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Autism-vaccine article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. removed from Salon.com's website

The assertion that autism is linked to childhood vaccinations has run and run, even as study after study has failed to find such a link, either with MMR vaccines or ones containing thimerosal, an organic compound that contains mercury.

One prominent article fingering thimerosal was “Deadly Immunity,” written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. , and co-published by Salon.com and Rolling Stone (which fact-checked it) in 2005.

Salon on Jan. 16 announced it was removing the story from its website. In explaining of the decision, Kerry Lauerman, Salon’s editor-in-chief, noted that shortly after the story ran it was amended to correct several errors of fact “that went far to undermine Kennedy’s expose.” Salon decided to keep the article posted, duly corrected, “in the spirit of transparency,” Lauerman added.

(Among the corrections was this one: “The article also misstated the level of ethylmercury received by infants injected with all their shots by the age of six months. It was 187 micrograms -- an amount 40 percent, not 187 times, greater than the EPA's limit for daily exposure to methylmercury.”)

The decision to take the story down altogether came as further criticism mounted over the years.

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