The trash. That’s where the FDA’s newest press release on homeopathic teething tablets found itself. In fact, I had such a hard time keeping track of the circular reasoning and inconsistencies in their release, that I had to read it twice. Then I laughed. Then I cried (but mostly laughed). And then, I felt the need to set the record straight because a whole lot of moms are going to toss-up and freak out over a whole lot of nothing.
As a mom of five, I like to make decisions based on facts, science, and common sense. The last thing I’m going to do is throw out something that works for my kids and my life (and quite frankly, millions of other parents since 1945) because of some off-the-cuff propaganda that’s got an agenda.
So, before you do something crazy and throw out your lifeline of “homeopathy doesn’t work and it’s dangerous” teething tablets, allow me the pleasure of breaking down the stupidest press release I’ve ever read, from an organization I wouldn’t trust the cat I don’t have with (let alone my children):
Red Flag #1
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that homeopathic teething tablets and gels may pose a risk to infants and children. They didn’t say what these risks are, because … let’s be clear, they admitted in their statement that they have no idea. So, they planted the idea that a group of symptoms that could be attributed to any number of things – could be caused by your child’s teething tablets.
“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.”
Clever phrasing, but does that mean homeopathic teething tablets cause any of these things? No, it does not. Did the FDA cite any scientific study to support its position? No, it didn’t. Was its statement based on facts and science – the “gold” standard the FDA supposedly adheres itself to? Of course not … unless you count the unsubstantiated report(s) that made up the a prior safety alert from 2010, forming the basis of whatever it is you call this.
That’s SIX years ago people. A safety alert from 2010 that was so legit, they never got around to looking into it until now.
Red Flag #2
The FDA’s original beef was that these teething tablets are manufactured to contain a small amount of belladonna, a substance that can cause harm at larger doses; yet the amount of belladonna in a teething tablet is minuscule and there is NO scientific link between these tablets and seizures, just like there’s no scientific link between staring at an ice cube, and turning into Elsa from Frozen.
According to Hyland (which knows far more about homeopathy than the FDA), a 10-pound kid would have to ingest more than a dozen bottles of teething tablets to experience even a symptom like dry mouth. There’s 0.0000000000002 mg of belladonna alkaloids in a baby teething tablet (about two trillionths of a milligram in each tablet), which is thousands of times below what is commonly prescribed in conventional medicines, like anti-spasmodics.
So let me get this straight, I’m supposed to freak out over two trillionths of a milligram of belladonna and not think twice about injecting hazardous wastes, carcinogens, and neurotoxins at far greater levels, on a schedule that has never been tested for safety or efficacy, into my children?
I can buy Tylenol (which the FDA was also wrong about) like it aint’ no thing, drown my kids in antibiotics, and give them water to drink each morning with a side of poison (fluoride), but I should throw out my teeny, tiny, never-been-proven-harmful teething tablets? Say what?
Speaking of water, do you know what else can cause harm if you take too much? Some good, quality, H2O.
Red Flag #3
While we’re talking about the FDA trying to pull a fast one, do you know what is linked to seizures during those terrible teething years? Vaccines. I can’t make this stuff up. It’s all right there in the studies, package inserts nobody reads, and in the database that stores all of the reported adverse events the FDA pretends doesn’t exist (because they’re super busy trying to create one for homeopathic baby teething tablets). You know what else can cause seizures? Fevers caused by the illnesses that vaccines induce.
It’s ironic that they’re training parents to think “teething tablets” when they witness a seizure, dry mouth, or constipation, instead of the most obvious causes like vaccines, vaccine-induced fevers, and dehydration. Yes, the rise in childhood disorders has been solved: It was the teething tablets all along … or at least it will be since they’re finally testing samples of a formula that Hyland actually CHANGED in 2011 (since the cited 2010 safety alert) to “manufacture” a link that doesn’t exist.
They already know they won’t find anything suspicious, which is why they hurt the bottom line of a successful company and scared millions of mothers everywhere away from something that is safe when used properly and might actually work.
Fear … it gets us every time.
Red Flag #4
And let’s not forget, the FDA made the bold claim that teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies, while giving no alternatives, straight up stated they haven’t evaluated the teething tablets before literally destroying a business and the sleep-filled nights of infants and mothers everywhere, and made it oh-so-easy to report a potential adverse reaction to a teething tablet. But that’s red flag #5.
Is there a new pharmaceutical something in the pipeline to help teething babies? You tell me.
Red Flag #5
The FDA practically begged physicians to file a report for all things teething tablets. Seriously, they give you the form, several ways to submit it, and a fax number. They practically filled it out for you. If that’s not suspect of a witch hunt … I don’t know what is.
If a parent brings their kid in for seizures or any other symptom, the first question should be: “Was your child recently vaccinated?” This makes the most logical sense since homeopathy has been used for over 200 years and is associated with almost zero side-effects, unlike vaccines.
Red Flag #6
The FDA acts like homeopathy is some rogue version of woo, but it’s actually regulated by its own agency. Homeopathic products have to comply with the FDA’s labeling requirements (21 CFR §201), must be manufactured in accordance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (21 CFR §210 and §211), must register with the FDA, and manufacturers must comply with FDA inspections and report any serious reactions as a matter of course.
It’s funny that the press release called out Hyland for indicating that their product is intended to relieve teething symptoms in children, because their own agency requires that OTC homeopathic medicines list a therapeutic indication on the product label. Hello? Anyone?
Should you throw out your teething tablets?
I can’t tell you what to do, but I’m not throwing out my teething tablets (or my essential oils, which have zero medicinal properties whatsoever). I’ve read Hyland’s own 411 on their teething tablets and I’m not a fan of pretending that a company is guilty of a crime it hasn’t committed or that it’s product is dangerous when the evidence doesn’t support that.
I expect a little something more than an issued press release that tells me to dispose of something that may cause nothing, based on a six-year-old hunch that it could cause something it doesn’t, and a solicitation to submit a report if my child has a seizure, so they can manufacture a connection to take the heat off of what we all know is actually causing them.
I saw right through that press release. Chances are, if you read it twice … you will too.