Tennessee Senator hoping to protect vaccine makers from legal problems

Senator Bill Frist has just filled the seat of Senate majority leader on December 23, 2002. Frist authored a bill intended to protect vaccine makers, such as Eli Lilly & Co, from lawsuits regarding thimerosal found in vaccines and argued is linked to autism in children. While Frist denies having any role in the provision that was slipped into the homeland security bill passed in November 2002 protecting Eli Lilly from legal matters for their thimerosal containing vaccines, Frist is hoping to pass his original bill, which will have liability protection regarding vaccines.

Senators upset about the mysterious provision are making sure Frist honor the promise of outgoing Majority Leader Trent Lott to modify the liability protection as soon as Congress returns in January 2003. Thimerosal is the target of large controversy because some people believe it causes autism, and back in 1999, the FDA asked manufacturers to remove thimerosal from their vaccines. Frist's bill would stop any current or future lawsuits against vaccine makers like Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical powerhouse that has been the most targeted company regarding thimerosal's adverse health effects.

Every year, millions of American children receive vaccinations concerning parents after the Institute of Medicine concluded it is "biologically plausible" that thimerosal may cause developmental disorders such as autism. Mercury is not necessary in vaccines, leading many parents of children with autism wondering why their children may be suffering as a result of thimerosal-containing vaccines.

The Dangers of Thimerosal and Mercury
In June of 1999, the Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products in Europe, the equivalent of the U.S.’s FDA, completed an 18-month inquiry into the risks and benefits of using thimerosal in vaccines...

Vaccine Information
A vaccine is a preparation containing the weakened or killed microorganisms that cause a particular disease...

Thimerosal FAQ
What is Thimerosal? Why is Thimerosal Controversial?...

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Frist's ties to Eli Lilly & Co:

Frist's bill would protect Eli Lilly and other vaccine makers from lawsuits, including the growing controversy of thimerosal. When writing the bill, Frist consulted with Eli Lilly, as well as other interested parties. In 2002, Eli Lilly and the company's employees contributed $226,250 to the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee that Frist has led. When Frist wrote a book on bioterrorism that was published following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Eli Lilly bought 5,000 copies of it and distributed the book to doctors around the U.S.

First official recognition of thimerosal dangers made

After an extensive three-year investigation initiated by the Committee on Government Reform, a report was released concluding that, “there’s no question that mercury does not belong in vaccines.” For the first time, U.S. officials have undoubtedly recognized that thimerosal poses a very serious risk to those subjected to its’ neurotoxicity.

Click Here to Read Full Report

Thimerosal in Vaccines

Joint statement of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). This statement has been prepared by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the U.S. Public Health Service in response to 1) the progress being made in achieving the national goal declared in July 1999 to remove thimerosal from vaccines, and 2) the results of studies to better assess any potential relationship between exposure to mercury in thimerosal containing vaccines and health effects. Read More…

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