is not a research study and does not address the issue of the safety of thimerosal in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.
Independent and Dependent Contributions of Advanced Maternal and Paternal Ages to Autism RiskThis study addresses risk factors that may play a role in the development of autism. We believe you have misinterpreted the purpose of the challenge as a whole. We are not attempting to prove a connection between Thimerosal and Autism. We are looking for a peer-reviewed scientific study demonstrating that thimerosal is safe in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.
Mercury in Dental Fillings Safe for School-Age ChildrenThe information submitted is a newsletter article, not a peer-reviewed research study. Secondly, the newsletter itself presents two disclaimers, one as a subtitle that states “data is lacking on their [amalgam dental fillings] effect if any, on preschoolers’ cognition” and the other as a publisher’s note: “Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate.”

Finally, this article does not address or demonstrate that Thimerosal is safe in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links with Immunizations / Fombonne et al.This study is an epidemiological study, which is one of the weakest research designs and it not capable of determining the safety of a product. In addition, the only outcome studied was Pervasive Developmental Disorders and there were no prenatal exposures to thimerosal which is what routinely occurs with flu vaccine administration during pregnancy. Therefore, it does not address the safety of injecting thimerosal into pregnant women.
Vaccines are not associated with autism: an evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies. / Taylor, et al.The study you submitted speaks to the link between vaccinations and autism. It does not speak to the safety of thimerosal in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.