One of the central figures in the Center for Disease Control`s (CDC) claims about vaccine safety is reported to be under investigation by Danish police after almost $2 million turned up missing that was supposed to have been spent on research. Dr. Poul Thorsen, one of the researchers involved in two highly publicized autism reports published in the influential New England Journal of Medicine, was accused of fraud last month by Aarhus University in Denmark.
According to reports, Thorsen`s fraud was uncovered as the result of an investigation by the university where he worked and CDC. The investigation found that Thorsen had falsified documents and, in violation of university rules, was accepting salaries from both the Danish university and Emory University. At Emory University, which is located in Atlanta near CDC headquarters, Thorsen led research efforts to defend the role of vaccines in causing autism and other neurological disorders.
Thorsen was a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote several key studies supporting CDC`s claims that the MMR vaccine and other mercury-laden vaccines were safe for children. Thorsen`s 2003 Danish study concluded that mercury could not be the culprit behind the increase in autism. In the study, Thorsen noted a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark after that country banned mercury based preservatives in its vaccines.
The 2003 study has long been criticized as fraudulent. It failed to disclose or account for increases in reports of autism due to the result of new mandates requiring that autism cases be reported for the first time. It is believed that the new mandates and the opening of an autism treatment in Copenhagen accounted for the sudden rise in reported cases after the removal of mercury from vaccines in Denmark.
After Thorsen`s study, CDC and mainstream media were quick to jump on the bandwagon of pointing to the study as proof that mercury-laced vaccines are safe for infants and young children, even at concentrations hundreds of times over the U.S. safety limits. Thorsen`s Danish studies from 2002 and 2003 are widely referred to by groups that dispute the vaccine connection to autism and nervous system disorders. A spokesman for the US Surgeon General`s Office called the reports` conclusions that no connection exists “irrefutable”.
Thorsen, who is a psychiatrist and not a research scientist or toxicologist, used his studies to build a lucrative long-term relationship with CDC. He built a research empire called the North Atlantic Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) that advertised its close association with CDC. Thorsen and his research staff at the center have churned out numerous research papers, many of which assure the public about vaccine safety. In all, CDC is reported to have paid Thorsen`s center $14.6 million since 2002.
Earlier this month, Thorsen resigned from his position in the US as adjunct professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The timing of the investigation and Thorsen`s resignation coincide with a US Court of Federal Claims last Friday, which ruled against parents asserting that the MMR vaccines were responsible for their children`s health problems. In addition, Thorsen`s partner Kreesten Madsen recently came under fire after damning e-mails surfaced showing Madsen working with CDC officials intent on fraudulently cherry picking facts to prove vaccine safety.
Thorsen`s widely referenced research articles have been published in major scientific journals. Questions about the validity of Thorsen`s studies and his scientific integrity may force CDC to rethink the vaccine protocols since most of the other key pro vaccine studies cited by CDC rely on Thorsen`s research group`s work.