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Inform Yourself About Cannabis & Join The Movement That’s Saving Lives

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We want to be healthy. We want our children to be healthy.

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We want to prevent disease, and we surely want to treat disease compassionately. We want nutritionally complete food and we want safe and effective medicine. Well, where do we all start?

Before we go any further here, let’s be clear, we’re talking about the responsible use of cannabis for parents, our children, and the children of the future. We are talking about the lack of access to safe medicine.

Let’s start with the Jamaican study.

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In Jamaica cannabis is culturally acceptable and considered to be a safe and effective way to relax and relieve stress, as well a natural medicine. A controlled study was done comparing the health of babies born from a group of women who were smoking and consuming cannabis in a tea and a group of women that were not using cannabis during pregnancy. The results are surprising.

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Not only were there no significant differences between the groups of newborns, but the newborns from the cannabis group scored a little higher in autonomic stability and reflexes at one month of age. These babies were actually more social than the babies from the non-using group and had significantly higher scores in: habituation to auditory and tactile stimuli, degree of alertness, capacity to be consoled, and self-regulation. [1]

They had less irritability, fewer startles and tremors, a higher and better quality of alertness, and were more rewarding for their caregivers than the neonates of the non-using group of mothers. At 5 years of age there were no significant differences anymore. Why would these children have scored higher in autonomic stability and reflexes at 30 days old, but then be scoring around the same at 5 years of age?

Science offers us answers.

breastfeed

Human breast milk contains cannabinoids including THC, some of the same cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. It’s no secret that
breast milk is better for infants and children than cow’s milk or formula, and cow’s milk is actually an acidic animal protein and a carcinogen that wreaks havoc on our bodies and the bodies of our children. Most formulas actually contain several carcinogens in their ingredients and most formulas also contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients as well. So if human breast milk contains the same cannabinoids that are found in cannabis, shouldn’t these huge corporations be adding cannabinoids to their formula instead of carcinogens?

Studies show that “the blocking of cannabinoid receptor activation during early development is considered to have ‘catastrophic’ effects.” So if the cannabinoids in human breast milk that are crucial to the development of an infant aren’t added to the infant formulas, where are babies getting them?

Well, they are not receiving cannabinoids at all.

nrc1188-i1

This isn’t something we should just be writing off either. It’s something that should have our full attention, as infant formulas are supposed to replace the nutrition our babies are getting from breast milk, and these corporations honestly fall far short of what should be their goal. And even worse, pregnant women are being offered medications with dangerous side effects instead of being offered natural options.

Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, cause a 3-5% increase in babies born with a birth defect, defects including cleft lip and/or cleft palate. They are also highly associated with preterm delivery, low birth weight, and other perinatal outcomes. So why would women take medications with such terrible side effects while pregnant? Most women feel that there are no better alternatives. And it’s not any better for the developing fetus if mom is stressed out and anxious all of the time. In most of the US and Canada, a child can be taken away from their parents because of the mother’s decision to use cannabis while pregnant instead of toxic pharmaceutical medications. Children are routinely taken away from parents who use cannabis in their home. Children this year have died in foster custody and CPS custody after being taken away from pot-using parents who provided a safe and nurturing environment for their children. All year long I’ve been reading articles about families and hearing stories from friends and acquaintances that have had their children taken from them for using cannabis responsibly. Where is the justness? Drugs like Xanax, however, are considered to be safe and acceptable.

Pdms

One of the most important reasons for breast milk containing cannabinoids is the reaction in which a baby learns to suck out milk and start using their jaw muscles (a similar reaction to when a cannabis user develops the “munchies”). In a 2004 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology we learn that “[E]ndocannabinoids have been detected in maternal milk and activation of CB1 (cannabinoid receptor type 1) receptors appears to be critical for milk sucking … apparently activating oral-motor musculature”. This means that some infants experience failure to thrive which can lead to a whole host of other problems on a developmental level. This is outrageous.

And how do formula manufactures get our babies to consume their formulas when cannabinoids aren’t present? By making formula taste sweet, with ingredients like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other dangerous sweeteners. According to Dr. Mercola, “the CDC found perchlorate, a chemical from rocket fuel, in 15 brands of infant formula, including two brands that accounted for 87 percent of the market share in 2000.” The top offenders included Similar and Enfamil. Other contaminants discovered in some infant formulas include:

  • Melamine (linked to kidney failure)
  • Dioxin
  • BPA
  • AGEs (advanced glycoprotein end products)
  • Genetically engineered ingredients

Cannabis Reverses and Treats Stress and Mental Illness

I am a parent who cares about doing everything right for my children so much that I easily slip into mindsets like depression, anger, stress, anxiety, guilt, and sleep deprivation if I’m stressed about the well-being of my children. My wife is one of those parents, and many of our friends are those parents. These emotions take us over and inhibit us from being the type of parents we want to be, the type of parents we feel like on the inside when we’re at peace. These emotions prevent us from responding the way we know we should to our children when they need our support and direction, and we know this, but we accept it as the vicious cycle it is.

We become frustrated and we raise our voice, when we know that talking louder or yelling isn’t going to benefit us or our kids. We leave the room while they’re crying even though we know it’s up to us to solve the problem of why they are upset, and to support them while they are going through the emotions. They just want to be held, but our backs and shoulders are tired, our necks are sore, and we get headaches. We sit down with them to play, but within minutes we’re fidgety, thinking about stuff we could be getting done, or for many parents, our minds are taking us back and forth to the barbaric and unnecessarily interventional hospital birth that was far from what we planned for our first baby, or a stressful visit to the pediatrician. We replay stressful scenarios in our heads using our imaginations to worry constantly.

Or often, in the case of parents who’ve experienced great hardship or abuse as children, we start to think more about memories from our past that we may have buried or forgotten about. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is much more common than what is actually being recognized. I believe that when a lot of people hear “PTSD” they think of war veterans returning home with “flashbacks”, but PTSD can result from having Post-Natal Mood Disorders or depression and can affect us for the rest of our lives if we don’t pay attention to it, treat it, and work through it properly.

Most people that have used cannabis, whether or not they support it, will agree that it has relaxing properties. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the many medicinal molecules in cannabis, actually helps us forget about bad experiences and helps us work through them and process them properly all the while removing damaged brain cells and helping us to become mentally stronger and more efficient.

It’s a simple remedy.

We inhale or consume cannabinoids, and we relax.  Suddenly that day dream of depression is replaced with an ear to ear grin. The attention problems that have us wanting to get up and do something else are overcome with patience and a fascination for building blocks and coloring books. Suddenly the stress that results in a loss of appetite and the anxiety that is a thick clammy blanket over our skin are hung out to dry as we become hungry and realize how incredible good food tastes when we feel this way. Everything in our life becomes simplified with the addition of a single plant.

Some people would argue that smoking cannabis is dangerous because the smoke itself, like tobacco smoke, contains hazardous chemical. Interestingly, studies show that smoking cannabis can actually be beneficial for our lungs in that it improves lung capacity and actually can retard or in some cases reverse lung, throat, and oral cancers. THC opens up our lungs to remove smoke and dirt, while nicotine does the complete opposite, causing our lungs to bunch up and make it harder to cough. Studies also show that we do not provide others with a “contact high” when we are smoking around them. To the best of my knowledge there are no studies to date on the effects of third-hand smoke from Cannabis, but it is not dangerous on the level that cigarette smoke is.

weedmaps

That being said, there is a simple way to inhale cannabinoids without burning them.
Vaporizers are cleaner and safer instruments for inhaling cannabinoids. Unlike joints, pipes, and bongs, vaporizers only release enough heat for the cannabis material to release the cannabinoids as you inhale them. For a lot of users, it’s a more preferred method to smoking because it’s not harsh on the lungs and doesn’t produce smoke. All in all it’s a safer and more responsible method when using around other people who don’t smoke and when using in front of children, but for most people vaporizing is a more expensive option. Until there are studies that show that the smoke from cannabis is dangerous, there is no reason to discriminate against one method or the other. Some users prefer not to inhale cannabinoids at all, while some people prefer only to inhale them.

cannabis-vaporizer

It would be easy for skeptical parents to say that parents who are using pot are not as responsible as parents who don’t use cannabis, but the fact is that it is irresponsible for any parent to raise their children in an environment where stress is present every day. We need to be accountable for our own actions and we shouldn’t make judgments about the decisions of other parents, especially when those decisions are clearly what best benefits the whole family. Children deserve happy parents, and if cannabis helps parents be happy and healthy, and reverse disease in the process, then everyone should be able to respect that.

Let’s look at an example of what happens in a society where we use judgments and control instead of compassion and common sense.

About 1% of our population has epilepsy. It one of the most common and chronic health conditions for women who are pregnant. Epileptic seizures typically become more frequent while pregnant because estrogen increases seizures. The Mayo Clinic has this information to offer about taking seizure medication:

“Any medication you take during pregnancy can affect your baby. Birth defects — including cleft palate, neural tube defects, skeletal abnormalities, and congenital heart and urinary tract defects — are the primary concern with seizure medications. In addition, taking certain seizure medications, such as those that contain valproate, or more than one seizure medication during pregnancy can increase the risk that your baby will have impaired cognitive development. Valproate products include valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote ER) and valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor). Other problems caused by seizure medications might include minor birth defects that affect the baby’s appearance, such as wide-set eyes or a short upper lip — though it isn’t clear whether this is related to the drugs or the disease.”

For babies whose mothers take seizure medication, the risk of birth defects is 4 to 8 percent — compared with 2 to 3 percent for all babies — according to the Epilepsy Foundation. The risk seems to be highest when more than one seizure medication is taken, particularly at high doses. Without medication, however, uncontrolled seizures might deprive the baby of oxygen. Seizures can also increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

abc_depakote_pregnancy_090416_ms

This is what the Mayo Clinic says you can expect if you have epilepsy and become pregnant:

“Women who have epilepsy face a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications, including:

  • Severe morning sickness

  • Anemia

  • Vaginal bleeding during and after pregnancy

  • Premature separation of the placenta from the uterus (placental abruption)

  • High blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy (preeclampsia)

  • Premature birth

  • A low birth weight baby

  • Failure to progress during labour and delivery

  • Babies with congenital anomalies”

I hope you’re thinking what I’m thinking…there is absolutely no mention of cannabis. And not only would this medicine prevent these seizures, but it regulates hormone levels, reverses hemorrhoids and anal fissures, treats nausea while increasing appetite, speeds up and balances metabolism, and the list goes on.

Medicine made from cannabis is non-toxic.

High CBD strains of cannabis controls seizures almost completely, and if the THC levels are lower than the CBD levels, there is no high experienced with smoking or consuming it. THC is the chemical in cannabis that becomes psychoactive when heated, and although also non-toxic, some people generate anxiety or experience paranoia from psychoactive THC, and with too high of a dose a person can experience temporary psychosis.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently apologized for his previous stance on medical marijuana and put together a documentary called “Weed” which follows the lives of several people, but namely a child named Charlotte who has Dravet’s Syndrome, a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Starting around the time she was a year of age, she started having seizures, soon averaging up to 300 seizures a week. Her parents were out of options when Charlotte’s doctors wanted to put her in a medically induced coma, when her father saw information online about another child where his seizures were being prevented with oil made from a high CBD strain of cannabis.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet to watch it, but long story short she is now having an average of one seizure a week or less. And not only that, but the medicine is also restoring much of her cognitive function. Another aspect of cannabis that has been well studied and documented is that cannabis works with the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies to do amazing things for us, one being that cannabis cleans out our dusty old damaged brain cells while supercharging our mitochondria. These same cannabinoids also reverse inflammation, which in turn can reverse neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even Autism, especially in children.

Cannabis & Cancer

We’ve known for many years that using cannabis as a medicine alongside chemotherapy has many benefits including: pain relief, increase in appetite, regular sleep, fighting depression, etc….but it is relatively new to most people to hear that cannabis actually kills cancer cells. The US Government has known since as early as 1974 that cannabis kills cancer cells, but as soon as the DEA found this out they shut down the Lewis Lung Carcinoma study. Cancer has been increasingly more profitable for the pharmaceutical industry as the years have gone by, especially when considering that chemotherapy treatments in the US cost an average of $100,000 a year per person, and 1 in 2 people on this continent get cancer at some point in their lives. The US Government even went as far as to take out a patent on cannabis in 1999 as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant, while claiming at the same time that cannabis has no medicinal value and is as dangerous as heroin to ensure they can attack, arrest, and incarcerate people that choose to use it as a medicine while continuing to profit from cannabis prohibition.

Mykayla-and-her-mom-cannabis-is-my-medicine-and-it-cured-my-cancer

Most people, including children, see a complete reversal of their cancers in just a couple of months with no side effects from treatment. And sadly, the effort to silence the success of the children making these miraculous recoveries is tremendous. Take 3 year old Landon Riddle for example, who is in remission from leukemia thanks to the cannabis oil his mom has been giving him, but the doctors who are treating him have made it clear that Landon will be taken away from his mother unless he continues chemotherapy even though he’s in remission, the same chemo that caused him to go 25 days without eating at one point.

This should infuriate every parent, but for some reason it’s still happening to children all over the country. Another example would be Daniel Hauser, a 13 year old boy from Minnesota. There was a warrant out for his mother, as she had been forced to break laws to help her son hide from authorities who literally forced chemotherapy on him, something that he did not want or need in his body. There are many cases of children being ordered by courts to undergo chemotherapy. This is happening all over the continent.

So if we, or our children, suffer from seizures, cancer, or other chronic conditions, and we don’t live somewhere that respects our right to use this plant, what are the options?

There are many options obviously, and all of them carry with them extreme consequences. But a better question is why would anyone want to live anywhere in the world where a plant with this much potential is treated like a dangerous drug with no medical potential, so dangerous that people in the US have served as much as 30 years in prison for using it and selling it? A place where our older children are locked up and punished for simply following their own intuition, or just following peer pressure, and using the plant? This is a travesty.

Collectively, we’ve let ourselves be fooled. In the 1930’s Harry J. Aslinger came to the conclusion that making cannabis illegal would be very profitable for certain industries, and thus began an enormous campaign of propaganda and fear tactics to disseminate misinformation in all western countries. Keep in mind that hemp makes clean fuel, extremely strong fibres, durable building materials (hemp bricks are mold and fire resistant), nutritious food, potent medicine, greener paper production, cleaner plastic, than almost any other material on our planet. It’s completely renewable and can be grown again every year, where trees take hundreds of years to grow back. But the corporations that run this world are not interested in renewable, as we already know.

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our children from disease if our government won’t protect us from their own laws?

Sadly, the only option for a lot of parents is to move somewhere where cannabis is legal medicinally or recreationally. Some parents have been dropping everything to bring their children to Colorado in hopes of being able to use high CBD medicines safely and legally. Although they are still breaking Federal Law, Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that they will not be using resources to interfere with patients that are using it legally as a medicine. But he’s not a man recognized for telling the truth, and it is obvious that we cannot rely on our government to protect those of us who choose to use this plant when they are still killing and incarcerating men, women, and children to keep this plant illegal in the interest of profit.

Another option for us is to BE OUR MESSAGE.

We can choose not to keep this information to ourselves. We can choose not to feel like this issue is too taboo for general discussions. We can share this information with everyone we know, and ask them to support their fellow human beings in one of the most important issues of our time. We can fight by peacefully surrendering our wilful ignorance and decide for ourselves that this plant is going to be legal. We can donate money to families trying to relocate to legal states for their children. We can change the laws where we live by sharing information. We can make our own change instead of waiting for the times to change. We can do what’s right for our families and empower other families to do the same. We deserve to live free and happy.

About the author:

Martin Wuest is a proud parent, husband, and an activist from Detroit, Michigan. Martin advocates strongly for the legalization and decriminalization of Cannabis. He works with others to raise awareness about the benefits of Cannabis and a plant-based diet for preventing and reversing diseases and developmental disorders. Martin works from home and spends most of his free time writing and gardening.

http://www.parents4pot.org/
http://ocdgrow.org/

Sources:

1.) http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/medical/can-babies.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1957518

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy/PR00123

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/1015/p1489.html

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/livingwithepilepsy/gendertopics/womenshealthtopics/social-consequences-of-epilepsy-in-women.cfm

http://altering-perspectives.com/2013/11/effect-cannabis-pregnant-women-newborns.html

http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/mother-forced-to-give-son-chemo-even-though-he-is-in-remission/

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/05/19/minnesota.forced.chemo/

http://www.freedomisgreen.com/cannabinoids-breast-milk-and-development/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881461/

http://www.naturalnews.com/036526_cannabinoids_breast_milk_THC.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/05/which-infant-formulas-contain-secret-toxic-chemicals.aspx

http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/marijuana-info/marijuana-vs-cigarettes/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1668226

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Awareness

Tylenol Damages The Brains of Children, Research Reveals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Tylenol has a wide range of toxic side effects you should be aware of, especially if you are pregnant or use it with your children. Article written by William Parker, Ph.D for Greenmedinfo.com, published here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we keep taking Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs when it's unquestionable that they do more harm than good? Why don't we ever look into healthy ways to alleviate our symptoms?

Original Article Link

A number of non-peer-reviewed articles have been written and published on the web claiming that there is literally nothing to fear from acetaminophen during pregnancy. There are two types of articles that fall into this category. First, reputable watchdog organizations have weighed in on the issue, declaring acetaminophen use during pregnancy and during childhood to be proven safe. In particular, the National Health Service of the UK and the Center for Accountability in Science have both strongly criticized the Spanish study from 2016 showing a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and ADHD/autism.

The second type of article is generally written by a science writer working for an organization that runs a website. Often quoting one to three experts who claim that is perfectly safe and that pregnant women and families should not be concerned, many of these articles are published by reputable sources that are generally trustworthy. Typically, an expert is being asked to comment on one particular publication showing a link between acetaminophen use (usually during pregnancy) and some sort of neuropsychiatric problem (autism, lowered IQ, hyperactivity, and/or social/behavioral problems, depending on the study). There are several important things to consider when evaluating these articles:

1.  There are a number of University Professors who have studied the use of acetaminophen on the developing brain and who are keenly aware of the potential dangers. A partial list of these individuals is provided below.

2.  Being an expert in acetaminophen neurotoxicity during development means that considerable time has been invested in studying the issue. Any true expert in this issue will be aware of basic facts regarding acetaminophen neurotoxicity. These facts include the following:

(a) Studies in animal models (both in mice and in rats) demonstrate that acetaminophen use during a sensitive period of brain development causes long-term alterations in the brain and is manifested as problems with social function.

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(b)  Margaret McCarthy, Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, has worked out the probable mechanism by which acetaminophen-induced brain damage occurs. Her research team has found that the male brain is considerably more sensitive to acetaminophen than the female brain, possibly accounting for the gender bias in autism.

(c) There are (as of January 2017) a total of 8 published studies evaluating the long terms effects on children of acetaminophen use during pregnancy or during childhood. Two of these (one in 2014, one in 2016) were published in JAMA Pediatrics, one of the most highly respected pediatric journals. All studies point toward acetaminophen use being associated with long-term problems with neurological function. Each study design has included some attempt to control for indication. In all studies, acetaminophen use rather than indication has been identified as the key factor associated with cognitive problems. A formal meta-analysis is not currently possible because of the varied outcome measures and study designs, but all 8 studies point in the same direction: Acetaminophen is neurotoxic to the developing brain. The studies are not “cherry picked”, selecting only those which find an effect. All studies point toward a neurotoxic effect of acetaminophen in the developing brain.

(d)   Acetaminophen substantially alters brain chemistry and temporarily impairs awareness of social issues in adult humans.

(e)  Testing of acetaminophen safety in children did not include any evaluation of brain function, and no long-term studies were ever conducted. The primary manufacturer of acetaminophen in the US acknowledges that the drug has never been shown to be safe for brain development when used during pregnancy or in childhood. All safety tests were performed with the assumption that any side effects would be acute in nature (e.g., bleeding or acute organ damage). This assumption was based on observations made with acetaminophen in adults and with aspirin in children. It was not based on any experience with acetaminophen use in children.

3.     Having prescribed tens of thousands of doses of acetaminophen does not make anyone an expert on the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen, any more than eating thousands of pounds of chips makes somebody an expert in the effects of an inflammatory diet. Credentials and certifications that allow physicians to prescribe acetaminophen do not make them experts, and elevated positions in the medical community do not qualify anybody as an expert on the effects of acetaminophen. If somebody does not know those basic facts listed above, then they are not an expert on the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen. Usually, the experts will have published one or more peer-reviewed manuscripts on the topic. Those are the people to ask when an expert is needed.

4.     It is tempting to point accusing fingers at physicians who say that acetaminophen is safe when they literally have no grasp whatsoever of the relevant scientific literature. However, this would be a mistake. I have tracked down a few of these individuals who were quoted in a very public format, and one individual, in particular, didn’t even remember having made a comment on the topic. The most likely explanation is that a reporter asked them if acetaminophen was safe, and their response based on their training (not on the knowledge of the literature) was that it is safe. After all, if they didn’t think it was safe, they would not be administering it dozens of times per day. So, if a reporter asks a physician if something is safe, and they provide their knowledge based on what they have been taught and how they practice, then it is hard to blame them. The reporter didn’t ask them to spend days or even weeks reviewing the literature in detail, but rather assumed that any physician administering something dozens of times per day would know the literature. (This is a false assumption. No physician has the time to study all current literature on every drug they administer.) So, in a nutshell, a tragic propagation of incorrect information is occurring despite the best of intentions of all parties involved.

5.     Unless an organization such as the National Health Service has the time to review a topic thoroughly, they should remain silent on an issue. It took a team of us two years to put together our summary of the evidence, both direct and circumstantial, regarding the potential neurotoxicity of acetaminophen during development. It took the NHS only days to publish their recent criticism of the 2016 Spanish study. Offering questionable criticisms of a single paper without reviewing the literature to see how that publication fits into the big picture is a disservice to the public being served.

6. Reading the published quotes from many “experts” who exonerate acetaminophen, it is apparent that the logic falls into one of two categories.

(a) Everybody is doing it, so it must be OK.

(b) This single study is not perfect, so no change in practice should be made.

Neither of these criticisms is logically sound, of course. These two criticisms are often combined and were, in fact, part of the critical comments directed toward the first paper showing that acetaminophen probably has substantial neurotoxicity during development (published in 2008 by Steve Shultz). Further, the evaluation of study weaknesses is usually skewed and not entirely valid. Since the idea that acetaminophen is safe is being embraced, then any merit in the paper is often undermined to make the case. This is certainly true of the published (peer reviewed) criticisms of the 2008 Shultz paper.

7.     Many on-line sources support the view that acetaminophen can be very dangerous to the developing brain. Probably the most reliable source, the FDA, is remaining silent on the topic until something more definitive is done. The FDA knows that this is extremely urgent, but unfortunately, our FDA is not linked well (in a practical manner) with our NIH, and thus they can’t dictate research priorities.

8.     Here is a list (not comprehensive) of experts regarding the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen during brain development.

a) First, I’ll thank the wonderful team of individuals who helped put together our comprehensive review on this topic. Shu Lin, a professor with me in Duke’s Surgery Department, is a very dear and long-time friend of mine who has supported me through countless projects over the past 22 years. Staci Bilbo, director for research on Autism at Harvard, is a friend and collaborator who has helped me understand what causes inflammation and the role of inflammation in brain dysfunction. Chi Dang Hornik, a pediatric pharmacist at Duke, contributed greatly to our understanding of the frequency of acetaminophen administration and the available formulations of the drug. Many thanks to Martha Herbert. As a Harvard professor and clinician, she has a great appreciation for the clinical data obtained from patients with autism. Cindy Nevison, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, rounds out our team, providing critical information about the epidemiology of autism. (Thanks also to our interns (Rasika Rao and Lauren Gentry) and research analyst (Zoie Holzknecht) who were a tremendous help in compiling information and preparing that information for publication.)

b) Margaret McCarthy, chair of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, it the most knowledgeable person I know regarding the biochemistry of the human brain and how that is affected by acetaminophen and other drugs in that class.

c) Chittaranjan Andrade, Chair of Psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, has written a peer reviewed paper on the topic of acetaminophen induced brain damage. He nicely summarized a number of studies looking at the connection between acetaminophen and neurological damage. His final conclusion is that the drug is probably more associated with ADHD than autism, but the conclusion was limited to exposure during pregnancy and his work was conducted before some critical studies were published in 2016.

d) Henrik Viberg is a professor in the Department of Organismal Biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. He has studied how exposure of mice to acetaminophen during development can cause long term brain damage.

e) In 2015, a group of scientists working with Laurence de Fays at the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products in Brussels acknowledged the clinical studies and the studies in animal models which indicated that acetaminophen could be dangerous to the developing fetus, but concluded that paracetamol is “still to be considered safe in pregnancy”. At the same time, they state that “additional carefully designed studies are necessary to confirm or disprove the association (between acetaminophen and brain damage to children)”, and that “care should be taken to avoid raising poorly founded concerns among pregnant females”. We very strongly agree with the conclusion that more studies are needed, but very strongly disagree with the conclusion that women should be kept in the dark about the matter. It is important to point out that several more studies have come out since Laurence de Fays’ report. One of those is a 2016 manuscript in JAMA Pediatrics(see the next expert), a highly reputable peer reviewed journal, which addresses the concerns raised by de Fays, so it is possible that de Fays’ group may now have a different opinion.

f) A team of scientists and doctors working with Evie Stergiakouli at the University of Bristol analyzed data from a prospective birth cohort, and concluded that “children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties”. They found considerable evidence indicating that the association was not due to the confounding factors that concerned de Fays’ group (previous expert).

g) Jordi Julvez at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain worked with a team of a dozen clinicians and scientists to publish their 2016 study linking acetaminophen with autism and ADHD.

h) Amany A. Abdin, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Tanta University, Egypt, wrote a review of the acetaminophen/autism connection and published it in the journal Biochemistry and Pharmacology: Open Access. Her conclusion in 2013 was that the drug is not safe and that the acetaminophen/autism connection should receive attention.

i) The original paper that identified a connection between neuropsychiatric disorders and acetaminophen was published by Steve Shultz while at the University of California at San Diego. Coauthors on the paper included Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, currently an Endowed Professor and Director of the MPH program at the University of Illinois.

j) Four scientists, including research scientist Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen and professors Hedvig Nordeng and Eivind Ystrom in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo, coauthored a study showing a connection between adverse neurodevelopment and acetaminophen use during pregnancy.

k) Jorn Olsen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA, published one of the more recent papers (2016) showing a connection between autism and acetaminophen use during pregnancy.

l) Five professors (John M. D. Thompson, Karen E. Waldie, Clare R. Wall, Rinky Murphy, and Edwin A. Mitchell) from four different departments at The University of Auckland published their findings in PLOSone in 2014 which “strengthen the contention that acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy increases the risk of ADHD-like behaviours. Our study also supports earlier claims that findings are specific to acetaminophen.”

For evidence-based research on the dangers of acetaminophen, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.\

Read their related article on Tylenol: 

Tylenol Kills Emotions As Well As Pain, Study Reveals

Sign Up For The Greenmedinfo Newsletter HERE.


William Parker is an Associate Professor at Duke University, where he has worked in the Department of Surgery since 1993.  William is currently investigating a number of issues associated with inflammation and Western society, including vitamin D deficiency, heart disease and alteration of the symbionts of the human body (“biota alteration”). He has been interested in “natural” immune function for some time, which has led him down a path that includes the first studies of immune function in wild rats and the discovery of the function of the human appendix.

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Vaccine Mandates Results Don’t Safeguard Children’s Rights or Health: How Did We Get Here?

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For decades, the U.S. government has made compulsory childhood vaccination one of the cornerstones of its public health policy. Outside the U.S., countries’ vaccination policies range from completely voluntary to “aggressive,” with some nations promoting vaccination but leaving the decision up to the individual, and others pushing a little harder by financially incentivizing vaccination. Some of the countries with mandatory vaccination have “modest” policies that focus on a single vaccine such as polio, and some—with broader mandates on the books—choose not to enforce them.

Regardless of the policy, no other country requires as many childhood vaccines as the U.S., but the legal edifice shoring up the compulsory childhood vaccine program is surprisingly flimsy. As New York University legal scholar Mary Holland explains in a 2010 working paper, this edifice relies primarily on two century-old Supreme Court decisions—from 1905 and 1922—and on the game-changing National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986, which fundamentally altered the legal landscape for vaccination by exempting vaccine manufacturers and medical practitioners from liability for childhood vaccine injuries.

…current childhood mandates are not only radically different from what the earlier courts and legislators envisioned but are unreasonable and oppressive and have led to…perverse results that do not safeguard children’s rights and health.

The 1986 Act, in particular, resulted in an absence of legal protections for vaccinated children that is “striking compared to almost all other medical interventions.” Examining the legal trajectory of vaccine mandates since 1905, Holland argues that current childhood mandates are not only radically different from what the earlier courts and legislators envisioned but are “unreasonable and oppressive and have led to…perverse results” that do not safeguard children’s rights and health.

From mandates for emergencies to mandates for “prevention”

The Supreme Court’s 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts decision, as summarized by Holland, justified the imposition of one vaccine—smallpox—on adults “on an emergency basis” and under circumstances of “imminent danger.” At the same time, the Jacobson decision established medical exemptions, reasoning that it “would be cruel and inhuman in the last degree” to vaccinate someone who was medically unfit. Jacobson also contained “robust cautionary language,” calling attention to the potential for “arbitrary and oppressive” abuse of police power and warning against going “far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public.” Jacobson urged courts to be “vigilant to examine and thwart unreasonable assertions of state power.”

Despite these words of warning, state-level courts did not wait long before broadening the judicial interpretation of Jacobson beyond the notion of imminent danger or necessity—although still within the context of just the smallpox vaccine:

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  • In 1916, Alabama and Kentucky courts affirmed states’ right to mandate vaccination for prevention of smallpox epidemics, stating that state Boards of Health “are not required to wait until an epidemic actually exists before taking action.” The Alabama court also broadened the rationale for mandates beyond adults to children.
  • In 1922, the three-paragraph Zucht v. King Supreme Court decision sanctioned vaccine mandates as a condition for public school attendance. According to Holland, this decision further shifted Jacobson’s “paradigm…by upholding a mandate exclusively for children and not for the entire population.”
  • Decisions in Mississippi and Texas in the early 1930s granted public health authorities the leeway to define public health emergencies in whatever manner they saw fit.
  • A New Jersey court in the late 1940s interpreted Jacobson as justifying all vaccine mandates, “disregarding its language to reject unreasonable, arbitrary or oppressive state actions.”
  • An Arkansas court in the early 1950s suggested that anyone questioning vaccine safety or efficacy should “lodge [their] objections with the Board of Health rather than the court.”

Occasionally, legal officials expressed their disapproval of vaccine mandates outside of emergencies, as with the North Dakota judge who, in 1919, pronounced childhood vaccination in the absence of a smallpox epidemic an act of “barbarism.” The same judge also wrote presciently about the self-interest of the medical profession and vaccine manufacturers—“the class that reap a golden harvest from vaccination and the diseases caused by it.” In comments that bear repeating today, the judge stated,

“Every person of common sense and observation must know that it is not the welfare of the children that causes the vaccinators to preach their doctrines and to incur the expense of lobbying for vaccination statutes. …And if anyone says to the contrary, he either does not know the facts, or he has no regard for the truth.”

The legal sea change in 1986

Although vaccination mandates had become legally “well-entrenched” by the mid-1950s—regardless of emergency and “all but erasing” Jacobson’s cautionary language—Holland emphasizes that this legal framework arose in the context of a single vaccine for a contagious disease considered to be life-threatening. Even when the polio vaccine subsequently came on the scene, the nonprofit organization that helped develop and distribute the vaccine “opposed compulsion on principle.”

According to Holland, the creation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)—“a federal advisory body with little public participation and no direct accountability to voters”—laid the groundwork for far more coercive vaccine policies. In fact, ACIP has become, over time, the “driving force” behind vaccine mandates. Whereas Jacobson justified mandates under specific and rare circumstances, ACIP has created an “infrastructure” that pushes mandates for any vaccine-preventable illness.

…revenue-generating vaccine development and promotion have enjoyed priority over vaccine safety science and injury compensation since the Law’s (NCVIA) inception

By 1981, after ACIP helped ensure that multiple vaccines were obligatory for school attendance in all 50 states, the number of vaccine injuries began increasing. Against this backdrop, Congress enacted the NCVIA in 1986. Although some legislators may have been well-intentioned when they passed the Act, Holland makes it clear that it has been nothing short of a disaster. In essence, the Act located “vaccine promotion, safety and compensation under one [government] umbrella,” thereby creating “the risk of trade-offs among competing goals.” The rather predictable result is that “revenue-generating vaccine development and promotion have enjoyed priority over vaccine safety science and injury compensation since the Law’s inception.”

Holland identifies the paradox at the core of the 1986 Law. On the one hand, the legislation “for the first time publicly acknowledged that universal compulsory vaccination is likely to cause permanent injury and death to some infants and children”; on the other hand, it forces healthy children to give up ordinary legal protections, including informed consent, and takes away from injured children the right to sue manufacturers directly.

Meanwhile, ACIP has continued to promote a shift away from “necessity” as the rationale for vaccine mandates. A number of the vaccines that ACIP now calls for American children to get to attend school—70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18—are for rarely fatal illnesses and for conditions “not contagious through ordinary social contact.” Holland’s conclusion is that:

“Necessity no longer determines the validity of state childhood vaccination mandates…. New vaccine mandates are guided by financial returns on low prevalence diseases, not protection of the entire population against imminent harm.”

“Ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy”

Some of the most troubling facts come at the end of Holland’s impressive legal review and concern the power of the pharmaceutical industry. She notes:

  • The pharmaceutical industry has been the most profitable industry in the U.S. since the 1980s.
  • In a single year in the early 2000s, “the combined profits of the ten largest drug companies in the Fortune 500 had higher net profits…than all the other 490 companies [in the Fortune 500] combined.”
  • There are more full-time pharmaceutical industry lobbyists on Capitol Hill than there are legislators in both Houses of Congress.
  • The leading manufacturers of childhood vaccines in the U.S. (Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur) have records of documented fraud and criminal/ethical misconduct.

Holland also tackles the extensive collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and government regulators, including a quote about “ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy” in a related article. Whereas “demonstrably predatory corporations selling compulsory products to a vulnerable population should lead to a high level of government scrutiny and skepticism,” Holland observes that “government appears to ally its interests with industry in the arena of vaccines.”

Coercion is backfiring

Fortunately, the public and even some health professionals are growing increasingly wise to this industry-government shell game. In one community, opposition to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine mandates recently put public health authorities on the defensive about the epidemic of autoimmunity in today’s youth, the “exorbitant” amount of neurotoxic aluminum in vaccines and the requirement to “get a vaccine for something that can’t be caught in a classroom.” A parent responding to the news article stated, “Why should I as a mother trust the Public Information Officer for the state Department of Health when he cannot even name the amount of aluminum in the vaccine?” Thus, it is up to the public—and ethical professionals—to engage in the “scrutiny and skepticism” that the U.S. government has unconscionably failed to exercise.


Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.


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How X-Ray Mammography Is Accelerating The Epidemic of Cancer

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Article written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo LLC, posted here with permission.

While a growing body of research now suggests that x-ray mammography is causing more harm than good in the millions of women who subject themselves to breast screenings, annually, without knowledge of their true health risks, the primary focus has been on the harms associated with over-diagnosis and over-treatment, and not the radiobiological dangers of the procedure itself.

In 2006, a paper published in the British Journal of Radiobiology, titled “Enhanced biological effectiveness of low energy X-rays and implications for the UK breast screening programme,” revealed the type of radiation used in x-ray-based breast screenings is much more carcinogenic than previously believed:

Recent radiobiological studies have provided compelling evidence that the low energy X-rays as used in mammography are approximately four times – butpossibly as much as six times – more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays. Since current radiation risk estimates are based on the effects of high energy gamma radiation, this implies that the risks of radiation-induced breast cancers for mammography X-rays are underestimated by the same factor.[1]

In other words, the radiation risk model used to determine whether the benefit of breast screenings in asymptomatic women outweighs their harm, underestimates the risk of mammography-induced breast and related cancers by between 4-600%.

The authors continued

Risk estimates for radiation-induced cancer – principally derived from the atomic bomb survivor study (ABSS) – are based on the effects of high energy gamma-rays and thus the implication is that the risks of radiation-induced breast cancer arising from mammography may be higher than that assumed based on standard risks estimates.

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This is not the only study to demonstrate mammography X-rays are more carcinogenic than atomic bomb spectrum radiation. There is also an extensive amount of data on the downside of x-ray mammography.

Sadly, even if one uses the outdated radiation risk model (which underestimates the harm done),* the weight of the scientific evidence (as determined by the work of The Cochrane Collaboration) actually shows that breast screenings are in all likelihood not doing any net good in those who undergo them.

In a 2009 Cochrane Database Systematic Review,** also known as the Gøtzsche and Nielsen’s Cochrane Review, titled “Screening for breast cancer with mammography,” the authors revealed the tenuous statistical justifications for mass breast screenings:

Screening led to 30% overdiagnosis and overtreatment, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5%. This means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress for many months because of false positive findings. It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm.[2]

In this review, the basis for estimating unnecessary treatment was the 35% increased risk of surgery among women who underwent screenings. Many of the surgeries, in fact, were the result of women being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a “cancer” that would not exists as a clinically relevant entity were it not for the fact that it is detectable through x-ray mammography. DCIS, in the vast majority of cases, has no palpable lesion or symptoms, and some experts believe it should be completely reclassified as a non-cancerous condition.

A more recent study published in the British Medical Journal in 2011 titled, “Possible net harms of breast cancer screening: updated modeling of Forrest report,” not only confirmed the Gøtzsche and Nielsen’s Cochrane Review findings, but found the situation likely worse:

This analysis supports the claim that the introduction of breast cancer screening might have caused net harm for up to 10 years after the start of screening.[3]

So, let’s assume that these reviews are correct, and at the very least, the screenings are not doing any good, and at worst, causing more harm than good. The salient question, however, is how much more harm than good? If we consider that, according to data from Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2011), a mammogram uses 4 mSv of radiation vs. the .02 mSv of your average chest x-ray (which is 200 times more radiation), and then, we factor in the 4-600% higher genotoxicity/carcinogenicity associated with the specific “low-energy” wavelengths used in mammography, it is highly possible that beyond the epidemic of over-diagnosis and over-treatment, mammograms are planting seeds of radiation-induced cancer within the breasts of millions of women.***

With the advent of non-ionizing radiation based diagnostic technologies, such as thermography, it has become vitally important that patients educate themselves about the alternatives to x-ray mammography that already exist.  Until then, we must use our good sense – and research like this – to inform our decisions, and as far as the unintended adverse effects of radiation go, erring on the side of caution whenever possible.

Additional Reading

Is X-ray Mammography Findings Cancer or Benign Lesions?

The Dark Side of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Does Chemo & Radiation Actually Make Cancer More Malignant?


*This discrepancy in radiation risk models/estimates follows from two fundamental problems: 1) the older risk model was based on higher-energy radiation emissions, such as are given off from atomic bomb blasts 2) it was a crude model, developed before the discovery of DNA and a full understanding of radiotoxicity/genotoxicity.

** Keep in mind that the Cochrane Database Review is at the top of the “food chain” of truth, in the highly touted “evidence-based model” of conventional medicine. Cochrane Database Reviews are produced by The Cochrane Collaboration, which is internationally recognized as the benchmark for high quality, evidence-based information concerning the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of common health care interventions. The organization, comprised of over 28,000 dedicated people from over 100 countries, prides itself on being an “independent” source of information, and historically has not been afraid to point out the corrupting influence of industry, which increasingly co-opts  the biomedical research and publishing fields.

***The low-energy wavelengths cause double strand breaks within the DNA of susceptible cells, which the cell can not repair. Through time these mutations result in “neoplastic transformation”; radiation has the ability to induce a cancerous phenotype within formerly healthy cells that has cancer stem cell-like (CSC) properties.


[1] Enhanced biological effectiveness of low energy X-rays and implications for the UK breast screening programme. Br J Radiol. 2006 Mar ;79(939):195-200. PMID: 16498030

[2] Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009(4):CD001877. Epub 2009 Oct 7. PMID: 19821284

[3] Possible net harms of breast cancer screening: updated modelling of Forrest report. BMJ. 2011 ;343:d7627. Epub 2011 Dec 8. PMID: 22155336


Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

If you want to learn more from Greenmedinfo, sign up for their newsletter here

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