I find it interesting how different cities in the U.S. have different attitudes about natural medicine.
For example, in Boston and D.C., the academic intelligentsia and government minions make good livings conducting good research about natural approaches to health and healing. But nothing ever comes of it because the health bureaucrats in the crony capitalist government agencies give lip service about always “needing MORE research” before recommending anything “new.”
All the while government bureaucrats and politicians use these effective, proven, natural approaches themselves in hush-hush circles. But they don’t have the courage or conviction to stand up for it for the benefit of all citizens.
Meanwhile, doctors in the New York City area do have the courage to use and recommend natural approaches in their practices. And they have for a long time. I used to go up to New York City regularly to see doctors like Frank Lipman and Woody Merrell who practice natural, “alternative” medicine right out in the open.
I also remember being struck by how differently my new textbook on natural medicine (the first on the topic) was received in Washington, D.C. versus New York City back in 1995. The book came out to deafening silence in Washington, D.C., where I lived and worked at the time.
But at a book signing event in New York City, hundreds of prominent leaders in the art, business and cultural world came to hear me speak about important natural approaches to health and healing. Shortly thereafter, the actor Peter Fonda tracked me down, as well as some leading philanthropists, who had heard about my work through word of mouth.
New York City still on the forefront
Of course, New York City is about as far from Nature as you can get. Yet it is still the largest city to recognize and support the role of natural, healthy foods to prevent and treat chronic diseases. In 2013, a non-profit organization in New York City launched an innovative health initiative called the “Fruits and Vegetables Prescription Program.”
As part of the program, doctors prescribe “health bucks” for healthy fruits and vegetables, which their patients can redeem at any one of 140 local farmer’s markets around the city. The program aims to give at-risk and lower-income patients greater access to healthy foods.
Instead of sending overweight patients home with prescriptions for drugs or admonishments to lose weight, these NYC doctors can now send their patients home with a “prescription” to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. The New York Times even published a report on many success stories of patients losing weight and going off pharmaceutical medications because of this program.
But not so fast. In steps the FDA.
According to the FDA, no food, fruit, vegetable, or dietary supplement can help prevent or treat any disease.
According to these unscientific, “unnatural,” bureaucrats at FDA, “prescribing” food as something to prevent or treat obesity (now defined as a disease) automatically transforms the healthy food into a drug. So according to FDA, these New York doctors are now prescribing “unapproved drugs,” which are just healthy foods.
Of course, this backwards stance is pure bureaucratic gobbledygook. Healthy foods DO have the power to prevent and treat not just obesity…but any number of chronic diseases.
But that fact DOES NOT make them drugs. Furthermore, the only safe and effective drugs that I know of are based on the properties the come from Nature in the first place. Such as metformin, which derives from French lilac.
The twisted logic of the FDA works against common sense, doctors and the public. And the New York City doctors should just tell the FDA to “fuggedaboudit” before they send armed federal government thugs to raid green grocers and farmer’s market stands.