|Still image of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, saved from this video.|
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Having had the opportunity to work with Mr. Burton on this for the last 10 years, I remember well, as I’m sure Mr. Burton does and some members of this Committee do, a time when a provision was snuck into a bill on homeland security that essentially shielded from lawsuits the manufacturers of thimerosal.
This was ten years ago.
And you know what? No one, for the members that have been here less than ten years, no one knew where that provision came from. It came out of nowhere and ended up getting buried in a conference report. Of course, it passed.
I mention this because it’s not as though we just discovered this matter, and while I salute the Chair for holding this hearing, we didn’t just discover this. My own theory is, while there are studies that are out there that are implicating environmental factors in autism, think about this for a minute: We know, as Mr. Burton laid out, the component of thimerosal, the component that stabilizes it, is mercury. We all know that mercury is more than a contaminant, it’s an environmental toxic. But it doesn’t only exist in liquid form! Mercury can also be inhaled.
And I would guess, and this is just my theory, that we’re not only talking about drug manufacturers; we might be talking about coal companies too. We have to be aware, there are reasons why this Congress and this government, has not effectively addressed this issue. When you had Lilly and others, Eli Lilly and others, contributing millions of dollars to trying to affect the outcome of elections, I will tell you: I salute this Chair for taking a shot, because, at the bottom of this, you have special interest groups who would resist any deeper research on it because it’s going to affect their bottom line. Meanwhile, you have children all over the country turning up with autism, so this is a new beginning, I salute the Chair for making it, but this goes way beyond thimerosal and start thinking about coal. Thank you.
If I were a swearer, I would be swearing right now.
Coal companies and pharmaceutical companies in league with each other in some dastardly plot to pump mercury into the veins of Amerca's youth, turning them all ... (gasp) ... autistic? The horror!
(Why they would want to do this is not really addressed, but whatever.)
I liked Dennis Kucinich before I heard this.