The Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders) is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating the risks of exposure to mercury from medical products. Safe Minds, founded in 2000 and led by the parents of autistic children, supports research into what they consider potentially harmful effects of vaccines. The connection between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, asserted by some parent-led advocacy groups, is disputed by mainstream medical groups, who contend no credible evidence supports the possible connection.
SafeMinds claims the symptoms of autism and symptoms of mercury poisoning are virtually identical in young children and include effects on brain cells, eyes, the immune system, the gastrointestinal system, muscular control, and speech.
Lyn Redwood, R.N., M.S.N., C.R.N.P, the president and co-founder of Safe Minds, is a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics and women's health care for over 25 years. Her son Will was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), not otherwise specified. Redwood is co-author of Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning, and has testified before the United States House of Representatives Government Reform Committee, where she presented 'Mercury in Medicine: Are We Taking Unnecessary Risks?'
Sallie Bernard, based in Summit, New Jersey, is the executive director and co-founder of SafeMinds, and a co-author of research papers on the links between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her son Bill was diagnosed with autism in 1993.
Mark Blaxill, a board member of Safe Minds, is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard, and has an MBA and a public policy degree. Mark's daughter, Michaela, has been diagnosed with autism. As a Director of SafeMinds, Blaxill has testified before the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and published articles in a number of peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Evidence of Harm
The book Evidence of Harm (2004), by David Kirby, relates the story of SafeMinds parents Lyn Redwood, Sallie Bernard, Liz Birt, Albert Enayati, Heidi Roger, and Mark Blaxill. In the book, Kirby gives credit to these parents for taking on government agencies and the drug companies. The book gives insight into the reasons that such parents look askance at the credibility of evidence put forward by mainstream medical authorities to either explain or falsify the increased number of diagnosed autism cases in recent years. Participant Productions is developing a documentary based on Evidence of Harm.
- SafeMinds.org - The Coalition for SafeMinds homepage
- Cherab.org - 'Joint Statement on use of the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink for Thimerosal Investigations' Autism Research Institute', Autism Society of America, Cherab Foundation, Cure Autism Now, Echo of Canada, Safe Minds, Speechville Express, Unlocking Autism (November 3, 2003)
- NationalAutismAssociation.org - 'Liz Birt: Please share your thoughts and memories of Liz here'
- Ont-Autism.uoguelph.ca - 'Denmark Study on Autism and MMR Vaccine Shows Need for Biological Research', Sallie Bernard (November 5, 2002)
- ProtectingOurHealth.org - 'Autism: Do environmental factors play a role in causation?' Ted Schettler MD, MPH
- VaccinationNews.com - 'Safe Minds Commentary on AAP Critique of Geier & Geier Thimerosal Paper', Sallie Bernard