Kudos to Alison Singer, the executive vice president of communications and awareness at Autism Speaks, who publicly declared vaccines do not cause autism. The weight of solid scientific evidence finally convinced Singer, a mother of an 11-year daughter with autism, who had to resign from the autism organization that's still married to the idea of a link. So I hate to point out a rather minor gaffe she'd made in an interview at Newsweek with Claudia Kalb:
"There are more than a dozen studies that show no causal link between the MMR [measles-mumps-rubella] vaccine and autism, and thimerosal [a mercury-containing vaccine preservative] and autism. Over and over, the science has shown no causal link between vaccines and autism."
Yes, she's right. We have no evidence of a causal link. Nor could we ever because we have no experiments on the issue. No researcher could ever do an experiment to find out if vaccines cause autism, a randomized study being both ethically and practically impossible. Here, you parents vaccinate. You, don't. No, what we have is an increasing body of evidence that finds no link, no correlation between the two. Am I in any criticizing the evidence? No. There are all manner of issues that we simply cannot examine in an experiment. All types of human behaviors that we cannot possibly manipulate. Like breastfeeding. Can you imagine assigning some mothers to breastfeed and others, formula feed? Some for 3 months, others, 6 months?
Why care about this minor misstatement? Geez, guess I'm just disappointed that on such a weighty topic, we still find mistakes that perpetuate a misunderstanding of the scientific process.