Rise to autism may be result of use of fetal cell lines

A pro-life biomedical research company is investigating whether vaccines using aborted fetal cell lines increase the risk of autism. The Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI) based in Seattle, Wash., claims that the use of human DNA in vaccines has the potential to combine with the patient’s own genetic material, potentially triggering autoimmune diseases and genetic instability.

According to the organization’s April 2010 newsletter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 found that 1988 was a crucial “change point” regarding the rise of autism rates. In its own analyses, the SCPI additionally identified that autism rates increased dramatically after 1981 and 1995. “The only environmental event correlating with these statistical autism trend ‘change points’ which would impact almost all children was the introduction of vaccines produced using human fetal cells and containing residual human DNA and cellular debris,” said the newsletter. These vaccines, in the U.S., were Mevirax-II and MMR-II (licenced in 1979), the second dose of MMR-II (recommended in 1988), and the Varivax chicken pox vaccine (licenced in 1995).

Helen V. Ratajczak published a review article on causes of autism in the Journal of Immunotoxicology. She notes that from 1983 to 1990, autism rates in the US rose from 4-5 per 10,000 to 1 out of 500. Currently, the rate of incidence of autism is one in 100. She cites research done by Dr. Theresa Deisher, who founded SCPI, to describe the theory of a link with aborted fetal tissue vaccines. Places where DNA fragments are most likely to be inserted in the patient’s genetic material “are found on the X chromosome in eight autism-associated genes involved in nerve cell synapse formation, central nervous system development, and mitochondrial function … this could provide some explanation of why autism is predominantly a disease of boys,” she wrote.

Moreover, according to gene therapy studies, the short DNA fragments used in vaccines from aborted fetal cell lines easily insert themselves in the child’s DNA. According to the SCPI’s web site, the same problems do not occur with animal-derived vaccines because “these contaminants are recognized by our immune systems as ‘foreign’ and are eliminated from our bodies.” Meanwhile, even gene therapy (involving the insertion of DNA to treat diseases such as cancer) has serious risks if the body develops an autoimmune reaction or if the genetic material inserts itself in the wrong place.

Deisher, in an article reprinted by LifeSiteNews, pointed out that “studies have also clearly shown that there is an environmental component, a trigger, that is required. Vaccines are an obvious potential environmental trigger for autism because of the almost universal childhood exposure to vaccines in first world countries.”

The alternate theory that mercury in the vaccines leads to autism has been debunked by scientific studies. Recent hypotheses speculate that an increased ability to identify autism and the use broader diagnoses, as well as increasing autism awareness, may be responsible for the rise. There have been no studies published repudiating or proving the fetal cell vaccine link to autism. Dr. Brian Storm, who served on U.S. government panels about vaccine safety, commenting on Ratajczak’s study, told CBS News, “it does not matter … Even if human DNA were then found in vaccines, it does not mean they cause autism.”