Based on last week's indictment of vaccine-autism researcher Dr. Poul Thorsen for money laundering and mail fraud, the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD), a Maryland-based non-profit organization, is calling for further investigation.
Thorsen was already cited for academic misconduct by Aarhus University in Denmark and was charged with embezzling a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For several years, Thorsen was involved in studies vindicating the use of Thimerosal as a preservative in several vaccines.
'Involved' is the term that seems to be confusing CoMed. Anyone knows if you are not the first author (did the work) or the last author (own the lab) they aren't your studies. But they insist Thimerosal is linked to autism (disproven) and 'mitochondrial' damage, impossible to prove much less disprove, so if a criminal's name is on them, they must be scientifically invalid - and they claim "inappropriate involvement of employees at the CDC", whatever that means.
They go even farther down the chain, calling for the retraction of the 2004 Institute of Medicine report rejecting the causal relationship between Thimerosal and autism, because it cited the Danish studies in which Thorsen participated. That's a darn tenuous link.
Sure, the guy used taxpayer money to buy a house and a motorcycle. He'll probably go to jail for that. It does not mean every paper with his name buried somewhere in the middle is wrong.
People were right to be cautious when a connection between Thimerosal and autism was unclear. Parents want answers and would prefer to be conservative when it comes to the health of their kids and both John McCain and Barack Obama reflected that concern (to the detriment of their science credibility) in 2008 when they stated concern about vaccines but the issue is settled. Continuing to try and raise money fomenting fear is not helping kids.