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Et tu, Anthony Edwards and Dustin Hoffman?

It looks as though the Jenny McCarthy woo factor has claimed two more celebrity victims’ brains. If a recently viewed press release is any indication, it appears that Anthony Edwards and Dustin Hoffman are getting into the autism quackery business:

Internet Marketing Company joins Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Edwards and others in fight to help children with Autism.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 4, 2008) — Market America announced today that it is in the development and testing stages of a new line of nutraceutical products that will support the health of children with Autism and related neurodevelopmental challenges. Specialized laboratory testing often demonstrates sub-optimal levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids in people with Autism, which can be addressed with nutritional supplements. Despite these findings, Market America found in its research that parents and health professionals alike are frustrated with the limited nutritional products available in the marketplace.

Nutritional supplementation has also been addressed by parents of children with Autism, including actors Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey. In a recent article McCarthy and Carrey authored on cnn.com, they state that one of the factors believed to have helped their son recover was vitamin supplementation, along with a gluten and caffeine free diet, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines. To read the article click on the following link: cnn.com.

Market America’s announcement follows a conference held with prominent doctors who specialize in areas related to Autism at Market America’s Greensboro headquarters. The doctors in attendance were Dr. Emi Hosada; an Internist in Washington State, Dr. Jim Sensenig; prominent naturopathic physician and founding president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Susan Beltz; a neuroscientist and clinical scientist and founder of the Mont Black Academy in Hook Set, NH which specializes in educating and treating children with ADHD, Metabolic Disorders and Learning Disabilities, and Dr. Anne Hines; a family and Defeat Autism Now (DAN) physician in Winston-Salem, NC.

I hope this isn’t true, as I’ve always liked Edwards and Hoffman.

The reason I wonder if they really are involved with this pseudoscientific naturopathic quackery is because the only place their names are mentioned is in the title of the press release, and I’ve been unable to find any other information on the web linking them to this effort other than–you guessed it–copies of this press release.

However, I did easily discover that Anthony Edwards, at least, has been heavily invested in raising money for Cure Autism Now, which recently merged with Autism Speaks. So maybe it is true and that he’s fallen prey to the dark side. On the other hand, the version of the press release that I found on Medical News Today dates back to June and has no mention of either Edwards or Hoffman.

Here’s hoping that neither of them are actually involved in what looks like an obvious scheme to suck more money out of the pockets of parents with autistic children.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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