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Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine March 2011
As We See It

Deadly FDA Neglect

By William Faloon

FDA Should Have Known About Kidney Toxicity

The painkiller drug phenacetin was taken off the market long ago because of its severe kidney toxicity and increased risk of bladder cancer.50-54 Acetaminophen is the major metabolite of this banned drug, meaning that phenacetin’s destructive properties may have been caused by its breakdown to acetaminophen in the body.

FDA Should Have Known About Kidney Toxicity

So while phenacetin was withdrawn because too many peoples’ kidneys were shutting down, the FDA had no problem letting its major metabolite (acetaminophen) be freely marketed without any consumer warning whatsoever.

If acetaminophen is responsible for even a small percentage of the overall annual kidney cancer cases, the FDA’s failure to restrict this one drug may have killed tens of thousands of Americans from this one disease alone!

As history has taught us, when a highly profitable drug turns out to be a lethal killer, the FDA’s first response is to safeguard pharmaceutical economic interests. Consumer protection is a secondary issue.

It Is “Impossible” for the FDA to Protect the Public

Life Extension® warned about the lethal dangers of acetaminophen-containing drugs almost 20 years ago. The FDA carefully listened to each one of my radio shows hoping to identify new criminal charges they could bring against me, but did nothing to alert the public about acetaminophen’s deadly side effects. Even when national news broadcasts reported on real life victims who died from acetaminophen, the agency responsible for protecting Americans against unsafe drugs stood still. Why was that?

As most of you know, pharmaceutical interests exert tremendous control over the FDA. Employees of the FDA are offered lucrative pharmaceutical jobs upon retirement and are heavily lobbied by drug companies while working at the agency.

Members of Congress charged with overseeing the FDA are also inundated by pharmaceutical lobbyists and pharmaceutical campaign contributions. When the safety of a drug as popular as acetaminophen is challenged, you can be certain pharmaceutical companies will pull out all the stops to make sure the government does not ban it.

Even when the FDA proposes stricter labeling on drugs like acetaminophen, pharmaceutical lobbyists besiege the FDA and Congress to make these warnings so benign that the public largely ignores them.

The degree of political influence involved in FDA decision-making results in it being impossible for the agency to use scientific evidence to protect Americans against unsafe drugs.

As I described earlier in this article, those not beholden to the pharmaceutical cartel learned of acetaminophen’s lethal effects decades ago—and even came up with preventive antidotes (such as N-acetyl cysteine). Yet to this day, acetaminophen continues to poison huge segments of the American public who still are unaware of how toxic this drug really is.

All Pain-Suppressing Medications Are Toxic

All Pain-Suppressing Medications Are Toxic

To relieve chronic pain, toxic doses of all approved analgesics are often required. That argument has been used by acetaminophen makers to state that if patients have to switch to other FDA-approved drugs (such as ibuprofen or Celebrex®), then users will die from other causes, such as stomach bleeding and heart attacks.

We don’t disagree that all FDA-approved pain relievers are dangerous and only minimally effective. We question why conventional doctors liberally prescribe toxic analgesics without seeking to alleviate the underlying cause of the pain.

In some cases, chiropractic care can result in functional and symptom relief of chronic pain. Certain dietary supplements such as gamma linolenic acid (from borage oil),55 high-dose fish oil,56,57 MSM (methylsulphonylmethane)58,59 and Korean Angelica extract60,61 have demonstrated remarkable pain relieving effects in peer-reviewed published scientific studies.

In 2009, we introduced an Infrared Heating Pad that delivers a steady stream of soothing warmth deep into the tissues. We sold ten times more of these Infrared pads than we expected, and have received remarkable testimonials back from users. The number of these Infrared pads we shipped out indicates how many people suffer from chronic pain. Unfortunately, the FDA decided to ban the importation of this product until the company completes lengthy and burdensome registration requirements, so  many of those suffering chronic pain will have no choice but  resorting to toxic drugs the FDA allows to be freely sold. We will let you know if and when these infrared heating pads ever become available.

Free Market More Effective than FDA

For more than a century, consumers have been misled into believing the FDA protected them against dangerous drugs. The harsh reality is that the FDA functions to protect the economic interests of the pharmaceutical establishment, while trampling on the rights of Americans to access safer and more effective natural therapies.

As a member of the Life Extension Foundation®, you learn about deadly drugs (such as Vioxx® and Premarin®) long before the FDA takes action to warn the public. Our 30-year track record documents that we are far more proficient in warning consumers about dangerous medications than the taxpayer-funded and drug company-corrupted FDA.

UPDATE: The FDA Finally Acts…but too little and too late

It has  taken almost twenty years from our initial warning, but in January 2011 the FDA finally announced that it will limit the amount  of  acetaminophen allowed in  prescription pain killers such as Vicodin®     and Percoset®. The FDA is  also  asking makers of acetaminophen to add the strongest possible warning—a black box—to their labels about the possibility of severe liver damage.

Strangely, this dose reduction and black box warning will not apply to over-the-counter acetaminophen products like Tylenol®  and hundreds of cold, flu and other pain relievers sold to unsuspecting consumers with no physician supervision.

The mandates on prescription acetaminophen drugs will be phased in over three years, meaning the FDA is no hurry to protect Americans from prescription acetaminophen’s deadly effects.

These new FDA mandates are less stringent than what its own scientific advisory committee recommended, which wanted prescription drugs like Vicodin and Percoset to be banned altogether.

All of this provides another piece of irrefutable evidence that the FDA functions to protect the outrageous profits of pharmaceutical companies like Johnson and Johnson instead of the lives of innocent Americans.

For longer life,

For Longer Life

William Faloon

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