Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Tylenol...

Dear Tylenol,

I am seriously hoping that someone within your organization is paid to follow Internet and blogger traffic, so that you will come across my little site. However, if I don't hear from you in a couple of days (my contact info is just to the right), I will most likely contact you.

I never get sinus headaches. But boy, I was brewing one crazy mess of one last week. So strange this headaches was, with no congestion, runny nose or anything else, that I was sure I was experiencing some fluid and pressure problem within my brain. I have to stop searching the Internet unnecessarily. Anyway, By Friday afternoon I was no good at work and I had to step out and get some medicine, which I loathe. I have to be really really sick to take medicine. I am conscious of everything that I expose my body too (please read previous posts). But I felt it was necessary to take medicine that day, so I went to Duane Reade.

In Duane Reade, I immediately looked for your box. I used to sometimes buy generics, but then one day when I was comparing generics and brand name medicines, I noticed that while the brand name allergy medicine contained sorbitol, the generic contained saccharin! I am not cool with saccharin, and that is when I realized that while the medicine or active ingredients are usually the exact same between generics and brand names, the additives are not. And I don't want some of those cheaper additives. So last Friday I picked up your box of Tylenol Cold and Sinus and checked out the back, to see what made the medicine "non-drowsy". I didn't even find out why it was non-drowsy, I was too disturbed by the fact that the medicine contained Red Dye #40, which, (among several other food dyes) has been shown to cause behavior problems in children, is banned by the European Union and was recently the focus of a petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. I can't always say I love everything about the CSPI, but in this case they petitioned the FDA to ban the use of six different food dyes all banned by the EU. In 1959, the FDA recommended no more that 12mg of consumption per person per day of these food dyes. In 2007 they upped the upper limit to 59mg. I think perhaps there was a little bit of lobbying involved there. Dear Tylenol, I have alot of issues with food dyes because they make toxic fake food look more like real food. Food Dyes seduce children and trick their eyes to believe that what they are eating is fresh when in actuality it is not. I don't come across food dyes too often because we only eat real food in my house, no colors, no artificial flavoring, no low fat nothing, no preservatives, just food. But you are not a food manufacturer. You make medicines. So my decision to not buy your product was to avoid ingesting even a small amount of toxic and completely unnecessary dye. Ironically, your competitors product, which I did buy, contains Yellow #6, which is also on the CSPI petition. Great, now I am feeling like there are no options for me the next time I get a headache.
Every manufacturer makes dye free medications for children. I try to only buy those. But I can't say I have ever seen an adult medication that was labeled as dye free. Perhaps it is because all the research centers around behavior problems in children. But what are food dyes doing to me that we do not yet know about? Are they carcinogenic? Has anyone ever checked? As someone who's mother died of brain cancer some eleven years ago, I think it is important that be skeptical of every non-food substance that goes into my body. I do it for my two children and I should damn well be doing it for myself.

So please, I am asking you really nicely, is it possible to make these medicines without food dyes? Do you think your consumer will take off-white pills? Is it possible to print your brand logo using a different method? Perhaps embossing it on the pill rather than printing with any dye? People like me are not going away, and I will buy products that are dye and additive free. The only catch is--if you market them as dye and additive free, you better make sure that they actually are.

The Table of Promise

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if Tylenol is listening...but you certainly aren't the only one!!!
    I've let them know more than a few times how much we want more dye free options for all ages. Especially chewables and tablets.
    I wouldn't object to a few acetaminophen only allergen free options. Ones that are totally allergen/chemical sensitivity friendly.
    Meanwhile...for your next headache, look for goody's powders. Few additives, but they do have caffeine.