Consumer Health Digest #16-37
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
October 2, 2016
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.
FDA warns against using homeopathic teething products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that homeopathic teething tablets and gels may pose a risk to infants and children. [FDA warns against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels. FDA news release, Sept 30, 2016] The FDA recommends that consumers stop using these products and dispose of any in their possession. Homeopathic teething tablets and gels, distributed by CVS, Hyland's, and possibly others, and sold in retail stores and online. In a news release, the agency stated:
- The agency is not aware of any proven health benefit of products that are labeled to relieve teething symptoms in children.
- Consumers should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething tablets or gels.
- The FDA is analyzing adverse events reported to the agency regarding homeopathic teething tablets and gels since 2010 when it issued a safety alert and recall about homeopathic teething tablets. The agency is also testing product samples.
The FDA is evaluating its regulatory framework for homeopathy. Dr. Stephen Barrett has recommended that (a) no health claims be permitted for homeopathic products unless they are approved through the FDA's standard drug approval process and (b) that the FDA should advise consumers not to buy homeopathic products. The current action indicates that such a warning is legally feasible.
Trump supported anti-antivaccination group. The Daily Beast has reported that in 2010 the Donald J. Trump Foundation donated $10,000 to Generation Rescue, a group that promotes dubious treatments, refers to questionable practitioners, opposes standard vaccination recommendations, and insists that vaccines are a major cause of autism. [Mak T. Donald Trump charity gave to Jenny McCarthy's anti-vaxx crusade. The Daily Beast, Sept 30, 2016] Donald Trump himself has also claimed that vaccines have caused many cases of autism. The Trump Foundation's 2010 tax return identifies Donald Trump as the foundation's president and his children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, as its directors. Donald Trump himself has claimed repeatedly that vaccines have caused many cases of autism.
Chiropractic ad scheme detailed. Chirobase has posted the details of an advertising package marketed during the 1960s and 1970s by Share International, which, for several decades, was chiropractic's leading practice-building organization. [Barrett S. Share International's fraudulent ad system. Chirobase, Sept 25, 2016] The package, which sold for $19.95, included 107 newspaper ads that were said to have been used effectively by successful chiropractors. The overall message was that problems as diverse as diarrhea, digestive disorders, flu, gallbladder problems, glandular disorders, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney infections, paralysis, and ulcers were caused by spinal misalignments and curable by spinal adjustments. Many of the ads contained a case history. The instructions for the system stated: "Re-type each ad on your own stationery for presentation to your editor. This would indicate that they are your own creations, and that the cases mentioned, conditions discussed, etc., are from your own files." Blatant disease-related advertising claims are considerably less common today. Share International was founded by James W. Parker, D.C., whose colorful background is also described on Chirobase.
This page was posted on October 3, 2016.