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Canadian Quackery Watch - Hot Topics

Terry Polevoy on TV
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  • Strauss Heartdrops Approved by the NHPD -- So What!!!

    After years of trying to get their products approved by the government in Canada, the Strauss Herb Company can now brag that some of their products, including the Heartdrops, have been recognized by the NHPD with a NPN in March 2012.

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    1. Does that prove that the health claims that have been made for the Heartdrops have any validity in the real world?

    2. Will the $7 million dollars that they claim that they spent on research and legal costs for their products up until March 2012 be made public?

    3. How will they answer to the serious implications of the ONLY STUDY that has actually been published in a recognized peer-reviewed scientific journal revealed that Strauss Heartdrops, when given to mice, caused serious problems:

      "...mice treated with Strauss Heartdrops developed significant hearing loss and severe atherosclerosis and hair cell damage in the inner ear."

    4. What did Strauss Herbal Company submit as evidence to the NHPD for the Heartdrops?

    5. Did the NHPD ignore, or actually did they not know about the mice study?

    6. Did the Strauss executives who appeared on TV and who were interviewed in the local newspaper actually believe that their business has suffered over the last decade because of my web site?

    7. Why have I been threatened by one of their executives with legal action after their Heartdrops have been "approved" by the NHPD? Why didn't they go after me over the last dozen years?

    8. If the products have been sold internationally on the Internet for years, and marketed by scores of companies, how can they prove that my web site has reduced those sales?

    9. Anyone who has experienced any harmful effects after they started on Heartdrops, or for that matter any Strauss Herb, or other natural health products have the responsibility to contact Health Canada to report these side effects. It may be that the actual number of people who have had side effects are significant.

      Report side effects to Health Canada here

    Have you been injured by
    Strauss Heart Drops?

    After the launch of the NHPD (Natural Health Products Directorate) in 2004, Canadian regulators have rubber-stamped over 43,000 natural health products, including TCM herbs.

    In the EU and UK on the other hand, regulations have restricted thousands of products from making any health claims, and in some cases have prosecuted those cases. The natural products industry in Europe, and around the world have had a difficult fight on their hands.

    Not so in Canada, eh!! --- A study of Canadian regulatory efforts in the matter of functional foods, which includes health claims made by products was a big endictment when compared to world standards.

    Even British Columbia, a government that said it wanted to regulate some practitioners of alternative medicine, stands back and allow charlatans of every sort to ply their trades from one end of the Province to the other.

    Some people have some reasonable objection to any regulation, but so far nothing has been done to stamp out any quackery.

    Finally, when the RCMP had Strauss by the herbal balls in 1999, a British Columbia judge said that the case was not worthy of prosecution.

    Despite all of the laws, all of the enforcement agencies and the court cases, no one had EVER succeeded in removing any of his products from the market until Health Canada warnings were issued in 2005 for three products that contained a toxic herb chapparal, and in 2006 for Strauss Energy Six, a dangerous concoction containing yohimbine. Yohimbine has been the subject of scores of complaints and prosecutions by the FTC in the U.S. over the years, so why did Strauss, who couldn't help but know this bring any product with Yohimbine to the market in the first place.

    We know that Strauss's companies and distributors clearly flaunted the laws of B.C. and Canada for decades because Health Canada was unable to prosecute. Has that cut into their sales? Why, it probably helped them in the long run.

    Strauss Herbal Products are obviously still on the market and some of the products that they have marketed are seriously questionable. Yet, Health Canada has failed to stop their promotion. Their distributors, including those on the internet, Kijiji and E-bay, market the heart drops and other products to the weak and vulnerable, and especially to seniour citizens across Canada.

    In March 2012, shortly after the approval was granted by the NHPD, I was threatened with potential legal action by one of their executives who sent me bizarre, dysjointed emails from his wife's email account. Why he contacted me in this manner was really puzzling.

    He had appeared on a Kamloops CVJC-TV station and spewed his anger over and over again at Health Canada. He even said that their lawsuit might resume against them which was launched years ago.

    He also was interviewed by the Kamloops Weekly and couldn't stop whining about the government interference. Why is he still angry? After all, the company spent $7 million over the years on what was called "research", and legal fees to get their products through the regulators and avoid conviction. Shouldn't he be proud that the company has reached "star status". Maybe the claims made that they had applied to the FDA could be used to sell their stuff. After all, Strauss's company had made those claims years ago. Are they true?

    In fact, Strauss Herbs over the years have had a number of products rejected for various reasons. Just plug in Strauss Herbs to a Google search of the FDA and you can see of some of the problems that they have had..

    If you really want a look at some of their other wonderful products that are on their distributors lists and on their web site, have fun with these:

    1. Bodi Detox Patch

    2. Immune Power Oil - with marijuana oil. Rick Simpson has a series of YouTube.com videos called Run From The Cure on the subject of all the wonderful things that hemp oil can do for serious illnesses like terminal cancer. Is it the same stuff marketed by Strauss Herbs, or not, I don't know. He runs a business out of a web site called Phoenix Tears. Rick travels around the world hawking hemp oil. He also instructs people how to make their own oil, just in case the commercial stuff is not good enough for your needs.A few years ago he had a link to Strauss Immune Power Oil on one of his forums.

      On September 10, 2001, the day before the terrorist attack on America, the U.S. Senate held a landmark hearing into the abuse of senior citizens by the diet and supplement industry. A major player in that game of snake-oil used Canada as a haven to become perhaps the world's largest supplement scam artist. Although it wasn't Strauss, it could have been.

      I wonder how many Canadian citizens have been convinced to take Strauss's products, or follow the crazy dietary recommendations made by their distributors over the last 32 years? How many of them have done that, and then postponed surgery, a procedure, gone off their life-saving medication, or stopped going to their doctor altogether?

      How many have continued to have pain, or perhaps even died because the Strauss brigades have convinced them that all pharmaceuticals are bad, and that only his natural things are good.

      How many radio hosts across the Canadian A.M. radio bands have willfully participated in the promotion of Strauss's products, or any other herbal or so-called "natural" health products, knowing that they were getting paid to do it? What role would that have in any litigation, should someone press charges against the radio station owners for spreading misinformation, thereby endangering the public? Why in Quebec, journalists might even rot in jail. if they participate in an infomercial.

      The Peter Warren show was not an infomercial, it was a direct head to head battle for the truth. I think I told the truth. As for Jim Strauss, he resorted to dirty tricks by pulling "Tim Bolen" out of his greasy can of herbal goop. This most reserved and bearded 80 year old fellow, who thinks he is the god of all herbalists, felt that he had every right to slander me by repeating the words of one of the world's least reliable people. Strauss himself said that he believes in the Twelve Commandments, and never lies. I wonder what those other two commandments were?

      The problem is basically this, the Peter Warren show is carried on the internet and around the world. I think that Strauss's statements about me were intended to libel me personally. They had nothing to do with the topic at hand and were certainly aimed to destroy my credibility, personally and professionally. In fact a tape is in the hands of our attorney for review. This is not a case of a defamation being repeated on the internet, this was live radio folks. Strauss has no position left. He can't hide behind some decision based in the U.S. that says that it's o.k. to defame or libel someone on the internet by repeating the slander of defamation of others.

      If you, or a member of your family have taken Strauss Heart Drops and feel that you have been taken advantage or, or perhaps injured by products sold by the Strauss Herbal Products and/or their distributors you can file a complaint with HealthWatcher.net. We will make sure that your complaint gets posted, and investigated to the fullest. We will not wait for any government agency to do the job. HealthWatcher.net is ready to rumble with a class action:

    3. Class Action

      Terry Polevoy, M.D.

    Yohimbine warning - another Strauss product in trouble

    April 10, 2006
    • Health Canada advises consumers not to use Strauss Energy SIX capsules or other unapproved products containing yohimbine or yohimbe bark. The use of any unapproved products containing yohimbine, that have not been prescribed by a physician, may result in serious adverse reactions, particularly in people with high blood pressure, heart, kidney or liver disease. Strauss Energy SIX is not authorized for sale in Canada but is promoted to increase energy levels, build body mass, and restore or enhance sexual performance, and is available at retail outlets and over the Internet. The manufacturer has refused to comply with Health Canada's request to stop selling the product. Health Canada will take further action to remove the product from the market.

      A few years ago I met a senior official from Strauss Herbal at the Total Health Expo in Toronto and he introduced me to James Lunney, Member of Parliament from the Nanaimo area of Vancouver Island. This Strauss "heavy" regularly appears on panels attacking any control of the nutraceutical industry in Canada. In what must have been an uncontrolled fit of madness he told me that he was personally working hard to ensure that top officials and inspectors of Health Canada would be removed from their positions of power and also see to it that their pensions were taken away. And he named names if you can believe that. Why would Mr. Strauss employ people like that? The conversation is archived for anyone who wants to read it, just in case you doubt my word.

    Vitamind - or out of their minds?

    • Wayne Elliott's Vitamind salesjob on CFPL - June 12, 2004 When asked on London, Ontario's AM-980 about Vitamind during his one hour infomercial, Wayne rattled off a dozen or more herbs that he said had saved a tortured family from bipolars (sic) after three of their members committed suicide. Funny how similar the "real" Vitamind formula from Strauss is to another more familiar blend of vitamins/minerals/herbs from the boys in Alberta. Follow the pitch because you can't lose, it's 100% guaranteed, according to Mr. Elliott. Do you suppose that his contract with the Strauss company allows him to sell colloidal silver, and penis and mood elevators made by U.S. companies. The more I hear Elliott, the more he sounds like Nick Jerch, or Trueman Tuck, and Len Horowitz.

    Strauss and son face the music

    • Health Canada charges Strauss family with 73 violations - Kamloops Daily News - January 15, 2003 An 81-year-old Kamloops herbalist and his son face dozens of charges under the Canada Food and Drug Act, including false advertising and deceptive packaging. The charges allege the pair falsely advertised each of the products as a treatment or cure for a variety of ailments, and labelled and packaged each “in an manner that is false, misleading and deceptive.” It’s also alleged the products lack expiry dates, lot numbers and drug identification numbers. Strauss just returned from a business and promotions trip "down under".

    Have you been injured by
    Strauss Heart Drops?

    Our Federal government won't help you get even. In fact they don't care if you want to poison yourself. Their policy of keeping their hands-off the herbal and natural food industry in this country is one of the biggest disappointments to public health I have ever seen.

    Even British Columbia, a government that said it wanted to regulate some practitioners of alternative medicine, stands back and allow charlatans of every sort to ply their trades from one end of the Province to the other.

    Some people have some reasonable objection to any regulation, but so far nothing has been done to stamp out any quackery.

    Finally, when the RCMP had Strauss by the herbal balls in 1999, a British Columbia judge said that the case was not worthy of prosecution. We want to know why the RCMP has not gone after him again. He is certainly snubbing more than his nose in the air at any regulation or control. All of the laws, all of the enforcement agencies and the court have failed to take action against Strauss and his company's continuous violations of the law, both Provincial and Federal. Instead of scaring him, the government has indeed allowed him to thrive.

    Strauss Herbal Products continue to be marketed around the world. Their distributors, including the ones on the internet, and those on E-bay, take direct aim at the weak and vulnerable, and especially our seniour citizens across Canada.

    But, not until today, on the Peter Warren show, did they sink so low. Jim Strauss decided that he'd pull a "Tim Bolen" on the audience. This most reserved bearded 80 year old fellow, who thinks he is God of all herbalists, just reached down into his bag of tricks and slandered me personally on international radio. Only this show is carried on the internet around the world. I think that little act by itself deserves a review by a barrister or solicitor. This is not a case of a defamation being repeated on the internet, this was live radio folks.

    If you, or a member of your family have taken Strauss Heart Drops and feel that you have been taken advantage or, or perhaps injured by products sold by the Strauss Herbal Products and/or their distributors you can file a complaint with HealthWatcher.net. We will make sure that your complaint gets posted, and investigated to the fullest. We will not wait for any government agency to do the job. HealthWatcher.net is ready to rumble with a class action:

  • Strauss Complaints

    Terry Polevoy, M.D.
  • Strauss HEART DROPS

    Jim Strauss in critical condition

    This section was originally posted in May 2002, right after Jim Strauss was rushed to the hospital with an aortic aneurysm.

    BULLETIN - MAY 24, 2002 - CHML's favourite guest is in critical condition in the sixth floor north of the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, British Columbia. His distributors are preparing for the worst. If Strauss doesn't make it, what will they tell the public?

    Perhaps his listeners can send him flowers or something like that.

    311 Columbia St.
    Kamloops, BC V2G 2T1
    Tel: (250) 374-5111
    Fax: (250) 372-0330

    Strauss apparently has an IV connected to his neck, and apparently does not look well at all. He has an aneurysm, and according to Mosby's Medical Dictionary it's "a localized dilation of the wall of a blood vessel. It is usually caused by atherosclerosis and hypertension, or less frequently by trauma, infection or a congenital weakness in the vessel wall".

    His heart drops as advertised on CHML were designed by him to "unclog arteries". If his condition was caused by atherosclerosis, (clogging of the arteries with plaque), then it would appear his product failed him. In over 20 years of making the stuff, he never disclosed the true formula. He claimed that it was a family secret. But, whatever it was or is, it obviously did not prevent him from getting an aneurysm.

    Strauss is 79, DOB is October 31, 1922.

    I think it's about time that Larry Silver at CHML hangs up his warm up jacket for what may be the final inning in a losing ballgame. It seems that the Strauss team is about to be without a skipper.

    I think CHML should seize the moment, and go to its bullpen and hand the microphone and headset to Wayne Elliott of the PC Natural Health company from Pt. Colbourne. Let's see him explain to all those people that he has been educating over the last year, why the Strauss Herbal products didn't work for the inventor himself.

    It's about time that paid programming be announced on the air, and why not invite Jim Strauss to call in from his hospital bed for some really good community reporting.

    On May 24, 2002, I received a rebuttal to a complaint I filed with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council about the Strauss broadcasts. Bob Sherwin, who is the latest CHML program director stated that anyone who appears on their show is "merely voicing their opinions and not doing anything in contravention of the law."

    Where have the people at Corus radio network been hiding out? Are there deep underground caves without access to the internet in Hamilton? Don't they know when someone is not telling the truth about a particular product? Common sense is something they left in the wood shed back home.

    Have they not spoken with Health Canada about Strauss? Have they not read his written attacks on our government regulators?

    Mr. Sherwin is hiding his head in the sand. It is obvious to me that CHML has to know what is going on. He said he didn't have enough information to go on. Well, I suggest that he read this web site for a start.

    In particular, I think he should read the transcripts below. There are many more where they come from, but then again, he's running a business, and perhaps he doesn't have time to face up to his responsibilities as program director. Perhaps he would do his community a big service and educate himself about dangerous herbs, of false advertising, and all the rest of the story.

    The details are all here, he just has to take a peak, and open his eyes.

    Terry Polevoy, MD
    HealthWatcher.net

    Who cares about clinical studies anyway?

    DATE: October 4, 2001

    PRODUCT: Strauss HEART DROPS
    RADIO STATION: CHML - AM-900 - HAMILTON, ONTARIO

    1. Jim and Peter Strauss have marketed their dubious "Strauss Heart Drops" for years from British Columbia. No actions have been taken to stop them from marketing their bogus herbal mixture to cure serious disease.
    2. Their facilities have not been approved by Health Canada.
    3. Their claims are not allowed under Federal regulations.
    4. They continue to advise clients as if they are health providers. A court case against them failed to stop their activities.
    5. Strauss Herbal Products are marketed heavily across Canada. Their distributors spend thousands of dollars a month for advertising and promotion, especially in Ontario.
    6. Many of these companies also continue to market dangerous and banned herbs and are directly linked to Strauss and his company. Any consumer can find them on the internet.
    7. Companies in British Columbia send Strauss Heart Drops to the U.S. despite the FDA rulings.
    October 2001

    Radio station CHML - AM-900 in Hamilton, Ontario began the promotion of their show called "Ask the Experts", a Saturday afternoon spot, usually reserved for hucksters and wise men/women who have something to sell. It doesn't take an expert to see that snake-oil usually floats to the top. And "Ask the Experts" is a prime example of Canadian-based health fraud artists to ply their trade.

    When I originally heard their promotions throughout the day, I called toll-free phone numbers, and listened to the sales pitch from the hucksters in Port Colborne, home of PC Natural Health Company. The operator really made my day. I know she didn't know who I was, and why I was really calling. After what she said, and what I know about Strauss Heart Drops claims, it rekindled my interest in the company.

    Health Canada, and other regulators in British Columbia should have taken firm action against this company years ago. Instead they buckled under and let them scam the world with wild claims and products supported by testimonials. It makes a mockery of the natural health products industry, its regulators (yeah right), and Health Canada.

    CHML must recognize the fact that their broadcast license might be in jeopardy because of their support and promotion for products like this. I guess they don't care. The bottom line are profits.

    According to an article from the Vancouver Courier in June 2001, Health Canada says that they are investigating Strauss.

    The ad for Strauss Heart Drops appears to violate the federal Food and Drug Act, which prohibits companies from making therapeutic claims for medical conditions that require a doctorâs intervention. Health Canada, which acts on complaints about such infractions every month, is now investigating the Strauss case.

    Advertising department needs to wise up says a letter to the editor about Strauss Heart Drops - June 25, 2001 - Vancouver Courier.

    Seriously guys, someone should slap a few heads in your sales/creative departments for letting this crap get into print. Especially considering your readership, many of whom I suspect are infirm and are literally dying for such a medical miracle. Anyone in advertising knows the kinds of claims made by this advertiser must receive proper clearance by the Canadian Advertising Foundation or another watchdog. Needless to say, this kind of absurd copy would never survive even superficial scrutiny.

    Google groups lively discussion raises many issues

    • Wendy and the battle of the Teds - March-April 2000
    • Jim Strauss stands to make one hell of a lot of money by lying to innocent idiots who buy his products.
    • My "response" to you is that you are a charlatan, a weasel, one of the lower life forms, since you prey on the fear and pain of sick people. But let's not forget that YOU HAVE NOT RESPONDED TO ONE QUESTION I POSED TO YOU. NOT ONE. Just so we're clear.
    • Along with curing neuropathy, this site claims that with the use of Strauss drops, "...glasses are retired, eyesight improves, new hair color and growth, better complexion, memory improvements, more energy, leg pain diminishes, nitro no longer needed, improved hearing, aneurysm diminishes,... arteries unplugged, blood pressure lowers, off heart medication...helps toothache, varicose veins diminish in size, psoriasis gone, diabetic's circulation improves, cholesterol lowers." This site also says "There are no side effects." Damn, I bet it even helps people walk on water!
    • Hmmmm, sounds familiar, doesn't it? But wait: this site offers something special
      THE REASON WHY WE'VE NEVER HEARD OF THIS MIRACLE CURE IS (drum roll, please):
      "The answer· Advertising dollars. It costs a fortune to fight the governmental and medical establishments."
    • "If Canada became the alternative medicine capital of the world, Canadians and Americans wouldnât have to flock to Mexico and the Philippines to try the latest cancer treatment. Think of the tourist dollars this might generate!"
    • Hey they might also unplug the kitchen sink if it was made out of a natural substance?
    • There are some snake oil products touted around here that are undoubtedly harmless -- you'll lose your money but little else. There are others, like this one, which are potentially dangerous.
    • I mean, just how stupid do you have to be to believe something like this? These drops have been around for twenty years? And this is the first we've heard of it? Shrinks enlarged hearts, unclogs plugged arteries, eliminates angina pain, and this is the first we've heard of it? I mean, if this actually worked, don't you think that the entire world would be onto it by now? Oh no, wait, I forgot: it's the military-industrial-drug cabal keeping this important medical development a secret, so they can make money on their surgeries and medicines.


    Strauss Heart Drops fail the test --- Reality!!

    There is absolutely no evidence that this product made by Jim Strauss and his company in British Columbia does what they say. In fact this is blatant consumer fraud. So far no level of government has taken action to remove their products from the market.

    Does Phil Waddington, who is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, and who is the new head of the latest incarnation of the Natural Health Products Directorate have anything to say about this, or any other herbal health scam? You bet he doesn't!! While many of us are still waiting for Phil to say something to the Canadian public about why he does nothing to control rampant consumer health fraud in the health food industry, Phil puts on his other jacket, and speaks to the Canadian Health Food Association at one of their meetings.

    But, the NHPD did publish their Proposed Regulatory Framework on September 21, 2001. I don't believe that there is anyone who really believes that the publication of this work will change a thing.

    While associations and media agencies ignore health product regulation, Health Canada would seem to be doing the same in regards to products like these.

    The FDA in the U.S. has very harsh criticism of the Strauss Heart Drops. Larry Silver, CHML radio personality in Hamilton, Ontario will be schlepping for these people on Saturday, October 6, 2001 in his "Ask the Experts" infomercial show. This is not news, or information, it is part of a misinformation campaign.

    It is very typical of CHML's paid presentations that market quack remedies, and bogus treatments to the public on a regular basis.

    www.900chml.com - the infomercial was broadcast from 1:06 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT on CHML AM-900 in Hamilton. The show was repeated on Saturday, October 20, with new callers, and same old format.

    I suggest that CHML cancel the show because their station's signal reaches U.S. listeners. The FDA has attempted to stop these people from marketing this stuff in the U.S. It is wrong for a Canadian based radio station to help market these and other bogus products to the public.

    Here is a list of specific sites that might be of interest to those who are in a position to assist the public:

    "The agency (FDA) is taking steps to warn our citizens that drugs promoted and sold via the Internet, from foreign sources, may not be approved for marketing in this country, and may not be legally imported. With copies of this letter, we are advising the regulatory drug officials in the countries from which you operate of these potential violations. In addition, we are advising the U.S. Custom's Service through an Import Alert that all shipments offered for importation into the United States as a result of your activities may be detained and subject to refusal of entry."

  • Click here for a link to FDA Cyber Letters web site with links to complaints.

    Needless to say, I think that Larry Silver and the other folks at CHML will have no trouble at all finding some of their advertizers on this site.

    Heart Monday with Don Wiskin - Susan Cameron-Block radio show This article describes what happened when Strauss went to court in British Columbia.

    Notorious cancer quack Hulda Clark featured the Strauss case on her web page. We don't know why it was dismissed in B.C. and why Health Canada has failed to take action.

    I called the toll free number that CHML provided on their promotional spot that I heard today today, October 3, 2001 - 888-937-3382

    I spoke to someone named Debbie who told me that the Strauss Heart Drops unclogged blocked arteries.

    Why does Health Canada ignore the fact that even though the FDA has serious complaints about this company, they have so far done nothing.

    Why does this company continue to market their products on the internet, and at health food shows?

  • www.NaturalHeartMedicine.com - English language

  • www.naturalheartmedicine.com Other products Hey, in case you think that it's o.k. to market bogus supplements for your heart, this company has the balls to market comfrey here. This was banned from internal use years ago in Canada, and was the subject of FTC actions this summer:

  • Google search for FDA banned comfrey

  • Scan the www.naturalheartmedicine.com for other bogus claims to treat cancer,and a host of other diseases. On November 6, 2001 less than 48 hours after Strauss appeared on the Peter Warren show with Terry Polevoy, the site was dead. They say it was because they were updating it. Yeah, right.

    Why haven't the folks in the new Natural Health Products Directorate taken action.

    Are they too busy taking French lessons?

    Herbalinks a poppin'

    Pay attention to their links, particularly the testimonials, the FAQs etc.

  • www.luckyforus.com/news.htm - I don't see anywhere in this web site where Health Canada has approved of the manufacturing process.

  • Lucky for Us - Strauss Heart Drops -- Oh, but the way, the stuff lasts forever, and doesn't have to be refrigerated. Boy are we lucky on that one. If it helps 85% of people, what happened to the other 15%?

    BTW - I didn't see any disclaimers on this web site.

  • Strauss and his group was in Toronto earlier this year and had one of the largest booths at the Total Health Expo at the Toronto Convention Centre. I picked up lots of literature from them. All of it made wild and unsubtantiated claims.

    Real Herbal News

    In conclusion:

  • This company has flaunted its products for years. Nothing has been done to stop them.
  • We call on all levels of government, and the media to take whatever action necessary to protect the public.

  • Canadian Quackerywatch

  • DietFraud.com

  • ChiroWatch.com
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