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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Baby Food

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss various ideas about what causes the condition

If you listen to Sirius XM, you may have heard radio ads about a class action lawsuit alleging that acetaminophen causes itThere is a similar ad about baby food.

But there is a very long and growing list of other correlatesrisk factors, and possible causes that have been the subject of serious studies.

Susan Goldhaber at the American Council on Science and Health

I almost drove off the road listening to an ad from a law firm urging parents with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to be part of a lawsuit suing baby food manufacturers for causing their child’s condition. According to the ad, the question of what causes ASD has been settled and what remains is for parents to get what is owed them from baby food manufacturers that have been hiding the truth from the public for years


Let us look at a review article that examined the available studies on this topic:

A 2019 review examined 14 studies that investigated the association between arsenic and 37 studies that examined the association between lead and ASD. The studies:
  • Divided children into two groups – those diagnosed with and those without an ASD diagnosis
  • Determined whether there was a statistically significant difference in the measured arsenic or lead levels in the hair, blood, or urine of the two groups of children.
The studies did not determine causality; they identified a correlation.
  • Out of the 14 studies on arsenic exposure, 8 (53.3%) reported a positive association.
  • Out of the 37 studies on lead exposure, 19 (51.3%) reported a positive association.
Class action lawsuits are not new in the U.S., but their scientific basis has weakened over the years. The current lawsuits over ASD and baby foods are based on weak scientific evidence of an association, where even the researchers cannot show a consistent association and no evidence that baby foods cause ASD.