Woodford Files: Quinoa Cuisine; Medical Fraud

March can be a tough month here in the Northern Hemisphere. While warming days taunt us with the promise of spring, late winter blizzards hammer our hopes as we brace against icy winds and freezing rains. To help make the change of seasons more bearable, this month we bring you Quinoa Cuisine a delectable feature on quinoa, an ancient grain that’s so high in protein it’s being touted as a budget-friendly substitute for meat. From soups to wraps to crunchy quinoa burgers, the versatility and flavour of this grain is showcased by food writer Linda Gabris.

Also this month, Helke Ferrie brings us Health News Round-Up – disturbing news about the deceit that can lurk in Western medicine, news that points to the risks inherent in medicating our symptoms with chemical potions conjured up in labs. For example, she points to new research showing that some antacids prescribed for heartburn are not only ineffective but are now proven to increase the risk of dementia. She also shares the awful truth that nine out of every 10 school shootings have now been linked to antidepressant medications (which have been shown to increase the risk of violence and suicide, details of which can be found at the websites of Dr. David Healy: www.rxisk.org, as well as victims’ groups: https://ssristories. org.) Helke Ferrie also reports on the disturbing new findings that cholesterol-lowering medications don’t reduce the risk of heart disease after all, and in fact only distract us from the true causes of cardiovascular problems which include inflammation caused by sugar and bad fats, along with a sedentary lifestyle.

Further on the theme of medical malfeasance, Dr. Zoltan Rona’s column this month looks at the alarming increase in fatal overdoses of properly prescribed, Health Canada-approved, opioid pain killers such as Fentanyl and Oxycontin. According to the Toronto Star’s report in July 2015, the number of fatal overdoses involving opioids overall jumped 24% between 2010 and 2013 – from 467 to 577. What he and many other health professionals find most disturbing is the apparent government complacency about all this.

The irony is that while regulators are asleep at the switch when it comes to protecting Canadians from harmful drugs, they seem to be jumping all over natural health products with a long history of safety. For example, on February 19 the Canadian Consumers Centre for Homeopathy raised alarm bells about a change in Health Canada’s (HC) labelling requirements for children’s homeopathic cough, cold, and flu medicines. Manufacturers and importers have been told to remove all indications of their recommended use for cough, cold, and flu for kids under 13. CCCH states that this change could cause Canadian families with children aged 12 and younger to lose access to these products as soon as July 31 because manufacturers will simply withdraw these products from the market altogether (as happened with my favourite homeopathic first aid remedy, Traumeel). At the same time, we continue to receive letters and articles from health professionals and consumers alike attesting to the efficacy and safety of homeopathy.

This month we offer a feature by Heather Caruso on how homeopathy works synergistically with conventional medicine and nutrition to get positive outcomes. There’s also a letter from a reader who claims to have been cured of a painful skin condition through the skilful use of homeopathy. Meantime, we can now boast over 3,000 subscribers to our free digital magazine, in addition to the 60,000 print copies that are distributed across the province. Seems that the public appetite for natural health and alternative medicine continues to grow, and we are delighted to feed that healthy interest with the best information we can find from writers and health professionals, along with feedback from readers. If you wish to comment on this or any article in Vitality, send email to: letters@vitalitymagazine.com

Happy spring equinox,
Julia Woodford, Editor

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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