Credibility duel: Hyland's and the FDA

Making the news in the holistic health-care world this week is the recall of Hyland's Teething Tablets.

First, the chuckle: It's FDA-approved to use Botox (a neurotoxin, yes?) to treat certain illness, but it's FDA-banned to use a homeopathic (natural, yes?) to treat a different issue?

Second, the concern: Understanding the questions that have been raised about the manufacturing inconsistencies, I still find the language of the FDA release and Q&A nearly as much cause for concern as the issue itself.

Viewing the statements from the company about its "voluntary" recall, there seems to be a major disconnect between the fundamental language in the respective pieces. Witness: "The FDA has not evaluated Hyland’s Teething Tablets for safety or efficacy" and "homeopathic medicines are regulated as drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as required in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act." Likewise, "Adverse events have been reported but the FDA has said that a conclusive link has not been determined" versus "FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in children taking this product that are consistent with belladonna toxicity."

So is the FDA recommending my family discard a product with a (anecdotal) track record of success in our use because of ... hearsay? Has the FDA evaluated the product or not? Given the small quantity of the substance at issue in the product, what range of inconsistency in quality control has been found? Are we talking about a level that can cause this toxicity? The company denies this ("After in-depth analysis, a comprehensive review of the company’s adverse event report log, and more than 85 years of safe usage, the company is confident that Hyland’s Teething Tablets are safe for infants and toddlers.") but the FDA offers no specificity in its statements and openly states that it has not conducted a safety evaluation of the product itself.

Manufacturing issues are no laughing matter. But neither is a governmental insistence on a product ban (because that is what this amounts to) without concrete evidence of the danger of the product. Would the public not have been better served by an evaluation of the safety of the (inconsistent) product and a demand that the company fix its manufacturing process, possibly even requiring a hold on further manufacturing until satisfaction is achieved? The screaming subjectivity of the first article linked above may not be the fairest portrayal of the situation. But the entire affair certainly reeks of what I have come to think of as Big Pharma as Big Brother.

Better safe than sorry, or another case of Big Pharma's influence-creep?

Freedom for Family Wellness Conference

I know—it's been quite a while since I've blogged.  Emma's first birthday has come and gone!  I've had blog posts in the works for several months now but just haven't had the time, energy or will to complete any of them!

Until now.  I spent the weekend at an amazing conference—I'm giving my mind, body and soul a reboot, and so, I'm rebooting my blog as well.  We spent three nights in Reston, Va., at the Freedom for Family Wellness Summit.  I had the chance to see some amazing people speak—Peggy O'Mara, editor-in-chief of Mothering magazine, Ina May Gaskin, Midwife Extraordinaire, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Joseph Dispenza, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Jeanne Ohm, Barbara Loe Fisher, Dr. Larry Palevsky and many more!  I attended the conference with a couple friends and our family's chiropractors!  I spent the weekend surrounded by chiropractors, doulas, birth educators and fellow parents.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by so much positive energy.  I came home feeling like a whole new person and ready to start a movement (our homework assignment assigned by Dr. Guy Riekeman, president of Life University).

Here are just a few key points that are fresh in my mind from the weekend.

  • A memory without the emotional charge is wisdom gained.
  • When you are having a negative thought, just whisper to yourself, "cancel, cancel."
  • Take a moment every day to compliment yourself in the mirror.
  • Time spent in nature, among the trees, will do us all some good!
  • Your birth and first year really, truly forms the person you are, believe it or not! 
  • 95% of our actions are controlled by our bodies and 5% our conscious mind.
  • It takes ONE person to start a movement!
I'm not really sure what "my movement" will be.  However,  I now have some personal goals I've set for myself, which include reading 15 minutes per day and making time to blog and journal. Here's a short list of a few books that I'd like to read in the next year.  They were all written by speakers of the summit OR recommended over the course of the weekend.  (They are in no particular order!  Some I have bought and some I still need to acquire!  I'll be adding to the list as well!)

  1. A Quiet Place: Essays on Life And Family (Peggy O'Mara)
  2. Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (Dr. Joe Dispenza)
  3. Magical Child (Joseph Chilton Pierce)
  4. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (Nathaniel Branden)