PARENTS OF AUTISTIC CHILDREN SUE DRUG FIRMS, DENTAL GROUPS
The parents of a group of children with autism sued several
drug companies and dental associations in the United States for
allegedly exposing their children to vaccines and dental fillings
Parents of Autistic Children Sue Drug Firms, Dental
ATLANTA (Reuters) Apr 04 - The parents of a group of children with autism on Wednesday
sued several drug companies and dental associations in the United States for allegedly
exposing their children to vaccines and dental fillings containing mercury.
The American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association and drug firms American
Home Products Corp., now known as Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline Plc., Johnson & Johnson
and Armour Pharmaceutical were accused of, among other things, negligence in 11
lawsuits filed in an Atlanta court.
Georgia Power, a unit of utility firm Southern Co., was also listed as a defendant
in the suits for allegedly releasing harmful mercury-containing emissions into
The families are seeking unspecified damages on behalf of their children. A similar
lawsuit was filed against the companies and dental groups in the same court late
on Tuesday. Six other suits are expected later this week.
Shawn Khorrami, an attorney for the families, said the dental groups had misled
consumers by not telling them that amalgam fillings contained mercury and could,
when implanted in women's mouths, expose fetuses and nursing infants to toxic
levels of mercury.
The drug companies are being sued because they failed to warn parents that children
receiving vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal were at
higher risk for mercury poisoning, according to the suits.
Some scientists have linked mercury to autism. Amalgam fillings typically contain
about 50% mercury.
In a statement released to Reuters, the American Dental Association (ADA), which
claims more than 141,000 members across the country, described the lawsuits as
an "egregious" abuse of the legal system and said the claims had no
"Actions like these mislead vulnerable people, using information with no
scientific basis to give false hope to those with chronic, often incurable illnesses,"
Johnson & Johnson and Georgia Power said they had not yet had a chance to
review the complaints in the lawsuits.
Earlier this year, the FDA reported that US Public Health Service scientists had
concluded that recently collected data did not support claims that people with
amalgam fillings experienced problems, other than rare allergic or hypersensitivity