HELP! Freaking out!! BF & autism/cancer correlation!?!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-26-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just checking out childhood cancer rates and stumbled upon this: http://www.pollutionaction.org/breastfeeding-and-autism-and-cancer.htm I'm freaking out now!  I know the intelligent women of MDC will have an explanation, right?!  I've breastfed my kids for 2 years each and am now bf'ing my 15-mo-old.  Please show me some stats that disprove this!!!


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#2 of 11 Old 10-26-2012, 04:00 PM
 
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#3 of 11 Old 10-26-2012, 11:18 PM
 
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I recently read an article about the risk of childhood cancer going up for every month a baby is on formula! I've come to the realization that the human race is basically screwed at this point, and you just have to do the best you can to minimize the risks of eating, breathing, simply living!

 

I will risk breastfeeding ANY day over formula and its GMO ingredients, which I feel are FAR more hazardous than anything in breast milk. JMO though, I am far from an expert. Just a mom trying to the best I can for my kids.


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#4 of 11 Old 10-29-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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I just read an article talking about how GMO toxins have been found in mothers and babies. I have a strong feeling that there is a relation between the two. I have recently been reading up on GMO's, and they are terrible. A 2 year French study has show that they cause cancer and a number of other problems. The problem is that there are GMO's in most stuff weather you realize it or not. A big problem is that anyone in the U.S. and even some other countries that does the research showing that these things are bad, Has their work taken and their careers ruined. Not because of bad research, but because these big businesses have people in high place in the government. A guy recently had years of work stolen from him because he had strong evidence that the pesticides these companies are spraying is killing the bee population. Before he coulod release his work the "law" confiscated or destroyed all of his work. While it is almost impossible to avoid all of the poisons out there, if you stick with organic foods, avoid bpa and other chemical toxins, and avoid "medicine" that is not absolutely needed, you should not worry.

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#5 of 11 Old 11-16-2012, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a scary world that we live in! I try to avoid toxins as best as I can, but they're everywhere. After I did some research of my own, I found cancer/autism incidence and breastfeeding rates did NOT coincide. Not sure where this guy got his info.

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#6 of 11 Old 11-16-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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Last I checked the cows live in the same environment that we do. Its not like formula has less toxins in it. 

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#7 of 11 Old 11-16-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FlipMom23 View Post

I was just checking out childhood cancer rates and stumbled upon this: http://www.pollutionaction.org/breastfeeding-and-autism-and-cancer.htm I'm freaking out now!  I know the intelligent women of MDC will have an explanation, right?!  I've breastfed my kids for 2 years each and am now bf'ing my 15-mo-old.  Please show me some stats that disprove this!!!

head:::desk:::

So much to say on this but the following comes to mind immediately:

1) Correlation DOES NOT EQUAL cause and effect. And with that in mind, remember that when you compare US vs. EU, you are not just comparing breastfeeding rates to cancer or autism, we are comparing food supplies, medical systems, diets, and a whole host of other factors. We should all know by this point that the US is wildly irresponsible with our food supply (hi. pesticides. herbicides. GMOs. antibiotics. growth hormones). Wildly irresponsible. We should also know that all the toxins that US food suppliers, factories, nuclear plants, etc, dump into our environment collect in breast milk and get passed on to babies. EU countries are generally more careful about their food supply, label GMO's (or have banned them outright) for example. They also have far better health care stats than the US in many categories.

2) I believe that what we are seeing - in these huge increases in cancer and mental impairments - is the cumulative effect of decades (century-ish?) of giving the benefit of the doubt to exposure (e.g. "oh, it's in such low levels, it doesn't pose any risk to human health at those levels.") Taken in and of itself, each one of these exposures might not be dangerous, but when you pile them all on top of each other the kind of lifestyle the typical US person leads...dangerous.

3) I'm still going to err on the side of what God made over rocket fuel formula, when it comes to feeding my babies. I have exclusively and extended-ly breastfed 3 kids over the last 6.5 years and it's not likely I'll be done for awhile yet. That said, just like with our choice to be non-vaxing and be more protective of our kids and their exposure to disease, I know that my choices for my kids require me to make adjustments to my lifestyle. We can only protect ourselves up to a point, but eating clean - avoiding GMO's (this one is HUGE I think), choosing organic and/or local, being picky about meats and fish and being careful about what kind of products we use in our homes and on our bodies...it's a good place to start, for us and for our kids. I still use Dawn for dishwashing and I still use Tide for laundry, but we've switched over the last few years to paraben-free, SLS-free, type shampoos and soaps...mostly Dr. Bronner's. We don't use fluoride toothpaste and we don't drink tap water (do you guys know how much municipal tap can be contaminated with industrial waste by-products and pesticides? It's crazy!) and I have switched from anti-persperant, aluminum deodorant to some less effective but more safe apricot-scented Toms of Maine stuff. :-) Baby steps...


If anyone is left to write about this chapter in human history...they will probably write that humans of this age were short-sighted fools who didn't even begin to consider the consequences of their actions until it was too late.

Breastfeed your babies, try to eat and live clean and educate yourself. But I would be enormously skeptical of any research that claims to prove that breastfeeding is more dangerous than formula.

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#8 of 11 Old 11-21-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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That's a totally stupid article.  The whole autism scare and "increase in autism" is made up anyway. Really, it is.  Example - today, my son and I are "autistic". 30 years ago, we would never have been classified as autistic. They changed the definition of autistic to diagnose more people. One ca argue over whether they should have done that or not... but keep in mind when they talk about have X % more autistic people now than in 1970, that in 1970 in order to be "autistic" you had to be so bad off you were sent to an institution to live in.

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#9 of 11 Old 11-21-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JenRave View Post

That's a totally stupid article.  The whole autism scare and "increase in autism" is made up anyway. Really, it is.  Example - today, my son and I are "autistic". 30 years ago, we would never have been classified as autistic. They changed the definition of autistic to diagnose more people. One ca argue over whether they should have done that or not... but keep in mind when they talk about have X % more autistic people now than in 1970, that in 1970 in order to be "autistic" you had to be so bad off you were sent to an institution to live in.

 

This is one of the most offensive posts I have ever read.

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#10 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JenRave View Post

That's a totally stupid article.  The whole autism scare and "increase in autism" is made up anyway. Really, it is.  Example - today, my son and I are "autistic". 30 years ago, we would never have been classified as autistic. They changed the definition of autistic to diagnose more people. One ca argue over whether they should have done that or not... but keep in mind when they talk about have X % more autistic people now than in 1970, that in 1970 in order to be "autistic" you had to be so bad off you were sent to an institution to live in.

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#11 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 12:58 PM
 
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Okay, this article is super-long, and I do not have time to read it all at the office, but I'm gonna hit some points that stood out to me in the beginning, and in the author's resume, which I hope you will find reassuring.

 

From the author's resume:

 

Quote:
 There can be advantages to having a study done by a qualified outsider.  Research by PhD's tends to go into great detail in narrowly-defined areas, and they typically conclude with recommendations for future multi-year studies on the subject.  I feel that this matter deserves a strong orientation toward determining what can and should be done now to address serious problems.  There is already a large amount of research published that relates to this subject, which can be brought together, analyzed and put promptly to use.  I received scores in the top 1% on standardized tests when in high school, hold a B.A. cum laude from Oberlin College, did well in challenging biology and chemistry courses, and stood in the top third of my class during a year at Harvard's Graduate School of Business Administration. 

 

In other words:  This person has no scientific credentials.  He took some bio in college.  He did okay one year at HBS (it's not clear whether he finished the degree program or not).  His grasp on statistical analysis appears to me to be very shoddy.  He has no training in immunology, oncology, neurology, obstetrics, gynecology, epidemiology, or pediatrics (or anything else I can find).  There is, indeed, sometimes some value to research done by qualified outsiders, but this guy is not a qualified anything.  He's just some guy.  When reading an article critically and deciding which of several articles (with competing conclusions) to prefer, it's important to examine whether the authors have the expertise they claim they do, or any expertise at all.

 

ETA:  Also please note, he has not done a study.  He has written the longest piece of bibliography salad I have ever seen.  It's not a study.  It barely even rates the title "analysis."  More like "he has scraped up some statistics he hasn't taken the time to understand and then hypothesized wildly about them."

 

Early in the article, he offers the following statements (bolding in original).

Quote:
--  Average life expectancies in low-breastfeeding countries are greater than in high-breastfeeding countries in four out of five major world regions. (Section 1.2.p.1)  The only region in which higher rates of breastfeeding correlate with higher life expectancy (and then exceeding average lifespans in low-breastfeeding countries by less than one year) is Sub-Saharan Africa;
-- Compared with people over age 15 in higher-breastfeeding countries, 8% fewer over-age-15 residents in low-breastfeeding European countries report a long-standing illness or health problem (Section 1.2.p.2);

 

Average life expectancies in low-breastfeeding countries are greater then in high-breastfeeding countries.  Well, yes, because holy confounding factors Batman.  People are more likely to breast feed when they don't have safe alternatives, and people are more likely to have safe alternatives when they live in highly developed nations, where they are also more likely to live longer.  Breast feeding has very little to do with that difference.

 

Similarly, those higly-developed, low-breastfeeding European countries have a tendency to have good public services, like health care.  That means that, if you have a health problem, you're more likely to have access to effective treatment, and less likely to find that the problem becomes one of long standing. 

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