HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Madrid, Spain or Virtually from your home or work.
Renee J Dufault, Speaker at Pediatrics Conferences
Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute, United States


In 2021, the US Congress found heavy metals problematic in the American baby food supply but took no action. Heavy metal residues are pervasive in the United States (US) food supply and allowed by the Code of Federal Regulations because of food ingredient manufacturing practices. Evidence suggests prenatal dietary exposures, especially inorganic mercury and lead may impact gene behavior across generations. A nutritional epigenetics model published in 2009 and updated in 2012, 2021 and 2023 is strongly supported by clinical trial data collected all over the world. The model explains how concurrent dietary heavy metal exposures and poor diet lead to changes in key gene behaviors that create conditions for the development of autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An analysis of the US Centers Disease Control data indicates autism rates are accelerating in the US. An analysis of the US Department of Education data indicates the number of children ages 6-21 in the US receiving special education services increased 10.4% between 2006-2021 even with stable student enrollment. The percentage of children receiving special education services nearly tripled for the autism category and quadrupled for the developmental delay category from 2006-2021. The transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of autism and ADHD appears to be occurring in the US as prenatal dietary heavy metal exposures continue unabated and children are born without the ability to metabolize and excrete these neurotoxic elements.

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Audience will develop an awareness of the problem of heavy metal residues in the food supply and how these metals may impact gene behavior leading to the development of autism or ADHD across generations
  • Audience may be inspired to learn how to avoid dietary heavy metal exposures
  • Physicians will become aware of available nutritional epigenetics curriculum
  • Researchers may see the value of using nutritional epigenetics education as an intervention tool when designing clinical trials to determine how processed food consumption leads to the development of different disease conditions


Dr. Dufault completed her PhD at A.T. Still University. She retired early from her position as a US Public Health Service officer at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to publish her findings of mercury in high fructose corn syrup. As an FDA whistleblower, she could not find employment as a researcher, so she founded the non-profit Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute where she works as a volunteer. She supplements her income working as a licensed special education teacher. Dr. D is considered a leader in the field of nutritional epigenetics with 726 citations according to Google Scholar