Burton Calls for More Autism Research Funding
Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said yesterday that an increase in government-funded "basic and clinical" research into the cause of autism is necessary because the number of U.S. children diagnosed with the disease is increasing, the AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. "We have an epidemic on our hands, and we in Congress need to make sure the NIH and CDC treat this condition like an epidemic," Burton, whose grandson has autism, said. The Autism Society of America estimates that the disorder's incidence is increasing 10% to 17% a year -- a faster rate than that of any other disease or disability in the United States, according to Lee Grossman, the society's president. According to a recent report by the National Institute of Mental Health, between one in 500 and one in 1,000 Americans has autism. Burton, who chairs the House Committee on Government Reform, noted yesterday that NIH plans to spend $56 million this year on autism research, compared to $688 million on diabetes research and $2.2 billion on AIDS research. The CDC has budgeted $11.3 million for autism research, compared to $62 million for diabetes research and $932 million for AIDS research (Carter, AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 4/18). In 2000, Burton called for research on whether routine children's vaccinations may cause autism (American Health Line, 4/7/00). Last October, an Institute of Medicine report found no evidence to prove or reject the claim(American Health Line, 10/2/01).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.