Posted Jun 11, 2007 05:31 pm CDT
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.