“PharmaPrinting”: The Medical Industrial Complex Wants Control of Your Herbs
Copyright © 1996 by John Hammell (Reproduction Encouraged: Please Reprint Widely- Permission Given to Reprint as Is)
In a matter directly related to the Codex International Threat to Health Freedom, on December 4th, an alarming press release came to my attention titled: “New Technology, Global Initiative to Bring Herbal Medicines into Modern Medical Science Announced by World Health Organization Today.”
In the press release, the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Drug Monitoring announced a new technology called “PharmaPrinting”, which… “produces pharmaceutical versions of herbal medicines that previously could not be standardized, patented, clinically tested, approved by government agencies, prescribed by doctors, nor reimbursed by governments or insurance companies.”
In other words, the World Health Organization, and PharmaPrint, Inc. of Irvine, CA have announced to the world in stark, Godlike fashion that they have just… “improved”… upon the natural herbs which billions of people have used for thousands of years with fantastic results. Read on for the gory details of how this scam is being perpetrated, and learn what must be done to fight back!
Merry Christmas, From The Medical Industrial Complex: “We’ve Just Patented Mistletoe”
I first became aware of “PharmaPrint Inc.” just before Christmas when they announced the first patent ever issued for successfully “bioprinting” and accurately replicating a mistle-toe based compound called T4GEN. In this press release it was announced that “mistletoe is already used on an unregulated basis” in the treatment of some cancer and AIDS patients in Europe, but “previously could not be pursued as a pharmaceutical because it could not be patented, standardized, precisely dosed, and clinically tested as a pharmaceutical for FDA approval.”
The press release went on to say that “until this patent, no multiple molecule herbal medicine has ever been successfully patented as a pharmaceutical.” Furthermore, the press release stated that “Consumer Reports magazine estimates that herbal medicines now being sold on an unregulated basis through U.S. retail stores represent a $1.5 billion market growing at more than 15 percent annually.”
What Is So Called “PharmaPrinting”?
According to an industry trade report called the F-D-C Tan Sheet (December 2, 1996), “PharmaPrinting uses separation technologies such as HPLC, gas chromatography, electrophoresis and two dimensional SDS PAGE and integrates these technologies with in vitro bioactivity models such as L1210 cell inhibition.” The article goes on to say that the process takes “nine months to complete.”
So, “PharmaPrinting” is used to identify and precisely measure the quantity of bioactivity of each active compound in a botanically- derived medicine, and at the risk of sounding like a neo-luddite, I question whether this knowledge is really necessary for anyone to benefit from the healing properties of herbs?
The F-D-C Tan Sheet (December 2, 1996) announced a joint venture between PharmaPrint, Inc. and the University of Miami to use so called “PharmaPrinting” to develop a pharmaceutical version of a natural medicine derived from saw palmetto berry extracts currently “being used on an unregulated basis to treat benign prostate enlargement,” the company noted. PharmaPrint has also announced their intention to go after echinacea (for cold and flu symptoms), ginkgo (for reducing memory loss), St.John’s Wort (for treatment of depression) valerian (as a sedative), and tgugu lipid gum (for lowering cholesterol.)
I wonder how our Creator feels about these ambitious commercial plans to wring every last ounce of profit from the herbs of the world while the high cost of health care is breaking the backs of the people of the earth?
Perhaps the owners and stockholders of so called “PharmaPrint, Inc.” will discover exactly how after they shuffle off this immortal coil.
Traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange as PPRT, in a November 11th analysts report, M.H. Myerson proclaimed PharmaPrint to be a “strong buy” and predicted that by the year 2000, the company would be generating revenues of “$104 million.” Furthermore, the report stated that PharmaPrinting a botanical drug costs approximately $500,000. and can be performed in six months, including validating manufacturing under Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines and filing for patent protection. Phase I/II clinical trials cost an additional $1.5 million, and take an additional 18 months to complete, while Phase III trials cost an estimated $5- $20 million, and require an estimated 2-3 years to complete.
The question, of course, is at who’s expense will this be done, and what does this portend for consumers of natural herbal products and the natural products industry? After the medical industrial complex spends billions to patent the herbs of the world, won’t they want to PROTECT their “investment” and drive all natural products out of the marketplace? As reported by Ron Birckhead in the April 1996 issue of Life Extension Magazine (“Update on the Codex Threat,” p.32) this has ALREADY been happening in the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland, due to the fact that these nations have been harmonizing their domestic law with the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Dietary Supplements, (which Birckhead states are very similar to the German and Canadian Codex proposals which are currently at step 5 of an 8 step finalization process.
W.H.O. Announces Global Campaign, L.E.F Announces Resistance
At a briefing in Washington D.C. on December 4th, the WHO group announced a world wide effort to standardize information about herbal medicines working with the University of Exeter, U.K., and the Royal Botanic Gardens (known popularly as Kew Gardens). Professor Ivor Ralph Edwards, Director of Drug Monitoring for the Collaborating Center, said, “About 80 percent of all therapies in use in many countries are made from herbs according to tradition and experience, and most of these are multi-molecule herbal medicines that previously could not be standardized into pharmaceutical versions. As a result, it was previously impossible to clinically establish whether or not they perform as intended and some may even cause harm if used incorrectly.”
This announcement by WHO dovetails nicely with the Canadian proposal for herbs which I reported on in my Codex Report From Bonn, and in “Report From the Battlefield” which appeared in the January and February issues of (Life Extension Magazine.) It comes as no surprise to me that the Canadian Research Council (CNRC) in Montreal has an agreement with PharmaPrint, Inc. for developing standard operating procedures for each of the manufacturing methods and validating each of the processes used in bioprinting.
All of this is entirely consistent with the recent pattern of the Canadian “Health Protection Branch” to require “DIN” or “Drug Identification Numbers” on any herb or dietary supplement on which even a shred of a claim is made. In an article titled “Identity Crisis- The Growing Controversy Over Herbs in Canada” by Mary Fran McQuade (Health Naturally, October/November 1996), an epic battle over the control of herbs is brewing north of the border.
“Its shaping up to be an epic battle, a clash of conflicting world views: scientific reductionism (taking a thing apart and studying its individual parts) versus herbal holism- the view that “if it works, regulate it” versus the view that “if it works, lets use it.”
Joel Thuna, of Ontario based Global Botanicals reported in Health Naturally that “its illegal to bring in almost anything”- yohimbe, horsetail, goldenseal, and pau d’arco are just a few of the examples he cites.
In an article published in the October/November issue of Health Naturally titled “Who Will Protect Us From the Protectors” by Gorge Profonde, he states that the HPB “claims to have sole authority to classify ANY substance as a drug. It doesn’t matter if that substance is safe, effective and honestly promoted. It doesn’t matter that it may have been used by millions of people for thousands of years. It does not matter that the HPB cannot produce a shred of evidence that anyone has ever been harmed by it. If the HPB decides that ANY food extract or herb is a drug, consumers lose. That product is either completely removed from the market, or slowly regulated to death.” (Gorge Profonde is a pseudonym- the author fears retaliation from the HPB.)
(For more information on Canadian regulation contact Marie LeMaire, Special Advisor on Complementary Medicines FAX 613-954-6511.
CHENEY AND YETLEY TEAM UP TO RIP-OFF CONSUMERS AT CODEX MEETING
In my previous articles I reported that in early October of 1996, at the Bonn meeting of the Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Dr. Mary Cheney of Canada initially stated that Canada was backing off from a proposal made two years previously at a Codex meeting in Vancouver, and was no longer recommending that a negative list be formed of herbal products to ban their international sale, but she later reversed her position.
Cheney stated that Canada was backing off from this position due to a “large volume of consumer complaints received in Ottawa from Canadian citizens.” Cheney went on to reverse her position two days later (the meeting lasted 5 days) when she stated: “This committee lacks the time and expertise necessary to properly address the issue of a negative list for herbs, therefor I propose the formation of a panel of experts from WHO/FAO who can go on to address this issue if the Codex Executive Committee approves funding for the expert panel when they meet in June.” Given the fact that Cheney failed to return any of my phone calls prior to the Bonn meeting when I sought information on her position, I was not surprised to observe this sort of duplicity.
Despite the fact that the American delegation was supposed to be a working group in which our government rep was supposedly interested in our views, the first person to raise a hand to second Dr.Cheney was none other than Dr.Yetley of the FDA. Yetley’s hand shot up there without asking ANY of the other American delegates, including me, what we thought of the Canadian proposal. Are we all being railroaded?
(For information on the 20th Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use see ALINORM 97/26- FAO/WHO joint office Rome, Italy, FAX 6-5225-4593, Tel. 52251. Next comments period deadline April 30, 1997.)
DON’T GET MAD! GET EVEN! HERES HOW:
Several things must be done to stop the sinister plans of the medical industrial complex:
1. You must join and or contribute money to the Life Extension Foundation. Reason: We are the only organization in the world working to spearhead the formation of an international coalition to monkeywrench the German and Canadian Codex Proposals.
We are actively alerting the dietary supplement industry and consumers all over the world and have already catalyzed the formation of an umbrella group in Canada to spearhead opposition to the HPB.
We are working tirelessly to bring a public health message to the world via radio, TV, the World Wide Web, and actual visits to foreign countries in an effort to rally the people of the world. This is expensive, time consuming, and draining. Without your help, we can’t keep doing it.
Currently, I have been operating a one man Political Office here, working 80 plus hour weeks in an effort to sound an alarm to the world. With money, we can hire more people. I could easily put a staff of a dozen people or more to very good use, but we need your active support in order for this dream team to materialize. Please copy and reprint this article and spread it far and wide.
Please visit our website for updates. Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, or our main office via email@example.com
Call our main office to join at 800-841-LIFE, or 954-766-8433.
Send checks made out to Life Extension Foundation to: NOCODEX!- Life Extension Foundation PO Box 229120, Hollywood, FL 33022 USA. Please urge your local health food store and favorite vitamin or herb company to donate money to us and to help spread the word. If we don’t hang together, we will soon be hanging separately.
Beware of spin control, lies, and the misinformed- for they are everywhere as people and companies sell out to the medical industrial complex. Many lack the vision necessary to see this threat. Show them this article, and help me wake everyone up.
In Canada, along with joining LEF, join the Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom, Robert McMaster, Ste. 937- 6021 Yonge St., North York, Ontario, M2M 3W2, Tel. 416-207-0727, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Gord Coleman, Editor, Free World News, #1010 5334 Yonge St., North York, Ontario, M2N 6V1, Canada, Tel. 416-590-9641, FAX 416-590-9641, email: JGColeman@FreeWorldNews.com
In other countries see our Website or email me at email@example.com
2. Please send and personally give this article to your elected officials. They are in office to serve YOU, not to genuflect to the medical industrial complex. If they fail to do as you wish, vote them out of office.
Tell Senators, Congressmen, and Members of Parliament that you want your nation to pull OUT of the United Nations, and that you DO NOT approve of the actions of the so called “World Health Organization” relative to this issue. Get on the radio, write op-ed pieces to your local newspaper, set up booths at all the health food stores and hand out this article, get on the internet and help me sound the alarm to the people of the world.
Pray, if you believe in God as I do. If you don’t believe in God, please meditate on this and seek guidance from deep within yourself- ask yourself if you think we deserve this gross mistreatment from the medical industrial complex?
3. Deluge the FDA, HPB, TGA, and their various regulatory counterparts world wide with complaints about this! Go to our website, find out who your countries Codex Representative is, and express your feelings about this to that person. Be polite, but firm. Get their fax number and email address, then swamp them with billions of faxes and email messages in order to shut them down. Remember: we outnumber them and can easily shut them down. LEF has been doing this to the FDA for years with great success.
4. Organize demonstrations in front of their buildings, and alert the media via press releases to publicize your outrage. Reprint this article in your magazine or newsletter. Send it to your friends and family. Give copies out on the street, and in front of your local health food store. Get your health food store keeper to photocopy it and hand it out to each and every customer. Alert other activists from other causes: Don’t get mad, get even!
5. In the United States, (or from any country) let Dr. Beth Yetley of the American FDA know precisely how you feel about the fact that she seconded Cheney’s proposal without asking anyone on the American delegation if they thought this was a good idea. She can be reached at:
US Codex Rep, Director,
Office of Special Nutritionals
HFS-45, US Food and Drug Administration
200 C St. S.W., Washington, DC 20204
6. In Canada, (or from any country) let Dr. Mary Cheney of the Canadian HPB know exactly how you feel about her proposal to create a negative list of herbs to ban them from international sale. Let her know that she has been caught lying to the Canadian people and to the people of the world. She can be reached at:
Dr.Mary Cheney, Canadian Codex Rep.
Chief, Nutrition Evaluation Division
Food Directorate, Health Protection Branch
Tunney’s Pasture, Postal Locator: 2203A, Ottawa, Ontario, K1AOL2, Tel.
613-957-0352, FAX 613-941-6636 Send copies of any correspondence to> these people to your elected officials, to the media, and to me. Send a fax a day, make a phone call a day. If everyone did this, we’d shut them down in no time flat!
To express your views to PharmaPrint Inc.:
4 Park Plaza, Ste. 1900
Irvine, CA, 92614 USA
Traded NASDAQ: PPRT
James Burgess, Vice President Public Relations
At the Financial Relations Board:
Steve Seiler, Media Contact