Alleged Miracle Drug, Stirs Up Controversy

By Rachel Forshee

little_pharmaWhether you’re an alternative medicine proponent or a defender of Western Medicine, there’s still plenty to talk about with autism treatments.

An article published by the Chicago Tribune, back in May, is now getting some traction. The article makes a case against doctors Mark Geier and his son, David Geier who developed a new treatment for autism they called a “miracle drug”.

“The therapy is based on a theory – unsupported by mainstream medicine – that autism is caused by a harmful link between mercury and testosterone,” wrote reporter Trine Tsouderos. Tsouderos went further to say that all alternative treatments should be rejected.

Then, on October 5th, a new CDC report came out. In Indiana, a grossly polluted state with comparatively high rates of autism, data reported to the Indiana Department of Education, by every public school system in the state, have shown spikes in the numbers of children enrolled in special education under the category “autistic” over the past three years.

That report seems to have started off another set of sparks for people who support alternative therapies.

“We feel some urgency that we can’t wait for 10 or 20 years,” pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, medical coordinator for the Autism Research Institute, testified in a special federal court that examined the issue of autism and vaccines.

David Kirby, author of the best-selling book Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy said in response that the mainstream media’s response to the new CDC data had been “rather nonchalant.”

“But the implications of the new incidence measures are anything but mundane. They are startling,” said Kirby.

One blogger associated Tsouderos’ critique of experimental treatments with a burning house that you are told to do nothing about. “That’s my response to the Chicago Tribune accusing us of performing ‘uncontrolled studies’ on our kids,” wrote Kim Stagliano in her blog, Age of Autism.

Stagliano continued to say that medical agencies will tell parents to use powerful psychiatric drugs with little to know knowledge of how they work or their long term effects on kids. “Talk about risky,” she said.

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  1. Posted November 24, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Trine Tsouderos and Patricia Callahan published two major articles and two sidebars at the Chicago Tribune on 11/22/09 and 11/23/09

    Major stories

    November 22, 2009 Autism treatments: Risky alternative therapies have little basis in science Alternative therapies amount to uncontrolled experimentation on children, investigation finds,0,1396079.story

    November 23, 2009 Autism treatment: Science hijacked to support alternative therapies Researchers’ fears about misuse of their work come true,0,6519404,full.story


    November 22, 2009 Autism treatment: Success stories more persuasive to some than hard data, One dad, a doctor, says he was “fooled”,0,2165439.story

    November 22, 2009 Experimental treatments (a roster of treatments. None has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of autism, and none has been proven to improve symptoms of the disorder.

    As I often do for stories of this type, I’m keeping a running list or index of pro- and con- blog posts. This one’s on the list.

    The list is here

    Last Place NFL Team to Host “Autism Isn’t Treatable” Night To Boost Ticket Sales

    For readers new to the world of biomedical treatment, it is worth noting that a number of bloggers who are affected by autism are pro-science and pro-vaccine. They repudiate the world of “Age of Autism”, Generation Rescue, and “Defeat Autism Now!”(DAN!). I will mention a few (in no particular order) the group blog LeftBrain/RightBrain ( Natural Variation ( Countering Age of Autism ( Autism News Beat ( and Club 166 ( There are many more.

  2. Posted November 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Good info LIZ

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