Research, facts, and information are all tools of empowerment. But there’s nothing like negligence to take that power away. So when I read that the FDA issued a warning that the active ingredient in Tylenol (acetaminophen) can cause long term liver damage when taken in excess of 325 mg, and that it is the leading cause of acute liver damage, I immediately checked Dylan’s infant Tylenol, which contains 160 mg per serving (and can be taken up to 5 times in one day, totaling 800 mg). Please press pause.
As a society, we are constantly learning that things we once thought were harmless are actually harmful. Some classic examples are: radioactive water in the 1900’s, cocaine in Coca-Cola, asbestos, Fen-Phen, etc. I like to think we’re all doing our best to protect each other but when the FDA speaks up on something as common as Tylenol, the proof is not in the pudding.
Simply because something is packaged and on a shelf, doesn’t mean it’s safe. I’m sure the FDA does their best (okay I’m not sure), but their best isn’t good enough. Products can hit the market before the FDA has a chance to review and approve them, and even if they are approved, they can later be found to be dangerous and then recalled. It’s a complex and imperfect world out there and we’re bound to make mistakes that jeopardize our health from time to time. And though the best way to protect ourselves is through information, what are we supposed to do when that information is neglected?
Think of seat belts. If you’re not wearing a seat belt, you will be cited and fined. It’s a law designed to protect us from our own stupidity. So when acetaminophen is discovered to be the leading cause of acute liver damage, why is it still available for consumption? Shouldn’t we be protected? Instead of a law that would ban the profit giant from poisoning our livers, Tylenol is taking the liberty to smack warning labels on their products. You know, because we should be smart enough to adhere to a warning label or at least gamble our liver at our own risk.
In sum, you can’t trust anyone, anything, or any claim. Stick to what you know until you know better. And as for Dylan, he hates the grape flavored Tylenol anyway.