Monday, February 13, 2017

The title at the head of the page is "strength/flexibility/health/EDS”. (EDS stands for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.) The subtitle reads “COLLOIDAL SILVER HEALER - HOW MUCH CAN IT REALLY HELP?”

My friend was concerned that the person who referred her to it and others who saw it might be persuaded to take silver internally and develop argyria, skin discolored by silver, like I have.

I went to the site expecting to be able to post a comment but didn’t find a place where I could, so I decided to do a blog entry on it instead, in the hopes that those reading the promo site might stumble across my remarks.


Then at the bottom of the page there is a picture of a pretty young blonde woman. The caption above her photo says “about the author” Under the picture you find a long list of job titles which I assume are supposed to be the things she does for a living, like “speaker”, “author”, “health educator”, but if her name is posted anywhere, I didn’t find it so there is no way to verify what she says about herself.

A note at the end of the article reads, “Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and recommendations in this article are of the author and the author alone. Statements expressed are not to be misconstrued as medical advice or as a ‘treatment’ for EDS or its related conditions. You are responsible for your health and safety when trialing a new product. Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS, its owner, the author of this article, and its affiliates assume no liability for the consumption of any of the products mentioned in this article. Reading this article means that you agree to the terms of use and this disclaimer.”

That sounds to me as if the author, whoever that may be, and the site owner want to make sure that anyone they persuade to “trail” silver and consume it who turns blue or gray won’t have legal grounds to sue them. 

The product being advertised is a gadget from a company named Honey Colony that the company calls a Colloidal Silver Healer. It is a device that uses electricity to release silver into water for people to drink and apply topically. The gizmo sells for $290, marked down from $350. The company claims that the silver solution made with the Healer produces “one of the most powerful natural antibiotics in existence,” and while it promotes its internal as well as external use, the blogger states that, “I’ve never used silver containing products for other personal applications outside of the hospital or for wound healing.” Since people with EDS have fragile skin, she is urging them to direct their doctors to only apply wound dressings on them after surgery that contain silver.  

Then she provides a link to the wikipedia article on the medical uses of silver., accessed by me on 2/12/17. However, if readers click on it and read it, I doubt that they will try silver or spend $290 on a gadget to make CS with. Read the article for yourself and decide if I am right. 

If you have serious wounds or surgery, your doctor will know how best to treat them. That’s his job. He is trained for it and experienced with it. Follow his advice. He wants you to heal quickly without complications. And never take silver in any form or amount internally. It doesn’t work as an antibiotic. We know that because desperate doctors and patients tried to cure infections with it before the advent of antibiotics but were never able to do so. Neither could they do so with anything else because there are no “natural” antibiotics. That is why infectious diseases were the scourge of humanity before scientists developed antibiotics starting in the 1930s.

What doctors and patients did learn about silver back then is that it is toxic. It can discolor your skin permanently turning it gray or blue. The condition is called argyria. I have had argyria for over 50 years and spent years investigating silver. All the objective evidence I’ve found clearly demonstrates that taking silver internally is all risk and no benefit. It can turn you permanently gray.

tags: Colloidal Silver Healer, Honey Colony, EDS, argyria, silver, colloidal silver, natural antibiotic 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My self-published ebook is available on Amazon.

books, nonfiction, memoirs, discrimination, dietary supplements, bad doctors, medicine, alternative medicine, diversity, inspirational, overcoming adversity, women’s issues, feminism, Vermont, Bernie Sanders, bullying, political activism

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bernie Sanders And Healthcare

I don't think Bernie Sanders can do anything to improve the American healthcare system because he doesn't know what the problems are that cause it. I think his efforts at throwing taxpayer money at it will make it much worse. He will give us the VA For All. (Even if he could give us Medicare For All, I'd suggest you ask providers what they think of that system before you decide that it should be the national model.)

The first reason for the very high cost of healthcare in the US is cultural. 

Having lived under both the American and Canadian healthcare systems, I seriously doubt that many Americans would be happy with the Canadian one even though Canadians are. That is because of cultural differences. Not many 80 year old  Americans would happily wait a year or more for hip replacement surgery the way many of their northern neighbors routinely do, nor would they like having to go to another country and pay for treatment there, even at a discount, as some Canadians are apparently doing now.

Americans, and often their doctors, unlike people in other countries who accept death as natural and inevitable and believe in realistic limits on what can and cannot be treated and reimbursed for by someone else, want third party payers to pick up the tab for whatever they believe offers a glimmer of hope even though there is no evidence supporting the treatment. An example of this is the truly tragic story of bone marrow transplants for breast cancer in which one woman successfully sued her HMO for refusing to pay for it and got an $89 million judgement against the HMO. (The amount appears to have been reduced eventually out-of-court, but the woman didn't survive very long, and when the studies were done, they showed that the treatment doesn't work for breast cancer and that it is terribly brutal for the patients who gets it.)

Bernie himself supports naturopaths who practice unscientific medicine and has worked hard to force 3rd parties to reimburse for their services. This is expensive and dangerous. 

When I wrote and told him about the danger of taking silver dietary supplements internally, unbeknownst to me he wrote to the FDA and asked that they study silver supplements. That was totally insane. If his advisors had been real scientists instead of alts, they would have known that silver was very well studied before Bernie was born and that it was discarded by real doctors who realized it was dangerous snake oil by the 1950s. He would have known what a waste of taxpayer money it would have been for any government organization to study it and that if anyone should study it, it would be those who manufacture and sell it.

The other major reasons healthcare is so expensive are the development of so much knew technology, the aging of the population and the obesity epidemic. While Sanders’s supporters may say that other countries also have to deal with new technology, older people and obesity, I suspect that they will soon face the problems that come with those things just the way America did quite awhile ago. Actually, that seems to already have happened in the UK.


1. This is a very unfavorable critique of the Canadian healthcare system. System - Not a good model2 Dan McC_0.pdf
I have not checked the links or tried to independently verify any of the statements. However, I do know that a great many of the healthcare providers where I live, on the US side of the VT/Que. border, are Canadians. Many live in Canada and commute to work here. They include doctors, nurses, physical therapists and an optometrist.  

2. Sanders isn’t the first presidential candidate to promise universal healthcare. I remember seeing Bill Clinton on TV when he first ran for President saying that within his first 100 days in office he would give the country a Universal Health Care Plan. I thought to myself, “This guy is a liar or a fool or a lying fool. Everyone wants universal healthcare but no one wants to pay for it. That’s why we don’t have it.” I lost all respect for Clinton then and there.

I thought that Bush lost the election to him because of his failure to realize that Americans wanted very serious healthcare reform. I have a cousin with type 1 diabetes who voted for Clinton because she believed he’d deliver on his promise. She wanted to start her own business but was afraid to quit her job. It provided health insurance which she didn’t think she could afford on her own.

Here is a link to the wiki article on Clinton’s Universal Health Care Plan

3. For a look into the world of unscientific, belief-based medicine, the kind no third party should ever be forced to reimburse for, browse through this site posted by an apostate ND, naturopath, the kind Sanders has worked so hard to promote.

4. This article regarding the UK national healthcare system with the lead line, “Former NHS director dies after operation is cancelled four times at her own hospital” is in a British publication.

5. This video shows the advanced lab technology now being used which I assume is expensive.

6. This reports on a surgeon with a degree from the Canadian med school at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario who is moving his practice from Vermont to New York. According to the article, the problem is “the economics” of Vermont’s system.

Bernie Sanders, Medicare-for-all, Healthcare, Bad Healthcare Plan

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bernie Sanders Doesn't Listen

When questioned on his views about gun control on the NBC TV show “Meet the Press”, Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont campaigning for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, replied, “Coming from a rural state, I think I can communicate with folks coming from urban states, where guns mean different things than they do in Vermont, where [they are] used for hunting. That’s where we have to go. We don’t have to argue with each other and yell at each other. We need a common sense solution.”

But can Sanders really communicate with people who hold different views than he does? Does he really want to? I don’t think so.

Although some credit Bernie’s first election win to the NRA,
when Ed Cutler, President of Gun Owners of Vermont, spoke with the Washington Post, he said that whenever he calls Sanders’s office asking for a meeting he never gets one adding that, “We have no input with him.”

When Sanders was interrupted by hecklers from Netroot Nation in Arizona who shouted ,“Black lives matter”, instead of discussing their concerns or trying to set up a meeting to do that at, he responded, “Black lives of course matter, but I have spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and if you don’t want me to be here that’s OK.” 
According to one media report, after the confrontation, Sanders proceeded to cancel all the meetings he had scheduled for that day including one with some of the “African-American protesters and leaders”.

Curtiss Reed, a racial equality trainer and the executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, sent an open letter to the press,, saying that Sanders needed to talk to people in Vermont to learn how racism in America has evolved in the last 50 years. He wanted Bernie to meet with “leaders of color right here in his own state, which is something that he hasn’t done.” (Sanders was elected Mayor of Burlington, VT, in 1981 and has been an elected official here ever since, going from Mayor to Congressman to Senator.)

According to a Facebook post by Curtiss who I believe strongly supports Sanders, Bernie or his staff have reached out to speak with him after his letter was published.

If you google, “seattle sanders protesters”, you will find several media reports about 2 young black women interrupting a Sanders’s speech. If you look at the comments, you will see that instead of addressing the issue they raise, Sanders’s fans, the people he has been surrounded and encouraged by for decades, are trashing the women rather than addressing the very real national issue they want Bernie to address. This blog entry describes better than I can how I feel about that.

Speaking at a town meeting in Cabot, VT to a small group of Vermonters who were interrupting him, Sanders yelled, “Shut up!”, He also said, “You don’t have the microphone.”  “I am answering a question and I do not want to be disturbed.” “You’re entitled to your view. I’m entitled to my view.” “Do I have to answer those questions? I don’t.”

When I tried to speak to Sanders or his staff back in the 1990s about dietary supplements and silver supplements in particular I too got the distinct impression that Sanders and his staff wanted nothing to do with me.  

I was so annoyed that I told his receptionist that Bernie wasn’t born into the House of Lords. If he wants to represent the people, he has to talk to them. Then I stood outside his Burlington office wearing a sign asking, “How much does it cost to talk to Bernie?” I haven’t heard yet.

The reason I was so disappointed with Sanders was that I had really believed that he represented and connected with me, one of your proverbial little guys who he constantly claims he is fighting for. Ironically, while Sanders’s staff was hostile to me, I got a lot of help from other elected Vermont officials like Senator Patrick Leahy, then Senator Jim Jeffords, and then Governor Howard Dean, people I’ve never heard rant about battling the-powers-that be on behalf of ordinary folks like me. 

However, it all made sense when I learned that Sanders has strongly advocated for alt med practitioners, most, if not all, of whom, sell, recommend, and use dietary supplements, including silver, the dangerous snake oil that disfigured me over 50 years ago,, which again is very ironic since Bernie constantly rants about the big bad greedy drug companies. Surely he knows that many drug companies are heavily invested in the unregulated multibillion dollar supplement industry. 

Sanders has also worked hard to force third party payers to reimburse the “services” of alt med practitioners like naturopaths.

IMO, Bernie only speaks with those who agree with him and admire him, unless as was the case with the NRA, he wants something from them. Many say, “Oh he will learn.” Well you could say that about anyone including Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but I for one seriously doubt that Clinton, Trump, or Sanders will “learn”. Oh, they may change their position on an issue if they think it will get them the votes they need to become president, but as soon as they get what they want, they will revert to their default position.

Tags: Bernie Sanders, racism, black lives matter, diversity, Seattle Sanders protest

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Accredited Naturopathic Schools - Article 2

In a recent exchange,, a student at an accredited naturopathic school in Canada told me that his school is considered a medical school because the students there get an education comparable to that of medical doctors. Since he had previously stated, “…NDs do not have the same privileges as MDs in Canada, not even close,” I asked him why if NDs have an education comparable to that of MDs, they aren’t given the same privileges that MDs have. He didn’t respond. If any of you knows the answer, please tell me. I’d love to know. 

Anyone with a degree from an accredited naturopathic school in either the US or Canada can be licensed as a naturopath, ND, in any and all of the states and provinces that license them meaning that the educations they get in all their accredited North American schools are considered to be the same, I know of several NDs with degrees from Canadian schools who are practicing in the US. 

Based on my investigations and personal experience with NDs who hold degrees from accredited ND schools, I am quite certain that their educations are not the equivalent of an MD’s, not even close, 
and I’m not the only one who has looked into the matter who has arrived at that conclusion. 

NDs who constantly insist that they get the same education in their 4-year accredited schools that MDs get in their 4-year institutions usually fail to add that most NDs start practicing when they finish school whereas MDs are required to do hospital residencies which for those going into primary care, the area NDs claim to specialize in, is a minimum of three additional years. In other words medical doctors spend a minimum of 3 more years after earning degrees from 4-year medical schools getting a hands-on education as they work under the supervision of experienced doctors in hospitals. Evidently, their 4 years of study in medical school isn’t considered sufficient to prepare them to treat patients but 4 years of study of what NDs claim is the equivalent of that education in an ND school is? I don’t think so, but that’s just part of the problem.

While a few NDs are starting to do residencies now because jurisdictions who license them are beginning to require it, they are usually doing one year residencies and they are usually doing them in clinics or private naturopathic practices not hospitals. Heck, unlike MDs, NDs don’t have hospitals. Unlike MDs, they haven’t opened hospitals or been doing surgery and caring for the acutely ill in them since the founding of naturopathy in 1902 when they were called “drugless healers”. And even today where naturopaths are licensed in several jurisdictions as primary care physicians, they aren’t permitted to do anything but minor surgery. They can’t do invasive procedures in which people are cut open. So, yeah, they may learn anatomy in their schools by dissecting cadavers, but they don’t gain experience observing or working on the anatomy of living human beings laying opened on the operating table. Neither do they observe and care for people in serious crises and emergency situations. I think that most anyone who has ever been a patient in a hospital or spent time visiting one will tell you that what you see there is very different than what you see anywhere else. My guess is that anyone who has ever been a hospital patient or visited one realizes the huge difference between seeing and treating very sick people and those with minor complaints or chronic illnesses. 

But even without taking into account medical residencies, how can NDs possibly learn all the same scientific disciples in their 4-year accredited schools that MDs learn in theirs in the same depth as MDs do when in addition to courses labeled as basic medical sciences that medical doctors take naturopaths must also take courses that teach and prepare them to practice so many additional modalities like homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical therapies, counseling, and nutrition? Are there really enough hours in the day during a 4-year course of study to cram in all that MDs, psychologists, registered dietitians, physical therapists, homeopaths and herbalists learn in order to practice their specialties? How could there be? Do the math.

And at 4-year accredited naturopathic schools located in places where NDs are not permitted to prescribe or use drugs, while they may take a course called “pharmacology”, how can they get practical experience with pharmaceuticals when neither they nor their ND professors are permitted to use them? And why is it that NDs who have degrees from ND schools where they are not permitted to use prescription drugs are permitted to use them if and when they become licensed in a state that permits NDs to use pharmaceuticals? That sounds very dangerous to me. 

Maybe I’m not the only one who has investigated and concluded that NDs most certainly do no get an education equivalent to that of MDs in their schools. Maybe that is why NDs in Canada aren’t granted the same privileges that MDs have there.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Evidence vs The Evidence

In a comment after an article about naturopathy,, I wrote, “NDs terrify me. They routinely use products that have never been evaluated for safety or efficacy. One or more of these substances could be totally useless but as lethal as cigarettes. By the time that is discovered, it will be too late to save many from premature deaths.”. The link was to an article I had written about deadly folk medicine that included references supporting my claim about the dangers of natural remedies and why they had to be  rigorously tested and evaluated for safety and efficacy before being used routinely. 

A student at an accredited naturopathic school who realized I was referring to NDs, naturopaths, with degrees from 4-year accredited schools like the one he attended replied, “The stats say ZERO deaths from natural products - that is the evidence.” He offered this reference,

My response was that his reference wasn’t ‘the’ evidence. It was a piece of the evidence. As such, it had to be checked and verified and then reviewed in the context of all the other available evidence relevant to the topic.

As soon as I clicked on the student’s link to the orthomolecular medicine site and saw the title of the article, “No Deaths from Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids or Herbs”, I knew that something had to be wrong because it contradicted the evidence I already had. It contradicted the evidence presented in my article above as well as with all the other numerous well documented reports of deaths caused by supplements like ephedra and the laxative teas. It contradicted what I had learned when I had spoken with survivors of two of the dead victims and some of the lawyers who had represented them.

So what was the problem? How had the authors and the student missed those deaths?  Well if you read the article, you will find that the authors based their conclusion that supplements are safe and haven’t killed anyone on just one piece of evidence, reports of deaths received by US Poison Control Centers in one year, 2008. 

But would anyone with an ounce of common sense who wanted to know the facts draw a conclusion based on that one report alone? I doubt it. I think most people, would say, Wait a minute. Were there any natural product deaths reported to the US Poison Control Centers in any other years? Were there any reported to it in the last 20 years? Were there any natural product deaths reported anywhere else such as to the FDA?Were there any supplement deaths reported in the medical literature or in the press? And even if a thorough investigation couldn’t find any, would rational people conclude that there couldn’t be any in the future? I doubt it. I think they’d understand the cigarette analogy. They’d understand that some substances take decades to kill their victims. 

But if readers discovered what I already knew, that supplements have already killed people, do you think they’d wonder why the site and the student excluded those death reports; why out of several reports they had chosen only one - the one that supported the conclusion that the products they promote are safe? Do you think that they’d ask themselves if anyone actually looking for factual information on the lethalness of supplements would exclude pieces of evidence that showed they had killed people? 

If you review the entire orthomolecular medicine site, not just the page the student linked to, you’ll find additional claims not supported by objective evidence. For instance, look at what the ortho site has to say about Max Gerson, MD and his Gerson Therapy, Compare that to what the American Cancer Society says about him and his Therapy. Notice specifically what it says about adverse reactions including deaths associated with coffee enemas which are a part of Gerson Therapy.

Also look at what the ACS has to say about orthomolecular medicine. Specifically, under the heading “overview”, “Available scientific evidence does not support the use of orthomolecular therapy for most of the conditions for which it is promoted.”  

But that isn’t the end of the story. In addition to death reports, there are many documented cases of injuries natural products used as remedies have caused. Look at what Consumers Union has to say about their safety even during the period that included 2008 when the ortho site said there were no deaths caused by them.

I personally also know that there are many documented cases of argyria, skin discolored by silver, caused by oh so natural silver “dietary supplements” that CU never mentioned. I predicted these back in 1995 when I learned that silver was being sold as a supplement, a “natural antibiotic”. It is the very thing that got me to investigate supplements and natural “remedies” and to discover the deaths and injuries they have caused and may possibly cause in the future. I have spoken to and seen some of the silver victims, their lawyers, doctors, friends and families. I’ve read of other cases of argyria in medical journals and in the media. I’ve been interviewed by the same journalists who interviewed Paul Karason and Stan Jones. I’ve reported extensively on the problem. Here’s just one example,

“Evidence” is a word used professionally by scholars like historians and economists as well as by cops, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, journalists, scientists, and doctors who practice evidence-based medicine (EBM). They take courses to learn what specifically constitutes reliable evidence in their fields. They all learn that you can’t “cherry-pick” evidence, you can’t selectively choose that which  supports your views while excluding that which does not.

But the concepts of evidence and proof aren’t alien to the guy in the street who uses them intuitively to varying degrees in his daily life. When he wants to buy a car, he asks his friends if they like theirs and probably checks magazines that he considers unbiased and reliable like Consumers Report to see what their investigations have uncovered and to see if they verify the claims that salesmen make. If he sees a news report about a local businessman accused of sexually harassing a female employee, he doesn’t draw a conclusion based on that report alone. He considers everything he knows about the situation and the guy and the gal. If he knows many women who have worked with the man over the years who respect and admire him and if he knows that the woman has a history of making false accusations against people, he doubts her claim. Intuitively he knows that one piece of evidence isn’t ‘the’ evidence. He knows that it can’t be viewed in isolation but only as a part of all that a good investigation uncovers. He knows that all the relevant facts have to be independently verified and that the sources providing them have to be considered to see if they have a financial, philosophical or emotional interest in the topic which could make them prone to either unconscious bias or to deliberately lie or deliberately mislead people. 

Life doesn’t come with guarantees but if we want to stack the odds in our favor the best thing we can do is learn where to find and how to weigh and evaluate evidence, the whole body of relevant evidence, so that we can make truly well informed decisions about the things that are important in life like drugs and therapies.

Scholars have recently recreated the view that General Robert E. Lee had of the Gettysburg battlefield and concluded that it is very likely that he lost there because his battle plan and the decisions he made were based on very incomplete evidence. They were based on the number and location of Union troops seen by him and his scouts who used high parts of buildings like the cupola atop the Lutheran Seminary as lookout posts as well as reports from cavalry reconnaissance troops. Unfortunately for them they didn’t see the large numbers of enemy soldiers who were blocked from view by the hilly terrain. Not seeing the superior number of Union forces, not obtaining all the facts, had dire consequences for the Confederates.

Of course, there are times in life, especially in war and emergency situations when we simply have to make a quick decision, times when we have to choose from several options even though we don’t have all the relevant facts. At those times, we cross our fingers and go with the evidence we have and our intuition knowing that there are serious consequences to whatever we decide even if it is to do nothing at all. 

However, most situations we face in life aren’t like that - something people in most professions know very well, especially scientists and those who practice evidence-based medicine. That is why medical scientists study drugs and therapies before they are used routinely. It is why those who practice EBM routinely use approved drugs that have been well studied. It is why medical scientists devise ways to test drugs and therapies scientifically, as unbiasedly as possible, to obtain the facts, the body of evidence, that enables them to make treatment decisions that increase the odds of helping not harming patients. 

That doesn’t mean that no one will ever be injured or killed by a well studied drug or therapy. It just means that by limiting our routine use of drugs and therapies to those that have been well studied that we will greatly increase the chances of our benefiting from them rather than being harmed by them. It will decrease the odds of our playing Russian roulette with our lives and health. It will reduce the guesswork and the risk that involves. This I believe is all we can reasonably hope for in life. This is why I believe in scientific or EBM and why the unscientific naturopathic alternative terrifies me.

A Naturopathic View

I recently had a fascinating exchange on a Canadian site with a fellow named Dave who says he is a student at a Canadian naturopathic school. I think that Dave provided a wealth of information on what licensed NDs believe and are taught in their schools. 

In my other blogs I’ve been careful to limit my comments about what licensed NDs with degrees from their 4-year accredited schools believe and do to what representatives of their profession state themselves either in person or on sites of organizations that represent them, like the sites of their schools and their state and national associations. 

While I don’t know if the views Dave has expressed are representative of the profession, they certainly are consistent with the representative views I am familiar with. 

Although Dave is being educated in a Canadian naturopathic school, the degrees granted by the Canadian and American schools are recognized by the same jurisdictions so that in states and provinces that license NDs with degrees from 4-year accredited ND schools, it doesn’t matter if the degree is from a Canadian or an American institution. For that reason I conclude that the instruction offered in both countries is the same.

As far as I’m concerned, everything Dave has said further confirms what I’ve stated repeatedly. Whether they know it or not, NDs neither learn, understand nor appreciate evidence-based medicine (EBM) itself or even the most basic medical sciences like pharmacology and toxicology. I hope to explain that further in future blogs using the wealth of material Dave has provided. 

But please don’t take my word for any of this. Read the exchange for yourself and draw your own conclusions. 

Whether or not you agree with me or with Dave, doesn’t matter in the least to me. What matters is that if this is a topic that interests you that you review all the relevant material for yourself and draw your own conclusions.