Fugitive CDC Researcher Tops Federal “Most Wanted” List: The Canary Party Joins SafeMinds and EBCLA in Calling for Reanalysis and Potential Retraction of Findings

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The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has moved Danish Researcher Poul Thorsen to the top of their “Most Wanted OIG Fugitives” list. Thorsen was a top CDC investigator on autism.

"If Thorsen is capable of the crimes listed in this indictment, he is easily capable of falsifying research results. If he is found guilty, CDC should disavow Thorsen's research and revisit any policy determinations where it was used." Eric Uram

The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has moved Danish Researcher Poul Thorsen to the top of their “Most Wanted OIG Fugitives” list. Thorsen was a top CDC investigator on autism.

“Any research linked to a person indicted for felony criminal activities should be suspect,” stated Eric Uram, SafeMinds Executive Director. "If Thorsen is capable of the crimes listed in this indictment, he is easily capable of falsifying research results. If he is found guilty, CDC should disavow Thorsen's research and revisit any policy determinations where it was used."

The U.S. Government indicted Thorsen on April 13, 2011 on 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, including the embezzlement of over $1 million of CDC grant money between 2004 and 2010. Funds were given to Thorsen to study links between autism, mercury and vaccines, along with several other developmental disorders. The Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Health and Human Services reported Thorsen remains free, but it seeks his extradition from Denmark.

Astonishingly, the CDC has continued to collaborate with Thorsen since his indictment. As recently as this month, over a year later, Thorsen is still listed as a co-author on research with a CDC employee. "The allegation Thorsen stole money intended for research and claimed full-time employment at two universities at the same time brings everything he has done into question,” said Rebecca Estepp, EBCALA Media Director.

Thorsen was a co-author on one of the five studies used to show no link between autism, mercury and vaccines (Madsen et al. 2003) and was actively involved in the grant funding for two other key studies (Stehr-Green et al. 2003, Hviid et al. 2003). The Institute of Medicine used these studies to justify its 2004 conclusion that no further research was needed on mercury preservatives, vaccines and autism.

“The autism and thimerosal question is far from answered, and this raises even more questions,” said Sallie Bernard, SafeMinds President. “Through the Freedom of Information Act, we have obtained documents indicating autism rates in Denmark actually went down after the removal of thimerosal, though this data was omitted from publication.
It is long past time that the government looked into the problems with this research.”

SafeMinds and EBCALA are calling for a thorough federal investigation of Poul Thorsen’s involvement in the Danish autism studies and an explanation from the CDC for its lack of oversight and continued collaboration with a wanted fugitive and indicted felon.

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Katie Weisman
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