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Informed Consent Action Network submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the CDC to supply all of the research the agency uses to defend the claim that vaccines do not cause autism, specifically with regard to the DTaP, Prevnar, HIB, Hep B and Polio vaccines.

That request was submitted in the summer of 2019. The CDC did not produce a single specific study in response to the FOIA requests, which prompted ICAN to sue the CDC in federal court. The CDC conceded, in a stipulation signed by a federal court judge, that it has no studies to support any of the vaccines asked about do not cause autism.

The CDC identified 20 studies, but according to ICAN, one of those studies related to the MMR vaccine (a vaccine ICAN did not challenge), 13 relating to thimerosal (an ingredient not in any of the vaccines ICAN asked about), five relating to both MMR and thimerosal and one relating to antigen (not a vaccine) exposure.

ICAN said that a recent review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was on the CDC’s list of studies. It was paid for by the CDC. There was a comprehensive review of studies relating to whether DTDaP does or does not cause autism. The result was that the IOM could not identify a single study to support that DTaP does not cause autism. Instead, the only relevant study the IOM could identify found an association between DTaP and autism.

ICAN added that the CDC listed a review in response to the FOIA requests that proves there are no studies to support that DTaP does not cause autism.

The lawsuit was dismissed because studies were submitted to recap where the research currently stands. Advocates for medical freedom, though, say the main takeaway is that the CDC simply has not studied all vaccines to determine whether they cause autism. The CDC studied one vaccine, one ingredient no longer widely used, and one antigen, but it is using those studies as a blanket statement that no vaccine can cause autism.

“There’s a lot of safety science that’s needed,” said Heidi Larson, PhD. Director Vaccine Confidence Project, at the Global Vaccine Safety Summit in Geneva. “Without the good science, we can’t have good communication. So, although I’m talking about all these other contextual issues and communication issues, it absolutely needs the science as the backbone. You can’t repurpose the same old ‘science’ to make it sound better if you don’t have the science that’s relevant to the new problems.”

Author: Jacob Hall