Food Additives And ADHD Drugs Are Destroying The Health of Our Children
Dangerous food additives are creating a toxic environment for our children's health spurring allergies and ADHD. To add fuel to the fire, conventional medicine is addressing the symptoms with ineffective drugs which are essentially useless in the long-term.
One mother is leading the movement to raise awareness of allergens in food.
When Robyn O'Brien served her children scrambled eggs one day for breakfast early in 2006, the mother of four had no clue it would change her life drastically and forever.
"I had made scrambled eggs and put them in front of all four kids and decided to put them in front of the baby," the 36-year-old said. "I put them on her highchair and she didn't want them, fussed and pushed them away. And I didn't think anything of it."
But 9-month-old Tory's aversion to the breakfast staple had little to do with taste, as O'Brien soon found out.
"I put her down for a nap. A few minutes later and there was some mother instinct in me because I went in to check on her for some reason, which I rarely do, and her face was swollen shut," O'Brien said.
A life-threatening reaction to eggs caused grotesque swelling of the infant's face and instantly shook O'Brien to her core. She said her daughter's severe response prompted her to take a closer look at what she was feeding all of her children and to educate herself on food allergies.
"I did not know what was happening. I was so unfamiliar with food allergy and what a reaction looked like," said O'Brien, who lives in Colorado. "That's really when my education began."
Learning About Additives
What O'Brien soon learned was that artificial dyes are used in sugary cereals, candies, sodas and other goodies marketed toward children. Sometimes artificial dyes are even used to simulate the colors of fruits and vegetables.
What further disturbed O'Brien was the fact that U.S. consumers regularly ingest the additives in their food, but they have been removed from the same foods in some other countries.
In fact, Mars Inc. responded to pressure from the British government last year by removing artificial colors from its well-known Starburst and Skittles candies sold in the United Kingdom, after a British study bolstered a hypothesis that such additives increase hyperactivity in children.
Food industry giant Kraft Foods Inc. also did the same thing in early 2007 with its British version of Lunchables.
Whereas British consumers have revolted against artificial food dyes in the U.K., Americans haven't been as vocal as their counterparts. That is something O'Brien hopes to change.
"My goal is simply to have the same value placed on the lives of the American children," O'Brien said.
Mom on a Mission
O'Brien even created a Web site, which she launched on Mother's Day 2006, to serve as a parental resource and forum on children's food allergies.
The site is specific with its concerns.
"At AllergyKids, our concern is that industry funding ties between the agri-chemical companies and pediatric allergists who have served on the FDA 'generally recognized as safe' panels and testified to the safety of MSG, aspartame, glutamate and genetically engineered proteins, may prevent full disclosure of leading global research highlighting a ban of these ingredients in Europe, Australia, the UK and other developed countries in an effort to protect children," the site says.
O'Brien even created a symbol a green stop sign with an exclamation point in the center to identify a child with food allergies. It can be put on lunch bags, wristbands and even shoes.
"My goal now is to say, 'OK, this is what's happening. Let's inspire other mothers to take control so that our children can benefit like the children around the world,'" O'Brien said.
In her own life, O'Brien has gotten strict about what she feeds her children and encourages others to do what she has done: Throw out as much non-organic processed food as they can afford to. Also, avoid anything that's genetically modified, artificially created or raised with hormones and don't eat food with ingredients you are unable to pronounce.
"I thought, 'Well, I want to cook like the moms in Europe and avoid these chemical additives and see if that makes a difference in my children's health and behavior.' And so we did," O'Brien said. "We moved from the tubes of blue yogurt to regular yogurt and we started mixing honey into it. "
Not everyone in her family was happy about the changes.
"I encountered major resistance from my boys," O'Brien said. "They loved that blue yogurt and it was easy and it was convenient, but to see the dramatic improvement in my boys especially as we cleaned out their diets it was amazing. It was incredibly inspiring. They slept better; they were able to concentrate in school. Their behavior improved."
The Allergies-Additives Connection
Two recent British studies found that certain food dyes, as well as the common preservative sodium benzoate, may have an adverse effect on some children's behavior. Researchers said the increase in ADHD diagnoses could be partly to blame on the preservative.
"It can affect their focus, their concentration. They become more easily distractible, become more impulsive. I think we're looking at a whole population of kids with skewed immune systems," said Dr. Kenneth Bock, who wrote a book that supports the theory that food additives could lead to hyperactivity in children.
A Southampton Study in the UK showed that additives cause hyperactivity in children within an hour after consumption. Food additives, especially the artificial colors are made from coal tar derivatives and synthetic chemicals. Within an hour of ingestion, hyperactive behavior is evident.
ADHD Drugs Don't Work
It was a team of American scientists researching what is called the "Multi-Modal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD -- MTA for short, who found that ADHD drugs are useless over long-term use. The drugs used to treat ADHD such as Ritalin and Concerta are ineffective treatment methodolgies which are constantly promoted by conventional medicine. They have no benefits whatsoever after three years and even though they may show some short-term benefits depending on who is watching, and depending on their judgment of the child's behavior, the truth is there is no long-term benefit whatsoever.
They found that these drugs stunt the growth of children. "They were not growing as much as other children in terms of both their height and their weight," said the report's co-author, Prof. William Pelham from the University of Buffalo. "I think we exaggerated the beneficial impact of medication in the first study," he added in reference to a study they did a few years ago where they declared that these drugs were helping children.
"We had thought that children medicated longer would have better outcomes. That did not happen to be the case. The children had a substantial decrease in their growth rate," he continued. The second point was that there were no benefits to children taking these drugs whatsoever.
What they did not say in the results of this study is that the same drugs also stunt the growth of the children's brains. MRI brain scans later proved that children on ADHD medications had brains that were three years behind schedule in development. 80% of the children who were looked at with MRI scans were on ADHD medications.
Children taking stimulants as a treatment for ADHD are also 20 percent more likely to visit a doctor with heart-related symptoms, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida and published in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers examined the records on 55,000 children between the ages of 3 and 20 who had undergone treatment for ADHD using central nervous system stimulants between 1994 and 2004. Their health profiles were compared with those of nearly two million other children in the Florida Medicaid database, making the current study the largest ever on the safety of ADHD drugs.
The Pharmaceutical Credo: Sell, Sell, Sell
This is what the ADHD industry is like. It is as if they have to carry on this outrageous lie, and they cannot really tell the truth because then the whole house of cards would collapse and everybody would realize this is all one giant fraud.
They cannot tell the truth so they have to keep coming up with new lies to try to market this to more people. First, it was just a children's disorder. Then the drug companies realized they could sell this same speed drug to adults. Children are only a small part of the total market.
They have to keep pushing these drugs onto more children. They have to keep those parents in a state of fear. That's how they sell more drugs. They have to keep people believing in this fictitious disease. That's the only way they are going to make money. This is an industry that makes money by exploiting the bodies of children, and the evidence is very clear.
Even the NIH is now saying that these drugs stunt the growth of children. That is a scientific fact announced by a mainstream medical research organization. This is not fringe science. This is not alternative medicine. This is not conjecture on the part of some person who has an axe to grind with psychiatry. This is mainstream medicine announcing that these drugs stunts the growth of children.
Flawed Children or Flawed System?
The Multi-Modal Treatment Study's co-author is Professor William Pelham at the University of Buffalo. He is the one who found out that these drugs do not help children at all in the long run. He says, "In the short run, medication will help the child behave better. In the long run, it will not and that information should be made very clear to parents."
Dr. Tim Kendall, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (the person who is working on some new guidelines about ADHD for the NHS) says, "A generous understanding would be to say that doctors have reached the point where they do not know what else to offer."
He says, "I hope we will be able to make recommendations that will give people a comprehensive approach to treatment…" there is that word "treatment" again. He continues, "and that will advise about what teachers might be able to do within the classroom when they are trying to deal with children who have difficult problems of this kind. I think the important thing is we have a comprehensive approach that does not focus on just one type of treatment."
One mother is leading the movement to raise awareness of allergens in food.