Thursday, February 19, 2009

Flu, Bird Flu, Autism, Vaccines, and Natural Medicine (Dr. Ben-Joseph)

Yes, you may not have seen it (this blog is not read as widely as I would like). However, one of the areas where this blog has been proven totally right is on the "bird flu" hysteria.

Remember that media hysteria over "bird flu"? Remember the stories about the coming pandemic? Remember the attempts by President Bush to "stockpile" flu vaccine to meet a possible pandemic? Well, I called it absurd then, and I call it absurd now.

As I said previously, celery and spnach have killed more people in this country than bird flu. Now we can add peanuts. Of course, the death toll from bird flu in this country remains zero.

It remains true that the most likely next pandemic (AIDS was really the last pandemic) is a sexually transmitted disease. This blog has repeatedly shown you, conclusively, that non-marital sex is hazardous to your health. I digress (not really).

Yes, the news over the past few days has included deaths from ordinary flu. I told you in those previous entries on bird flu that the ordinary flu kills thousands of people every year. That is true, despite perfectly adequate supplies of the flu vaccine.

That brings us to autism, and that movement against vaccines. Yes, this is the "conspiracy theory" that the evil big drug companies are out to kill you with vaccines. Nope. Don't tell me that this is only a movement against mercury in a vaccine preservative. The hysteria against vaccines went well beyond that, and there remains no evidence that the particular preservative involved is dangerous to your health. Not taking vaccines, however, can be very dangerous to your health. Yes, I have also told you that people who scare other people about vaccines can have blood on their hands.

One 12 year old boy who just died from the (ordinary) flu was offered the flue vaccine at school (or some similar place). he refused it. I don't have information on why he refused the vaccine, but this scare movement on vaccines is not defensible.

Eliezer Ben-Joseph is a "natural medicine" doctor here in El Paso. He is very sincere and passionate, and I like him (he is a former client of mine). Although he may be more right than wrong about many things, he is a kook He has a crusade against drugs, drug companies, and the FDA amounting to a "conspiracy theory" (which is not to say some of these people are not really out to get him, in terms of shutting down "natural medicine". However, this extreme message can discourage people from taking action to get the kinds of vaccines and medicine that really can help them.

Look at what vaccines have done for us, and drugs. Smallpox used to be a real pandemic. It is now extinct outside of laboratories. Polio afflicted FDR. I will go so far to say that Jonas Salk deserves a holiday more than Cesar Chavez. Typhoid fever? Diptheria? "Red" measles--a really terrible disease that I had as a child, which lasted two weeks? Malaria (despite environmentalists killing people with the campaign against pesticides)? Blood poisoning? The list just goes on and on, and it was NOT "natural medicine" that eradicated these diseaases from being serious threats to most people in the U.S. Even tuberculosis is no longer the kind of threat it was when it apparently killed Doc Holliday. This idea that only "natural" is good is simply untrue. Mercury, by the way, is a "natural" substance appearing in compact florescent light bulbs--one of those digressions of mine.

I agree with Dr. Ben-Joseeph that he should be allowed to practice, and that "Big Brother" should not "protect" people from him. I agree with him (as everyone must) that nutrition is important. Where I disagree with him, and consider him a kook, is in the idea that "natural medicine" can "cure" all diseases known to man. The era of therapeutic drugs has been a boon to mankind, and Dr. Ben-Joseph cannot deny it successfully. It makes no sense to say that all of that is past, and that all of the good drugs and vaccines have already been invented.

P.S. I also agree with Dr. Ben-Joseph as to the mistake we have made in letting drug companies MERGE into "Big Pharma". It is insane public policy to encourage big mergers of financially healthy companies, which create those companies "too big to fail" Thus, I have oopposed the merger of Pfizer and Wyeth as insance public policy. These big mergers VIOLATE free market theory, for the same reason that government central planning violates that theory. And the FDA is part of that bloated, central planning Federal Government. I distrust the FDA as an instrument of Big Government power. However, Dr. Ben-Joseph leaves me when he wants central planning to stop "irradiated" food, genetically "altered" food, etc. That is simply substituting central planning Dr. Ben-Joseph does not like with coercive central planning he does like. Too many people react the same way. They don't like government control when it is an area they dislike, but like government control they do like. The net result is continually exopanding government control.

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