Alternative Health Care News

FDA Encroaching on Your Freedom of Choice in Health Care

Some alarming news came across my desk last week. Everyone who is interested in natural health care should take note:

Both the FDA and the FTC have threatened Dr. Andrew Weil, the famous alternative M.D., with criminal prosecution. Natural News Article The specific incident involved Dr. Weil recommending an herbal formula containing astragalus for its immune-boosting properties. The actual text of the FDA letter read, "If your firm fails to take corrective action immediately, FDA may take enforcement action, such as seizure or injunction for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act without further notice."

In essence, the FDA is protecting the drug industry by muzzling information about safe and effective, natural alternatives to vaccines. You may have noticed that TV commercials are still being aired, encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against H1N1 "before it's too late." Too late for what? The hyped pandemic has never materialized, and many people have decided the risks of the vaccine far outweigh the dangers of the flu. And, as a result, the drug companies have taken a big hit to their bottom line.

Here's the problem: Everything Dr. Weil said is true and is validated by research that has been conducted outside the U.S. However, the FDA continues to agitate for more control over nutritional supplements, including incredibly expensive drug trials for natural substances. These products can never be patented - thereby, severely limiting the potential for any company to ever recoup their R & D costs. In fact, only large drug companies can afford the expense of these mandated U.S. drug trials. Clinical research done overseas into the activity of herbs and vitamins is inadequate, according to the FDA.

All of this is imposed under the guise of "public interest," but here's the dirty little secret: Natural remedies are not dangerous! There wasn't a single death caused by dietary supplements in 2008. And, the FDA is well aware of this since the statistic comes from a peer-reviewed journal in their own field - Clinical Toxicology.1 Not even the so-called "dangerous" vitamins A, B, C, D and E (or the herbs we have heard so many cautions about) have caused any harm. As a side note, this year we discovered that the much-maligned vitamin D is actually critical to prevention of both a variety of cancers and, most recently, heart disease. Vitamin D and Heart Disease  

Not one person died from nutritional supplements. Yet, every year over 100,000 people die from FDA-approved prescription drugs. Drug Reactions In addition, prescription drugs cause as many as 2.2 million adverse reactions every year.2 The only person I know who has publicized this is Dr. Gary Null on his Life Extension web site. Dr. Null's article

Yet, the FDA would have you believe that what the public needs protection from is the natural health industry!

The behind-the-scenes story is that the FDA has a very telling conflict of interest. The law establishing the FDA, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act passed in 1992, authorized fees to be paid to the FDA by the drug companies, making the FDA dependent upon the very industry it is supposed to regulate. In fact, more than half of the FDA's staff are drug industry-paid employees who are "approving" drugs.

And, since that law was passed in 1992, 13 prescription drugs, which have caused hundreds of deaths, have had to be withdrawn from the market.3 Contrast this to the safety record of vitamins, herbs and homeopathy.

What's worse is that the FDA, in collusion with corporate America, has established a history of suppressing natural, safe and effective alternatives. If you have been reading my newsletters, you are aware of the fact that statins (aka cholesterol-lowering drugs) cause congestive heart failure. Merck, the company that brought these drugs to market, has known about this side effect from the beginning, but they have never educated practicing physicians about the importance of supplementing with CoQ10 to prevent this life-threatening condition.

But, it's even worse than that. Merck patented a combination drug that includes CoQ10 with the statin, but they never brought it to market. They patented the combination and just let it sit in limbo, simply to keep it out of the prescription market. By patenting the combination, they protected their bottom line by preventing other drug companies from introducing a product that could save thousands of lives.

And, to this day, the average practicing M.D. doesn't know about the need for CoQ10 when prescribing these dangerous drugs.

So, whom does the public need to be protected from?

I strongly urge you to contact your Senators and Congressperson whenever you hear of a further attempt to regulate the natural health industry.

And, please do not believe the misleading propaganda (call it what you will: "spin" or "outright lies") that regularly appears on the news. The drug companies are engaging in an all out disinformation campaign to undermine support for the natural health community and, eventually, eliminate your access to alternative medicine completely.

1 Bronstein, AC; Spyker, DA; Cantilena, LR Jr; Green, JL; Rumack, BH; Giffin, SL. "2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report." Clinical Toxicology. 2009. 47, 911-1084.

2 Schardt, David. "Are Your Supplements Safe?" Nutrition Action Healthletter. 2003; 30(9): 3-7.

3 Marcia Angell M.D. "The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It" Random House. 304 pp.

Does this apply to you? If so, see our information on Consultations.