Longer term readers will remember Robert F. Kennedy Junior’s rather absurd articles in Salon about how autism is caused by mercury in vaccines and the CDC etc is covering it all up. In June 2005 I covered RFK’s manipulation of the facts and quote mining, as well as a more detailed review of his quote-mining of the Institute of Medicine report. Many others blogged about it too. I wondered aloud if Kennedy really believed the nonsense he was spouting, or if he just hadn’t read the reports he was writing about.
Reader Kim just sent me this link to the Going All the Way blog where blog owner Gabolicious described how she was present recently at a talk given by RFK. And it seems RFK is still spouting the same old nonsense, judging by this response to a question from the mother of an autistic child:
[RFK’s] response was a good ten-minute rant about how our vaccines are making kids autistic because of the mercury in them, how American pharmaceutical companies introduced autism to China because of the vaccines they sent over, how more and more kids are being diagnosed with autism every year because there is so much mercury everywhere, that the Amish don’t have autistic kids because they don’t vaccinate their babies, the Christian Scientists and Scientologists don’t have autistic kids, either, for the same reasons…
Same old nonsense. (Incidentally, I also wrote in August 2005 how Kennedy was wrong about the Amish claim and his conclusions. Nothing has changed and Kennedy is still just as wrong about this as he was then.)
Later at the same meeting, Gabolicious got to meet RFK as he worked the room, and she asked him what he would say to a family who has just learned their child was autistic:
He said yes, chelation is a tough issue, you know, our bodies don’t produce as much of this hormone/ chemical anymore, and it is one of the big things we need to process and extract mercury…
As Gabolicious points out, this doesn’t even make sense. If autism has increased because of increased mercury in vaccines, then why is our supposed recent inability to produce as much of a hormone as before, even an issue?
Obviously I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the above report, but Gabolicious, as an apparent admirer of RFK in other areas, seems genuine in how she reports these events. So it seems that RFK probably really does believe the nonsense he spouts about autism. Although autism numbers are not falling, despite the removal of mercury from childhood vaccines, RFK is apparently still a true autism conspiracy believer. Ho hum.