2009-03-26

Dangerous Food Allergy "Cure"

Today an online retailer came to my attention. Their press release claims to have a food allergy cure called Allertherapy, based on the promising Duke University peanut desensitization research. (I am not linking to their site so as not to increase their traffic.) The company, ProActive Remedies, LLC, has put together a homeopathic medication that they flatly state can cure food allergies, with a 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
My jaw is on the floor at their callous disregard for safety. The desensitization studies are all done under close medical supervision. From what I understand, they have even had to exclude kids from the studies who were unable to tolerate the microscopic amounts of peanut being given. Just two weeks ago at our last visit to the allergist, the doctor warned me (unnecessarily) not to try any food challenges at home.
Here are some of the ingredients in their concoction:
DAIRY: CHEESE-AMERICAN, CHEESE-MOZZARELLA, CHEESE-RICOTTA, COW’S MILK, EGG WHITE, GOAT’S MILK, LACTOSE, YOGURT;

FISH: ANCHOVY, BASS, CATFISH, COD, FLOUNDER, HALIBUT, MAHI MAHI, MACKEREL, PERCH, SALMON, SOLE, TROUT, TUNA;

SHELLFISH: CLAM, CRAB, CRAWFISH, LOBSTER, MUSSEL, SCALLOP, SHRIMP, OYSTER;

MEAT: BEEF, CHICKEN, DUCK, GOOSE, LAMB, PORK, TURKEY;

NUTS: ALMOND, BRAZIL, CASHEW, CHESTNUT, HAZELNUT, HICKORY, MACADAMIA, PEANUT, PECAN, PINE, PISTACHIO, WALNUT-BLACK, WALNUT-ENGLISH.
The inclusion of eggs with dairy products and legumes (peanuts) with tree nuts are good indicators of their expertise, or lack thereof. Then they include the warning "Contains Nuts & Seafood!"
If you have a few moments, please join me in filing a complaint with the FDA, before ProActive does any irreparable harm.
Here is the form for Reporting Unlawful Sales of Medical Products on the Internet.

To file the complaint you will need the website address:
http://www.allertherapy.com/index.html
The owner of the website:
ProActive Remedies, LLC
The street address:
2000 Vermont Drive, Suite 210
Fort Collins, CO 80522
Thanks for your help in stopping this product. Feel free to copy and share this information on your own sites.

Belated update in response to Anonymous commenter:
First, let me direct your attention to the victim of an Irish kinesiologist, who was killed by the NAET treatment being performed to cure him of his peanut allergy.
Next, let me point out that ProActive Remedies is basing its claim for Allertherapy's effectiveness specifically on the results of the Duke University clinical trials. Here's what the Duke researcher himself has to say about attempting to replicate the results at home:
Dr. Burks said he thinks some form of oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy will be available for clinical use within a few years. Until such issues as dosing and duration of treatment are established with more patients, though, he strongly cautioned against clinicians or parents plunging ahead on their own.
Finally, let me be perfectly clear on one last point. My child is not a guinea pig to have his life endangered by money grubbing snake oil salesmen, who tell outright lies regarding the basis of their "treatment" and are clearly incompetent when attempting to merely categorize various types of food allergies. I will also make every effort to put an end to their business, so that they cannot prey on other families dealing with food allergies.

12 comments:

Nicole said...

I have heard so many stories about this research lately! I'm right with you- I think it's madness!

Scottish Twins said...

Thanks. I will definitely be filing a complaint.

Jennifer B said...

I did not realize you'd posted on this. Me too! Thank you! I completely agree. I think we should also call the Denver FDA district office. The number is 303.236.3017. I think this manufacturer is probably breaking a few rules and this thing needs to get off the shelves pronto!

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Ahhh, this stuff makes me crazy! I had a patient anaphylax at home after his naturopath did "muscular allergy testing" (just Google that for kicks), by holding an egg over his belly and testing the strength of his arm. His arm was "strong" so he was apparently no longer allergic...so his mom gave him egg..and he reacted terribly. The naturopath's response was "allergies can change minute to minute depending on your energy at the time." And the mom still believes that naturopath...

Mamma Sarah said...

My Uncle was telling me about this recently. Thank you for posting the information.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about this product in particular, but homeopathic products usually do not contain *any* of the given substance. This is what makes it homeopathy. My son and I are cured of severe food allergies by homeopathy. I would *never* recommend anyone challenge anything except at the doctor's office however, don't spread false claims about products you know nothing about. There isn't a scientist alive who can find a measureable amount of the original substance in a homeopathic medicine above 12c potency. It's energy medicine. However, it can still aggravate, so people should use it under a doctor or homeopath's care. Yes, there are MD homeopaths. There are irresponsible practitioners out there giving homeopathy a bad name. Please don't contribute to it.

Anonymous said...

"There isn't a scientist alive who can find a measureable amount of the original substance in a homeopathic medicine above 12c potency."

Which is why homeopathy is 100% bunk (or water, as the case may be). Sheesh.

Thanks for standing up for health and science, Allergy Mom.

Anonymous said...

P.S. (this is anonymous 12:12pm), homeopathy can be harmful and even deadly, because it can keep people from getting real medicine.

http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

Anonymous said...

While I'm not a "down with the establishment" anti-conventional medicine sort of guy, I'm sad to see such a negative view of homeopathy without any real grounded factual empirical arguement.

True, you could find stories about homeopathic snake oil salesmen who's negligence cause harm or death. But I'm sure you can't find one single story about a board-certified MD oh . . . say . . . negligently prescribing a strong anti-depressant to a 12 year old which jump-started her journey toward eventual suicide.

Stupidity exists in all forms and in all professions. As does shysterism, greed, and plain evil.

What I can say and prove is that homeopathic treatment have done wonders for my son. My son, who is allergic to eggs, milk, wheat, sulfurs, oats, rye, barley, nightshades, yeast, and rice (among other things) made absolutely NO progress with conventional medicine. My wife and I were told just to "work around it" and "hope he grows out of it". Not only have we found homeopathic alternatives (given under the care of a licensed and insured homeopathic doctor) to help our son, but some of his allergic reactions are diminishing.

Other developed 1st world countries don't have nearly the negative view toward homeopathy and natural medicine that we do. Now, keep in mind there's a time and place for everything. When my son had lymphadinitis and was unresponsive with a 105 degree fever, we took him to the ER. And our homeopath was supportive of it and would have told us the same thing.

I'm willing to bet any large amount of money that the people who criticize homeopathy (both on this post and on the other linked articles) have never tried homeopathic treatment done by a qualified practitioner.

That's like saying that Pomegranites must taste terrible because the picture of one you saw in a book once looked funny.

You can't be a "Pro Science" parent with out being scientific about these things. Find me a bad story about homeopathy and I'll find you one worse about conventional medicine.

KRS said...

Conventional medicences and doctors are the 6th leading killer in America. Can we also have a campaign to stop ALL doctors from practicing please???

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the viscous nature the medical and scientific community have against natural remedies. Frankly, people suffer sever complications and even die every day from FDA approved medications. "Here, let me treat your Migraine with high blood pressure medication. It'll likely cause depression, so let's get you on some anti-depressants now." I would like to fix the CAUSE of my migraines, not just mask the symptoms, and then mask the resulting symptoms from the first medication. I removed wheat and gluten from my diet and my migraines are almost non-existent. I did that, not a doctor, because I did the research, not a doctor. My husband suffered at the hands of incompetent ER doctors for years before we realized he had a dairy allergy. We figured it out. Again, not a doctor. The doctors cut and stretched his throat 3 times, costing us thousands of dollars, all the while failing to mention that the primary cause of his condition (eosinophillic esophagitus) is food allergy.

People, adults at least, should be allowed to try these things for themselves. How are the risks any different than a medication test group? Or using FDA approved drugs, for that matter? If a person is tired of living with these limitations and is ready to die trying to find a cure, how is that any different than if they were never diagnosed and accidentally died from their actual allergy? We don't need the government to protect us from ourselves when they shovel us approved medications that are just as likely to kill us.

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