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Experts Prepare for Battle in Autism Case

Posted Jun 11, 2007 12:31 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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About 20 experts are expected to testify in a case beginning this week before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that asks whether a vaccine preservative causes autism.

Gary Golkiewicz, chief special master in the court, told the Washington Post that a ruling could be a year away.

Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services is a test case picked from more than 4,800 claims filed with the court set up to compensate individuals harmed by vaccines.

Lawyers for the government will cite a 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine discounting the theory that vaccines cause autism. They will also note that autism is rising in the United States even though the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, was removed from vaccines around 1999.

Some plaintiffs believe the government is hiding evidence of a link, and some contend there is another ingredient in vaccines causing the problem.

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