Publications by authors named "Carmen G Chaigneau"

3 Publications

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Systematic Assessment of Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Mercury Reveals Conflicts of Interest and the Need for Transparency in Autism Research.

Sci Eng Ethics 2017 12;23(6):1691-1718

Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, 14 Redgate Court, Silver Spring, MD, 20905, USA.

Historically, entities with a vested interest in a product that critics have suggested is harmful have consistently used research to back their claims that the product is safe. Prominent examples are: tobacco, lead, bisphenol A, and atrazine. Research literature indicates that about 80-90% of studies with industry affiliation found no harm from the product, while only about 10-20% of studies without industry affiliation found no harm. In parallel to other historical debates, recent studies examining a possible relationship between mercury (Hg) exposure and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show a similar dichotomy. Studies sponsored and supported by industry or entities with an apparent conflict of interest have most often shown no evidence of harm or no "consistent" evidence of harm, while studies without such affiliations report positive evidence of a Hg/autism association. The potentially causal relationship between Hg exposure and ASD differs from other toxic products since there is a broad coalition of entities for whom a conflict of interest arises. These include influential governmental public health entities, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the coal burning industry. This review includes a systematic literature search of original studies on the potential relationship between Hg and ASD from 1999 to August 2015, finding that of the studies with public health and/or industry affiliation, 86% reported no relationship between Hg and ASD. However, among studies without public health and/or industry affiliation, only 21% find no relationship between Hg and ASD. The discrepancy in these results suggests a bias indicative of a conflict of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-017-9983-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5705731PMC
December 2017

Thimerosal as discrimination: vaccine disparity in the UN Minamata Convention on mercury.

Indian J Med Ethics 2014 Oct-Dec;11(4):206-18. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

CoMeD, Inc, Silver Spring, MD; Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, Silver Spring, MD United States.

When addressing toxins, one unmistakable parallel exists between biology and politics: developing children and developing nations are those most vulnerable to toxic exposures. This disturbing parallel is the subject of this critical review, which examines the use and distribution of the mercury (Hg)-based compound, thimerosal, in vaccines. Developed in 1927, thimerosal is 49.55% Hg by weight and breaks down in the body into ethyl-Hg chloride, ethyl-Hg hydroxide and sodium thiosalicylate. Since the early 1930s, there has been evidence indicating that thimerosal poses a hazard to the health of human beings and is ineffective as an antimicrobial agent. While children in the developed and predominantly western nations receive doses of mostly no-thimerosal and reduced-thimerosal vaccines, children in the developing nations receive many doses of several unreduced thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Thus, thimerosal has continued to be a part of the global vaccine supply and its acceptability as a component of vaccine formulations remained unchallenged until 2010, when the United Nations (UN), through the UN Environment Programme, began negotiations to write the global, legally binding Minamata Convention on Hg. During the negotiations, TCVs were dropped from the list of Hg-containing products to be regulated. Consequently, a double standard in vaccine safety, which previously existed due to ignorance and economic reasons, has now been institutionalised as global policy. Ultimately, the Minamata Convention on Hg has sanctioned the inequitable distribution of thimerosal by specifically exempting TCVs from regulation, condoning a two-tier standard of vaccine safety: a predominantly no-thimerosal and reduced-thimerosal standard for developed nations and a predominantly thimerosal-containing one for developing nations. This disparity must now be evaluated urgently as a potential form of institutionalised discrimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2014.054DOI Listing
June 2016