Letter Sent To The NZ Medical Council: The Use Of Ritalin Requires An Urgent Rethink

Sent: June 16th 2010

To: The Medical Council of New Zealand


Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: The Use Of Ritalin Requires An Urgent Rethink.

After reading the article in the NZ herald dated June the 9th regarding the Government’s fears related to the use of Ritalin, I am writing to express my views and findings about the same subject.

I am an independent researcher and have over the past 30 years, collected a vast amount of information, plus practical experience as I have helped many parents address problems with hyperactive children.

Last year the American Pediatric Association admitted they “got it wrong” and now they say there is a relationship between diet and behavior.   This information has been available for decades – since Dr George M. Gould conducted trials in 1910.  This was followed by Randolph, Professor Ben Feingold, Drs Alexander Schauer and Stephen Schoenhaler and there have been many more.

During my research, I found the numbers of hyperactive children had risen gradually together with obesity and diabetes, which can be food related.  This rise coincided with the large amount of fast food firms that popped up, like McDonalds, KFC and Burger King.

Firstly, there is no such thing as ADD or ADHD.  It is just plain old hyperactivity.  A myth has developed regarding ADD and ADHD, owing to the American Psychiatric Association’s decision during the 1980’s to remove two symptoms from the large number of symptoms of hyperactivity, and create two new diseases which they claimed were due to brain dysfunction and were treatable, not curable.

According to Dr Dianne McGuinness, the Professor of Psychology at Miami University, there were just under one million children on Ritalin in 1991 in the USA and she voiced her concerns about giving children deemed to have a brain dysfunction Ritalin.  Unfortunately, nobody who was able to make a difference appeared to listen.

By 1995, the number of children on Ritalin had risen to over four-and-a-half-million and then, somebody did listen.  An investigative journalist named John Merrow. He discovered that the American Psychiatric Association, together with Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis), the pharmaceutical firm, with a parents’ group called CHADD, launched a scheme to promote Ritalin.  The parents’ groups received thousands of dollars in handouts, resulting in the rise of Ritalin sales.  This was broadcast across America on October the 20th, 1995, via radio and TV.   It resulted in a class action law suit being taken against the abovementioned through the lawfirm Waters and Kraus.

In 1998, the world’s ADD and ADHD authorities decided that it was not a brain dysfunction.

Perhaps you should review the 2001 assessment and treatment of ADD and ADHD children in New Zealand in the publication printed by the MOH.  Surely it must be out of date? In my opinion, it never was in date.  There is no mention of trying a dietary program, only mention of using drugs.  In addition, there is no mention of brains scans, blood tests or biopsy, merely a set of questions and observations.

In addition, we are given to understand that ADD and ADHD is a world-wide problem, but that is not so.  I myself conducted research in Cuba.  It has a population of approximately 11 million and leads the world in organic farming.  Eighty percent of the food produced is organic, there is no GE produce and their medical system is perhaps one of the best in the world.  I visited Cuba at the end of 2005, during which time I spent time with a Professor of Nutrition, Manuel Hernandez Triana.  He advised me that hyperactivity was virtually unknown in his country and that they had no use for Ritalin.

I visited a school and spoke to teachers.  I learnt that all school children receive a free, freshly cooked mid-day meal, plus free milk up to the age of 7 years.

The schools I visited were amazing.  No children were “playing up.”  I saw no signs of obesity.  When I told the teachers about the problems we have in New Zealand schools, they were shocked.

Unlike New Zealand, Cuba has no fast-food outlets and fizzy drinks seem to be absent.  I thus concluded that their organic food, plus the absence of junk food definitely has a bearing on a child’s behavior.  No one can tell me that there isn’t a link!

People like me have been shouting this idea from the roof-tops for years and as an ex-teacher and having spoken to other retired teachers, we all agree, we did not experience the problems that today’s teachers do.  I have persistently informed Ministers in the Beehive, but nobody listens.

I make no apologies for this long letter. I do however hope you are humble enough to read it and take some form of action. Ritalin can ruin people for life and its use is unwarranted in my opinion.

Yours sincerely,

Betty Hooper.


1)      Dr Alexander Schauss, Diet, Crime and Delinquency

2)      Dr Stephen Schoenthaler, Sugar and Anti-social Behavior

3)      Superintendent Peter Bennett and Gail Bradley, The Shipley Project, The Relationship Between Nutrition and Deviant Behavior

4) Dr Doris Rapp, MD, FAAA, FAAP, Professor of Paediatrics, NY.


2 responses to “Letter Sent To The NZ Medical Council: The Use Of Ritalin Requires An Urgent Rethink

  1. Clare Swinney

    Great letter. Thanks Betty. Ritalin should not be administered. It causes long-term harm to children and creates drug addicts.
    What kind of response did you get, Betty?

  2. Thanks for the detailed information. I am keen to learn more about the work done by Peter Bennett. You mentioned a reference to his Shipley project but I could not find any document about that on the web. Will you be able to send me this mentioned reference?

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