Author David Kirby is featured speaker
The East Tennessee chapter of the Autism Society of America will be holding its annual fall conference in Knoxville, Saturday.
The featured guest speaker will be author and New York Times columnist David Kirby. Kirby is currently on a tour for his book, “Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and The Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy,” which explores a potential link between mercury and Autism and other childhood neurological disorders like ADD and speech delay.
According to Kirby’s book, around the time a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal was being used in vaccines, the prevalence of autism in young Americans saw a significant spike. Kirby sites statistics showing cases of autism in one in 10,000 American children in 1987, as opposed to one in 166, today. In the 90s, Kirby says, there was an increase in the number of vaccines using the thimerosal additive.
A statement issued by the Centers for Disease Control in response to Kirby’s book says “the vast majority of studies, which have involved hundreds of thousands of children in a number of countries, have failed to find any association between exposure to thimerosal in vaccines and autism; that is, they have failed to find any evidence of harm.”
The CDC also points out that none of the vaccines currently administered to young children, besides some influenza vaccines, contain thimerosal.
Other critics have pointed out the book’s objectivism in its investigation into all aspects of this controversial topic.
Kirby is a 15-year-veteran journalist, who has worked for the New York Times for the past 8 years covering a wide variety of topics including public health, local politics, art and architecture.
He will also be speaking at the National Autism Association conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on November 11.
The Knoxville conference will be held at the Raddison Hotel on Summit Hill Drive and will begin at 9 a.m. The event will cost $15 for East Tennessee chapter ASA members and $20 for non-members. It will include a question and answer session for attendees, and will conclude by 3 p.m.
The ASA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote lifelong access and opportunity for all individuals within the autism spectrum and their community,” according to an ASA affiliate website.