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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Florida Policy Roundtable Urges State Lawmakers to Re-think Merck's HPV Program
February 16 2007

Elaine Merritt, 800.522.VOTE

Tallahassee-The Florida Policy Roundtable today continued the campaign to stop legislation requiring the mandatory inoculation of 11 and 12 year old girls for HPV, a sexually transmitted disease. The Roundtable contends the Florida legislation, as well as similar legislation in 20 states, is moving too fast to protect civil rights and the safety of children.

"This legislation is a product of Merck and Co., and will make Merck billions of dollars. The purpose of state government and public education is not to make profits for drug companies while trashing the constitutional rights of families and students and placing children's health at risk," stated Elaine Merritt, Legislative Director of the Florida Policy Roundtable.

The Florida Policy Roundtable has assembled a significant file of research and articles from around the nation revealing the origins of mandatory HPV vaccinations. The articles trace the legislation back to a Washington based organization, Women in Government, which is supported by several major drug companies including Merck and Co. The articles also point out Merck's prior problems with Vioxx, a drug forced from the market after lethal side effects were discovered. These articles and the Roundtable campaign against mandatory HPV vaccinations in Florida, and across the country can be viewed at APRoundtable.org.

The Roundtable is urging all Floridians to contact their state lawmakers and request an immediate halt to this special interest legislation. "If Merck’s HPV vaccine is so good for children, then let parents voluntarily choose what's best for their children. The state of Florida has no business making those decisions for parents. Forcing parents into a government approved opt-out is backward thinking. The legislature needs to break from Merck's web of false advertising and see this campaign for what it is- pure profiteering at the expense of children and families," Merritt concluded.

The Florida Policy Roundtable is a division of the American Policy Roundtable founded in 1980. The Roundtable is a non-profit, independent education and research organization working in multiple states and on Capitol Hill.

For more information, visit APRoundtable.org. For interviews and follow up contact Rob Walgate, Vice-President, The American Policy Roundtable at 1.800.522.VOTE or Elaine Merritt, Legislative Director, Florida Policy Roundtable at 850.445.8770.