FDA crack down on misleading claims by companies on autism treatments and products

FDAThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA) – issued a consumer update recently on their website Beware of False or Misleading Claims for Treating Autism

The update states that according to Gary Coody, R.Ph., who is the FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, the agency has warned several companies to stop making false and misleading claims about their therapies and products that claim to either treat or cure autism, failure to do so may lead to possible legal action.

In particular they name 5 ‘therapies’ that carry a significant health risk:

“Chelation Therapies.”
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Miracle Mineral Solution.
Detoxifying Clay Baths.
CocoKefir probiotics products.

What the FDA clearly state is that if a product is an unproven or little known treatment then caution should be used.

This recent publication has obviously created a lot of interest and widespread comment within the autism community.

Emily Willingham writing on the Forbes website states:

“About time. Autistic children have suffered long enough from the “interventions” that the FDA lists as targets that “carry significant health risks,”

Ellen Seidman on the Parents.com website said that parents of children with special needs are willing to try everything that can help their children. She then adds:

” But we also need to make sure our kids don’t fall victim to quackery—and companies trying to take advantage of desperate parents. The FDA has approved medications that can help with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, including risperidone and aripripazole to treat kids five and up who have severe tantrums, aggression and self-injurious behavior.”

Anna Kennedy OBE of Anna Kennedy Online had this to say in response to the FDA’s consumer update:

“I always worry and am skeptic when I hear about cures or treatments for autism. Parents of children on the autism spectrum are most vulnerable when their children are first diagnosed and tend to research treatments and possible cures for their children. It is important that we need to look for proof when anything claims to be a cure whilst I welcome new ideas all claims must be backed by clear evidence.”

Russell Saunders of The Daily Beast said:

“it is heartening to learn that the Food and Drug Administration is going to be cracking down on some the purveyors of worthless products meant to treat or cure autism through the removal of toxins.”

This topic will obviously continue to create much opinion and we will be following the FDA website with interest.