Saturday 30 April 2011


** Note ** July 22, 2011 - See reply to our letter at

April 30, 2011

Ms. Diana Dowthwaite
Director General Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate
Health Canada
Address Locator: 2003C
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

Dear Ms. Dowthwaite,

In the U.S.A., the recent FDA decision to not regulate electronic cigarettes as therapeutic or medical devices brings us once again to request that Health Canada reconsiders their controversial stand on banning the import and marketing of electronic nicotine delivery devices commonly known as e-cigarettes.
The last letter we received from you on this matter in October 2009, advised us that electronic smoking products are subject to the Food and Drugs Act whether or not they are associated with a smoking cessation claim. 

The Food and Drug Act clearly defines a ‘’drug’’ to include any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in

(a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals,
(b) restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in human beings or animals…’’

It defines ‘’devices’’ as  ‘’any article, instrument, apparatus or contrivance, including any component, part or accessory thereof, manufactured, sold or represented for use in

(a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals,
(b) restoring, correcting or modifying a body function or the body structure of human beings or animals…’’

These are almost word for word the same definitions given to drugs and devices in the U.S.A. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
After careful consideration, the FDA reached the decision to abide by a Court of Appeal ruling and agreed to not categorize e-cigarettes as medical or therapeutic devices providing that they are not marketed as such either explicitly or implicitly.  

The logic followed by the Court of Appeal and finally accepted by the FDA is precisely what we argued in our July 27, 2009 letter to Health Canada. We are relieved to see that our vain efforts to get Health Canada to reconsider their intransigent position, was neither unreasonable nor incoherent since the FDA now also sees it our way.

The FDA is making a commitment  to work with stakeholders in an effort to ‘’best protect and promote the public health’’.   We feel that it is with the same resolve that Health Canada should consider its outright and unjustified ban on electronic nicotine delivery devices. 

Trusting that Health Canada will do the right thing,  we remain,

Yours Truly,

Iro Cyr

C.A.G.E. Canada

Read past correspondence with Health Canada on this issue:

Read FDA decision: 


Wednesday 27 April 2011


Christians celebrate Easter for the resurrection of Jesus.  Apparently, government agencies also resurrect themselves regularly.  In this case, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, running out of Jihadists to apprehend, now sees fit to protect us from, you guessed it, chocolate kinder eggs.  Don't you dare try and second guess government's parenting tactics and import one of these into the United States, as Mark Steyn did:

Choc and Awe

Tuesday 26 April 2011


Ariane Krohl de La Presse a publié une chronique sur l’excès de zèle de nos élus qui, non contents d’avoir imposé leur choix de menu dans les cafétérias de nos écoles, ils étendent leurs politiques jusqu'à en imposer des choix aux citoyens en général, prétextant le motif du bon exemple à donner.

En effet, les étudiants qui jusqu’ici récoltaient des bons profits pour leurs activités par l’entremise de la vente de chocolat, se trouvent maintenant obligés de vendre du chocolat noir qui n’est nullement populaire auprès de la population, voyant ainsi leurs campagnes de financement sérieusement compromises.

Nous avons fait des recherches sur la différence entre le chocolat noir et le chocolat au lait et nous avons été stupéfaits de découvrir qu’au point de vue énergétique, il n’y en avait presque pas.

100 g de chocolat au lait apportent 550 calories, 5 g de protides, 34 g de lipides et 56 g de glucides.

100 g de chocolat noir apportent 519 calories, 7 g de protides, 27 g de lipides et 62 g de glucides

Du point de vue énergétique il n’y a là absolument rien pour faire un drame, tout le monde en conviendra.

Nous avons cependant appris que la présence du lait dans le chocolat au lait inhibe les effets bénéfiques des polyphénols du cacao. Certaines études qualifient ces bénéfices comme suit :

- Ils diminuent la mortalité cardio-vasculaire
- ils améliorent le fonctionnement de l’endothélium
- ils réduisent la pression sanguine
- ils améliorent le profil lipidique et diminuent la sensibilité des LDL à l’oxydation
- ils suppriment les facteurs inflammatoires
- ils améliorent les performances cognitives
- ils pourraient augmenter l’espérance de vie
- ils stimulent l’immunité
- ils inhibent la croissance de cellules cancéreuses

Si on en croit ces études, il devient évident que malgré que du point de vue énergétique le chocolat au lait n’est pas très différent du chocolat noir, ce dernier semble avoir beaucoup de bénéfices pour la santé. À partir de cette information, la question se pose : mangeons-nous du chocolat pour le goût et le plaisir ou le consommons-nous en tant qu’aliment avec les qualités rapprochant celles d’un médicament? Si le goût du chocolat noir déplait à une majorité des gens et que les ventes du chocolat ont diminué au point de ne plus suffire à financer les activités étudiantes, force est de constater que la plupart des gens le mangent pour le plaisir. Tant que le chocolat au lait est comparable au chocolat noir avec certains bénéfices en moins, on s’entend, où est le problème à ce qu’on continue de permettre aux étudiants de vendre du chocolat au lait? Ceux qui veulent consommer du chocolat noir pour ses nombreux bénéfices, ils n’ont qu’à se le procurer à leur pharmacie de quartier. Pour le reste, laissons aux étudiants la possibilité de bien mener une campagne de financement qui rapporte. 

Chocolat hors la loi

Tuesday 19 April 2011


On a December 2008 blog post we were commenting on how India had lowered the normal BMI level from 25 to 23 and how it artificially created millions of obese people. This in a country where malnutrition should be of much greater concern. In fact the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ranks India 67th out of 122 developing and in transition countries based on the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the child mortality rate. They describe India’s hunger situation as alarming. 

When we wrote about the decrease of the BMI level back in 2008, we predicted that reading about an obesity epidemic in the Indian and international papers should be forthcoming and that the table had been perfectly set for the media to go ahead with the anti-obesity propaganda force-feeding. A few extra millions of obese citizens, are not a negligible customer base that can and will surely yield handsome dividends for the Big Pharma shareholders.
Well here it is folks exactly as predicted:

Obesity, diabetes: expanding India faces big problem

Worthy of note is how the increase in obesity coincides with right around the time the lower BMI was adopted and how they don't adjust or mention of that change in their rhetoric: 

‘’ Childhood obesity has definitely increased in the last couple of years," said Dr Paula Goel, from the Fayth Clinic in Mumbai, which runs a weight loss programme for adolescents.’’

So predictable!

Additional reading: Ethnic-specific revisions of body mass index cutoffs to define overweight and obesity in Asians are not warranted

The World Bank malnutrition report on India

Monday 18 April 2011


Dr. Fernand Turcotte, a prominent Quebec Public Health Professor who not long ago retired from the Laval University, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, publicly expressed regrets about what he taught his students.

"I realized that the things I had been teaching my students for 35 years were not true. What I thought were the contributions of my specialty to the health and well-being of humanity in fact served to further poison people's lives." He apologetically admits.

A little hard to believe that he’s only now realizing what ordinary citizens such as ourselves have known and have been attempting to bring to the attention of the public and politicians for years. Perhaps he feels that a fault confessed is half redressed? It is doubtful that people will so easily forgive the complicit silence of insiders such as himself, who witnessed the misery and wrong-doing that was and is still being instilled on so many people who are needlessly being medicated with often very dangerous drugs. How many public health practitioners that he taught in the last 35 years are now perpetuating the same pattern exactly the way he taught them and are now teaching others?

What Dr. Turcotte denounces, as you will read from the article linked below, is how the pharmaceutical industry has penetrated public health and is omnipresent in the medical profession and how doctors mostly rely on pharmaceutical representatives who work for their own pockets often peddling medication to people who don’t necessarily need it. He points out that the pharmaceutical industry manufactures ‘’me too’’ drugs that are very similar to their predecessors all in an effort to patent new profitable drugs all the while burdening the healthcare system with ever rising costs. He castigates the pharmaceutical industry that strategically manufactures new diseases to cure, when all some people are actually experiencing through their symptoms is the normal aging process.

Yet it was the same Dr. Turcotte who last year appeared on French Quebec television to describe smokers as diseased people who ‘’caught’’ a pediatric illness in their early teens and who needed help to overcome it, yet the only type of help he had to offer was ineffective nicotine replacement therapy which has been shown to have a dismal 98,4% long term failure rate! How many other drugs would still be on the market if they showed such a poor performance? And yet he feigned concern for the high cost of such nicotine replacement therapy when bought over the counter and enthusiastically suggested that smokers should get their doctors to prescribe it to them since it would then be covered by the Quebec public healthcare. He right there and then participated actively in motivating people to further burden the healthcare system with the costs of medication he should know is almost totally ineffective. It is also the same Dr. Turcotte who misled countless Quebec viewers of a popular talk show when he emphatically warned that second hand smoke is more hazardous than mainstream smoke. Obviously the host of the show must had been put to sleep by Dr. Turcotte’s mystical discourse because he never questioned why, if that's the case,  there aren't more passive smokers dying from tobacco induced diseases than smokers themselves.

Now that he’s retired Dr. Fernand Turcotte is putting his ‘’ethicoscope’’ on to show concern over how the public healthcare system has been rendered ethically bankrupt? How much concern was he showing through his deafening silence while he was still enjoying a lucrative career and fringe benefits from the medico/pharmaceutical partnership? What did he do or say in 2003 when as he himself points out the blood-pressure norms were lowered by the U.S. National Institutes of Health instantly creating 45 million new patients deemed to have hypertension?

Let’s see if we can have a demonstration of a little more courage from the younger doctors and scientists still at the service of such a corrupted system. Whistle blowing can take epidemic proportions - the type of epidemic that everyone but the greedy pharmaceutical industry can be thankful for!

Sunday 10 April 2011


Johnson & Johnson, a accepté de payer une amende de 70 millions de dollars aux autorités américaines pour mettre fin à des accusations de corruption.

En effet, J & J a été accusé d’avoir payé des pots-de-vin à des médecins grecs, roumains et polonais pour favoriser les produits J & J lors des traitements de leurs patients, ainsi que des commissions en Irak pour obtenir illégalement des contrats.  Ne nous ne leurrons surtout pas que ceci n'arrive qu'ailleurs.  Ceci arrive partout dans le monde où l'industrie pharmaceutique a une grande emprise sur la médecine et la science. Bien sûr que les preuves ne sont pas toujours aussi flagrantes, mais les manigances sont tout de même semblables et même tout à fait pareilles partout.

Dans le monde de l'industrie du médicament, une amende comme celle-ci fait tout naturellement partie du coût inhérent des tactiques de marketing, peu importe combien immorales, illégales et dangereuses des telles tactiques peuvent être pour la santé publique. En règle générale les géants pharmaceutiques paient leur amende et recommencent le même stratagème à répétition. Que vaut un pauvre 70 millions pour une compagnie comme J & J qui, il n’y a pas tellement longtemps, a déboursé 16,6 milliards de dollars pour acheter la division des produits sans ordonnance de Pfizer Inc., qui est constituée des marques telles que Listerine®, Nicorette®, Rolaids®, Sudafed®, Benadryl® et Visine®? Pour avoir déboursé un tel montant pour son acquisition, cela doit être vachement payant le médicament sans ordonnance !  Imaginons maintenant combien que le médicament breveté rapporte même après les coûts inhérents à sa mise en marché, comme les amendes entre autres. 

Et les médecins corrompus dans tout cela? Quelle sera leur punition? Ils vont sûrement recevoir une petite tape sur la main et continueront de pratiquer comme si de rien n'était. !

Il est clair que le besoin est criant pour que nos élus dénoncent des telles pratiques malhonnêtes et illégales et infligent des punitions sévères à quiconque s’y adonne. Assez d’une industrie pharmaceutique immorale et gourmande qui infiltre nos universités et organismes publiques et qui souvent profite des recherches qui se font avec l’argent des payeurs de taxes. Assez des médecins pervertis et opportunistes. Assez le lobbying intense pour l’évaluation et le brevet rapide de nouveaux médicaments qui ressemblent drôlement à leurs prédécesseurs et qui parfois ont des effets beaucoup plus néfastes mais qui coûtent plusieurs fois le prix ( Lire La question des brevets sur les produits pharmaceutiques). Seulement lorsque nos élus trouveront le courage de faire le grand ménage de toutes ces manigances, que la santé publique se portera beaucoup mieux autant médicalement que financièrement.

USA: J&J paye une amende de 70M$

Thursday 7 April 2011


Refusing to be outdone by San Francisco for the prestigious title of Nanny Capital, New York City is considering banning fast-food toy giveawaysPerhaps Mayor Bloomberg’s next move is to force restaurants to offer only liver broccoli casserole or brussel sprout hash on the children’s menus?  

And NYC health workers are told what to eat and wear in cubicle area What’s next?  Telling them how often they should clip their toe nails and what type of toothpaste they should be using?

Le Tamiflu au coeur d'une polémique qui ne relève que des conflits d’intérêts flagrants entre l’industrie pharmaceutique et ceux qui conseillent nos élus qui sont sur le point d’investir des dizaines de millions de dollars  pour stocker un médicament que plusieurs disent avoir très peu d’effets sur les symptômes de la grippe.

In Spain, the post smoking ban heart attack miracles are now being reported before they even happen.  Closed spaces smoking ban resulting in fewer heart attacks in Spain

Avis à l’O.M.S. et à un nombre croissant d’hôpitaux et cliniques aux E.U. qui refusent d’engager des fumeurs même s’ils fument seulement en dehors de leurs heures de travail :  Le chômage augmente les risques de mourir prématurément si on en croit cette étude qui nous parvient de Montréal. 

From Springfield Missouri Springfield voters approved an indoor smoking ban by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent.  "Clean Air Springfield raised more than $82,000 in support of the ban. Other than a handful of local cash contributions, 99 percent of the total came from the American Cancer Society, the ACS Cancer Action Network and the American Heart Association. Live Free Springfield raised a fraction of that total -- about $16,600 at last report -- and members have been quick to tout the local sources of their funding."  --- It is actually impressive that under such unequal circumstances, 47% of voters still voted against the ban. 


À lire dans le site l’influence de Pfizer sur la politique de prévention du tabagisme.  ‘Tout bénéfice pour Big Pharma ; et pour les fumeurs ?’’

Sad news from the UK with an article about how a Father accused of killing family may have been taking anti-smoking drug which coincides with an article from Dr. Michael Siegel from Boston who is calling for the removal of Chantix/Champix from the market.  and in which he exposes the financial conflicts of interest of FDA members and argues’that both the FDA and the anti-smoking groups bear major responsibility in the tragedy of Chantix-related suicide.’’

Friday 1 April 2011


Unfortunately, this is not an April 1st joke. Years of a taxpayer and pharmaceutical industry funded 'denormalization' campaign against people who smoke has predictably led to worrisome episodes of intolerance. In this case, a doctor seems to have forgotten his Hippocratic oath and faces felony charges for assaulting someone smoking near his car.

In case anyone was wondering if it's a good idea to just assume that the medical community is always a good source of advice regarding legislation to promote 'healthy behaviour,' this should serve as a wake-up call....