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Letters to the Editor Issue 85

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 85 - February 2003

Drain Cleaner and Quicklime Poisons Approved as Safe Food Supplements while Vitamins Banned

Three substances approved for use in food supplements by the European Commission and the Food Standards Agency are exposed today as fatal to humans.

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) and Calcium Oxide (CaO) – also known as Caustic Soda, Caustic Potash and Quicklime – are all contained in a list of 'safe' substances for supplementation in the EU's Food Supplements Directive, supposedly devised to protect consumers.

Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide are widely used as constituents of drain and oven cleaners, while Calcium Oxide is commonly used to destroy carcasses of humans and animals.

The Directive licenses three potentially fatal chemicals, while seeking to ban hundreds of vitamins and minerals in beneficial doses, at levels recognised by UK and international scientists as perfectly safe.

The revelation, say campaigners, should force a full review of the Directive by the UK and the EU. More than 1,000,000 consumers signed a petition handed to Government last week, urging politicians to resist the draconian restrictions, which will force many people to resort to pharmaceutical drugs.

Highlighting the 'ludicrously flawed' legislation, Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) said the Directive will actually allow the inclusion of poisons, while banning hundreds of safe, proven, vitamin and mineral products, that have been on the UK market for decades.

It was CHC who commissioned the report into the list of so-called 'approved substances' from Phylax Ltd., consultants in toxicology.

The independent report says: "The list contains three substances that if included in food supplements could prove fatal if ingested. These substances… as their names imply… are caustic substances with well-established toxic effects when administered orally or by skin exposure or in aerosol form.

"All the three caustic substances have been used in the past as constituents of pastes used to destroy skin growths such as warts but are rarely or ever used today.

"Due to the caustic nature of these substances, humane practice precludes modern, conventional animal toxicity testing… References to the damaging effects of these substances are listed in standard texts dealing with the hazards of industrial chemicals."

Sue Croft, Consumers for Health Choice, said: "In the past Calcium Oxide has been combined with sodium hydroxide as a constituent of London Paste, used to destroy skin tissue.

"This report just illustrates the superficial and farcical nature of the way Government and the EU has approached the whole subject. If they want to regain consumer confidence, it's not enough to say 'we'll drop these three, then' – they must go back to the drawing board, and simply start again."

The Food Supplements Directive, due to become law in the UK next year, contains a list of nutrients and nutrient sources for use in dietary supplements. At present over 300 safe and popular nutrients and nutrient sources, which have been on the UK market for decades, are not on the permitted list and unless comprehensive safety dossiers are submitted and approved for each, they will be banned.

Toxicity of Three Preparations Listed in the EU Supplements Directive

Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda, NaOH)
This substance is widely used in industry as a constituent of powerful cleaning agents such as lye and domestically as a constituent of drain and oven cleaners. Its use in these latter applications has declined due to its obvious dangers and it has been replaced largely by less corrosive agents.

Potassium Hydroxide (Caustic Potash, KOH)
This chemical possesses similar caustic properties to sodium hydroxide and is used for similar purposes.

Human Toxicity Excerpts:
Acute poisoning: Ingestion of potassium hydroxide is followed by severe pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapse. The vomitus contains blood and desquamated mucosal lining. If death does not occur in the first 24 hours, the patient may improve for 2-4 days and then have a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain, board-like abdominal rigidity, and rapid fall of blood pressure indicating delayed gastric or oesophageal perforation. Oesophageal stricture can occur weeks, months, or even years later to make swallowing difficult. Carcinoma is a risk in later life.

Calcium Oxide
This is a constituent of lye, a powerful chemical disinfectant used to destroy carcases of humans and animals that may pose a risk to health. It has been used in the past combined with sodium hydroxide as a constituent of London Paste, used to destroy skin.

Human Toxicity Excerpts:
Ingestion of calcium oxide causes swallowing to become painful and difficult almost immediately burning pain extends down the oesophagus to stomach. Contaminated areas of lips, chin, tongue and the pharynx become oedematous and covered with exudate. There is profuse salivation and because of pharyngeal and oesophageal oedema, it may become impossible after a few hours to swallow even saliva. Mucous membranes are at first white but later brown, oedematous, gelatinous, and necrotic. Vomitus is thick and slimy due to mucus; later it may contain blood and shreds of mucous membrane. Death may ensue if not treated.


1. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Inc. Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices. 6th ed. Volumes I,II, III. Cincinnati, OH: ACGIH. 1416. 1991.
2. Lewis, RJ. Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials. 9th ed. Volumes 1-3. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 297. 1996.
3. National Institute 0f Safety and Health (NIOSH); Criteria Document: Sodium Hydroxide p.46. DHEW Pub. NIOSH 76-105. 1975.
4. Mor'on F et al; Int J Tissue React 5(4): 357-362. 1983.
5. Dreisbach, R.H. Handbook of Poisoning. 12th ed. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange. 211. 1987.
6. Gosselin, RE et al. Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products. 4th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins. p. II-72. 1976.

Further Information

Sue Croft, Consumers for Health Choice Tel: 01275 371812 or 07860 286425
Dr RE Lister BSc (Hons Pharmacol), PhD, CBiol, FIBiol, Phylax Ltd. – Consultants in Toxicology Tel: 01494 675758

Greek View re EU Supplement Directive

I live on a Greek island and dip into Positive Health on the internet as a useful source of accessible information. I would like to make some observations about the outrageous EU Supplement Directive.

Your article comments that mainland Europeans are not as interested as the British in supplements. In Greece it is true that most doctors and many people remain wedded to pharmaceuticals, which are cheap and consumed in terrifying quantities. However, even on a small Aegean island, attitudes are changing and alternatives are being sought.

Here in Kalymnos, a nutritionist has set up a full-time practice and one pharmacy sells a wide range of excellent quality herbal and homeopathic remedies and supplements.

I believe that the British can learn from the European approach to concerted, direct consumer action on political issues. I recall that a few years ago, the Italian government passed some measure that met with widespread public disapproval and on a given day the switchboards of government offices, TV stations and newspapers were dramatically jammed by calls of protest.

The law was amended forthwith. I have seen similar response in Greece to the blockading of harbours combined with marches by fishermen protesting against taxation measures and a shopping boycott by consumers angered by post-Euro price hikes.

Please use your magazine and trade sources to galvanise a combined effort by the thousands of concerned individuals in the UK – including journalists and many high-profile public figures. I cannot join a march in London but I will happily send messages to the European Commission and Parliament by telephone, email and post on a given day, arranged for maximum effect. As your magazine and contributors point out, it is up to us to take individual responsibility.

Faith Warn, Greece

EU Violating our Freedom of Choice

I cannot understand why some herbal remedies are soon to be withdrawn if the pharmaceutical companies and the government get their way. I am a strong believer in all herbal remedies and alternative therapies. I totally refuse to take drugs and I do not believe people should be denied choice; surely it is against Human Rights.

Prescribed drugs cause far more side effects than these simple remedies.

I ask you what can we do to prevent these vast concerns from trying to force us into using their products. I also do not want to have anything to do with genetically modified produce and I am appalled with the way it is creeping into our food, unknown to us all. I am also appalled at the fact that our government along with these corrupt companies are trying to make it law that GM produce should not appear on labels, thus deceiving the buyer.

Surely our freedom of choice is being violated. What can we do?

Molly Taylor, Cheshire

HIV and Germanium

I discovered Germanium 132 the day after I was diagnosed as + for HIV. I was immediately placed on Trizivir (a triple combination anti-retroviral) and have good results with it. The effects of the Germanium are not clear in my case as the Trizivir works so well.

The person that infected me is not on any retrovirals, Christopher Cooper (see below) he had to wait to get treatment due to a job and insurance change. He has taken Germanium for 4 months. He is not on antivirals as his viral load has dropped and dropped and dropped since he was diagnosed (two weeks before me). He is currently showing 650 viral load – his doctor is astounded! His T4 counts are steadily dropping. His #s are:

8/02: 3300 viral copies 680 t4s
10/02: 1500 virus 550 t4s
11/02: 650 virus 450 t4s

His doctor does not want to go on antivirals given his low viral load. We think the germanium is lowering the viral load and that the T4 population is dropping due to T8 activity? (Perhaps the T8s and NK cells are destroying infected cells, lowering the viral load AND the T4 population?) Is this something you might agree with? He has doubled his intake of Germanium and we are waiting to see his results in 02/03.

I am going to cease antiviral treatment in 10/03 and see if my natural defences can hold the virus off (will take the Germanium in any case). We are looking for non-toxic ways to improve/control our conditions. Your help is appreciated.

MF, Name Supplied

More: HIV and Germanium

I am the person to whom MF (see above) is referring.

Because I was uninsured when I first discovered that I was infected, I sought natural treatment remedies while I waited for the opportunity to begin HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapies). MF and I had done some research and found information pointing to the antigenic properties of Germanium-132 and N-Actyle-Carnitine (NAC).

I started taking 300mg of Germanium and 90mg of NAC (along with a regimen of vitamins) daily. In two months time I witnessed a dramatic decrease in viral load. The concomitant decrease in T4 cells worried me. But then my doctor observed something very interesting. While the derived absolute count of T4 cells was decreasing, the cells were increasing (rather dramatically) as a percentage of my total lymphocyte population – starting at 26.5%, then 29%, then 35%(!).

My doctor (a highly esteemed specialist in infectious diseases) convinced me NOT to start HAART and just observe the progression of the disease under this natural remedy. My next numbers will be calculated in February.

Interestingly, upon seeing these results, I doubled my daily intake of Germanium and NAC and started to do even more research on Germanium. I found information verifying what you have reported here. Apparently, the company that first manufactured AZT launched a massive disinformation campaign in the late 1980s, early 1990s to discourage the use of Germanium. I read that they also clandestinely funded a foundation which worked to place anti-Germanium individuals on the UK government board that approves certain drugs.

The most shocking information, however, was that even with an astounding amount of anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of Germanium, there has not been a single human study of it since the 1980s (except, apparently, for some unpublished studies by the Chinese and the Korean study which you have cited).

When I first became aware of being infected, I was determined to go on HAART as soon as possible, especially considering the good results that many have experienced with Trizivir. Now, I am almost convinced that there is a large population of individuals who could fight off HIV infection with natural remedies. Only so many of them were placed on HAART at the first signs of infection that we don't know (and probably underestimate) that population.

It will be interesting to see if anything becomes of this new research. Please share this information as broadly as possible to benefit those who may be in similar situations.

Christopher Cooper, Washington, DC

The Editor Comments

The above accounts regarding HIV and Organic Germanium are exceedingly interesting. Many readers will have read about my attempts over quite a few years during the mid to late 1980s to fund research regarding germanium's potentially therapeutic effects upon HIV, both in the UK and in the USA, but with no success.

This sordid story posits that the drug companies which make retrovirals closed down all attempts to do research with natural approaches during the late 1980s, early 1990s. Sadly, in the UK germanium was banned for sale as a supplement following a tabloid scandal about kidney toxicity (due to contamination by inorganic germanium dioxide).

Below are some relevant hyperlinks in which I have relayed some of this story:

Editorial Issue 64
Editorial Issue 63
Germanium - The health and life enhancer

Perhaps there may be some meaningful response from others who may be active in this field. The only people I know of that are actually producing organic germanium and doing clinical research are a Korean group called Geranti. Their contact details are:

John T Sohn, Geranti BioPharm 678-20, Yoksam-song, Kangnam-ku Seoul Korea Tel: 00822 556 1367, Fax: 00822 553 7851

Sandra Goodman PhD

Outrage Re Kava Ban

As an observer from the other side of the planet, the action to ban kava is an action that will only serve to legitimately outrage proponents of the safe and effective use of complementary healthcare and therapeutic products.

I was a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health Sentinel Event working group that advised on the reporting and management of medical injury within the health system. I have also worked for the dietary supplement industry for nearly five years. I'm a clinical biochemist with a masters degree in international business management. I'm a member of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the New Zealand Society for Risk Management.

I recently presented a paper at the New Zealand Society for Risk Management conference in Wellington New Zealand. Based on a thorough analysis of over 44 government, quasi government, NGO and a few overseas papers and reports. It is easy to demonstrate using well established evidence that Natural healthcare and therapeutic products, including kava kava, are less risky than being struck by lightning, but slightly riskier than being killed by an errant meteorite. They are some 4-5 orders of magnitude safer than properly regulated pharmaceutical drugs.

The MCA's decision to ban kava kava will create a moral hazard by forcing people who use kava as a relaxant/mild anti depressant to go to their GP with the likelihood that they will be prescribed benzodiazepines which are over 100 times more likely to cause serious hepatic failure.

This decision, right on the Christmas break, is not rational, not based on a fair and transparent decision-making process, is not evidence based, is not proportionate to risk, and is at odds with the MCA's conclusion that the 7,000+ adverse reaction reports relating to Zyban were only "suspected" [MCA emphasis] and that the 100 or so deaths reported around the world were "unproven" [MCA emphasis.]

With all due respect, this decision is not commensurate with Good Regulatory Practice, is a scientific anomaly, defies the principle of proportionality and will only add to the rapidly increasing consumer outrage around the globe at the regulatory creep resulting in traditionally safe products been regulated by the same mindset as regulates unsafe pharmaceutical products, yet regulated by much harsher methods.

The inability of regulators to apply common sense gives rise to the perception that regulatory agencies are captured more by the interests of large corporate manufacturers than the interests of public health.

I sincerely hope that there are no empty seats at your Christmas dinner table due to dangerous, freely available, drugs such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, Bezodiazepines, Prozac, Paroxetine and the like. In New Zealand and Australia, over 40,000 deaths have been attributed to properly regulated, properly prescribed, properly labelled and properly used pharmaceutical drugs over the past decade – there have been zero deaths attributed to natural healthcare and therapeutic products in New Zealand during that time, and only one death attributed to a natural healthcare and therapeutic product with any degree of certainty in Australia.

Are you aware that the alleged death associated with kava use in Australia followed the use of a product that contained a prohibited herb that is known to cause liver failure? Despite Australia's internationally-famous-in-Australia GMP, the manufacturer made a mistake and substituted the herb for another approved herb. TGA have not released the details so that the reporting doctor can have his moment of glory in the medical literature.

The risks associated with natural healthcare and therapeutic products are about 1/42nd of the accepted de minimis risk of getting a cancer from foods – and natural healthcare and therapeutic product consumption is a voluntary action; MRL levels of cancer causing food additives are not noted on ingredient labelling therefore consumers have no choice regarding consumption of permitted carcinogens.

As noted, the MCA decision is a farce, and will only antagonize legitimate consumers and small businesses around the world to ensure that such regulatory nonsense is not only exposed, but eradicated from current regulatory practice. Such decisions in themselves are major public health hazards and are untenable in the modern era.

The MCA can be assured that those who desperately want to access Kava will – either via the Internet, or even by growing their own. I'm already aware of interested parties investigating the marketing of micro-extraction packages to enable consumers to steep their own herbs and to concentrate the extract via evaporation under vacuum. As a risk analyst, it seems that the MCA has not considered either the political or the public health ramifications of this ill informed decision. It is another chapter confirming in the minds of many the inappropriateness of regulating proven safe and effective herbal products with a pharmaceutical mindset.

Ron Law
Beyond Alternative Solutions, Middle Earth

Breast Cancer Risk for Female Farmers

by Martin Mittelstaedt

Women who have worked on farms are up to nine times as likely to develop breast cancer as those who have never been employed in agriculture, says a new study that is one of the first in Canada to look at the job histories of women who develop cancer.

The study found an elevated risk among women 55 or younger who reported working on farms at some point in their lives. It was based on research conducted in Windsor, Ontario and surrounding Essex County, one of Canada's largest fruit- and vegetable-growing regions.

Women treated at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre from 1995 to 1999 were asked to fill out questionnaires on their work histories.

Although the study did not conclude definitively that pesticides cause breast cancer, one of the researchers said further work should be conducted to determine what it is about farming that would increase a woman's risk of the disease.

"We don't know from our study if it's pesticides or not," said James Brophy, an adjunct lecturer at the University of Windsor and the study's lead author. He added: "There is good evidence for conjecture that [pesticides] would certainly be the primary substances of investigation."

The findings, published in the current issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, are likely to raise further suspicions that the array of toxic fungicides, herbicides and insecticides used on many farms is a factor in the huge increase in the rates of breast-cancer.

Over the past three decades, the incidence of breast cancer among Canadian women, on farms and elsewhere, has inexplicably risen about 1 per cent a year, according to the study.

In more than half the cases, the increase cannot be explained by well-known risk factors, such as a woman's genetic history, age of first pregnancy, or high lifetime exposure to oestrogen.

Mr Brophy speculated that teenaged girls and young women may be particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposure because breast tissue develops so rapidly from the time of a girl's first period to her first pregnancy, when cells prepare for lactation.

Genetic damage caused by pesticides in breast cells during this period of rapid cell growth could lead to breast cancer later in life, he said.

Farm women 56 and older did not show the higher incidence of breast cancer.

The study was conducted by a team of university researchers from Canada and Scotland, and from the International Joint Commission, the Canada-U.S. body that studies the environmental health of the Great Lakes region.

The study was not undertaken to investigate breast cancer, but was looking for general clues as to whether specific jobs were linked to different types of cancers. But the researchers quickly saw an association when they compared the lifetime occupational histories of the 299 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer to 237 women with other cancers.

The odds ratio, a scientific comparison designed to look for associations in data, found that women under 55 who had worked on farms had a risk of developing breast cancer nine times that of women who had not farmed.

A cancer expert cautioned that the study's results do not offer proof that pesticides cause breast cancer.

"I certainly wouldn't jump to the conclusion from this that farming exposure and in particular pesticides have been demonstrated to be a risk factor," said Richard Gallagher, head of cancer-control research for the British Columbia Cancer Agency.

Source: The Globe and Mail, November 22, 2002.

A Thousand Million Pounds Spent Annually for Children's Junk Food

Over a billion pounds a year is spent on UK advertising for the three largest categories of children's junk food: crisps, sweets and soft drinks.

Medical nutritional experts on child health gathered at a conference held jointly by the McCarrison Society for Nutrition & Health and the Mother & Child Foundation, at the Medical Society of London 14 November 2002. They discussed the potentially calamitous decline of our children's nutrition. The occasion exposed the serious threat to the health of our future generations from the rise in mental ill-health and obesity amongst young people.

Doctor of the Year 1995 Amanda Kirby runs a clinic for behavioural and learning difficulties including ADHD, dyspraxia, depression and dyslexia. She described how schools monitoring lunch boxes found the largest dietary constituent comprised the three above categories; with manufacturers targeting children through TV, computers and text messaging (txtmsging). Some EU countries have now banned such advertising. Worldwide medical and nutritional experts have warned for some time that the future of junk food children will be marred by certain specific diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Dr Kirby described how changes in attitudes in the home and at school deny children the life-style training they need – knowledge of nutrition, food choice, etc, and how many homes no longer even have a dining room table.

Dr Alex Richardson of Oxford's Department of Physiology stressed the role of the high polyunsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) in reproduction and child health.

She explained how intracellular membranes are a lattice framework constructed out of proteins and HUFAs – omega-6 (w-6) and omega-3 (w-3) – in a ratio of 3:1. The structure and condition of these membranes is vital for the physical health, mental well-being of children, and indeed, adults.

Together with many industrialized countries UK plc is short of omega 3 HUFAs, with many diets having w-6:w-3 ratios of 20:1 or worse. Such imbalances have arisen because these highly bioactive polyunsaturated lipids are obtainable only in oily fish, certain algae and seaweeds, and fewer people are eating fish today, with fewer eating seaweed or edible algae.

Dr Richardson presented evidence for omega-3 deficiency in the modern diet as the most likely cause behind the increase in mental ill-health: a conclusion supported by trials in infants where omega-3 fatty acids improved visual and cognitive function, and a trial in prisoners whereby supplementation reduced violent and anti-social behaviour by as much as 30%.

Dr Tim Lobstein of the London Food Commission described how the European policy of harmonization has failed to deliver better health. Pictorially and with ascerbic wit, Dr Lobstein demonstrated how policies are harmonising diets, obesity, heart disease and cancer to the extent that Mediterranean countries are now catching up in mortality and morbidity from their previous low incidences, to the high levels of Northern Europe.

Obesity in children is rampant and increasing, thus setting the stage for adult diseases of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. He described how children were being targeted with advertising for their pester power to sell foods and drinks with empty calories, with children being denied the knowledge to interpret the massive surge of TV, media, internet and even school book advertising focussed on them.

David Smith from the Welsh Food Alliance claimed that Government health policies had similarly failed. With nutrition-related disease accounting for the major burdens of disease, no preventive programme has dented the rising costs treatments with drugs. Efforts are being made in Wales to introduce healthy school meals and to set examples of what could be done nationwide, after a century of 'health education programmes' had failed to deliver.

Michael Crawford, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry & Director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at London Metropolitan University, described the great sponge-like potential of the child's open and inquisitive mind. If children were provided with knowledge on nutrition and health they would then be free to take charge of their own lives. The risks of poor nutrition and lifestyle to health and ability, he suggests, should be the fourth 'R' in the school curriculum.

Since Home Economics and Domestic Science were removed from school curricula, children are now leaving school with little knowledge of nutrition, or the ability to prepare and cook food. Their food choice is therefore entirely uneducated (education, education, education?). Many of today's generation of young parents similarly had no such education, such parents have no such knowledge to empower their children. Sadly, this sometimes includes decision-makers who decide legislation.

The health of future generations will only be secured if the Government takes the necessary steps to re-introduce nutrition and health education as a compulsory subject from pre-school to 'A' level.

What is currently under threat is the health and future health of children yet to be born. There can be no greater nor more serious challenge. The answer lies in adults giving nutritional knowledge to the children themselves.

David Marsh

Further Information
Professor Michael Crawford
Debbie Jeske, Secretary, McCarrison Society for Nutrition & Health

AIDs No More

by Dr. Leo Rebello

AIDS is the greatest myth of our times. Despite voluminous evidence which shows that HIV is not AIDS, the myth is kept deliberately going so that the following multi-trillion dollar industries keep prospering :

(a) Latex industry: condom in simple word, even children know its use now. Boys and girls as young as 15, who were earlier afraid of sex, are now experimenting with condoms giving rise to condom ethics, condom culture, condom civilisation, condom protection, all of which is as fragile as the condom itself. There are two types of condoms – male and female. The production, sale and use of female condoms is very restricted. After the 'condom accidents' the ever-alert marketing men invented 'double hat' protection, that means using two condoms to be doubly sure! Simple logic you see: if one condom can protect 50%, two give 100% protection!

(b) Even though HIV testing is unreliable, non-standardized and dangerous, this is a big business. HIV tests include mostly Elisa and Western Blot, which cross-react with over 70 known medical conditions and illnesses. That means they are positively programmed to create scare!

(c) Then there are microbicides, ostensibly to protect the women. Oils, creams, lotions, potions, gels, pessaries and of course other paraphernalia like stimulators, scrubbers, hair removing pastes, etc. Presently there is war between chemical microbicides and herbal microbicides for market share. The consumer, as usual, is at the receiving end;

(d) But by far the most lucrative business is the chemical medicines as usual – protease inhibitors, cocktails, anti-retrovirals, HAART or multi-drug regimen, vitamin supplements. Costlier the medicines more effective they are, is the false belief on which the mercenary medical mafia cashes on;

(e) Someone has 'invented' AIDS Counselling. The counsellor is as ignorant as the patient. AIDS Counselling includes: telling HIV positive patient to live with it. Further telling him/her that there is no known cure. Scientists are working on Vaccines. Anti-retrovirals are life-savers. They are costly, but if you do not take them you will die and then what will happen to your family? If a patient were to ask about Alternative Medicine, improved nutrition, change in life style, prompt comes the reply they are all dangerous. Beware of the quacks! That in short is AIDS Counselling;

(f) Then there are 'AIDS Advocates' (usually Americans but working in sub-Saharan Africa), promoting the use of lethal chemical drugs and fighting for and on behalf of the poor patients to reduce their price, influencing health ministries to underwrite the costs of 'life-saving drugs' and promoting free or subsidised distribution of AIDS drugs, including to pregnant mothers ostensibly to save the unborn. If there is no food to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear, no problem. But you must have medicines, more the better. They refuse to accept that Nkosi Johnson, an 11-year old boy, died because of harsh treatment – 50 capsules/tablets, three times of day. A 'single judge' (he is married alright!), in South Africa decides what the Presidential Panel of Expert International Doctors could not. Human rights concern you see and he thinks he is the great Solomon and the President of South Africa and his panel of experts are fools!

(g) How can we forget the AIDS conferences and AIDS journalists: local, regional, national and international? Big business. The same people, sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies, parroting the same thing without application of mind, running down those who question them, throwing to wind ethics, morals, professionalism, not considering alternative medicine, ideas, experiments, vision or approaches. Very unscientific.

Ever since AIDS was 'rediscovered' in 1981, it has threatened the very fabric of society. It was 'rediscovered' by the proponents of modern medicine to camouflage its dismal performance in the cause, the course and the cure of major maladies.

There is no known cure for HIV/AIDS is the frightening refrain that you get to hear, not only in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Asia. Those who gave you the idea that people have to live with AIDS, also tell you that you have to live with diabetes, with asthma, with epilepsy, with cancers, with muscular dystrophy, with stress and allergies! It will be my pleasure to remove your, this wrong notion. If you can give up your old habits, you can also be cured of any malady – physical, mental, emotional or spiritual : druglessly.

Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs in short) offer no cure for AIDS. US federal health authorities which earlier supported David Ho's 'hit hard and early' to control 'AIDS epidemic' argument, now realize that it was a hoax. The toxic effects of ARVs include nerve damage, weakened bones, unusual accumulation of fat in the neck and abdomen and drug-induced diabetes. Many people have developed dangerously high levels of cholesterol and other lipids in the blood, raising concern that HIV positive persons might face another epidemic of heart disease.

Indiscriminate use of ARVs to pregnant mothers is fraught with danger. If a cigarette smoking mother can deliver a 'blue baby', if an alcoholic mother can deliver a 'drunk child', if thalidomide can produce 'monster babies', you are unwittingly playing with the future generation, by demanding that the HIV positive mother be given ARVs compulsorily.

AIDS is the consequence of a suppressed immune system, which has been subjected to repeated onslaughts by four factors that build up toxins and deficiencies in the body. These are: antibiotic abuse, recreational drug abuse, anal sex (which causes toxic shock to the receiving partner) and nutritional stress.

Realization is also slowly but surely dawning that the damage caused by the stressed immune system could be reversed by good diet, yogic and other exercises, herbs available readily, acupuncture, homeopathy, proper rest, avoidance of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, proper hygiene, etc. In other words, a person is to be treated as a whole: body, mind and spirit.

Over the years, it has also become obvious that only the gay community and those indulging in substance abuse, progressed towards full-blown AIDS. In other words, what I have said in my book Aids and Alternative Medicine is now being accepted; that the repeated assaults on the body's immune system by the build-up of toxins, nutritional deficiencies, coupled with unnatural living, lead to AIDS. With that the wisdom is dawning that the damage could be reversed without drugs. This new dimension puts to doubt the accepted belief that a virus, HIV, is responsible for causing AIDS.

The HIV tests, per se, are being questioned. These tests, we have always maintained, were of dubious merit. Now, after twenty years and ruining precious lives of young people by creating Aids Scare, it is slowly dawning on the authorities that indiscriminate HIV tests have played havoc with people's lives. Consequently, HIV test is no longer mandatory in many parts of the world. But ignorance once rooted, takes time to be uprooted. Many private hospitals in Bombay still insist on a routine HIV test before admission. And some Governments are making HIV testing mandatory.

There is enough to show that the HIV tests, Elisa and Western Blot, can show false results when there is cross-reactivity with a host of viral and bacterial species. At least 70 different conditions like influenza, herpes simplex, hepatitis, all mycobacterium bacterial species (including leprosy and tuberculosis), malaria, malnutrition and even in pregnancy, a person may be tested positive and falsely labelled as such, ruining his/her life and that of his/her family.

The fact that the HIV test is not specific for the detection of the virus is clearly stated in the literature accompanying the Elisa test kits (from Abbott Laboratories, for instance). In the light of this evidence questions arise about whether bombarding the virus does any good to the body. Overwhelming research evidence from the fields of AIDS, cancer and heart disease, points to the dramatic difference in disease prevention, made through access to right nutrition, exercise and changed lifestyle.

Africa is cited as the example of a continent in the throes of AIDS. Health historians say that AIDS here, is a consequence of the depletion of the body's nutrition pool over generations, and the destruction of the immune system. As sub-Saharan Africa plunged deeper into the cycle of poverty, malnutrition and civil war, it also suffered epidemics of Ebola, Marburg or Lhassa fever that stayed with them for decades. AIDS, they say, is the logical conclusion of this onslaught. The deepening economic crisis of India's poor, likewise, will see more people testing 'HIV positive' because of their depleting nutrition status, stress and compromised immunity.

This implies that the poor 'AIDS Victims' of the world, as a whole need more than condoms, sex education and a cocktail therapy of questionable value and we need to look at our age-old Holistic Healing modalities, which are safer, cheaper, faster and more reliable than the lethal cocktails.

In 1976, the World Health Assembly acknowledged the potential value of traditional medicine in expanding health services by calling attention to the manpower reserve constituted by traditional health practitioners (resolution WHA29.72). In the following year, another resolution (WHA30.49) urged countries to utilize their traditional systems of medicine. Yet another resolution was passed in 1978, in which WHO was called upon to develop a comprehensive approach to the subject of medicinal plants (WHA31.33). In 1987, the Fortieth World Health Assembly reaffirmed the main points of the earlier resolutions, as well as related recommendations made at the International Conference on Primary Health Care, held in Alma-Ata in 1978 (WHA40.33). In 1989, a resolution was passed (WHA42.43) that recalled earlier resolutions on traditional medicine, traditional health practitioners, and traditional remedies and affirmed that together they constitute a comprehensive approach to the utilization of medicinal plants in the health services.

AIDS is a false alarm. Let us not panic. It is not a dreaded disease as is made out to be. Ayurveda, Nature Cure, Yoga, Homoeopathy and other alternative therapies hold tremendous promise in AIDS as also in so-called incurable diseases. Therefore, it is time to halt the wasteful expenditure in dead-end biomedical research and divert those funds to holistic healing modalities. Even if twenty-five per cent of the total outlay made towards biomedical research is given to alternative systems of medicine, the health graph of the world will show marked improvement.

'From Aids Scare to Aids Care', 'Aids No More', 'Health Care is Self Care', 'Humanism in Health' and 'Health, Peace and Plenty for All', should be the slogans of the New Millennium.

About the Author

Dr. Leo Rebello, ND, PhD, DSc., Fellow of the European Medical Association, lives in Bombay. He is the President of AIDS Alternativa International, 28/552 Samata Nagar, Kandivli East, Bombay 400101, India. Telefax (91-22) 8872741 and he is trying to set up world's first AIDS hospital where Cancer/AIDS/ Hepatistis-B patients will be treated with Natural and Traditional Medicines. For more details read his popular book Aids and Alternative Medicine or refer to his websites. He can be reached on "Dr. Leo Rebello"

Source: Josef Hasslberger


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