Autism in the Faroe Islands
1. Ellefsen, A., Kampmann, H., Billstedt, E., Gillberg, I. C., Gillberg, C. (2006). Autism in the Faroe Islands. An Epidemiological Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. [Electronically published ahead of print]
The rate of .56% of the population translates to 56 per 10,000. This is well within the margin of error as the rate in the US, Canada, and the UK (60 per 10,000).
This is a “genetically distinct population” in a northern Europe. Their diet consists mostly of meat, including mutton, fish, and whale meat/blubber. Whale meat is known to be extremely mercury heavy.
This is reminiscent of in terms of fish and even whale meat intake to:
E, Fombonne., J, Morel., J, Macarthur. (2006). No Autism Amongst Inuits From Northern Quebec. Paper Presented at IMFAR. June, 2006.
Except that Fombonne et al. found no autism in Inuit population (which is also genetically distinct), but who have excellent health care including full vaccines. It was argued the Inuits (a closed population) may have developed a natural and high, self-chelation ability. Unfortunately this is not shown by any research and it is a dogmatic fallacy, almost a Lamarckian fallacy, to claim that because it would make sense for a population to develop a given trait, that they actually have.
This may not be a "nail in the coffin", but it is defiately getting harder and harder to ascribe the potential "epidemic of autism" to mercury.