I saw this recent piece that Dan Olmsted wrote for AoA mentioned on another blog today and thought I would discuss some of it here, since they moderate their comments there.
He says "The evidence for lower autism rates in less vaccinated populations keeps rolling in – and rolling off the backs of the media and medical establishment.
Thanks to AOA’s Adriana Gamondes for spotting this March article in the Times of Israel: “In Israel, a lower percentage of ultra-Orthodox and Arabic children are diagnosed with autism compared with the general population — and no one is quite sure why.
“That pattern, which is mirrored in Aboriginal populations in Canada, was the subject of discussion by autism researchers from the two countries at a Hebrew University symposium this week. One thing is certain, they said — when it comes to autism in both Israel and Canada, not enough is known.”
It goes without saying that nobody at the symposium or in the article raised the idea that a lower vaccination rate might be a suspect here. "
What he either didn't mention or didn't bother to look up is that reports indicate that the vaccine rates are higher in Arabic children than in Jewish children. So whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with vaccines.
The report found that 94 percent of Arab families vaccinate their children against hepatitis A, compared to 80 percent of Jewish families. The immunization rate against polio is 88 percent for Arabs and 78 percent for Jews.
But vaccination against certain diseases, such as meningitis and the combined DPT inoculation against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, is virtually universal in both communities."
On the point about the Aboriginal populations of Canada having virtually no autism they also say "Conclusion: Autism appears to not exist amongst Inuits from Northern Quebec. If confirmed, it would have significant implications for the genetic understanding of autism. In addition, as Inuits are exposed through their fish-eating practices to high pre- and post-natal levels of mercury, it would also suggest that high mercury exposure in itself does not increase the risk of autism."