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June 2006 Feingold Email Newsletter
Dear Feingold Association Members & Friends,



[ ] DR. ROSS:

                -- extracted from article by Bill Hogan in Mother Jones Magazine

When American corporations come up against inconvenient science, they call in the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). Its medical/executive director's calm, soothing voice can be heard on television and radio, quelling public fears about the latest bad news about health and the environment.

That man is Dr. Gilbert Ross. It was Ross who defended the Wood Preservative Science Council, saying that, contrary to reams of scientific evidence, the arsenic in pressure-treated wood poses "no risk to human health"; Ross who wrote on behalf of the farmed-salmon industry that the PCBs in fish "are not a cause of any health risk, including cancer"; and Ross whose organization once asserted that the jury's still out on whether environmental cigarette smoke really is hazardous to your health. ...

But Ross may not be the best choice to question the credibility of other doctors, scientists, and researchers, since he lost his own medical license and spent 1996 in a Federal prison for trying to defraud New York's Medicaid program of millions of dollars. See the whole story.

Actually, Dr. Ross may indeed be the perfect choice as spokesman for ACSH, since according to Dr. Michael Jacobson, Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, "When it comes to consumer health positions, ACSH is a consumer fraud."

This is the title of the newest article by Laura J. Stevens, author of "12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child." [link no longer functional]

After learning about both the benefits and dangers of these drugs, and some suggestions on when it is appropriate to use them, you can scroll down to read her previous online newsletters that contain a wealth of information on treatments, tests, and other information.

A recent randomized controlled trial has revealed that use of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) increases smoking in a dose-dependent manner. Subjects taking doses of 5, 10. 20, or 40 mg of Ritalin increased their number of cigarettes smoked, number of puffs, and carbon monoxide levels - and the more Ritalin they took, the more they smoked. This test was done on adult smokers who did not have ADHD and were not currently on any stimulant medication. The implications for children with ADHD -- known to be at increased risk of becoming smokers anyway -- is serious.
      -- Methylphenidate increases cigarette smoking, by CR Rush et al, Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Oct;181(4):781-9.

Awhile back, a member wrote in to ask what is Xanthan Gum. Since I had no idea, I did some research on the net. as well as in Ruth Winters "Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives," 1999.

Xanthan gum or zanthan gum is a powder milled from the dried cell coat of a micro-organism called Xanthonomonas campestris, grown under laboratory conditions. It replaces the gluten in yeast breads and other baking. It is available by itself in health food stores and specialty grocery stores, and is frequently seen as an additive in processed foods. Also sometimes called "corn sugar gum" because it is often made from the fermented corn sugar, it is a thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer.

Xanthan gum is described as a "necessary ingredient in the packaging of meat and poultry products." Hmmmmm .... could people sensitive to corn syrup be sensitive to meat and poultry products this is used in? Also, it is used as a stabilizer and "plasticizer" in salad dressings and many dairy products such as yogurt and sour cream to make them thick and pour well and feel much more "nice and rich" than they actually are. It is also used in liquid feeds for ruminants and in "calf milk replacer" .... so I suppose it is in veal and the meat of other animals that grew up drinking it.

Xanthan gum is not one of the additives eliminated on the Feingold Program; however, when it is identified by the manufacturer as coming from a corn sugar source, it is marked with the corn syrup code (CS) in the Feingold Foodlist. It may be something else to watch for if you are allergic to corn or sensitive to corn syrup.

In the journal, Magnesium Research, we found an interesting article showing that magnesium levels are deficient in 95% of children with ADHD. The 116 children tested all had ADHD as well as other behavioral or neurologic disorders. The researchers measured magnesium levels in blood serum, red blood cells and hair, using absorption spectroscopy.

Whether this means that the children do not eat enough foods containing magnesium, or that they may have some metabolic difficulty absorbing or processing it, is unknown and we hope to see more research on this. If you plan to increase your children's intake of magnesium - whether through epsom salt baths or supplements - consult with your health care professional about safe levels to use and whether it is appropriate for your child's individual condition.
      -- Assessment of magnesium levels in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). by Kozielec T, Starobrat-Hermelin B, Magnesium Research, 1997.

[ ] POWER OUTAGE PREPARATIONS: Send us your ideas
A member has made a request I am passing on to all of you.

"We live in Alabama, and since hurricane season is upon us, our thoughts turn to preparation for power outages and the like. Could you make a list of acceptable foods that keep well and can be heated easily or not at all? We get very tired of Spam and Hormel Chili in these situations. And blistering heat with no air conditioning is not the time for a diet mishap!"
Please write me your suggestions or experiences; I will put them together for an Emergency Preparation page for the website.

At PIC we have closed our product information research page starting June 11 through August 12 this year. During this downtime along with graduations, vacation, and FAUS meetings we will be updating the Foodlist & Shopping Guide to insure that all products listed are current. Even though PIC will not be receiving any new research requests, we will be following up on thousands of requests that we already have in our files. You are still encouraged to report any product changes or reactions that you may have to any products already listed. We will be up and running on August 12.

Well, I know it is Father's Day, but this one's for Mom -- Paraphrased from a story making the rounds of the Internet...

A woman, renewing her driver's license, was asked to state her occupation. "What I mean is," explained the official, "do you have a job or are you just a...?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman. "I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation. "Housewife covers it," was the emphatic reply.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing significant words, then stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official form.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field, (indoors and out). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new title, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model in the child development program (a 6 month old baby), testing out a new vocal pattern.

Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.

As we suddenly realize it is Fathers' Day and rush about to buy something for Father .... another tie, a golf tee, a watch or wallet ..... we should stop a moment and think about Dad and the Feingold Program. We often hear about difficulties with Dad - how he didn't want to change his shaving cream that contained perfume, or insisted on "his" unacceptable breakfast cereal .... But on the other side of the coin are all the wonderful Dads who go the distance -- those who study the Program materials, support Mom in her dietary changes and sometimes actually take over all the cooking. I have talked to dedicated Dads who do the shopping, Foodlist in hand, and Dads who have never cooked and need a "crash course" in Stage One meal preparation. To all our Feingold Dads, I'd like to say what a wonderful gift you have given your children. Happy Father's Day....!

Many people come through our Program "training," and continue to "do the diet" on their own without renewing their subscription to Pure Facts or even buying an updated Foodlist. Depending on their sensitivity and (perhaps) luck, they continue to do well. Others come back after some years away because they realize that their materials are out of date. If the Program has helped your family, we hope you will continue as an active member, keeping your subscription and your Foodlist current, both for your own self-interest, and to support our work. When renewing, there is also a field where you can give a donation. Recently, we received from one of you a donation with the following heart-warming note which I would like to share here:
I wanted to help pay for someone's renewal, because when I couldn't pay mine, someone else did. Thank you."
Thank you, and best wishes to you all,