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This Question Has Been Asked And Answered

Posted in News by Skepdude on January 17, 2009

The warfare over vaccines and autism is heating up yet again. This week, Alison Singer, the executive vice president of communications and awareness at Autism Speaks, one of the nation’s leading autism advocacy groups, announced her resignation, citing a difference of opinion over the organization’s policy on vaccine research. “Dozens of credible scientific studies have exonerated vaccines as a cause of autism,” she wrote in a statement. “I believe we must devote limited funding to more promising avenues of autism research.” Singer, who has an 11-year-old daughter with autism, joined the organization when it launched in 2005. Singer praised Autism Speaks and its founders, Bob and Suzanne Wright, but said she could no longer work for a group that supports spending limited resources on vaccine research. Calling Singer’s resignation “disappointing and sad,” Bob Wright says more authoritative research needs to be conducted on the safety of vaccines given to children under 2. “We all know that autism has genetic causes, but it’s highly associated with environmental factors we can’t get our hands around,” says Wright. “Vaccines fall into that category.” NEWSWEEK’s Claudia Kalb spoke with Alison Singer about her resignation. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Describe Autism Speaks.
Alison Singer: Autism Speaks is an amazing organization. It has really been a privilege for me to work there. Autism Speaks has raised so much awareness of autism and has supported literally thousands of families around the world. I could not be more proud of Autism Speaks and the work that we’ve done.

But you disagree with their vaccine position?
In general, I disagree with a policy that says, “Despite what this study shows, more studies should be done.” At some point, you have to say, “This question has been asked and answered and it’s time to move on.” We need to be able to say, “Yes, we are now satisfied that the earth is round.”


Eddie Izzard vs. Creationism

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 17, 2009