Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tells Newsmax Health that money is the reason Congress is delaying hearings on accusations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hid a link between the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism."The pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar industry," Kennedy said in an exclusive interview. "There are other trillion dollar industries, but not one that spends as much on Congress as it does.
"The pharmaceutical industry spends twice what the next biggest industry spends, which is oil and gas. They spend four times what defense and aeronautics spend.
"That kind of money — the money they spend in lobbying — buys a lot of influence," he says. "It's why congress people are scared to go against them. There's just a lot of career fear."
Kennedy, 61, the third of 11 children born to Robert and Ethel Kennedy, is a radio show host and environmentalist. He has long been a critic of childhood vaccination formulations containing mercury.
Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey has called on his colleagues to investigate charges that the CDC covered up data that showing a strong link between autism and the MMR vaccine.
Rep. Posey referred to last summer's admission by Dr. William Thompson, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, that he helped the CDC hide data that showed giving a child the vaccine before the age of 36 months increased the risk of autism by 69 percent, and giving it to an African-American child increased the risk of autism by 240 percent. So far, Congress has refused to hold hearings.
"The CDC scheduled meetings to try to destroy the documents that demonstrated children were getting autism from the vaccine by literally dumping them in a trashcan," Kennedy charged."Congress only seems to act when a congress person has been affected directly by vaccine injury."
He points to two congressmen in addition to Posey who have spoken out about a link between the MMR vaccine and autism: former Reps. Dan Burton and Dave Weldon.
As chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, Burton linked autism with vaccines, and in a 2002 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, he asked the director of the FDA to recall all vaccines containing the mercury compound thimerosal. "Every day that mercury-containing vaccines remain on the market is another day HHS is putting 8,000 children at risk," Burton said.
Kennedy said the battle was personal for Rep. Burton."Burton had three years of hearings back in 2002 that were brilliant and were absolutely devastating," Kennedy said. "His grandson got regressive autism from those vaccines."
In 2012, Burton once again called for congressional hearings into the causes of autism, including vaccines, saying the government's response to the increase in autism was inadequate.
Rep. Weldon was a pediatrician. "He saw autism in his practice that was a result of the vaccines," Kennedy said. "He was a great activist."
While Kennedy says he isn't anti-vaccine, he believes it's up to parents to protect their children from the possible consequences of being vaccinated with shots containing mercury.
"Be very careful about any vaccine that has mercury in it," he said. "If children get a flu vaccine, or tetanus, or meningitis vaccine, make sure they get non-thimerosal, single-dose vials.”
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