Saturday, February 20, 2010

Everything but the Zinc

The news on TV and on the web was that the makers are pulling their products from the market but what the stories don't tell is how soon they knew before they acted to pull their products from the market. That's the real news story. It wasn't that the manufacturers didn't have enough time and warning to know about their product. Research shows that they did know and until now denied the charges.
zinc free denture cream
"Man claims Poligrip caused neuro damage - A man who used a denture adhesive now claims the zinc in the product caused neurological damage and has filed suit against the manufacturer. Smithkline Beecham Corporation, maker of Poligrip, is named as defendant in an East Texas civil action lawsuit filed on Tuesday, July 31. Through normal and regular use of Super Poligrip Denture Adhesive Cream, plaintiff William Walker alleges injuries which include neurological damages. The complaint states the product did not contain warnings or instructions regarding the hazards of ingestion and absorption of zinc.Plaintiff's attorney Casey Carlile of Marshall, Texas states Walker's injuries and their relationship to Poligrip were "inherently undiscoverable" and therefore, the discovery rule should not be applied until "discovery of Defendant's tortuous conduct." SE Texas Record (8/2007)
Before there was a lawsuit there were cases from individuals that we would call "canaries" that alerted individuals to dangers that could cause serious injury to users. This is before the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) acted in the public interest, or should we say reacted in the public interest.
"Everything in moderation -- even denture cream. - You wouldn't think of it as being hazardous to your health -- but in high amounts, it could be - at least according to handful of individual reports, highlighted in the journal Neurology. "In these four patients, they had neurological disorders and had been using high levels of denture cream, denture adhesive," says Dr. Marc Samuels, a dentist at Allegheny General Hospital. The issue is what's in the denture cream, namely, zinc and copper, which in the wrong amounts can be bad for your nerves -- with poor balance, hand weakness, confusion, and even bladder accidents." (KDKA TV  9/2009)
One of the reasons we focus on the scientific study and research is because of the specific knowledge derived from specific research. If we seem critical of our FDA its because of the slowness of their responses than to any feelings of mistrust.
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has long sought to educate the public, advocate government policies that are consistent with scientific evidence on health and environmental issues, and counter industry’s powerful influence on public opinion and public policies. (CSPI)
We love the CSPI! We don't always agree with them but as a source of scientific information we them. We don't often quote them and when we do we'll highlight that it's from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. For the FDA an "event" is registered when a lawyer advised the Food and Drug Administration that a problem has occurred. For instance an attorney registered a MAUDE (Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience) in November in 2005. Now we ask you, should you have to wait until four (4) years later to receive vital health information?
This care was reported by a lawyer and verified via medical records and described the occurrence of heavy metal poisoning in an adult female pt who used poligrip denture adhesive cream for dentures. The pt's past medical history included kidney stone. Concurrent medical conditions included hypertension. In the complaint, the reporter (lawyer) alleged that the complainant, an adult female, experienced heavy metal (zinc) poisoning and neurologic insult as a result of absorption and ingestion of poligrip. A physician or other health care professional has not verified this report. The outcome of the events is unk. (MAUDE Adverse Event Report)

We think the answer to that question is never. Information is power and vital information is a matter of life and death.

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