One of our members received a misleading letter from the Health Minster that said "you write that there has not been a death caused by vitamins and minerals in the last 20 years. CARM (Center for Adverse Reactions Monitoring) has recorded three deaths where a CAM (Complementary or Alternative Medicine) may have contributed to or caused the outcome."

All that fuss over a MAY HAVE CAUSED. This has not been backed up by official reports at the Coronor's office.  Even if it was proven on the surface of it, you could therefore say that supplements are approx 5000 times safer than pharmaceutical drugs, except that would be ignoring the fact that many more people use supplements (over half the population). The real figure is therefore (probably) in excess of 30,000 times safer.

"From 1992 to 2006, CARM received a total of 279 reports where a CAM had been implicated in an adverse event.  Of these 257 reports were considered possibly, probably or definitely related to the CAM products of which 53 reports were also considered serious (e.g. fatal, life threatening or required hospitalization)."

We do we begin with this one!  How many of them were definately compared to probably?  That figure is misleading.

We all know that discrimination against NHP's is systemic.  For example.  If you take a drug and vomit and get headaches from it CARM do not take note of it because the drug company has registered it as a known side effect.  So only those side effects not registered count.  For NHP's when an adverse reaction happens, in examining each case, you can usually point to diet, lifestyle or other drugs someone has taken rather than the actual product causing the problem itself. 

In other cases the discrimination clearly shows diametrically opposed paradigms of thinking - when you get a slight headache this can often be part of a detox action or healing crisis.  For the Allopathic tradition that would mean you need to take another drug because something is wrong.  Whereas in the natural health paradigm of healing this is part of the body throwing off what it no longer needs and considered a "healing crisis" and part of the healing process.

We are also aware that the pharmaceutical industry regularly hire special "customers" to buy natural products and make complaints directly to the adverse effects agency in a particular country rather than first registering it with the company who manufactured the product.  The majority of consumers would probably be unaware of an agency for adverse effects, least of all knowing how to contact them.  Most consumers, when they have a problem with the product would call the manufacturer on the bottle or take it back to the retailer.

This has clearly been the case with the list of natural products the Health Minister "claims" have reports of adverse effects.  When we checked with some of the manufacturers of the products on his list, they had heard nothing about it.  No complaints from customers and no notification from CARM.  We suspect many of these cases are therefore set-ups.