Mercury is the most poisonous, non-radioactive, naturally occurring substance on our planet. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is no safe level of mercury. In view of the significant health risks related to human mercury exposure, the Governing Council of UNEP
agreed February 2009 on the need to develop a global legally binding instrument on mercury. The
objective of this treaty on mercury is to "to protect human health and
the global environment from the release of mercury and its compounds by
minimizing and, where feasible, ultimately eliminating global,
anthropogenic mercury releases to air, water and land." On Friday, July 22, 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) distributed a revised text for its comprehensive global treaty on
mercury that included the ban of mercury from pharmaceuticals. However, the mercury-containg preservative Thimerosal is still used in many
vaccines against diseases including flu, tetanus, hepatitis B,
diphtheria and meningitis, alltogether about 300 million shots
worldwide. In prepairing for the 3rd session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a global legally binding instrument on Mercury (INC3
) that was held in Nairobi, from 31 October to 4 November 2011, the World Health Organization was trying to fend off an effort to include
the mercury derivative Thimerosal used in vaccines from being banned in
a global treaty on mercury currently under negotiation.INC4 meeting
INC4 met June 27-July 2
to negotiate a global treaty on mercury. CoMeD and other
nongovernmental organizations who participated strongly opposed the use
of mercury in human medicines. More importantly, entire continents and
many individual nations expressed their desire for mercury-free
CoMeD is putting intense pressure on the World Health Organization by
actively assisting nations in banning Thimerosal-preserved vaccines. One
of these nations, Chile, became the first developing country to stop this use of mercury in 2012.
Cristina Girardi, a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, addressed the opening session of INC4 gathering. While speaking,
she warned, "... to keep the mercury in vaccines is to endanger the
vaccine program in a misguided effort to protect a known neurotoxin."
Rev. Lisa K. Sykes, CoMeD's President, brought the danger vaccine mercury represents to a historic level of understanding. Rev. Sykes counseled,
"The de facto, economic prioritization of mercury-free vaccines ...
constitutes a double standard in vaccine safety. This disparity must be
corrected rapidly ... and preference ... must shift to mercury-free
vaccines globally, if we hope to avoid accusations of discrimination ...
in regard to global immunization policy."
Sykes also cited the support of the global United Methodist Church, representing 11.5 million, and the U.S. National Health Freedom Coalition,
representing 20 million. Both these groups support a ban on the use of
mercury in vaccines and uphold the right of informed consent for all
Bowing to pressure from the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD, Inc.) and other organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed its 2004 guidelines on eliminating, reducing, and replacing Thimerosal in vaccines to public health officials worldwide before the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP). "This is a huge development," says CoMeD's Vice President, David Geier, while speaking at UNEP's INC4 meeting.
SOURCE: (Adapted from) Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD)Related information UNEP: Reducing Risks from Mercury UNEP: Negotiating Process for a global legally binding instrument on mercury WHO: Key information submitted to INC4 Rev. Lisa K. Sykes speaks at INC4 U.S.
House of Representatives' 2003 report: Mercury in Medicine - Taking
Unnecessary Risks (the result of a 3-year investigation) Related EVISA Resources EVISA Link database: Industrial use of mercury and its compounds EVISA Link database: Toxicity of inorganic mercury compounds EVISA Link database: Toxicity of organic mercury compounds EVISA Link database: All about thimerosal (thiomersal) Related EVISA News June 19, 2012: Vaccine ingredient causes brain damage; some nutrients prevent it October 28, 2011: WHO worries mercury treaty could affect costs and availability of vaccines August 8, 2011: UNEP Global Mercury Treaty May Include Ban on Mercury in Medicine
June 19, 2011: Committee for Socio-economic Analysis agrees on
two draft opinions on restriction proposals for mercury compounds under
March 17, 2011: Researchers Urge the Removal of Mercury From Flu Shots
September 25, 2010: The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) calls for
comments on reports proposing restrictions on mercury and phenylmercury
August 16, 2010: Methylmercury: What have we learned from Minamata Bay?
September 24, 2009: Huge field experiment for assessing human ethylmercury risk starting in october
July 15, 2009: New Study Finds: Thimerosal Induces Autism-like Neurotoxicity
May 15, 2008: New study will investigate the influence of environmental factors in autism
May 3, 2006: Texas Study Relates Autism to Environmental Mercury
March 24, 2006: Mercury Containing Preservative Alters Immune Function
April 27, 2005: New results about toxicity of thimerosal
February 11, 2005: New findings about Thimerosal Neurotoxicity
last time modified: July 15, 2012