“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – so said Hippocrates (Father of Western Medicine). Perhaps if we took the food advice of Hippocrates, 40,393 people who died from drugs in 2010 would still be alive. Actually the JAMA reported over 105,000 deaths to adverse reactions to prescription drugs in 2012. The numbers are all over the board, depending upon who is doing the counting. However, the numbers are all extremely large. If Hippocrates saw what a circus this has turned into, he’d probably lose the rest of his hair.
According to Karin Mack, PhD with the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the total of drug-induced deaths in the U.S. for 2010 from prescription drugs, illicit or street drugs, and over-the-counter drugs has skyrocketed, mostly the result of overdoses from pain relievers. Most of the increase in drug-induced deaths are unintentional drug-poisoning deaths using prescription pills. These represent 74% of the total. The remainder of the statistics is comprised of suicidal drug poisoning and drug poisoning of undetermined intent.
In 2010, 71,000 exposures to various vitamins and multivitamin-mineral formulations were reported to poison control centers, which resulted in 15 major reactions but no deaths. (“2010 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 28th Annual Report”.) In 2008, there were 526,527 adverse event reports for FDA approved pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs.
So the score is 40,393 deaths from drugs to 0 deaths from vitamins and supplements. While this is going on, you have:
– New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman attacking supplements, sending subpoenas to 4 of the largest natural foods companies (Nature’s Way, NBTY, Nutraceutical, and Pharmavite) along with the largest chain distributors (GNC, Walmart, Target, and Walgreen’s) asking for millions of pages of documentation for things including:
- copies of all manufacturing, licensing or sales contracts since January 1, 2013
- a detailed description of all testing methods used on finished products to substantiate affirmative claims such as “gluten-free” or “hypoallergenic”; and
- copies of all reports, complaints, or other documents reflecting adverse health.
– Senator Dick Durbin and Blumenthal tacked on a measure to a defense spending bill (ie. trying to sneak it through) to restrict the sale of vitamins and supplements to military bases.
– The FDA is currently trying to create new regulations to restrict the sale and use of homeopathic medicines.
– NY State Attorney General Schneiderman is trying to put together a coalition of 13 other AG’s to approach Congress to increase supplement regulation.
Does something here just not smell right to you??
What you are witnessing are politicians trying to pacify their highest-paying backers; regulators trying to over-regulate and wipe out the natural foods industry which are all attempts to limit access and hamper individual health freedom so that their certain special-interests can be protected by posturing politicians who can also can enjoy momentary publicity and grandstanding … and who knows what else.
Hippocrates separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. Perhaps Durbin, Blumenthal, Scheiderman, the FDA and friends might stop acting as if they were gods and started looking at the actual stats.
Sometimes I like to separate myself from the world above and spend a few hours underwater and forget about the Gary Schneidermans and assorted characters inhabiting the political world. This photo below is a close-up of the inside of a white tube coral growing along a Belize reef. The colors of Nature below the surface where light is very limited can be much more brilliant than what we can see on land.