Newsletter Index ||| 1989 Index ||| NCAHF Home Page

NCAHF News, September/October 1989

Volume 12, Issue #5

BEECH-NUT FAKE APPLE JUICE CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED

Convictions of the President and Vice-President of Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. for the manufacture and sale of fake apple-juice (ie, sugar, water and flavoring marketed as "100% apple juice") have been overturned and the men set free pending the outcome of appeals. The ruling was based upon a technicality, not the guilt or innocence of the men. Further legal action is likely. [FDA Consumer, June, 1989.]

Comment: It seems like a silly twist of fate that the executives of Beech-Nut were jailed for providing "apple juice" that was alar and UDMH-free. Their sugar-water mixture closely approximated the real thing (apple juice has little nutritional value beyond its water and sugar content), so buyers got a nearly equivalent product even if it wasn't what they thought they were buying. NCAHF fully supports the prosecution of people who knowingly violated the labeling law, but it seems ironic that people went to jail for providing a pure, safe imitation apple juice in the face of the recent furor over alar and UDMH residues.

NUTRITIONAL ERGOGENIC AIDS

Ergogenic aids are practices that are supposed to enhance physical performance. Included are breathing pure oxygen for recovery, taking drugs to delay fatigue, blood-doping (i.e., having one's own blood removed and transfused after the body adapts) and ingesting any number of nutritional substances. Few ergogenic aids actually work, but all are popular among athletes obsessed with top physical performance. Melvin H. Williams, PhD, is a recognized expert in the field of ergogenic aids. His book, Ergogenic Aids in Sport (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1983) is a standard reference on the subject. Dr. Williams provides an excellent article on the topic of nutritional ergogenic aids and their affect upon athletic performance in the January-February, 1989, issue of Nutrition Today.

DRS. STUART BERGER AND ROBERT GILLER
VISITED BY
SPY MAGAZINE

In a narrative that reads like a Mel Brooks movie, Spy magazine describes the New York medical practices of Stuart Berger and Robert Giller in its March, 1989 issue. "Take 50 of these, fork over some cash, and call me in the morning," is wonderfully entertaining and very informative. Giller is described as the "nutritionist to the stars" because of his following of celebrities. It is reported that his great appeal is based upon the notoriety of his clientele. One patient is quoted as saying, "I knew he was a quack, but I kept returning,..." She went on to add "Did you know Bianca Jagger's a client?" Likewise, his receptionist brags that "all the best people see him." Giller's clientele is described as "affluent women willing to grasp onto any novelty in the health, beauty and fitness fields--willing to pay any price and endure any process, no matter how humiliating, in order to stave off decay. Spy says, "Doctors Berger and Giller have latched on to this gravy train and become rich themselves by writing diet books, appearing on talk shows and expanding their private practices into the most elite--and most neurotic--social and celebrity circles.

Berger is author of several books generally disdained by nutrition and medical professionals alike. He is described as a pasty, pudgy giant who "does not exactly inspire confidence in his regimens--how, one might ask, could a nutritionist allow himself to become so enormous that his collars cut into his neck like tourniquets?"

Giller, too, is a writer. His book, Medical Makeover, claims to offer a "revolutionary no-willpower program for lifetime health." Giller relies heavily upon a vitamin shot that pumps vitamins B5, B12, C, and some calcium into the bloodstream leaving some patients dizzy and urinating red. Spy reporters describe their first-hand experiences in a companion piece entitled "A Visit To Vitamin Hell."

VITAMIN TRADE GROUP LAUNCHES PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN

Stung by the recent National Research Council "Diet and Health" report which advised people to avoid taking dietary supplements the leading supplement trade association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), will use its Annual Conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, as a forum to attack the report September 17-20. A June 28 CRN press release dubs the NRC report as "controversial." CRN's leader, J.B. Cordaro also attempted to make supplementation appear to be a controversial matter in a US News & World Report cover story (4/10/89). In fact, there is no scientific controversy over the wisdom of self-dosing on vitamin/mineral supplements. Every recent scientific panel that has recommended dietary guidelines for improving health has included a negative statement against taking supplements (eg, U.S. Dietary Goals, Toward Healthful Diets, Diet Nutrition and Cancer, The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health). The vitamin salespeople consider the report controversial because it hurts them in the marketplace. CRN has been conducting a major promotional campaign to misinform the public about the wisdom of self-supplementation. Hopefully the media will not be taken in by CRN's propaganda campaign or succumb to the lure of advertising dollars that will be spent convincing the public that they need dietary supplements.

RODALE BOOK SALES $100 MILLION

According to an article in the Allentown, PA, The Morning Call (9/1/89), Rodale Press sold $100 million in books during the fiscal year 1988-89, their best year ever. This can hardly be regarded as good news to those of us who review the promotional literature for Rodale's books. NCAHF receives more complaints from its members from these materials than from any other book promotions. The recent improvement in the quality of health information apparent in Rodale's Prevention magazine has not yet extended to Rodale's books. The books still oversell vitamins, self-help and magical answers to serious problems.

MEDICINE'S FAILURE TO POLICE ITSELF

Harvey F. Wachsman, MD, JD, describes the sad state of affairs regarding organized medicine's inability to police itself in "Doctors who maim and kill...and get away with a wink and a smile," (New York Times, 8/25/89). Dr. Wachsman describes the horrors visited on the patients of James A. Burt, MD, of Dayton, Ohio, as he performed unauthorized, unscientific and uncalled for "love surgeries" on the sex organs of female patients for over 22-years. Burt even published a book entitled Surgery of Love touting his pet theories and technique. The shocking thing is that other doctors and even the hospital knew of his atrocities and did nothing about it. It wasn't until some of his victims sued that Burt's malpractice became an issue. He surrendered his medical license in 1989 and is now living a comfortable life in Fort Meyers, Florida.

Wachsman describes the case of Emanuel Revici, MD, who has been practicing dubious cancer therapy for more than four decades. The New York authorities have given in again and again to the emotional pleadings of quackophiliacs who support Revici's claims.

Wachsman notes that even the American Medical Association says that 7 to 9 percent of physicians are drug or alcohol impaired (30,000 to 40,000) but only 200 lost their licenses last year. He says that most physicians are highly skilled, decent, honorable people who have dedicated their lives to helping others. They, the government and the public should be outraged by a system that allows quacks and charlatans to practice medicine.

Addendum: Mr. Wachsman is representing plaintiffs who are suing Dr. Burt for malpractice. Also named are local physicians, the hospital, and the medical society for failing to fulfill their duty to warn the public about Burt's practices. NCAHF believes that the concept of holding other professionals responsible for not reporting malpractice, fraud and quackery could be precedent setting as a legal tool that can be used in the war against quackery.

"NUTRITIONIST" CHARGED

A New Jersey "nutritionist," Raymond J. Salani, is accused of practicing medicine without a license, consumer fraud, and insurance fraud by the state's Attorney General's office. Salani, who sports a "doctorate" from California's infamous nutrition diploma mill, "Donsbach University," operated the Nutri-Care Health Center in Shrewsbury. Salani is accused of ordering laboratory tests for clients without involving a licensed physician or dentist, prescribing supplements for medical conditions and fraudulently signing and rendering diagnoses on insurance forms as "Physician's Statement"(s) for reimbursement purposes. Trial has been set for September 25. (Asbury Park Press, 7/25/89).

Note: An excellent companion article describes the "buyer beware" situation that now exists in the state of New Jersey due to the absence of licensing regulations for nutritionists. It says that a bill to license nutritionists has been languishing in the state legislature for six years because of a philosophical impasse between the Governor and Senate.

U.S. SENATE BILL WOULD DEFINE "ORGANIC" FOR LABELING

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is considering a bill that would define "organically grown" foods as those certified as having been produced without synthetic or chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; production and handling processes must be documented for inspection; and, the land it was produced on cannot have been treated with conventional fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides for the previous three years. These conditions are defined in Title 5 of the Farm Conservation and Water Protection Act of 1989, introduced by Sen. Fowler (D-Ga).

JOURNALIST CLEARED IN LIBEL SUIT BY ANTIFLUORIDATIONIST

The Texas Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision that Express News columnist Paul Thompson of San Antonio did not commit libel against antifluoridationist John Yiamouyannis during a 1985 controversy over fluoridation. Yiamouyannis sued Thompson, the Express News, the Bexar County Medical Society and Dr. Randall S. Preissig after the columnist referred to him as a "quack," an "imported fearmonger," and an "outrageous hoke artist." The Court ruled that the defendants had issued opinions and were protected from libel charges. (Express News (San Antonio, TX, 6/22/89).

POPULAR AIDS THERAPIES

Donald Abrams, MD, FACP, (AIDS File, August, 1989--a publication of San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center) describes five popular remedies being used for self-treatment by people with HIV infection. Included is information on AL721, naltrexon, dextran sulfate, antabuse, and hypericin. Dr. Abrams points out both the up- and down-sides of self-treatment with unproven AIDS remedies. Harm includes toxicity (he notes that one patient in an underground trial of substance Q has died); undesirable activation of lymphocytes or depression of cellular immunity which can be detrimental; interference with other medications; financial exploitation by raising false hope; and the cultivation of an "us v them" mentality rather that fostering a collaborative effort against the common enemy--HIV. On the positive side, Abrams notes that widespread self-treatment causes more substances to be tested. He believes that a highly-effective agent would manifest itself even in the absence of scientific monitoring (Note: NCAHF argues that a major failure of self-care and unmonitored substances is that nothing worthwhile is learned from their use due to a failure to make careful, controlled observations. We still take this position but must acknowledge that if a sufficiently large number of individuals happened to use the correct amount of the right substance at the right time, and under the right circumstances, the remedy might possibly manifest itself as an obvious remedy--however, the chances of such a serendipity are remote.) Abrams also believes that self-treatment provides a positive sense of "empowerment" among those ineligible to participate in controlled clinical trials (Note: The same can be said for whistling while passing graveyards!) The article is informative for anyone interested in AIDS self-care and/or AIDS quackery.

PLAINTIFFS ASK FOR AID AS HERBERT VS AQA
LAWSUIT MOVES FORWARD

Despite delaying tactics by the defense, the Herbert vs the American Quack Association, et al, is moving forward. Costs are very high as Herbert must pay dozens of process servers, court reporters, and paralegals for multiple copies of Subpoenas, Demands, Interrogatories, Motions, and Responses. Michael Botts has to travel all over the country taking depositions and getting court orders to force reluctant testimony from principle parties in the case. Dr. Herbert estimates that his costs will run at about $150,000. The plaintiff, Victor Herbert, MD, JD, firmly believes that the evidence obtained will clearly show that the defendants are sham corporations organized for illegal purposes; that they are engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the public which comes under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law; and that his lawsuit will severely cripple organized quackery in the USA.

Dr. Herbert's lawsuit represents more than just himself as a single individual resolving personal damage to his reputation by character assassination. Herbert represents everyone in the health sciences who stands for rational and responsible health care. For the first time, someone who has been vilified for speaking out against the quackery industry is fighting back through the courts. Herbert is taking on the masters of deception; the perpetrators of the Big Lies; the exploiters of human weakness; the zealots who masquerade behind piety and patriotism as they promote quackery. He should not have to bear this heavy financial burden alone. NCAHF urges you to send a donation to: Antiquackery Litigation Fund, c/o Michael Botts, Esq., P.O. Box 33008, Kansas City, MO 64114.

The Committee for Freedom of Choice in Medicine, Inc. (an anti-consumer protection organization that serves as a referral agency for dubious cancer clinics) says of the Herbert lawsuit: "This is possibly the single most important attack ever visited upon this organization, and that attack is aimed at our total destruction" in its appeal to its followers for financial aid. We know that antiquackery volunteers can never hope to match the funds that organized quackery will raise, but we hope to raise enough to do the job.

BOOK MAXIMUM METABOLISM NOT RECOMMENDED

Robert Giller, MD, and Kathy Matthews teamed up to write Maximum Metabolism (G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1989) which is a sequel to their previous work Medical Makeover. They theorize that some people's weight problems are caused by slow metabolism. The book wrongly focuses upon maximizing utilization of brown fat to burn calories, because, in actuality, brown fat burns rather than stores calories. The authors are also accused of being confused about simple and complex carbohydrates in their dietary recommendations. Further, they subscribe to the invalid theory that sugar is an addictive substance and that starchy foods cause craving cycles. Reviewers for Environmental Nutrition newsletter (August, 1989) say that there is little positive that can be said for the book except perhaps the chapters which focus on dieting strategies. The rest, they say, "is a hodgepodge of dieting theories compiled into one diet everyone could do without."

EVERS CLINIC MOVES TO MEXICO

H. Ray Evers, MD, has moved his clinic operation to Juarez, Mexico, following the closure of his facility in Cottonwood, Alabama, on June 22, 1989. Evers' medical license was revoked about two years ago following a long, running battle with the state's licensing board. Evers' clinic gained infamy with its chelation therapy treatments for heart disease, but apparently was treating a wide range of disorders including cancer. Evers stated in an article in Health Consciousness (June, 1989), a publication of the American Quack Association's founder, Roy Kupsinel, MD, that the recent skirmish with the law in Alabama was his 25th legal battle since 1964. Evers' adopted son, attorney Michael Evers, heads up Project Cure, a Washington, DC-based agency that promotes dubious cancer remedies.

MULTILEVEL HUCKSTERS

The August, 1989, issue of Longevity magazine provides insight into some of the unsavory practices of several of the leading multilevel sales organizations. The article leads off with a story about the exploitation of the parents of a 4-year-old girl dying of an inoperable brain tumor. A Sunrider distributor conned the family into spending $900-a-month on a regimen of pills, teas and powders. When they balked the distributor asked: "How important is your daughter's life?" A few weeks later, the distributor began pushing them to begin selling the products themselves.

Following radiation the child's tumor went into remission. The next thing the parents knew the telephone started ringing. Other distributors were telling people that the remission was due to Sunrider's herbs. Sherri Tinsley told callers that the claims were false and that their daughter was still ill. Out of desperation, she continued to feed Sunrider products to her little girl right up until the child died in July, 1987. The telephone calls continued to come in. Most disturbing was a call from a parent who had just canceled radiation therapy for her son on the advice of a Sunrider distributor.

An interesting account of the disqualification of a leading American Judo champion, Jimmy Martin, is told. Martin was using Sunrider products which gave him terrific energy. He was disqualified at the Olympic trials when a drug test found traces of ephedrine in his blood.

Other multilevels about which adverse facts are detailed were Body Toddy, Herbalife and Matol Km. Body Toddy is a product of the Rockland Corporation in Tulsa, OK. The company's legal battle with the California Attorney General is revealed, including the clever tricks used by its promoters to skirt false advertising restrictions imposed by the court. The dance around the law done by Matol Km promoters is detailed as are some of the past sins of the Herbalife company.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

Prince Charles seems to get balmier with age. Long known for his love of homeopathy, according to a story in U.S. News & World Report (6/19/89) he now has latched onto organic farming as a way to save the environment. The article says, "So far, yields from his Duchy Home Farm in western England have been meager. One courtier unceremoniously described the harvest as '50 acres of uneatable spring beans that had to be fed to animals'." The "Green Prince" is pressing ahead undeterred the story says. He plans to convert most of his 770-acre estate to organic methods by 1995.

HOLISTIC PHYSICIAN MOM BLAMED FOR DAUGHTER'S DEATH

Burlington, Ontario, resident Rachel Barsky, 14, died of asthma at home on January 2. What was unusual is the fact that Rachel's mother, Sheila Hall, is a family physician with an "interest in holistic medicine." Although Rachel's condition was reported to be treatable by conventional means, Dr. Hall was using "chemicals and various therapies from a chiropractor." Hall displayed her diagnostic method of "muscle-touching" before a coroner's jury in June. Hall admitted to using homeopathic therapies and referring to naturopaths. Despite the time-worn admonition not to treatment family members, Hall was Rachel's only physician. The jury found Rachel's health care to be "inadequate" because of fragmented medical treatment, incomplete records and uncoordinated health care. The sad account of Rachel's experience was reported in a series running from June 1-17 in the Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada). The series provides insight into the practices and delusions of people committed to "holistic" pseudomedicine. Copies of the 17-page series are available from NCAHF for $3 postage-paid.

CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST PARENTS FOUND GUILTY IN CHILD DEATHS

Sarasota, FL. A jury has convicted a Sarasota couple, William and Christine Hermanson, of third-degree murder and child abuse for denying insulin to their 7-year-old diabetic daughter. This criminal conviction is reported to be the first against Christian Science parents since states began adopting religious exemption laws two decades ago. Similar cases are pending in Massachusetts, Arizona and California. (Pediatric News, 6/89). The pair were given a four-year suspended sentence and placed on 15-years probation with the stipulation that they take their other two children, boys ages 1 and 11, to physicians for regular check-ups and health care when needed. (Spectrum [Southern Utah], 6/1/89).

Santa Rosa, CA. On August 4, a Sonoma County jury convicted a Christian Science couple, Susan and Mark Rippberger, of endangering the life of their 8-month-old daughter by refusing medical treatment, but acquitted them of involuntary manslaughter in the infant's death from meningitis. The prosecuting attorney, David Dunn, expressed disappointment that the Rippbergers were acquitted on the manslaughter charge. He stated that "of all the homicide cases I've been involved in...this is the most tragic." Sentencing is scheduled for October 12. (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/5/89 & The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA, 8/5/89). A companion article in the second source above says that Rita Swan, PhD, of CHILD praised the jury's verdict. She said that this was the first prosecution in California of Christian Scientists for letting a child die since 1902. The defense attorney says that there will be appeals.

DR REVICI'S VICTIM GETS $1.5 MILLION JUDGMENT

The estate of the late Cecelia Czjewski, a 66-year-old single woman who died of cancer under the care of Emanuel Revici, MD, has been awarded 90% of a $1.5 million judgment against the maverick physician. The victim was judged to bear 10% of the blame in her own death for choosing Revici, who she knew was controversial, instead of a more responsible physician. The ruling came on July 18, 1989, following a jury trial. Judge Mary Johnson Lowe ruled that as a matter of law there was no express assumption of risk by the patient when she signed an "informed consent" agreement with Revici. Ms. Czjewski's estate was represented by Harvey Wachsman, MD, JD.

MORE ON GILDA RADNER

In the May-June issue of this newsletter we complained of the misuse of the late Gilda Radner's temporary optimism by some in the media to promote extravagant claims for some wellness clinics. We heard from some readers who felt that we had been too condemnatory of wellness centers in general--and perhaps Ms. Radner herself. Of course, we meant no harm to legitimate psycho-social support programs for cancer patients which we believe that a rereading of the item will clearly show. Our focus was upon the misuse of a highly vulnerable celebrity's subject experience by overly enthusiastic, naive media reporters.

We believe that our case has been made by feature writer Lisa Messinger who reviewed Radner's anti-medicine messages during her sad odyssey ("Did Gilda Radner get you to stop medical treatment?" Antelope Valley Press, 9/16/89). We regret the passing of spunky Gilda, but hope that the media will learn from to stop promoting dubious remedies based upon the temporal experiences of celebrities. We have seen this done too often in the past (eg, Red Button's wife, Yul Brenner, and Steve McQueen to name a few) The cult of the personality is powerful in the USA and responsible reporters will be careful not to do the public a disservice by exploiting celebrity cures. Ms. Messinger points to a positive side of celebrity health-reporting in her article. She notes that Rock Hudson's death focused public attention upon AIDS and Oprah has inspired many to lose weight. She makes a careful difference between being inspired to lose a few pounds and gambling on life or death matters, however.

FRENCH SCIENTIST SUSPENDED FOR HOMEOPATHIC FIASCO

Readers will recall the French laboratory for medical research, INSERM, reported that it had experimental evidence that might validate the homeopathic hypothesis that highly dilute substances--even without any residual molecules--could be effective. The July, 1989, issue of New Scientist reports that following a routine evaluation of his laboratory, Jacques Beneviste, the researcher involved, has been suspended because he "damaged the image of INSERM." It was recommended that he be suspended until he submits new plans for research. Meanwhile, he must stop work on the effects of highly dilute substances and stop talking to the media about it.

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE:
THE CHIROPRACTIC STUDENT REFORMER GRADUATES

Michael Dunn, B.A., D.C.

I previously wrote the article entitled, "Inside chiropractic education: perspective of a student reformer," which ran in the Sept-Oct, 1988 NCAHF Newsletter. Only now that I have graduated and received my state license do I feel that it is somewhat safe to reveal myself.

My experience after graduation has been as bizarre as that of my college days. The only job offers I got from chiropractors was from the practice management profiteers. One told me that I would have to use a verbatim sales pitch to convince all patients that they needed 30 initial visits followed by weekly maintenance adjustments. He also told me that I would have to treat patients within three-minutes each, and that he reserved the right to inflict pain upon any of his doctors who failed to comply. Another DC told me that x-rays were to be taken every ten visits. Needless to say, I could not do any of the above in good conscience, so I have began my own solo practice wherein I can maintain ethical and scientific standards.

While waiting to take my state board exam, I tried to obtain employment in a medical setting. Most medical sources wouldn't even respond to my inquiries. I perceived apathy, indifference and ostracism from the medical community. I was very disappointed that after ten years of college, and having built up $90,000 debt in student loans, that I couldn't even get a job as a physician's assistant.

I can't help but to feel that I have been victimized by the gigantic lie that chiropractic is a legitimate part of the nation's health care system. It is not. Chiropractic biotheology and antiscience attitudes perpetuate its isolation from mainstream health care. DC students are taught an unorthodox concept of disease causation that, if accepted uncritically, prevents them from communicating with other health professionals. Alienation from other health professions is inevitable due to the siege mentality of chiropractic education.

States and the federal government help to perpetuate the lie. The federal government grants full recognition to DC college accreditation. Prospective students learn of DC careers through school counselors. Government loans are granted to DC students. States license DCs as legitimate health care providers. Many insurance companies and Medicare reimburse for DC services. These factors combine to make chiropractic appear completely legitimate to a prospective student. It isn't until one gets far into the system that chiropractic's failings become apparent to a scientifically-oriented person. By then it may have become nearly impossible to extricate oneself from the morass due to indebtedness and time invested. It is easier to entertain the thought that things will be better after graduation. This is a delusion.

Upon graduation, a new DC is faced with a set of circumstances which make it nearly impossible to survive with his or her integrity intact. The absence of a point-of-entry into legitimate health care serves to perpetuate the unethical and unscientific DC practices decried by NCAHF and the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (NACM). These problems are not likely to be resolved by organized medicine or chiropractic. Only an independent commission made up of the states and federal government is probably capable of resolving the impasse. I hope NCAHF, NACM and others interested in a high quality health care marketplace will encourage bringing such a commission into being.

UNIVERSITY-BASED CHIROPRACTIC EDUCATION EXAMINED

I.D. Coulter, PhD, President of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) discussed "The political implications of university based chiropractic education" in a two-part series in the December, 1988 (10:(4):2+) and March, 1989 (11:(1):2) issues of the CMCC Newsletter. Dr. Coulter's views are particularly interesting to NCAHF because we propose in our position paper on chiropractic that the training of DCs be brought into regular universities. The history of both medical and dental education has taught that no single reform is more important that the elimination of proprietary schools of training if a health care system is to be brought up to an acceptable standard of scientific care, ethical conduct and public accountability.

Coulter notes that Canada has experienced an important need to justify or legitimate chiropractic in the past three years. Alberta has determined that practice scope would be based upon the educational scope of CMCC. Ontario now requires that "the members of a profession must call upon a distinctive, systematic body of knowledge in assessing or treating their patients, and the core activities they perform must constitute a clear, integrated and broadly accepted whole." Coulter states that this is the first time, to his knowledge, that chiropractic legislation will be based upon the discipline rather than the practice of chiropractic.

Coulter says that CMCC is presently holding discussions with the University of Victoria (UV) about becoming a part of the University. He says that UV has made it clear from the outset that it would be the ability of CMCC to convince them that chiropractic constituted a health science discipline that would determine its acceptability. Coulter's explanation to his DC readership of what would be required to meet scientific standards provides excellent insight into the current state of affairs with chiropractic. Few chiropractic critics could do a better job of exposing chiropractic's deficiencies; and, such criticisms by an outsider would surely be dismissed as exaggerated.

It is shocking to discover the enormous differences in the standards of practice required of DCs compared to other health care providers. It is fascinating to see the struggle taking place within chiropractic as it evolves in a more visible and accountability-oriented health marketplace. It is encouraging to know that there are people within chiropractic education with the ability and integrity of Dr. Coulter. It is hoped that CMCC will lead the way in this important aspect of chiropractic reform.

BERRY TRIM'S DIRTY LITTLE TRICK

Promotions for Berry Trim, a dubious weight-loss remedy, involves a unique deceptive tactic that is 'one for the book.' People all over the nation have been receiving what appears to be a full-page ad that has been torn out of a newspaper. One can read cut-off in one corner "..aily News," and the date of publication in the other, but the remnants of the same allegedly two-page ad for children's clothes for an unidentifiable store appears on the opposite side of more than one ad with different dates (that's too much of a coincidence!). In each case, someone appears to have hand-written "Pat, (or another first name) Try it. It works!" (some are also signed "J"). It appears that the company programmed their computer to sort people out by their first names and then placed what appears to be hand-written personal messages in the upper left-hand corner from an unidentified friend. The "torn-out" ads came in envelopes bearing no return addresses making it impossible to know who the sender was. Individuals have remarked to us that they puzzled over who might have sent the ads to them. The NAAFA Newsletter (July, 1989) reports that Harry Gossett received an ad personalized to "Harold"--a name that his friends never use. Further, Gossett said "I don't know anyone named "J" in Santa Ana, California."

Berry Trim makes familiar dubious claims characteristics of weight-loss frauds. The ploy of telling people that the product is capable of changing the way their body's handle calories (eg, "...forces your body to convert food into energy instead of fat." and "... stimulate the release of calories already stored with your body tissues as fat!"). NCAHF filed a false advertising complaint against Berry Trim with the FDA, FTC and Postal Inspector in August, 1988, but has not heard from any of these agencies. Berry Trim's miracle ingredient is supposedly hydroxycitrate (HCA). It also contains potassium citrate, yam extract, bovine adrenal glands, L-Carnitine, vitamin B6, apple pectin, guar gum, psyllium husks, DLPA, vitamin B5, L-Cysteine and zinc picolinate. We doubt if Berry Trim can live up to its ads, but its promotional trick is a clever bit of deception.


Newsletter Contents Copyright 1989, National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc.
Items may be be reprinted without permission if suitable credit is given.

Newsletter Index ||| 1989 Index
NCAHF Home Page