Obama's FDA Threatens Dr. Weil in Swine Flu Scam Warning
Days after President Obama declared the swine flu a national emergency, his Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint consumer warning on products claiming swine flu prevention or cures. A joint warning letter was also sent to websites and companies demanding they stop selling or stop making false claims about their products or they will face criminal and civil charges.
The dragnet of swine flu scams was so broad that it caught up Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the best-known and most trusted alternative medicine doctors in America. He was forced to remove information from his site about his Immune Support Formula, which contains astragalus, "traditionally used to ward off colds and flu and has demonstrated both antiviral and immune-boosting effects in scientific investigation."
The irony is that the declaration of a national swine flu emergency allows the FDA to authorize "the emergency use of certain unapproved and uncleared products." The FDA has already authorized the emergency use of the "investigational antiviral drug" peramivir and will likely rush other untested drugs to market.
The FDA admits there is limited safety data on peramivir, and has mandated that healthcare providers report all adverse events and all medication errors associated with peramivir to FDA's MedWatch program within seven days. In effect, all swine flu patients administered peramivir are participating in human trials of an experimental drug. So far, adverse events in patients given peramivir have included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and neutropenia. (According to Wikipedia, neutropenia is a "disorder characterized by an abnormally low number of neutrophils, the most important type of white blood cell ... [P]atients with neutropenia are more susceptible to bacterial infections and, without prompt medical attention, the condition may become life-threatening).
Astragalus bad, peramivir good? It's hard to trust an FDA that "protects" the public from from time-tested natural herbal supplements while rushing untested pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines to market!
MY COMMENT: This news of the experimental drug possibly causing neutropenia is especially worrisome considering that the patients who have the worse complications of this flu mostly have a bacterial superinfection that sets in after the virus has wrecked the lungs. We need our neutrophils to fight bacteria!