- New research claims the US faces an "epidemic" of future autism cases and ever-increasing costs.
- According to the study, annual spending on autism in the United States will jump to $ 589 billion by 2030 and to $ 5.54 trillion by 2060.
- A lot of scientific evidence indicates that environmental factors, such as pesticides, and not genetics, are the cause of autism.
Why does the genetic theory of autism still dominate conversations when it comes to the causes of autism?
- Why are the necessary resources not allocated to further study the environmental causes of autism?
- Why don't autism awareness foundations draw attention to this problem?
Autism rates have been growing exponentially for several years now. According to a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the United States (USA) is facing a "tsunami" of future autism cases and escalating costs.
According to the research forecasts, annual spending on autism in the United States over the next 40 years will grow from the current $ 238 billion to $ 589 billion by 2030, $ 1.36 trillion by 2040 and $ 5.54 trillion by 2060
Parents know firsthand about the enormous costs associated with autism … We worry about what will happen to our children after we are gone. In any scenario, governments need to raise trillions of dollars in new revenues to pay for services and find out the root cause of the autism epidemic,”writes Lead Study Author Mark Blacksill.
Many experts in the field have warned about this for a long time, but the general public does not know about it, despite the fact that in North America, autism occurs in about 1 in 60 children, and most of them are boys.
These statistics make you wonder what causes autism?
Autism is a very broad diagnosis, usually based on behavior rather than brain scans. At one end of the spectrum, there may be a child who has obvious communication difficulties, is extremely sensitive to physical touch, may have "tics" and obsessive-compulsive "rituals", and at the other end of the spectrum, the child may seem completely "normal" so much that you never suspect a diagnosis of autism.
Therefore, it is helpful to wonder if some of the children diagnosed with autism have been misdiagnosed, and therein lies the problem of simply diagnosing someone based on behavior.
However, what you find biologically in one child with severe autism may not show up in another child with a diagnosis of autism but with a "high level of functioning." This can include, for example, certain deformities of the brain. Unfortunately, it seems like these kids rarely get this type of testing given the fact that, again, this condition is usually behavioral.
However, "high functioning" autism seems to be rare, and over time we see an epidemic of injured children.
There is little doubt that abnormal physical changes are a characteristic feature of autism in general, and there seems to be some kind of "damage" of a biological nature
For example, back in 2002, Finegold and Ashwood independently found more inflammation and a higher number of clostridia in children with regressive and non-regressive autism. In 2012, Finegold found that children with regressive autism have very unusual gut flora compared to non-regressive autism. Also in 2012, Vasilevska discovered that children with regressive autism had impaired immune systems and very low IgA levels and B cell activation.
In 2013, Theocharides found that significant brain inflammation is most pronounced in cases of regressive autism. In 2014, Mezzelani found a much higher rate of gut problems and dysbiosis in children with regressive autism compared to children without regression. In 2019, Ferguson found a strong link between regressive autism and gastrointestinal problems.
There are many examples like the ones listed above. The idea that autism is the result of genetics and only genetics no longer seems to be true, and more and more scientists point to our shared environment as the culprit - food, water, air, toxins, etc
For example, a study published in the journal Pediatric Health Medicine and Therapeutics concluded that there is "a significant link between mercury and autism." It says the bond is so strong that mercury could be listed as a cause of autism.
Various studies also point to a link between agricultural pesticides and herbicides. For example, maternal ingestion of glyphosate increases the risk of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). If this is true, then industry enters the equation.
RoundUp, a pesticide containing glyphosate, is found worldwide in rainwater, soil, and other bodies of water. It inadvertently ends up in our non-GMO foods.
Roundup is generally considered to be a safe pesticide. This idea is spread by manufacturers, mainly in the reviews they advertise, which are often cited in toxicological evaluations of glyphosate-based herbicides. However, in the course of the experiment, Roundup was found to be 125 times more toxic than glyphosate. What's more, despite its reputation, Roundup has proven to be the most toxic herbicide and insecticide tested.
This discrepancy between scientific evidence and industry claims can be attributed to enormous economic interests that have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions. (R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International.)
Here's an excellent presentation from MIT's Dr. Stephanie Seneff that goes into more detail on the science of pesticides and autism. There is a huge amount of literature on this connection.
There are several dozen environmental factors that are currently closely associated with the diagnosis of autism, and many of them are high-income products owned by corporations that have dominated public policy for years
Perhaps that is why this issue is not discussed in society?
This may be due to pesticides, herbicides, electromagnetic radiation, the use of prescription drugs during gestation, mercury, aluminum, lead and various other substances that pollute the environment on a daily basis
What would be the economic and financial implications for companies making these products if they were suddenly identified as accelerating the autism epidemic?
Solutions must be found not only by changing diets, lifestyles, and consumer purchases, but also by changing the way companies make products that affect us, whether we buy them or not.
In order for these companies to make such changes, they need to be stimulated, which is unlikely in our current economic structure, and therefore we will have to pay attention to changing our systems as a whole.