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Anderson Cooper, Ex-GOP Rep. Throw Down over Vaccine-Autism Link

You know how there are lots of anti-vaccine people who say that vaccines give their kids autism? Well, that’s not true. It’s been thoroughly discredited. But former Republican Congressman Dan Burton believes that the mercury in vaccines can cause autism in children, and faced off against Anderson Cooper last night over that very subject.

Burton insisted that he’s pro-vaccines, he just wants mercury to be removed from them. Cooper shot back that, actually, they were, years ago. The FDA, out of an abundance of caution, got the mercury compound thimerosal either completely eliminated or significantly reduced in all vaccines over a decade ago.

But even with that, multiple studies have found no actual link between thiomersal in vaccines and autism in kids. Cooper repeatedly confronted Burton about this, even saying at one point that the hearings he held about this years ago “freaked out so many parents” unnecessarily.

Burton kept insisting that all mercury is dangerous to human health and should be completely eliminated from vaccines, even though it pretty much has been at this point. Burton claimed there are studies backing him up, but Cooper just told him, “The preponderance of evidence is not in your favor.”

Watch the full showdown below, via CNN:

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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