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CBS News Doing Spin For Big Pharma In Latest Supplement Attacks

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By: Christopher Barr
Naturally Speaking
January 29, 2007

FOR SALE: CBS Evening News?

Remember the forged documents reported as “news” by Dan Rather at CBS Evening News just prior to the last Presidential election? Rather was out the door sometime thereafter.

The names and faces may have changed but the making up the news as they go remains the same at CBS Evening News.

Several attack pieces on dietary supplements were launched in the guise of “news” during the course of last week’s CBS Evening News broadcasts.

The time tested herbal remedy of Echinacea was attacked yet again. It was reported that studies found “no proof that Echinacea fights the common cold”.

Only a few months ago an analysis of more than a dozen studies concluded that Echinacea use reduced incidence of the common cold by more than one-half, and markedly reduced severity in the much smaller number who did catch a cold while using Echinacea. That report came from the annual meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

Integrity issue, incompetence or in conflict?

Is the CBS Evening News a broadcast of liars? Perhaps they just can’t keep up with the news? You don’t suppose advertising dollars from pharmaceutical companies that make up so much of CBS advertising has anything to do with this, do you?

Documentation of the effectiveness of Echinacea in a double blind, clinical trial was covered by The Wall Street Journal almost 20 years ago.

The right type of echinacea used in the right form, prepared correctly and used the right way has the best, documented results against common viral illnesses of any substance ever tested. Compromising on one of these requirements (usually more) is the hallmark of the studies that find no proof of effectiveness for the time tested herbal remedy of Echinacea.

Formula for success

Use only the most potent types of Echinacea which are Angustifolia or Purpurea. The more common Pallida (and much less costly) is much weaker in healing attributes. The root is the most potent part of the herb Echinacea.

The liquid extract form is that with consistently high marks for effectiveness. However, that is only when it is prepared as a 100 per cent extract. Federal studies used extracts that were 60 per cent and less when they reported Echinacea to be ineffective. It was the federal studies that were ineffective and not the herb they were studying.

It is at the first sign of “coming down with” a common viral illness that use of Echinacea has received consistently high marks for effectiveness in countless studies.

The occasional study that cites Echinacea as ineffective often gets reported as “well designed” by the pharmaceutical cronies in the news media. The truth is that they are “well designed” for failure.

People living in glass houses

One of the CBS Evening News reports last week noted that passage of the Dietary Supplements Health Education Act (DSHEA) more than a dozen years ago came after the biggest letter writing campaign by consumers in the history of the U.S. Congress. DSHEA protected access for consumers to dietary supplements at a time when the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA were stepping up a campaign against dietary supplements.

Congress responded to the overwhelming will of the people. The CBS Evening News reported the response of elected representatives to their electors as “Congress caved and passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act”.

Can the CBS Evening News turn its Eye on itself to see its caving in to the advertising dollars they receive from the pharmaceutical industry in lieu of truthful reporting?

Christopher C. Barr writes Naturally Speaking from Arkansas: The Natural State … naturally! You may write him c/o P. O. Box 1147, Pocahontas, Arkansas 72455 or by e-mail at .

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