Saturday, August 1, 2015

The FDA's Bedfellows

The FDA has developed an over-inflated worry about virtually harmless remedies.  This spring they opened hearings on homeopathy and how to protect the public from these "dangerously unscientific remedies."  And, for the past year the FDA has been harassing and threatening manufacturers of essential oils to quit making health claims.  It would appear that directors of the FDA need to chill with some homeopathic chamomile and some whiffs of lavender oil.

It might be seen as good news that the pharmaceutical companies and AMA monopoly feel threatened by the growth of the natural health market.  It says that natural medical alternatives are taking a noticeable bite out of the monster profiteers.  But biting big moneyed interests in these United States typically brings a slap down from the privileged and protected corporations.  The big medicine profiteers are, in turn, punching back through their influence with governmental regulatory agencies, lawyers, and expensive media blitzes.  I'm skeptical that the reason for the FDA's attention is any legitimate concern for public safety -- especially with these two particular natural modalities that are harmless to 99% of the population.  For some people, essential oils can be irritating if they're used undiluted, or if the wrong ones are taken internally - especially with those having respiratory conditions or those with allergies, but by and large they pose no threats.  Homeopathy is even more rarely an issue, troubling only those with an allergy to sugar pills or alcohol.   

The FDA claims it is worried about your health and the health of your family.  The FDA claims they are only trying to help people understand that they need "real medicine" from "real doctors" who can legitimately diagnose them with "real diseases."  (And, if you don't have a real disease there is always an antidepressant we can prescribe for you!)  They lay awake nights worried about the millions of stupid parents who are eschewing "real medical care" for dangerous health conditions while those parents are popping homeopathic pills under their children's tongues or having them sniff on bottles of oregano or patchouli oil.  Not.  They aren't worried about you or your health.  The AMA lobby and the pharmaceutical companies are worried they won't continue to grow their obscene profits.  It reveals an industry scared to death that ordinary people might actually know their own health needs and be able to decide for themselves what level of medical care is appropriate or needed.  Oh that we could go back to the dumbed down days when people just listened to their doctor and took what they were told to take! 

But, that genie is out of the bottle.  Real people with real knowledge and real ability to make their own health care decisions have a multi-million dollar hold on a market that gives them effective, inexpensive cures with few or no side effects. Don't be intimidated by an over-reaching government bureaucracy.  Write your legislators and tell them to tell the FDA to lighten up on homeopathy and essential oils.  And, if you need some advice on  additional ways to avoid the invasive and expensive side of medicine, come in to see me.

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