April 6, 2012
By Mike Adams
“Here is some more medical quackery for you. This almost reads like a comedy/horror novel. This can’t be true. But it is.” –KTRN
In Britain, drug companies are now pushing for children to be dosed with potentially dangerous diabetes drugs before they’re even born! It’s just the latest example of medical insanity in a world experiencing a runaway diabetes epidemic.
But instead of teaching expectant mothers how to halt the disease through exercise, mineral-rich nutrition, and avoiding processed foods, the government is pushing dangerous chemical medications that inevitably have health-compromising side effects.
The drug being used in UK trials right now is Metformin (glucophage), a drug with a long history of toxicity and known to cause side effects like:
• muscle pain and weakness
• slow or uneven heart rate
• nausea and vomiting
• difficulty breathing
• reduction in levels of sex hormones
• numbness in arms and legs
• stomach pain
• lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal build-up of lactic acid in the body
… and this is what they’re now giving pregnant women? Seriously?
Support The More Than 300,000 Organic Farmers Who Lost Their Court Battle to Monsanto – Sign The Heartfelt Petition to OSGTA Today!
March 5th, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald’s recent dismissal of a massive class-action lawsuit filed by farmers against Monsanto is truly disheartening, but it does not mean that we should now give up the fight for food freedom and justice. And as an expression of unified solidarity for the cause of food sovereignty, Jack Adam Weber from Wake Up World has created a hopeful petition letter to the farmers that conveys support and appreciation for their work, and encourages them not to give up — and he is asking everyone who appreciates clean, organic food to show their support by signing it.
The letter, which is posted over at Wake Up World as well as at Change.org, expresses solace and comfort to the farmers, but also a bit of hope and promise that, one day, we will win this war against food tyranny and take back our land and our freedoms from those who have stolen it away from us. It also specifically promises that, when an appeal is filed in response to the dismissal, those of us in the natural health community will be right there to support it.
“With each blow to our justice, to our health, to our peace of mind, to our children’s future, we will grow stronger, more united, and determined,” says one section of the letter. “And with each subsequent act of corruption we will come thundering back to take back our lives, our wealth, which we believe can still be free. Count on it. It’s a promise from all of us to you, fellow farmers. And it’s our promise to Monsanto, the soulless politicians who enable them, and to all Big Business Bullies.”
You can access the petition letter at the following two links:
And in case you missed our original piece on the legal filing itself, you can read it here:
This particular battle may have been lost, at least for now, but the war is not over. As the Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGTA) gears up to file an appeal, we need to be right there with the group to make sure the case does not get dismissed again, and that all the facts are heard. We must ensure that the next judge who hears the case will not be able to get away with claiming that it has no grounds, since farmers have already been sued by Monsanto in years past, and will likely be sued in the future as well (http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org).
For The Full Report Go To Natural News
February 22nd, 2012
By: David Martin
Nearly three decades in the making, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its landmark dioxin assessment with the conclusion: “Generally, over a person’s lifetime, current exposure to dioxins does not pose a significant health risk.”
But Dr. Arnold J. Schecter, a University of Texas professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, says dioxins pose a risk for fetuses, newborns and people with immune deficiencies such as AIDS patients.
“Some people are going to be more susceptible because they receive a higher dose or they’re more sensitive,” says Dr. Schecter, who served on an EPA advisory panel on dioxins.
Dioxins are a class of highly toxic chemicals released into the environment by industrial production, waste incineration and forest fires. The chemicals get into the food chain and accumulate in animal fat.
Air emissions of dioxins in the United States have decreased 90% since 1987, thanks to the EPA, state and industry efforts, the agency said Friday. Even so, some dioxins are now present in every man, woman and child on the planet.
The EPA characterizes dioxins as “likely” carcinogens. They are also linked to developmental and reproductive problems, damage to the immune system, hormone disruption, skin rashes and discoloration, and mild liver damage.
Fetuses and newborns have diets relatively high in fat and their bodies are still developing, putting them at greater risk for health problems related to dioxins, Schecter says, as are people whose immune systems are already compromised.
Animal fat in the diet accounts for close to 90% of dioxin exposure in the United States, according to a 2003 National Academies of Science report on dioxins in the food supply.
With the new assessment, the EPA set the threshold for safe dioxin exposure at a toxicity equivalence (TEQ) of 0.7 picograms per kilogram of body weight per day.
Stephen Lester, science director for the Center for Health Environment & Justice, says young children may routinely be exposed to higher levels through their diets.
Lester points to the National Academies report, which found the average 1 to 5 year old’s diet contained 1.09 TEQ. Boys and girls 6 to 11 years old averaged .69 TEQ.
“The EPA has mentioned that the levels in the air are going down and we’ve made great improvements and that we’ve got the problem under control, but that’s not what’s going on here,” Lester says.
Research published in 2009 put the average TEQ exposure for all Americans at .54 TEQ, assuming an average body weight of 165 pounds.
Dioxins cannot be washed off foods. Eating less or leaner meat, chicken and fish; low-fat or fat-free cheese and yogurt; and drinking skim milk will lower the dioxin content of the typical American diet, Schecter says.
“We’re lucky. The same thing that’s good for protecting our hearts and our brains from heart attacks and strokes will also protect us from the toxic effects of dioxins.”
In addition to cutting fat out of the diet, CHEJ also recommends eating grain or grass fed beef. Lester says some cattle are given feed that contains animal fat, essentially recycling the dioxins.
The EPA says the amount of dioxin in food will go decline as dioxin levels in the environment go down.
The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture monitor dioxin in food and feed. A USDA survey of dioxins in meat is expected to be released in 2013.
“Given the success of the current dioxin reduction program, and the low levels of risk posed for consumers, additional regulatory changes by USDA or recommendations to avoid particular foods are unwarranted at this time,” a USDA spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.
The 344-page EPA dioxin assessment looked only at non-cancer risks. A second report on dioxins’ cancer risks will follow. No date has been set.
February 20th, 2012
By: Mark Greenblatt
The Food and Drug Administration will launch a safety investigation of a new product that allows consumers to inhale caffeine through a lipstick-sized portable device, rather than drinking it.
AeroShot delivers 100 milligrams of caffeine per use, and comes in bright colored packages that describe it as “pure energy,” and “breathable energy anytime, anyplace.”
The manufacturer, Breathable Foods Inc., put it on the market in New York, Massachusetts, and in France late last month.
“You could easily overdose or succumb to toxicity associated with the caffeine ingestion,” Dr. Bruce Goldberger told ABC News. “You could mix it with alcohol in a social setting and also I’m troubled by its availability, potentially at home where young children can get a hold of it.”
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said he shares those concerns.
“A new product like AeroShot raises questions that need to be answered before allowing consumers, especially teens and kids, to use and abuse it,” he said. “The AeroShot caffeine-inhaler is being marketed as a party enhancer; it can facilitate excessive drinking and its effects have never been examined by independent regulators to determine their impact on the human body and in combination with alcohol, especially for adolescents.”
The inventor of AeroShot, Harvard biomedical professor David Edwards, says his product is as safe as a cup of coffee, which provides roughly the equivalent dose of caffeine.
“I think that we are absolutely welcoming a dialogue with the FDA,” he said. “As I say, this is a new way of delivering food in your mouth, and we’re confident that as they look at the product that they will confirm what we hold, that the product is both safe and follows FDA regulations.”
Edwards was able to bring Aeroshot to the market without an FDA review being required because it is sold as a dietary supplement. ABC News asked Edwards if he or his company had done any studies of the health effects of AeroShot on children or teenagers.
“The answer is no, we did not do tests on children,” he said, explaining that children and teenagers are not part of his target market. “We need to be really clear what a company responsibly does to test the safety of their product, and we’ve followed those safety regulations.”
Edwards says his product delivers a lower dose of caffeine than many energy drinks or caffeine pills currently on the market, and says it comes in a controlled, smaller dose of caffeine.
Edwards says demand for the product is eclipsing anything he could have ever anticipated, and increasing.
ABC News found the product on store shelves throughout New York and around college campuses. We visited three delis near Columbia University — two sold us their shelf stock, while the third store was already sold out.
“I would try it during something like finals week,” said Thalia Dergham, a Columbia University student. Dergham said, though, that she would likely not be a regular consumer of the product outside of high stress times.
Other students were not so willing.
“It looks intense,” said Kristin Simmons, a Columbia University art history and visual arts major. “It looks like one of those monster Red Bull drinks.”
After announcing its review, the FDA is now likely to examine the health effects of inhaling the caffeine on at-risk populations, along with looking into the potential health effects of use when combined with alcohol.
“FDA will review information brought to the agency’s attention about this product,” the agency said in a statement. “As with any complaint or concern we receive about FDA-regulated products, we will consider whether a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act has occurred and, if so, whether regulatory action is warranted in light of FDA’s enforcement priorities and resources.”
The product’s manufacturer has come under fire for a round of advertisements that seem to show its use by younger men and women who are out at nightclubs, where alcohol may be present.
ABC News asked the inventor of the product about those ads. Edwards said the product itself is safe and fundamentally sound, but there is ongoing discussion within his company about how to market it and where to sell it.
“Speaking as an innovator, you’re not developing a product thinking of targeting people that it’s going to hurt. And so on the contrary, the motivation of this product was to actually create a healthier and more accessible way of having caffeine, when you need it, as opposed to overdoing yourself often when you don’t need it.”
For The Full Report Go To ABC News
January 20, 2012
By Anna Yukhananov
“Way to go FDA. Just what we need – more approved pharmaceuticals.” –KTRN
U.S. health regulators gave the nod on Tuesday to a drug from British specialty drugmaker BTG Plc that helps cancer patients get rid of toxic levels of a chemotherapy treatment.
The drug, called Voraxaze, helps eliminate methotrexate in patients whose kidney function has been compromised by treatment with high doses of the chemotherapy agent. Methotrexate is normally eliminated from the body by the kidneys, but prolonged high doses of the drug used to treat cancer can result in kidney failure.
BTG’s injectable treatment can quickly break down the chemotherapy medicine and allow the body to expel it.
The Food and Drug Administration granted Voraxaze orphan drug status, meant for rare diseases or conditions that affect a very small portion of the population. As incentive for companies to develop such drugs, the orphan designation comes with seven years of marketing exclusivity before a rival medicine could be approved.
October 21, 2011
By Danna Norek
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a chemical lathering agent that has come under scrutiny for safety and potential toxicity issues. It is found in a large amount of the products we use every day for personal hygiene and body care. Among them are toothpaste, shampoo, lotions, soap, liquid body and facial cleansers, and more.
Sodium lauryl sulfate did not start off as a detergent that was meant for use in consumer products. It was initially sold as an industrial strength detergent primarily used for heavy duty cleaners and degreasers. It is now found in products which are in close and frequent contact with human skin.
The reason it is used in so many products today is that consumers have come to expect abundant lather in products that are supposed to cleanse in some way. It is one of the most largely manufactured chemicals in the United States since many companies use it as a cheap lathering agent.
SLS Irritates Skin and Compromises Natural Moisture Balance
SLS strips the hair and skin of moisture because of its strong detergent properties. You can actually get your skin, mouth and hair just as clean using gentler, more skin and membrane-friendly substances. There are several fatty acids that work to cleanse the skin without disrupting the delicate acid mantle that protects it from outside elements and toxins.
Sodium lauryl sulfate has been identified as one of the primary skin irritants that are used in body care products today. It has the ability to easily penetrate the dermal layers and enter the blood stream. The caustic lathering agent easily destroys the lipid layers that keep the skin smooth and supple.
SLS Allows Toxins to Penetrate and is a Toxin Itself
It is often used as an absorbing agent to allow other ingredients like vitamins, moisturizers and minerals to be more easily deposited below the skin’s surface. However, most soaps, shampoos and moisturizers that contain SLS also contain a host of chemicals.
This is another huge cause for concern since this is typically what is more likely to breach the protective layers of the skin. When you use products with both SLS and other chemical toxins and preservatives, you are inviting these other toxins to more easily penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream.
SLS has shown up in the tissues of the brain, liver, heart and other vital organs. This strongly suggests it is retained long term in several bodily tissues.
SLS Irritates and Erodes Eyes, Gums and Hair Follicles
The chemical is not allowed as an ingredient in baby shampoo because of its irritating qualities to the eyes and other sensitive membranes. Prolonged exposure can cause blurred vision and burning. It has even been linked to blindness in a few cases.
Studies have shown that SLS can cause gum irritation as well. The majority of commercially available toothpastes contain it as a foaming agent. Those that suffer from major gum disease or irritation have been shown to recover at a much faster pace when discontinuing the use of SLS in their oral care products.
It has been implicated in hair loss as well since it can irritate and possibly damage the hair follicles. When used in shampoos, it can dry out the hair shaft and dull the hair by taking away its natural luster.
Avoiding products with this volatile lathering agent is getting easier. There are now soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and other personal care products that offer healthier and more skin-friendly SLS free options.
August 22nd, 2011
The latest research on toxic chemicals in children’s car seats was released today by the nonprofit Ecology Center at the consumer-friendly site, www.HealthyStuff.org. While some seats were found to be virtually free of the most dangerous chemicals, over half (60%) contained at least one of the chemicals tested for.
Over 150, 2011-model car seats were tested for bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers); lead; other heavy metals, and allergens. These substances have been linked to allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer. Heat and UV-ray exposure in cars can accelerate the breakdown of these chemicals and possibly increase their toxicity. Babies are the most vulnerable population in terms of exposure, since their bodily systems are still developing and they spend many hours in their car seats.
“Car seats save lives. It’s absolutely essential that parents put their children in them while driving, regardless of the rating a particular seat received at HealthyStuff.org,” said Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center’s Research Director. “However, our research shows that some car seats contain more harmful chemicals than others. HealthyStuff.org makes it easier for parents to research the best car seat for their child.”
The site, which also has comprehensive data on toxic chemicals in toys, cars, home improvement products and more, allows users to look up the best- and worst-scoring car seats with respect to toxic chemical content. Anyone looking to buy a new car seat, or wondering how their child’s current car seat compares to others, can visit this site and search by model, or comparison shop between different models or years.
“This study is yet another example of how our country’s major chemicals law — the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 — is flawed and fails to protect children from hazardous chemicals,” said Andy Igrejas, Director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. “Databases such as HealthyStuff.org can provide consumers with valuable information, but reforming our federal regulatory system so that harmful chemicals don’t end up on the market in the first place is long overdue.”
Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Mist
Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders
Overall, car seats are improving in terms of their toxicity levels. Since 2008, when the Ecology Center first started doing this research, average car seat rankings have improved by 64%.
Other brands tested in 2011 include: Alpha Sport, Baby Trend, Clek, Compass, Dorel Juvenile Group (Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Maxi-Cosi, Safety First), Evenflo, Fisher Price, Harmony Juvenile, Orbit Baby, Peg Perego, Sunshine Kids, Teutonia and The First Years.
While there are numerous substances in car seats that can lead to health and environmental problems, the Ecology Center selected those with known toxicity, persistence, and tendency to build up in people and the environment. These chemicals include:
June 8th, 2011
By: Mary Sparrowdancer
German and Austrian scientists knew in the early 1930s that an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) could be successfully treated by bathing patients in water containing minute amounts of fluoride. They had discovered nearly a century ago that fluoride blocked thyroid function. For the US government, long partnered with the pharmaceutical industry, to then force this same treatment on a nation of people with healthy thyroids under the lie that fluoride “prevents cavities in children,” is unconscionable. The Nuremberg Code of ethics pertaining to human experimentation labels it an act of crime, stating, “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” Today, 70% of the US is being forced to receive this thyroid-blocking chemical via their water without consent or medical monitoring for overdose, allergic reaction or blocked thyroid function. The benefits are being reaped by the largest of US industries: The pharmaceutical industry. Fluoride has created a nation of sufferi ng people seeking more drugs to treat blocked thyroids and fluoride toxicity. We might drink bottled water, but most of us cannot avoid the bathwater.
Deliberately damaging the thyroid will produce a plethora of symptoms affecting the entire human body from head to toe. Symptoms of thyroid damage and fluoride poisoning include weight gain, edema, kidney disease, kidney failure, hair loss, depression, aggression, aches, pains, skin problems, bone deformities (likely including “arthritis” and spontaneous fractures), sexual/erectile dysfunction, memory loss, weakness, fatigue, heart disease, irritability, cancer, digestive disorders including severe GERD as a result of swallowing fluoride, nausea, vomiting, visual problems, gum disease, “high cholesterol,” connective tissue damage, brittle teeth, wrinkles, premature aging, dehydration, and long, long after the whole body has been damaged, “cosmetic fluorosis” might finally show up in a tooth or two. “Cosmetic fluorosis” is usually the only sign of fluoride poisoning mentioned by fluoride promoters, while downplaying the rest of the signs as though their livelihoods depended upon it.
Lethal fluoride doses cause death to occur by “natural causes” such as cardiac arrest, or acute renal failure or (for those who believe that cancer is a “natural cause” of death), by cancer. Fluoride binds to and possibly mimics calcium, but fluoride is a liar. The heart cells utilize a perfect balance of calcium and magnesium and other natural substances in the body’s matrix to cause the heart to beat and then rest. Fluoride, bound to the calcium, confuses the normal functioning and cellular communication within the body, and causes arrhythmias.
The fluoride that is purchased by municipal waterworks and added into public drinking water is not even a “pharmaceutical grade” fluoride. It is primarily discarded waste, a slurry of toxins not wanted by the phosphate fertilizer mining corporations that sell it to waterworks. From there, it is then disposed of (sometimes by unskilled workers) into our drinking water. For those who have swallowed the propaganda that fluoride is “completely safe,” and is some kind of a “nutrient” that is good for us, there is news footage available of a recent fluoride spill that took place in Illinois. A Hazmat team in protective gear was called in to clean up the mess, but not before the fluoride began eating through the concrete driveway it had spilled upon.
This should leave little question as to why a 2005 study by the American Gastroenterological Association showed that there was a sharp increase in Barrett’s esophagus and GERD, and other reports show that adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, once rare, has now become one of the most frequently occurring cancers. Fluoride can eat its way through a titanium container. Fluoride is converted in the stomach into hydrofluoric acid, an acid so strong that it cannot be stored in a glass container because it will eat the glass. Fluoride, proven to block thyroid function, is not a substance we should be forced to drink, breathe, eat, and bathe in without our consent.
Fluoride promoters have utilized all seven propaganda techniques identified by the “Institute for Propaganda Analysis,” (est. 1937 and brought to an early end in the 1940s), including “Name-Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon” in order to keep the fluoride flowing here and creating medical problems. Mention an aversion to fluoride, and the promoters will more than likely make comments about “tinfoil hats,” or make a reference to the strange movie, “Dr. Strangelove.” They also refer to people opposed to being dosed with fluoride against their wills as “anties” as though attempting to paint a picture of opponents as confused old ladies. The one thing that fluoride promoters are incapable of doing, however, is engaging in a logical debate about fluoride. They cannot debate fluoride because they have no real facts or clinical evidence showing that fluoride “prevents cavities.” They merely repeat, as they have been repeating for over 60 years, the following mantra: “It is well-known that fluoride prevents cavities.”
If fluoride “prevented cavities” as the CDC and other government pharmaceutical branches imply, they would be shining a light on the Commonwealth of Kentucky. According to the NIH “Community Water Fluoridation Status by State” 2002 report (reportedly updated in March of 2010), the state of Kentucky ranks #1 in having the highest percentage of fluoridated water of all states in the US. According to Kentucky Oral/Dental Health, the state has received awards for achieving this feat. “The American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors have recognized Kentucky’s efforts.” If we were going to see water fluoridation in action and working as promised by the fluoride salesmen, we would have seen its miracles clearly happening on any given day in the gleaming smiles of our Kentucky neighbors. Instead we see something unexpected.
When the ADA’s and CDC’s exaggerated hoopla dies down, a check of the facts reveals that Kentucky is also ranked #1 in other areas not mentioned during the praising ceremonies. Kentucky ranks #1 in incidence of cancer in the USA, and it ranks at the top for having one of the worst dental health scores in the US. Despite all of its award-winning fluoridation, it has one of the worst rates of cavities in children, as well as complete toothlessness in adults. One must also wonder if the spontaneous fractures and tendon problems in the racehorses might be due to the fluoride in their drinking water. Horses drink many times more water than humans do.
Even more disturbing than the lie about the “benefits” of having “optimally fluoridated water,” is that the majority of physicians do not know how to treat fluoride poisoning, nor do they even know how to look for it or diagnose it. Due to the media, many people simply conclude that Americans are just fat and lethargic, everyone has heartburn so what else is new, arthritis is just bone aches and crippling deformities, fibromyalgia is a sign of malingering, and degenerative disk disease raises no eyebrows or questions as spines spontaneously collapse and disks bulge from sea to shining, oil-slicked sea. We are not adequately studying cause and effect at this time. Instead of treating symptoms with even more pharmaceuticals, we need to start looking for the cause of the symptoms.
Many physicians are unaware that in addition to the daily doses of fluoride their patients are receiving via water, air, dental products, and our fluoride-contaminated food, a growing number of prescription drugs are now fluorinated as well. Lipitor, for instance, is fluorinated and has been known to cause aches and pains, and according to the Lipitor website, can cause serious muscle problems resulting in kidney failure, as well as liver problems, edema, tendon problems, jaundice, nausea and GI problems. A number of patients are reporting memory loss, as well; however, this complaint has not yet become an “accepted” side effect. All of these complaints are, however , “accepted” symptoms of fluoride poisoning. High concentrations of fluoride can also be found in other unexpected items, such as tea, grapes and raisins, and some American wines contain too much fluoride to be sold in European markets.
The amount of fluoride constituting a “lethal dose” is not even known at this time due to disinformation and lack of appropriate study, nor is it known how long a lethal dose will take to finally kill the victim via organ failure or cancer. Most of the deliberate fluoride dosing is sub-lethal, thus allowing people to live out their lives without frank evidence that they are being chronically poisoned by a daily dose of fluoride. They will, however, live out their lives while suffering from the resulting, unexplained but now “commonly found” symptoms that their grandparents never had. They will desire lifelong medications for relief of these symptoms, and no one knows how many years the fluoride will shave off the life of each person being forced to take it.
June 2nd, 2011
By: Mary West
Are efforts to protect babies from fire exposing them to chemicals that could harm their health? A study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal, examined flame retardant chemicals found in dozens of baby products containing polyurethane foam: such as car seats, nursing pillows and changing pads. The findings showed that 80% of the products tested contained toxic chemicals: Bangor Daily News reports.
Researchers analyzed flame retardants from 102 samples, representing a broad spectrum of baby products from various locations around the country. The lead researcher, Dr. Heather Stapleton of Duke University, was surprised and concerned at the findings.
Four of the tested products contained a chemical PENTA, a neurotoxin banned in 12 U.S. states and 172 countries. Twenty-nine had chlorinated tris, a possible carcinogen which was banned from children’s pajamas due to health concerns in the 1970s. Animal studies have linked this chemical with cancers of the liver, kidney and brain. Sixteen products contained flame retardants. The Environmental Protection Agency has expressed concerns regarding the toxicity of these substances.
Part of the problem is that flame retardant chemicals are emitted from the polyurethane foam into the air. This means that a baby lying on a foam pad will be exposed through the skin, as well as through the act of breathing.
Concern over the findings is being expressed not only from the study’s authors, but from other quarters as well. Arlene Blum, Ph.D., a coauthor of the study, states that these chemicals are related to lower IQ, endocrine and thyroid disorders, and child development impairments. Dr. Linda Birnbaum, head of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, refers to the study as a wake up call. She explains that in addition to the cancer issue, the chemicals can also cause reproductive and neurological effects.
Some members of the business and industry community affected by the study have issued a response. One baby product manufacturer states that they use the chemicals to meet federal and state imposed flammability requirements. Chemical manufactures say the flame retardants are needed for fire safety benefits. This industry contends the study does not prove harm to babies because it fails to address exposure or risk.
Dr. Birnbaum concurs the investigation does not prove harm. She feels, however, that the focal issue should be to question why these chemicals are needed in baby products at all.
In the process of weighing fire safety against chemical exposure, Dr. Stapleton considers chemicals as the greater risk. According to Consumer Reports, Stapleton hopes that politicians and regulatory agencies will consider using alternative fillings or fabrics to provide fire resistant products without relying on these chemicals.
March 14th, 2011
Federal regulators are calling on Proctor & Gamble, and other manufacturers of denture adhesive products, to remove zinc from their denture cream due to a risk of zinc poisoning, which could cause users to suffer severe neurological injury.
In an FDA letter to all denture adhesive manufacturers sent out last week, the agency indicates that it has seen a growing number of reports of zinc poisoning from denture cream products, such as Fixodent and Super Poligrip.
The agency is calling on manufacturers to take a number of steps to remedy the denture adhesive problems, including the removal of zinc from the products or significant label changes to warn consumers.
According to the FDA, research indicates that the side effects of denture cream with zinc can include zinc toxicity and neurological damage, including symptoms of myeloneuropathy of the extremities and blood dyscrasias.
Myeloneuropathy is neurological damage often caused by copper deficiency. It can manifest as tremors and weakness in the extremities and difficulty walking. Blood dyscrasia is a catch-all term for unspecified blood disorders, usually due to abnormal material in the blood.
The FDA letter says that those most at risk include people who use excessive amounts of denture cream to address ill-fitting dentures.
The two primary manufacturers of denture adhesive with zinc in the United States are Proctor & Gamble, which makes Fixodent, and GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Super Poligrip.
GlaxoSmithKline already agreed to reformulate Super Poligrip to remove zinc last year. However, Proctor & Gamble has denied that zinc in their denture cream products is causing any problems, and continues to sell Fixodent denture adhesive with zinc.
The FDA said that a number of factors may be contributing to the reports of denture adhesive zinc poisoning, including the excessive overuse of cream by some consumers and labels that do not clearly warn about the presence of zinc or the risk of problems.
The FDA made four recommendations to manufacturers to address the denture adhesive zinc poisoning problems, including:
- Performing a risk analysis of their labeling.
- Conducting a human factors study to assess consumer understanding of labeling and potential misuse of their products.
- Modifying the labeling to clearly indicate that the denture cream contains zinc and defining maximum safe usage in clear terms.
- Removing zinc from denture cream products and replacing it with something that has less health risks for consumers.
- The FDA is requiring all denture adhesive manufacturers to acknowledge that they have received the letter and also reminded the manufacturers that they are required to report adverse events to the agency.
A growing number of Fixodent lawsuits and Super Poligrip lawsuits have already been filed against Proctor & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline for allegedly failing to adequately warn that their denture cream contains zinc or that excessive use of the product may cause severe and debilitating neurological damage when too much zinc enters the body.
According to allegations raised in the lawsuits, increased levels of zinc in the body can deplete copper levels, causing a condition known as hypocupremia, which is known to increase the risk of significant neurological problems that can leave users with permanent and debilitating physical injuries, such as neuropathy, numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, loss of sensation, loss of balance, paralysis and difficulty breathing.
Super Poligrip settlements have reportedly been reached in most of the lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline, and the first Fixodent trial in the federal denture adhesive litigation is expected to take place later this year.