Letters to the Editor – June 2014Vitality Magazine June 1, 2014
Fan Letter, re: Michael Downey’s News Briefs
I just wanted to let you know that your Health News Briefs feature is the # 1 reason I pick up Vitality magazine. I don’t have time for all the in-depth articles, but in one good read of Briefs, I learn so much about so many diverse health nutrients. And Briefs seems to be the very latest scientific findings too!
K. Pitman, Toronto
Does Plant Foraging Put Wild Species at Risk?
I was quite concerned when I saw in your April issue that you are promoting Adder Tongues as a wild food. I am also concerned that fiddleheads and wild leeks (two articles for the latter) have joined this promotion in the May issue. My concern is on two fronts:
Second, as your writer noted, Adder Tongues (Trout Lilies) only bloom once in 7 years. If you harvest the bulbs there will be no plants for the future. It may seem that there are lots of these, but there used to be lots of leeks where I walk, too, and now they’re more and more rare. I find it selfish to harvest a plant that has taken so long to develop. Foraging is more and more popular – fashionable, I guess. I am disappointed that your magazine is promoting such an anti-environment practice.
Sincerely, M. Mack
Young Man’s Death from Prescription Drug Inspires Memorial Concert
My 25-year-old son, Ryan Hicks, died in 2009. The cause of death was “Cerebral edema due to Oxycodone toxicity.” I want to draw attention to the inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of opiate drugs and have arranged a concert in Ryan’s memory and in celebration of his short life. It is called “A Leaf in the Wind” and is a narrated mystical journey accompanied by acoustic guitar, cello, percussion, possibly harp, all making wonderful music.
The concert will be held at the Heliconian Club in Yorkville, at 8:00 pm on June 21st, the summer solstice. This concert is also a fundraiser with all proceeds going to two charities – Mindful Charity and Breakaway Addiction Services. One targets helping kids and parents learn about healthy lifestyles and mental health; the other specifically helps people struggling with opioid addiction, many of whom became addicted through poor prescribing practices by doctors. I think both of these charities play a big part in preventing tragedies like Ryan’s.
I’d like this to grow into an annual concert not only in memory of Ryan but in memory of the many other kids/friends/family members who have lost their lives from wrongly prescribed drugs. I’d love to get other parents involved, media involved, and use this type of event to help raise awareness of the growing problem we have both here and in the U.S. I’d like to see an annual event which would grow in size, help a lot of people suffering the same pain we go through every day; and even better, help people/kids stay away from Rx drugs and generally raise awareness about this problem.
Toxic Renovations Leave Tenant Fuming
Right now I feel like a fish trying to survive in a lake or ocean where toxic chemicals have been dumped. It is beyond horrible that big companies have no regard for life – be it aquatic, plant, animal or human. After several years of living in the same apartment, where I have done everything in my power to create a healthy, toxin-free, sacred environment for myself and for anyone else who comes here, the ‘Powers that Be’ (in this case a big property management company) decided it was time to renovate so they could raise the rents. Renovations consisted of massive amounts of toxic dust being stirred up; the cheapest (and most toxic) possible primers and paints applied to walls; along with installation of cheap carpeting with god knows what kinds of chemicals and toxins off-gassing from it.
Through all of this, there was not one renovation that actually benefitted us – the tenants. It’s all cosmetic and cancer-causing, and lung destroying. I feel like I have been assaulted! All of us living here (babies, children, the elderly, the vulnerable) have been assaulted. I feel totally displaced. Any sense of ‘home’ I might have had has been completely destroyed by the greed of this company. Unfortunately, it’s a very common story in this city.
I would love to hear how other people have survived this assault on their health and their homes. I would love to hear if anyone knows of affordable green living spaces. Does anyone have suggestions as to how we tenants can fight back, how we can make these companies responsible for the massive assault on our health, and for the environmental destruction they are causing to Mother Earth. It is criminal what they are doing. Thanks Vitality for your ongoing attention to our good health and well being.
Barbara Sauve, Toronto
Open Letter to Health Minister Rona Ambrose
Your recent public statements about alleged safety issues concerning natural health products (NHPs) are misleading. Sadly, you have been misinformed.
In the entire 50+ year history of the health food industry, not a single Canadian has died from consuming dietary supplements. What you call NHPs are actually safer than everyday foods. People die every year from anaphylactic shock from eating peanuts or shellfish. No Canadian has ever been killed by vitamins or supplements. On the other hand, MP Terence Young reports that as many as 20,000 Canadians may be killed every year by their prescription drugs.
Health Canada first creates a false fear, then falsely proclaims itself as the remedy for that imagined fear. According to the renowned Fraser Institute, the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) should be abolished for the following reasons:
1) The data do not support a public safety argument for government regulation of Natural Health Products (NHPs).
2) There has been no increase in the safety, efficacy or quality of NHPs since the NHPD was established.
3) Thousands of safe products have been restricted from the market.
4) The NHPD costs taxpayers an estimated $9 million per year [approximately $135 million to date].
When you assumed office as Health Minister, you also became the primary defendant in a legal action in which Health Canada is being charged with 22 violations of our constitutional laws: (see: http://naturalhealthfreedomcanada.com) This action is being presented by Rocco Galati, the attorney who recently constitutionalized the Supreme Court of Canada.
Included in the above court case, as a matter of public record, is documentation to show that the NHPD has arbitrarily restricted over 14,000 safe and beneficial dietary supplements from the market [file posted at http://naturalhealthfreedomcanada.com]. The NHPD’s unwarranted restrictions have also forced a number of small family owned companies out of business.
The number of “authorized” natural health products you claim to have “allowed” on the market is a spin doctored irrelevancy. All of the safe products now sporting NPN licences were entirely safe before the NHPD came into existence. You also do not state how many of these “approved” products had to be watered down in order to meet NHPD requirements, many to the point where they are no longer effective.
Our constitutional laws make it clear that Health Canada does not have the legal authority to issue product licences. We, the people, have the right to sell whichever products we choose to whomever we wish, provided that we do not commit any crime (e.g., personal injury or fraud). We also have the right to make true health claims for our products, free from censorship by Health Canada. Health Canada has the legal authority to restrict only those products which have been proven to cause death or serious injury. Unless and until there are any dead or injured bodies, all dietary supplements must be presumed to be safe. This is the fundamental principle of justice upon which all of our laws are based: innocent until proven guilty.
The NHPD is perverting justice by demanding that suppliers prove their products “not unsafe” before being “permitted” to sell them. Health Canada’s stranglehold on dietary supplements is based on two lies: (1) these products are unsafe, and (2) Health Canada has the legal authority to licence products. The lie in #1 is obvious. The lie in #2 is about to be established in court.
Claiming that dietary supplements are unsafe qualifies as a “big lie”. This is the propaganda use of a lie “so colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”
Dietary Supplement Protective Union
Natural Health Freedom Canada
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