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Letters to the Editor Issue 29

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 29 - June 1998

Agnus Castus and Infertility

I read on a regular basis Positive Health. Being from a scientific background, I appreciate the way Positive Health publishes the facts without trying to "sell". This is a rare and refreshing characteristic to your magazine.

It was in Issue 23 that I read an interesting article on infertility and the use of Agnus Castus fruit extract. I am 28 years of age and ceased ovulation for no apparent reason some 9 years ago. Conventional and alternative medicines, including several visits to a Naturopath and eventually surgery did nothing to stimulate ovulation. HRT had proved to have more disadvantages than advantages.

On reading your article, I purchased Agnus Castus and have had a period within 3 months. Of course, I cannot categorically state that this is as a result of the treatment.

L. Duffin

An Open Letter to Tessa Jowell, Minister for Health, House of Commons

Dear Madam,

Since the publication of my book, Eczema and Food Allergy, I have become acutely aware that large numbers of people are chemically sensitive.

I am writing to ask if you know if pressure has yet been started on the government for legislation for content labelling of all cleaning and related substances, both domestic and industrial. If not, could such pressure be applied, and would you wish to be involved?

Food labelling is now enforced by law, and a person can avoid buying things known to cause an allergic reaction.

The contents of all cleaning and related industrial materials should be labelled in the same way. There are thousands of products on the market, all made from highly potent chemical substances and no-one knows what they are. Allergic reactions to the skin from contact sensitivity are widespread, and can readily be seen. The inhalation of perfumes, fumes and vapours from these products have a worse, though less obvious effect, because inhaled vapours enter the blood stream. The effect can be both swift and severe, or delayed and insidious.

People suffering allergies avoid a cleaning product known to provoke a reaction. But as the contents are unknown, the same substances might easily be purchased in another brand. Content labelling would help to avoid this. It would not stop manufacturers putting highly toxic, even dangerous, substances into their products, but it would help allergic people to identify their allergens. At present, manufacturers are protected by law from revealing the contents of their products. The opposite should be the case – they should be compelled to reveal them. Eventually, the chemical content will have to be analysed, and the public informed of the known allergenic effects upon human beings. But first they must be identified.

So obvious is the need, that it seems to me unlikely that such legislation is not already under way, but I have not heard of it. Next week, the 17th January, I am seeing the MP for Hemel Hempstead to discuss the possibility of a private members bill on this issue. First, however, do you know of anyone dealing with environmental public health, and in particular with allergies. Who has this in their agenda? Any comments or suggestions you can offer would be most gratefully received.

Jennifer Worth

This letter was addressed to Tessa Jowell, Minister for Health, and circulated to:

* British Society for Allergies and Environmental Medicine, Box 28, Totton, Southampton, SO4 2ZA
* British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 66 Weston Park, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0HL
* Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Chadwyck Court, 15 Hatfields, London SE1 8DJ
* The British Asthma Campaign, Providence Place, London N1 0NT
* The National Eczema Society, 163 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BU
* Action Against Allergies, PO Box 278, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 4XQ
* British Allergy Foundation, 30 Bellgrove Road, Welling, Kent, DA16 3PY
* National Society for Research into Allergies, PO Box 45, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1JY
* Professor Jonathon Brostoff, Allergy Research Foundation, University College Hospital, W1N 8AA
* Tony McWalter M.P. House of Commons, SW1 0AP

The Result

Jennifer felt that the need is so obvious, legislation must surely be under way. But, unable to find any sign of it, she approached her local MP for Hemel Hempstead, Tony McWalter. As a result he was able to put a question in the House on April 1:

"To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to introduce labelling for cleaning materials to identify their content for those
who suffer from allergic reactions to certain solvents."

The written answer, provided by Angela Eagle, was: "The current UK and EU law dealing with the labelling of chemicals, including cleaning products, obliges suppliers to assess whether the chemical will cause sensitisation by inhalation or skin contact. If a product has this property it has to be labelled with a warning symbol and written advice including the chemical identity of the active chemical. I have no plans to introduce more specific legislation of the type described."

Since this leaves the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturers, with their own freedom to interpret official guidelines, Jennifer feels this answer was far from satisfactory. Do you agree with her?

Water Fluoridation

On the strength of Dr Sheila Gibson's article on water fluoridation in Issue 24 of Positive Health, I wrote to our water supplier. My letter went to the Secretary for Health who sent an interesting reply which seems to show that it has improved children's teeth remarkably!

I can't do anything off my own bat but I wondered if the author might be interested to comment on their letter (below).

Eric Spain, Hong Kong.

Dear Mr Spain

Thank you for your fax inquiry dated 26.02.98, addressed to the Director of Water Supplies, which as you had been informed by Mr Cheung of the Water Supplies Department, would be referred to us.

Please note that your earlier letter to WSD dated 02.02.98, along with copies of the two articles were all taken in context in this response.

The matter related to the fluoridation of Hong Kong water supplies was recommended by the government as early as 1949 in that "public water supplies in Hong Kong should be fluoridated as a preventative measure for dental disease". Along with that recommendation was the setting of proper mechanisms that regular surveys be conducted to assess and monitor its effects. It was not until 1961 that the fluoridation process was effected when the mechanisms for the regular surveys were assured and established. In 1960, a territory-wide pre-fluoridation study was carried out on more than 8000 school children aged between 6-11.

Through the years, the then Department of Medical and Health Services, now known as the Department of Health, monitors the situation closely, along with expert input from Medical Development Advisory Committee (MDAC), now known as the Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee, and academics from the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong. Reference is also taken from international bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations as well as results obtained from countries with fluoridated water supplies.

In keeping with all the recommendation of advisory bodies and reports, the Department of Health has been closely monitoring the effects of water fluoridation with regular surveys. Through the close surveillance and liaison with the WD, the water fluoride had been adjusted accordingly from 0.8 ppm in 1961, to the current level of 0.5 ppm (since 1988).

The Department conducted its most recent survey in 1995. It has been documented that the prevalence of dental caries had dropped from 97% (among 6-8 year olds) in 1960 to 63% (among 6 year olds) in 1987 in the primary dentition; and 93% (among 9-11 year olds) in 1960 to 54% (among 11 year olds) in 1997 in the permanent dentition. From the 1995 survey there was a 31% reduction in the prevalence of caries in permanent dentition in the same age group as compared with 1987, ranking Hong Kong's adolescent population as among the world's lowest in terms of caries status.

We do come across independent studies on possible harmful health effects of fluoride to humans. There are also independent experts in relevant fields of medicine and science with the consensus on the benefits of water fluoridation at an optimum level, with no significant health risks associated with its consumption. Data concerning the safety of water fluoridation have been reviewed repeatedly by international authorities including the WHO in Switzerland; The Royal College of Physicians in the UK; National Academy of Sciences in USA; International Agency for Research on Cancer in Switzerland; Department of Health Working Party in UK, National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia; US Public Health Service in USA; and the National Research Council in USA.

To date the WHO still advocates water fluoridation as a safe, cost effective preventative measure in reducing dental caries, and the Department endorses this as an accepted and safe dental public health measure.

Rest assured that we are continuously monitoring the overall effects of fluoride on human health.

Dr S.W.Yan
Consultant i/c Dental Services
Hong Kong

Dr Gibson Replies…

According to its propaganda, the Hong Kong Department of Health monitors closely the effects of water fluoridation in Hong Kong. This has resulted in a reduction of the water fluoride level from 0.8 ppm to 0.5 ppm. The method of monitoring and the precise reasons for the reduction are not stated.

The UK Mission to the US to study Water Fluoridation in the 1950s recommended that existing fluoride intakes should be checked in both individuals and populations as a whole before implementing water fluoridation and that monitoring should be continued on an on-going basis. This has never been implemented in the UK although the WHO in 1994 again recommended that fluoride intake should be assessed before undertaking any new fluoridation schemes. Non-observance of these precautions has now resulted in a situation in Birmingham (fluoridated in 1964) where about 60% of the population has more than the upper recommended limits of fluoride in the urine, while around 34% of the children have dental fluorosis. It has been known for some time that Birmingham has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the UK.

Nor are these health disadvantages offset by savings in dental costs, since between 1964 and 1992 the number of dentists in Birmingham rose by 85% while the population decreased by 15%. The situation in Birmingham emphasises the urgent need to carry out continuous monitoring of fluoridated populations in the interests of safety.

Despite denials, it is becoming clear that tooth decay is rising in fluoridated areas and that decay is to be found hidden behind the fluoride-hardened surface enamel. This makes the teeth more difficult to conserve and may be one reason for the escalating dental costs in the USA (50-60% fluoridated) and in Birmingham.

The decrease in the prevalence of dental caries in Hong Kong over the 27-year period from 1960 to 1987 is of a similar order, or somewhat less, to that observed in non-fluoridated Europe from the 1970s to the 1990s, and for Britain (10% fluoridated) and Eire (73% fluoridated) over a similar period. There is therefore no relationship between improvements in dental health and the fluoride content of the water. It is well known that a good diet and good dental hygiene are the most important factors in improving dental health. Very few, if any, independent experts now support the idea of water fluoridation, since there is no good quality research to show that fluoride is either safe or effective in caries prevention, but an increasing body of evidence attesting to harm. Water fluoridation is neither a safe nor a cost effective method of preventing tooth decay.

Sheila L.M. Gibson.

Allergies and Dowsing

I would like to congratulate you on the excellent article in Issue 27 of Positive Health, called The Allergy Volcano, written by Jennifer Worth. I wish every mother with a hyperactive or asthmatic child or concerned about eczema and any adult suffering from M.E., Migraines, I.B.S. and so many other complaints would not only read this article but have copies prominently displayed all over their houses, just to remind them! I am personally very involved with allergies and the article was very comprehensive, pointing out the dangers of processed foods, sugar rich drinks and all the allergies lurking around us causing modern day distress. Many of them self induced as you can't see or feel the cause.

In years gone by, we had nothing else but to follow our intuition, we seem to have lost it, otherwise we would know better than to fill our bellies with all the things that do us harm. Not only that, we tend to surround ourselves with all sorts of modern gadgets which can inadvertently increase the stress, on our already stressed bodies.

There is, however, good news, and that is that we can cope with modern day life without going back to the middle ages. By 'dowsing' we can find the cause of these allergies very quickly. 'Dowsing' or the better word 'bio-sensing' is the way for the individual to find the unknown allergen in a relatively short time. Once the cause is found and people are willing to eliminate the upsetting food item and replace it with a suitable alternative, harmonise the electromagnetic and other stresses, improvement should occur within a very short time.

I myself came to dowsing for that very same reason. From ill health for over twenty years, with no hope of an improvement to today being well, healthy and happy.

My way was a long one, but it does not have to be so. My stepping stones were my mistakes, as no one showed me which way to go. Today, I feel that life's stepping stones are much more obvious and easily accessible, so that most people can learn how to interpret their own bodies' clear message as to what is safe for them to consume and surround themselves with. The way is by 'bio-sensing' which will clearly show the way to better health for themselves, their families and in particular their children.

Veronika Strong
Author of Stepping Stones into The Unknown

Vitamin B12 and the vegan diet

In the April issue of Positive Health (Issue 27) there is an article about the menopause by Dr David Smallbone on page 23. It includes a table which refers to nutrition and which states:

"Vitamin B12 – Often absent from current vegetarian/vegan diets. (Animal Source only)"

As a vegan myself I was horrified to read such a misleading, out of date myth in a magazine which seems to pride itself on providing accurate, up to the minute information.

There are many readily available vegan sources of B12. These include Marmite, Natex and other yeast extracts, soya milks such as Unisoy Gold and a huge array of fortified breakfast cereals, TVP products and margarines.

B12 deficiency is a serious condition which can lead to anaemia and eventually neurological symptoms. This irresponsible article could help to perpetuate the ill-founded belief, still held by some, that a vegan diet is not adequate nutritionally.

I made the switch from vegetarian to vegan four months ago, after a lot of reading and research and feel a lot more healthy for it. My skin is clearer, my body feels lighter and I have much more energy.

The Vegan Society is an excellent source of information about the vegan diet and produces an information sheet devoted to the topic of B12. They can be contacted at:

Donald Watson House
7 Battle Road
St Leonards-on-Sea
East Sussex TN37 7AA
Tel. 01424-427393

I hope that you will print this letter so that your readers are not left thinking badly of a diet, and a way of life, which can be balanced, guilt-free and healthy, not only for the individual but for the planet.

Amanda Clemens

Dr Smallbone replies…

Whilst I agree with your comments that there are "food sources" available, that are non-animal, that contain Vitamin B12, they are "fortified". This means that they have been added and are not naturally found with that food or the food is not a standard, naturally grown product. The examples that you quote all have added Vitamin B12 and the origin of this will either be bacterially produced or of animal (liver) origin. I have, as yet, not found any of these companies that will guarantee their source of Vitamin B12 to be non-animal.

Vitamin B12 is an animal based or bacterially based material. Plants do not naturally manufacture Vitamin B12. Therefore, I maintain that true vegans and vegetarians, only using naturally grown foods without fortification of any sort, are potentially at risk from Vitamin B12 deficiency. The onset of this deficiency is so insidious because we have about 6 years' supply in store within the body, when fully complemented. Those of us who have not had any form of oral antibiotic may also manufacture sufficient Vitamin B12 for their needs from intestinal bacteria, but even one course of some oral antibiotics is sufficient to destroy these bacteria, that many people no longer have the facility of this action. The same problem also applies to drinking water from rain. Before acid rain, similar bacteria lived in the higher cloud layers, producing Vitamin B12 in our drinking water, sufficient for our daily needs. This no longer occurs in most of the troposphere.

I hope this satisfies your points of contention and I assure you I in no way denigrate a vegan lifestyle which can provide many benefits.

Dr David Smallbone

Radionics and Pimat

In recent time I have been sent reminders to renew my previous subscription to Positive Health Magazine which I have so far failed to do, however, I would like to explain my reasons for my hesitancy to resubscribe. Unfortunately time is something we all seem to lack nowadays and my letter to Positive Health is way overdue.

I refer to Issue 21, you had an article about Radionics and a cloth called Pimat. The first part of the article was based on the history of Radionics which was accurate and informative, however, as the article proceeded to speak of, and describe the Pimat I found it to be more and more "questionable". Indeed a number of patients who have been successfully treated using the Radionic principles made comments such as wacky and bizarre.

I was most disappointed in the content of the article and do not feel it offered a true and accurate explanation of what Radionics is and how it works. I would suggest Ryszard Olszack's reputation succeeds him, and it is people's faith in him, rather than the efficacy of the working practice that promotes healing.

I acknowledge the healing potential of the pyramid shape has been recognised for a long time and I myself accept the phenomena and its power, and yet I would not like to be associated with his explanation of Radionics and its healing capabilities.

I also feel it is extremely disconcerting to read accounts of supposedly severe M.E. sufferers finding miracle cures after just twelve days of using this piece of material, surely if this is possible the treatment regime should be widely acknowledged and used to help the many thousands of people suffering chronic illness.

It is particularly worrying to read of magical cures to severe illness which have been arrived at by such flimsy methods and feel it is irresponsible of all of us as Healthcare Practitioners to purport healing is so quickly and easily achieved.

I personally agree that dis-ease and ill health occur when the force fields which surround all living matter destabilise due to mechanical injury, environmental pollutants, viruses, mental stress or trauma, etc. The unbalanced force fields allow free radical cells to develop and ill health to occur. Radionics can not only identify these imbalances within the cellular structure but can begin to recreate a balanced and formative force field around cells and organ function. However, when one is addressing a serious set of symptoms it must be accepted that healing techniques will take considerable time, furthermore they generally require the addition of some essential nutrients, especially in the form of biochemistry which is the bedrock of all living matter.

I myself have over many years experienced some extremely serious illnesses including cancer and believe I owe my life to: a) the power of the mind; b) a change of thought form in so far as thought is an energy and as such can change cellular metabolism, particularly if the thought process is of a negative type; c) some good sound nutritional supplements and d) Radionic therapy, all of which come together to make up a complete healing programme which proved effective.

On one occasion when I was seriously ill a very well renowned healer friend sent me a 'symbol' on which I was to daily focus my attention in order to project my mind to reach out and absorb the healing energies she was transmitting to me. In this instance I feel tremendous benefit was obtained because I myself had the faith to place in to the symbol she had sent me, I see no difference in my symbol and the so called Pimat. I would not, however, call this Radionics.

Unfortunately Radionics has always been placed in the realms of the extreme methods of complementary healing and I feel sad articles such as the one put in Positive Health last year only serve to fuel the fire rather than put it in to more logical and believable forms of explanation.

I do believe Positive Health is one of the foremost, leading magazines on health/mind related matters and with the growing swell of the general public becoming disenchanted with orthodox medicine and looking to complementary medicine to fulfil the gap, we should all be extremely responsible for the position placed upon us.

Current legislation is getting closer and closer in removing many of the tools of the trade which we rely upon, namely vitamins and nutritional supplements, as such I perceive more and more emphasis will be placed on the role of energy medicine for healthcare practitioners, we must therefore make sure what we are advocating is both ethical and acceptable.

For many years I have focused my personal attention on animal health related matters incorporating nutrition, supplements, ethics pertaining to current veterinary procedures as well as healing. My primary tool for diagnosing is the Radionic technique and I do not feel the article was a true reflection of what Radionics is or how it works as a form of distant healing.

I would be interested to have your comments in reply to my letter and based upon its contents will decide whether or not to renew my overdue subscription.

Chrissie Mason, Ph.D.
Author of They Shoot Horses but Vaccinate Dogs
Positive Health Issue 10

Zena Maddison replies…

I am glad that Chrissie Mason found the first part of my article accurate and informative on Radionics. However, perhaps I did not explain adequately how Ryszard Olzack moved from Radionics to the development of the Pimat: I did not claim that Pimat was part of Radionics, only that from his years in radionics and healing, he was led to seek a form of therapy having the quality of the pyramid, but in two dimensions instead of three. He felt this would make it available to more people, and he called the Pimat's rays "the energy of shape, or neo-energy".

My purpose was to explain how the Pimat works, not Radionics – I am not a Radionics expert – and I think this misapprehension has caused Chrissie Mason's reaction. To call the Pimat "whacky" or "bizarre" is to use terms that have been used by less-enlightened people to describe many (if not most) complementary therapies, from homoeopathy and Bach flower remedies to kinesiology and Radionics.

I am the severe ME sufferer (not supposedly) who recovered after 12 days of using the Pimat. (Again, perhaps the article did not make this clear.) I state in the article that Dr Nevison, a well-qualified nutritionist who had been treating me for 2 years, confirmed my cure, tried Pimat herself, and later ordered quantities of them for her patients, whom, she said, responded better to her treatment when using Pimat. We have tried to spread the word of the Pimat to as many sufferers as possible. We are indeed up against stiff opposition if other complementary practitioners call it "flimsy"! There have been many "miraculous" recoveries: we have a pile of letters from grateful users. Not everybody is cured, of course, and not all who improve are totally better, but this is true of all therapies, orthodox or complementary. Some people need help from other forms of healing, as Chrissie Mason observes, and if people don't change their lifestyle, their improvement may not be maintained.

In Poland and Russia, where the division between orthodox and complementary is less rigid, much research has been effected, in laboratories as well as hospitals, and very favourable results were obtained; the Russian Ministry of Health even permitting doctors to prescribe Pimat for their patients. Two million Pimats were sold to the general public in Poland. The Polish Biotronics and Positronics Societies (the equivalent of the Radionics Association here) carried out many tests, including Kirlian Photography, on the Pimat and on patients. They stated that the Pimat made use of the shape radiation phenomenon (well-known in Radionics) and that it affected the human system favourably (see my article, Issue 27, p. 23).

Many practitioners of complementary therapies read Positive Health. Quite a number of them have expressed approval of my article and tried a Pimat for themselves, later ordering several for their patients. There has been a lot of good feedback.

Finally, I should like to observe that it is a little unfair to Positive Health for Chrissie Mason to base renewing her subscription (or not) on just one article. A lot of people have approved of it, but there are many articles in every issue which she might find more acceptable – almost an embarras de richesses!

Zena Maddison

Radionics and Allergies

I read the articles in your last issue on food sensitivity and allergies with great interest as we have many people coming to radionics for help with such problems. It is our experience that everyone has some form of food sensitivity, but the influence of such sensitivities on everyday life depends on the overall health of the individual; the healthier we are the less such sensitivity impinges upon our overall performance.

Some sensitivity is shown by an individual not liking a particular food, but to be really meaningful such reaction has got to be a pure body experience and not distorted by emotional or mental influences which have been imbued throughout our conscious life and perhaps even before.

Most of us will have noticed how a certain food will taste better at some times and not so good at other times. This can be considered as a body reaction to too much of consumption of a certain food. Those who have attended our dowsing course are able to ascertain these facts in a more positive and meaningful manner!

In radionics we consider sensitivity as part of an intolerance which can be easily remedied by radionic treatment and dietary advice. Allergies, we consider, are an advanced form of intolerance on the lines of a miasm,; generally but not invariably, they can be corrected radionically. Patients are usually advised to minimise the intake of the foods concerned.

Major Gordon Smith
Co-ordinator, Confederation of Radionic & Radiesthesic Organisations

The Golden Years of Youth

People need to read your perceptive editorial statement (Positive Health, May 1998 Issue 28) that "There is a clichéd and outmoded notion that as we get older we get more rigid in our beliefs and ways of viewing the world". So many people get more radical and more questioning as they get older and move further away from the stereotypical notions on which we were reared in our early years.

Unfortunately our society seems obsessed with hanging on to a view of the 'golden years of youth', when in fact for most young people they are years of troubled questioning, endless problems and a difficult search for meaning and role. The ideologues and advertisers of the so-called youth culture are selling an impossible and ephemeral dream.

Some day we may get back to a concept that at every age people have their value to society. In many cultures older people are used in a multitude of roles right until they die, peacefully and fulfilled. Here we put such people into 'retirement' when they still have decades of productive life ahead of them. We stop them contributing to society, seat them in front of the television, provide them with meals on wheels and take them out once a week to a day centre where they learn to clap hands to the music. In turn they start to conform to our image of how they should behave – this is known as learned helplessness.

We become offended if instead they want to continue and independent and meaningful existence without our patronising ministrations. When such people die peacefully on their own everyone is blamed – social services, voluntary organisations, neighbours etc. – though the neighbours were probably well aware that this person was contentedly living a quiet and independent existence.

Dylan Thomas put it more forcefully: "Rage, rage, against the dying of the night".

Walter Barker, Ph.D.

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