The Alliance For Natural Health

New Studies Turn the Tables on What’s Safe—and What’s Not

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SafetyFDA finds higher levels of arsenic in chicken than previously thought; latest report says supplements are safe; and NIH abandons niacin study.

The Arsenic Deception

Last June, we reported that the chickens you buy at the grocery store are given feed which often includes arsenic, the deadly poison and known carcinogen, added to make them gain weight faster. The Center for Food Safety and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy petitioned the FDA to ban arsenic in animal feed. Of course, the FDA listened to big chicken producers and the arsenic additive producer Pfizer, and no action was taken.

Now the FDA admits that some chicken meat may contain “small amounts” of arsenic. Previous studies have indicated that the arsenic was eliminated with chicken waste.

The FDA said in a press release that the inorganic arsenic “does not pose a health risk.” But Pfizer has decided voluntarily to suspend the sale of Roxarsone (the arsenic additive) in 30 days, and will “facilitate an orderly process for suspending use of the product” in the US. Sounds like a backroom deal with the FDA protecting Pfizer from liability while the company exits the arsenic feed business.

By the way, as we reported to you earlier, this is the company that pleaded guilty in 2009 to the largest healthcare fraud in US history and received the largest criminal penalty ever levied for illegal marketing of four of its drugs. But even that was only a slap on the wrist. If the US government prosecuted fully and won a conviction, by law Medicare could no longer buy from the company, so major drug companies are effectively exempt from serious criminal penalties.

Earlier this year, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, or PAMTA—essentially an anti-antibiotics in animal feed bill. And just yesterday, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a nearly identical bill in the Senate. S.1211 has three co-sponsors, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). This is the first time such a bill has been introduced in the Senate; Congresswoman Slaughter introduced the bill in the House in the past few Congresses.

Supplements are Safe, Latest Report Confirms

The latest 200-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows no deaths whatsoever in 2009 from any dietary supplement, amino acid, herb, vitamin, or dietary mineral supplement.

As a press release from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service puts it,

Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 155,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of nearly 57 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA and news media so often claim, then where are the bodies?

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 2009 is just the latest of a long string of Poison Center reports showing the general safety of supplements, especially compared to drugs.

NIH Abandons Niacin Study

The National Institutes of Health has stopped a clinical trial on an extended-release form of niacin for cholesterol treatment eighteen months earlier than planned, claiming that niacin did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events (that is, heart attacks) in patients taking statin drugs, though it did increase levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and drop the levels of risky triglycerides.

Some might interpret the axing of the NIH’s niacin trial as an indication that niacin doesn’t work. Far from it. In fact, there isn’t a drug on the market that comes so close to offering the “Holy Grail” of simultaneously reducing both LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides, while also raising HDL.

The problem with this trial is that cholesterol levels were already low because patients were taking a statin drug (Zocor) made by Merck. So the only real finding in the study was that the extended-release niacin drug Niaspan from Abbott Laboratories, while shown to increase HDL and lower triglycerides, didn’t have any effect on reducing heart attack rates. How different the results might have been if the patients hadn’t been on orthodox medicine’s standard offering of statins, the default choice for anyone with moderate to high cholesterol!

There are likely to be some drug companies that are worried about giving a simple, non-patentable vitamin (in this case niacin, or vitamin B3) too much positive publicity when they can’t make any money from it.

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  • Elaine Carmack

    Can’t tell if this went. So I write again: ask me about the arsenic thing but all reports are great and good news!!!!

  • Anthony Samsel

    This drug is being pulled off of the market by the manufacturer. “Alpharma, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is voluntarily suspending sales of the drug 3-Nitro, which has been given to chickens since the 1940s to protect them from a parasitic disease and help them gain weight, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.” Washington Post June 2011

  • Barbara Talbert

    Niacin given to patients who already were taking a statin drug? Since they both accomplish the same thing this was no study.

    • dez

      They are right, slow release niacin, is not as effective as regular niacin. Niacin to be effective must be in amounts that create a ‘niacin flush’. Check it out on the internet or a Orthomolecular Doctor. I already did.

  • BimBam

    Would be nice to name the chickens that have arsenic and the amount.

  • Jean Leclair

    Well there goes some more bull!! They also forgot to mention Niacinamide is also good for lowering cholestrol and also is showing possibilities for controlling Alzheimers. I am sure the big Pharm will have something to say about that.

  • Hubert

    FDA finds higher levels of arsenic in chicken than previously thought.
    That clarifies and makes it obvious that the FDA is useless. That FDA makes decisions and issues safety statements based on what they think and not based on what they test. That is insanity.
    What is next?
    After thousands of people die the FDA issues a statement that simply states: We did not think that arsenic was poisonous.
    That stupidity makes it OK?
    When is the FDA held accountable and liable for their stupidity.

  • Joseph C Moore, USN Ret

    Again the government mafia is relying on lobby money from the drug companies to poison the public.

  • Karin

    Hey, if people are eating corpses, arsenic is probably the least of their worries. “If you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned” adage would seem to apply here. As far as niacin to reduce cholesterol: not consuming animal products does the same thing. Go vegan, folks; that’s your best health policy.

  • more proof that the republicans need to be voted out of office in 2011 and 2012.

  • jackie

    Sounds to me the Government really doesn’t care about us. The people that pay their salarys..
    All our food supply seems to be contaiminated. you try to eat healthy & & come to find out the chicken & fish & beef will kill you. This is really a joke that we are subject to this just for the all mighty buck. And no concern for the American people who consume these products.

  • read Bill Moyers report on the nuclear waste in chemical fertilizers and chicken feed.
    Oh, not a problem they say.

  • Every evening I watch the cook in a Senior Facility serve fake process potatoes and canned gravey and peas as recommended by a dietitians…..hospital food will kill a person, too.
    Salt, fat, and white flour abound.

  • lone voice

    Some people belong in jail, not in public office and not even walking the streets.
    Thanks for exposing this, ANH you are doing good in the world.
    We need to watch out for arsenic in our “organic” fertilizers too then, eh? We just bought a few yards of topsoil containing chicken manure to avoid the lead in our yard…and traded lead for arsenic? Oh boy.
    Be sure you all buy topsoil directly from organic farmers, friends, because otherwise you don’t know what you are getting.
    Herbalist/mycologist Paul Stametz has written about the powers of oyster mushrooms to break down toxins in the soil and a government competition paralleling their own methods with Stametz’s mushrooms, used to clean up toxic oil spills in contaminated soil, didn’t even compare with Stametz’s mushrooms. After treating the various mounds of contaminated soil, the mushroom-treated soil was earthy beige while the government-treated mounds were still black and stinky. Maybe these mushrooms could get arsenic out of the soil too? I don’t know. Check Paul Stametz’s website and you can contact him for further info. No I do not work for him…..