Pediatricians rebuked Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann for suggesting that the humanpapillomavirus (HPV) vaccine places children in danger and can cause mental retardation.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement," the academy said in a statement Tuesday.

The HPV vaccine became the focus of the Republican Presidential debate on Monday. Bachmann and former Senator Rick Santorum brought up a 2007 executive order signed by Presidential candidate Rick Perry in which he ordered HPV vaccinations on sixth-grade girls in the state of Texas.

Bachmann criticized Perry saying the order violated the families' right to decide for their children and accused Perry of ties with the HPV vaccine maker Merck.

But perhaps the most controversial statements made by Bachmann were on Tuesday during a televised interview on the Today Show. Bachmann claimed that she talked to a woman in Florida whose girl got mental retardation after having the vaccine.

"She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter," Bachmann said in the Today Show Tuesday. “It can have very dangerous side effects.”

"There is no second chance for these little girls if there are any dangerous consequences to their bodies," she added.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said it recommends that girls receive the HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12 because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body. The academy claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all coincide.

"Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record", the Academy said in the statement.

"This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer,” concluded.