It seems like every time I open up my computer, another children's homeopathic product is getting recalled. This time, the products are from the company Raritan. The recall notice states that
- "The U.S. FDA has tested some products and recovered varying levels of belladonna extract content from what is declared on the label."
Varying levels.... but no information as to how much or little was in the product. Enough to kill an infant... who knows?
The products affected are
- CVS Homeopathic Infants' Teething Tablet 135 tablets
- CVS Homeopathic Kids' Ear Relief Liquid 0.85 fl. oz.
- Kids Relief Homeopathic Ear Relief Oral Liquid 0.85 fl. oz.
Let's take a closer look at the listed ingredients in one of these products - the Kids Relief Homeopathic Ear Relief Oral Liquid. Here is the panel taken from the Kids Relief website.
This compound was written up on the National Center for Homeopathy Website in an article called "Ferrum phosphoricum - Still vague after all these years," written by the homeopath Miranda Castro. She writes,
- "Ferrum phosphoricum is a vague little remedy—a remedy with so few indications that it is prescribed on that basis alone—for the first stage of an acute illness with a fever. I write as a British homeopath (Brits consider themselves Europeans now) who gave up on Ferrum phosphoricum long ago, after prescribing it at the beginning of a few acute cases for fevers without any other symptoms (as indicated) and getting no response. It happens that I also witnessed some apparently nasty results in three or four patients of a colleague of mine. Simple fevers developed into much more serious complaints that needed hospitalization and heavy, prolonged medical interventions to save these patients' lives. I decided not to use Ferrum phosphoricum anymore—just in case."
- This is, essentially, red pepper or chili pepper. The extract, called capsaicin, is also the ingredient that is what makes pepper spray hurt.
- Unlike most homeopathic products that are derived from plants, pyrogenium is prepared by mixing lean beef and water together, and allowing it to sit for three weeks. This is to let the meat decompose. Do you really need to read any further? In what world does it seem ok to place something that was made through the process of meat rotting into your child's ear?
- This is what it sounds like - arsenic.
Belladonna (This is the ingredient that was found to have varying levels in the homeopathic remedies.)
- Belladonna, also called 'deadly nightshade,' is a poisonous plant that eaten in small amounts can be lethal. From the NIH website, "Belladonna is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It contains chemicals that can be toxic. Side effects can include dry mouth, enlarged pupils, blurred vision, red dry skin, fever, fast heartbeat, inability to urinate or sweat, hallucinations, spasms, mental problems, convulsions, and coma."
- sodium benzoate
- This is included on the list of 'unacceptable ingredients for Cleaning products from Whole Foods.
- potassium sorbate
- A harmless preservative to stop the growth of fungus. However, if you listen to Fooducate (you shouldn't) you will learn that it can also alter your DNA.
So, instead of using Tylenol, because it is too conventional, too FDA regulated, too 'medicine-y', supporters of homeopathic treatments would prefer to give their children something that is completely unregulated and contains some level (you'll never know how much) of the ingredients that they will not allow in their cleaning products.
Honestly, the real question is, how are there still are any more of these products left on the shelves to be recalled?