Yesterday, while at work in the pharmacy, we got official word of a voluntary recall on several brands of valsartan containing medications. A voluntary recall means that the drug company requests that products be pulled from the pharmacy shelves, and selling of that product cease immediately until new product is issued. It does not extend to the consumer level. You can read more about the recall itself here.
Recalls like this happen every so often in pharmacy, and are not usually call for alarm unless it happens to be one that extends to the customer level (not the case this time). That said, media caught wind of it and began reporting on the recall, causing fear and worry amongst customers who are on this particular blood pressure medication. I began and ended my pharmacy day yesterday fielding these many calls from customers who were fearful of continuing their medication even one more day, now that this information was known.
Once you know something, you can’t un-know it.
The cause of the recall? It became known that one of the ingredients used in this particular medication is a ‘probable’ cancer causing agent. (Ironically, one of the people I spoke to was a smoker. SMH!) Now, before you start calling your pharmacy wondering what you are supposed to do if you are on valsartan, let’s take a look at the facts:
- Right or wrong, the alleged ingredient has been in the medication since at least 2015.
- The recall is not at the customer level (meaning that the situation has not given the FDA cause to issue a recall on dispensed medication too). In fact, this statement was issued by the FDA: “Because valsartan is used in medicines to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines should continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product.”
- “Probable” cancer causing agents should be fully excluded from our daily lives, but sadly they are everywhere you turn. The FDA and the EPA turn a blind eye daily as companies pump probable (and known) cancer causing agents into the environment, our homes, our food and drinking water, AND our personal care products. It’s no wonder that the cancer rate in the United States has skyrocketed since the 1950’s.
Visit the American Cancer Society website, you’ll see a list of these ‘probable (and known) cancer causing agents’ that people unwittingly use and allow into their lives.
Once you know something, you can’t un-know it.
I would advise stopping reading now if you want to remain blissfully unaware, because I’m about to give you the lowdown on just a few items on the FDA/EPA list.
Seriously. Stop now.
Here are just a few offenders from the long list:
- Acetaldehyde- solvent used in the manufacturing of many items including perfumes
- Asbestos – As recently as last week, Johnson and Johnson (yes, the very same company that produces well known baby products) was found guilty of producing asbestos laden talcum powder and must now pay 4.7 BILLION dollars in settlement to women who have suffered physical damage (cancer) because of regular use of their product.
- Azathioprine, Chlorambucil, Cyclophosphamide, Cyclosporine, Etoposide, Metronidazole, Tamoxifen….. these are all medications. The list is so long, I can’t name them all. Several on the list are cancer treating agents (that also may cause cancer themselves. SMH!)
- Formaldehyde – used throughout industry. Commonly found in nail products, soap, hair growing products. Also commonly found in the ingredients of cosmetics. (It is considered an inexpensive preservative….hence, its use. Economy trumps health unfortunately).
- Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Mercury, and Nickel (not all of these are cancer causing agents, but do potentially cause significant health concerns and are found in many ‘mainstream’ cosmetic companies). The FDA has published an interesting survey on cosmetics that can be found here (or on the full length reference at the end of this post). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html
- Herbicides such as Roundup and others. These are truly among the most disastrous carcinogenic agents allowed into our food and water supplies. If you’d like to read a treasure trove of information on this topic, please take a bit of time to visit a document depository on the history of the subterfuge within the chemical industry that stretches back nearly 100 years: The Poison Papers(link below). Roundup and other Monsanto/Bayer chemical products have been banned by wiser countries (sadly, not our own).
Giving you examples of known and probable carcinogens could easily consume my day, because this list just goes on and on and on.…… and ultimately I will bore you to tears (or wake you up to what you likely have in your home).
I’m hoping by now you see my frustration in yesterday’s moment of media hyped hysteria over the valsartan recall. Of course it should have been recalled, but friends…… we have much larger fish to fry if we are going to worry about this.
I would venture to guess that each person I spoke to about the recall yesterday has more than 100+ known carcinogenic products in their home and garage that they willingly (but perhaps unwittingly) choose to expose themselves to on a daily basis.
If you didn’t listen to me, and read this post to completion, you’ve got some decisions to make. What you can’t choose tho, is to now ‘un-know what you now know‘. Knowing gives you personal responsibility for the skin in the game (your own) and begs the next question….. what are you going to do about it?
Reality is this: It’s not possible to avoid every carcinogenic or body damaging product out there, but there IS so much we CAN do to avoid the majority of them within our own home. There are also many ways to encourage detoxification of the body cheaply, effectively, and holistically.
If this post has you thinking that maybe it is time to wake up and clean up, I’d encourage you to start small in big ways. Get the ‘standard’ household cleaners out of your home…. one by one. When you run out of a product, don’t buy that junk again. Consider switching to Thieves Cleaner (a completely healthy way to clean).
Get the candles and formaldehyde laced air fresheners out of your home, and replace them with healthy diffusers. I promise…. you’ll sleep better, be happier, have fewer headaches, and….. if you diffuse the right oils, you’ll even boost your immune system and provide positive emotional support. This trumps possible and probable carcinogenic loaded products any day. Science backs this ya’ll….. as a pharmacist, I wouldn’t be here if it didn’t.
The cosmetic industry is rife with concerning chemicals. Use up what you have, but as you get close to needing more, consider ‘clean’ skin care and makeup. Yes, it does exist. I’d love to send you a few samples of whatever you’d like to see or try that is not only beautiful, but also loaded with health promoting ingredients. Ever heard of Savvy Minerals? If not, you are missing out.
This is one of the (many) things I love about Young Living. They stand in the gap for us where other companies do not. Scouring labels for toxins was time consuming and the print is small and fine (purposefully I think). I know I am taken care of safely with whatever I purchase for my family and our farm, and that we are taking personal responsibility for us….. because clearly, the governmental entities, are not doing enough of it.
If you’d like to learn more about living a more carcinogenic free life, please feel free to private message me.
I am not perfect in my walk, but I’ve done it now for much of my adult life and would be happy to walk with you as you begin your journey. It’s never too late to start.
Hugs and love ~ Liz