FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Contact: Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota
Wayne Rohde 651-705-5030 / 405-973-7049
CDC Vaccine Researcher Indicted For Fraud
He Co-created Studies Claiming Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism
ST. PAUL, MN – A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted a prominent vaccine researcher for multiple counts of fraud.
Poul Thorsen, 49, was indicted April 13 on thirteen counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering of grants awarded to Denmark agencies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. “This defendant is alleged to have orchestrated a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian.
Thorsen was instrumental in co-constructing the “Danish Studies” widely claimed to refute the vaccine/autism link. But according to the U.S. advocacy group Autism Action Network, critics of the studies believe “highly suspect methods were used to arrive at the conclusion that there was no association between exposure to either thimerosal or the MMR vaccine and autism, even though standard epidemiological methods showed an association.”
“The Thorsen indictment is just the tip of the CDC’s corruption iceberg,” said Nancy Hokkanen, a Minnesota parent of a vaccine-injured child. “For more than a decade vaccine safety advocates have begged journalists to investigate systematic vaccine program corruption, which is destroying consumer health and trust.”
The story of the theft was broken more than a year ago in the U.S. by Ginger Taylor, contributing editor of the book Vaccine Epidemic, on her blog Adventures In Autism. Next the story was further investigated by Age of Autism, and then reported by Fox News late last year. Since the indictment was announced bloggers with links to Pharma, CDC and the Department of Defense are trying to downplay reports by saying Thorsen’s misappropriation of tax-funded millions is “isolated” and a “distraction,” and does not impact the quality of research over which Thorsen presided.
Vaccine safety advocates are concerned that this case, which has the potential to implicate officials at the CDC/HHS, will be policed by the Department of Justice. “In the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the DOJ acts as the attorney to defend HHS against families’ claims that vaccines can cause autism,” Taylor said. “In the highly publicized Autism Omnibus hearings in the VICP, DOJ used Thorsen’s research to bolster their defense.”
Taylor added, “A clear conflict of interest exists here. If DOJ earnestly investigates claims that the research was rigged to give CDC results exonerating their vaccine program, the DOJ hurts their own efforts in defending HHS in the VICP. This is especially sensitive now that HRSA, which administrates the VICP for HHS, issued a statement admitting that vaccines can cause a type of brain encephalopathy that leads to autism. We are hoping the media will step up and hold DOJ’s feet to the fire so we get to the bottom of what is going on at HHS, so this does not simply become another case of HHS investigating itself.”
“The agency backpedaling has begun,” said Hokkanen. “Here are two reasons why the world has an autism epidemic: The CDC doesn’t investigate medical conditions of people with vaccine injuries, and journalists don’t investigate corrupt people within the CDC.”
QUESTIONS REPORTERS SHOULD ASK:
• Why did the U.S. government wait to act until Danish government authorities charged Poul Thorsen with forging documents and tax evasion?
• Why did original stories report Thorsen’s alleged theft near $2 million?
• Will the U.S. Department of Justice offer Poul Thorsen a deal in order to spare incriminating revelations about his CDC colleagues?
• David Bowman at the Office of Communications of the Health and Resources Services Administration, the HHS department that administers the VICP, said that vaccines can cause an encephalopathy (brain damage) that “may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.” Why has this warning not been issued to physicians so that they can monitor children who present with autism-like symptoms for vaccine-induced encephalopathy or encephalitis?
• In light of this statement, and the statement that CDC chief Julie Gerberding made on CNN that vaccines can cause “autism-like symptoms” in children with undiagnosed, asymptomatic mitochondrial disorders, why does CDC continue to allow medical professionals to labor under the presumption that there is no association between vaccines and autism?
• If statistical epidemiology is the lowest rung on the evidentiary chain, then why is it used in an attempt to disprove adverse vaccine reactions provable by lab tests?
• Whatever happened to Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, whose vaccine/autism epidemiological machinations were revealed in the SafeMinds Generation Zero analysis and circulation of his “It just won’t go away” memo?
• Poul Thorsen is accused of stealing $1,000,000 and reporters are silent; so why is Dr. Andrew Wakefield vilified for making an inconvenient medical discovery replicated by other researchers?
• On April 11, 2011, Dr. Max Wiznitzer told a Marietta College audience, “If you can’t trust the integrity of the researcher, you can’t trust the research.” Dr. Wiznitzer earns side money by testifying in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program against vaccine injury victims. To whom were Dr. Wiznitzer’s words in reference, and were they appropriately directed?