(ANSA) - Rome, March 25 - Italian Health Minister Beatrice
Lorenzin slammed prosecutors in a southern city for opening a
investigation into alleged links between autism and vaccines,
saying their probe "goes against scientific evidence".
The investigation was opened by prosecutors over the
weekend in the southern city of Trani after parents of two
children with autism pressed charges against an unnamed
defendant for administering a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
"Unfortunately scientific evidence isn't decided by the
courts, but by scientists through research and studies, and we
adhere to scientific evidence," said Lorenzin, speaking to Rome
high school students.
"Lets remember that without mass vaccinations, millions of
children would die.
"The alleged link between autism and vaccines dates back to
the early '80s.
"Such alarmism is damaging to people's health.
"Before you launch campaigns against vaccines, you have to
be really sure".
The alleged link between vaccines and autism has long been
However a fraudulent 1998 report in the esteemed Lancet
medical journal, which was later retracted, has helped fuel
conspiracy theories ever since.