When I opened one of my emails recently, I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading.
Similar to what has been happening in the UK and Europe, The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it would start regulating homeopathic products.
This not only alarmed and upset me… but, quite frankly, it blew my mind.
The FDA plans to use ‘a new, risk-based enforcement approach to homeopathic drug products that have the greatest potential to cause risk to patients’.
The writing is on the wall: Medical authorities are poking their noses in places that they should not be.
When it comes to the strict regulation (that comes at a hefty cost!) of natural medicine, the mind boggles.
Homeopathic medicine, for instance, has been around since 1796! And by no means has it killed as many people in the past 221 years than what pharmaceutical drugs have done in the past five decades!
Why this sudden regulation? Well, medical authorities say that the risks associated with homeopathic medicine have grown alongside the growth of the homeopathic industry.
I smell a rat! This once-small industry is now worth $3 billion in the US alone and I think this is starting to pose a serious threat to Big Pharma.
Given how deeply medical authorities are embedded into the pockets of Big Pharma, they certainly won’t allow anything to encroach on that territory.
That means that some of the homeopathic remedies that are available to us are most likely going to go away, regardless of how safe or effective they may be.
If you dig deeper and take a closer look at these planned regulations you’ll realise that this could jeopardise every supplement that you take.
Let’s put this in perspective
Although the word ‘homeopathic’ is frequently used interchangeably with the terms ‘naturopathic’, ‘integrative’, and even ‘natural’, homeopathy is actually an entirely separate field.
Homeopathy is also remarkably different from vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids.
As a field of practice, homeopathy refers to the use of unbelievably diluted forms of substances that teach and provoke a healing response from the body.
The easiest way to explain it is that homeopathy is akin to the philosophy that Big Pharma uses for its vaccines: introduce very small amounts of ‘something’ in to the human body in the hope that it will help provoke a response.
As homeopaths explain it, ‘like cures like’.
The world of homeopathy is so different from the conventional medical world that I can’t imagine a way that the two could ever ‘play well together’. The basic tenants of homeopathy are so opposite to those of pharmaceutical drugs and conventional medicine… that there’s bound to be a problem.
Case in point: The reason for the crackdown on homeopathy, specifically in the US, is because of two high-profile cases that recently have come to light.
First, a commonly-used homeopathic remedy for children’s teething has been possibly linked to unwanted side effects, with about 400 reports of adverse side effects. As a result, the FDA wants to recall the product.
The complaints were varied, but the worry was that some of the side effects included seizures and possibly 10 infant deaths.
Now, I’m obviously not in favour of anyone taking any medication, supplement, or homeopathic remedy that could cause a seizure or the death of a child… but let’s take a moment to put these side effects and risks in perspective.
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin kill an estimated 16,000 people every year and hospitalise 100,000, in the US alone.
Yet, you can get these popular painkillers in almost the same aisle of your supermarket as a remedy for a teething child.
This is how tiny the ‘greatest’ risk is
Here’s how maddening this is.
The main issue with the teething remedy that’s gotten some of the most attention in the media – the one from a brand called Hyland’s – is that it had varying amounts of homeopathic dilutions of belladonna in it.
Now, it’s true that Atropa belladonna – ‘deadly nightshade’ – contains compounds called tropane alkaloids that can be toxic enough to poison you in certain amounts.
However, according to the Hyland’s website: ‘Each Teething Tablet (which weighs about 65mg) is composed of 0.0000000000003% Belladonna alkaloids as stated on the label. As calculated, this means that each complete teething tablet contains only approximately 0.0000000000002mg of Belladonna alkaloids.’
Now, you may argue that even a tiny miniscule amount of a toxin – a practically imperceptible quantity – is unacceptable in a single dosage of anything given to a baby to ingest. You’d certainly have a point, especially when it comes to most over-the-counter remedies that are recommended for infants.
But in the case of the Baby Teething Tablets (which have since been taken off the market) Hyland’s provides the following scenario to clarify the homeopathic dosages of belladonna further: ‘A 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product.’
Mind you, that’s not the toxic dosage. That’s just the dosage that would be enough to instigate the mildest of all possible side effects – more than 1,600 tablets!
If there are any parents who’ve got more than 12 bottles of these teething tablets on hand at any given time… and who would leave a baby unattended long enough to devour all of them. There are some issues to deal with that are more serious than the itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy amount of plant alkaloids that might be lingering in a homeopathic teething remedy with a far superior safety record to most best-selling over-the-counter drugs.
Something’s rotten in the state of Big Pharma
Hyland’s brings up another poignant point: There’s actually a real prescription medication, called Belladonna Alkaloids with Phenobarbital that the FDA has approved for use in children with irritable bowel syndrome.
Yet, as Hyland’s website points out: ‘To put the calculated amount of belladonna in a Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablet into perspective, the 0.0000000000002mg of belladonna alkaloids is thousands of times below even the therapeutic amounts of belladonna used in conventional anti-spasmodic medicines that doctors sometimes prescribe (0.2 to 5milligrams of belladonna alkaloids).’
So, my question is: Why is the pharmaceutical drug that contains such a high amount of belladonna not pulled off the market when people started complaining that belladonna was causing deaths in children?
Is it because prescription drugs are exempt from this witch hunt?
That’s scary, too. Prescription medications pose so much more risk to the American public than a homeopathic remedy ever would!
Almost all prescription medications are basically ‘Band-Aids’ for medical conditions. What’s more, almost all medications carry risk – and far more risk than almost any homeopathic remedy.
On top of that, the conditions that most patent medications are being used for are ‘not going away’ – and therefore, patients are going to have to continue taking these medications (sometimes, pretty strong ones) for long periods of time.
The longer you take them, the bigger the risk.
Yet, the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is saying: ‘People may be putting their trust and money in therapies that bring little or no benefit in combating their ailments, or worse – in products that may cause serious and even irreparable harm.’
No, the irony is not lost on me…
Every day, many, many more people die from pharmaceutical drugs, medication errors, and substances directly under Dr. Gottlieb’s watch than any homeopathic remedy or supplement.
It’s a fact and the medical authorities cannot deny it.
As safe as water
The day that the FDA announced its plans NBC News ran with a headline saying that the FDA is going to ‘crack down on “snake oil” homeopathy.’
Not only that, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Director of Vaccine Education Dr. Paul Offit was quoted in that same article as saying: ‘We want to believe in something that isn’t harmful like pharmaceutical products… [but] these are just elves and old hippies making their products in a flowery meadow.
These snake oil salesmen… have been getting away with it for far too long.’
Wait – this is a conventional doctor who deals with vaccines? I would bet that vaccines injure more people every day than homeopathy has over the course of the last two centuries.
I don’t even think Dr. Offit realises that he put his foot in his mouth even more when he went on to say: ‘At its most benign, homeopathy is basically what it’s diluted in, which is water.’
In effect, he’s now admitted not only that homeopathy is safe… but also that pharmaceutical products are more dangerous.
According to Dr. Offit, the worry is that you might use a completely innocuous homeopathic product instead of a
So… what exactly are homeopaths ‘getting away with’? Keeping patients safe from prescription drugs?
Homeopathy is thriving and growing because the public has become more educated about the dangers of prescription medications.
A slippery slope
Under the FDA’s new guidelines, homeopathic remedies will now be subject to the same approval requirements as other drugs.
My fear is that this is a tip-of-the-iceberg situation.
Medical authorities may say that they’ll first go after the most dangerous homeopathic products of all – like baby products that contain ‘ingredients associated with potentially significant safety concerns’ (even though these homeopathic remedies are so diluted that there’s practically nothing left in the final product).
Next, they’ll target ‘products marketed for serious conditions, such as cancer and heart disease’.
And then what?
They surely won’t stop there. They’re bound to keep sniffing around… find more ‘problems’… and make more changes that could deprive you of practically the only ‘safe’ alternatives you’ve got!Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.