After two weeks of examining arcane biological theories for Michelle Cedillo’s autism, the federal “vaccine court” on Monday heard a final day of testimony that centered on two dozen population studies of the possible link between vaccines and autism—evidence that has convinced the world’s major health agencies there is no such connection.
The case was put forward by Eric Fombonne, a leading autism expert who described evidence from Japanese, European and North American studies that refute the link. Thimerosal was removed from the vaccine schedule in Canada and Denmark in the 1990s, while Japanese children have not routinely received MMR vaccination since 1992. These situations created experimental conditions for scientists to examine the thesis that removing thimerosal—or the triple MMR shot—would cause autism rates to decline. In no case did this occur. To the contrary, autism prevalence rates have increased in every country where awareness of autism has increased.