Missouri Approves Vaccine Mercury Ban

Missouri is (incredibly) one of the first states to pass a bill limiting the amount of mercury in vaccines given to children! Mercury in vaccines has been linked to the rising incidence rate of autism. Although research has not proven a causal relationship, the circumstantial evidence is strong enough that many parents have stopped getting vaccinations for their children. Petitions to increase vaccinations rates in many states have led to public debates throughout the country. As one of 4 major hubs for autism treatment (the others are LA, Princeton, and Minneapolis), St. Louis has long been at the center of these debates. After Gov. Schwarzenegger passed a bill in California to limit mercury in vaccines starting in June 2006 (current vaccines must be used before new ones can be made), St. Louis parents set out to make Missouri follow suit.

The Missouri House and Senate have both passed the bill, and it will now go to Governor Matt Blunt for approval. Given the recent outrage over Blunt's budget cuts for the First Steps autism program and the subsequent reversal of that decision, he is eager to sign the new bill into law. The bill limits the mercury-free requirement only to those under three, which would not cover children getting their first vaccinations before entering school. Many advocates argue that Blunt's push for this limitation counters the purpose of the bill to lower rates of autism across the board. However, most cases of autism start between the ages of 2 and 4--just after that first round of vaccinations. Even though the bill doesn't cover all vaccines, it will greatly limit the number of children in the autism onset range who will be exposed to possible mercury contamination. Regardless, this is a HUGE step for Missouri legislature, and it demonstrates the power that parents and advocacy groups can have over the future of our children.

While the cause of autism remains a mystery, research is producing more results than ever and several methods of treatment have shown drastic improvements.

You can help by raising funds and awareness in your community through Walk Far for N.A.A.R.!

No comments: