Statement in response to Petition to Defend the Dignity of Autistic Citizens

To Whom It May Concern:

RE: The statement from the www.neurodiversity.com website that "We abhor Dr. Haley's likening of autistic children to 'Mad Cows'"

First, I have never compared or likened autistic children to Mad Cows, nor have I ever said a derogatory thing about any autistic person or group. Autistics and families of autistics have my unwavering support and sympathy. If someone has construed that I did so then they are misinformed. I would immediately lean over backwards to apologize if I did so. However, what I did point out was that using the term "Mad Cow" garnered national attention to the problem of finding a single afflicted cow. (It should be noted that "mad cows" suffer from chronic wasting disease, do not eat or drink even when the resource is in front of them. They are remarkably unaware of their surroundings, they do not make aggressive action towards anything. Not at all like rabid or mad dogs.) The point I was making is that our US government and our press media was highly focused on an event (the single mad cow, no human injury caused) while ignoring the plight of thousands of autistic children and their parents. Myself, and no one I know of has ever likened autistics to mad cows and the statement on the neurodiversity website is inaccurate. The issue discussed at the meeting where I presented was the high level of attention given to one "mad cow" while our country's responsible government/medical agencies denies and ignores the autism epidemic and uses descriptions of illnesses that do not lend to the elimination of these diseases. Remember, it was a group of parents of autistic children, not the government agencies, that brought the autism epidemic to light. Hopefully, those who take issue with my presentation regarding Mad Cow comments will obtain the tape of my talk and listen to it themselves. The entire talk was designed to obtain support of a large physician group to recognize and work for the plight of families of children with autistic spectrum disorders.

I know the "statistical trick" used by some epidemiologists of dividing all of the autistic spectrum disorders into many different "medical definitions" such as autism, ADHD, PDD, Aspergers, speech disorder, etc. In my opinion, this trick of dividing the thimerosal (ethylmercury) caused illnesses into several groups can be used to keep the total number of any single group from reaching a high level of statistical significance, allowing manipulation of the data to show little effect of thimerosal from vaccines. Note that most of these illnesses have a higher boy to girl ratio like autism, and have shown a dramatic increase that correlates with the advent of the mandated vaccine program that increased infant exposures to thimerosal like autism. That is, they appear to have the same causality with different resulting clinical effects or levels of neurological damage. It will also be much more difficult for all children with autism spectrum disorders to gain compensation if they are divided into different medical categories. I am trying to eliminate use of this statistical trick by calling attention to it, and placing all of those affected by thimerosal toxicity under one general causation described by one name.

The nature of the event that lead to the use of the term "Mercury Afflicted Disease of Children (M.A.D. Child Disease) was as follows. I was listening to the speaker directly before me at the Doctor's for Disaster Preparedness Conference. There were few, if any, parents of autistic children present. The prior speaker, a veterinarian, spoke about what efforts and expense the US government put into the finding of one "Mad Cow" in the state of Washington. I found his talk extremely interesting. I noticed also that the rest of the audience, mostly physicians, where paying rapt attention — over one sick cow, but admittedly a cow that had the capacity to do a lot of human and economical damage. I also remembered the number of times I heard about the "Mad Cow" problem on national TV — it was on nightly and yet, during the past few years any mention of the autisim epidemic seemed exceedingly rare, and this epidemic represented severe damage to many thousands of afflicted children and their families. What is wrong with our press and medical community that causes them to ignore the autism spectrum disorder epidemic?

Therefore, when I was to speak I wanted to make a point. Calling a cow a "Mad Cow" got immense national press attention and government funding due to the image produced by the name, while mercury damaged children and their parents have to fight to get any press coverage. Stating that they had found a cow suffering from 'chronic wasting disease' would not have attracted such media attention. I was also aware that the responsible government agencies and committees for national health problems, e.g. the FDA, IOM, CDC etc, initially fought even the recognition that an epidemic was occurring. Now they have to admit one exists but are trying to label it a "genetic disease", due to neurodiversity perhaps. Sounds politically correct, but is misleading and likely prevents many afflicted autistic children from receiving medical treatment that may help restore some quality to their lives. As much as any parent would not like the Mercury Afflicted Disease of children to be used you can bet the CDC and FDA would like it even less.

I did my best to stir up this audience of physicians with regards to the autism issue, hoping that it would lead some of them to convince the government and press media into recognition of the autism spectrum disorder problem and to support the bills to ban thimerosal in vaccines as was being presented to Congress. I pointed out the division of autism spectrum disorders and stated that if we combined and labeled these neurological diseases accurately based on causality then Mercury Afflicted Disease of children (M.A.D. Child Disease) would likely garner more national attention of this epidemiological disaster. It is still my opinion that this is better than staying quite, governed by a perceived political correctness, and allowing the CDC and others divide, what is in my opinion, a set of thimerosal/vaccine induced illnesses into many subgroups in an attempt to hide the true cause. When the protection of American children's health and safety, and the pursuit of happiness by families are at stake, then I am one who will throw rocks if necessary to win and insure this protection.

I also recognize that saying someone has an autistic or ADHD child does not evoke much sympathy or understanding from those unaware or unaffected by the autism epidemic. My approach to shock the physicians by pointing out the affect of a NAME given to a disease worked as many of these physicians spoke to me about this issue and many, including Dr. Donald Miller, has taken on a role to bring this issue to public recognition. Dr. Miller wrote his article accurately and did so to be helpful to the autistic children and should not be held accountable for the MAD Child reference. I am the responsible person for this and if anyone was offended it was not my intention.

I pointed out in my speech that since the responsible government agencies did not recognize the autism spectrum disorder epidemic, nor the press, then many parents of autistic children were under the impression that it was a "non-treatable genetic disease" and not a "treatable toxicity" problem that could also potentially be eliminated (like Acrodynia or Pink disease).

I knew before my talk that many physicians were successfully treating autistic children. For example, the last DAN (Defeat Autism Now) Conference had as its mantra "Autism, A Treatable Disease" and this was based on the reports of many DAN physicians that treating autistic children for mercury toxicity and the known biological effects of mercury toxicity resulted in remarkable reversal of this disease in many children. These developed treatments were done (1) without any support from our government, including the National Institutes of Health and (2) were done in defiance of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendation that thimerosal exposure not be considered a possible cause of autism and that all research, clinical or biological, regarding the thimerosal-autism hypothesis be stopped. In my opinion, this represents repugnant policy since neither the IOM nor the CDC could provide any other reasonable hypothesis for the autism epidemic. The IOM totally discounted all of the research supporting the thimerosal-autism hypothesis and only considered epidemiological studies, mostly from foreign countries without our high autism rate, to come to their conclusions. This is highly symptomatic of an orchestrated bureaucratic cover up that results in further damage to our children and our nation.

Finally, I know that parents of autistic-spectrum disorder children would not like for their children to be called MAD. However, since this, in my opinion, correctly describes the causal route as Mercury Afflicted Disease of children, (autism spectrum disorders). I also know that the bureaucrats at the IOM, FDA and CDC also are even more disturbed by the MAD Child disease moniker as it directly calls attention to the nature of the damage their agencies inflicted on families of autistic children which, if they had been doing their jobs, would not have happened and would not have continued after being recognized. Instead, certain bureaucrats in these agencies worked hard to cover up this "government agency induced disease".

I have been fighting the issue of iatrogenic mercury toxicity delivered by dentists and physicians for many years and will continue to do so. The USA is worth it. Calling me a MAD Scientist would rank among the kindest things that I have been called by the supporters of dental amalgams and thimerosal in vaccines. So I understand how those who have not viewed my talk could be offended by the out of context and inaccurate representations of what I have been given credit for saying. I apologize to these individuals, but encourage them to review my entire talk so they will understand there was never any likening of autistic children to mad cows.

Boyd E. Haley
Professor and Chair
Department of Chemistry
University of Kentucky
October 11, 2004

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