You've put your finger on it.
We are told that "science has spoken," and that "science has shown that vaccines don't cause autism."
But science is a PROCESS. It's not a deity (though obviously it's treated like one). The scientific process entails ruling out possibilities in order to prove a correlation or cause.
What has become standard is that the process of science is corrupted.
Studies are ROUTINELY tweaked:
1) before they were started (by design, by limiting the subjects to those who are unlikely to react, etc),
2) while the study was ongoing (by failure to recognize and/or report reactions, or, in the case of the MMR, by lying about the efficacy results)
3) after studies were completed (by "burying" studies that did not have the desired outcome, by selection bias in publication, etc).
So the studies end up saying pretty much whatever the industry WANTS them to say; the industry designs, directs, interprets, ghost-writes, and markets the study.
And we are told that this is "science."
This is true not only of the pharmaceutical industry (think Vioxx, Lipitor, antidepressants, etc., as well as vaccines, especially the flu shot), but of most industries. The tobacco industry got caught--but tobacco is still grown in the US, and heavily marketed to developing nations. The other industries simply learned from the tobacco industry's mistakes, and headed off problems before they arose by planting their people in the government watchdog agencies that were supposed to keep things honest.
Former head of CDC, Julie Geberding, under whose watch the pediatric vaccine schedule nearly tripled, is now head of Merck's vaccine division.
Former Monsanto exec, Michael Taylor, is now deputy commissioner of the Office of Foods. At least 6 other FDA employees are Monsanto "alumni," according to
The media is involved in this as well. The well-known Murdochs' conflict of interest with the vaccine industry includes James Murdoch being on the board of directors of GSK, and the fact Murdochs own and operate their own vaccine-testing facility. The previous CEO of Reuters, Thomas Glocer, was on the Board of Merck. This might explain why we see story after story on the news of studies of "links" between autism and genetics which are far, far less strong than the studies of links between autism and vaccines--but we never see those studies reported in the media, nor do we see reporting of things like the US government (this year!) admitting and compensating vaccine-induced autism cases, or the fact that Italian government did the same, or the fact that Merck's own virologists have launched a whistleblower lawsuit against Merck for lying about the effectiveness of the mumps component of the MMR, or the fact that Andrew Wakefield's partner won his appeal and was fully exonerated.
And the conflict of interest amongst the CEOs of the media certainly explain this apparent cover-up. Kathleen Sibelius, US Secretary of Healh and Human Services, advised the media to censor what they report concerning vaccines and autism: http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/sebelius-asks-media-to-censor-autism-debate.html, even though CDC's Julie Geberding admitted that vaccines CAN cause autism (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F05i9QHikA).
So much for "science." It's so corrupt now, there's no telling how this will all play out.