Controversy is brewing over a bill in the Florida legislature which would limit the amount of mercury allowed in vaccines and allow parents to deviate from the federally recommended vaccination schedule.

The proposed bill is the result of fears by some about a link between autism and mercury in vaccines. However, government agencies as well as the broader scientific community agree that no such link exists.

The bill would reduce the allowable level of mercury in vaccines given to children and pregnant mothers to below the limits set by the federal Food and Drug Administration. It does allow for exceptions in the case of health emergencies. The bill also allows parents to choose an alternative vaccine schedule for their children so long as they are in consultation with a pediatrician and that children are vaccinated before they begin school.

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Doctors warn that limiting the amount of mercury allowed in vaccines could lead to vaccine shortages and put public health at risk. Further, they say it is unwise to encourage parents to choose vaccine schedules contrary to that established by the medical community.

Supporters of the bill concede that they likely do not have the votes to pass a limit on mercury levels and may drop that issue. But they are pressing forward with the vaccine schedule portion of the legislation, reports the Palm Beach Post. To read more click here.