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  1. #1
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    Mar 2005
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    Check out this website.

    http://www.drgreene.com/21_825.html

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    Winnipeg Manitoba
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    Yup.

    I cant count the number of times I've refused to sell honey to moms that don't believe it can be harmfull to newborns. Although after 13-14 months, you can still hook 'em while they'r young.

    J.R.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2003
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    oneonta al.
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    The way I understand it is,Some kid got sick (afew years back),mommy ran it to the hosp-(had good insurance),The Dr.tried to find out what was wrong so they asked what all it has ate in the last few hour's,So Mommy not knowing named afew thing's & honey was on the list.Let's blame it on honey the Dr said.BANG,there it is.Bunch of hog wash,IMO.
    Who knows what the little rug rat ate crawling all over the floor,But the caring mommy would not allow her kid to eat anything hehe,
    Just take a look at the times honey is mentioned in the Bible for being good,I've looked & can't find not one warning lable in it about feeding it to baby's.
    Dr sure looked smart,But as I say this is JMO.

  4. #4
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    The previous edition (36th) of ‘ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture’ recommended feeding honey to infants. (pages 401, 405, 406). How things have changed. Here is some current writing on honey and infant botulism:

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/w0076e/w0076e06.htm#2.9

    Mike Burgett had this to say in ‘Honey Bee Pests, Predators, & Diseases:

    In a review article concerning the relationship between infant botulism and honey, Lawrence pointed out the present consensus in all segments of the beekeeping industry in the United States: “Honey has by no means been proven to cause infant botulism, but it has been shown conclusively to be a risk factor associated with the condition. This is a fine distinction but an important one to make. Since honey is not necessary for the nutrition of infants, and since it is an avoidable source of botulinal spores, it is a risk that need not be taken.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Sacramento, CA
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    It's tough enough to live with the unavoidable risks that go along with raising infant children. I agree with the philosophy of "it is a risk that need not be taken". Protection of my children is a primal force in my life.
    Being lucky can sometimes overcome a lack of preparation. The only problem is that you can't plan on being lucky!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    I must concur - this is an avoidable risk. My officemate's 4-month-old child contracted infant botulism and spent nearly three weeks in the hospital (good deal in ICU). This is a VERY serious illness that can lead to death if not properly diagnosed and treated - yes, there is a new drug (BabyBIG) that significantly improves chances for survival, but proper diagnosis does not always occur.

    His boy is now 14 months old and in perfect condition. They were VERY lucky. I should mention also that his wife is a physician so she could better access the seriousness of her son's condition better than the average parent.

    They did suspect that honey may have been involved and tested all honey present in the household, but did not find infant botulism present in the samples.

    Personally, I take this very seriously. I label my honey appropriately and would never sell to a parent not willing to adhere to label instructions.

    See for more info:
    http://www.infantbotulism.org/
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #7
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    They did suspect that honey may have been involved and tested all honey present in the household, but did not find infant botulism present in the samples.
    so, it could have been anything then. babies crawl around on floors. babies also pick things up off the floor and put them in their mouths. honey is now a prime suspect because there are warnings on those jars. on the subject of infant botulism carrots, for whatever reason, are sometimes mentioned as also being a source of botulism spores. i have a bag of carrots in my fridge. the carrots do not carry a warning that they can cause botulism in babies. afaik, honey is the ONLY food that carries a warning against feeding to babies. are their others?

  8. #8
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    Aug 2002
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    Some historical information may be helpful. For many centuries when mother's milk was not available or the baby had a reaction, it was common to make formula out of raw cow's milk with a bit of honey in it. The honey seemed to make the baby more interested in the milk and was believed to be a healthy food (and it probably was). Since it was a common ingredient in milk given to new borns it was deemed prudent to put the warning on. Since raw carrots are not commonly given to really young infants (since they have no teeth) it is less of an issue. It was because babies not even on solid food were COMMONLY given honey (in their milk) that they thought they needed the warning.

    I agree the reason they tested the honey was most probably because of the warning on the label, not the likelyhood it would cause it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
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    May 2005
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    I feel like the warnings on honey MAY have inadvertantly had a negative impact on my son's health. That being said I will say that not informing myself on why honey should not be givin to infants and the exact ages to follow is to blame also. Thats confusing so let me explain. I have seen warnings on honey to wait till up to two years to give them to children. So I have lots and lots of honey because I keep bees but I have givin very little to my son because he isn't quite 2 years old, and zero honey for the first year. Now he has had multiple respratory infections and is now diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease. He is taking breathing treatments and has been put on Singular (an alergy medication). We live 1/2 hour outside the dirtyist air found in a metropolitan area in the country (Knoxville, TN) so pollution could be to blame even though we live in a semi-rural area, but the Singular means the doctors suspect allergies to things like pollen, right? So here all this time I could have been feeding him honey collected right outside our door and possibly avoided this dependence on medication and lots of sick time for him. Pus, I have never heard that botilism is the reason but instead it was becuase of an enzyme, so apparently theres alot of misconceptions on the idea. I don't know all the facts but I think the warnings are overreaching, espically the one I read for waiting 2 years. If anyone puts these warnings on there I think they should be based on solid science and not just think about lawsuits or what they have heard. The side affects are described above. Solid science isn't a couple of studies and some rare cases. Strawberries have been known to carry hepetitus bacteria but no warnings are put on packets of strawberries. Most of your salad greens will have some traces of e-coli, again no warnings and we have pureed them into baby food. Plus the carrots mentioned above. we have pureed them into food too, sometimes cooking them first and sometimes raw. Again no warning labels so there is lots of food out there that can carry pathogens, so can the air and the soil, people, and every imaginable item that babies will stick in their mouths. So my conclusion from what I have read here and the links: wait 6months, maybe, do more research, I'll start feeding my son a teaspoon of honey a day, if we have another child at 6 months he or she will get a teaspoon a day unless solid science or lack thereof will allow it to be given earlier.

  10. #10
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    oh they're saying one year not six months, my mistake. I will certainly look for more research before I feed an infant less than on year honey, but They are also saying they found spores in very few samples of Californian honey for the first time in 1976 (Huhtanen et al., 1981) and more recently also in the UK (Crane, 1979) and Italy (Aureli et al., 1986)Then found zero spores in samples from other places. Thats hardly conclusive or recent. Can anyone point us to some recent conclusive studies? Not that the posting above siteing this article didn't increase my understanding of the issue because it did, thank you.

  11. #11
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    Michael, sorry to hear about Jonas' health challenges. You might be right. He's your son. You make the decisions for his health. It may be that his allergies are a bigger threat to his health than honey would be. You can get your honey tested for the Bot. spores. Contact a Microbiologist or a school.

    Dynomite web site. finish it.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  12. #12
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    Jan 2004
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    You're assuming that feeding the infant honey would have affected the allergy problems, and I question that. I know that it's "common knowledge" that local honey helps with allergies, but I wonder if any real research has been done to verify this, especially for infants.

    I'm afraid that the chance of getting conclusive studies is pretty remote since it would involve exposing infants to botulism. Given the difficulty of accurately determining the risk, I have to assume that the risk outweighs the reward for giving honey to an infant under the age of 1.

  13. #13
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    I'm going out on a limb here, so please don't everyone come down on me like a load of loose gravel, but I seem to recall the magic age limit for possible botulism from honey in infants is about 6 months. The 1 year age was chosen, as I understand, just to be extra safe.

  14. #14
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    BeeBear, it worked for my allergies. I don't look for more scientific proof than that.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  15. #15
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    >BeeBear, it worked for my allergies. I don't look for more scientific proof than that.

    But it can't work until after they prove it scientifically. It must be your imagination.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
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    OK, I've done some research and here is what I've come up with. By doing a search for "honey infant botulism" on google I found some very good research and a whole lot of vauge, alarmist warnings about not feeding honey to infants. The alamist sites provide very few facts. I think by knowing the facts, and publisizing the facts, parents can come up with what is the best decision for them in addition to understanding that absolutely zero infant botulism cases of this type have occured in children over one year of age and 95% of cases occur during the first 6 months.

    First of all lets look at how rare this disease is. Here is a table from;
    http://www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/dcdc/InfantBot/ibchap2-1.htm
    A chapter for inclusion in the Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Disease, fourth edition

    TABLE 1. Cases and Incidence of Infant Botulism, Top 10 Incidence States, United States, 1977-1995
    State __________Cases___Incidence*
    Delaware _______20 ______11.0
    Hawaii _________35______10.3
    Utah ___________58_______8.3
    California _____631_____7.1
    Pennsylvania ___153_____5.2
    Oregon __________28 _____3.7
    Washington_______45_____3.6
    Idaho ___________11 _____3.5
    New Mexico_______16______3.3
    Arizona__________25_______2.4

    Incidence* = Per 100,000 live births per year.

    Thats the top states for 18 yrs. Now looking at those numbers consider this;
    To date, 32 instances worldwide are known in which C. botulinum spores have been found in the actual honey fed to the affected infant before onset of illness
    Also consider this:
    All cases of infant botulism reported to date have occurred in children less than 1 year of age. Some 95 per cent of cases occur in the first 6 months of life; the remaining 5 per cent are distributed over the subsequent 6 months. The youngest known patient was 6 days old at onset,34,73 while the oldest was 351 days

    Infants can get botulism from the spores when they are present in honey. This in itself is fairly rare and the likelyhood depends on your location. In canada this was found:
    http://www.honeycouncil.ca/users/fol...?FolderID=1650

    Infant Botulism Project 2001

    by Dr John Austin Health Canada, Ottawa
    An infant botulsim study was carried out in 2001. Out of 80 samples from across Canada, we did not detect any spores of proteolytic strains of Clostridium botulinum. Only proteolytic strains of C. botulinum cause infant botulism

    In the US it may be deemed more prevelent by this article:
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020401/1388.html
    American Academy of Family Physicians;
    According to microbiologic testing, up to 25 percent of honey products have been found to contain spores.11 A history of honey consumption is seen in 15 percent of the botulism cases reported to the CDC.
    For infants younger than two months, living in a rural farming area was the only significant risk factor, reported by 40 percent of the families studied. Presumably, these infants would more likely be exposed to aerosolized spores from clothing contaminated by soil or from disrupted soil.12

    This brings up another point. Where are most of these cases coming from if not honey. It seems to be mostly from spores found in the soil. Spores of all kinds saturate our environment and these botulism spores are among them

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/botulism.PDF
    Botulism in the United States, 1899-1996; Handbook
    Centers for Disease Control
    However, since most infants with infant botulism have had no exposure to honey, the risk
    factors and vehicles of transmission of C. botulinum for the majority of cases remain unclear.A survey of foods commonly fed to infants revealed C. botulinum in specimens of corn syrup as
    well as honey, but in no other category of foods tested.In other studies, the same types of C.
    botulinum that caused disease were isolated from soil in an infant's yard and from vacuum cleaner
    dust. Investigators have also frequently noted environmental conditions that might expose infants
    directly to environmental sources of C. botulinum spores, such as a shared crib, dusty or windy
    locales, nearby building construction, or outdoor activities.(26,28)

    I found alot more information some of it contradictory but these above facts are prevelent in various studies. Other interesting but unknown items come up such as:
    Affected infants are also more commonly breast-fed,(24,25) and breast-feeding is associated with an
    older age at onset in type B cases.(25)
    \
    From the same source as the previous quote. This comes up often but certainly shouldn't keep someone from breast feeding because as we have shown this disese is rare. Also breastfeeding cant cause it, it has only been associated with it. In the studies you also see that you are greatly more likely to catch it from the dirt in you backyard than from eating honey.

    So what are my conclusions?
    I wouldn't feed honey to an infant less than one year in age UNLESS there is a need too. And I think that is where the information becomes very important. If your infant has repratory problems or there is a family history of asthma or other bad allergy problems I think there is a benifit to feeding honey as soon as possible. One way would be to wait till 6 months when botulism is extreeemly rare and the other would be to do as suggested in a previous post, have some honey tested. A quart should last an infant quite a long time.

    My other conclusion is to NOT put warning lables on any honey I sell. The reason being, the warning label MISINFORMES more than it in informes. It suggests there is something inherently dangerous in honey that if you feed it to an infant less than one year old something bad is likely to happen. A cautious parent will automatically double that, as will apparently the honey producer whose label I read to wait 2yrs. There MAY be a medicinal benifit in feeding honey. Respratory illnesses in children are growing in epidemic proportions and if honey can help, it is essential that it be given to children at a young age. By educating people that absolutely zero cases of this type botulism have ever been reported in children older than one year of age and by pointing out the fact that it is a very rare way to get this rare disease, parents can safely and confidently feed their one year old honey. A simple one line statement cannot explain this. The one line statement to me has caused me to wait and wait beyond one year to start giving my son honey. As far as I'm concerened, I would have felt comfortable feeding him honey after 6 months wihtout testing it. I would have feed him honey that quite possibly could have avoided the Reactive Airway Disease he now has. Of course I have no way of knowing this for sure, in fact I think its from air pollution, but I'm certainly feeding him honey now, its worth a try.

  17. #17
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    The reason being, the warning label MISINFORMES more than it in informes.
    That pretty well sums up my sentiments on the subject, too MichaelW. Thanks for taking the time to check and posting what you found MichaelW. I suppose the idea to warn people not to feed honey to babies was to avoid harming the purity, health, etc. image honey generally enjoys. It would be bad press indeed if someones baby died due to botulism and the cause of that death was traced directly to the infant having been fed honey. But placing WARNINGS! on jars of honey seems to me to be sendng the wrong message. A local fellow here sells honey and enjoys spitting out all kinds of facts and figures at people telling them about bees and honey. Some of it isn't completely accurate, but he enjoys himself. One of his standard proclamations is "Don't feed honey to infants! Honey can KILL your baby!" IMO, that's going overboard. OK enough ranting for now.... :mad:

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