Florida Alternative Health Research Facility Shut Down by Food & Drug Administration
Once again armed storm troopers from the Food and Drug Administration have raided law-abiding scientists who are seeking
and successfully experimenting with alternative treatments for cancer. As a consequence of the latest FDA assault on a clinic in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., people who were responding favorably to their experimental treatments are now facing certain death. This is not the first time such a thing has happened and unless government policies are changed, it will not be the last time it happens.
The victim of the latest FDA assault on medical freedom of choice, Joseph DiStephano, founder of the Medical Center for Preventative and Nutritional Medicine in Tampa-St. Petersburg was the guest on the Dec. 9 broadcast of Radio Free America, the weekly call-in talk forum sponsored by American Free Press and featuring host Tom Valentine.
What follows is an edited transcription of that interview. Valentine’s questions are in boldface. DiStephano’s comments are in regular text.
Please explain the background that led to the terrorist attack by the FDA on your clinic.
We’ve operated a preventive health care center in Tampa-St. Petersburg for some 36 years. We had the first chelation center in Florida. We’ve treated more than 28,000 patients.
About four years ago I needed continuing education for my license as a clinical nutritionist and Dr.Ivan Dan off was a keynote speaker at the center offering the continuing education. He’s a professor at one of the universities in Texas where I had taken courses and I met him. After the meeting, we talked concerning his studies of the aloe vera plant and of an extract from that plant.
Dr. Danoff had spent many years extracting various sized molecules from the plant and helped in the initial research that got approval for a product that is being used in a veterinary product.
Through a specialized technique, Dr. Danoff was able to extract from this plant an extremely large molecule which seems to have the ability to destroy cancers and other autoimmune diseases such as AIDS and will help break Chrone’s disease. Myriad problems seem to be alleviated. This molecule is called albarin.
Danoff asked if we would help him in his further research. We have a non-profit center providing services for those who can’t afford it and decided this was something the public could use. This is the process of IND, which means “investigative new drug,” which is filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so that they can monitor what we are doing.
We began our program about three years ago and initially took Phase IV cancers with people who had been told that they had two-to-six months to live. Of the first 100 patients or so, we’ve only lost six of them and we’ve seen some remarkable results.
Three years passed and we were presenting our data to Dr. Danoff so that he could move to his next phase when some unknown parties complained to the FDA, saying that we were using an unapproved drug.
On Oct. 11, the FDA decided to act and they sent 40 storm troopers into my home and 40 troopers into each of our clinics. They had no arrest warrants, only search warrants. They set everyone down for six to eight hours and went through everything that they could get their hands on. Then they left, saying that we were using an unapproved drug and that we couldn’t do it any longer. At the same time they hit Dr. Danoff’s office in Texas and did the same thing to him.
Generally there are two divisions of the FDA: their general division, so to speak, that comes in and asks questions and the FDA’s storm troopers from the criminal division.
We thought we had approval, under Dr. Danoff’s arrangement with the FDA, but they are saying we did not. But in any respect, the FDA decided to send in the storm troopers, the division that usually handles people who are making cocaine in their bathtubs. They treated us like criminals.
This was one month to the day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and our government was acting like the tyrants that we are supposed to be fighting in the war against terror.
About a week prior to that the chief investigator for the FDA had been in our garbage can. We found him, without a search warrant, trespassing. He told us that he was “looking for boxes,” but I told him that no one looks for boxes at 12 o’clock at night with rubber gloves on.
I started taking his license number down and said I was going to call the police and he said, “That’s not going to help you any.” I told them that they could not leave without picking up the garbage they had all over the street so they picked it up. He was very upset. One week later he arranged to have the storm troopers come in.
Were you using this drug as part of your experiment to determine the validity of Dr. Danoff’s research?
Yes, we were working under the assumption that we had the authority from the FDA to conduct this Phase II cancer study. We were using an intravenous transfusion. It is strictly a medical procedure that takes about 35 minutes. We were treating people for four days in a row and we saw very little side effects.
The major thing we did see was that the cancerous tumors were shrinking. We found that it worked extremely well for most forms of cancer, except when there was an amount of fluid in the abdominal area. For some reason or other, the aloe was ineffective in the presence of this fluid. In brain tumors, it was only 50 percent effective in those that we treated.
Over three years we had been treating close to 200 people and now the government has confiscated the records of our treatments along with all of the records of our work for the past 36 years.
So for our patients who are coming in for other treatments (other than the one that was of immediate concern to the FDA), we don’t have any of their records. We are open for business, but we are not allowed to do our work with the aloe vera.
The major problem we have is that many of those patients who were taking the aloe vera were taking advantage of their “last chance,” so to speak. They were at Phase IV, in hospices, suffering severe pain and had no place else to go. Conventional physicians had given up on them, but the patients had responded very well to our treatment.
In a short time they have been able to come off the morphine pain killers because our treatment does indeed relieve the pain. And to emphasize the fact: we have seen the cancerous tumors shrink from our treatment.
We are not able to get the drug back into our hands right now and we will lose our patients who have been responding in a positive fashion.
One man who came down had less than 30 days to live, according to his doctors, and came into the program in a wheelchair. But he was walking after three months of our treatment and was able to sit up and read books. However, now that he’s off our treatment, thanks to the FDA, he’s back in bed and not doing very well.
So we’re trying our hardest to get enough people together to lobby Congress to pressure the FDA to get our material back in our hands to at least continue treating those who were getting treatment.
In order for the judge to have issued the search warrant for our clinics and my home in the first place, I’m certain that there had to be some sort of lies told by the FDA because there was no real reason. They didn’t have an arrest warrant.
And they took all of our records, not just the records of the albarin experimentation. Under the judge’s order, they don’t have to tell us what the complaint was for at least 120 days. Basically they are just trying to find excuses to bring charges against us.
Now it is costing us money to defend ourselves. The initial attorney we approached wanted $50,000 in hand before he would pick up a pencil. However, our current attorney is willing to take it piecemeal as we raise funds. We’re not very wealthy to begin with, especially since we give away our services for free in many cases.
Is there a fund people can contribute to?
People can call my office at (727) 572-6745 for further information.
The bottom line is that if the FDA wins this case, it is another notch in their gun in relationship to freedom of choice in medicine. They can use our case as a precedent to stop further research in other areas.
Our patients are saying, “If we don’t get this treatment, we will die,” but the chief FDA investigator told them, “It’s not my problem. I’m just doing my job.”