Last modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Other side of unapproved drugs needs to be presented to public


The authors of Pig Pills, Inc., The Anatomy of an Academic and Alternative Health Fraud, are grateful for the opportunity to respond to the latest in the series of articles in the Lethbridge Herald about Truehope and their marketing efforts.

Over the years, The Herald has done its best to present the distributors of unapproved drugs as local heroes. In our opinion, this support for Truehope has interfered with objective reporting. In the recent article of Jan. 11, the reporter portrayed us inaccurately and presented opinion as fact. Your readers deserve more accuracy.

We strongly object to the statement that we have received money from the drug industry to support a campaign against Truehope. The reporter is twisting the truth. Mr. Ross is a member of Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and, as such, was invited to speak in Ottawa at a public meeting, as well as to the medical staff at two hospitals. The Ottawa chapter reimbursed him for his airfare, lodging, and meals. He received no payment for his lectures. Dr. Polevoy and Mr. Reinhold have received nothing. We do not believe this constitutes being "openly sponsored by pharmaceutical firms," and we reject the insinuation that our opposition to Truehope is motivated by alleged support from the pharmaceutical industry. It is not. We object to Truehope's activities and the research at Calgary because they violate ethical and scientific guidelines and Canadian law, and because they deceive and endanger Canadians.

Since 1997 Tony Stephan and David Hardy, two local businessmen, have distributed various products as a treatment, if not an outright "miracle cure" for serious medical problems. Their theories and claims are unproven, and their drug products, varying in name and formula over time, (Synergy Quad Program, E.M. Power+, Empower+, Empowerplus), cannot be legally distributed for research or treatment in Canada. Last summer, Health Canada classified Empowerplus as a health hazard.

The Herald reporter decries the action taken by Health Canada to stop research at the University of Calgary, but doesn't seem to have wondered why they did so. Every civilized country has stringent ethical guidelines and regulations to protect vulnerable patients from unethical research. The principles of respect for persons, beneficence and justice demand (among other things) that human experiments be scientifically valid, that risks and benefits be proportional, and that the subjects in the research give voluntary informed consent to participate. In many instances these conditions were not fulfilled, and we find this objectionable.

The U.S. Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) investigated research with EMP at the University of Utah and concluded that concerns about the safety of EMP and the risk to the subjects outweighed any potential benefits either to the subjects or society. OHRP also concluded that informed consent was inadequate and the studies were conducted even after the university refused to approve them. (Aug. 19, 2002).

Significant adverse events have been reported with the use of Truehope's products. Two people were hospitalized during the open label study on subjects with bipolar disorder; Health Canada disclosed one significant adverse event requiring medical intervention was reported to the CADRMP (Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Program), and noted the hospitalization of a child in other correspondence; the SSO received a report that a young man attempted suicide, and yet another young man became so unstable he was hospitalized involuntarily and had criminal charges laid against him. To make matters worse, since the Truehope products are manufactured in the U.S., there is no guarantee the label accurately represents the ingredients.

The reporter ignores these problems and writes, "positive results from research are piling up for an entire range of illnesses," and that some studies "have even been stopped early, the results are so dramatic." It is unclear on what basis she has concluded this, and she fails to mention that Truehope isn't selling what was used in the Calgary research. While the reporter is free to disagree with ethical and scientific guidelines for research on humans and Health Canada's attempts to enforce them, she is not free to pretend they don't exist, or are unimportant.


Dundas, Ont.

Positive nativity brings out Pharisees


Re: LDS presentation (which was not an attempt, it was a success).

Wow! The Lethbridge Herald printed a letter by someone who is anti the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There's a novelty.

Actually, I would like to thank Ian Martens and the staff at The Herald for their wonderful coverage of the LDS nativity pageant. My family and I had the opportunity to be a part of it and The Herald has left us with some great memories. It really added to our Christmas and allowed for us to feel of the Spirit during this special time.

However, no matter what service we render to the community, it appears all the modern-day Pharisees and hypocrites come out to play. They strain at gnats and swallow camels (you'll find that in the Bible), play with words, feed babies steak before milk and all that other ungodly stuff. I guess there is a lot to say about "opposition is evidence of truth in motion." (unknown)

Again, thank you to The Herald for great memories and to the Petersons, please "attempt" to have a happy new year.



Letter writers should get all the facts


In reply to Reg and Eve Peterson's comments about the Mormon beliefs of the Conception and their misguided information regarding the birth of the Saviour and the supposed conception and the presentation of the pageant (held annually in thousands of cities throughout the world), first things firstly: The Petersons obviously are not members of the Mormon faith. They are apostates, having been excommunicated.

Secondly, people in this category are always trying to justify their fiction with so-called facts. They take one or two scriptures for their justification. Read on: John 1:14, Jesus Christ was the ONLY SON BEGOTTEN BY THE FATHER. The scriptures the Petersons refer to mean that the Virgin Mary was shrouded or protected by the Holy Ghost, while, however it happened, it was by the Father. NOT THE HOLY GHOST.

They quote Bruce R. McConkie; I have most of his writings and they all state that Jesus the Christ was begotten by the Father. Jesus the Chris, a well-respected book written by James E. Talmage, gives a very clear account that Jesus the Christ was THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF THE FATHER. The Petersons should get all of the facts.