By John Hammell, Feb 24, 1998
On Sunday the FDA unleashed a few heavily slanted ANTI VITAMIN press releases over the AP Wire, most likely leading up to an FDA Press Conference sometime today (tuesday) regarding the new rules in the wake of the TROJAN HORSE known as the "Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels Final Report" (a heavily biased document designed to TORPEDO access to SAFE & EFFECTIVE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS!) When I called CFSAN press office at FDA just now, they CLAIMED not to know about these press releases. There was nothing in today's NY Times,either. Its POSSIBLE that they WON'T have a press conference today, but if they DO, we'll be READY!
We MAY have killed the AP story. It wasn't listed in todays list of AP health stories at www.newsday.com/ap/rnmpwh0v.htm today as it was yesterday. These urls change fast- they just slot new press releases into them every day so never count on anything being in one for any length of time. The titles on the 3 press releases were: "FDA:Diet Drugs Pose Health Risks", "Govt.List of Risky Supplements" and "Tips on Supplement Safety" If anyone sees any of these in ANY newspapers, anywhere in the world, please let me know.
The herb Pennyroyal kills fleas, and can be used to repel insects. Put some around your dogs neck instead of one of those toxic flea collars that leach toxic chemicals into your dog. Pennyroyal, a member of the mint family, its a carmintive like ginger: it breaks up gas and is especially good for preventing flatulence, can be used as a stimulant on a hot day to cool you down (makes you perspire). It helps prevent nausea and constipation. Native Americans have used it to suppress menstruation, and in gargantuan quantities it will induce abortion, but again, this is easily put on a warning label.
Flax seed can delay absorption of medicines, true enough, but so what? Nit picking. Warning labels and education take care of it. Flax oil is a rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids which aid greatly in strenthening cell membranes. Strong cell membranes make it far more difficult for any pathogen to penetrate the cell.
Vitamin C helps to manufacture collagen, the connective tissue which holds our bodies together. Healthy collagen prevents disease organisms from entering the body. Yes, indeed, it CAN cause diarrhea, but the dose at which it will cause diarrhea varies considerably and is highly individual. A miniscule number of people might have diarreah might have diarreah at 1 gram, but so what?? In any case, C should be taken with bioflavonoids which buffer the acid- diarrhea is rapid transit of the acid through the body- bioflavonoids give the body time to gently absorb the acid.
More nit picking: vitamin E and also bromelain may cause undesirable blood thinning in a small group of people taking blood thinners, but warning labels and education easily solve this. Vitamin E prevents oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, preventing damage or destruction of cell membranes. Bromelain breaks down arteriosclerotic plaques. Heart disease is our number one killer. The preventive benefit of using bromelain as a digestive enzyme far outway any minor risks.
In the mssg below, Per Dalen of Sweden presents us with some solid "food for thought" regarding the very SOLID evidence that the FDA is doing NOTHING about the highly DOCUMENTED toxicity caused by amalgam dental fillings, while they are issuing highly misleading press releases attacking SAFE natural substances.
Per pointed out in another email to me that FDA discusses selenium in terms of "mg", but it is sold in "mcg" form, so although there may be a few very rare instances of someone actually taking the 5-50 mg/day dose that they describe and suffer nausea, hair loss, and nerve damage, their statement is wildly misleading- indicative of the sort of tactics being used in the "witch hunt" against natural products.
A dose of 5-50 mg Se corresponds to 100-1000 standard tablets,which will have to be taken every day for some time in order to get those adverse effects. Of course the FDA may have found one or two cases of such reckless behaviour, but the example is so irrelevant as to be consciously misleading.
Dr.Tim Cochran of the Cochran Medical Foundation in California called me yesterday and he told me that the toxicity study that they very loosely reference vis a vis DHEA was conducted on RATS-(NOT ON HUMANS), and for a human to take a corresponding dose to what caused liver damage in rats, someone would have to take about 7,000,000 mg! In the rat study they gave the rats 650 mg/day of DHEA, and this is an animal that produces negligable amounts of DHEA- so you really CAN'T cross species when doing this sort of testing. 650 mg/day turned the rats liver mohogany brown, but for a tiny rat- this was gross overkill. Humans using DHEA as a cancer treatment have consumed 2000 mg/day for extended periods with no ill effects.
A company called Research Corporations Technologies in Tucson, Arizona issued a press release on January 14, 1997 on Phase 1 clinical trials of a synthetic (read "patentable") version of DHEA called "FLUASTERONE" which they are attempting to show to be effective in preventing breast cancer, and other diseases such as lupus erythematosus and Type II diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and obesity.
So what is the REAL agenda behind the AP press releases which smear DHEA and other natural substances? Even a chimpanzee can see through this sort of blatant spin control, and its high time consumers STOPPED just feeling _ANGER_ and started turning _ANGER_ into *ACTION!* I am hoping that the AP press releases will cause everyone on my distribution list to urge their friends to go to the IAHF website, download the form letter for HR 2868 (1st item listed under "BREAKING NEWS") and call Congress via 800-522-6721 to urge them to cosponsor this beautifully SIMPLE bill, which removes FOOD from the overly broad statutory definition of "DRUG".
Does the world REALLY NEED so called "FLUASTERONE" when GOD gave us DHEA??? What are the REAL concerns about vitamins A,C,E, and Licorice Root? What are their REAL concerns about kava kava and flax oil? WHERE ARE THE DEAD BODIES??? WHY IS PHARMAPRINT INC. TRADED ON THE NASDAQ STOCK EXCHANGE? In order to STEAL our natural products, FIRST they have to DEMONIZE 'EM, then they have to RAISE THE HURDLES so they can STEAL 'EM or BAN them outright, as the case may be. Consider these...
1) Archives of Internal Medicine May 13,1996 (AMA report): Study "Safety of Antioxidant vitamins"
Vitamin "A" "the mean time to intoxication is estimated to be 7 1/2 months at doses of 300,000 international units per day and 3 1/2 months for 500,000 international units per day for a 70 kg person."
Vitamin "E" "Vitamin E appears safe even at does as high as 3200mg/day
2) The New England Journal of Medicine Feb. 7,1991: Incidence of adverse events and negligence in hospitalized patients (Harvard Medical School Study)
Page 378 "51.3% of hospital deaths caused by negligence"
Page 378 "Adverse Drug Reactions were the most common single event.
3) Archives of Internal Medicine October 9,1995 (AMA report): Study "Drug Related Morbidity and Mortality" Bootman and Johnson
"estimated that 140,000 patients died in the United stated because of adverse drug reactions in 1971"
Page 1954:drug related hospital admissions ranged as high as 28.3% due to adverse drug reactions
Whose pulling whose leg on this issue???
Call Congress and COMPLAIN! INFORM them of the GROSS BIAS which is so blatant in the recent AP press release, so that when they tune in the evening news, and this garbage is presented to them in conjunction with a story about an expected FDA Press Conference they will IGNORE it!
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.5 (32)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 19:45:41 +0100
To: Mercury Poisoning from Dental Amalgam <AMALGAM@LISTSERV.GMD.DE>
From: Per Dalen <email@example.com>
Subject: FDA Anti Vitamin Press Conference Coming Tuesday (Fwd)
John Hammell is a tireless advocate for freedom in the vitamin and herb supplement field. I am forwarding his latest post below, not because of the relevance of vitamins and herbs to mercury detoxification, but because it contains an FDA List of Risky Supplements which throws an interesting side-light on the double standard applied by the FDA and every other official body involved in the amalgam question.
With few exceptions evidence of side effects of amalgam is dismissed as "anecdotal". It is therefore important to know that side effects of drugs are ascertained by collecting unmistakably anecdotal evidence in much the same way as in amalgam cases. This fact is never discussed or even mentioned as a problem. The FDA and its counterparts in other countries are taking side effects of drugs very seriously, that is why they don't dismiss anecdotal reports.
By avoiding discussion, those agencies may have been able to create the impression that there are advanced "scientific" procedures behind those lengthy lists of drug side effects. This is not the case, as we can see from the below list of side effects of herbs and vitamins. For example, when it is said that the FDA "knows of one death" connected with comfrey root, this is of course anecdotal.
There is no reason why anecdotal evidence of side effects should not be taken seriously, which means that it should be judged on its merits, exactly as the FDA is doing. The origin of the disdainful medical attitude to anecdotal evidence is in the area of clinical trials. Any claim that a novel treatment is effective will of course be referred to as anecdotal if it is not based on controlled trials involving double blind procedures and all that. If someone suggested that *adverse* effects of drugs should be examined in the same way, I think nearly everyone concerned would regard this as an unusually silly idea. The drug manufacturers would be horrified if it was taken seriously, because this would mean that patients could not be allowed to stop taking the offending drug until double blind placebo experiments had excluded psychological causes of their skin rashes, nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, etcetera ;-).
Our problem is that the medical establishment has accepted the odontological view of the matter. Amalgam removal is therefore (wrongly) regarded as a *treatment* which has not passed the usual tests. This is simply the wrong end of the stick. Amalgam removal happens to be the only possible way to stop that constant low-dose administration of mercury. BTW, drugs are rarely given in *toxic* doses, but they still have side effects. Even if the mercury dose from amalgams should be below the toxicity threshold of 99.9% of humanity, it could still give rise to side effects in several percent of amalgam bearers. As we know, amalgam removal is the best way to confirm that those side effects were indeed connected with amalgam.
We also know the ADA stance: there is no toxicity from dental amalgam, and side effects are extremely rare. Toxicity has been debated for 150 years, and the dental lobby knows how to handle that. Defending amalgam against observations of side effects is *much* more difficult, and that is probably the reason why the ADA people have chosen to dismiss this problem in the following shameless way:
There is no scientific evidence that exposure to mercury from amalgam restorations poses a serious health risk in humans, except for the exceedingly small number of allergic reactions. In 150 years of use, there have only been 100 documented cases of allergic reactions to amalgam in dental literature."
Even if many important people have been fooled by this restrictive view of the matter, a reassessment will obviously come rather soon.
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 00:14:03 -0500
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
From: John Hammell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FDA Anti Vitamin Press Conference Coming Tuesday: FIRES MISSILE OVER AP on SUNDAY
Check out the following FDA propaganda. Whenever there are 3 Anti Dietary Supplement articles, released on the AP Wire on a Sunday,we can be certain of one thing: they were written by the FDA press office, and they were put out on the wire in support of an upcoming FDA Action. On Tuesday, the FDA will be making an announcement of some sort regarding the new rules following in the aftermath of the highly corrupt Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels. (CDSL) CDSL was a major scam, and it was heavily influenced by the petitioning of the so called "European American Phytomedicines Coalition: that furtive band of American and Canadian herb companies which have sold out and formed partnerships with German Phytopharmaceutical Companies. These people WANT herbs to be regulated as DRUGS and the SUPPORT the raising of the regulatory hurdles so that their smaller competitors can't follow. These traitor companies won't get behind HR 2868. The time to conduct the poll is now. I have been waiting to conduct it, and will do so starting tomorrow. I have the email addresses of over 200 American vitamin companies. Soon we will know which are willing to stand behind consumers. Soon we will know which ones stand firm on the principle that foods are not drugs. NOW is the time to call your congressman in support of HR 2868!!!! (Download form letter from IAHF website, first item under breaking news.) This bill removes FOOD from the current overly broad definition of DRUG, diametricaly OPPOSING the BS outlined below:
February 22, 1998
Govt. List of Risky Supplements
Filed at 1:42 p.m. EST
By The Associated Press
Some supplements that the government and other experts warn can be risky:
--Ephedra: Also called ma huang, epitonin and sida cordifolia, it contains stimulants known chemically as ephedrine. The Food and Drug Administration has 900 reports of side effects, including heart palpitations and psychosis, heart attacks and strokes. Several states have banned ephedrine-containing supplements. Federal limitations are pending.
--Chaparral: Sold as teas and pills to fight cancer and "purify blood," it has been linked to serious liver damage. FDA has recorded two deaths and 10 cases of hepatitis or other liver abnormalities in users.
--Comfrey: Banned in Canada and severely restricted in Germany, comfrey root originated as a poultice to reduce swelling but later was used internally. It contains alkaloids toxic to the liver, and animal studies suggest it is carcinogenic, said Varro Tyler, an emeritus professor at Purdue University and author of ``The Honest Herbal.'' FDA knows of one death.
--DHEA: A hormone that turns into estrogen and testosterone inside the body. The National Institutes of Health says there is no evidence that DHEA fights aging as it claims, and warns that it could increase cancer risk and may lead to liver damage even when taken briefly. FDA records show 31 reports of possible DHEA side effects, from fainting to hepatitis.
--"Dieter's teas:" Herbal blends containing such ingredients as senna -- also known as cassia angustifolia -- aloe, rhubarb root, buckthorn, cascara and castor oil. They act as laxatives that, when consumed in excessive amounts, can disrupt potassium levels to endanger the heart. The teas are linked to diarrhea, vomiting, chronic constipation and fainting, and the FDA knows of four young women who died after excessive consumption. Spurred by California law, some manufacturers are adopting warning labels.
--Pennyroyal: A member of the mint family, it induces abortion. The FDA knows of one woman who died of cardiac arrest in 1994 while attempting a pennyroyal abortion.
--Sassafrass: Once a flavoring for root beer, the oil is banned as a U.S. food additive. But sassafras still is sold as a supplement to make "tonics" and teas. "It's never been proven to be good for anything," Tyler said, but has been shown to cause liver cancer in animals.
Other supplements may interact dangerously with medicines:
--Eating lots of licorice root, a popular herb also found in some licorice candies, speeds potentially serious potassium loss when used with laxatives.
--Flax seed can delay absorption of medicines.
--Kava kava can increase the effects of alcohol and certain psychological drugs.
--High doses of Vitamin E cause bleeding in people taking blood thinners. So can bromelain, a pineapple enzyme used as a digestive aid.
High doses of vitamins and minerals sold in some supplements also can cause serious side effects:
--Vitamin A: High doses during pregnancy can cause birth defects. Also, doses of 25,000 International Units a day can cause severe liver injury, headaches and joint pain.
--Vitamin D: Consuming for several months doses 10 times the daily recommended allotment of 10 micrograms can cause dangerously high calcium levels and lead to kidney damage. Early symptoms are vomiting and increased thirst.
--Vitamin C: Doses higher than 1,000 milligrams a day can cause diarrhea and kidney stones.
--Iron: One of the most frequent causes of fatal poisonings in children who take supplements meant for adults. High doses in adults also are linked to heart disease.
--Selenium: Supplements of 5 to 50 milligrams a day can cause nausea, loss of hair and nails and nerve damage.
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John C. Hammell, Legislative Advocate
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800-333-2553, 954-929-2905, FAX 954-929-0507,
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HERBS ARE _NOT_ DRUGS! HELP PASS HR 2868
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