Editorial Issue 146

Of the thousands of Research Updates published over the past 14 years in Positive Health (PH),[1] numerous studies have reported the wide-ranging health enhancing benefits of nutritional supplements. The studies, published internationally, are drawn from molecular, case and clinical studies over a wide range of conditions. For example, in this issue (see page 37) Xu and co-workers from China report that dietary fibre, retinol, beta-carotene, vitamin C, Vitamin E and vitamin supplementation may decrease the risk of endometrial cancer.[2]

Yet, in a recent study published in Journal of Clinical Oncology,[3] funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the authors, who report that vitamin and mineral supplementation is common among cancer patients, are worried that patients often don’t tell their physicians about their supplementation and that there hasn’t been enough research about potential toxic interactions between supplements and cancer treatments.

This is more than a bit rich, given that we are deluged in the broadcast and print media with reports about the huge increase in the number of deaths related to prescribed pharmaceutical drugs; prescription drugs kill about 700,000 people annually in the USA, making legal drugs the leading cause of death.[4] In the UK last year, there were about 10,000 cases between May and December of patients having a serious, suspected adverse reaction to the drugs they were prescribed. As also reported in the Independent – www.independent.co.uk – tens of thousands of patients suffer life-threatening, disabling or other serious reactions that need hospital treatment because of a failure to spot and report many dangerous side effects and drug interactions quickly enough. It has been estimated that the equivalent of all the beds from seven general hospitals – 5,600 places – are occupied with patients suffering from drug reactions at any one time. And, in another high profile scandal, the major pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) came in for serious criticism from the MHRA due to its failure to disclose the negative effects of Seroxat in children.

At the same time as prescription drugs are identified as a major source of death and illness,  it has been reported that one in five NHS patients leave hospital malnourished and that thousands of frail elderly people are going hungry because nurses do not help them to eat their meals.

It is therefore high time that we all pay serious heed to the co-ordinated efforts going on around the world to restrict the availability of nutritional and herbal supplements, a major source of safe, non-toxic, health enhancing benefits to us all. As Ian Crane points out in his letter (see page 49):

…the aims and objectives of Codex Alimentarius are as follows:
•    Only low-potency, “me too” supplements available that will do nothing for your health;
•    All or most foods genetically-modified;
•    Beneficial supplements unavailable or sold by prescription only.

For many people, this agenda is so outrageous, they cannot believe such goals are achievable; yet this may well be the reality as soon as 31st December 2009, if the Codex Alimentarius Commission continues to disregard input from those who offer a counter perspective to the combined forces of Big Farmer and Big Pharma.

In an attempt to counter these sinister moves to restrict the availability of supplements, Ian Crane has mounted the Codex Awareness Initiative, in which he is hosting a number of seminars over the weekend of 25-27 April in Totnes, Devon (for further information please see Brief Takes page 5 and the advert on the Inside Front cover of this issue - www.thealternativeview.co.uk)

In this April Issue of PH, there are articles about personal and global change, balance, spring and regeneration. And on the topic of change and regeneration, I wanted to announce that my long-time partner and business partner has told me that he wants to retire from PH later this year. He is 71 years of age, after all, so he is certainly entitled to move on to other things. I therefore trust that this will present an opportunity to find another partner for PH who will have the passion, skills and resources to develop PH and take its independent and high integrity message to a wider audience.

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