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Editorial Issue 139

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 139 - September 2007

Today it is more difficult than ever to be fully informed regarding medical, lifestyle and scientific matters unless you are permanently hooked up with the electronic equivalent of an intravenous drip.

By fully informed I mean assessing and understanding the myriad conflicting opinions and so-called ‘facts’ regarding almost every health topic. Because time has long passed when you could rely on so-called ‘experts’ to provide the information that is appropriate and best for our individual situation.

Examples of the mind-numbing and mind boggling minutiae which govern every aspect of our life and health in the 21st century are illustrated in Dr Robert Verkerk’s column EU Plans to Ban Therapeutic Dosages of Food Supplements (see page 24), as well as Dr Derek Pheby’s letter NICE Guidelines for ME (see page 45).

Dr Verkerk exposes the idiotic and catastrophic effects of applying risk assessment, designed originally for protecting penguins, whales and rain forests, to food and food supplements. He identifies three fundamental problems with the bureaucratic risk assessment process:
1.    Inappropriate Reliance on the Precautionary Principle;
2.    Ignoring the Benefits;
3.    Prejudice or Unwitting Bias.

As Dr Verkerk states “Those at work to develop risk assessment for the EU, and other major health authorities around the world, seem so often to be rather close to pharmaceutical interests, and of course their prime expertise is with pharmaceutical substances, which act in particular pharmacological and pharmacokinetic ways. It is sometimes difficult to know how much of the bias these risk assessment scientists show is down to deliberate use of bad science for the purpose of limiting beneficial doses of food supplements.

“…if you care about the future of therapeutic food supplements, or the sustainability of natural healthcare, please don’t just read this and do nothing. All therapeutic dosages are at grave risk from the EU regulators, and European Commissioner Kyprianou made clear in January 1997 that it is the Commission’s intention that food supplements should not be therapeutic (European Commission website, 2007).”

Dr Derek Pheby’s letter exposes the flawed NICE draft Guidelines for ME, which were universally condemned and the final publication delayed until August. “It is rare indeed for patients’ organisations, clinicians and researchers to manifest such unanimity of opinion, so it is clear that the draft was deeply flawed. It is less clear, though, that the criticisms will be taken on board in producing the definitive version of the guidelines. A cynic may well feel that the publication of the guidelines in August, at the height of the ‘silly season’ when many people are on holiday, with no further opportunity for consultation, is deliberately timed in order to minimize expressions of concern from the ME community.

“This is very serious. NICE guidelines are binding on the NHS, and it is impossible for NHS agencies to disregard them. If the final version is anything like the draft, its effect will be to limit substantially the range of treatment options available to people with ME through the NHS, and to impose on them treatments which many regard as being of very doubtful value, and which in some cases appear to be damaging.”

More correspondence on this subject in the following PH October Issue 140.

I feel very privileged to be able to publish the cutting edge and pioneering features Can the Brain Really be Re-Wired? by Michael Cohen (see page 9), as well as Clinical Benefits of Peak States Therapy by Grant McFetridge (see page 14). Both these innovative clinicians are pushing the boundaries to find effective treatment for difficult and devastating conditions including Depression and Autism. I would guarantee that neither of these approaches would be available on the NHS, nor would they be the ‘gold standard’ medical treatment, which would be antidepressant drugs for depression and a mixed bag of behavioural treatments and pharmaceutical drugs for autism. Clinicians such as these individuals deserve praise and support for their extraordinary work; it is hoped that they will be able to progress further in their endeavours and shed light for the many sufferers afflicted with these distressing conditions.

PH readers’ attention is also drawn to Roger Coghill’s Bioresonance Part II: Practical Approaches to Treatment (see page 20) in which he surveys the variety of instrumentation, treatment applications, as well as criticisms regarding the evidence base for this therapeutic approach.

Other excellent features include Su Fox’s Column Massage, Sex and Supervision (please see page 40, and book review page 49), the illuminating Chinese and Ayurvedic Nutrition features (see pages 26 and 30) and Yoga and Ayurveda for Reducing High Blood Pressure (see page 41).

Many physicians wouldn’t prescribe Yoga and Ayurvedic for high blood pressure, or energy medicine or peak states therapy for depression; however as Dr Derek Pheby states all too clearly (page 48) one shouldn’t confuse lack of evidence of effect with evidence of lack of effect.

The best way to stay healthy is to also stay informed. If you value the information in PH, please support us by subscribing or purchasing copies and promoting your productions, courses and services.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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