Autism has been increasing all over the world. It is being attributed to "better diagnosis", but that is a doubtful claim. It just means that the agent has not been found. It is probably something really common in the new world we live in. Gluten, Caseine, MSG are some of the commonly identified agents. They seems to viciously attack a sick body, but have never proven to debilitate a strong body. Hopefully the link to the bad agent will be made someday soon.
In the meantime, spin doctors should take a rest on this issue. Any time a food additive receives attention, these folks come in and start messing around with their "I don't know nothing, but it's not this" attitude. Cigars, unsafe cars, celebrex; the list is endless. But there are billions of dollars to be made while these thick skinned individuals are doing their dance. So I guess it will keep going on.