You are here
Rep. Nelson Dollar, an anti-vaccer ten years before it was cool
By John Sanford Friedrich
That your child will develop along the autism spectrum is a growing possibility. This possibility is also terrifying for most parents. While there are worse developmental disorders to afflict a family, a child suffering on the autism spectrum can require assistance ranging from a certain social impediment on one end to round-the-clock supervision for the full course of the child’s life on the other.
The rate of autism’s increase has grown steadily over the last few decades without a consensus explanation. Theories range from the fact that both men and women are having children later in life and thus opening the door to ‘natural’ reproductive errors. Others speculate that the constant creation, use and weathering down of petroleum-based plastics have contributed to reproductive and endocrine errors.
The former theory would mean encouraging people to have children at younger ages, presumably their early 20’s. This reverse of later childrearing would be disruptive to college-and-career bound middle class young adults, and numerous global studies have proven that later childbirth statistically suggests higher personal and financial outcomes for mothers.
Plastics being used to contain our food, vitamin water, personal hygiene and household cleaning items are the physical manifestation of the petroleum industry as well as all major food, baby bottle, toy and general packaging producers. With President Obama giving the thumbs-up to oil drilling off the Carolina coast, it will be inconceivably difficult for a ragtag band of upset or frightened parents to take on those plastics industries.
Coal in the form of air and water pollution and the unsanitary treatment of animals in industrial systems could also be part of this angle, but only add to the fray allied industries with their own political resources.
Compulsory immunization of children, unlike petroleum or food industries, does not have a limitless staff of media consultants, lobbyists and ready campaign donations. Immunization requires often dispassionate and media unsavvy professional medical staff to try to explain and defend the concept – a more fair fight so to speak for parent-bloggers to take on in the media.
Representitive Nelson Dollar (R-36 Wake) as reported by RestoreNC is nowadays quite chummy with the medical insurance industry. However in 2005 the then-freshman was willing to think outside the box. A group called “Moms Against Mercury” was formed by Amy Carson of Asheville a decade ago. She made a point to say of the assembled moms "we’re not anti-vaccine parents; we’re anti-mercury-in-vaccine parents."
Dollar, along with since departed Democratic Representative Bruce Goforth offered a bill that session to ban the use of the mercury laden chemical thimerosal in childhood vaccines. The effort was multi-pronged in several states and at the federal level, indeed North Carolina’s Congressman Walter Jones supported such a ban. It has largely been phased out of routine childhood vaccines since that time. Autism rates have not been seen to decrease as yet.
Young parents of autistic children or expecting parents who are confronted with such a possibility are forced to grab at the straw of vaccinations as a way for them to feel in control of their child’s health and future. The embattled scientists defending the 19th century innovation are not helped by the fact that pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly are secretive and defensive about the contents of their vaccines. Like all private sector companies, these pharma giants are expected to care solely about their quarterly profits rather than any long-term and hard to be held liable for medical catastrophes.
Vaccines are extremely unlikely to have anything to do with the steady rise in autism. Lacking vaccines exposes your children and others to historically vanquished diseases like mumps, measles, whooping cough or the scarlet fever. However frustrated parents have seemingly no other target that is so convenient.
‘Anti-vaccers’ may well have an open mind to hear and sponsor their bills in the person of Nelson Dollar. Moderates, however, would be advised to quit being entirely reactive on the issue and instead take a look at improving and regulating the contents and delivery of vaccines so as to assuage these popular fears.