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Study Claiming Thimerasol Safe for Vaccines Now in Doubt–Lead Researcher Thorsen Accused of Fraud, Stealing 10 Million Kroner from University

March 15, 2010

This story has come up more than once this week.  Just as vaccine advocates were quick to crucify the researcher who looked for a link between autism symptoms and gastrointestinal issues, the whole “thimerasol is safe” group comes under fire when the lead researcher has been accused of bilking his former employer for millions of dollars.  Guess what, the guy lives right here in the U.S. and was the lead researcher whose work the CDC highly touted in determining vaccines had no link to autism.  Whoops, CDC, maybe you should check your references better.  The Copenhagen Post published a story about this on-line in February, but why hasn’t it been investigated in the US?

Former research leader suspected of fraud now living in US and has not been questioned by police

Aarhus University has confirmed that a former head of research at its North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances department has committed possible fraud totalling up to 10 million kroner against several of the school’s research partners, reports Århus Stiftstidende newspaper.

Until last March, the man was head of an 80 million kroner joint research project between the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University.

Jørgen Jørgensen, Aarhus University’s rector, confirmed that police charges have been filed against the former researcher and that it concerns a sum of around 10 million kroner. Numerous applications for funding for the research were apparently signed with forged signatures.

The scientist – who is reportedly living and working in Atlanta in the US – resigned from his post last March. But he allegedly continued to pass himself off as the head of the international project, which dealt primarily with research into the possible causes of autism.

Hmm, he is being investigated for fraud, and the US hasn’t started an investigation?  Apparently plenty of writers are incensed that the thimerasol-is-fine-group would come under scrutiny, as evidenced by their rather vitriolic posts below, but seriously, we are talking millions in fraud allegations, and the man is never investigated?

The Autism Action Network has published this story about the researcher:

A Danish scientist who was a key researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark according to reports in the Copenenhagen Post Online and a statement from Aarhus University.
Poul Thorsen, MD PhD, headed up a research unit at Aarhus University that was hired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare a series of studies that would exonerate thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, and the MMR vaccine from any role in causing autism. The veracity of the three studies he co-authored is now in doubt.
These studies formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports that claimed that it was highly unlikely that thimerosal or MMR were implicated in autism.
In a statement Aarhus University officials said that believe Poulsen forged documents supposedly from the CDC to obtain the release of $2 million from the University. Poulsen resigned abruptly in March 2009 and left Denmark. Since then Thorsen has held several jobs in the US, first at Emory University in Atlanta and then at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Documents show that as late as January 22, 2009. Thorsen was employed at Drexel. Any reference to Poulsen has now been deleted from the Drexel website.
Investigations also revealed that while employed full-time for the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Poulsen simultaneously held a fulltime position at Emory University in Atlanta, and drew salaries from both Universities despite a contract with Aarhus forbidding outside employment. According to the statement from Aarhus University.
Autism advocacy groups have published extensive analyses on Thorsen’s studies and found many problems in methods, assumptions and conclusions that are supported by the data. And Thorsen is the lynchpin in the series of studies used to dismiss concerns about thimerosal and MMR causing autism.

And, since that money paid for research the CDC has used to determine vaccines are safe for millions of kids in the US, wouldn’t it be reasonable to take a look at this guys research as well?

Aarhus University has issued a statement, a PDF document that can be viewed here, but apparently other writers are already denying this document exists.  Here is the tail end of the letter Aarhus put out:

Unfortunately, a considerable shortfall in funding at Aarhus University associated with the CDC grant was discovered. In investigating the shortfalls associated with the grant, DASTI and Aarhus University became aware of two alleged CDC funding documents as well as a letter regarding funding commitments
allegedly written by Randolph B. Williams of CDC’s Procurement
Grants Office which was used to secure advances from Aarhus University.
Upon investigation by CDC, a suspicion arose that the documents are forgeries. DASTI conducted an internal investigation of the authenticity of the documents
and have filed a police report with no specific person named in the filing. A police investigation is ongoing.
Side 2/2
In March 2009, Dr. Thorsen resigned his faculty position at Aarhus University. In the meantime, it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Thomsen has continued to act in such a manner as to create the impression
that he still retains a connection to Aarhus University after the termination of his employment by the university. Furthermore, it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Poul Thorsen has held full-time positions at both Emory University and Aarhus University simultaneously. Dr Thorsens
double Full-time employment was unauthorised by Aarhus University, and he engaged in this employment situation despite the express prohibition of Aarhus
Conclusion: Aarhus University wishes to confirm that Dr Poul Thorsen no longer has any connection to Aarhus University, and that Aarhus University will not be able to collaborate with Poul Thorsen in the future. To the extent that other parties collaborating with Aarhus University wish to draw on Poul
Thorsen’s expertise, Aarhus University will only accept such collaboration if it has the purpose of securing data or protecting the interests of participating researchers and funding agencies.
Jørgen Jørgensen
Managing Director

Strange how the publicity machines in favor of vaccines work so fast to discredit Aarhus University without ever viewing the document. As always, it is the cover-up that is the problem…

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