(HSIResearch)Twilight's Last Gleaming?

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 19/07/2004 - 00:19

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

Dear Reader,

Is your government doing enough to protect you from the dangers of vitamin supplements? The absurdity of that question would be comical if it weren't the basis of an international drive to severely limit our access to dietary supplements.

In yesterday's e-Alert I gave you some background on the "European Union Directive on Dietary Supplements" that will become law in August of 2005. Among the 25 European Union (EU) nations (representing more than 450 million people), this directive reclassifies vitamin supplements as "medical drugs," mandates low dosage levels, and outlaws many supplement ingredients that are currently widely available. Created to "protect" consumers, the directive will do exactly the opposite by denying consumers access to natural therapeutic supplements.

But don't think you're off the hook if you live outside the EU. Plans are already underway to bring these extreme regulations to the U.S. and many other countries.


Tuesday July 13, 2004

Trying to stay positive

Under the EU directive, a "positive list" has been created to mandate which dietary supplements will be allowed for sale. The list does not include about 350 supplement ingredients, such as boron, a mineral that helps manage symptoms of menopause.

So if you're a supplement manufacturer in an EU country, and you produce a supplement that contains boron, you'll be required to remove it from the supplement by August 2005. But there is another option. You can submit a "technical dossier" to argue the case that a particular ingredient (such as boron) should be included on the positive list. Ah, but there's a catch: The European Commission has made this process so expensive and time consuming that many manufacturers simply can't afford the costs involved. As a result, many safe formulas and nutrients that have been on the market for decades will soon be banned.

But wait... it gets worse

The positive list isn't really as positive as it sounds.

For instance: Vitamin E made it on the positive list. Sort of. As HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., has made clear in several e- Alerts, there are a number of different vitamin E forms, and the synthetic form should be avoided for internal use. But according to Euromonitor International, the ONLY form of vitamin E on the positive list is the synthetic form.

And then there's selenium. Besides the fact that selenium has excellent antioxidant properties that have been shown to help increase insulin efficiency, selenium also enhances the effect of vitamin E, making it a perfect match for any vitamin E regimen. But the only two forms of selenium that made the positive list are - yep - synthetic forms.

Wondering why the positive list emphasizes synthetics? I'll answer that question with another question: What sort of company specializes in manufacturing synthetic forms of natural treatments? You already saw it coming, didn't you? The answer: pharmaceutical companies. Large drug companies can easily produce synthetic ingredients at low cost. So the positive list will certainly be positive for drug companies, while many small manufacturers of natural supplements will be forced out of business.

Decoding Codex

The outlook for the future of dietary supplements in Europe is decidedly gloomy. But if you're a U.S. citizen you might be wondering how all of this will affect you. In fact, the 2005 implementation of the EU directive won't directly affect consumers outside the EU. But the U.S. and the EU are both members of a much larger club.

The U.S. is one of the 165 member countries of the Codex Alimentarius Commission - an international food standards program created by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the purposes of the Codex Commission is to "harmonize" international food trade. And here are a few key elements of that harmonizing:

* WHO regards all dietary supplements as "drugs"

* The Codex Commission has made it clear that it wants to limit over-the-counter sales of dietary supplements while reclassifying others as pharmaceuticals, available only through a pharmacist

* The U.S. has one vote on the Codex Commission. The European Union represents 27 votes on the commission: the 25 votes of its member countries and 2 votes of the 2 EU candidate countries

* Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Codex decisions override decisions of individual countries

* Member countries (including the U.S.) that refuse to "harmonize" with WTO directives may be subject to restrictive trade sanctions

* The European Union is the United States' largest trade and investment partner, with a yearly two-way trade in goods and services that is estimated to be nearly $600 billion

"Harmony" never sounded so awful.

Securing the Homeland

The remarkably harsh restrictions of the EU directive on Dietary Supplements have met with an enormous protest from people who correctly see this process as an infringement on their right to make their own health care choices. This past February, the High Court in London ruled that a case challenging the directive should be referred to the European Court - the only court with the authority to challenge EU directives. Exactly when that court will hand down a ruling is not known. What is known is that the decision will have a profound effect on the availability of dietary supplements in Europe and beyond.

Meanwhile, back on the other side of the Atlantic, many congressmen and pro-pharmaceutical organizations have been calling for more restrictive regulations of supplements. So there's no time to waste in letting our legislators know that we don't want to see any form of the EU directive taking effect in the U.S.

A complete list of government e-mail and postal addresses is available at a web site called www.Congress.org/ Send a message to your congressmen and let them know that we want no part of international "harmonizing" that restricts our access to supplements. And most importantly, tell them that you don't need any government or international organizations to "protect" you from your personal health care choices.

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Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Submitted by GINA F on Wed, 25/07/2007 - 15:05.

There is a Clinical Trial of the drug 'Bosanten' for use in the treatment of IPF currently accepting participants. It is under Dr. Peter Hopkins at Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside, Brisbane.

treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis(IPF)

Submitted by starfirern56 on Wed, 18/07/2007 - 20:47.

dear melanie: you are in my prayers b/c your condition & i hope i can help you. i am an ER RN & the other medicines that can be used to treat IPF are: prednisone along with cytoxan,pencillamine, cholorambucil,vincristine & colchicine. also,oxygen(which you are already on),an exercise program. there is also a lot of support groups for IPF(ex: the coalition for IPF, medline for IPF, etc)i dont know if you have done a web search for IPF but there are a ton of sites for IPF. why wont your doctor put you on the transplant list?? what are her reasons?? if you feel that she isnt working in your best interests then try to find another lung doctor to treat you. i hope that i havent offended you or anything like that b/c that isnt my intention. if you have anymore questions, feel free to ask me(my personal email address is: starfirern56@yahoo.com

IPF Above....

Submitted by Legislation Lisa on Mon, 16/07/2007 - 19:21.

Go to US medical and health pages. If you can't find somebody in this laid-back country of ours, then go search where there are more people, that makes up more experience.

I hope you find what you need. Act fast - leave Australia if you want to live. Nobody with any power cares here I'm afraid.

Legislation Lisa
Cairns - FNQ

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Submitted by Melanie A. Rowan (not verified) on Mon, 16/07/2007 - 19:14.

I am a new member of the HSI community. I am dying from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Have any of your contributing physicians or researchers found anything that stops the progression of this disease or that will help someone suffering from it? My pulmonologist has me taking azathioprine daily and using oxygen. She will not, however, put me on the organ donor list and I know that currently, this is the only thing that will save my life. I was diagnosed with this disease by the Veterans Administration Hospital in the latter part of 2002, so I know I'm close to being a goner. I do not know if this is the correct way of getting information from you, but I would truely be appreciative, if you could tell me if anyone is having clinical trials for new approaches to treating this horrendous disease.



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