It’s All About Words
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind” – Rudyard Kipling
Listen closely. Read between the lines. You are being convinced, slowly and deliberately that vitamin supplements are dangerous and that pharmaceutical drugs are always your best bet. Perhaps you’ve become aware of this upside-down logic. If not, I offer you a few examples of how the masses are being systematically brain-washed. Keep these examples in mind, it won’t be long before you’re noticing some yourself. Recently ABC News ran a rather lengthy piece about how “dangerous” certain common herbal supplements are. The case in point was woman who’d had a kidney transplant. She took an herbal supplement containing the age-old Black Cohosh root and whammo! She became deathly ill. What ABC didn’t discuss was that people who’ve had an organ transplant have compromised systems that even too much water or table salt plays havoc with. Never mind that. The not-so-subtle point the network was making was this: Be afraid, be very afraid of anything the pharmaceutical companies don’t make a profit from!
This past week The Wall Street Journal screamed out headlines: “Watch Out For Serious Interactions When Taking Drugs, and Herbs”. The story reported “a wave of recent studies is sparking concern about the dangers of taking herbal supplements.” The article went on to list the dangers of combining common herbal supplements with prescription drugs. Instead of pointing out that pharmaceuticals cause the deaths each year of over 100,000 people, media attention focuses on the “dangers” of herbs people have been taking to help heal their bodies for centuries. What is perhaps most telling about why these types of stories are hitting print and broadcast with greater frequency is simply this: Vitamins and herbal supplements bring in well over $20 billion dollars a year (my inclusion: explosive since people have been swapping stories about being helped by them over the internet). The drug companies want a piece of the action (in insertion: it is taking money away from drug companies because people are switching from their high priced drugs to herbs as an alternative). Therefore, expect to see more and more attention focused on the “danger”‘ of vitamins.
The next logical step will be the prescribing of these natural substances to better “protect” the consumer. Once this happens, as it has in several other countries, what were once easily-available non-prescription, age-old healing substances like Ginko Biloba or St. John’s Wort or even Vitamin C will then become available only if a doctor prescribes them. Since the vast majority of medical doctors in the United States hold little store by the less-invasive natural remedies this does not bode well for those of us who subscribe to the belief that the body can and will heal itself if given the right nutritional support. The Wall Street Journal story said “the growing interest in herb-drug interactions comes as more Americans are popping herbal medications.” “Popping.” That’s an interesting choice of words. In an era where we are encouraged to take a pill (“pop” one, if you will) for everything from heartburn (“esophageal reflux disease”) to shyness (“social anxiety disorder”) to normal childhood energy levels (“attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”) it seems odd that taking SUPPLEMENTS should be referred to as “popping.”
Why is it that term is never used to describe the taking of prescription drugs? Bayer (the pharmaceutical company now in the midst of trying to settle unprecedented numbers of wildly expensive lawsuits over deaths related to its cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol) now labels its (potentially toxic) antibiotic Cipro with cautions against pairing the drug with calcium-fortified orange juice! It would seem the public would be better served all around with honest assessments of the dangers inherent in these drugs themselves- with or without the juice chaser! While anything paired with anything (grapefruit juice and certain heart medications) can be dangerous, the big picture is that all of a sudden “studies” showing the danger of things like Vitamin C (recently debunked) and Ginseng are substantively disingenuous. What is at the core of these misleading “studies” and the media frenzies that inevitably follow is a commission established 40 years ago by the World Health Organization to set “upper limits” of supplements. In other words a world-wide goon squad is now working on determining just how much Vitamin C you should be allowed to take.
The Codex Alimentarius gang isn’t working on getting the word out about how damaging (FDA approved!) food additives like Aspartame and MSG are! Neither are they alerting consumers to the horrific side effects of mercury-containing vaccines, or the very real possibility of having a stroke while taking Hormone Replacement Therapy. Codex is working on making sure you won’t have access to too much Vitamin C without a prescription. The Dear Abby advice column (now written by Jeanne Philips, daughter of the late columnist Abigail Van Buren) today printed a letter from a reader (uh huh) that went like this: “Dear Abby, Our marriage was wonderful until my wife cut back on her Premarin, now her libido is shot. I’m really suffering, is there an alternative to splitting up?” It was signed: “Desperate in Arizona”. Dear Abby, like Peter Jennings, like countless other media sock puppets are nothing more than mouthpieces for a highly-propagandizing pharmaceutical industry. This wasn’t even a disguised attempt at spin-damage control for a drug (manufactured from PRE(gnant) MA(re) u RIN(e).
That’s right, the drug Premarin (a hormone replacement drug in a class of drugs shown to cause serious risk of stroke in menopausal women) is in fact made from horse urine. The reason this little “letter” made it into an advice column with wide readership? It’s elementary. Recently the drug companies suffered a major setback when news of the life-threatening side effects associated with HRT came out. You may also have seen similar damage control stories on the network news which purported to “debunk” studies showing dangers of suicide and suicide ideation among those who take antidepressants. It’s all about protecting the billions the drug giants make by lying to consumers. It starts to make even more sense when you read about President George Bush’s initiative to “screen” Americans for mental illness, Called New Frontiers, the object of the game here is to give the pharmaceutical companies more market share.
In a most unholy political-pharmaceutical alliance, the drug companies have been highly-connected to the Bush family for 3 generations. The elder Bush served on the board of Eli Lily and President Bush appointed an Eli Lily CEO (Sidney Taurel) to the Department of Homeland Security. How the initiative works is simply to convince more people they need to be on psychiatric medication. The well-documented dangers inherent with these types of drugs, for obvious reasons, aren’t being discussed in The Wall Street Journal or on ABC News. It shouldn’t surprise you to note that the television networks and newspapers running stories about ‘ killer’ herbs and vitamins are chock-full of ads for prescription drugs. Rudyard Kipling was right: Words are, indeed the most powerful drug used by mankind! Add newspeak to the mix and what was healthful has now become “dangerous”, what is inherently toxic has now become good for you.
And it’s all about the $20 billion.
2004 Mary Starrett – All Rights Reserved