June 25, 2009
The numbers are staggering.
Approximately 30 million – one third – of all American children have one (or more) of these disorders – Autism, Allergies, ADHD, and Asthma.
Know as the 4-A disorders, the numbers of those affected continue to grow with little public outcry. What does the future hold for our little ones? Life in a bubble?
Consider these statistics:
- Austism has increased from approximately 1 in every 2,500 to 10,000 births to one in every 150-166 births over just the past 20 years. This is a 15-fold to 60-fold increase; 1500% to 6000%.
- In the US, one in every 150 children is affected by autism. In New Jersey the rate of autism is even higher – one in every 94 and one in 60 boys is affected.
- The lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism.
- One in 11 children struggles with asthma, making it the leading serious chronic illness of children in the U.S.
September 23, 2008
Researchers from New Zealand said a study suggests a link between acetaminophen and the development of childhood asthma and allergies.
Using data from more than 200,000 children in 31 countries, researchers found infants given acetaminophen-based pain relievers for fever were 46 percent more likely to develop asthma by age 6 or 7, ABC News reported Friday. Children given acetaminophen-based painkillers by the time they turned 6 were three times as likely to have severe asthma symptoms.
The researchers, however, said the findings may have been confounded by other factors. Lead researcher Dr. Richard Beasley of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand in Wellington said parents should continue to treat their child’s high fevers with acetaminophen.
U.S. doctors also warned parents against throwing away their packages of Children’s Tylenol. “Misrepresenting this will cause unnecessary panic,” Peter Catalano, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., told ABC News. “The science is absent.”
A large study by the Dutch government has found that children born to women who ate nuts or peanuts, or items made from them, such as peanut butter, daily while pregnant were 50% more likely to wheeze, have difficulty breathing or have asthma diagnosed by a doctor compared with children whose mothers rarely or never ate nuts or nut products while pregnant.
The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine this month, is part of a larger, ongoing research initiative, the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy study, which is investigating how allergies develop in children and how they can be prevented.
Another finding: The odds of developing one particular asthma symptom — wheezing –were reduced in children whose mothers ate fruit daily during pregnancy, but the design of the study made it difficult for the researchers to conclusively link the two in a cause-effect relationship.
Nearly 4,000 expectant mothers, recruited into the study more than a decade ago, completed a dietary questionnaire on how often they ate fish, eggs, milk and milk products, nuts and nut products, fresh fruit and vegetables. Researchers followed up on the women’s offspring at 3 months old and then once a year until the children were 8, gathering information about the children’s diets, allergies and asthma symptoms.
Aside from nuts, none of the other dietary components appeared to affect the children’s likelihood of developing asthma or asthma-related symptoms. The food the children ate also appeared to have no bearing on their risk of asthma. Only the children whose mothers ate nuts or nut products every day while pregnant were more likely to experience wheezing, shortness of breath or other asthma symptoms. Read the rest of this entry »
April 3, 2008
- Approximately 6.9 million Americans are allergic to seafood, and 3.3 million are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts .
- About 3.1 million children in the U.S. have food allergies. – According to studies conducted by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), peanut allergies doubled in children between 1997 and 2002.
- In the U.S., food is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.
- There is presently no known cure for food allergies.
- Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction. And allergens don’t have to be ingested to cause a reaction; skin contact or inhalation also can trigger it. According to research conducted at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York, people should wait at least four hours after consuming a food allergen before kissing someone who is allergic to that food.
- A FAAN review of food allergy fatalities found that most of the people had never had a severe allergic reaction until the one that caused their death.
- Scientists don’t know why allergies are increasing.
In an effort to help people avoid the health risks posed by food allergens, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. The law applies to all foods regulated by FDA, both domestic and imported, that were labeled on or after January 1, 2006. (FDA regulates all foods except meat, poultry, and certain egg products.)
Before this law, the labels of foods made from two or more ingredients were required to list all ingredients by their common, or usual, names. The names of some ingredients, however, do not clearly identify their source.
Now, the labels must clearly identify the source of all ingredients that are — or are derived from — the eight most common food allergens. As a result, food labels help allergic consumers to identify offending foods or ingredients so they can more easily avoid them. Read the rest of this entry »
Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest and largest cooperative of organic family farmers, strongly opposes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ruling that food from cloned animals and their offspring is safe.
“Organic Valley farmers work in harmony with nature; we don’t seek to alter it,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer for Organic Valley. “Organic Valley and its meat brand, Organic Prairie, will never allow the use of cloned animals on our farms and in our products. And, we assume the USDA will never change its organic standards to allow for cloned animals. Read the rest of this entry »
January 5, 2008
Almost 20 to 30 percent of the general population has allergies, and for one to two percent of the population their allergic reactions can be life-threatening. In a new study by Dr. Peter Vadas, director of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, a new blood test will identify those people who are at risk of severe or fatal anaphylactic reactions and potentially save lives.
“This study has shown that patients with low levels of an enzyme known as PAF-AH had severe or fatal anaphylactic reactions to a range of allergic triggers, such as foods, drugs and stinging insects. Patients with normal levels of this protective enzyme had only mild reactions. The study has also identified at new chemical which appears to play a key role in causing the severe and life-threatening manifestations of allergic reactions” says Dr. Peter Vadas.
The study was led by Vadas in Canada’s only anaphylaxis clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital. His body of research covers life threatening allergic reactions, immune system disorders and a focus on what makes people prone to fatal allergies.
Vadas’ latest study appeard in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 3, 2008. The test could save the lives by alerting many people who are currently unaware that their allergies could be fatal.
October 26, 2007
A famous French political thinker once said that the public would rather believe a simple lie than a complex truth.
The truth behind genetic engineering is extremely complex. It has been used for decades, but it is only in the last ten years that neurotoxins have been engineered into our food supply. No one has studied the long term health implications of children consuming foods containing neurotoxins, novel proteins and allergens.
Though to look back over the last ten years, you quickly remember that ten years ago, we didn’t have to worry about sending a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into school with our children; we didn’t have to medicate our eight year olds to get them through the school day; and the movie, Rain Man, was all we knew of autism.
Today, at least 1 out of every 17 children under the age of three has a food allergy with at least 5 million American children suffering from this condition (though these statistics are from 2002, over five years old). Read the rest of this entry »