In 1999, a controversial decision was taken by the Americans to phase out the use of thimerosal as a preservative in routine recommended infant and childhood vaccines because of concerns that the thimerosal was causing autism. The official story is that this took two or three years to complete.
David Kirby of Age of Autism predicted that the removal of thimerosal would result in a drop in the rate of autism in the United States. This didn't happen. So vaccination opponents have been hunting up reasons to explain this failed prediction. One approach is to argue that thimerosal continued to be used after about 2002.
That's the purpose of Crosby's Do Reliable Thimerosal Estimates Exist? The purpose of which is to show that there was a lot of use of vaccines containing thimerosal, a preservative added to multi-dose vials of vaccine, after the CDC and others says it stopped around the end of 2002. In particular, he stated:
Of course, Gorski’s “correction” wasn’t any better, claiming it was “the end of 2001/early 2002.” That’s funny, not even the CDC has used that date. The government has provided many conflicting dates for when thimerosal was removed: as early as 1999 and as late as 2005, and individual reports reveal thimerosal-preserved vaccines with expiration dates that stretch even beyond that, not counting flu shots which continue to be preserved in thimerosal.There's a problem with claims of expiry dates of vaccines beyond the early 2000s. They are false. How do we know? Because the FDA responded to a request for information from a US Congressman in 2003 with a 5 page letter. The letter goes vaccine by vaccine and gives the expiry dates of the last lots of each thimerosal containing vaccine distributed in the United States. The latest were in 2002.
So I decided to see if Crosby cared more for the conclusion (thimerosal use continued and that explains why autism rates didn't drop) or the facts (when did vaccine makers stop supplying thimerosal containing vaccines to the United States). Because according to Age of Autism: "Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them."
Here's the screen shot of the comment I posted at Age of Autism. It never appeared. Judge for yourself if there was any reason, except a desire to censor views they don't like, for not having it appear.
I have this generalization: Those who support the vaccination program are pretty good about admitting and correcting errors in what we write. Some of us (including me) feel that we have no choice because we are believers in the scientific method or a part of the sketpical/critical thinking movement.
Vaccination opponents have a real problem admitting error. If you point out an error to them today, they'll keep repeating it over and over again. For them, the facts aren't as important. They're much more likely to use whatever tactics they can to convince people to do what they want.
This is a crucial issue when it comes to reading the internet. Put more trust in those who put the truth first.