Monday, June 25, 2007

Sham: The American Media's Anti-Supplement Slant

As my readers know, I am over in Europe right now and publishing irregularly. However, today's post is a very interesting one for me, because I am in Europe now, reading the news here, and yet also staying in very close touch with the news on CNN and other sources in the States.

What a difference we have in the reporting of facts about herbs, or about dietary supplements on this side of the water compared to the States. I truly believe that we are seeing an agenda playing out here, driven by pharmaceutical companies and the huge money that they throw into the media with their advertising campaigns for drugs.

Here's an example . . . Both today's BBC news, and the local news in Lisbon, Portugal, carried the story of new, large Echinacea clinical trials which show strong results from the herb for keeping colds at bay, and also for knocking out colds early. Here are some of the facts of this story about the research done by researchers from the USA and reported in The Lancet (one of the most important medical publications in the world):
Taking the herbal remedy echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold, US researchers say. They found it decreased the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half. The results in The Lancet Infectious Diseases conflict with other studies that show no beneficial effect.

Experts believe echinacea, a collection of nine related plant species indigenous to North America, may work by boosting the body's immune system. Researchers, led by Dr Craig Coleman from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, combined the results of 14 different studies on Echinacea's anti-cold properties.

In one of the 14 studies the researchers reviewed, echinacea was taken alongside vitamin C. This combination reduced cold incidence by 86%. When echinacea was used alone it reduced cold incidence by 65%.
As you might imagine, seeing this as front page headlines locally and on the BBC, and seeing that it was an American research team, I thought for sure that it would be repeated either on CNN or on the various USA networks or print media. Apparently, I was mistaken. It seems that the same news media outlets which prominently featured the NEGATIVE trials on this herb simply took this positive news and swept it under the rug.

I am beginning to sense a serious MD/Pharma Company coalition working against the dietary supplement industry. Does anyone else have another explanation for this? See the news story from BBC linked to this headline.


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