Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, August 7,
(OMNS, August 7, 2008) Drug Company Propaganda
on AOL's Health Page
"AOL's Dangerous Vitamins"(1) is loaded
with much more than your recommended daily dose of misinformation.
"Medical experts are concerned that you may be at risk for
vitamin overload"! "Be wary of high doses"! "Increased
risk of all-cause mortality"!
Yes, AOL surely wants you to stop taking vitamins.
Dangerous, they say. Overdoses, they say.
Baloney. Where are the bodies? According to 24 years of nation-wide
data collected by the American Association of Poison Control Centers,
there is not even one death per year from vitamin "overdosing."(2)
Half of the population takes them, and the more they take, the healthier
they are.(3) Vitamins have long been proven exceptionally safe,
even in high doses.(4)
How come AOL does not know that vitamin supplements
are safe and effective? Or do they? Let's take a closer look. A
small webpage note indicates that the "Dangerous Vitamins"
article is "presented by Journey for Control." Say, guess
who "Journey for Control" really is? Click the link and
see for yourself: "Journey for Control is a trademark of Merck
& Co., Inc." Yes, that is indeed the huge drug conglomerate.
How about that: an anti-vitamin article promoted by a drug company.
One word question: Why? One word answer: Cash.
At the Merck website, you can get a load of their dollar-driven
agenda. Merck is on a "journey for control," to be sure.
They want information control to consumers. For instance, Merck
believes that "Direct-to-Consumer Advertising contributes to
greater public awareness about conditions and diseases, as well
as available treatments." And as for lobbying, Merck believes
it just fine "where government initiatives to control health
care costs and regulate the health care system will directly affect
the Company's business and the incentives for pharmaceutical innovation."
Note that telling last phrase, "directly
affect the Company's business and the incentives for pharmaceutical
innovation." The biggest threat to big pharma profits is a
healthy populace that does not use their expensive drugs. People
who take more vitamins are healthier than people than people who
take too few: it is just that simple. Thousands of peer-reviewed
research studies show this over and over again: Vitamin therapy
is very safe and very effective. Merck Pharmaceutical and their
mercenary information-puppet AOL don't much like it.
Conspiracy thinking, you say? Unfortunately, no.
The US Food and Drug Administration, whose task is supposedly to
regulate the drug industry, agrees that high-dose vitamin preparations
are direct competition for their pet clients, the pharmaceutical
industry. Nothing new there. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy
David Adams, at the Drug Information Association Annual Meeting,
back in July 12, 1993, said:
"Pay careful attention to what is happening
with dietary supplements in the legislative arena... If these efforts
are successful, there could be created a class of products to compete
with approved drugs. The establishment of a separate regulatory
category for supplements could undercut exclusivity rights enjoyed
by the holders of approved drug applications."
And the FDA Dietary Task Force Report, released
June 15, 1993, said:
"The task force considered many issues in
its deliberations including to ensure that the existence of dietary
supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive for drug
This is the real reason Merck Pharmaceutical seeks
shills to generate anti-vitamin propaganda. Since Merck Pharmaceutical
can't get this control without media help, they get AOL's editorial
staff to do their work for them. There is no mistake about it: the
author of "Dangerous Vitamins" is Caroline Howard, who,
says her AOL bio, is a "senior editor on AOL's Health site."
Neither her previous job experience "as photo editor for the
New Yorker, Vanity Fair, AP, and the Village Voice," nor her
bachelor's degree in social science and photography, nor even her
master's in journalism especially qualify her as a nutrition expert.
And yet there it is; nutritional nonsense online for millions to
see. "Dangerous Vitamins" is crude vitamin-bashing, written
by AOL, bankrolled by Merck, and read by you. And your friends and
It is time to say it out loud: AOL is on the take.
Now you know. Click away from AOL. Get your nutrition news elsewhere,
somewhere where the "information" is not bought and paid
for by big pharma.
- Annual Reports of the American Association of Poison
Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (AAPCC),
3201 New Mexico Avenue, Ste. 330, Washington, DC 20016. Download
any report from1983-2006 at http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/NationalPoisonDataSystem/AnnualReports/tabid/125/Default.aspx
free of charge. The "Vitamin" category is usually near
the end of the report.
G, Jensen CD, Norkus EP, Dalvi TB, Wong LG, McManus JF, Hudes
ML. Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term
multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. Nutr
J. 2007 Oct 24;6(1):30
Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular
Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy
to fight illness.
For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular
Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational
Editorial Review Board:
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Damien Downing, M.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
James A. Jackson, PhD
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D