FDA Attacks Complementary and Alternative Health Care

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A friend of mine sent me the following email today. I'm posting it here:

I am forwarding this to everyone.  This is an extremely important issue that everyone should act on.  If this new regulation is passed, it means you will not be able to even purchase vitamins for yourself.  You will need to get them from your physician.  Please ACT NOW.   Our rights to manage our own health could be taken away without us even realizing it. 
 
FDA Attacks Complementary and Alternative Health Care

Posted by: "John Gilbert" drjohngilbert-at-charter-dot-net

I just spent three days reading, re-reading, researching and discussing the proposed FDA guidelines for "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" with two FDA attorneys. You can download a copy of this proposal for yourself at: http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/06d0480/06d0480.htm.

When I first heard about this FDA attack on complementary and alternative health  care, I considered it another "Chicken Little" rumor. On further study, I'm  appalled at the speed with which the pharmaceutical companies are implementing Codex Alimentarius in the USA. If you don't suspect the pharmaceutical companies control the FDA, you may want to research that further by visiting http://www.healthfreedomusa.org.

This insidious proposal is designed to redefine every complementary and alternative health care modality and product as "medicine."  This has direct implications on the services and products provided by every alternative health care professional. There is no facet of complementary and alternative health care that is not affected. If the FDA adopts this proposal, all natural health care would be illegal even for medical doctors.

Essential oils, herbs, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, minerals, nutritional supplements, plant enzymes and vitamins are redefined in this proposal as "medicine." Very simply, medicine is under  the jurisdiction of the FDA and, by law, only licensed medical doctors may  prescribe "medicines." Anybody else who advises, advocates, counsels,  distributes, markets, recommends or suggests anybody use "medicine" is  practicing medicine without a license.  This is a felony in the USA  punishable by fines and incarceration.

Aromatherapy, auricular therapy,  biofeedback, color therapy, homeopathy, hypnotism, naturopathy,  neurotherapy, nutritional consulting, reflexology, sound therapy and  wellness consulting are among the alternative health modalities being  redefined as "Alternative Medicine." This subtle change of vocabulary from "alternative health care" to "alternative medicine" makes all of  these industries subject to control by the FDA as medicine. Only medical  doctors would be allowed to provide, prescribe and supervise the delivery of  these services. Anybody else who provided any of these services would be practicing medicine without a license and subject to incarceration and fines.

That's the bad news. The good news is we have until April 30, 2007 to voice our opinion against this proposal to eliminate complementary and alternative health care in America. Almost 100,000 people have already  filed their objection. According to Dr. Rima Laibow, medical director of the  Natural Therapies Foundation, we need 50 times that many people to respond  by the end of the month.

Please stand up and be counted. Go to http://tinyurl.com/2u7ghc file your petition in support of natural health care, in support of complementary and alternative health care as we know it today. If you require more  information, please visit http://www.healthfreedomusa.org or read the FDA proposed policy for yourself.

Peace,
John Gilbert

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Okay, you've got my

Okay, you've got my interest.

Where there's smoke, I suspect there is fire.

I tend to be very skeptical and rarely shoot first and ask questions later about these things.

I may have shot first already (but also indicating the possibility that the claims could be exaggerated.)

What I do for a living -- I'm a copywriter. And one of the things that is very important in copywriting, in presenting a persuasive argument is proof.

The proof it would be helpful to have here is -- who the heck are you, Dr. John Gilbert ??

I may have missed it, but I am not easily finding information about who you are (e.g., via Google.)

Please tell me what you are a doctor of, and what your background is, so it is more easily possible for me to assess whether or what "horse you have in this race."

Thanks,

Judy Kettenhofen
NextDay Copy, LLC

PS -- one of the pleasures I've had recently has been to meet Dr. Mercola -- is he on board with this?

Judy - I'll reply directly if

Judy - I'll reply directly if you tell me how to get in touch with you.

As far as evidence, you can start your investigation at the links provided in the post, particularlly the fda.gov link.
Dave

Hey David, I really don't

Hey David, I really don't believe this is a lot of fuss over nothing. I KNOW that the American Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Companies have been trying to find back doors into prohibiting alternative medicine practitioners and products for years. In the mid 90's there was a report that came out that indicated that more money was spent out of pocket by individuals on alternative health than was being spent through insurance companies on allopathic medicine. At the time, I was on a lot of National level boards and was even Executive Director of one so had to have a lot of interface with the AMA and other subspecialty boards of medicine. They were all in a tizzy about what to do because they were fearful and embarrassed that they were no longer the "Gods" they had thought themselves to be (my language not theirs but same meaning). They immediately began developing all types of "integrative" programs and teaching homeopathy and other methods in medical schools. The inner circles knew they were not always doing it because they felt it worked but because they were afraid to loose their patients. In fact, one college was at a meeting at Duke University and they were building a huge new "complimentary medicine facility". They were presenting to the public, how wonderful this was and how much they believed in it, but behind closed doors they were mocking and making fun of and made statements about how they had no belief in all of this nonsense, but it was were the money was being spent. According to him, this was stated in their board meeting and supported by the board. Kind of like the lesser of two evils, go with the flow or loose the dough. I do think their throwing the word Medicine in there is the way they are trying to get in through the back door this time. People don't realize how litigious this can become. And we all know Lawyers are great with words and don't mind dragging things out. But one big case against an alternative medicine practitioner is all it would take to set a precedent about the use of "medicine".

Hope that helps. I am concerned. The FDA is merely set up for the illusion of safety, it is really all about money. I have worked with them too and can tell you some tales.

Yeah, the healthfreedomusa

Yeah, the healthfreedomusa guys were here in bombay to talk about all this last year in June or so.

Honestly, I dont think this is alarming. Probably because I dont think that the body "needs" herbs or supplements to heal. I suggest providing the basic conditions for it to heal, & the rest is already genetically coded inside. Thus Nature cure is different in its approach from Naturopathy --just as classical yoga is different from ayurveda.

While the former works on the lines of prevention, the later assumes that the organism is sick & needs a "cure".

Sorry it was kind of off-topic, but I felt like writing.

Here is more feedback from

Here is more feedback from Herbal Hall: The Professional Herbalists' Discussion List

I looked into this matter, and as I suspected, it is a lot of fuss over nothing. The person who sent it out is trying to promote her organization by creating hysteria, acting like a hero, and collecting donations. It is a complete misuse of the public trust. I spoke with the American Herbal Products Association about the FDA guidance document in question. It is simply a re-stating of existing regulations. They said that FDA has received thousands of emails, and they can't figure out what all the fuss is about.

Nobody is going to lose access to herbs, vitamins, and minerals as a result of this document. There are some sections that do require comment, as is usually the case, and I will post AHPA's comments to FDA when they are completed.

David, I appreciate your

David,

I appreciate your comments.

The American Herbal Products Association has very consistently taken the position that there's nothing wrong with any of the FDA proposals affecting alternative health care. I hope they're right. But in the meantime, NTCB is taking a more pro-active role by encouraging our people to send in a petition. (By the way, NTCB does not charge a fee for our newsletter and we do not accept donations.)

We understand the FDA is indeed surprised at the number of responses against the proposal in question. Our contact estimates the negative responses outnumber positive ones 99 to 1 and that the total responses exceed 100K to date which is 25 times the number of responses the FDA usually receives on these kinds of proposals.

If the FDA follows their previous course of action, they will withdraw this proposal and six to nine mounths from now they will release a new proposal under a new name with new vocabulary to accomplish exactly the same thing. This is the fifth such proposal I've written about since my first alternative health care editorial in 2005.

Like I told my readers, on first reading the proposal sounded like a rewording of current FDA policies and procedures. But the subtle change from alternative health modality to alternative health medicine is not the same thing at all. Making biofeedback a "medicine" instead of a "modality" could have far-reaching repercussions. Making essential oils and herbs a "medicine" could change these industries drastically at the expense of the consumer.

So, no I don't agree with the AHPA position on this FDA proposal and I see nothing wrong with advising the FDA of my opposition to such changes at every opportunity. The current proposal is just another opportunity for me to oppose FDA attempts to undermine DSHA (which the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry officially opposed and continues to oppose).

Peace,
John