Merck Memo Hides Mercury Threat In Vaccines

First, it was the recall of Vioxx. Then, it was a scathing expose in the New York Times late last year about alleged coverups that served to minimize concerns about the now-banned drug's toxicity. I bet Merck employees were wondering if the worst was over, or merely yet to come.

The Los Angeles Times, quickly becoming one of my favorite online news sources, uncovered a 1991 Merck memo in which senior executives expressed concerns babies were receiving elevated amounts of mercury -- as much as 87 times higher than the maximum daily "consumption" of mercury from fish. The memo came during a time in which federal health experts had expanded infant immunization schedules by five extra shots during a baby's first six months. Many contained thimerosal, the compound whose composition is nearly half ethyl mercury.

Where the problem lies: Federal officials admitted the problem with thimerosal eight years later! A quote worth thinking about from a memo written by Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, an internationally renowned vaccinologist to the president of Merck's vaccine division:

"The key issue is whether thimerosal, in the amount given with the vaccine, does or does not constitute a safety hazard. However, perception of hazard may be equally important."

Worse still, due assorted problems including mislabeling -- even after the EPA first mandated the removal of thimerosal in 1999 -- mercury's toxic presence is still being felt today! So much so, even package inserts, which are required to detail exactly what is in a vaccine, may not even be accurate. This means your physician may not even be aware thimerosal is in the vaccine,

I strongly urge you to do your family a major favor by reviewing the many side effects and risks involved by being exposed to thimerosal before making a potentially, life-changing decision to vaccinate your kids.

Los Angeles Times February 8, 2005

New York Times February 8, 2005

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