One state Senator is pushing to ban vaccines that use mercury as a preservative. Senator Ken Veenstra, a republican from Orange City who is chairman of the Senate Human Resources Committee, believes that tiny bit of mercury is one reason there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of children who have been diagnosed with autism. Veenstra says he’s “come to the conclusion that the inclusion of mercury in many childhood vaccines is a public health issue.” According to Veenstra, the rate of autism in Iowa has increased 700 percent since 1992. Veenstra says infants and toddlers can be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury with the many vaccinations the government requires. Veenstra says his legislation “is a prudent step to protect those that cannot protect themselves.” Barb Romkema of Le Mars has a 23-year-old son who’s autistic, and she spoke at a news conference in Des Moines over the noon-hour. Romkema says she’s searched for 20 years for the reason behind her son’s disability, and believes he was, as a child, poisoned by the mercury in his vaccinations. Romkema says she went through several stages of disbelief, thinking the idea was “preposterous.” But in the end, Romkema says she’s certain her son is autistic because he got too much mercury in his system from his shots. She says her son, Craig, is “detoxifying” with the same treatments that are used for those who suffer from lead poisoning. Romkema says her son is now starting to talk in longer and longer sentences, and has finally, at age 23, developed a pincer grasp and started to write. Dana Halvorson of Northwood has a five-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Robyn, who is autistic. Halvorson says her daughter was “vaccine-injured.” Halvorson says her daughter developed normally through 15 months of age; she was walking and talking. But then she gradually started to fade away until she acted like she was deaf.Halvorson has started a group called “Beat Iowa” which stands for “Biological Education for Autism Treatments in Iowa.” Health officials say there’s not enough evidence to prove a link between autism and the mercury-based preservatives used in many childhood vaccines.
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