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Newsletter v3n21

Newsletter v3n21
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"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" (Steven Wright)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 3, No 21) September 20, 2003 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."

Written and copyright 2003 by Andrew Saul, PhD, of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.

PHARMOPHILIA: Why Do Doctors Love Drugs So Much? "Modern medicine" may well be defined as "the experimental study of what happens when poisonous chemicals are placed into malnourished human bodies." Politically powerful medical quackery is nothing new. Drug-and-cut doctors have been ignoring nature's laws for a long time, with disastrous results.

"General Washington was taken in the night (in December, 1799) with a sore throat. The 'bleeder' being sent for, he took from him 14 ounces of blood. The following morning, the family physician arrived, and proceeded to bleed him copiously, twice within a few hours, and again the same evening, giving him thereafter a dose of calomel (mercury). Next morning he was given another dose. The next day another physician was called in consultation, and the result was that they took an additional 32 ounces of blood from General Washington. There was no alleviation of the disease. Ten grains more of calomel were given, followed by a tartar emetic in large doses. To his extremities blisters were applied, and to his throat poultices."

"General Washington died."

(from the Pittsburgh Health Club Newsletter, July 31, 1931)

Former First President George Washington, the father of our country, died from a sore throat? No sir: he died from the treatment. Washington had the best scientific medical attention of his day. And? They bled him no fewer than five times in three days. Let's do the grisly arithmetic. The first bleeding removed 14 ounces; there were then three bleedings of unspecified quantity, collectively described as "copious"; and then a final full quart was removed. Assuming that the three "copious" bleedings were also 14 ounces each, that is another 42 ounces lost. Adding up, we have:

14 14 x 3 = 42 32 88

Some 88 ounces of blood was taken from George Washington. The human body contains about 10 units, that is to say 10 pints (5 quarts) of blood. 88 ounces is pretty close to 3 quarts, or nearly 6 units; that's well over half the blood in a person. Some estimates place Washington's total bleeding closer to 8 units.

It doesn't take a conspiracy, nor does it require an assassin, to kill a great man. Stupidity will do it just as well.

"The Dark Ages of Medicine are long over," you say? If only that were true. Let's take a short hop over to Britain for some very unsettling news that may well bring avoidable sickness and unnecessary death to millions.

MOST VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS TO BE BANNED THROUGHOUT EUROPE: THE EU FOOD SUPPLEMENTS DIRECTIVE

by P.M. Goodwin, United Kingdom Email: pm.goodwin@btopenworld.com

The European Union Food Supplements Directive was passed by the EU Parliament on 13 March 2002, and became law in the 15 EU member states on 1 August 2003. http://europa.eu.int/eur- lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2002/l_183/l_18320020712en00510057.pdf

This legislation, if unchallenged, will have the effect of banning over 300 vitamin and mineral forms and 5000 products from the European market, by 1st August 2005.

By 2007, if not earlier, the Food Supplements Directive will also be applied to other nutrient groups such as fatty acids and amino acids, with similarly devastating results. Other EU legislation currently in the pipeline, such as the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive and the Pharmaceuticals Directive (which proposes to amend the definition of a medicine) threatens to remove still further categories of natural health products from the European market.

Readers of this newsletter who live outside of the EU and who think that this legislation bears no relevance to them should think again. The Food Supplements Directive bears a strong resemblance to legislation now under discussion at a global level by the Codex Alimentarius committee (a little known commission of the United Nations World Trade Organization). Indeed, many of the architects of the Directive are also members of the Codex committee. If the Food Supplements Directive is not stopped it will strongly influence the deliberations of the Codex committee, who advocate similar tight restrictions on the sale of supplements. The USA would then come under strong international pressure to implement the Codex recommendations because of its' having signed up to the NAFTA and GATT international trade agreements. All decisions emanating from the Codex Alimentarius Commission are directly incorporated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and will ultimately overrule all current national laws.

Although many US supplement companies have been led to believe that US laws cannot be downgraded ("harmonized") to WTO/Codex, close examination of WTO rules appear to make this almost inevitable; especially so considering the weak statutory wording of the 1997 FDA Modernization Act, which purports to protect American health freedoms from harmonization to restrictive rules elsewhere.

The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) http://www.alliance- natural-health.org is an international organization of scientists, practitioners, lawyers, public relations and media experts working specifically to amend European legislation in order to maintain the availability of innovative, safe and effective food supplements. While progress has been made in proposing amendments to the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive and the Pharmaceuticals Directive, the time for lobbying in respect of The Food Supplements Directive is over. The only option remaining now to eliminate the devastating effects of this Directive is a lawsuit. This is a costly process, and funds are very urgently needed. Please consider making a donation to the ANH legal campaign-fund at http://www.alliance-natural-health.org .

Legal papers to challenge the directive have to be filed in London by the end of October, at the very latest, or our window of opportunity will close. The future rights of all people on this planet to buy safe and effective dietary supplements are now at stake, and a choice regarding whether or not we are prepared to defend these rights must now be made by each and every one of us.

HEALTH CLAIMS FOR FOODS TO BE PROHIBITED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION by Paul Anthony Taylor, UK Health Freedom Advocate. Email: paulandpolly@btinternet.com

Not content with issuing the Food Supplements Directive, which intends to ban almost 300 nutrients and thousands of food supplement products from the EU market by 1st August 2005, the European Union recently adopted a draft regulation on nutrition and health claims made for food. The press release accompanying the draft regulations was issued on 16th July, and makes for some very interesting reading. See http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/health_consumer/newslette r/200307/1.htm

Claiming that the regulations would "meet consumers' need for reliable information" and "give greater legal security to the food industry," the press release also states that "European consumers have become more and more interested in what they are eating and on how this may have an impact on their health." Note the careful use of the word "may." The EU are clearly not about to give any outright acknowledgement that poor food choices most certainly do damage the health of its citizens, as this might upset the large and powerful companies who manufacture junk-food and processed food.

Pointing out that the 15 countries that make up the EU all have different laws governing health and nutrition claims, the press release goes on to say that the European Commission has proposed to "harmonize" the rules governing the use of these claims in relation to foods.

For anyone unfamiliar with the workings of the EU, I should explain here that "harmonization" is one of the EU's favourite concepts. Indeed, harmonization is central to everything that the huge monolithic structure of the European Union is all about. Individuality? Freedom of choice? Democracy? Forget it. In the EU, standards are always harmonized downwards to the lowest common denominator. A classic example of this occurred in April 2002, when the EU's Scientific Committee on Food, in its infinite wisdom, decided to set the "tolerable upper level" for niacin at a mere 10 milligrams. How can that be, when the EU RDA for vitamin B3 is 18 mg? See for yourself at http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/scf/out80j_en. pdf

According to the press release, the proposed regulations will give consumers a high level of protection by "prohibiting certain claims and establishing a system for scientific evaluation of claims." While stating that no food products will be prohibited as a consequence of the regulations (cue large round of applause from the junk-food lobby) the press release adds that claims made about foods will have to be "meaningful" and "substantiated by scientific evidence". The same sort scientific evidence, presumably, that advocates a tolerable upper level for niacin of 10 mg.

The press release then makes the truly astonishing claim that "the basic principle in nutrition is that there are no good foods and bad foods but rather good diets and bad diets." It also asserts that "in a long-term varied diet, all foods can be included", and goes on to state that because "foods bearing a claim will automatically be perceived as good foods. . . claims about the benefit of consuming a certain product may lead consumers to eat too much of something that should only make up a small part of a good diet." And here comes the clincher: "It is therefore necessary," they say, "to restrict the use of claims on some foods based on their nutritional profile." Clearly then, this legislation could be used to prevent, rather than allow, some nutrition and health claims being made for foods, even when there is strong scientific evidence to support the use of such claims.

Europe may not perhaps be the best place to live in future if you want to remain healthy. But before any North American readers start to think that they are safe from this sort of nonsense, consider this:

On 10th July, only six days before the EU press release was unveiled, the FDA's Task Force on Consumer Health Information for Better Nutrition announced "a new process to provide more science-based, FDA-regulated information on product labels about the health consequences of foods and dietary supplements" claiming that "this process will improve information on dietary health benefits for consumers and will encourage product manufacturers to compete based on scientifically demonstrated health benefits of their products." See the press release at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2003/NEW00923.html

Co-incidence, or collusion?

(Editor's note: We must not let the people of Great Britain and Europe get hung out to dry by the pharmophilic (drug-loving) politicians. It is time to step up to the plate and take a swing. Evidently, one D-Day was not enough to insure a free Europe. One of Winston Churchill's favorite quotations was, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." It is still true.

For more information: http://www.alliance-natural- health.org/index.cfm?action=news&ID=17 http://www.iahf.com/europe/20030718a.html )

SIGN THE INTERNATIONAL ANTI-FLUORIDE PETITION by Paul Connett, PhD Email: pconnett@stlawu.edu

"For many months a team of scientists, who met at the International Society for Fluoride Society's conference in New Zealand in January, have been circulating among their colleagues an appeal and petition which is calling upon those governments which fluoridate their water to bring some integrity into their promotion of the practice.

"This petition has already gathered hundreds of signatures from 38 countries. Those signing include Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate in Medicine in 2000, from Sweden; Dr. Hardy Limeback, PhD, DDS, former President of the Canadian Association for Dental Research; Professor Samuel S. Epstein, author of The Politics of Cancer; and Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network, USA. The petition and list of signers can be viewed online at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/integrity.htm

"Those wishing to add their names should send an email to info@fluoridealert.org and put the words "Integrity Petition" as their subject line.

1) Please give your name (and your highest degree, if relevant); 2) Your affiliation for identification purposes; 3) Your town, state, and nation.

"Also, to underscore why we are calling for integrity in the fluoridation debate, we have compiled articles documenting some of the more blatant cases of scientific fraud and suppression in the promotion of fluoridation (e.g. the firing of Dr. William Marcus from the EPA, the firing of Dr. Phyllis Mullenix from the Forsythe Dental Institute, the altering of recommendations from the Surgeon General's 1983 panel, etc). See compilation at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/suppression.htm .

"When you read first the petition you might be disappointed that it is not stronger. It does not ask for an immediate halt to water fluoridation. However, if you read the six demands in the petition, I think you will agree that if a government was to go along with any one of them it would completely undermine water fluoridation.

1) If any government were to truly examine the literature objectively and comprehensively, and applied standard toxicological procedures to their regulatory decision, it would have to reject fluoridation, just as it has been rejected by most industrialized countries.

2) If they collected the levels of fluoride in our bones it would be abundantly clear that a lifetime's (or even half a lifetime's) accumulation of fluoride will lead to fluoride levels in many people likely to cause arthritic symptoms and an increased risk of hip and other fractures.

3) If they stopped using industrial grade (and toxicologically untested) hexafluorosilicic acid, they would find the use of pharmaceutical sodium fluoride cost prohibitive.

4) If they lifted the overhanging fear of reprisals from the average dentist, research scientist and government official, many more would reject this archaic form of mass medication.

5) If they were honest about the miniscule (if any) benefits of fluoridation, and stopped their exaggerations, no official in his or her right mind would gamble with such a complex variety of health risks.

6) If the promoters were ever to come on to a public platform and defend this practice in an open public debate, it would be clear to all that they have no defense for a practice which defies common sense, medical ethics and standard toxicological and regulatory procedures.

In short, the promoters cannot retain both fluoridation and their integrity. If we can get the academic, scientific, professional and all those who work actively to protect human health to insist on integrity, fluoridation is doomed.

(For more information, email Dr. Connett at pconnett@stlawu.edu or ggvideo@northnet.org )

SCIENTISTS: INTEGRITY NEEDED ON FLUORIDE'S HEALTH RISKS (Media release from Fluoride Action Network, September 2, 2003)

Hundreds of leading scientists and public health activists from across the globe issued a joint statement today, urging governments promoting fluoridation to "bring some integrity into the debate" and stop what those who organized the petition call a cover-up of the public health risks posed by decades of adding fluoride to drinking water. The petition and list of signers is available at http://www.fluoridealert.org/integrity.htm . It will be published in the October issue of The Ecologist.

Water fluoridation was introduced in the 1950s in an attempt to reduce dental cavities. However, many studies now point to long-term health worries, including arthritis, hip fracture and accumulation in the pineal gland.

Swedish Nobel laureate (Medicine, 2000) Dr. Arvid Carlsson was one of over 300 prominent individuals and organizations from 38 countries who signed the international petition. "The amount of fluoride in fluoridated tap water, often used for mixing baby formula, is 100 times higher than the level in mothers' milk," said Carlsson. "I am worried what this will do the baby's developing brain cells."

Harvard trained PhD chemist Albert Burgstahler, editor of the journal Fluoride, echoed Carlsson's concerns."The latest work from China, published earlier this year in Fluoride, indicates a lowering of IQ in children drinking water at less than twice the recommended fluoride level used in artificially fluoridated water," said Burgstahler. "There's practically no margin of safety here."

In an article in the September 2003 issue of the journal Australasian Science, Australia's Dr. Mark Diesendorf, former professor of environmental science, wrote that, "Instead of debating the issue in open scientific forums, promoters are trying to maintain fluoridation by political power."

Dr. Hardy Limeback, head of preventive dentistry at the University of Toronto and former president of the Canadian Association of Dental Research, stressed that fluoride's effect occurs largely from direct contact with the tooth's exterior. "The majority of dental researchers now believe there's little benefit in actually swallowing fluoride," said Limeback.

The petitioning group included Pat Costner, senior scientist for Greenpeace International; Dr. Lynn Margulis, recipient of the 1999 US National Medal of Science; the Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia; and the toxics campaign directors for Greenpeace in Australia, India, Japan, Norway, the Philippines and Thailand.

Dr. Paul Connett, professor of chemistry at St. Lawrence University in New York, organized the joint communique. "Health authorities in the few remaining fluoridating countries are hushing up key new studies that show the serious disruptive effects fluoride has on the body," said Connett. "Unless this rift between honest science and public health policy is mended, it poses a threat not just to those who are forced to drink fluoridated water, but to every other public health policy that relies on the public's trust in government."

MORE TELEVISION, FATTER CHILDREN "A study conducted by doctors at Tufts University Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health has confirmed the observation that the more television a child watches, the greater the likelihood that he or she will develop a serious weight problem. This conclusion was based on evidence from approximately 7,000 six- to eleven-year-olds and almost as many adolescents.

"They found that for both age groups, but particularly for adolescents, those who watched the most TV were significantly more obese or "super-obese" than other children who spent less time watching TV. For every additional hour adolescents spent watching TV, the number who were obese rose 2 percent.

"Which comes first, obesity or TV-watching? One speculation is that overweight youth are more likely to become withdrawn and isolated which may result in decreased physical activity and possibly more TV watching. The researchers, however, suggest that obesity in the children in this particular study occurred as a result of TV viewing, because it was determined that they spent about the same amount of time alone, with friends, and engaging in other leisure activities as normal- weight children."

(Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter, Vol. 3, No. 5, July 1985.)

And in the 18 years since 1985, the number of obese and super-obese children has greatly increased.

So has TV watching. I have in my possession this excerpt from a syndicated newspaper column:

"The average television viewer will watch 25,659 hours of TV" in a ten-year period. "That is 1,069 days or 2.9 years."

Wow.

Hey, Mom, where's the remote?

EAR INFECTIONS This next item was sent to me 20 years ago, and it remains important:

"The New England Journal of Medicine of February 10, 1983 reported the results of a three-year study of decongestant- anti-histamine combination drugs which doctors use in treating children with serious middle ear infections. The study showed that these combination drugs were no better than a placebo (dummy pill) and that they caused unpleasant side effects. Yet, 91 percent of the more than 1,687 ear specialists questioned believed these drugs were effective, in spite of the lack of scientific evidence to support that belief."

The paper's abstract says:

"In a double-blind, randomized trial of 553 infants and children who had otitis media with effusion ("secretory" otitis media), we compared the efficacy of a four-week course of an oral decongestant-antihistamine combination (pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, 4 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, and chlorpheniramine maleate, 0.35 mg per kilogram per day) with that of placebo. Among patients with initially unilateral disease, resolution of middle-ear effusion occurred at four weeks in 38 per cent of those treated with placebo and 34 per cent of those treated with drug (P = 0.74). Among patients with initially bilateral disease the corresponding proportions were 19 and 21 per cent, respectively (P = 0.67). Side effects were reported more often among drug-treated than placebo- treated patients. Decongestant-antihistamine combinations do not appear to be indicated for the treatment of otitis media with effusion in infants and children." (EI Cantekin, EM Mandel, CD Bluestone, HE Rockette, JL Paradise, SE Stool, TJ Fria, and KD Rogers. Lack of efficacy of a decongestant-antihistamine combination for otitis media with effusion ("secretory" otitis media) in children. Results of a double-blind, randomized trial. New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 308:297-301, No. 6, Feb. 10, 1983.)

The good news is that ear infections can be effectively treated by alternative means.

And yes, though my kids rarely got earaches, they did get them. Here is how we got rid of them: http://www.doctoryourself.com/earache.html

THERE'S NO SMOKING IN THEATERS; SO HOW ABOUT NO SMOKING IN MOVIES? by Stanton Glantz, PhD, Professor of Medicine, UCSF.

"The Lancet reported data June 10 indicating that smoking depictions in Hollywood movies are responsible for recruiting over half of new young smokers. Applied to the country as a whole, this amounts to 390,000 U.S. teens annually; thus, on- screen tobacco promotion by major studios could be responsible for killing 100,000 Americans a year - more than die from murder, suicide, drunk driving, illegal drugs, and AIDS combined.

"Smoking has doubled in Hollywood movies over the past decade and is now at the highest level since 1950. Tobacco companies claim they stopped paying for product placement ten years ago, and the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between major tobacco firms and state Attorneys General makes payola a legal breach, yet studios have persisted in displaying identifiable tobacco brands in the hands of stars. In 2002, the industry released more kid-rated movies with smoking than R-rated ones. Last year, two out of every three U.S. live action films kid-rated PG or PG-13 contained smoking or tobacco imagery.

"For authoritative background on Big Tobacco's relationship with Hollywood and the voluntary safeguards being urged on the movie industry, exhibitors, and the video aftermarket, visit www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu ."

Dalton, M.A., Sargent, J.D., et. al (2003) Effect of viewing smoking in movies on adolescent smoking initiation: A cohort study. The Lancet 362(9380):281-285.

Glantz, S.A. (2003) Smoking in movies: A major problem and a real solution. The Lancet 362(9380):281-285.

Sargent, J.D., Dalton, M.A., et. al (2003) Modifying exposure to smoking depicted in movies: A novel approach to preventing adolescent smoking. Arch. Pediatric Adolesc. Med. 157:643-648.

THOUGHT FOR A LIFETIME A 159-year-old man was being interviewed on TV and was asked a predictable question: "How did you manage to live for so long?"

He answered, "I never, ever, argue with anyone."

The interviewer did not believe this, and pressed him about it. "Surely there was something else that you did: lifestyle, stress reduction, diet, or exercise!"

The old man listened, and then said, "Maybe you're right."

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