The alarming rise in the rate of childhood autism in the West has scientists and governments scrambling for answers. Many parents and researchers believe that much of this autism was caused by the mercury preservative thimerosal, which was until recently put into the childhood vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles) known as MMR. Over 1,000 parents with autistic children are suing the manufacturers of the vaccine and more lawsuits are sure to follow.

In the face of this litigation, attorneys for the Bush Administration have asked a federal court to order that records on hundreds of autism lawsuits be sealed and kept from the public. According to a new federal law, suits against vaccine makers must go before a special federal “vaccine court” before a civil lawsuit can be brought in state court. This court was set up by Congress to protect vaccine makers from having to pay the large awards that are often awarded by juries in state courts. However, plaintiffs can still take their cases to state courts if they lose in the federal vaccine court or if they don’t accept the court’s judgment. Because the federal court has received so many claims, evidence-gathering is going on for all of the current cases at once. The request by the Bush Administration will prevent plaintiffs who later go to civil court from using the evidence that?s being gathered now. Attorneys for the families say the order will punish the families of injured children because it will require them to pay lawyers to find the evidence all over again.

What?s the government up to when it comes to the food we eat? Find out all the facts from ?Eating in the Dark? by Kathleen Hart, click here.

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