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Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:36 PM

When Dietary Supplements Are Used As Medicines

http://getbetterhealth.com/when-dietary-supplements-are-used-as-medicines/2011.02.24

"...

The FDA regulates foods and has been instrumental in improving the safety of our food supply. It regulates prescription and over-the-counter medications, requiring evidence of effectiveness and safety before marketing. Surveys have shown that most people falsely assume these protections extend to everything on the shelves including diet supplements, but they don’t.

...

DSHEA is based on a fiction. It prohibits claims that diet supplements prevent or treat any disease and only allows structure/function claims alleging that they “support” health in various ways. DSHEA is a stealth weapon that allows the sale of unproven medicines just as long as you pretend they are not medicines. It allows the sale of products that are not intended to prevent or treat disease so people can buy them with the intent of preventing or treating diseases. People don’t buy St. John’s wort (SJW) to correct a deficiency of SJW in their diet or in their bloodstream; they don’t buy it to “support” brain function; they buy it to treat depression. People don’t buy glucosamine to “support joint health” but to treat their arthritis pain. People don’t buy saw palmetto to “support prostate health” or correct a saw palmetto deficiency, but to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or to prevent prostate cancer. The FDA’s “Quack Miranda warnings” are routinely ignored even by those few who actually read the fine print.

...

What are the chances that a diet supplement picked at random will turn out to be safe and effective when proper studies are done? Not high. Promising drugs that pharmaceutical companies submit to clinical trials only have about a 5 percent chance of making it to the market. A few years ago, I went through all the entries in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and tabulated their effectiveness ratings. Only 5 percent were rated “effective” and almost all of those were vitamins, minerals, and medicines that are also available as prescription or over-the-counter products approved by the FDA.

There are many products on the diet supplement market that combine multiple ingredients in a kitchen-sink mixture that has no rationale and has not undergone any testing. Maybe the ingredients act synergistically; maybe they interfere with each other. How would we know? Taking such products is a crap-shoot and is like being a guinea pig in an uncontrolled experiment. Many supplement mixtures are sold by multilevel marketing programs and improve health only to the extent that they improve the health of the promoters’ wallets.

..."


--------------------------------------------


A concise piece in regard to the problems with a lack of regulation of the supplement industry.

40 replies, 5242 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply When Dietary Supplements Are Used As Medicines (Original post)
HuckleB Dec 2011 OP
laconicsax Dec 2011 #1
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #2
HuckleB Dec 2011 #3
laconicsax Dec 2011 #4
HuckleB Dec 2011 #40
HysteryDiagnosis Dec 2011 #5
HuckleB Dec 2011 #6
HysteryDiagnosis Dec 2011 #8
HuckleB Dec 2011 #9
HysteryDiagnosis Dec 2011 #10
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #7
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2011 #15
HuckleB Dec 2011 #22
Celebration Dec 2011 #11
HuckleB Dec 2011 #12
Celebration Dec 2011 #13
HuckleB Dec 2011 #14
Celebration Dec 2011 #16
laconicsax Dec 2011 #17
HuckleB Dec 2011 #21
HuckleB Dec 2011 #18
Celebration Dec 2011 #19
HuckleB Dec 2011 #20
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #23
HuckleB Dec 2011 #24
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #31
HuckleB Dec 2011 #33
HuckleB Dec 2011 #25
Celebration Dec 2011 #26
HuckleB Dec 2011 #27
Celebration Dec 2011 #28
HuckleB Dec 2011 #29
Celebration Dec 2011 #30
HuckleB Dec 2011 #32
CanSocDem Dec 2011 #34
HuckleB Dec 2011 #35
CanSocDem Dec 2011 #36
HuckleB Dec 2011 #37
CanSocDem Dec 2011 #38
HuckleB Dec 2011 #39

Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:40 PM

1. Recommend. n/t

 

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:37 AM

2. and the article is written by a well-known skeptic

so no bias there!

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:55 AM

3. If you can debunk the article, with a plethora of evidence, please do so.

Thanks.

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 01:08 AM

4. Yes, god forbid someone who cares about evidence and what's actually true...

 

...writes an article on supplements.

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 09:48 PM

40. +1

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 10:51 AM

5. I welcome the new FDA regulations that allow a percentage of rat feces in my peanut butter.

 

On the other hand, I think I'll stick with my protocol, keep my liver and kidneys, take my chances.

http://www.politicolnews.com/fda-needs-major-overhaul/
Safety comes first for any government to protect its citizens from fraudulent claims and known corruption in government. For the last 20 years the FDA has been run by ex -executives of drug companies. This alliance has made the FDA not only corrupt but has cost the government billions of dollars in health care costs. Why? Since the FDA approves drugs that are unsafe and unleashes this poisonous drugs on the American public they become ill from the side effects which are not disclosed. The bill for healthcare for the victims of these drugs are the taxpayer.

Read more: http://www.politicolnews.com/fda-needs-major-overhaul/#ixzz1gnuBmPAI



>>People don’t buy St. John’s wort (SJW) to correct a deficiency of SJW in their diet or in their bloodstream; they don’t buy it to “support” brain function; they buy it to treat depression. People don’t buy glucosamine to “support joint health” but to treat their arthritis pain. People don’t buy saw palmetto to “support prostate health” or correct a saw palmetto deficiency, but to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or to prevent prostate cancer. The FDA’s “Quack Miranda warnings” are routinely ignored even by those few who actually read the fine print.<<

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21914616
Psychiatrike. 2010 Oct-Dec;21(4):332-8.
History and therapeutic properties of Hypericum Perforatum from antiquity until today.
Istikoglou CI, Mavreas V, Geroulanos G.
Source

Department of Psychiatry, "Konstantopouleion" General Hospital, Nea Ionia, Athens.
Abstract

The St. John's wort has been recently one of the most popular therapeutic means that may be easily found in health food stores in various forms, such as capsules, liquid extracts, oils,ointments and others. The St. John's wort is not, however, a new pharmaceutical aid. The herb has a long and particular background as an antidepressant, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory,expectorant and tonic for the immune system, used for its alleviating properties. In fact, some of the previous reports on the herb's use originate from the Greek herbalist of the 1st AD century,Pedanios Dioskourides, as well as from his contemporary physicians, respectively Greek and Roman, Galinos and Plenius. In the treatise, Paracelsus (1493-1541 AD), the famous Swiss alchemist and physician,has been also mentioned to be using the St. John's wort. The historians consider that the name of the St. John's wort was given to it by the first Christians, who noticed that the plant blossomson about the 24th of June, the Saint John's-the Baptist's birthday, who was decapitated.

In our times, and mainly in the USA, the UK and Germany, the St. John's wort has been extensively usedfor the treatment of mild and moderate depression. According to researchers, the St. John's wort has an action equivalent to amitryptilline, fluoxetine and maprotiline, and is clearly more activethan placebo. Experimental protocols have been also in progress on the St. John's wort therapeutic action against diseases of our times, such as cancer, AIDS and hepatitis. According to what iswidely supported, the St. John's wort is considered as bridge between the conventional and the alternative medicine.

The St. John's wort pharmacodynamics as well as pharmacokinetics have beenalso extensively studied. The probable mechanism of the St. John's wort action is the suspension of monoaminoxidase (MAO) and the suspended reuptake of serotonine. Using the St. John's wort weopen the wide sphere of natural therapies. Such an extended approach may lead us to an increasing evaluation of our natural sources. Preserving what we have and renewing what we have destroyedis our only hope for the future of humanity, our planet and all the living organisms.

PMID:
21914616
[PubMed - in process]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21969849
Ther Adv Urol. 2011 Aug;3(4):193-8.
Serenoa repens extract in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Geavlete P, Multescu R, Geavlete B.
Source

Department of Urology, 'Saint John' Emergency Clinical Hospital, Vitan Barzesti 13, 042122 Bucharest, Romania.
Abstract

We are experiencing a revival of interest in phytotherapeutic agents, both in Europe and North America, especially as a consequence of patients' dissatisfaction with the adverse effects of the medical alternatives. One of the most frequently prescribed and studied such agents is Serenoa repens extract, derived from the berry of the dwarf palm tree. We aimed to review the most important published data regarding this type of treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. A review of the existing articles regarding the use of Serenoa repens extracts for benign prostatic hyperplasia was performed. The articles were analysed with regard to their relevance, scientific value and the size of the evaluated series.

Multiple mechanisms of action have been attributed to this extract, including antiandrogenic action, an anti-inflammatory/anti-oedematous effect, prolactin signal modulation, and an antiproliferative effect exerted through the inhibition of growth factors. Regarding efficacy, European Association of Urology guidelines state that Serenoa repens extracts significantly reduce nocturia in comparison with placebo. However, the guideline committee is unable to make specific recommendations about phytotherapy of male lower urinary tract symptoms owing to the heterogeneity of the products and the methodological problems associated with meta-analyses.

Most of the published trials regarding Serenoa repens phytotherapy demonstrate a significant improvement of urinary status and a favourable safety profile. Also, some authors have credited it with giving a significant improvement in erectile function and decreasing complications following transurethral resection of the prostate, especially bleeding. The results of phytotherapy with Serenoa repens extracts are very promising. More high-quality, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are required in order to demonstrate without doubt the true therapeutic value of these products. Particular attention must be focused on differentiating between registered preparations, which are regulated as drugs, and those considered to be food supplements.

PMID:
21969849
[PubMed]
PMCID: PMC3175703

Free PMC Article

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22089456
J Rheumatol. 2011 Nov 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Glucosamine Sulfate Reduces Prostaglandin E2 Production in Osteoarthritic Chondrocytes Through Inhibition of Microsomal PGE Synthase-1.
Kapoor M, Mineau F, Fahmi H, Pelletier JP, Martel-Pelletier J.
Source

From the Osteoarthritis Research Unit, University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), Notre-Dame Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:

Glucosamine sulfate (GS) has been inferred to have a potential antiinflammatory effect on osteoarthritis (OA). We investigated its effect on prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) in human OA chondrocytes, and the level in the PGE(2) pathway at which its effect takes place.
METHODS:

We investigated the effect of GS treatment (0.05, 0.2, 1.0, and 2.0 mM) in OA chondrocytes in the absence or presence of interleukin 1ß (IL-1ß; 100 pg/ml). We determined the expression levels and protein production/activity of PGE(2), cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), COX-2, microsomal PGE synthase-1 (mPGES-1), glutathione, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-&#947; (PPAR&#947, using specific primers, antibodies, and assays.
RESULTS:

GS treatment at 1 and 2 mM significantly inhibited (p &#8804; 0.03) production of endogenous and IL-1ß-induced PGE(2). GS in both the absence and presence of IL-1ß did not significantly modulate COX-1 protein production, but GS at 1 and 2 mM demonstrated a decrease in COX-2 glycosylation in that it reduced the molecular mass of COX-2 synthesis. Under IL-1ß stimulation, GS significantly inhibited mPGES-1 messenger RNA expression and synthesis at 1 and 2 mM (p &#8804; 0.02) as well as the activity of glutathione (p &#8804; 0.05) at 2 mM. Finally, in both the absence and presence of IL-1ß, PPAR&#947; was significantly induced by GS at 1 and 2 mM (p &#8804; 0.03).
CONCLUSION:

Our data document the potential mode of action of GS in reducing the catabolism of OA cartilage. GS inhibits PGE(2) synthesis through reduction in the activity of COX-2 and the production and activity of mPGES-1. These findings may, in part, explain the mechanisms by which this drug exerts its positive effect on OA pathophysiology.

PMID:
22089456
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Response to HysteryDiagnosis (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:51 AM

6. Thank you for the red herring and the list of self-selected preliminary studies.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 05:25 PM

8. Yup, been used since the beginning of time and the most recent preliminary studies are

 

rawng. Dang.

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Response to HysteryDiagnosis (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:51 PM

9. Thank you for giving us an example of the Appeal to Tradition logical fallacy.

It's much appreciated.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 08:56 AM

10. You are certainly most welcome. Have a great holiday season and a wonderful new year! n't

 

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Response to HysteryDiagnosis (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 12:38 PM

7. thanks for posting

interesting!

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Response to HysteryDiagnosis (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 10:55 PM

15. Both my MD and my vet recommend Glucosamine for me, for dog.

And we live in the back of beyond.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:28 PM

22. "Glucosamine is an extremely popular, and profitable, supplement routinely recommended by ...

Glucosamine is an extremely popular, and profitable, supplement routinely recommended by veterinarians and administered by owners to their geriatric dogs. Yet the clinical trial evidence concerning its effects is nearly non-existent."

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/special-challenges-of-science-based-veterinary-medicine/

One has to wonder why science is ignored by so many vets, and even by MDs.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 10:51 AM

11. let food be your medicine

and medicine be your food.

I use beet juice as medicine. Just sayin'. Just because something doesn't have a gelatin capsule around it doesn't mean it doesn't have a physiological effect on the body.

I mean, you can sprinkle capsaicin on your tacos or you can take a capsule. You can eat natto or get it in capsule form.

The use of herbs as supplements is centuries old. This is NOT, I repeat NOT, any sort of major public health issue. I find it odd that some people are obsessed with this topic. Regulating herbs, etc. is not going to solve the major public health issues that we face--lack of exercise, poor food choice, epidemic of diabetes, obesity, etc. Anyone who is truly concerned with public health should direct their attention there, and let those people who use turmeric in pill or herb form, use beet juice and cayenne pepper alone. I would just as soon such things not increase in price one hundred fold. I love my beet juice! It is already pricey enough.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 12:22 PM

12. Who said it was THE major public health issue?

It is a major public scam issue, however.

It is a perfect example of an industry that should be regulated that is abusing government processes to lie to the public to make money on products that are not supported by the claims that are made about said product.

If this was any other type of product, there would not be any controversy about the need for regulation at DU.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 02:47 PM

13. Baloney

Regulators are always captured by the industries they regulate. I know what the result would be of regulation--much, much higher prices, making herbs affordable only for the rich, and much less choice. Since it not a pubic health issue, let it be. I can barely afford beet juice as it is.

Food IS medicine, period. Since this is not a major public health issue, I do not understand the obsession with this topic here. I would feel totally scammed if the cost of my beet juice quadrupled due to being regulated. I can do without that kind of regulation.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 08:27 PM

14. Food might be medicine, but calling regulation baloney in regard to supplements is simply ignoring..

... the reality of the situation.

Supplement companies are pulling a classic scam on millions of people. I won't turn a blind eye to that.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:14 AM

16. millions of people can't be scammed

That is ridiculous. You are not smarter than millions of people, even though you think you are.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:23 AM

17. Do you recall the percentage of adults who thought Iraq was behind 9/11?

 

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:05 PM

21. +1

And no response to your wise question.

Interesting.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 03:03 AM

18. Then why do things like advertising, public relations and sales techniques exist?

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 11:22 AM

19. not getting your point

Are you saying that marketing is a scam? If so, I think you want to bring down our whole capitalist system.

Although I would agree with you that anything that creates needless demand for things that the taxpayers fund either directly or indirectly, should be banned. That would include ads for pharmaceutical drugs, which are enormously expensive and may bring down our whole Medicare system. However, I would not object to pharmaceutical ads if individuals had to bear the cost, because the rules of supply and demand would be in play.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:05 PM

20. I'm saying millions of people are fooled every day.

I'm against pharmaceutical advertising myself, but that doesn't justify the lack of regulation when it comes to supplements and their many baseless claims.

Regulation is needed. If it is not, then we need to allow all the other scams perpetrated on people to be legal, and we can get rid a huge portion of the legal system. Would that be to your liking?

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 12:43 PM

23. "I'm saying millions of people are fooled every day"

It's important to make the distinction between opinion and fact, and the above statement is merely your opinion.

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 01:06 PM

24. Unfortunately for your assertion, the evidence that millions of people are fooled buy baseless ...

... supplement company claims shows otherwise.

Nice try.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 12:18 AM

31. no, it's an opinion

there is no proof that "millions of people are being fooled."

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 12:35 AM

33. The OP shows, as has been shown by others repeatedly, that most supplements are unnecessary.

Further, it shows how supplement companies put ingredients together and make claims about those combinations without real justification.

They then sell those worthless products to millions of people, as can be seen by the amount of money the industry pulls in annually.

This is not opinion. Of course, you can claim otherwise, but why would you, when the evidence is so clear?

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 01:13 PM

25. Airborne Baloney -- The latest fad in cold remedies is full of hot air

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=airborne-baloney

Yes, this is old news, but it's a very good example of what the OP is talking about, and it makes it much more difficult to understand how the supplement companies continue to get away with their scam.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 03:45 PM

26. False advertising is regulated

By the FTC. Rather than have more regulation it makes sense to enforce the regulations that are already on the books. I know nothing about this supplement, but fraudulent advertising is definitely against the law, ALREADY.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 03:57 PM

27. When it comes to health care claims, those claims need to be proven beforehand.

It is not legitimate to force government to catch up after the fact, after people have wasted millions of dollars on worthless crap.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 09:18 PM

28. Why limit that to one industry?

If you're so concerned about people being scammed why limit your proposal to one industry? It makes no sense. It isn't a major health problem in this country so the marketing must be the issue. What evidence do you have that scamming is more of a problem with supplements than other industries?

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Response to Celebration (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 09:30 PM

29. Who said I was limiting it to one industry?

Nonetheless, there are parts of life that we have looked upon as needing more regulation. Health care has been one of those. Unfortunately, the supplement industry has used lobbying to subvert regulation where it should occur.

On edit: Do you think we should just disband the FDA altogether?

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 12:01 AM

30. oh, maybe you want

A Ministry of Information?



Look we have laws against fraud. I don't think we want government imposed censorship in a free society.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 12:32 AM

32. Thanks for the big time red herring.

Apparently you won't answer my questions, for some reason or another.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:45 AM

34. Allow me....

 



"Nonetheless, there are parts of life that we have looked upon as needing more regulation. Health care has been one of those. Unfortunately, the supplement industry has used lobbying to subvert regulation where it should occur."

When a major player in the industry purchases the right to 'make the rules' (write the 'regulations') and are allowed to do so, in their own favor, then it isn't even good free-enterprise. It's stupid and corrupt and adversely affecting the health and well-being of the very citizen it is mandated to help.

That's why Health Canada cut the pharmacuetical industrys' right to advertise out of their public health sysyem. They still have a lobbying effort but once people have experienced a public health system, their message is 'falling on deaf ears'.

.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:50 AM

35. I have the same concerns about the pharmaceutical industry as i do about the supplement industry.

It appears that the supplement industry has done a better job of purchasing the right to make the rules suit its ends, however.

In other words, we have already addressed the red herring that your post brings up.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:11 AM

36. So we agree on....

 



...something. However, if you take ALL the major players out of the equation, including medical science, the consumer is left to his or her own devices and forced to pursue their own roads to health.

If you have humanitarian values, allowing humans to grow their own food and medicine is a very important component. The state is responsible to the 'humans' that create it. In your system, the state is controlled by industry's that want to make a personal profit on 'food and medicine'.

Human rights are complicated in a free-market.

.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:18 AM

37. The industry has a big role, but there are regulations that do provide some protection.

Humans work on those regulations, so they are not perfect, but they are better than no regulations, by far.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #37)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:32 AM

38. No.

 



"...they are not perfect, but they are better than no regulations, by far."


IF...the state believes in the inherant value of a human life, from inception, then the final word HAS to come from 'the individual'.

If, however, you live in the USA, the value of a 'human life' is determined wholly by the market-place.

.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:30 PM

39. That's quite the straw man.

Thanks for setting him up. We can use him at harvest time next year.

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