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“What’s going on? Why are so many American children sick?” Mark Blaxill, board member of Safe Minds, testified at a Nov. 29 hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The causes of autism and related disorders remain unknown, but researchers are looking for answers in genetics, environmental factors and maternal health, government medical specialists told the House committee.

In the United States, children are given single-dose vaccines, which do not contain thimerosal. However, thimerosal is still used in some influenza vaccines, and it would be used in a pandemic, when there is a need for swift, mass distribution of a vaccine.