Tag Archives: Deletions

Dr. Boyd Haley on Deletions from Kennedy’s Book: “Those were the most important chapters for the American people to see.”

boyd-haley

By Jake Crosby

Mercury toxicity expert and chemistry professor emeritus Dr. Boyd Haley has joined Dr. Andrew Wakefield as yet another prominent scientist who has spoken out against the censorship of book chapters by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Though Age of Autism quoted Dr. Haley as supporting Kennedy in the wake of much media criticism, he was not aware Kennedy chopped chapters including those on autism from his book when speaking to Age of Autism.

“I was just recently made aware of this,” he said. “Needless to say this is very disappointing news.”

“I’m just dramatically disappointed,” Dr. Haley later reiterated again concerning the removal of chapters and sections from Kennedy’s book, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak. “There was no reason to take chapters out.”

Referring to the excuse cited in The Washington Post that sections of the book were “too combustible,” Dr. Haley responded: “I think that’s a weak excuse. It’s supposed to be a combustible book.”

Dr. Haley went on, “I’m really kind of in shock. It never crossed my mind he’d [Kennedy’d] take those chapters out.” Noting he played a major role in assisting Kennedy with his book, Dr. Haley also stated, “He never consulted with me before he did.”

Regarding the chapters Kennedy took out, Dr. Haley said: “Those were the most important chapters for the American people to see.”

He noted, however, that the issue of thimerosal concerned more than just autism: “Sweden’s Sudden Infant Death Syndrome rate went down after thimerosal was taken out.”

Quantifying the scope of infant death rates in the US, Dr. Haley said, “If we had Sweden’s [death rate], we’d have 16,000 less [infants] die,” per year.

Dr. Haley was also perplexed about Dr. Mark Hyman who convinced Kennedy to strike chapters:

“I don’t know Hyman at all.”

Dr. Haley was also shocked to learn that one of Kennedy’s ghostwriters Adam Hadhazy previously defended thimerosal, asking:

“Why would he hire someone like that to ghostwrite his book?”

Referring to the Washington Post article interviewing Kennedy and Hyman, Dr. Haley said he was most disappointed in how they responded to claims that autism went up as thimerosal was removed:

“That’s a huge mistake to say autism went up as thimerosal was taken out,” he stated. “They don’t have data [on children born] past 2002. The shelf life of some of those vaccines is five years.”

He further noted that thimerosal remains in flu vaccines given to infants and pregnant women, acknowledging that unpublished data from a CDC-commissioned study showed prenatal thimerosal exposure increased risk for regressive ASD 8-fold.

Haley concluded, “If you can’t counter that argument, then you’re not making an argument. You’re shooting from the hip.”

He also said of the CDC’s autism surveillance, “It’s not accurate, and it’s not a well-designed system.” Indeed, it does not track the same regions, nor can its estimates be generalized to the rest of the country.

Pointing out more generally that CDC is not credible and often lies, Dr. Haley noted, “These people play fast and loose with the facts. The real problem we have is that they’re not honest people.”

Then referring to his issues with autism organizations in general and of Autism Investigated’s coverage of some of those groups, he said:

“I get so frustrated working with autism groups. You shed a lot of light on it.”

Just before word broke that Kennedy pulled the chapters, Dr. Haley said Kennedy called him asking if he knew of a study from Iceland that supposedly proved thimerosal did not cause autism. Dr. Haley said he hadn’t seen it and neither had Kennedy, “but he sounded convinced by it,” Dr. Haley told me. Kennedy did not reveal to Dr. Haley who told him about it, though someone close to Kennedy is apparently working hard to make him doubt that thimerosal causes autism.

Yet a study from Denmark published last year showed a decline in autism after thimerosal’s removal. One of the authors on that study was copied on an email exchange a decade earlier noting the prevalence and incidence was declining. This exchange was discussed in one of the autism chapters Kennedy took out of his book, titled  “Autism Rates Decline When Thimerosal Exposure Levels Are Reduced.”

Dr. Haley stated that Kennedy’s book should have been a call to action for the removal of thimerosal, but believed that to be undermined by Kennedy’s new decision to strike the chapters and backtrack from his position that thimerosal causes autism.

Towards the end of the conversation, Dr. Haley promised:

“I’ll support you in what you’re trying to do.”

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.