Tags: Health Topics | Autism | vaccines | vaccination | mercury | dangerous | children

Ex-Rep. Dan Burton, Anderson Cooper Duel Over Mercury in Vaccines

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 11:40 PM

Former Indiana Rep. Dan Burton, who held three years of hearings on the safety of vaccines more than a decade ago, had a testy exchange Wednesday with CNN's Anderson Cooper over the current vaccine debate.

In a segment called "Keeping Them Honest," Cooper challenged Burton over his claim that mercury, which was once used in childhood vaccines as a preservative, caused the increase in autism among American children.

Burton, a Republican congressman from 1983 to 2013, said his House Committee on Government Reform heard from scientists and doctors from around the world who said mercury is toxic and should not be included in vaccinations.

Cooper countered that the type of mercury, Thimerosal, used in the vaccines is ethyl mercury, which is not toxic to humans. Only methyl mercury, which is found in fish, is toxic when consumed in high quantities, Cooper said.

In any event, Cooper added, mercury was removed from most vaccines in 2001 under "an abundance of caution."

"Well, it was removed primarily because we raised so much Cain about it in my hearings," Burton said.

"But there was no scientific evidence for it," Cooper protested.

"Oh yes there was," Burton insisted.

Cooper said that every study he has read has said there is no correlation.

"No disrespect is intended, sir, but mercury is toxic to the human brain," Burton said. "My grandson got nine shots in one day, seven of which had mercury in it, and he became autistic in a very short period of time."

Cooper asked for the names of scientists who made such claims, saying that Burton's thinking goes against the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Burton said he would supply Cooper with the names, but he did not have them with him at the time.

Cooper also listed various studies that supported his point.

"All these studies say you're just wrong," Cooper said.

"Sir, you are aware that the type of mercury that was in vaccines, which is no longer there, is different than the kind of mercury you get from fish, correct? Are you aware of that?" Cooper asked.

"Let me just tell you, if you'll do your research you'll find that any type of mercury injected into the human body can cause neurological problems," Burton said. "You're a very bright young man, but I don't know where you're getting your information."

"Well, it's called research," Cooper said. "You could do it."

"Well, I did research for three years. Unfortunately, you haven't had the opportunity to research it for three years," Burton said. "Before you refer to these studies as being completely accurate, you'd better look at all the studies, and not just the ones that were submitted to you."

The vaccine debate has heated up in recent days after a measles outbreak in the United States was blamed on parents who opted against vaccinating their children due to fears of autism.

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Former Indiana Rep. Dan Burton, who held three years of hearings on the safety of vaccines more than a decade ago, had a testy exchange Wednesday with CNN's Anderson Cooper over the current vaccine debate.
vaccines, vaccination, mercury, dangerous, children, anderson cooper, Dan Burton
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2015-40-04
Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 11:40 PM
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