Time to Celebrate! A Look Back at the Challenges, Successes and Hell Raising of the Past Ten YearsHelke Ferrie November 1, 2009
You are invited to a great annual bash this month, namely the Whole Life Expo, where for the 23rd year we can celebrate health, critical thinking, and fresh ideas. I intend to be there with a great big organic, home-made carrot cake at the KOS Publishing booth to celebrate the fact that I have been writing for Vitality for 10 years!
If you were shocked, empowered, and stimulated by my monthly articles, I am very happy – and just imagine what a dizzying learning curve it has been for me! Writing for an information-hungry audience who imbued with doubt and ready to question any claim to authority has been a journey towards enlightenment and an exercise in humility. It has also been a breathtaking trip through medical politics as it unfolded – with editor Julia Woodford hot on my heels wanting it all in print for you.
BLISSFULLY IGNORANT BEGINNINGS
The year 1999 was important in the politics of medicine. The events that were set in motion then have caused fundamental changes in the way people perceive food, drugs, doctors and government, and I reported on most of these changes. In the beginning, I had no clue about the scams underpinning Big Medicine’s focus on symptom control and profit from disease and death, nor about Big Agriculture which is hell-bent on profits – never mind the health of soil, water, and essential bacteria. I knew nothing about the abysmal ignorance of our doctors who are super-educated in mostly what doesn’t matter to human survival. I knew hardly anything about nutrition and its primary roles of preventing and curing illness.
As for environmental toxins, I had to get sick myself before my eyes were opened. I groan when I remember allowing my own kids to have their fluoride treatments in school (never having worried about mercury amalgam fillings). And I trustingly followed medical advice I would now classify as bordering on the criminal: I was on Premarin (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for 17 years!
When somebody once mentioned to me at the Consumer Health Organization of Canada office that the cure for almost all cancers was known since about the Second World War, I smiled and said, “Oh, really…” as one does with a nutcase from whom one wants to escape quickly. That same guy handed me a copy of Dr. Max Gerson’s 1958 book, A Cancer Therapy – Results of Fifty Cases. I read it, and everything I had once believed evaporated. (The book chronicled Max Gerson’s success in treating cancer with nutritional medicine – something I’d never heard of.)
Journalism works with the five W’s and one H: Who? Where? When? What? Why? and How? Investigative journalism adds a crucial seventh question: Is it true?
My work for Vitality started in the summer of 1999 with a call from Julia, asking me if it was really true what she had read in my article in Alive magazine about the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons. She, who had already been working for more than a decade in the promotion of natural medicine, knew a thing or two about scams. Nevertheless, she was floored by my story about how the CPSO had, a decade earlier, deceived its own physician membership by side-stepping all discussion about scientific evidence for chelation therapy, and then asserted to the government that there was no scientific or clinical justification for it. This resulted in chelation therapy, without the CPSO membership’s knowledge, being outlawed in Ontario. Using chelation cost some doctors their licenses.
In 1999, the new Regulated Health Professions Act had just come into force and chelation was no longer illegal. The Ray government had cut that odd section. Julia wanted the documentation on which my Alive article had been based. I provided it to her, and she asked me to write for Vitality about chelation and the CPSO’s determination to silence doctors who then began to take Multiple Chemical Sensitivity seriously. Pesticides were still good for us, and doctors stating otherwise were in deep trouble.
It is only 10 years ago that doctors were routinely expected to refer people complaining about feeling sick from pesticide or perfume exposure to psychiatrists. Today, even the CPSO offices have a no-scent policy. Quebec, Ontario, and a few other provinces now have bans on the use of cosmetic pesticides. But dinosaurs are a hardy bunch whose tough brains resist anything new: now the CPSO is after doctors who are diagnosing and treating chronic Lyme disease which, in contrast to the rest of the world, is for them not a “proper diagnosis.” See my new book, being launched at the Expo: Ending Denial – The Lyme Disease Epidemic – Canada’s Public Health Disaster.
RECOVERY FROM ENVIRONMENTAL DISEASE CREATES A RAGING GRANNY
In June of 1999, the CPSO, after an investigative process and trial that had begun in 1988, found environmental medicine physician Dr. Jozef Krop “guilty” of diagnosing and treating environmental illness. Ironically, that was the same day on which the international medical journals published the diagnostic criteria for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, developed jointly by Canadian doctors and researchers at Johns Hopkins medical school in the U.S. This issue needed publicity and the defence needed financial support, both of which Vitality contributed to consistently.
I was one of Krop’s patients, having been poisoned by pesticides, specifically Roundup and DDT, as well as mercury amalgam tooth fillings. As a result, I had become sick with a severe neurological disorder called Myasthenia gravis. I was unable to drive, vacuum my house, read or answer the phone. When my physician husband and I figured out, with the help of the then chief toxicologist for the World Health Organization, Dr. Boyd Haley, that a frequent cause of MG is heavy metal poisoning, we presented the scientific literature to my dentist and asked for my 17 mercury fillings to be removed. She said that she could not do so, because the College of Dentistry would go after her and she would probably lose her license. With the joint efforts of a dentist who defied that college, Dr. William Pressy, and Dr. Krop who defied the CPSO, I recovered – and have since then cultivated a cool, determined, and creative rage. Today, more than 52% of all North American dentists have mercury-free practices.
EXCITING LEGISLATIVE CHANGES
In 1999, Ontario’s Health Freedom Bill, called the Kwinter Bill after Liberal MPP Monte Kwinter, was unanimously passed by the Harris government. MPP Kwinter conceived the idea for this amendment to the Medicine Act when he met Dr. Jerry Green, who had lost his license following a CPSO investigation for merely supplementing standard toxic cancer therapy with helpful non-toxic nutrition.
Today, cancer societies around the world not only agree that cancer is caused by environmental carcinogens such as pesticides, but urges cancer patients to supplement with high doses of nutrients, especially vitamin D3. Indeed, on November 3, the University of Toronto hosts a conference on how vitamin D3 prevents cancer. Attending physicians get continuing education credits. Ten years ago, most of us did not even know what D3 actually is and does, and the idea that a vitamin prevents cancer was then heresy.
The Kwinter Bill became law in 2000, amending Ontario’s Medicine Act. Many provinces have since then made the same legislative change which, essentially, decriminalizes progress and change in medicine and protects the doctor-patient relationship from third party interference (i.e. from the interests of political and financial bottom lines).
That same year Dr. Shiv Chopra, then still with Health Canada, and his colleagues Drs. Gerard Lambert and Margaret Haydon, caused the federal Senate to hold hearings into the appalling practice by our federal government which allows carcinogens into our food and drug supply despite the ‘absolute safety’ requirement of the Food and Drugs Act. These hearings caused bovine growth hormone and many other drugs to be stopped across the world. Now the Senate is investigating Bill C-6 which represents the government’s renewed attempt to make us into compliant consumers of all things profitable – be they toxic or not.
Also in 1999 in Europe, that infamous semi-secret multi-national brotherhood of government bureaucrats and corporate honchos, which we know as Codex, was startled when the public mounted a series of successful legal challenges over the next 10 years to that stealthy corporate take-over of food, drugs, water, genes, medicines and farming. I kept you informed on those unfolding stories – the war is not over, but it will be. Unlike wars with guns and bombs, wars for truth and liberty leave behind deeper understanding and transformed minds, even among those who once were enemies.
In 1998, I met Dr. Abram Hoffer for the first time, and in 2005 was privileged to publish his scientific memoirs. He died in his 90s on May 27, 2009. All of my articles, one way or another over the past decade, reported on what he and Linus Pauling called “orthomolecular medicine,” meaning the “right molecule” (nutrient) which sets healing in motion. The conceptual basis applies to everything from farming, to disease, to mental health. Orthomolecular thinking is reality-based, not profit-based. That is the challenge of our time.
For me the most important development in the past 10 years regarding food and drugs, was the Human Genome Project. Big Business was certain that cracking the DNA code would lead to enormous wealth and control. Well, undoubtedly lots of people are trying, and in part succeeding, to making money out of this project. However, the big surprise was that most of the regulatory genes (which control entire systems) are exquisitely vulnerable to environmental toxins, and so those toxins will have to go if we want to keep those genes working. Not much profit there. Furthermore, the nice, neat fit hoped for between genes and specific diseases did not materialize either. Testing people for their potential genetically-anchored disease is a pipe dream, too.
Every disease, with or without such a mythic genetic anchor, needs a trigger to start it, and those triggers are environmental toxins and lack of the right molecules decreed by nature as essential, namely nutrients. Indeed, the genetic code cracked us. In June 2008, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that taking vitamins and minerals can actually “fix genetic defects.” Well, the ghosts of Linus Pauling and Abram Hoffer must be having a great belly laugh!
A PARADIGM SHIFT IN PUBLIC PERCEPTION
Looking back on the letters I received over the years from Vitality readers, I notice that they used to be requests for information on “good” doctors or dentists. While those are still in high demand, now the letters are far more often about specific nutrients, how they work, which alternative cancer therapy clinic I recommend – not whether “alternative” is a good idea, that’s taken for granted in such inquiries. Collective attitudes have undoubtedly changed.
Blind faith in medical authority is diminishing rapidly. Back in 1998, when a University of Toronto and FDA research project investigated how many people were using alternative medicine, the answer was about 50%. Today, about 92% of Canadians find especially herbal medicine acceptable and two-thirds use it and other forms of “alternative” therapies (to synthetic drugs). Indeed, within just a decade, Canadians understood the fraud involved with genetically engineered foods, and polls consistently show that close to 98% of us don’t want the stuff, and for all the right reasons, namely because they cause immune dysfunction and cancer.
It is, therefore, interesting that the government’s main worry about the H1N1 vaccine (unnecessary, untested and dangerous) is that most people might not want it. Politically, that new skepticism in the public mind is reflected in the recent letter many of us received from the federal Minister of Health assuring Canadians that there are absolutely no plans for implementing a program of compulsory vaccinations. The public has become rather like a mouthy teenager – impossible to control, but sometimes can be persuaded to comply. In this case, however, the teenage “f-off” approach might be the wiser choice.
Another astounding development over the past decade has been the phenomenal increase in medical fraud – and its relentless public exposure and determined pursuit by the courts. Big Pharma cannot make drugs that heal and must resort to pretense, fraud and glitzy propaganda. Dictatorships and tyrannical systems are always the most vulnerable in their propaganda departments. Public opinion shifts when the lies become obvious. The giant pharmaceutical companies have been crippled by multi-billion dollar liability rulings that cannot be appealed. True, they are explicitly protected from liability with regard to the H1N1 vaccine – but our government remains liable and answerable to the courts, should this become a public health disaster.
Indeed, the courts even rule frequently against patents for genetic engineering, making the whole GMO food enterprise increasingly vulnerable to collapse. World-class researchers, who were once duped into cooperating with Big Pharma scams, spill the beans, blow the whistle, come out of their laboratory closets and raise hell. Corruption is as old as human institutions. I am sure Neanderthals cheated each other over choice mammoth steaks. Nothing new there. What is new today is the hunger for truth – no, not scandal, but truth – facts, verifiable information.
In this context, I find one of the most helpful developments is the rise of the documentary film. Documentaries have become truly educational and provocative. I am thinking of the National Film Board’s 2001 The Genetic Takeover, which made a splash around the world. Another of the greatest ones is surely the 2004 film, The Corporation. I got to interview most of the scientists featured in it and report on their work in Vitality. Since then we have had fantastic revelations through Supersize Me, the various GMO and Monsanto films, and now Food Inc.
Ten years ago, the medical, dental, and regulatory Establishment was firmly in charge and – like most of us, myself included – often was unaware of the fact that they were in the most horrendous conflicts of interest between their duty to their patients and the industries that got rich on product lines which we now, without any irony, correctly call the Death Industry. When awakening strikes, everybody ceases to slumber, one way or another.
Two hundred years ago we lived in a world in which human beings were sold in open markets. Those who questioned such practices were harshly treated because slavery was perceived as indispensable to a thriving economy. When slavery was outlawed in 1832 in Britain, it still took the American Civil War to stop it in this hemisphere, and I was in high school when African-Americans finally got the vote. Yet, the change that began in 1832 is inexorably continuing. We are in the midst of a similar fundamental change of perception with food and medicine. The Sickness Industry will cease to be the basis of our economy. We have millions of years ahead of us because are getting smarter.
Two of my books are available for free downloading on www.kospublishing.com. They contain many of my Vitality articles published over the last decade.