Cure Autism Now Calls for Removal of Mercury-based Preservative in Children’s Vaccinations | July 17, 2001 #AutisticHistory #AutismMyth

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

July 17, 2001

Contact Information:

Lisa Weil, Shoreen Maghame
Edelman Worldwide

Elizabeth Kilpatrick
Cure Autism Now

Sallie Bernard

Cure Autism Now Calls for Removal of Mercury-based Preservative in Children’s Vaccinations

Father of Autistic Child Writes Letter to Institute of Medicine, Urging a ‘Thorough’ Assessment of Possible Link to Autism

LOS ANGELES-July 17, 2001 -Cure Autism Now, the largest private funder of biomedical research into autism, is calling today for the removal of a mercury-based additive from all childhood vaccines and is urging the Institute of Medicine to take a leadership role in this area.

Jonathan Shestack, co-founder of Cure Autism Now ( and the parent of an autistic child, made the request on behalf of the organization in a letter to Marie McCormick, M.D., Sc.D., the chair of the Immunization Safety Review Committee for the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Sciences.

The committee is set to evaluate the role of thimerosial in vaccines and its possible connection to neurodevelopmental disorders like autism. 

“Mercury is a known neurotoxin with the potential to cause severe developmental deficits in even the smallest amounts,” Shestack wrote in the letter. “We feel that the Institute of Medicine must take a leadership position in making sure that thimerosial is removed immediately from all new vaccines, and, in addition, old stock containing thimerosial should be recalled. 

“Furthermore, for the sake of scientific truth, better treatments for people with autism and public confidence in federal vaccination policy, we believe it is essential that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend further research to ascertain, once and for all, the potential link between thimerosial and the rising incidence of autism. If a link is found, then further research must be directed at clinical efforts for mercury toxicity remediation.”

Shestack said these recommendations are “conservative, compassionate and reasonable” in light of the great public interest. Cure Autism Now, which is based in Los Angeles, California, and is comprised of scientists, clinicians and parents of autistic children, has issued and generously funded a Request for Proposals (RFP) specifically on the role of mercury in autism etiology.

Cure Autism Now board member Sallie Bernard, who lives in New Jersey and is the parent of an autistic child, has been a prominent part of this effort, starting a group called SafeMinds that deals strictly with exploring a possible connection between thimerosial and autism.

The letter to the IOM continued: “The American public needs and deserves a thorough, assessment of the evidence and independent, unbiased research on the topic. Because of our daily contact with thousands of concerned families, we know that only this type of serious response can restore rapidly deteriorating confidence in national vaccination programs.”

Shestack, a Hollywood movie producer, and his wife, Portia Iversen, founded Cure Autism Now in 1995 after their oldest son, Dov, was diagnosed with autism, a devastating brain disorder. Autism usually strikes sometime in the first two years of life. It can cause extreme impairment in language, cognition and communication. The disorder affects over 400,000 families and costs the nation more than $13 billion a year. Recent studies indicate that as many as two in every 1,000 children born today will be on the autistic spectrum. Cure Autism Now’s recommendations come at a critical time. There are now more cases of autism diagnosed than AIDS with California reporting a 273 percent increase in the last 10 years and Florida, a 500 percent increase. 

The letter, which was also signed by Iverson and Dr. David Baskin, acknowledged that various federal agencies have summarily concluded in the past that “there is no causal proof” of a connection between autism and thimerosial. However, there has been no substantial research done on this subject, and there is a large body of knowledge regarding the neurotoxicity of mercury at low doses. 

“As scientists, clinicians and parents we understand the importance of childhood vaccinations: however, we believe that standardized responses like “the benefits of vaccines outweigh any risks make light of the lives of our children with autism and are irrelevant when evaluating a preservative and not a vaccine,” Shestack said. 

The letter was also sent to Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind), chairman of the House Governmental Committee, and other members of the House and Senate.

Cure Autism Now is committed to accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward a cure. It is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting and funding autism research. For more information about Cure Autism Now, please visit their website at

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Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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