Hate is a Many Splenda Thing
"I Get My Medical Information from 'K'"
Dear Mr. Fumento:
For the past 30 years, I have focused on nutrition and diet to maintain my health. I discontinued eating any product with sugar a long time ago. However, I missed the taste of sugar and still regret that it has such a negative impact on the human body.
Six months ago, I found about Splenda. Wonderful! Now I could start putting this product into my coffee and on my grain cereals. Big mistake!
I soon noticed that I was awakening at night with a parched throat. I had to get up and drink a glass of water at least 2-3 times a night. Then I noted that my knee joints were becoming painful. What was happening? Was it something I was eating?
Then I found about Dr. Joseph Mercola, who has a web site at www.mercola.Com/2000/dec/3/sucralose_testimonials4.htm.
For crying out loud! Splenda is actually sucralose! As I read the testimonals [sic] from hundreds of people who had used Splenda and related stories of its impact on their bodies, I was astounded.
I threw out the Splenda in my cupboard and went right back to using Stevia (a product in health food stores). Guess what! Within a week, I no longer awakened during my sleep at night with a parched throat and I no longer had pains in my knees. Did Splenda do this to my body? I am convinced that it did in fact do just that!
Who can anyone trust in today's food emporium? I read the labels on all food products. From now on, "Splenda" or "Sucralose" [sic] is a taboo product for me. I've learned my lesson.
I would strongly suggest you go to that website and read the testimonials. It most certainly will be a revelation.
Dear Mr. Theisen:
Whom can you trust? Certainly not a quack like Mercola – an anti-fluoridationist who sells such whacko products on his website as "virgin coconut oil" that will:
Most people reading this would guess that Mercola has webbed feet, but you're too smart for that! You'd prefer to trust testimonials from people like "Carol," "Crystal," "K", and "Rick." Clearly that's more authoritative than the more than 110 animal and human safety studies conducted over 20 years the FDA looked at before approving sucralose and the fact that 78 other countries have also approved the product. It seems they know something your Mercola doesn't.
Meanwhile, according to the FDA:
Another product, Stevia, is derived from a South American shrub. Though it can impart a sweet taste to foods, it cannot be sold as a sweetener because FDA considers it an unapproved food additive. "The safety of stevia has been questioned by published studies," says Martha Peiperl, a consumer safety officer in FDA's Office of Premarket Approval. "And no one has ever provided FDA with adequate evidence that the substance is safe." Under provisions of 1994 legislation, however, stevia can be sold as a "dietary supplement," though it cannot be promoted as a sweetener.Sorry, but as a science writer I have no choice other than to put those studies and the findings of those agencies ahead of an unverified claim from "Sherry from Indiana."
Dear Mr. Fumento:
Thank you for your reply to my letter concerning Dr. Joseph Mercola and his opinion on Splenda.
I have a copy of the February 2005 newsletter titled "Health and Healing" published by Julian Whitaker, M.D. In this issue, Dr. Whitaker explains his viewpoint on Splenda. What is your opinion on Dr. Whitaker? Do you believe this man is in the same category as Dr. Mercola (a quack)? Or does Whitaker publish a legitimate newsletter concerning issues of nutrition and healing.
I would appreciate a reply.
Dear Mr. Theisen:
I'm afraid that Dr. Mercola has no monopoly on quackery. Quackery is an art practiced long before there was anything called medicine. One dead giveaway: Anybody who touts "alternative medicine." Modern medicine is still incredibly limited when you consider that most diseases cannot be cured and many can barely be treated at all. That's where the alternative medicine quacks step in. And there, in the very first words of Whitaker's website, he states: "As a long-time practitioner of alternative medicine . . ." Despite its limitations, however, modern medicine is capable of evaluating chemical safety. Big Sugar wants you to think Splenda is dangerous for obvious reasons, some alternative artificial sweetener companies would also like you to think so (as I write this, Coca-Cola has announced it will switch the sweetener in Diet Coke from aspartame to sucralose), and the alternative medicine quacks have picked up on this as well. But if you look at the published studies and the decision of 79, yes 79, different regulatory bodies, you find that Splenda is in any real sense of the word safer than sugar and as safe as water.
More Mercola Mania
Dear Mr [sic] Fumento:
As a concerned health professional I need to answer your claim that Splenda is a harmless substitute for sugar. On the contrary, it is not harmless and can be deadly to anyone with intestinal problems.
Please see one physician's report on Splenda at:
Please do a little more research before suggesting that any artificial product causes no harm.
[omitted] Lattanzio R.N., M.A.
Dear Ms. Lattanzio:
As a concerned health writer, I need to answer your claim that Splenda is a harmful substitute for sugar. Why do you trust Mercola over the FDA and the health agencies of 78 other countries? I found 78 published studies on sucralose and guess who DIDN'T author a single one of them? Please do a little more research than visiting a single quack's website before suggesting that any artificial product causes harm, especially when we KNOW the natural product does.
Dear Mr. Fumento:
Here are the "quack's" credentials. There are also many other physicians and nutritionists who have had patients with side effects from Splenda. Furthermore, all the studies on Splenda have been funded by the company that produces it!!!!
Do you really believe that everything the FDA approves is actually harmless? Didn't they approve Vioxx?
Dear Ms. Lattanzio:
You mean his LACK of credentials. Or, to put it in a language you can understand: "Quack! Quack, quack! Quack, quack, quack!"
"There are also many other physicians and nutritionists who have had patients with side effects from Splenda." Name them. Meanwhile I'll go with the decisions of the health regulatory bodies of 79 countries, thank you very much.
As to the maker of Splenda funding the studies, I suppose you'd rather they be paid for by the Girl Scouts? It's standard procedure at both FDA and EPA to make companies pay the costs of their own studies, lest it be foist upon taxpayers. But if those companies fudge their studies – and it's been done – there is hell to pay. Anyway, you're wrong. If you knew how to use PubMed – or even knew what it was – you'd find all sorts of sucralose studies not paid for by its maker.
Finally, yes Vioxx slipped through. But it did later get caught and in that sense the system worked. Meanwhile, sucralose data were reviewed for 20 years before approval. That doesn't give it much chance to slip through the safety net. If you want to stuff yourself with sugar, get fat, and lose your teeth – by all means go ahead. But please don't try to inflict your whacky/quacky ideas on others.
Dear Mr. Fumento:
For your information my family follows a diet that is free of grains, disaccharides and starches. It's called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and was developed by Elaine Gottschall, B.A., M. Sc.. [sic] As a memeber [sic] of the Department of Cell Science at the University of Western Ontario she spent four years investigating the effects of various sugars on the digestive tract working mainly on the cellular level. (She also thinks that Splenda is a horror.) It is this diet that has cured my son and many others of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
It is the consumption of grains that has allowed the world's population to increase from millions to over six billion. Some individuals cannot tolerate some grains, but they are very much the exception. As to Crohn's, it can be alleviated by diet and biotech medicines but there is no cure. Using a logical syllogism, If A) There is no cure for Crohn's; and B) Your son had Crohn's; then C) Your son either still has Crohn's or he is dead.
And being God, you would know!
I don't think it takes being a deity to know that Crohn's is incurable. It merely requires the ability to enter the term into a search engine – or alternatively, an IQ slightly above moron level. Good day.
A Glutton for Gluttony
Subject: No Artificial Food
Splenda Sucks. Artificial food makes people fat and sick. Give me sugar, meat and fat !
Artificial food is unsatisfying so you eat more. In the past 20 years people eat less meat and drink less milk, but eat alot [sic] of muffins. Consequently, they are fatter and their bones are weaker.
You are confusing "artificial ingredients" with "processed food." If you said the latter you'd be absolutely on target (except for the strange reference to muffins and weak bones). But since when is combining ARTIFICIALLY carbonated water with a syrup extracted from beets, cane, or corn and adding artificial caramel color a "natural food?" It's all artificial.
But by adding a non-caloric sweetener, you take something that has well over 100 calories and make it have zero. There is absolutely no reason to think that diet soda is any less satisfying than an HFCS soda, but if it were it still couldn't make you fat because each subsequent soda would still have no calories.
The "Wish He Were Silent" Minority
"So instead of picking on somebody its own size, BS [Big Sugar] goes after the little guy."
Splenda is sold by Johnson & Johnson's, with 2003 revenues of $42 Billion, while the total US market for sugar is less than $5 Billion.
That is, J&J is over 8 times BIGGER than "big sugar."
But the piece wasn't about Big Sugar vs. Johnson & Johnson, but rather Big Sugar vs. Splenda. I believe 99.99999 percent of my readers understood that. I regret you were not among them.
More Nature Worship
Are you sure Sucralose is safe? Check out a few of these websites and tell me it is worth it to feed this to my family.
Certainly, sugar is not good for us. But it is at least closer to the original product than Splenda. Of course the politics of sugar industry are terrible, but that is the case for all major food industries, including that for Sucralose [sic]. The Splenda commercials showing little children are particularly offensive to me. Children have a different metabolism than we do, and we have no idea how this type of product will affect them. They should be eating whole foods whenever possible, and not fed this garbage. Unfortunately, many parents are watching the Splenda commercials and think it is safe for children. So while the politics of the sugar industry are bad, the makers of Splenda are equally bad.
Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed in your article.
Okay, I've checked them out. It's worth it to feed Splenda to your family. But you don't care what I think and you certainly don't care what the science shows. You prefer to get your information from whacko websites. Now let's see, sucralose was approved seven years ago after the review of those "more than 110 animal and human safety studies conducted over 20 years" I wrote of. Seventy-nine health agencies have approved of it. Yet "certainly we can't be sure of its safety yet." When does "yet" finally arrive, Mrs. Freeburg? In 50 years? Or will nothing less than 100 do for you?
I truly respect your confidence in the benignity of nature. Tell the 150,000 victims of the recent tsunami about how nature would never harm anyone. Ah, but of course you're talking about ingested material. So I trust you wouldn't hesitate to swallow a 10 percent solution of such natural chemicals as arsenic or cyanide. Mother Nature's own; what could be better! You can get cyanide poisoning just from eating peach pits. But peach pits are completely unprocessed, so they must be good for you.
Regarding sugar specifically, we know it causes cavities and fosters bacteria that lead to gum disease. We know over-consumption leads to obesity and obesity kills. But that's just dandy by you, because at least it's a natural death. Well, sorry to break your little heart but the body is incapable of differentiating between natural and non-natural molecules. In other words, your body does not share the prejudices of your brain.
Finally, the reason all those allegedly idiot parents think Splenda is safe for their kids is that they apparently know something you do not – that the FDA doesn't approve food additives that are safe for adults only. On the other hand, if a small child consumes several over-the-counter iron tablets he or she could die. But Mrs. Freeburg, iron is completely natural and an essential mineral! Iron would never harm us! So break out those iron pills and pop several into each of your kids' sugar-filled drinks. Then calmly wait until the police arrive for you and the morticians for your children.
[She then sent this e-mail to an online newsletter. I print it, with my response to her.]
I am a reader of both the Active.com newsletter and the Active Nutrition newsletter, both of which I enjoy greatly. In your most recent nutrition newsletter, there was an article about the sugar industry. While I agreed with much of the article, I am not a fan of Splenda and I do not believe it is as healthy as everyone thinks. To that point, I sent the author of the article, Michael Fumento, an email with some links that I though [sic, sic] make him think twice about recommending Splenda to his readers. There were many possible responses he could have given me. He could have ingnored [sic] me. He could have simply agreed to disagree about this subject. He could have pointed me in the direction of some of the research that has convinced him it is safe to consume. Instead, he chose to personally attack me. While my email to him was discussing the content of his article, his email back to me was aimed directly at me as a person. When someone makes a choice to be a writer, they [sic] need to accept the fact that others may not always agree with their point of view. There is no need to attack. Mr. Fumento went so far as to suggest my children would be taken away by the mortician. I am not sure if you have children, Mr. Cliff, but the one thing you NEVER joke about with a parent is their [sic] child dying. It is totally inappropriate. It is especially inappropriate in this case since a mortician came to my house and took away my 3 year old (nearly sugar free) daughter when she passed away, not from obesity, as Mr. Fumento suggests, but from cancer. Her illness set me on a quest to look very closely at the food that my family eats, and I am constantly reading information about nutrition.
I do not hold you responsible for Mr. Fumento's actions. I understand that he is not employed directly by you. The reason I am bringing all of this to your attention is that I believe it would be in your best interest to no longer print any articles by Mr. Fumento. He seems to be very irrational and angry. My hope is that none of your other readers will have an experience such as mine. I have included our emails below, with Mr. Fumento's email on top, and mine on the bottom. I have also BCCed many of my friends and family on this email, many of whom are subscribed to one or more of your newsletters, so that they know to avoid Mr. Fumento's articles a [sic] books in the future.
Thank you for your attention in this matter,
Dear Mrs. Freeburg:
So I see you're a big believer in free speech. It's okay for nutcases to run whole websites making false allegations about food ingredients, but not okay for somebody to run a column using scientific data to refute the junk on those websites. You also complain that I didn't ignore you. That's a new one. I agree that there is a strong case for ignoring you, but I thought I would use up some of my precious time providing you a detailed answer. It was foolish of me and I express my regrets for taking you seriously. You also complain that I treated you "as a person." Again, my apologies. I was not joking when I said your children would die if they ingested several iron pills. With a person of higher intelligence the point would have been made that there's nothing intrinsically superior to natural chemicals, that even a vital mineral can kill at a high-enough dose. Unfortunately, I obviously was not dealing with such a person. As to your efforts to see my work banned, I don't know about your coterie of friends but most people are more interested in their health and that of their children than you obviously are. I don't think they will stop running or reading my pieces because I hurt your feelings by refusing to ignore you. Finally, where did I imply that your child died from obesity? I didn't even know you had lost one. Your invocation of a dead offspring was particularly nasty, needless, and offensive. I urge people to avoid you in the future.
An Ignorant Father
I have not read your books, but they must be "BS" if you do not see the dangers of this sweetener.
We ALL know that to [sic] much sugar/salt/fat is bad. This knowledge has been around for years and years. Its [sic] up front with no disguises.
High Fructose [sic] Corn [sic] Syrup [sic] on the other hand is sugar on speed...slowly people arenow [sic] realizing this to [sic] is all our children's drinks [sic] and to [sic] many others to list here and how bad it is. It's no wonder why [sic] our children are now at the highest risk of diabetes...
I believe if you look [sic] closer, you would see that the CORN industry has the market cornered on the food market, not sugar.
Splenda and the studies that said it is safe were paid by these BIG food industries to have these findings to fall on [sic] their favor to cheapen the food to keep profits up and their CEO's [sic] rich.
The anti splenda [sic, sic] sites are usually run by the people (including my family) who have suffered from this toxin and other food additives and want people to know the truth.. [sic]
Ever heard of Stevia [sic]?? This natural plant sweetener substitute has been around for decades and no reports of anyone getting sick, yet the FDA tried to burn books on how to use it in cooking.... who was in charge there...the big fake sweetener companies??... you bet.
A concerned father,
Dear Not Particularly Bright Father:
At a high enough temperature, Splenda changes its consistency just as sugar does. If you think it turns to glue, break a piece of pottery over your head and try to repair the vase with heated Splenda. Then kiss it goodbye.
If you had bothered to read my piece, you'd know that chlorine comes in both natural and artificially-created forms. I specifically cited salt as a natural form. No more salt for you; which means you'll soon be dead. Do concerned fathers kill themselves? You also wouldn't have made that swimming pool remark, insofar as the piece noted that most U.S. tap water is chlorinated. Would I drink tap water? Yeah, I think I would.
One Pepsi deliverer anecdote versus "more than 110 animal and human safety studies conducted over 20 years," not to mention the approval of safety regulatory agencies in 78 other countries. Let's call this "science by soda driver."
Insofar as I have no children, I would have to say no I don't feed them Splenda. But does it count for anything that I feed it to myself? Each work day I down a half liter of fruit-flavored water sweetened with Splenda.
No disguise for sugar, and yet people keep eating more and more, destroying their teeth and enlarging their guts. Since Splenda is the closest artificial sweetener in taste to sugar, it is making converts of those sugar addicts. And no, Big Sugar is not upfront. It pays a fortune to PR agencies and others to convince us that sugar doesn't contribute to the obesity epidemic.
I believe if you had looked closer, you would have seen that I wrote "It's actually high fructose corn syrup that has been clobbering sugar sales over the last few decades." You're too ignorant to even know when we agree.
HFCS is neither better nor worse for you than sugar. Children are at high risk of type 2 diabetes because they overeat in general, which includes both too much sugar and too much HFCS.
Judging from those websites, I'd have to agree that you do have some neurological damage.
I've most certainly heard of stevia, enough to know that there are no human data. But rather alarmingly it seems to be an efficient form of birth control for male rodents. One study "on prepubertal male rats showed that chronic administration (60 days) of a Stevia rebaudiana aqueous extract produced a decrease in final weight of testis, seminal vesicle and cauda epididymidis. In addition, the fructose content of the accessory sex glands and the epididymal sperm concentration are decreased. Stevia treatment tended to decrease the plasma testosterone level, probably by a putative affinity of glycosides of extract for a certain androgen receptor, and no alteration occurred in luteinizing hormone level. These data are consistent with the possibility that Stevia extracts may decrease the fertility of male rats."
You mentioned my "children." If I'm to have any, I think I'll leave Stevia in the "health food" store.
A writers [sic] favorite meal:
A tall glass of flavored water with Splenda, a lean slab of steak filled with antibiotics and hormones,BHA and BHT , and for a health [sic] a salad with MSG Yellow No. 5 "light" dressing [Huh?] and for dessert a big slice of Splenda "It tastes like sugar because it's made from sugar" cake... mmmm... eat up, expert.
No, thanks. Not a big steak eater. Other than that though, it sounds yummy. By the way, is that sound I hear that of your testicles shrinking?
Agent Orange Hate
I Blame Tricky Dick
Veterans have ended up with cancer because of the spraying over there. I know for a fact that chemicals and toxins are a major reason people have seizures. Just because the army [sic] hasn't admitted to this doesn't mean that it isn't true. My husband never had a seizure in his life until he came back from Viet Nam. And no one in his family has ever had this disorder. I am very sorry about your wife having seizures. My husband and I have been married for 35 years and it's tough when you see your loved one having one. I am not looking for any hand out [sic] as you imply. I am only trying to find out if any other veterans have developed this condition. There's [sic] times when my husband gets up in the morning that he can't function. He's dropped coffee many times out of his hand and nearly scalded himself because he's said "his mind isn't working." I don't know if that goes along with seizures or not. I blame the army [sic] for his problem and no one can convince me otherwise.
And no, the feeling that one's "mind is not working" is not a symptom of a seizure disorder. It may be a side effect from the Dilantin. There are a huge number of alternative anticonvulsant drugs and your husband needs to consult with a neurologist, not with a conspiracy website.
The blame for your husband's ailment is actually Richard Nixon, or specifically his re-election in November of 1972. Not long after that your husband developed his disorder. I blame Nixon for his problem and no one can convince me otherwise.
I Hate America Hate
With Allies Like These . . .
In your remarks to Kalam, [in Hate Mail XXXV] in which I completely agree in your courteous statement about [Brazilian girls in] bikinis you listed how the US had helped various nations by bombing or invading them.
This included saying "Bosnia is free; Kosovo is free".
In fact Bosnia is not & [sic] cannot be free because in a free choice [sic] the majority would choose to secede from the murderous fundamentalist moslem [sic] regime (created by Izetbegovic, an openly genocidal former auxiliary to the SS) Nato [sic] imposed on them & join neighbouring countries.
Kosovo is even less free since your drug dealing [sic] al Quaeda allies, the KLA, are allowed to engage in the genocide of Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, Christian Albanians & [sic] anyone who tries to join a non-nazi [sic] political party. They are also allowed to kidnap thousands of local schoolgirls to sell as slaves to western administrators & [sic] brothels abroad.
These wars were fought entirely because that obscene nazi [sic] animal William Clinton found a bit of genocide at the right time convenient. Freedom was never even a consideration.
P.S.: I have redone this since I noticed I had missed out the name of the nazi [sic] animal in chief, I am perfectly willing there are many lesser nazi [sic] war criminals involved including PM Blair.
Ye lost me when you referred to al Queda as our allies. Allies don't let allies blow up their tallest buildings and fly planes into their Pentagon. But thanks for a fascinating - if somewhat disturbing - glimpse into a truly demented mind.
Waal boay ayah do declah.
The fact that you have to resort to insults shows think [sic] you are wrong.
Bin Laden went to Albania to help organise & [sic] train the KLA for genocide at the same time the CIA were doing the same thing – perhaps the CIA dnever [sic] knew this with their vision being obscured by aerial pigs.
The large majority of the non-conscripted troops fighting to defend the freedom of the Bosnia/Hercegovinian "nation" were recruited by al Quaeda (or Iran) & flown there by the US. The murders this alliance was responsible for makes 9/11 insignificant by comparison.
The fact that something is demented does not prevent it being government policy.
Feel free to check it out mac [sic].
Ye'll pardon me sayin' so, but yur entire e-mail was haggis stuffed with insults. Where does that be leavin' ye?
So Bin Laden was in Albania training terrorists, was he? And how is it ye be knowin' this but the intelligence agencies of Britain and America be knowin' it not? It's my guess that ye don't see 9/11 as insignificant in comparison ta anything – ye just be seein' it generally as a wee bit o' nothin'. Nothin' to ye no doubt, laddy. But somethin' t' us. I hear tell Bin Laden is hidin' ther'bouts on the Pakistani border. Maybe ye be bringing him some of those fine sheep intestines.
Most sincerely you'rn,
I don't believe my first email contained any insults to you (haggis filled or otherwise) – my second merely reponded [sic] to your outrageous Scots accent you silly American kniggit you.
"And how is it ye be knowin' this but the intelligence agencies of Britain and America be knowin' it not?"
To drive my point home without wasting subtlety - they did.
I may be doing you a disservice (see always polite) but I suspect you won't be listing mail where you are obviously wrong.
I'm glad to see you trust everything you read at www.antiwar.com. If that's not an unbiased source, I don't know what is. I fart in your general direction. I blow my nose at you. Go away or I shall taunt you some more, silly Scottish kniggit.
A Rather Queer Attack
Add to that the fact that they are crass, uneducated ettiquette [sic]-ignorant
(And by the way, our Prime Minister is the only English person who can stand
Timothy Sean Slater
[United Kingdom e-mail address.]
I'd rather not have sex with you, thanks. I'm not homosexual, but I do know that only homosexuals refer to non-females as "bitches." Not that I'll pronounce judgment on your sexual preferences – after all, you're British. Britain is where the highest form of humor is a man dressed as a woman. Your literary giants are homosexuals (Oscar Wilde); your most famous economist of the last century (John Maynard Keynes) was homosexual; even your war heros like T.E. Lawrence are homosexual. So are your worst traitors: Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and Donald Maclean were all Soviet-loving swishers. And in this case, so are your hate-mailers. Regarding etiquette, while it may be true that we hold our forks in the "wrong" hand compared to Europeans, perhaps our greatest ignorance is in not understanding why you forced us to spend so much of our blood bailing your stretched butts out of two world wars.
[No, I actually don't feel that way about Brits. I was just trying to tick him off.]
I read your article in the News Tribune and found it very angry. What's your connection with diabetes? How do you know that Dr. Faustman's research will work on humans? Research on rodents does not necessarily translate to humans.
My now 17 year old son [sic] has had type 1 diabetes for 16 years.
Very sincerely yours,
Ellen H. [omitted]
Mom, Advocate [sic] for children who have diabetes and their parents, Friend [sic], Webmaster [sic].
An article can't be angry; only a person can. My question is why aren't you angry that the best chance your child has for a cure is being denied because so many people trust the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that claims a cure is "so close" and yet hasn't the least interest in the best shot for a near-term cure? Instead it plows its money into embryonic stem cell lobbying and treatment called the Edmonton Protocol, which will never cure anyone and will never even treat one percent of patients.
My connection with diabetes is that I'm a health and science writer. I go by science, not simple observation. That said I do have friends with insulin-dependent type 2 and my grandfather died of it so I know what a type 1 goes through. But what really irks me is that as many as 1.7 million Americans with a wretched disease are being denied an opportunity to be cured because of an organization that siphons off funds from people who THINK they're contributing to diabetes research.
Finally, how could you possibly have missed my writing, "Of course, mice aren't little people. But there appear to be no significant differences between mouse and human endocrine systems. Indeed, 'The same cell pathway that is defective in a subset of mouse white blood cells is now known to be defective in type 1 diabetes, human lupus and human Crohn's disease,' Faustman told me."
You didn't miss it. You just want to be combative. But it's not me you're combating; it's all those sufferers of type 1 including your very own son.
As the parent of a seven year-old child with type 1 diabetes, I was disappointed to read Michael Fumento's recent column ("Is diabetes cure a buck too far?") on the search for a cure for this terrible disease. Mr. Fumento did a great disservice to your readers by playing fast and loose with the facts.
The column unfairly called into question the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's [sic] (JDRF) hard work and dedication to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. He also inaccurately portrayed their research agenda: JDRF does support work on adult as well as embryonic stem cell research, but together they represent less than 10% of the organization's overall research budget. All their research is aimed at finding a cure for this disease and its complications as soon as possible.
I've had the pleasure to be associated with JDRF since my son was diagnosed with diabetes five years ago, and I can attest to their singular focus on finding a cure for type 1 diabetes for my child and everyone touched by this disease. Why else would I be an active member of JDRF?
Dear Mr. Sosland:
Too bad for you that my next column puts to lie your entire letter, though the one you're responding to did a pretty good job as well. You say they want a cure as soon as possible, yet you're responding to my writing about how they refuse to give a red cent to the only research that could possibly provide a cure in the next few years. The plurality of their research money goes to patients in the Edmonton Protocol. Not a single one of these patients, who represent 350 people out of a possible 1.7 million Americans with type 1, has been or ever will be cured with this therapy. Indeed, it even increases their chance of cancer later in life.
As far as why you would be an active member of JDRF, you tell me. Maybe you're not too bright. Alternatively, all too many parents put other considerations ahead of the welfare of their children. What's one more?
Stem Cell Hate
Calling Dr. Fraud!
When one reads the piece by M. Fumento, "The Neo-Lib Attack on Adult Stem Cells," one is appalled by his lack of knowledge and understanding of the topic and its science. Neither time nor energy should be expended for a precise dissection. His "sources" reveal that he uses the same clipping service as Senator Brownback, with the same lack of perception.
His comment about the late C. Reeves confirms that he is not only nescient but mean-spirited as well.
If the editors wish to publish serious essays, this drivel falls far short of the mark, and one would remind the writer that any statement from a Professor of Medcicine [sic] at Harvard completely eclipses any product from the holder of an A.B. [sic] from the University of North Carolina. [Hardly my most advanced degree, but whatever.]
Clark D. Hinderleider, M.D., Ph.D.
Dear Dr. Hinderleider,
My, my, it appears you're a total fraud.
1. Neither Internet searches nor a search of Lexis-Nexis database of newspapers, magazines, and newswires reveals any mention of a "Clinician-Scientists for the Public's Weal" except at the bottom of letters penned by a certain Clark Hinderleider.
2. There is no such thing as a "National Congressional Committee." There is a "Democratic National Congressional Committee" and a "Republican National Congressional Committee."
3. The title of "Instructor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery" also appears under your name on a Proposition 71 petition, but curiously neither in your letter nor on the petition does it say WHERE.
4. CUNY (City University of New York) has no affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. It also has no medical school. There is no "Mount Sinai Department of Physiology," rather it's called "The Mount Sinai Department of Physiology and Biophysics." There is no reference to any Hinderleider anywhere at Mount Sinai. I used the search function on the website and made a follow-up call to be sure.
5. The Medical Board of California has a website that allows for a search of all doctors licensed to practice in the state. You live in San Francisco, but the Medical Board has no listing of anybody named Hinderleider.
Ultimately, the only titles you gave that could be verified were that you have something to do with the Science Advisory Board and you are a member of the California Research and Cures Coalition, an ad hoc embryonic stem cell research funding lobby set up to support Proposition 71. I also found two Medline articles co-authored by somebody with your name – from 1979.
Why "Doctor," you're just as authentic as all those wonderful advances in ESCs we've been hearing about!
One is always gratified when one's initial impression – in this case, of you as a nescient hack – is confirmed. Your search failed and revealed that the only fraud is your designation as a journalist.
For the Record:
1. The group "Clinician-Scientists..." is a small number of friends with advocacy aims who have taken this name. As secretary, one writes the copy. A bit like being a fellow at your institute. [That's supposed to be a joke. Ha.]
2. On my wall is a certificate signed by Tom Reynolds, US House member, with the seal of National Republican Congressional Committee appointing me "2003 Physician of the Year" for my work on the Physicians' Advisory Board. Would a picture or the accompanying letter suffice?
3, 4. I have the letter appointing me "Instructor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York." It is signed by Arthur Aufses, MD, and Thomas Chalmers. Would like to have a copy faxed?
5. I am a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, Certificate # 110463. The Medical Board of California would have a record of this only as I am an academic research consultant not in practice. Hopefully you accessed the correct website. I can fax a copy of this also.
One is pleased that Mr. Karle of the Science Advisory Board could confirm that I am a Contributing Editor. I can send you a list of publications. A copy of this reply and your original message will be sent to him, so that he is cognizant of your duplicity. I shall also file an enquiry/protest with your institute. Actually, the JD to our group will. [Those of us who happen to have Juris Doctorates know that you never refer to somebody with one as a "JD." We are called lawyers, attorneys, and various other things that cannot be reprinted on a family hate mail page. In any event, no lawyer ever contacted me or Hudson.]
Your e-mail illustrates the prevarication – indeed, manufacture of lies – so common to your sort and why you are a danger to any progressive society. The truth always flushes the ilk out of the shadows.
Clark D. Hinderleider, M.D., Ph.D.
2. The Republican National Committee does have a Physicians' Advisory Board. Its sole aim is to solicit donations. Anybody who wishes can sign up online, whereupon he or she is asked for money. There is no requirement to be a physician. Nor does it give out "Physician of the Year Awards." You claim you have documentation. Fax it. [My fax number omitted.]
3,4.You are NOT an instructor at Mount Sinai, as you indicated. Perhaps you were at one time. Fax the certificate. But I must warn you that I looked up the gentlemen who supposedly signed it. One of them has been dead for nine years.
5. Fax it.
[The next day I e-mailed him that I had received no fax. He e-mailed back that he had sent it. The day after I e-mailed that I still had received no fax, and gave him my mailing address to send copies. Quelque surprise; nothing ever arrived. The only genuine thing about Hinderleider was that he was a bonafide fraud.]
If this Makes Sense to You, You Have Problems
[This was posted twice in response to one of my articles.]
Message: [sic] Octyl phthalate' [sic] is the beloved plasticizer famed as ' [sic] New [sic] Car [sic] Smell [sic] ' [sic], and diethyl hexyl phthalate has been indicted as the proximate cause of an epidemic of breast development in infants in Puerto Rico, and has been banned from use in medical devices [sic]
Mr. Fumento writes ' [sic], it's activism and not science that's behind ... targeting something called phthalates.' [sic]
Really? This piece reads more like a frontal assault on the distinction between the singular and the false collective plural: ' [sic] something called phthalates.' [sic]
Apart from being a disgrace to science journalism, such usage risks the public nuisance of streets littered with the blind and writhing forms of readers who extend Mr. Fumento's wisdom to ' [sic] something called alcohols ' [sic] and ' [sic] something called aldehydes' [sic]
Like methanol AKA [sic] wood alcohol and formaldehyde, AKA [sic] embalming fluid. This is not to say that phthalates with methyl or ethyl groups are particularly toxic applied to the skin-neither is methanol, But those pesky pancreatic enzymes in the human gut are as oblivious to such scientific nuance as some lawyers, and blindly reduce innocent chemicals to damaging ones.
Instead of posting your message twice, why didn't you post it just once and make it legible? I clearly distinguished between types of phthalates and focused only on those three that the European Union had banned. Or do you have another interpretation for, "The conclusion of [the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel] in their latest re-evaluation, from 2003, is unequivocal. All three of the EU-banned chemicals are "safe for use in cosmetic products in the present practices of use and concentrations, and therefore, the safety assessment of these compounds was not reopened."
Read carefully (and therefore with great pain), your missive actually only mentions a single health effect associated with any phthalate. Specifically, "Diethyl hexyl phthalate has been indicted as the proximate cause of an epidemic of breast development in infants in Puerto Rico, and has been banned from use in medical devices." Indicted perhaps, but hardly convicted. There have been a few studies on this in the medical literature, but the most recent is from back in 2000. It evaluated not "infants" but rather "the growth of mammary tissue in girls younger than 8 years of age without other manifestations of puberty." It offered no evidence that Puerto Ricans have higher exposure to this chemical than residents of the 50 states. It did not single out any specific phthalate and indeed concluded nothing more than, "This study suggests a possible association between plasticizers with known estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity and the cause of premature breast development in a human female population."
A detailed letter four years later to the same journal concluded: "The purported relationship between phthalate exposure and [early breast development] seems highly unlikely, in part because the reported exposure levels do not seem plausible given other information on phthalate exposure, and also because phthalates do not influence the timing of female sexual development in laboratory studies."
Finally, no plasticizer of any type has been banned in the U.S. and its territories for any reason, including medical devices.
But besides all that . . .