The U.S. government has again failed at autism treatment and prevention, says a coalition of autism advocates representing tens of thousands of families.
“$1 billion has been wasted over six years, with nothing to show taxpayers but a doubled autism rate,” said Ginger Taylor of the Canary Party, a health advocacy group representing victims of man-made epidemics of chronic illness. “This public health disaster is devastating a generation of children, while government agencies and journalists have merely been ineffective, they have been obstructionists to the treatment and prevention of autism.”
Autism advocates will gather on Tuesday, July 10 starting at 8 a.m. in front of the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, 408 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington, DC, to attend the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee which is holding the first meeting of its new members. Several advocates plan to offer their protest over failed government policy during public comment. Four IACC members have publicly stated they do not believe autism should be prevented or medically treated.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to make opening remarks.
The autism rate has increased to 1 in 88, though that figure is for 8-year-olds born in 2000.
In 2006 Congress passed the Combating Autism Act, giving the federal government almost a billion dollars to find ways to prevent and treat autism. Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute for Mental Health, was appointed to lead the IACC to coordinate that effort.
However, The Canary Party asserts that:
• Insel failed to produce a medical intervention or recommendation to treat or prevent autism.
• Insel stripped vaccine research out of the autism research agenda.
• Tens of thousands of reports of autistic children’s improvements and recoveries via biomedical intervention have gone uninvestigated.
Autism advocates have written a detailed critique of the failings of the IACC, its members and Tom Insel. “The authentic autism community had nominated many highly educated, well-respected researchers, doctors and advocates to be on the IACC committee,” said Melissa Christopher of the Canary Party. “The IACC as currently constituted is irrelevant, and has no right to waste taxpayer dollars and children’s lives while pretending to lead.”
The IACC has announced that public comments will start around 1 p.m. Eastern time, though the schedule is subject to change based on the needs of the committee. IACC meeting details are here:
Following the public comments to the IACC, autism advocates will then be holding a press conference to respond.
“Journalists should be asking Kathleen Sebelius where that $1 billion went, and who benefited from those diverted funds,” said Melissa Christopher of the Canary Party. “That money could have directly benefited so many struggling autism families who have lost income and suffer with financially devastating expenses.”
“Without honest, productive government leadership very soon, the autism epidemic will sink this country.”