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Italian health minister slams probe into autism-vaccine link

'Scientific evidence not decided by the courts'

25 March, 12:15
Italian health minister slams probe into autism-vaccine link (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) vaccine. "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 debunked. However a fraudulent 1998 report in the esteemed Lancet medical journal, which was later retracted, has helped fuel conspiracy theories ever since.