To: IAHF LIST
Subject: So Called "Quackbusters" Discuss Their "Concerns" About Health Freedom and Health Freedom Legislation That Bugs Them
From: "International Advocates for Health Freedom" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2000 13:50:52 -0400
IAHF List: See the two articles below my comments from the so called "Quackwatch" website in order to learn how our enemies think. The first is titled "Health Freedom" the second is titled "Pro Quackery Legislation" So called "Quackbusters" seek to destroy alternative medicine and the dietary supplement industry world wide, so we must actively monitor them closely as they are in constant communication with the FDA, and the FDA's international counterparts which are all networked via the UN's International Council on Drug Regulating Authorities- which is run directly by the Council- the Illuminati- the small group who seek total control of our lives and who are pushing very hard now to impose a dictatorial world government on us via the UN, whose chief is Satan, the father of lies- who is making a major bid right now to control all of our souls as he seeks to force us into a microchipped, psychocivilized society under mind control. (See http://www.aches-mc.org/
Regarding the origins of the "quackbusters": The AMA used to have a division called the "Coordinating Committee on Health Information" or "CCHI". The AMA was forced by court order to close this division after they lost in court in the Wilke vs AMA decision wherein the court ruled that the AMA had engaged in massive anti trust violations whereby they collaborated with the FDA in an illegal attempt to destroy their competition: especially the field of chiropractic which they had especially targeted.
After the Wilke vs AMA Court decision, it appears that the CCHI did not in fact disband, it just went "underground". The voluminous files previously housed at AMA headquarters in Chicago that were filled with "intel data" on all the different alternative treatments and vitamin companies which the AMA seeks to suppress and discredit appear to have found their way into the homes of such people as Jarvis and Barrett, authors of the two articles below- who founded the so called "National Council Against Health Fraud." Through Terry Polevoy, their Canadian ally, these individuals have recently driven Canadian health freedom radio show host Christine McPhee off the air in Ontario under false pretenses. Through her "Touch of Health" radio show, McPhee was educating thousands of Canadians about such alternative treatments as orthomolecular medicine, the treatment mode that enabled me to recover from schizophrenia after mainstream methods almost killed me. Therefor I consider it important to study the tactics of these enemies of health freedom and to really understand the way they think.
It the Democrats get just 7 seats in the House, it will put arch enemies of health freedom John Dingle and Henry Waxman back in charge of the committee and sub committee through which all health legislation originates in the House. They have vowed to make repealing the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act their top priority if they regain control, and we can't be complacent about this so please tell more people. I'm not a Republican, I'm a Libertarian, and I only trust those members of the two major parties that support health freedom. Dingle and Waxman HATE health freedom and our our biggest enemies in Congress. Food for thought worth keeping in mind given that at the next Codex meeting in 2002 the EU countries will be voting as a block of 16 in favor of the German Codex proposal which could easily be shoved down our throuts unless we rapidly build a much bigger international movement of health freedom fighters than currently exists. The FDA has violated US law at Codex and is setting us up to lose in a trade dispute which would cause our dietary supplement laws to be harmonized to a very restrictive, totally unscientific emerging international vitamin standard. Only IAHF is bringing you the whole truth about whats going on at Codex.You can't defeat an opponent unless you can first learn who they are, and how they think, so please study these articles carefully and spend some time on their websites to learn more.
Anyone can be on the IAHF list by signing up from http://www.iahf.com/ or by sending email to IAHFemail@example.com Please forward this information to more people.
William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
If quacks can't win by playing according to the rules, they try to change them by switching from the scientific to the political arena. In science, a medical claim is treated as false until proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But in politics, a medical claim may be accepted until proven false or harmful. This is why proponents of laetrile, chiropractic, orthomolecular psychiatry, chelation therapy and the like, take their case to legislators rather than scientific groups.
Quacks use the concept of "health freedom" to divert attention away from themselves and toward victims of disease with whom we are naturally sympathetic. "These poor folks should have the freedom to choose whatever treatments they want," cry the quacks -- with crocodile tears. They want us to overlook two things. First, no one wants to be cheated, especially in matters of life and health. Victims of disease do not demand quack treatments because they want to exercise their "rights," but because they have been deceived into thinking that they offer hope. Second, the laws against worthless nostrums are not directed against the victims of disease but at the promoters who attempt to exploit them.
Any threat to freedom strikes deeply into American cultural values. But we must also realize that complete freedom is appropriate only in a society in which everyone is perfectly trustworthy -- and no such society exists. Experience has taught us that quackery can even lead people to poison themselves, their children and their friends.
Consumer protection laws have been passed to protect desperately ill people who are vulnerable. These laws simply require that products and services offered in the health marketplace be both safe and effective. If only safety were required, any produce or service that would not kill you on the spot could be hawked to the gullible. To weaken protection, quackery's proponents seek laws to shield their activities and force insurance companies to pay for them.
Some people claim we have too much government regulation. But the issue should be one of quality not quantity. Good regulatory laws are very important. Our opposition should be to bad regulations that stifle our economy or cramp our lifestyles unnecessarily. Consumer protection laws should be preserved.
Unfortunately, some politicians seem oblivious to these basic principles and expound the "health freedom" concept as though they are doing their constituents a favor. In reality, "health freedom" constitutes a hunting license for quackery, with open season declared on the sick, the frightened, the alienated, and the desperate. It represents a return to the law of the jungle in which the strong feed upon the weak.
This article is adapted from The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America, editedby Stephen Barrett, M.D., and William T. Jarvis, Ph.D., published in
Instead of conducting scientific studies, quackery's promoters use anecdotes and testimonials to promote their practices and political maneuvering to keep regulatory agencies at bay. The legislative strategies include: (1) protection through licensing laws, (2) "insurance equality" laws, and (3) weakening of regulatory agencies.
One way for unscientific practitioners to preserve their freedom to practice is to set up their own licensing boards that permit them. Chiropractors have been licensed in all 50 states since 1974. Although chiropractic boards occasionally discipline practitioners, they almost never interfere with quack practices. Naturopaths, nonphysician acupuncturists, and massage therapists (many of whom are engaged in bizarre practices) have achieved licensure in fewer states but are actively campaigning in many others. The achievement of licensure enables practitioners to assert, "Now we are recognized by law, insurance companies should have to cover our services." In many states, vigorous efforts are also being made to obtain laws that would make it difficult or impossible for licensing boards to discipline physicians who engage in "alternative" practices. A few states have passed such laws already. Perhaps the most dangerous effort related to licensing is the drive in Minnesota to set up a new "occupation" for "complementary and alternative health care practitioners who are curently unlicensed." This would include homeopaths, naturopaths, herbalists, massage therapists, nutrition and body-mind therapists, and other natural healers." The proposed law would set no minimum criteria for either education or clinical competence.
"Insurance Equality" Laws
Most insurance companies do not want to pay for treatments that the scientific community regards as ineffective. To get around this, "alternative" providers seek passage of laws to force insurance policies to cover whatever they do. Bills of this type are promoted as pro-consumer by stating that they will prevent "discrimination" and enable consumers to have "freedom of choice." Chiropractors have used this approach to gain passage of such laws in more than 40 states. Only a few states force coverage of other practitioners, but "alternative" proponents are actively lobbying to change this.
Weakening of Regulatory Agencies
Quackery's proponents have succeeded in curbing the FDA's ability to regulate "dietary supplements" and herbs and would like to cripple the ability of state licensing boards to discipline unscientific practitioners.
The Proxmire Amendment (1976) to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibited the FDA from limiting the potency of ingredients of vitamin and mineral products that are not inherently dangerous. This bill prevents the FDA from ridding the marketplace of useless "dietary supplement" ingredients and irrational combinations of ingredients. The bill was passed because the health-food industry misled many of its customers into believing that the FDA intended to greatly restrict the sale of supplement products. More than a million protest messages poured into Congress as a result.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA)was passed in 1994 following another massive lobbying campaign by the health-food industry. This law defined "dietary supplements" to include herbs as well as any substances purported to "supplement the diet by increasing dietary intake" and prevents the FDA from removing worthless ingredients from the marketplace. It also permits sellers to use misleading third-party literature to promote the sale of their products. This law has greatly weakened the ability of the FDA to protect consumers against unsubstantiated claims. Since its passage, even hormones such as DHEA and melatonin are being hawked as supplements.
The Access to Medical Treatment Act (H.R.746), introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), is claimed to permit health-care practitioners to provide "any medical treatment that the individual desires" that does not violate licensing laws. Practitioners may provide the treatment if: (a) it is not known to be directly harmful, (b) the patient is given written notice that the treatment is not government approved, and (c) written information is provided about the nature, anticipated benefits, and foreseeable side effects of the treatment. The Act would also require that dangerous outcomes be reported to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and that beneficial outcomes be reported to the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. Although couched as an effort to preserve patient freedom, the bill's real purpose is to prevent government interference with unscientific practitioners. The alleged safeguards fail to protect patients from practitioners who misrepresent worthless methods as beneficial (as most "alternative" practitioners do). As October 7, 1998, H.R. 746 had 71 cosponsors. Many of its proponents spearheaded DSHEA's passage.
Bogus Food Safety Legislation
The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (H.R. 3377), introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, would require labels on food that contains or is produced with genetically engineered material, which it defines as material derived from any part of a genetically engineered organism, without regard to whether the altered molecular or cellular characteristics of the organism are detectable in the material. The Institute of Food Technologists have concluded that genetic modification is safe, will increase world food production, and can improve plant characteristics that will benefit farmers, consumers, and the environment. The FDA has stated that special labeling would be inappropriate unless a technique significantly changes the composition of a food. Proponents of labeling claim that legislation is needed to enable consumers to exercise their "right to choose." Many critics of biotechnology see labeling as an indirect way to undermine public trust in biotechnology.
For Additional Information
Three web sites provide political information from the viewpoint of "alternative" proponents.
Citizens for Health is a grass-roots organization dedicated to what it calls "freedom of choice." Its primary activity is generating letter-writing campaigns. Its primary target has been FDA regulation. Its Web site discusses more than a dozen issue.
Natural Health Village emphasizes federal legislation and provides links to the email addresses of Congressional representatives. It also offers a free email newsletter. The site operator is Michael Evers, Esq., adopted son of the late H. Ray Evers, M.D., considered "the father of chelation therapy." Michael Evers also offers a free email newsletter.
Monica Miller Government Relations focuses on "advocacy before state legislatures and administrative agencies regarding issues of alternative medicine in relation to state licensing laws, professional conduct, health insurance and managed care, and clinical laboratories." Ms. Miller is an active lobbyist and consultant who describes herself as "an alternative medicine advocate and patient's rights advocate and policy researcher."
Hearing on Patient Access to Alternative Treatments: Beyond the FDA presents the text of prepared testimony on the "Access to Medical Treatment Act" presented on February 4 and 12, 1998, to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight (Dan Burton, chairman). All but one of the presenters favored passage of the bill.
BioPsciences Institute monitors legislative developments in Minnesota.
Arguments against "Health Freedom" ||| Argument against AMTA
Quackwatch Home Page
This article was revised on January 2, 2000.