Amazing! Wrong again!

This is getting to be a habit. My prediction that Republicans on the Hill, having sneaked through the Eli Lilly-protecting thimerosal provision in the dead of night as part of the Homeland Security legislation, would welsch on the promises made to wavering moderates to revisit the question in the new Congress has proven completely false. [Thanks to Wampum and P.L.A. for the pointer.]

Note that this one isn’t over. Bill Frist, the author of the original (less fouled-up) version of the bill, has indicated he still thinks protection for manufacturers of vaccine preservatives and other constituents is a good idea, and intends to reintroduce legislation to that effect. But at least we’ll get some hearings.

And I’m still not going to be happy until someone explains to me in words of one syllable why the autism case counts in the birth cohorts just before and just after thimerosal was taken off the market can’t answer the question about whether thimerosal was responsible for the huge upsurge in autism cases. Is NICHHD putting some real money into sleuthing out the cause? If Dwight Meredith is correct that the surge has been as great in cases of profound autism as in milder cases, then the “reporting phenomenon” theory doesn’t hold water.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com