ARI is one of the groups that believes mercury (Thimerosal) in vaccines causes Autism. They are advocates of Biomedical Treatments of Autism such as: Gluten Free Diets, High doses of vitamin B6, Gut Cleaning, Protobiotics and Chelation Therapy. None of these therapies have any proven success. Similarly, several peer-reviewed studies have shown that vaccines are not a contributing cause of autism.
Here is how ARI sees the candidates regarding vaccines:
...Organizations representing many thousands of voters are calling for Senator McCain to state his policy position on vaccine safety, and for Senator Obama to clarify his comments made earlier this fall, by noon October 30, 2008, in order that voters can make an informed choice of candidate.
... McCain endorsed parental vaccination choice stating, "The key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves."
...Senator Obama ... "He looked right at me and said, 'I am not for selective vaccination. I believe it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.'"
ARI is forwarding this message on behalf of Autism Action Network, Autism United, Generation Rescue, Moms Against Mercury, No Mercury, Schafer Autism Report, Talk About Curing Autism, Unlocking Autism and U. S. Autism and Asperger's Association.
I have read a lot about this issue, and I have consulted medical experts in this field, and I am quite certain that Obama is taking the proper stance here. Mandatory vaccinations are a proven success, and studies have proven that vaccinations do not cause autism. The causes of autism are not known. It is believed to be partially genetic, possibly triggered by environmental agents. People who advocate selective vaccination and who advocate diet changes to cure autism are just plain wrong. Parents who follow their advice and try unproven biomedical cures are less likely to spend the time and money that Behavioral Treatments require. Behavioral treatments are currently the only mthod that has a scientifically proven track record.
If I must, I will do a follow up post with links to studies etc, but you can google it yourself. But, more importantly, if you suspect autism in your child, get an evalution at the nearest Children's Hospital ASAP and follow your doctor's advice.