RS: What do you and the World Mercury Project team hope to accomplish?

RFK, JR: Our ultimate goal is to get mercury and other metals out of vaccines and medical products including dental amalgams. We also aim to reduce or eliminate other mercury exposures from industry, mining, energy production and consumer products. We want safe vaccines, robust transparent science and an honest and independent regulatory agency focused narrowly on public health rather than industry profit.

RS: How do you hope to advance this strategically?

RFK, JR: Our immediate efforts center on forcing a debate in the press—making reporters actually look at the science and realize they've been lied to and bamboozled by the hucksters at the CDC.

RS: What would be the cost of switching to non-thimerosal vaccines?

RFK, JR: I've seen industry estimates of 20 cents per vaccine which is a relatively trivial price. But Professor José Dórea just published a peer-reviewed answer to this question in the November issue of Environmental Research. He estimates the cost at less than 1¢ per vaccine. The total global cost would be less than the $2 million annually for vaccines for the100 million children currently receiving thimerosal-containing vaccines. That is less than the lifetime cost of caring for a single child with autism. The industry already produces non-thimerosal versions of all these vaccines so the switch would be quick.

RS: I've heard you talk about captive regulatory agencies, do you mean the CDC?

RFK, JR: The CDC is a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry. The agency owns more than 20 vaccine patents and purchases and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines annually. Congressman Dave Weldon has pointed out that the primary metric for success across the CDC is how many vaccines the agency sells and how successfully the agency expands its vaccine program—regardless of any negative effects on human health. Weldon exposed how the Immunization Safety Office, which is supposed to ensure vaccine efficacy and safety, has become subsumed in that metric. The scientists in that part of the agency should no longer be considered part of the public safety sector. Their function is to promote vaccines. As Dr. Thompson has attested, they are routinely ordered to destroy, manipulate and conceal evidence of adverse vaccine reactions in order to protect that ultimate metric. The CDC should not be the agency that we are relying on for oversight of the vaccine program. It's the hen guarding the wolf house. It's not just the CDC. Virtually all the institutions that are supposed to stand between a rapacious industry and vulnerable children have been compromised.

RS: When you say that all the institutions have been compromised, who are you really talking about?

RFK, JR: Congress, the regulatory agencies, FDA and CDC, the IOM, the NIH, the AAP, the science journals, the university science departments and the press. Pharma has a broad reach.

RS: Are you saying that Pharma also corrupts our nation's lawmakers?

RFK, JR: Pharma is the largest lobbyist in Washington. It now has more lobbyists on Capitol Hill than there are Congresspeople. The industry spends twice as much on lobbying as oil and gas and almost four times as much as the defense and aerospace industries. Imagine that! Congress was already drowning in Pharma money in 1986 when it gave those companies immunity from lawsuits arising from vaccine injury. In that way, vaccine makers rid themselves of the courts and the lawyers. With Congress and the regulatory agencies already captured, Pharma succeeded in thereby eliminating the final check and balance against bad corporate behavior in a free market. Once they were liberated from liability, vaccines became a major industry profit center. It was that legislation that launched the vaccine bonanza that began in 1988.

RS: What has been the role of the press?

RFK, JR: The media is complicit in the cataclysm. At least part of the reason is financial. America is one of only two nations in the world that allows pharmaceutical ads on television. Drug companies are the largest advertisers on TV and radio. They spend $3-$5.4 billion annually to saturate the airwaves with 80 advertisements every hour. Anyone who watches network news quickly understands that it has devolved into a vehicle for selling pharmaceuticals. That lucre seems to have neutralized the news divisions at CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. Fox News alone is uncorrupted, but only because its shameless purpose, from its inception, has been to promote the ascendancy of corporate power. Fox's former CEO, Roger Ailes, was sympathetic with the cause but he told me that he would have to fire any of his hosts who allowed me on his network to discuss mercury in vaccines or autism if I cost them an advertiser. He said, "Bobby, if I let you on to talk about vaccines, Rupert would be on the phone with me in ten minutes."

RS: What about the national environmental groups?

RFK, JR: Sadly, AWOL.

RS: You mentioned the science journals?

RFK, JR: The science journals are also corrupted. It's common for these journals to receive half or more of their income from pharma ads and reprint orders. Many of them are owned by drug companies. Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of The Lancet, the world's two preeminent science journals, have both recently declared that half of their articles are untrue—concocted by authors compromised by "flagrant conflicts of interest." Pharma's stranglehold on the journals keeps independent vaccine safety science from ever getting published. Just this month, the Swiss journal, Frontiers in Public Health, cancelled publication of the first vaccinated/unvaccinated study. The study showed that vaccinated children had less measles and rubella, but four times as many neurological disorders—including autism –and 30 times the incidence of allergies. Frontiers panicked after it put up the abstract and got 78,000 views in a day and, presumably, a lot of heat from pharma. I could give you a parade of other examples of great studies that either can't find a publisher, or get published and then taken down as soon as the journals feel the heat. As it turns out, the people who run those journals are no Bravehearts. Self-preservation is the overriding motivation.

RS: Is there a conspiracy among the government agencies and the press?

RFK, JR: Certainly, there is an overt conspiracy by a small group within the CDC vaccine division. It's explicit. You can watch it unfold if you read the Simpsonwood transcripts and the related emails which you can find on the World Mercury Project website. It's chilling. You have all these bureaucrats and industry officials sitting there staring at the CDC's internal study that proves that thimerosal caused the autism epidemic. Their focus quickly moves away from a public health concern to a cover-up—how to hide what they've done from the public. One of the Simpsonwood attendees, University of Colorado immunologist, Dr. Robert Johnson, declares to the group that he is not going to allow his newborn grandson to receive thimerosal containing vaccines. Yet none of the meeting participants ever came forward to warn the public of the risks to THEIR children's health! Instead, they all agree to keep the study secret. We know the names of the conspirators. These particular guys all ought to be playing Rock Hockey in Spandau with three hots and a cot in the Albert Speer suite. I don't know how they live with it. I guess they just pray that there is no God and no such thing as a divine justice. We know what Jesus said about people who harm little children. It was the single sin he considered unforgiveable.

RS: But certainly it's a small group that conspired?

RFK, JR: Right. But then, there were a lot of power centers—the industry, the media, the political leaders, the medical community—that found it in their own self-interest to not scrutinize or question the CDC narrative too closely. In that way, a tiny explicit conspiracy made the evolutionary leap to widespread orthodoxy. Pharma's unlimited reach and wealth helped cement the consensus. That proliferation of the gospel swept up the other regulators, the press, the environmental groups, the science journals, the AAP, the AMA and other medical associations, and the pediatricians in a kind of consensus dogma much larger than the explicit conspiracy. It's akin to what happened to the Catholic Church during the pedophile scandal. The institution suddenly became more important than the children it was supposed to protect. Only a few individuals were actively involved in raping children and shuffling known pedophile priests to unsuspecting dioceses. But everyone became complicit—from the bishops and priests, the doctors, to the press and police. You can judge the power of the orthodoxy by the way it often swept up the parents of abused children and even the victims. It was in everyone's self-interest to keep their mouths shut. Orthodoxies don't require overt collusion. The same thing happened with the NFL in the concussion scandal.

RS: You use the term orthodoxy—and in some ways this is like a religion, isn't it?

RFK, JR: It's exactly like religion. It's certainly not science. It's blind faith in the CDC's word about what the science says. It's like the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church kept the scriptures in Latin, a language Jesus never spoke, so that no one could read them except the priests and everyone just had to take their word for what God says. Among American journalists, this cult-like parroting of the CDC's safety assurances has become a kind of lazy man's science. There's never any fact checking. There's this pervasive insistence that we not talk about vaccine safety and never question the government. Instead of scientific argument, the debate has deteriorated into "argument by credential". Reporters cite government safety assurances as if the CDC was a divine authority. Also, it's corollary "argument by insult." Scientists and celebrities and bereaved mothers who question vaccine safety are shamed, marginalized and black-balled. It's like the way the Inquisition burned religious heretics. Like other theologies, this one comes with its own set of taboos and superstitions and mythologies. You hear these repeated over and over like a Gregorian chant. "There is no mercury in vaccines." "The mercury came out and autism rates continued climbing." "Multiple studies have proven it safe." "Ethyl mercury is non-toxic." "The hysteria all began with Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his retracted study in The Lancet." Of course, all of these articles of faith are patently and demonstrably false. They had to make a religion out of it because the facts wouldn't countenance their assertions. And as with all orthodoxies, it's cruel and occasionally lethal.

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