Division Addresses Mercury Poisoning through Vaccines
by YVETTE MOORE*
United Methodist Women will sponsor a 2007 event to educate the faith community about the dangers of using mercury in immunization vaccines. Directors of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries voted to sponsor “The Truth Is Coming to Light,” a June 6-7, 2007, event that will address the issue.
The event will look at protecting children from mercury-containing drugs, particularly mercury poisoning stemming from some vaccines for childhood diseases. The directors allocated $5,000 toward the event.
The meeting will offer a Christian witness against the undisclosed administration of mercury to people, especially children, worldwide. Women’s Division directors during their April 2006 meeting heard testimony from a mother whose child suffered mercury poisoning after several immunizations. At that time, they called for support of efforts to protect children from mercury-containing drugs by urging the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advocate for mercury-free stocks of vaccines, especially for use with infants, children and pregnant women; and for education of the public on the issue so parents know the dangers before consenting to the use of such vaccines.
Directors approved sponsorship of the event in accepting the report from the division’s Section of Christian Social Responsibility. Other actions of the section approved by the board included:
- Allocation of up to $15,000 for participation in the World Social Forum Jan. 20-25, 2007, in Nairobi, Kenya. Created in 2001, the World Social Forum is an open meeting for reflective thinking and idea exchange among non-governmental organizations working on global-justice issues.
- Allocation of up to $8,000 for development of a comprehensive program to follow-up the division’s 2006 Racial Justice Consultation.
- Allocation of up to $10,000 to partner with the Older Women’s League in its Mother’s Day 2007 Action on Healthcare to advocate for a single-payer universal healthcare in the United States. In addition to distributing education resources, United Methodist Women members will be encouraged to urge their legislators to promote access to quality healthcare for all.
- Expansion of the Green Team letter-writing campaign promoting use of Processed Chlorine-Free paper to include Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corp. and Yum! Brands, Inc. The two companies will be added to the list of paper suppliers and wholesalers the division is urging to stock the environmentally friendly paper for consumer use and in packaging.
- Approved Aug. 12-16 as dates of the Women’s Division’s 2007 National Seminar. The directors also agreed on who will attend the event: two representatives from each conference, including one racial-ethnic woman and at least one woman under age 40; six representatives from each Jurisdictional Core Planning Group; five women active in the local or district units, but not holding offices beyond these levels; 23 Women’s Division staff members; six Women’s Division directors and six Women’s Division officers.