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Letters to the Editor Issue 221

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 221 - April 2015

UK Government Raid Strips Cancer and Other Patients Of Choice Over Innovative Natural Treatments

http://anh-europe.org/news/uk-government-raid-strips-cancer-patients-of-choice

A raid on the lab manufacturing the naturally-occurring glycoprotein called GcMAF[1] now puts at risk hundreds of Europeans dependent on the product for their health. As a glycoprotein, it’s just a sugar-coated protein, and one that is produced naturally in the body. In some people, including cancer patients, its production can be compromised; an increasing body of evidence suggests this may contribute to a host of health conditions including cancer and autism, to name just two. GcMAF also happens to be a powerful immune modulator. There’s of course nothing new about immune modulators, a host of different dietary ingredients ranging from zinc in meat, fish and a multitude of supplements, through to beta glucans in mushrooms and oats, are examples. The trouble is they now represent an important area for new development by Big Pharma.

UK Government Raid Strips Cancer and Other Patients Of Choice Over Innovative Natural Treatments

An unannounced raid[2] by the UK’s Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 4 February of the UK manufacturing premises of GcMAF in Milton, plus a lot of pressure on the authorities in Guernsey and Brussels, two key bases for Immuno Biotech, GcMAF’s primary producer, now threaten individuals’ ability to access this life-saving glycoprotein. David Noakes, the founder of Immuno Biotech responded[2] said, "The MHRA does not want to see this product on the market because its job is to maintain the monopoly and stick up for vested interests in the pharmaceutical industry."

UK Government Stealth Tactics

The UK MHRA issued a warning[3] that this “unlicensed medicine” was being made in an unlicensed facility in Cambridgeshire, UK, and that anyone who had purchased it should speak to their GP.  During the raid, 10,000 vials of GcMAF were seized.  The justification given was that the lab didn’t reach required Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards.  Of particular concern for the regulators was that the ‘medicine’ was “not fit for humans” despite the fact that all the evidence suggests that healthy humans produce small amounts of the glycoprotein quite naturally. The MHRA also claimed that the product was contaminated having been made with non-sterile equipment.

It appears that the chain of events that led to the MHRA raid can be traced back to the island of Guernsey, which has long been under pressure to abide by European law affecting unregistered medicines and food supplements (e.g., see Lords Hansard record from 25 Jun 2007: Column WA92[4]). The island’s medicines regulator has been intensively lobbied by UK authorities and business lobbies, including the UK food supplement manufacturers association.

It was in Guernsey that a complaint was initially made by pro-pharmaceutical interests  in relation to the product. That stimulated an understandable response from the Guernsey residents benefitting from it.  Following the raid, the importation of GcMAF [5] has now been banned by Guernsey's authorities. However, the product has not been on sale per se. David Noakes has apparently been giving it away free in Guernsey and there are over 100 people taking it, including cancer patients, most of whom have become reliant on the benefits they’ve been receiving and report great success.[6] Given the legal vagueness as to what is and what isn’t defined as a medicine, it seems that the MHRA is targeting the manufacturing standards and purported risk to human health as a ‘belt and braces’ approach to ceasing use of GcMAF. 

The issue has triggered actions further afield. The Belgian authorities are now also investigating the contact address for GcMAF.eu[7] in Brussels.

Freedoms Denied

The Guernsey Board of Health had agreed to the importation of the GcMAF on the understanding it was not supplied for commercial gain. It now appears the MHRA’s hard-line tactics may have changed their minds. The despair of the 100 or so Guernsey residents who have been benefiting from taking the product is palpable as they face a possible return of symptoms and the plunge back into the abyss of their disease.

Ed Freestone, Guernsey's chief pharmacist, admits,[5] "There is no current information suggesting the product has caused direct harm to anyone's health,” but urges  “anyone concerned about the product, or its ban … to talk to their medical advisor for advice and reassurance."

Emerging Science

There is now well over a decade of clinical experience with GcMAF and no evidence has emerged of any ill effects from using this natural glycoprotein.  The high risks and low effectiveness of conventional oncology has driven strong interest in alternatives such as GcMAF, use of which is supported by an increasing body of persuasive evidence. The benefits of glycobiology[8] and the scientific basis for the mode of action and effectiveness in clinical trials of agents such as GcMAF have been emerging rapidly in recent years.

Research papers have been published in highly respected mainstream journals such as Frontiers,[9] the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment,[10] the American Journal of Immunology,[11] the Journal of Translational Oncology,[12] and more[13] testifying to its efficacy.

Rather than trying to stamp out something new because it doesn’t immediately have a clear legislative home, or more importantly, because it steps on the toes of interests vested in mainstream oncology, something with this much potential[8] and cost-effectiveness, should be grasped with both hands, rather than be made illegal.  But then people have never been at the heart of any of these decisions. For the MHRA[2] to describe the scientists at the manufacturing lab as “hobbyists with a degree in real ale brewing” shows a further iniquitous disrespect for patient’s rights and innovation in healthcare.

Thankfully there are many who disagree - Guernsey residents,[14] a host of clinicians, researchers and patients around the world - and NGOs like ANH-Intl will do what we can to campaign for the public right of access to this natural, health-promoting glycoprotein.

We will keep you posted on the campaign.

Call to Action by Guernsey Residents

We ask Guernsey residents to contact Ed Freestone, Assistant Director and Chief Pharmacist of Health and Social Services Department (HSSD), Guernsey and make clear your concerns about restrictions on access to GcMAF. Contact:

Corporate Headquarters,  Rue Mignot,  St Andrews,  Guernsey,  GY6 8TW,  Channel Islands

Tel: +44 1481 725241 Fax: +44 1481 235341; healthandwellbeing@gov.gg[15]

ANH Home Page: www.anh-europe.org/ [16]

References and Links:

[1]. http://anh-europe.org/news/how-maverick-cancer-treatments-are-suppressed-by-the-mainstream

[2]. www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridgeshire-laboratory-raided-unlicensed/story-25981305-detail/story.html

[3]. www.gov.uk/government/news/regulator-warns-against-gcmaf-made-in-unlicensed-facility-in-cambridgeshire

[4]. www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70625w0003.htm

[5]. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-31114749

[6]. http://guernseypress.com/news/comment/letter-of-the-day/2014/10/24/gcmaf-is-working-for-me-where-chemotherapy-failed/

[7]. www.anticancerfund.org/therapies/gcmaf

[8]. http://guernseypress.com/news/comment/letter-of-the-day/2014/08/20/gcmaf-has-been-trialled/

[9]. www.frontiersin.org/10.3389/conf.fimmu.2013.02.00221/event_abstract?sname=15th_International_Congress_of_Immunology_%28ICI%29

[10]. http://ar.iiarjournals.org/search?fulltext=GcMAF&submit=yes&x=0&y=0

[11]. http://thescipub.com/abstract/10.3844/ajisp.2013.120.129

[12].  www.transonc.com/article/S1936-5233%2808%2980008-3/abstract

[13]. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/94/17/1311.abstract?sid=512ca522-7456-41ca-ba49-72886788705d

[14]. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-13552788

[15].  mailto:healthandwellbeing@gov.gg?subject=GcMAF

[16].  www.anh-europe.org

Source and Further Information

http://anh-europe.org/news/uk-government-raid-strips-cancer-patients-of-choice

 

Please Help Jaime Riley to obtain Pain-Free Prosthetic

The photo is of my friend Jaime Riley who is a mom of five children (yes, she looks like a kid herself, but she is 31).  More about Jaime to come.

Jaime Riley

I'm Meg Wolff  for those of you that don't know me. I'm 57 years old and I've been an above knee amputee foe 25 years, due to bone cancer at age 33. At that time my children, Francis and Cammie were 3 years old and 5 months old.  It was a shock to our family, but by the grace of God and the support of my husband and both of our families and our friends and Tom's co-workers , were made it through the hardest years when our children were little.  Many of you know how at times I have struggled with my prosthesis  over the years and it makes a huge difference who can make a leg for an above knee amputee.

Most people only see the elite amputee athletes on TV, which is really great and something to aspire to, but the sad fact is, is that most of these people are below knee amputees. Above knee amputees have it tougher. There are some that do well if they have had a good limb surgery, but there is a huge percentage that cannot be fit comfortably enough to even where their artificial leg.

The technology for making the knees and the feet are wonderfully advanced (and costly), but to make the socket and frame that our amputated limb fits into has not had the same advances. It is still an art form and takes a lot of time, patience, and talent to do. It's like painting the Sistine Chapel, only Michelangelo could orchestrate that!

I was fortunate enough to find a prosthetist that is the Michelangelo of prosthetics and I'm luckier than most, because many amputees give up for a number of reasons: they are told that they just have to get used to the pain, that it is their weight, their attitude, there are many excuses that prosthetists that can't fit above knees say to the amputee that make them feel responsible for their inability to be fit (or the prosthetist’s lack of talent ).

Now, can you imagine what it is like being the single mom of five boys ranging in ages between 14 and ten months old, being an above knee amputee and on crutches and no leg? Permanently. That's how life is for my friend, Jaime Riley. Difficult is an understatement. In addition, Jaime cannot drive because she does not have a vehicle that is adapted (she is missing her right leg above the knee), nor can she afford to buy one as she subsists on social security.

The great thing about Jaime is that she is an awesome mom to Aidan, Caleb, Cody, Logan and Cameron; in spite of her difficulties her children receive the best of care. But her body is breaking down from all she has to do on crutches; this sometimes depresses her after a long day, she has no energy left and at times in a lot of pain.

A little background. Jaime lost her leg below the knee as a child (2 years old) and growing up she experienced many infections because of the prosthetic always rubbing. Jaime is now 31, but at 26 she came down with osteomyelitis, a dangerous bone infection. To keep it from spreading to vital parts of her body her doctors had to amputate the leg above the knee. It was never the same for her after that. She experienced excruciating nerve pain when she wore her now above knee prosthetic leg. It required her to take strong meds to even wear the leg, but she had to because she has 5 kids. The prosthetist that made her leg told her there was nothing he could do to make her leg fit more comfortably. She couldn't keep taking the meds, so she had to make the decision to stop wearing the leg, and instead use crutches and one leg. This took a big toll on the rest of her body. She said she has no friends because of this as she can rarely go outside.

Jaime joined the Facebook Amputee page that I belong to and she heard about me and a few other woman who had the same problem - no prosthetists could fit them comfortably in an above knee prosthetic leg. We were all also told nothing could be done to fit us comfortably, that we would have to get used to the pain or some such nonsense; we all had similar stories. Basically, we were either wearing horribly uncomfortable legs, or no prosthesis at all, and going with crutches. That is, until we met up with Bill Copeland, or Copeland Prosthetics & Research, a prosthetist in Tampa, Florida, who is known as a prosthetist who has fit many ‘hopeless’ cases comfortably and is my Michelangelo of the prosthetic world. I once heard someone say, "Bill gets all the people no one else can fit." So after hearing our stories, Jaime would like to try to go down to FL from the Northeast to see him.

Jaime has insurance that would cover the new socket and frame she would need (new leg), but she is barely subsisting on social security with her 5 boys. She would need to raise the money for a plane flight to Tampa and back, for the hotel and food while there. We based this estimate of her staying for 3 weeks, but it may possibly be two weeks.

If any of you that read this are moved to donate to this trip for Jaime's comfortable leg, it would change Jaime's life and the life of her children immensely. She would be able to wear a prosthesis and walk comfortably. Her wish is to be able to take her kinds to the playground!

Any amount would be greatly appreciated. And if you would kindly pass This story / fundraiser along to others, by email, or sharing it on your Facebook page, both Jaime and I will be eternally grateful.

Thank you so very much in advance. May your donation come back to you a thousand fold. Please remember that no donation is too small when it comes from the heart.

Together we can make a difference.

www.gofundme.com/l6a6pw?utm_source=From+Meg+Wolff+&utm_campaign=December+news&utm_medium=email

Further Information

Source and for further information: Meg Wolff - meg@megwolff.com    www.megwolff.com

 

Herbal Alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy

National Institute of Medical Herbalists draws attention herbal alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy

NIMH Logo

Noting the University of Oxford research published in the Lancet 14 Feb 2015 that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) increases the risk of ovarian cancer, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) draws attention to research published in the journal Family Practice of trials that show menopause symptoms can be treated safely and effectively by medicinal herbs see: http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/5/468.abstract?sid=ac553b88-7bb9-41df-a146-0be2a1d4e1ad

NIMH’s Director of PR Dee Atkinson said:  “Between about 40 and 52 years of age most women will experience the menopause. During the menopause ovarian hormone levels decline, leading to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. These include not just the better known hot flushes but also loss of confidence, nervousness and mood swings. Symptoms can precede the cessation of a regular period, often presenting as a marked increase in pre-menstrual symptoms.

“Increasingly women are understanding more about HRT and its potential side-effects, and many prefer to use natural therapies at this time.

“Herbs can provide a gentle and effective approach to the menopause, supporting the hormonal and nervous systems. Many medicinal herbs and foods contain ‘phyto-oestrogens’ which can be used to enhance the body’s hormonal status. These phyto oestrogens provide the body with their starting point for manufacturing its own hormones, helping to balance fluctuating hormonal levels. The herbs employed by medical herbalists when working with individual patients help to maintain a healthy hormonal system.”

The Lancet article:  www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2814%2961687-1/abstract

Note

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the UK's leading professional body representing herbal medicine practitioners which promotes benefits of herbal medicine and oversees the provision of the best patient care through the work of its members. NIMH members undergo a lengthy training programme before they can register as qualified medical herbalists. Practitioners train for at least three years and adhere to a strict code of conduct before they can gain MNIMH or FNIMH after their name. Recently qualified practitioners will have taken a BSc in Phytotherapy (herbal medicine). All NIMH-registered herbalists are fully insured, and follow a strict code of conduct. NIMH-registered medical herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as mainstream doctors but take a more holistic approach to treating illness. Herbalists treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions and frequently work in collaboration with GPs and consultants to achieve the best combination of treatments for individual patients.

Further Information

NIMH can be contacted on Tel: 01392 426022; Fax: 01392 498963; prconsultant@nimh.org.uk   www.nimh.org.uk

Comments:

  1. Andrew J. Cutler said..

    There are actually TWO principal training organisations in the UK who offer comprehensive and lengthy training of Medical herbalists. One is the NIMH and the other is the IRCH (International register of consultant herbalists and homeopaths). Although their training methods may vary and their period of training may be similar, both are equally qualified,experienced and insured to treat a wide range of medical conditions. So look out for the letters D.B.Th and MIRCH when looking to consult with a Medical herbalist.


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