An Open Letter to News-Medical.Net
Autism Diva has an excellent piece on The Contribution of Diagnostic Substitution to the Growing Administrative Prevalence of Autism in US Special Education by Paul Shattuck.
As far as I can tell from press reports and reading the abstract of Paul Shattuck's article, one of his major points was that school administrative data could not be used to justify arguments for an autism epidemic. Safe Minds responded with a press release that misrepresented Shattuck's position as using "Department of Education data to conclude no epidemic exists," which is not the same thing at all.
This should not matter too much. A pressure group bending the truth to fit its agenda should merit little attention from serious news organizations like News-Medical.Net
News-Medical.Net is a free to access global medical news service for the consumer, medical professional and researcher. Our mission is to segment, profile and distribute medical news to the widest possible audience of potential beneficiaries. The news provided is sourced from over 6000 qualified news sources each day. With over 1.35 million visitor sessions and in excess of 3.5 million page views each month News-Medical.Net is now recognised as one of the primary sources for medical related news.
So when I read the Safe Minds press release on their web site presented as a news story I decided to write them this letter.
In your article "Study on the rise of Autism creates debate" you end by saying
"More information about the Shattuck study and autism prevalence may be found at
or by calling Jamie Shor at 202-628-7772." This along with two thirds of your article is taken verbatim from a Safe Minds press release dated April 3
Safe Minds is a parent led organization that believes that autism is caused by mercury poisoning. They blame this on the ethyl mercury that was used as a preservative in many childhood vaccines until recently in the USA. They advocate chelation therapy as a cure for autism. There is no credible evidence for this position which directly contradicts the findings of the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Safe Minds are not a reliable source of information on matters medical or scientific. Nor are they a news agency. Please compare the story they gave you with the this account, which is a report on Shattuck's paper and not an attempted rebuttal posing as reportage.
You state that "The news provided is sourced from over 6000 qualified news sources each day." If Safe Minds passes as a qualified news source that does not inspire me with confidence in the rest of your output.