Here's a posting from "The Love We Make Blog" (http://thelovewemake.blogspot.com/) followed by my comments about a front page article in the NY Times today:

From The Love We Make:
Today on the front page of the NY Times there's an article entitled " F.D.A. Panel Urges Ban on Medicine for Child Colds" http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/20/washington/20fda.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
This article is about banning ineffectual and possibly damaging over-the-counter cold medicine for chidren under the age of 6.
Here are some exerpts;
" The panel found there was no proof that the medicines eased cold symptoms in children, while there are rare reports that they have caused serious harm."

"If put into practice, the ban could transform pharmacy shelves and change the way parents cope with the most common illness in young children."

"The panel largely rejected these arguments, voting overwhelmingly that there is no evidence that over-the-counter pediatric cold medicines have any effect on symptoms and that more studies must be done. Still, nine panel members voted against an outright ban in children ages 2 to 5, arguing that doctors and parents need something for ill children, even if it has no proven effect."

Why is this even debatable? Why if these cold medicines have not been proven to be helpful, and could even have some negative effects on our children would we allow them to be sold, let alone continue to give them to our children? What does that mean, "this could change the way parents cope with their child's illness"? I think the parents that are giving their children ineffectual, possibly damaging drugs just so they can "cope" is a much bigger and more serious issue in this country. What are we saying when we say " doctors and parents need something for ill children, even if it has no proven effect"? Are we talking about a placebo? Why not give your child a glass of organic juice, at least it will give them vitamins to help with fighting off infections.
I know that the big pharmaceutical companies need to keep raking in the money to pay their CEO's ("Parents spend around $500 million every year buying nearly 95 million boxes containing 3.8 billion doses of medicineæ") but come on PARENTS if you need something to help you ""cope " when your child has a cold, try some meditation, exercising or psychotherapy, it'll have much more lasting effects and won't damage your children's bodies in the process, hey it may even help the whole family.

Peter's comments:
It is becoming clearer and clearer that one day the doings of the pharmaceutical industry and the mainstream medical establishment will be seen as the greatest scandal of the Twentieth Century and early Twenty-First Century. What is so astounding is that it is not already seen as the greatest scandal. The article mentioned by Mary was on the front page of the NY Times, and still it will barely register with so many people. Many such articles have been printed in the media over the last few decades about the ineffective and often harmful consequences of prescribing drugs to children, yet the march goes on.
Why is this so? Because so many parents are emotionally children themselves. Because so many parents want there to be "magic potions" given out by wizards and good witches like the ones from the fairytales of their childhoods rather than have to do the painstaking research and application of natural remedies and nutrition needed to keep their children healthy. Problem is - there is no magic and the only wizards in the drug business are wizards of marketing, lobbying and advertising.

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