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Editorial Issue 38

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 38 - March 1999

When I was growing up, there were constant remarks from my parents and other "grown-ups" that as you got older you also became wiser and more experienced. I never had much truck for these cynical platitudes when I was young and full of idealistic world visions of honest people dedicated to the development of a better, safer and more healthy future.

Now, decades later, even I have finally grasped what they were talking about, the somewhat naïve optimist and retarded realist that I have been. It is difficult for even the most recalcitrant idealistic health professional or scientist to ignore the reality that events are seldom what they seem at face value when their attempts to "seek the truth in their research" or treat the patient using "best clinical practice" come up against powerful corporate lobbies or budgetary constraints in the health service.

The battle between titan Linus Pauling and The Mayo Clinic over Vitamin C for cancer treatment has been masterfully chronicled by Evelleen Richards in Vitamin C and Cancer: Medicine or Politics? MacMillan 1991. The disgraceful repression of natural cancer treatments and their determined discoverers throughout the 20th century has been and continues to be documented in large treatises with lengthy bibliographies including Moss RW The Cancer Industry - The Classic Exposé on the Cancer Establishment (Paragon House 1989) and RG Houston Repression and Reform in the Evaluation of Alternative Cancer Therapies (Project CURE 1989).

The sinister continuance of blocking research and discrediting the researchers attempting to discover natural therapy options for HIV was voluminously exposed by Martin Walker in his epic Dirty Medicine (Slingshot Publications 1993). And an even wider exposé of the prevalence of deception within science and medicine appeared in Gordon Moran's scholarly Silencing Scientists and Scholars in Other Fields: Power, Paradigm Controls, Peer Review, and Scholarly Communication (Ablex Publishing Corp 1998).

The truth that what we learn and perceive to be true is filtered through the cultural and social beliefs of our time becomes even more shocking when, many decades after the death of someone as revered in his lifetime as Freud, the horrible truth of the havoc he wreaked upon the lives of others is exposed in the media of today (The Guardian, 30 Jan '99). The shock felt by thousands of dedicated disciples seeking enlightenment following the betrayal by their "spiritual" guru was totally devastating, as was the sense of disbelief felt by countless parents when "expert" Dr Benjamin Spock recanted and admitted that he had got his child-rearing philosophy substantially wrong.

Our world view has a major impact upon every aspect of our life, even the type of therapies we practise and the length of time we spend with our patients (see Boon 1998 in Alternative Medicine of the Research Updates, page 40 this issue). Therefore, it is almost impossible to discern truth from fiction or distortion, given the prevalence of spin, censorship, political power and money raging behind the seemingly endless battles for the right to use and choose natural, holistic and non-drug healthcare treatments.

We in the natural healthcare industries are exceedingly stretched and fragmented into myriads of disciplines and organisations within the disciplines, each of necessity occupied with their own issues. But we are all vulnerable to government edicts such as recently proposed by the Medicines Control Agency, to remove from retail shops all substances having a health benefit which lack a product license (see page 6, Issue 37 February '99). Thinking of all the foods, dietary supplements, herbal and homoeopathic medicines, flower essences and many other natural products which are available in the retail marketplace which have health effects is so utterly mind-boggling as to concentrate the horror of their potential disappearance which could occur with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen.

Older, more "experienced" people such as myself are cynical enough to imagine the worst happening, despite deafening protests and constructive objections and lobbying. Younger, more idealistic and strident activists really believe that their protests matter and are prepared to fight and lobby to prevent such a catastrophe for us all from occurring. This, then is the perfect occasion for the idealists and the cynics to work together for the common benefit of natural medicine.


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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 27+ 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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