January - February 2000 Feingold Email Newsletter
Dear Feingold Association Friends & Members,

Here we go -- the FIRST Feingold E-mail Newsletter
of the Millenium !!!!

In this issue:
[] Chemical additives in Toys?
[] Aspartame
[] Stevia
[] Valentine's Day - Where's the Candy?
[] Research Update
           (1) ADHD by the Numbers -- Wasserman
           (2) Feingold Research Page Changes
           (3) CSPI Quarter Century Review
[] Media Facts - A Dose of Reality
[] Members Section
           (1) Product Alert
           (2) Chat Room
     No recipes this month - Didn't you
     do enough cooking last month?

      If you are new to the Newsletter and
      want a reprint of the December Recipes
      Newsletter, write me with "WANT RECIPES"
      in the subject line.

Mattel - the world's largest toymaker - is going to
try to make their toys safer. They want to replace
the chemical additives called phthalates ["tha-lates"]
in plastic toys with organically based materials.

Mattel's announcement came just as the European
Union met to formally approve an emergency ban on
phthalates in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) toys designed
to be chewed by children under 3, such as baby rattles
and teething toys.

According to the National Environmental Trust, a
nonprofit educational group, many baby teethers
sold by local discount or "dollar" stores contain high
levels of phthalates. They also found high levels in
bath and squeeze toys purchased at major retailers.

Officials at the Environmental Trust applauded Mattel's
move, which will take at least a year or more to implement,
as a great step forward for the toy industry. However,
they would like to see toys with phthalates labeled in the
meantime, since parents have a right to know what
they're buying.

See more in an excerpt from February's Pure Facts
Newsletter, at http://www.feingold.org/PF/pf_toys.html

Some of you have been asking about the artificial sweetener
called aspartame or Nutrasweet. The Feingold Program
eliminates aspartame and products containing it.

Two websites with a wealth of information about aspartame
are the Holistic Healing Web Page, by Mark Gold,
at http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
and the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, by Mary Nash
Stoddard, at http://web2.airmail.net/marystod

Members have also frequently asked about stevia, an herb
which is being used as a no-calorie sweetener. It is classified
by the US FDA as a "supplement" and is acceptable for
the Feingold Foodlists. Although used in other countries as a
sweetener, Stevia has has had a difficult life in the United States.
Its popular but unapproved use as a sweetener came under
attack by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Books on
stevia were banned, health food stores were raided, and the
books were ordered to be burned. Yes BURNED.

For more information, or to buy some of these books,
see http://www.feingold.org/PF/pf_stevia.html

By the way, according to a People's Pharmacy article on
http://www.healthcentral.com, dated Sept. 13, 1999, "In
addition to tasting sweet, stevia lowers blood sugar and
improves glucose tolerance. It may also lower blood
pressure and regulate heartbeat. Animal studies haven't
demonstrated any toxic effects on health, growth or fertility."

      Where's the Candy?

Some people who believe that chocolate makes them sick
or gives them headaches discover -- when their family starts
on the Feingold Program -- that it wasn't the chocolate at
all. Sometimes it is the vanillin (artificial vanilla flavor) that is
the culprit. Finding a source of chocolate with pure vanilla
flavoring may change the life (and figure) of a latent chocoholic
who was prevented from indulging in the past because of
sensitivity to the vanillin.

Now that Valentine's Day is approaching, new members are
frantic to find stores that sell holiday candy acceptable on
the Feingold Program. For you who are not members, but
plan on giving candy to your honey this holiday, why not
give him or her the best -- candy that contains no synthetic
petroleum-based ingredients -- candy that meets a higher

Palmer's holiday candies can be found in most discount
chain stores and supermarkets. Not all the Palmer's varieties
are acceptable, but the ingredient labels have been reliable
over the years -- just make sure to read them carefully.

Several market chains carry a wide selection of all-natural
goodies, including the candies on our Foodlist and special
holiday selections. Whole Foods Market operates under
the following names across the country:

Whole Foods Market
Bread & Circus
Fresh Fields
Wellspring Grocery
Merchant of Vino
Nature's Heartland
Locate a store near you at

Another chain of stores that carries the Palmer's candies
and some of the other items in our Foodlist is Rite-Aid
(formerly Thrifty Drug Stores). Their store locator is at

Some of the Trader Joe's markets also carry items
listed in our Foodist. They are found in some states
in both the East and the West, and their store
locator is at http://www.traderjoes.com/locations.asp

For Pete's Sake Gourmet Natural Foods may have just what
you want at 1-800-864-7383

The Squirrel's Nest Candy Shop has lots of goodies, but
will be closed until February 3. 1-302-378-1033

Giambri Quality Sweets have quite a few yummy-sounding
candies -- some may be in your supermarket, but more are
at their mail order house, at 1-609-783-1099
Their web site is http://www.giambriscandy.com

Don't forget to check out your local health food store,
as well as your local supermarket.

And for those who prefer to avoid the sweet stuff, remember
that Valentine's Day can also be celebrated with flowers,
with jewelry, and -- oh yes -- don't forget the Valentine Card !!

(1) ADHD by the Numbers
For those of you who have been wondering how many
children are actually diagnosed with ADHD, this study
will be interesting. According to Dr. R.C. Wasserman
in a study published in Pediatrics in March 1999, 9.2%
of children seen by primary care physicians are identified
by these physicians as suffering from "AHP" (attention /
hyperactivity problems). That is about half the children
(18.7% of 22,059 consecutive children) who were seen
by these physicians because of a behavioral or psycho-
social problem.

This study intended to (1) determine the frequency of
identification of attentional and hyperactivity problems
(AHPs) by clinicians, and (2) examine whether minority
children or children from less well-educated, lower-income,
or lower-functioning families would be more likely to be
identified as having AHPs.

Although Wasserman points out that "These results
suggest a lack of standardization in the primary care
evaluation process for AHPs," he says that the
clinicians diagnose these problems in the same
percentages in various ethnic and socio-economic groups.

He discusses the reasons why his results differ from other
studies which report that "mental health specialists displayed
different diagnostic tendencies across ethnic and racial groups."

An interesting conclusion he draws is that "primary care
practice may be very different from specialty practice in that
the primary care clinicians more often have long-standing
relationships with and extensive knowledge of their patients.
... This continuity and familiarity with the patient may supersede
any tendency by providers to use diagnostic labels inappropriately."

Wasserman also suggests that there is a need to make primary
care clinicians aware that they may be overlooking AHPs in girls.

This is the first study to be available in FULL TEXT
on our website, thanks to the journal, Pediatrics.

The abstract and the full text of this study may be seen at

(2) Feingold Research Pages Update
So many research studies have been added to our website's
Research page recently that I have been re-organizing
the entire section. Added also are studies on Aspartame,
BHT, Fluoride, MSG, Pollution/Pesticides, Sulfation,
Thyroid, and a "Beyond Feingold" collection of MedLine
searches. If you have not visited the research pages
in a while, take another look.

(3) CSPI Quarter Century Review
Dr. Michael Jacobson, of the Center for Science in the Public
Interest (CSPI), has recently published a booklet in which he
reviewed the major studies done on diet and ADHD in the last
25 years.

Jane Hersey and I were given the opportunity to review the early
drafts, so that his description of the Feingold Program could be

You may see (and print) this report, their press release, their
parent guide, and letters of scientists to the U.S.Dept. of Health
& Human Services, at http://www.cspinet.org/diet.html

     ~ A dose of reality ~
See some of the articles that were printed in response to the
CSPI article at http://www.feingold.org/pr.html
[these article links have expired]
Especially, don't miss the New York Times coverage by Jane
Brody. I understand that Women's World will also shortly be
doing an article stemming from the CSPI report.

Nevertheless, considering that the CSPI Report contained news
that should change the way ADHD is treated by mainstream
medicine, the press coverage was very disappointing. Some
of the articles quoted the fact that the FDA and other organizations
pooh-pooh the idea of diet, but failed to mention the CSPI's exposee
of the reasons WHY this is so: That, for example, the FDA's opinion
on food colorings and diet were written for them by the IFIC which is
a food additive industry organization. Thus, there is a conflict of
interest in the FDA, and also in other organizations that we
depend on for unbiased information.

You can read more about this in the CSPI Report, Appendix 3,
"The Conventional Wisdom on Diet and ADHD"

It is a sad day when this sort of information is ignored. Worse,
shortly afterwards most papers carried large headlines about the
"largest study on various treatments for ADHD" which compared
results of Ritalin treatment of ADHD with the results of regular
treatment in the community (which also usually includes Ritalin).
They also compared Ritalin treatment to "behavioral treatment" alone
and Ritalin + behavioral treatment. However, they ignored all other
treatments available in the community, such as diet therapy,
biofeedback, chiropractic, supplements, etc.. Their result?
That Ritalin as used in the study had the same results as
Ritalin + behavior therapy, except that the behavioral therapy alone
was as useful as Ritalin for anxiety or other problems.

Also, Ritalin as used in the study had better results than "treatment
in the community" (mostly Ritalin anyhow). In a more direct
comparison, Ritalin as used in the study actually also had better
results than Ritalin as used in the community, leading to the
conclusion that Ritalin should be more carefully administered,
with better followup and a 3-times-daily dosing schedule.

NOBODY appears to have raised the question of whether a
"Hawthorne" (expectation) effect of being IN the study could
have caused the improved results. In other words, did the
children do better because they knew that they were in a
special study, and because they got more attention? It was
assumed that the different results were due to the difference
in medication application and followup. According to Dr. David
Rabiner of Duke University, a Hawthorne effect is highly unlikely
in a long study like this -- 14 months.

That does make sense. What does not make sense, then,
is why experts on treatment of ADHD continue to claim, in
spite of double-blind test results, that the Feingold diet only
works because the "parents expect a change in behavior."
Apparently, a Hawthorne effect cannot last 14 months if
medication is used, while it can last a lifetime when the
treatment is the Feingold diet. Hmmmmmm.

This study garnered headlines -- apparently in most major
newspapers nationally -- with headlines like the Chicago

Why did this study rate so much publicity? Why did the
CSPI Report rate so little? Are we out of line to suspect that
commercial interests are involved?

We hope all of you -- members and friends -- will help give
the CSPI review of 25 years of diet & behavior research,
the publicity it deserves. Print the Report from
and distribute it to
your school, local media and legislators. You can also
order the bound version from us at $5 each, including
postage. Send your check or money order made out
to "FAUS" to:

FAUS - CSPI Report
37 Shell Road, Suite 2
Rocky Point, NY 11778

(1) Product Alert
From time to time we have to issue Product Alerts, as we
become aware of a product on our Foodlist & Shopping
Guide that has changed ingredients and is no longer acceptable
on the Feingold Program. We often get this information
from our alert members who notice the change.

A recent alert was brought to our attention by the company
itself which realized that their decision to change their
frying oil to a brand containing BHT would cost them the
listing of some of their products. The company hoped we
could say that the offending ingredient in the oil would
be such a small amount that it would not matter. Unfortunately,
because members vary in their range of sensitivity, we cannot
decide that an ingredient amount is "not enough" to matter.

We applaud this company's honesty and integrity, and we
hope that their marketing department will shortly decide to
use an acceptable brand of oil without BHT.

While our agreement with manufacturers does not allow us to
post a Product Alert on this e-mail newsletter, those of you
on our Members Email List have received a separate notice,
as usual.

Don't forget, if you are a member, that you can also check the
Members Section periodically to see if there is a new Alert.

If you are a member but have never received product alerts,
please write to <fausmem@yahoo.com> with your name
and street address, and note that you are a member, so I
can add you to the address list.

Because FAUS wants to meet the needs of its members, who
have been requesting their own Chat Room, it is now a reality.
The Room will be available at all times for member Chatting,
and we will also arrange a schedule for having guests to
host the Chat ocassionally.

Some resourceful members have been arranging informal
Chats through the Bulletin Board by announcing when they
plan to be available for a Chat.


Our best wishes to all
    with our heartfelt hopes
       and wishes for all the
          best for you and yours for
       the new year and the new
    century, and the new
Millenium !!

Shula Edelkind, webmaster
The Feingold® Association of the United States

TO SUBSCRIBE: Send e-mail to ON@feingold.org
TO UNSUBSCRIBE: Send e-mail to OFF@feingold.org


Excerpt from Pure Facts Newsletter
Vol. 24, No. 01 - February, 2000, Page 6

Working for the benefit of the public, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council has asked toymakers to find a replacement for the chemicals called "phthalates" (pronounced tha-lates) that are added to plastic toys. Phthalates soften plastics, enabling them to be flexible, and are used in teethers and children's toys, as well as medical devices. The recommendation came after European research suggested that small amounts of the plastic can get into the bloodstream and may pose a serious health threat.

Eight European countries have taken action to ban or regulate the use of phthalates in toys. An international coalition of health care workers, advocacy groups and environmentalists has opposed the continued use of the plasticizer.

Long-time Feingold members will not be surprised to learn that the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has strenuously defended the use of phthalates. Funded by major industries, the ACSH has long been an outspoken critic of the Feingold Program. Its president, Elizabeth Whelan, states, "Consumers can be confident that vinyl medical devices and toys are safe."

In December the world's largest toymaker, Mattel, announced that it would seek alternative chemicals to use in their toys. They hope to find a biodegradable, non-petroleum replacement for the plastic additives.


PURE FACTS: Jul-Aug, 1998, Vol. 22, No. 6

FDA Attempts to Destroy Books on Natural Sweetener
The Food and Drug Administration has gotten itself into a messy predicament in their efforts to destroy books that describe the ways to cook with and use stevia, a natural sweetener.

At a Town Hall meeting held by Texas Congressman Joe Barton, a man held up two books. The first book is titled The Anarchist's Cookbook. It describes how to make homemade bombs. The second book is Cooking With Stevia: The Naturally Sweet & Calorie- free Herb. The book on making bombs is allowed, said the man, but the second book is not. That man is James Kirkland, author of the book on stevia. His book, and two others have been targeted for destruction by the Food and Drug Administration, a federal agency whose job is to oversee the safety of foods, drugs and cosmetics. The First Amendment protects the right of Americans to free speech whether it's a how-to book on making a bomb or baking with a calorie-free herb.

Why is the FDA so upset?
Stevia is a calorie-free sweetener that has none of the harmful side effects of aspartame, saccharine or cyclamates. Called "honey leaf" by the natives of Paraguay, where it has been used for centuries, stevia has actually been found to offer some health benefits. (Advocates claim it inhibits the development of dental plaque.)

Japanese food companies have successfully used stevia (pronounced STEE-vee-ya) for 25 years.

The Food and Drug Administration banned the import of stevia because it had not undergone the lengthy and expensive testing required before a product can be approved as a food additive. But with the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, stevia could be imported into the United States; however, it can be sold only as a supplement, not as a sweetener. The agency has not offered evidence of any harmful effects of the natural sweetener.

The information gap this creates for the consumer is being filled by three books which teach consumers how to use stevia, both in cooking and as a tabletop sweetener. They are: "The Stevia Story - a tale of incredible sweetness & intrigue," by Linda Bonvie, Bill Bonvie and Donna Gates, "Stevia Rebaudiana, Nature's Sweet Secret," by David Richard, and the Kirkland book, "Cooking with Stevia."

The FDA action came in the form of a search of Texas natural food stores, where agents removed the three books on stevia.

Go ahead -- take a stand -- buy a book here.
The following information has been provided by the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, an organization composed primarily of people who have had adverse effects from the use of aspartame:

"On May 19 FDA Compliance Officer, James R. Lahar faxed a letter to Stevita Company, addressing the destruction of 2,500 books he deemed 'offending,' at a cost to the company well in excess of $10,000. The letter further threatens that investigators will conduct a current inventory and 'witness the destruction of the cookbooks, literature, and other publications for the purpose of verifying compliance' upon visiting Stevita Co. for a fourth time this year.

"Oscar Rodes, President of the Stevita Company said the FDA ordered the action because the books contain general information that include history, usages and scientific studies regarding stevia. Currently, Federal law requires that stevia herbal products can only be marketed as dietary supplements without any mention of having sweetening power.

"Here's what Linda and Bill Bonvie had to say, when asked about the FDA wanting the book they authored destroyed in Arlington, Texas: 'The stevia issue, which we first reported in January of 1996 for New Age Journal, is one filled with contradictions and intrigue, secret trade complaints, searches and seizures, and generally intimidating FDA actions which, in the minds of many knowledgeable individuals, smack of a conspiracy between regulators and certain powerful commercial interests to keep this centuries-old sweet herb, which is used throughout the world, away from American consumers.'"

The glare of the spotlight
Journalist Charles Levendosky did some of his own research on the FDA fiasco, and reported in the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune, "Lahar now claims he never ordered the books destroyed. In an interview he said, 'The sentence reads to the effect that if books are going to be destroyed, we'd like to observe it.' When asked then where the idea for destroying books came from, Lahar said he wouldn't answer. "

Levendosky found that the various FDA officials he contacted were very short on information, although the FDA Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement wrote, "...we have contacted Mr. Rodes and advised him not to destroy the books at this time."

After more publicity, the FDA counsel later wrote to the owner's lawyer, "The FDA Dallas District Office informs me that it was Mr. Rodes [the president of the Stevita Company] who chose the option of destroying the books." (Needless to say, the owner of the company emphatically denies that he had any intention of destroying his own inventory!)

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