Dr Rath’s Letter to the New Yorker Regarding HIV/AIDS
15th April 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized
Matthias Rath, M.D.
28 December 2006
David Remnick, editor
The New Yorker
Dear Mr. Remnick,
We have been contacted by “The New Yorker” and informed that you intend to publish an article about the immune deficiency disease AIDS and ways to cope with this epidemic. You also seem to be interested in the situation in South Africa , a country most affected by this epidemic.
The fact, that your Journal contacted me – a scientist active in the field of micronutrients research – also suggests that you are interested in the role of vitamins and micronutrients in coping with this disease. This is not surprising since micronutrients have been established for decades in every textbook of biology and biochemistry as key factors for the production of white blood cells and the prevention of immune deficiencies of any origin.
I am convinced, that the contact by your Journal during its fact-finding process for this article reflects the fact, that our Research Institute in micronutrients research is a world leader in developing science-based natural approaches to cancer, AIDS and other diseases. We are also committed to develop public health strategies particularly for the developing world to cope with these epidemics.
Considering the importance of a science-based approach to the AIDS crisis I have marshalled some of the facts I consider most relevant for your article.
1. The Responsibility of “The New Yorker” to Cover the Scientific Facts About the AIDS Epidemic
1.1 The immune deficiency condition AIDS is a global health challenge that affects millions of people. The media of the world share a great responsibility for providing reliable information about this epidemic and how to cope with it.
1.2 The AIDS epidemic is a particular challenge for the developing countries were the great majority of AIDS cases occur. Beside the human burden of this disease there are far-reaching economic considerations. As long as the AIDS epidemic continues there is no real possibility to terminate the economic dependency of the developing world from the leading industrial nations, most of whom are leading exporters of pharmaceutical drugs.
1.3 “The New Yorker” is a journal predestined to address these issues in an objective manner serving primarily the interests of the people and governments mostly affected by the AIDS epidemic. In the past, “The New Yorker” has been known for its in-depth research, its objective reporting independent of corporate interests and its overall credibility.
1.4 “The New Yorker” has a core readership in New York City , the seat of the United Nations and the residence of UN ambassadors from around the world. Any article in “The New Yorker” about the AIDS epidemic will reach many countries, influencing health care decisions of many governments and directly or indirectly determine the health of millions of people affected by AIDS.
1.5 These facts place a particular burden on “The New Yorker” in writing an article about the AIDS epidemic. Above all, the scientific facts in such an article must be accurate. However, this should not be a difficult task: The control of the AIDS epidemic is no longer a question of beliefs and speculation rather than one of available scientific facts. Following are some of the most important facts, which can be verified by the fact-finding department of any journal anywhere in the world.
2. Facts About the Pharmaceutical Approach to the AIDS Epidemic
2.1 The most common pharmaceutical approaches to AIDS are so-called anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). Most ARVs are derivatives of drugs used in the chemotherapy of cancer. The underlying therapeutic mechanism of these drugs is to damage or destroy the cells of the body in the hope to also impair or destroy cancer cells or – in the case of AIDS – virus containing cells.
2.2 It is basic knowledge that the primary target organ of these toxic chemotherapeutic drugs is the bone marrow in the human body. Moreover, the first cells toxically damaged are the fastest reproducing cells, i.e. the blood cells deriving from the bone marrow. This inevitably leads to the impaired production and function of almost all subtypes of white blood cells and other cells that determine immune function in the body.
2.3 AIDS, the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is by definition an immune deficiency condition – i.e. a disease characterized by an impaired function of the immune system. A 13-year old understands that a toxic agent that damages the immune cells cannot cause the immune system to improve and correct immune deficiencies – rather than achieving the opposite – further aggravating this condition.
3. Facts About the Pharmaceutical Investment Business With the AIDS Epidemic
3.1 The pharmaceutical industry is not a health industry but rather an investment industry. The almost exclusive merchandise of the pharmaceutical industry are synthetic, patented drugs and its market place are global diseases. The return on investment for the pharmaceutical business is determined by increased drug sales and expanding disease markets – not by the prevention or the eradication of diseases.
3.2 While ten years ago I may have been the first to publish the facts about the “pharmaceutical business with disease,” this sober analysis of the pharmaceutical business model has been dwarfed in the mean time by public criticism including a series of bestselling books, most notably by Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor in chief of the “New England Journal of Medicine”.
3.3 Over the past two decades the AIDS epidemic has become a multibillion dollar market for the pharmaceutical investment industry with ARVs being essentially supplied from three drug exporting countries, the US , the UK and Germany .
3.4 The continued growth and expansion of the global ARV market is essentially achieved by responding to the epidemic of immune deficiencies with the promotion of chemotherapeutic drugs – ARVs – that aggravate immune deficiencies. Through this marketing strategy existing markets for ARVs and other drugs are being continuously expanded and markets for newly generated diseases are constantly being created.
3.5 Considering this aggressive marketing strategy it does not come as a surprise for anyone that patients taking ARV drugs severely compromise their immune system becoming susceptible to tuberculosis and other bacterial, viral and fungal disease. A recent article in the “New York Times” even reported about an increase incidence of leprosy in patients taking ARVs.
3.6 The accusation that the pharmaceutical industry responds to diseases by promoting drugs that does not cure this disease, rather than further aggravating it, is serious and is not made easily. Some may even reject such a serious accusation for the simple fact that it violates all ethical standards as well as national and international laws. Fact is, however, that such marketing schemes by the pharmaceutical industry are widely used and in no way limited to ARV drugs and the AIDS epidemic.
3.7 For more than a half a century chemotherapeutic agents have been promoted by drug companies as a “treatment of choice” in the fight against cancer. The ineffectiveness of chemotherapy in the global fight against cancer is evidenced by the fact that until today cancer has remained the third leading cause of death in the industrialized world. While this failure has been highly publicized, the reasons for it have not. Hardly anyone knows that many chemotherapeutic agents promoted by drug companies as cancer “treatments” are actually well-established “human carcinogens”, as documented by the Merck Manual and the official US-“Report on Carcinogens.” These carcinogens include such widespread cancer agents as Cisplatin, Tamoxifen, Melphalan and others.
3.8 The pharmaceutical marketing scheme to sell drugs that are known to cause cancer – to millions of cancer patients – , and to promote drugs that are known to damage the immune system – to millions of AIDS patients – is rather daring. This marketing scam only works under one condition: that both cancer and AIDS are being upheld as “untreatable” and essentially “death verdicts.” Should those millions of patients affected by cancer or those affected by AIDS patients ever learn that science-based and safe health approaches are available to effectively help control these diseases, the global market of chemotherapeutic drugs will collapse.
3.9 If these simple facts would have been published by an influential newspaper in the past, the multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns to sell toxic ARV drugs to AIDS patients around the world could not have survived. The fact, that not even critical journals like “The New Yorker” addressed these obvious facts in the past have had detrimental consequences for millions of AIDS patients.
4. The Consequences of Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategies with AIDS
4.1 The World Health Organization (WHO) had defined AIDS in an Official Conference in Bangui , Central Africa , as the occurrence of five typical “AIDS-defining symptoms.” They are: fever, diarrhoea, persistent cough, weight loss and TB symptoms.
4.2 In contrast to this official definition of AIDS, the pharmaceutical industry has consistently been trying to reduce the problem of AIDS to a simple equation, the infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is currently vigorously debated whether the pharmaceutical equation HIV=AIDS is a scientific fact or a marketing strategy for the sales of ARVs.
4.3 The answer is surprisingly simple and comes from WHO data as recent as 2001. The statistical evaluation of these unique global data show that:
4.3.1 From all people infected with HIV statistically less than 20 % develop the immune deficiency condition AIDS – even after 13 years.
4.3.2 This means that after more than a decade over 80% of all HIV-infected individuals remain AIDS free.
4.3.3 If HIV would be the highly pathogenic micro-organism for which it is being promoted by pharmaceutical medicine, AIDS-symptoms would occur in 100% of the cases – and within a relatively short time.
4.3.4 While HIV may be present in AIDS patients it can not be the only cause of AIDS.
4.4 On the other hand, the statistical evaluation of large scale clinical studies using ARV drugs in AIDS patients show a distinctly different picture:
4.4.1 The death rate from AIDS among HIV-positive patients taking ARVs is statistically over 7% each year.
4.4.2 This means that almost all of those patients taking toxic ARVs have developed AIDS and have died after 13 years.
4.5 In conclusion:
4.5.1 While HIV-positive patients not taking ARVs have an 80% chance to survive 13 years AIDS free, the statistical chances to survive this period for patients taking ARVs are close to zero.
4.5.2 The promotion of ARV drugs to all HIV positive patients is not based on scientific facts nor does it help the patients. It is solely built on marketing strategies of pharmaceutical companies selling ARVs and looking to expand their drug markets.
4.5.3 The only way to cause AIDS symptoms in about 100% of HIV infected people is to promote toxic ARVs to them – immediately after they have been diagnosed as HIV positive.
5. Scientific Facts About the Role of Micronutrients for Improving Immune Function and Fighting Immune Deficiencies
5.1 Half a century ago, no less than nine Nobel Prizes had been awarded for the discovery of vitamins and in particular their role in providing optimum immune function in the body. Until this day, the Nobel Prize Committee considers this fact so significant that it maintains a separate web site documenting the Nobel Prizes in biology, chemistry as well as physiology and medicine awarded for elucidating the role of vitamins in health and disease.
5.2 Today, half a century later, the role of vitamins and other micronutrients for the optimum production and function of white blood cells and other immune response factors is solidly documented in every textbook of biology, biochemistry, cell physiology and other textbooks of basic biological sciences.
5.3 Admittedly, it is a remarkable fact that this basic knowledge of biology and life itself has been largely barred from entering the textbooks of medicine and its various disciplines including internal medicine and immunology.
5.4 This censorship of life saving information obviously did not happen in the interest of patients or doctors. It happened primarily in the interest of the pharmaceutical investment business, for which highly effective – but non-patentable therapeutic approaches – represented a debilitating economic threat.
5.5 The connection between micronutrients and immune function is firmly established and no reasonable person will challenge it. Today, the online service of the US Library of Medicine alone lists more than 8000 references documenting the essential role of micronutrients for optimum function of the immune system.
5.6 It therefore comes as no surprise that micronutrients effectively improve the immune function and well-being of people living with AIDS. We have presented the first results of a community micronutrient program in South Africa in the New York Times. This public health announcement also documented the reversal of AIDS-symptoms with micronutrients including such severe conditions as advanced ulcers. In the meantime this community program has been extended to thousands of people affected by AIDS in South Africa .
5.7 Micronutrients are not a cure for AIDS. But in the absence of an effective cure or a vaccine for this epidemic they are an effective and affordable way to halt and even reverse the symptoms of the AIDS disease and to improve the quality of life of AIDS patients. Moreover, the implementation of micronutrients as public health strategies will allow the international research community to win decisive time until a cure is found.
6. The Growing Use of Micronutrients in the Control of the AIDS Epidemic and the Consequences for the Pharmaceutical Investment Business
6.1 The spread of the public health information about the value of micronutrients in the control the AIDS epidemic threatens the multi-billion dollar global market of the pharmaceutical industry with harmful ARV drugs.
6.2 In order to prevent the collapse of the ARV market the pharmaceutical investment lobby and their political stake holders have taken a series of decisive measures.
6.2.1 President Bush, the political leader of the worlds’ largest drug export nation has launched a 15 billion dollar ARV promotion campaign for the developing world. Under the umbrella of a so-called Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) he promotes ARVs – but not micronutrients and nutrition. Thus, George Bush’s highly publicized PEPFAR plan is not an “emergency” measure to help fight AIDS but merely a multi-billion dollar subsidy for US-drug companies – paid for by US tax payer money.
6.2.2 In a similar way, UK-Prime Minister Blair – the political leader of the second largest drug exporting nation – has launched his “Marshall Plan for Africa ” promising debt relief to those impoverished countries willing to import ARVs from British drug companies worth billions.
6.2.3 In order to increase the pressure on the African governments to mass-import ARV drugs, so-called Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are being founded within African countries with the specific purpose to organize public pressure for distribution of toxic ARV drugs among the poor at no cost. Almost all funding for the activities of these special NGOs comes from abroad – from “support organizations” of the three leading drug export nations, the US , UK and Germany .
7. The ARV Business of the Drug Industry and the Legal Dangers of Promoting Unsafe Drugs
7.1 Product liability lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies for the marketing of harmful drugs are threatening the survival of major drug companies. Bayer’s Baychol and Merck’s Vioxx are only two examples. Thousands of harmed patients have filed civil, criminal and even class action lawsuits against the executives of those companies.
7.2 Baychol and Vioxx are not the exception, but the rule. Most pharmaceutical drugs are toxic by their chemical nature and the deadly side-effects of these pharmaceutical drugs have become the third leading cause of death in America .
7.3 And these figures do not even include the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by chemotherapeutic agents for which their extreme toxicity is being marketed as a “therapy” for diseases like cancer or AIDS.
7.4 Large-scale legal actions for use of toxic chemotherapy in cancer and ARVs are only a question of time. The only reason why these lawsuits have not already reached avalanche-like proportions is because the patients are being falsely told that there is no effective and safe alternative to these toxic chemicals.
7.5 The civil and criminal consequences of such large scale litigation would be particularly severe since the pharmaceutical investment business could be held responsible for misleading the entire medical profession and the public at large, for inflicting bodily harm and possibly wrongful death in connection with promoting harmful treatment for entire diseases.
7.6 Considering the amount of scientific evidence available documenting the paramount role of micronutrients to fight immune deficiency conditions, including AIDS, it is an irresponsible, high risk gamble by the pharmaceutical industry and its stakeholders. For if the dam of public knowledge breaks, it will have serious legal implications – including class action law suits by thousands of patients – for deliberately withholding life-saving information for patients with cancer, AIDS and other diseases.
8. The Analogy Between the Liability of the Tobacco Industry and the Pharmaceutical Industry
8.1 Class action lawsuits have been filed against the tobacco industry for marketing products that cause severe health damages to millions of people and far-reaching economic damages to communities and entire states.
8.2 It is a well-documented fact that such class action lawsuits against tobacco industry were considered impossible at the onset by many. Fact is too, that today the damages awarded in these class action lawsuits are the highest in US history.
8.3 Considering the magnitude of harm afflicted particularly by the class of chemotherapy drugs to patients with cancer and AIDS the magnitude of damages in any class action lawsuit against the manufacturers and promoters of these drugs will dwarf those against the tobacco industry by an order of magnitude.
8.4 Moreover, tobacco was marketed as a life-style product and it was a matter of individual choice to use it. In the case of pharmaceutical drugs, in particular toxic chemotherapeutic agents, the liability for those promoting these drugs will be much higher because they promoted these drugs deceptively – despite having knowledge about the availability of effective and safe alternatives.
9. My Scientific Contributions
9.1 It is no coincidence that “The New Yorker” has contacted me in connection with the forthcoming article on AIDS. Over the years there has been a growing interest in my scientific contributions in particular in the field of cancer and AIDS. This interest derives – at least in part – from my discoveries about new therapeutic options to block the spread of cancer cells as well as viral infections.
9.2 Various parts of this new therapeutic approach using science-based natural health approaches have been independently confirmed in recent years by leading research institutions, including the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda , the Universities of Wisconsin, Copenhagen ( Denmark ), Hamburg ( Germany ) and others.
9.3 As is the case with the natural control of AIDS, the scientific advances in the natural control of cancer have been the target of remarkable attacks by the pharmaceutical investment business and its stakeholders in medicine and the media. In the absence of scientific arguments some media have refrained to personal defamation and unprofessional demagoguery. Among the media that had to publish court-ordered retractions and apologies were some of the leading media in Europe .
9.4 A point in case is the “British Medical Journal” (BMJ), arguably the world’s most widely circulated medical journal. As recent as September 2006 the BMJ had to publish a correction and a public apology for publishing false allegations in connection with my scientific work in cancer. The litigation for damages against the BMJ is ongoing and does not even include claims by doctors and patients who have been misled by the BMJ report to the detriment of their patients.
9.5 In October 2006, in a much-publicized lawsuit in the court of Hamburg, Germany , the presiding judge found that I may have played a “pioneering role” in the development of new therapeutic approaches to cancer.”
9.6 It is with the authority of a pioneering scientist that – in response to the inquiry by the “The New Yorker” – I have marshalled the facts about the AIDS epidemic in this letter and summarize them as follows:
* Micronutrients are an effective, safe and affordable approach to improve immune deficiencies and fight AIDS. Their use should be implemented as the basis of any public health strategy to fight AIDS in any country. Any other decision defies decades of research in all fields of biological sciences.
* Chemotherapeutic agents like ARVs are no justifiable therapeutic option for immune deficiency diseases, including AIDS. Their therapeutic target is to chemically poison the cells of the body, including the cells of the immune system, thereby aggravating any immune deficiency.
* The media of the world – including “The New Yorker” – share responsibility for publishing accurate and objective public health information by putting the health interest of millions of people above corporate greed.
Dr. Matthias Rath