Resist Giving Prescription Drugs to Your Child Even if Your Doctor Recommends it
January 14, 2011
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More than a quarter of children and teens in the United States are taking a medication on a regular basis. Close to seven percent are on two or more prescription drugs.
Prescribing medications to children can cause problems; many of them have not had their effects on children researched.
Even in ones that have, the consequences of using them over the course of a lifetime is usually unknown.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
"...[C]hildren and teens are ...taking a wide variety of ...medications once considered only to be for adults, from statins to diabetes pills and sleep drugs, according to figures provided to The Wall Street Journal by IMS Health, a research firm.
Prescriptions for antihypertensives in people age 19 and younger could hit 5.5 million this year if the trend though September continues... Unhealthy diets and lack of exercise among children ...fuel the use of some treatments, such as those for hypertension."
Meanwhile, there's an ongoing discussion about which is more dangerous: alternative medicine or prescription drugs?
A recent survey led found four deaths between 2001 and 2003 that were associated with use of alternative treatments in Australia.
However, according to health and nutrition expert Dr. Gary Null, deaths associated with use of dietary supplements or alternative medicine are extremely rare compared to the death toll from the medical errors and prescription drugs.
Yet despite the well-documented dangers of prescription drugs and a painful recession, drug companies still represent the nation's third most profitable business sector in the U.S.
How do they do that?
At least in part by cheating the government, misrepresenting science, and bribing doctors. Writing in AlterNet, Martha Rosenberg lists 15 ways the drug companies lie, break the law, or risk your health for profit.
Here are a few of them:
- Astroturf Patients
They create fake patient advocacy groups to lobby for drug company interests. These front groups often push the FDA to approve an expensive drug that has acceptable, cheaper alternatives.
- Cheating the Government
Drug companies are a top defrauder of the federal government. They've been hit with $14.8 billion in wrongdoing settlements in the last five years – but that's still cheaper than going about things the legal way.
- Dangerous Trials
Presiding over clinical trials can make a doctor thousands per patient – and sometimes they compromise patient safety just to get at that money.
- Deceptive Trials
Trials that only determine that a drug is "not worse" than another one can skew results. And some research deliberately skewed, with results decided upon before the trial is ever conducted.
To read the other ways in which the drug companies rip you off, see Rosenberg's article.
What Are GMOs?
From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.
GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.
Help Support GMO Labeling
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.
Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.
The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.
Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve
Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.
Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.