I got a request to spread the word around Minnesota—the anti-vaxers are gearing up again to push a silly bill in the Minnesota congress. I’ve put the letter below. If any of these people are your representatives, contact them and tell them they are being very, very silly.
There’s supposed to be a hearing next week on a bill that would limit the use of vaccines containing thimerosal, because of the belief that they may cause autism. This is the third year that this bill has been presented, and it keeps failing, but they keep bringing it back up, even though it’s clearer now than ever that there is no connection between the two – there’s been no more than trace amounts of thimerosal in childhood vaccines made since 2001, and more autism than ever in kids too young to have been exposed to it. This isn’t just bad science: it’s the Legislature telling parents they can’t trust their pediatricians, and giving credence to the quacks who want to treat autistic kids with chelation, homeopathy, hyperbaric oxygen, high-dose vitamin supplements, and all manner of other dubious remedies.
Perhaps you would be willing to spread the word that the committee members who will be voting on this bill (Senate File 1780) need to hear the scientific viewpoint? Especially the ones who are co-sponsors of the bill – including John Marty, committee chair, who just went down about four hundred notches in my estimation. I’ll append a couple of links for background and the committee list. I imagine you have a lot of MN readers who may be constituents of the committee members.
(an amateur immunization advocate who has experienced the lunacy first-hand)
Committee (co-authors’ names are in bold):
Chair: John Marty* (DFL-54)
Vice Chair: Patricia Torres Ray* (DFL-62)
Paul E. Koering (R-12)
Linda Berglin (DFL-61)
John P. Doll (DFL-40)
Sharon L. Erickson Ropes* [RN] (DFL-31)
Michelle L. Fischbach (R-14)
David W. Hann (R-42)
Linda Higgins (DFL-58)
Debbie J. Johnson (R-49)
Tony Lourey* (DFL-08)
Ann Lynch (DFL-30)
Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-07)
Betsy L. Wergin* (R-16)
Now on top of my usual creationists, I can thank Lynn Margulis for drawing in the HIV denialists that plague Tara‘s site, and this for the anti-vaxers from Orac‘s. Obviously, I need to put up something about global warming next. I’m going to call this little game Poketroll — collect them all!