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Letters to the Editor Issue 86

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 86 - March 2003

Vitamin Treatment for Prostate Cancer

by Joe Rojas-Burke, The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon

A megadose vitamin treatment developed at Oregon Health & Science University could, according to a study published this week and cited in this story, increase the effectiveness of prostate cancer treatments.

If borne out by further research, experts were cited as saying the vitamin regimen would be a significant advance in the treatment of prostate cancer, the most common malignancy in men. Doctors currently have little to offer patients with advanced, inoperable cases that resist hormone-blocking drugs. Most patients die within 12 to 18 months. The vitamin appears to boost the cancer-killing impact of chemotherapy drugs, the study shows.

The treatment pioneered by Dr. Tomasz Beer and colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) consists of very high doses of a form of vitamin D, called calcitriol. Laboratory tests suggest the vitamin could work against a variety of cancers, but this study focused on prostate disease. Last year, OHSU licensed the invention to Novacea, a biotechnology startup in South San Francisco. The privately held firm raised $36 million to support large-scale clinical trials, which recently began enrolling patients.

Source: Elwood Richard –
via Functional Foods U of Guelph, Knight-Ridder Tribune

New England Journal of Medicine Hammers Chemo, Applauds Alternative Cancer Therapy

by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

Times are a-changin’ in the US Health community. Who would have believed that the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine would APPLAUD an Alternative Cancer Therapy, and in the same article, BLAST chemotherapy, as worthless.

Well, it happened… in the December 12th, 2002 issue, in a review by James Spencer Malpas, MD, D Phil St. Bartholomew’s Hospital London. You can find the article in the Journal at

Here are the quotes…
Quote #1: “He found the evidence in favour of conventional treatment unconvincing and opted for such alternative therapies as Gerson therapy with its strict diet, vitamins, and enemas. High-dose vitamin C and high-dose vitamin D, both contraindicated in the orthodox treatment of multiple myeloma, were later added to the regimen. What is evident is that this was the right therapy for him.”

Quote #2: “The irony of the whole situation is that a recent randomized trial of treatment for stage 1 multiple myeloma by Riccardi and colleagues (British Journal of Cancer 2000;82:1254-60) showed no advantage of conventional chemotherapy over no treatment.”

Well, well… That ought to escalate the ‘quackbuster’s’ demise… Even the New England Journal has turned their back on their ludicrous assertions…

Tim Bolen, Consumer Advocate,
Source: Chris Gupta

Further Information

Attack on EU Directive

Like many I have benefited from visiting holistic practitioners and self-medication in situations where doctors have been unable to help (in my case tinnitus, prostatitis, IBS, slipped pelvis to name but a few). I believe the health-aware individual who has access to conventional medicine and non-mainstream therapies has the best chance of a healthy future.

Underpinning this approach has to be the right to chose the alternatives to drugs when one wishes. With this in mind I am both fearful and angry regarding the actions of the EU. This massive removal of human rights almost beggars belief, and yet many folk are unaware that it is even happening. Surely greater publicity is crucial to any hopes that we have left? The issue is primarily one of EU harmonisation and politicians from pro and anti EU camps; both have reason to support us as the issue can be used to demonstrate the evils of the single-state mentality.

I have done the usual round of letters to politicians and press, as have so many others. But do they like me feel impotent and frustrated with the sense that not enough is happening? At this stage should we not be seeing a more vociferous campaign from supplement companies, the health food industry and holistic practitioners? I offer one example – surely there should be a poster in the window of every health food shop saying “the EU is removing your right to vitamins and minerals”.

As they say, when it’s gone it’s gone and we all know it will not stop with supplements, it will be therapies next. I wonder if you or your readers have views on the campaign as it is being waged at present.

Simon Fearn


The Editor Replies

I share Simon Fearn’s concern and frustration and have been endeavouring to alert as many concerned practitioners, health food shops, consumers and politicians through Positive Health magazine and its internet site
Sandra Goodman PhD

California Judge Approves Landmark Warning on Mercury Use in Dentistry

For the first time anywhere, dentists will be required to post a warning about the dangers of mercury in their dental fillings. A California Superior court judge finalized the language for the warning to be posted in dentists’ offices here today.

The warning will read as follows: Notice to Patients, Proposition 65:

Warning on dental amalgams, used in many dental fillings, causes exposure to mercury, a chemical known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Root canal treatments and restorations including fillings, crowns and bridges, use chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.

The US Food and Drug Administration has studied the situation and approved for use all dental restorative materials. Consult your dentist to determine which materials are appropriate for your treatment.

The exact language of the warning was argued and then finalized before Superior Court Judge James A Robertson II between the California Dental Association, the largest constituent organization of the American Dental Association and Attorney Shawn Khorrami (Cor-ahm-mee). The agreement requires its member dentists to warn patients about the toxic dangers of mercury dental fillings and root canals. The agreement also allows non-CDA dentists to opt in to the agreement and post the warning.

The warning is the result of a lawsuit filed by The Law Offices of Shawn Khorrami on behalf of As You Sow, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to advocacy and activism in the public interest.

“This is the first admission by organized dentistry that amalgams pose a potential health risk,” says Shawn Khorrami, lead attorney. “The only problem is that it’s about 100 years too late.”

This California consent judgment follows on the heels of recent lawsuits filed in Georgia, Texas, Ohio and Los Angeles, California charging that mercury fillings placed in a woman’s mouth contributed to the autism of her child, as well as lawsuits in Maryland, California, and New York charging the American Dental Association with misrepresenting amalgam dental fillings as ‘silver’. The lawsuits basically allege that such fillings actually contain approximately 50% mercury by weight. They cause continuous, daily exposure to mercury and, thereby pose substantial health risks to certain users. Mercury, a highly toxic substance, is the most widely used substance in dental fillings today.

The use of mercury-based thimerosal in vaccines also has been the source of the recent controversy in the Homeland Security legislation.

Khorrami filed the lawsuit against Roger Fieldman DDS, Inc., the Citadel Dental Group, Inc. dental offices, dental laboratories and private dental schools and training programs with more than nine employees. The suit won the enforcement of Proposition 65, Safe Drinking Water and Toxics Enforcement Act [Health & Safety Code § 25249.6].

Proposition 65 requires that a clear and reasonable warning be provided to persons prior to their exposure to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. This statute lists mercury, contained in dental amalgam, as a substance that can cause reproductive toxicity. The lawsuit was based on the absence of warnings to patients treated with amalgam restorative materials in dental offices.

The judgment on Proposition 65 mandates that all dental offices with more than nine employees provide warnings on the dangers of Mercury dental fillings to patients. Those in non-compliance could incur a fine of up to $2,500 per day.

Tim Bolen, Consumer Advocate
Source: Chris Gupta

The ABC of the Global Dictatorship

Emma Holister
To the average person it doesn’t really seem that important that the European parliament is giving in to the pressures of the all-powerful pharmaceuticals industries as they make an aggressive take-over of the food supplements market and alternative medicine in general, claiming the need to implement regulatory safety measures.

However, when we take a look at Ron Law’s study on the Safety of Dietary Supplements we discover the following facts:

A    “Properly researched, regulated, prescribed and properly used drugs are the fourth most common cause of death – but they are never reported. (Journal of the American Medical Association – Range 90,000 to 160,000 deaths per year.) That’s a Boeing 747 crashing every day! 46 people die every day from Aspirin alone in the USA.

Avoidable medical misadventure is the sixth most common cause of death. (Source, CDC – range 40,000 to 90,000) In Australia 9,000 people die from avoidable medical misadventure every year. (Australian Medical Journal). In Australia 50,000 people are maimed by medical misadventure every year. (AMJ)”

B.    “You are less likely to die from taking a supplement than dying from bee stings, sports injuries, lightening, animal bites, horse riding, radon gas, etc, etc.

Dietary supplements have the potential to reduce deaths from cancers and heart disease by over 50%. (Optimists would go as high as 75%)

Greater than 26,000 times more people die from preventable medical misadventure and properly regulated, properly prescribed and properly used drugs than from dietary supplements.”

It is also worth noting that the huge rise in deaths in recent years from heart disease and cancer can also be linked to environmental poisoning from the food, agricultural and water supply industries who are responsible for devastating people’s health and endangering the survival of the planet. It doesn’t take a great deal of research to discover that the dangerous chemicals in our food and water supplies and the pharmaceuticals industries are not entirely unrelated.

We can see that illness is an extremely profitable business, the most profitable business in the world. An unhealthy population is more docile, easily manipulated and a great financial asset.

What greater threat to the long held monopoly of the pharmaceutical giants than food supplements and alternative therapies that are not only proved to be safe but are also extremely successful in combating and preventing disease, not to mention the fact that they are also cheaper most of the time?

When a person has been through the ‘medical mill’ of drugs, surgery, drugs, more surgery, more drugs and is finally given the death sentence by their doctor, there are two ways that this person may react:

A.    They accept their doctor’s prognosis and say farewell to their loved ones;
B.    They question the medical authorities and search for alternative therapies;

When searching for an alternative therapist the average person will come across one of the following:

A.    A well-intentioned therapist with insufficient knowledge who may fail to cure them;
B.    A fake (who benefits the pharmaceutical industries by destroying people’s faith in alternative medicine);
C.    A great therapist who’ll cure them.

When, to their astonishment, they discover that not only there are hundreds of effective therapies and cures with no side effects for even the most serious illnesses like AIDS, but that their disease was more than likely caused by the medical establishment in the first place who moreover do everything in their power to suppress knowledge of these effective therapies, they may have one of the following reactions, or all three:

A.    Joy
B.    Rage
C.    They join the Health Freedom Movement.

The question that naturally arises is ‘Why are so many associations and politicians who claim to be defending alternative medicine and our right to choose, who claim to be taking a stand against the pharmaceutical giants, so silent, unapproachable and unresponsive with regards to this vitally important issue of protecting small businesses and our human rights against the EU’s restrictive legislation on the sale of supplements?’

There are three possible reasons:
A.    They are ignorant
B. They are being paid to keep people ignorant
C. Their livelihood, and even their lives may have been threatened.

When we hear that AIDS is not a sexually transmitted disease but most likely to be an illness caused by vaccines and environmental chemical poisoning, it may surprise us, we may not believe it. When we hear that Linus Pauling, twice winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine, said that most cancer research was a fraud we may have one of two reactions:

A.    We agree with the many people in the medical establishment, who claim that poor old Linus Pauling had lost his marbles;
B.    We believe him.

Perhaps, we may think to ourselves, much of the above information seems rather far-fetched and that surely the medical authorities, surely our family doctor, our friendly local chemist, surely these educated people could not all have been fooled, or worse still be fooling us. However, it is worth considering the following things:

A.    The medical universities and medical journals serve the interests of the profit-oriented pharmaceutical cartel;
B.    Most of the information and research in medical journals is funded by the pharmaceutical industries, not to mention the fact that around one third of the content of these journals is most often dedicated to drug ads;
C.    Educated people are also capable of believing lies, or of being liars;
D.    Can we trust the regulating bodies that demand vast sums of money in order to give out the stamp of approval for the sale of medical products to have the nation’s health as their primary concern? Or may it be a possibility that they are doing big business and have as much integrity as your average used car salesman?
E.    Would you entrust your health to a used car salesman?

More importantly, what are the things that might stop a person from believing the above information?

A.    Blind trust in the medical authorities;
B.    Over consumption of unhealthy contaminated food, water and dependency on pharmaceutical products;
C.    Too much television.

After having read the above you may have one of the following reactions:

A.    You don’t believe a word of it and chuck it in the bin;
B.    You decide there’s nothing you can do about it and sit back and say goodbye to humanity and the planet;
C.    You become and active participant in the Global Health Freedom Movement and begin informing yourself, signing the relevant petitions and writing letters of protest to your government and politicians.

Emma Holister
Source: Josef Hasslberger
Tel: +396 635884

Health Canada Attacks Natural Health Products

Letter from Croft Woodruff, Vancouver Canada
Dear Ms Leung
Attached is a letter by Mr. Chris Gupta of London, Ontario, addressed to Health Canada for your information and action. As my MP can you please ensure that this government agency is held accountable for its actions.

Like Mr Gupta, I too am very concerned that products that have almost no toxicity are forced off the market while drugs with known major toxicity are ignored until several deaths or severe irreversible adverse health conditions have occurred.

Health Canada was the subject of two separate audits over a ten year period in the 1980s. What emerged from those audits (courtesy of access to information) is that Health Canada spends far too much of its time monitoring (harassing would be a more appropriate term) the natural products industry which causes the least amount of problems for the consumer compared to the pharmaceutical industry which causes the greatest problems. Health Canada needs to be far more vigilant with the drug industry as  several ‘approved’ pharmaceuticals from Redux, Seldane, Propulsid, Rezulin were withdrawn form the market since 1997 because they caused death or serious illness. The reason for the withdrawal of Redux  was attributed to irreversible pulmonary hypertension resulting in death or a heart/lung transplant. Redux should have never been approved in the first place because Health Canada knew it caused heart valve damage. Stomach acid H2 blocker’s like Prilosec, and Losec are actually far worse than the popular nighttime heartburn drug, Propulsid. None of the drugs was indicated for a life-threatening condition nor, in many cases, were they the only drugs available for that indication. Safer alternatives to these drugs existed, but intense marketing convinced physicians to prescribe them anyway

Would you not agree that the onus of proof for toxicity should be placed on Health Canada, and they should refrain from meddling with Natural Health care products less toxic than over the counter products such as aspirin.

I’d also like you to address the q%uestions posed in the attached letter as I suspect those concerns will be simply ignored by Health Canada and it will be business as usual – crushing any competition to the pharmaceuticals under the token pretence of protecting the consumers. How can the liberal government allow this condition to occur and still continue?

Are you are aware of this situation and what are you doing to protect Canadians’ right to obtain all Natural Health products including those previously restricted but less toxic than over the counter products?

Croft Woodruff
3535 Crowley Drive, Vancouver BC, V5R 6G5 Tel: 604 327 3889

Chris Gupta’s Letter

Subject: Questions for Health Canada

I looked at the Business Impact Test (BIT) survey site ( surveys/s19985.htm) and, as a consumer, I have a few questions regarding the need to regulate Natural Health products.

Why is Health Canada spending money and resources to regulate generally safe supplements like amino acids, SOD, vitamin K, B17, Kava Kawa etc. that are far far less toxic than aspirin?

Natural Health products, including the above, are significantly less toxic than swallowing a tablespoon of salt. So why was salt not regulated before these and now for that matter? To convince yourself, simply try swallowing a tablespoon of salt and you will have all the proof you need!

Shouldn’t the regulatory money being spend on much safer Natural Health products not be first spent on regulating, easily demonstrable and, known toxic drug products like the following examples?

Health Canada Lagging – National Post, April 2001

Decrying Health Canada’s poor track record of warning doctors and patients about adverse reactions to prescription drugs, the Canadian Medical Association Journal has decided to pass US advisories on to its readers and the journal says Canadians deserve to know about potentially harmful side effects much sooner than Ottawa has been telling them.

This is not the first time we have observed Health Canada’s advisory and regulatory actions lagging behind [US] but this is the last time that we will merely observe.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had issued an advisory about the drug (Prepulsid) on January 24, 2000 after having receiving dozens of reports of fatal heart arrhythmias. Health Canada did not issue a similar warning until four months later, on May 31, 2000.

Currently Health Canada is placing over 250,000 Canadians at risk due to its inaction. The risk involves addiction and breast cancer. Included also are the 150,000 plus women at risk for increased risk rate of breast cancer. Health Canada has once again ignored their own legislated mandate stated in the Food and Drugs Act and stand in breach of public trust: To promote good nutrition and informed use of drugs and to maximize the safety and efficacy of drugs. The FDA provided a public warning on Paxil on December 14, 2001. It has now been over twelve months with no protection provided to the consumer. To reiterate the statement of CMAJ, editor Dr John Hoey, National Post April 2001 “I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t issue a similar warning and why would you take a chance if you receive a warning (from abroad).

I’d be happy to send you many more examples as this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Obviously Health Canada does not have time, resources and money to deal with the real serious issues as outlined above, than how can it justify a regulatory program on generally safe Natural Health products?

Meticulous record keeping; error checking methods; and complete and through investigations, to prevent future occurrences, are common and normal in the event of service loss or the slightest threat of injury in industries such as the airlines, telephone and Hydro but are disgracefully lacking in the medical industry. Why is this? Is Health Canada not concerned? If not why not?

Why are citizens forced to do their own drug toxicity and safety research, at their own cost and time, when the regulatory body, who is charged with this mandate with our tax money, continue to ignore easily available data let alone protect us? If this is not Health Canada’s role than exactly what is it and who exactly is directing their work? As it stands they appear to be working for the big pharmaceuticals with our tax money!

Health Canada’s actions demonstrate that they are taking the easy route by going after smaller (mostly defenceless) supplement manufactures but are afraid to deal with well-funded pharmaceuticals. If we, the citizens, have to deal with these pharmaceuticals, at our expense and time, then why should we need bodies like Health Canada in the first place?

The above is nothing short of pure negligence. With such a track record, and the convenient lack of accountability to the constituents. Again one has to wonder why this regulatory body exists?

Why should anyone assume that Health Canada’s blatant negligence will stop in the future given that currently the average citizen cannot hold them accountable without a court case, effectively making Health Canada an extension of the pharmaceuticals? One can only conclude that Health Canada is only needed to protect the pharmaceutical industry. An industry which sees cheap effective and non patentable, natural products as a threat to their bloated profits and continues to blackmail us all with hollow promises of future cures. A cure is the last thing on their mind. At best they are only interested in disease management to retain customers for life and maintain patents.

And please don’t give me the malarkey to change the situation by using my vote, as both you and I know, the voting procedure has not worked to date and is likely not to in the future in a system where governments pander to the rich minority (pharmaceuticals) at the expense of majority community interest and health! Meanwhile those who need access to alternatives continue to suffer. Our health expenses are going through the roof and into the pockets of the pharmaceuticals. Under the pretence of protecting us from products less toxic than salt, Health Canada continues to make it difficult for the normal citizen to take the most cost effective (preventive) health measures. Since when, in a true democracy, are lawyers needed to force regulatory bodies to do their job as is becoming necessary to deal with Health Canada?


While the above pertains to the US it is also applicable to all countries including personal lives of Health Canada employees. Will you at least read the information, provided in the above links, and distribute it within Health Canada?

From what I have outlined above Health Canada seems to be doing everything, except what it should be doing. As a tax payer I expect answers to the above questions. and suggest you stop fooling around with our freedoms to access cost effective products that are less toxic than aspirin (which is far more toxic than salt). Instead fulfil your mandate to regulate toxic drugs and direct your resources towards the prevention and reduction of injury, errors, and loss of service investigative procedures on par with other industries.

A disgusted and angry citizen,
Chris Gupta P Eng


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