The Laetrile/B17 Cover-up
by Pat Rattigan ND
Taken from The Cancer Business
In 1535 the French explorer Jacques Cartier and his expedition were frozen in the ice off the St. Lawrence river. 25 of the 110 crew were dead from scurvy and the rest were due to follow. At this point a friendly native American came forward with a potion made from the needles and bark of the white pine, rich in ascorbic acid, or vitamin C. This produced a dramatic recovery. When Cartier returned to Europe and reported to the medical mandarins they were amused by the 'witch-doctor cures of ignorant savages,' and went on with their search for mystery toxins and bugs lurking in the dark holds of the ships.
260 years later, after the British Navy alone had lost over a million men to scurvy, the practice of carrying oranges, lemons and limes on board ship led to the limeys ruling the waves. Scurvy -vitamin C, pellagra - Vit B3, night-blindness - Vit A, rickets- Vit D, beri beri - Vit Bl, pernicious anaemia - Vit B12.
It should have needed no great intellectual leap to suspect that another chronic, metabolic disease, cancer, might also be a vitamin-specific deficiency disease. The use of certain fruit kernels in the treatment of cancer goes back to the Emperor herbalist Shen Nung in the 28th century BC. Bitter almond water features in the writings of the physicians of ancient Egypt, Arabia, Rome and Greece. Celsus, Galen, Scribonious Largus, Pliny the Elder, Avicenna and Marcellus Empiricus all used preparations based on the seeds of the bitter almond, apricot, peach etc.
In 1952 the American biochemist Ernst Krebs PhD proposed that cancer was a deficiency disease. The deficiency being the factor linked for so long with cancer therapy. He identified the substance as part of the nitriloside group specifically, amygdaline, a cyanogenic glycoside first isolated from the bitter almond, primus amygdalus amara, in 1830 by the French chemists Robiquet and Boutron-Charland. Its chemical structure is D(l) mandelonitrile B D glucosido-6-6-B-glucoside, as recorded in the Merck Index, 1976. Toxicologically, amygdalin falls between Class 1 and Class 2, which means it is virtually non-toxic. This compares with saccharin, between Class 3 and Class 4 and most chemotherapy Class 6 - super toxic.
The Hunzas, a cancer-free society in the Himalayas, consume up to forty apricot kernels as an after-dinner snack. Coupled with the rest of their amygdalin-rich diet this constitutes an ingestion of 50 to 70 milligrams of the substance per day. According to Krebs There are many of us in the western world who do not ingest this amount in the course of an entire year. Traditional Eskimos, the Hopi and Navajo tribes, the Abkhasians of the Caucasus Mountains and other notably cancer-free groups have amygdalin-rich diets.
After taking into account the required factors, Krebs allocated his substance the next available number on the vitamin B index: 17. He named his concentrated amygdalin preparation, Laetrile. As many of the world's cancer-free societies are outside of the polluted environment and distinctly advantaged in the quest to remain healthy, a group of Americans began, in the1950s, to test Kreb’s theory.
For over two decades there has been a steadily growing group of people who have accepted the vitamin theory of cancer and who have altered their diets accordingly. They represent all walks of life, all ages, both sexes, and reside in almost every advanced nation of the world. It is estimated that there are many thousands in the United States alone. It is significant, therefore, that after starting and maintaining a diet rich in vitamin B17, none of these people have ever been known to contract cancer.
Dr Dean Burk, then head of the NCI, said he had been contacted, during the space of 12 months, by at least 750 people, including many MD physicians most of whom were using it (B17) merely with prevention of development of cancer in view. One of the first doctors to use Laetrile in the control of cancer was Dr Maurice Kowan. This landed him in court in Los Angeles.
The prosecutor told the jury: This is not a kindly old man. This is the most thoroughly evil person the imagination can concoct. This man has to be stopped. He is very dangerous. The way to stop him is a guilty verdict. Dr Kowan was heavily fined and, at the age of 70, sentenced to two months in prison.
The basis used by the cancer mafia for the attack on Dr. Kowan was a falsified report produced by two doctors. Garland and MacDonald in 1953. The two, who had ideal credentials by way of their being involved in surgery and radiation and in the promotion of cigarettes as a health measure, produced a report which stated that no evidence of anti-cancer changes were observed by the consultants using Laetrile (A report found later to be demonstrably fraudulent but which has been quoted religiously by vested cancer interests;) Nemesis took her revenge in appropriate fashion on the two, one with lung cancer and one in a fire suspected as being caused by a cigarette.
Dr. John A. Richardson began to use B17 in the summer of 1971. His first patient was the sister of one of his nurses; a case of advanced malignant melanoma of the arm. She had been given around six weeks to live with a little longer if she had the arm amputated. Amygdalin was administered and almost immediately the lesions began to heal. Within two months her arm had returned to normal. The woman was also a diabetic who, after the treatment, controlled her disease without insulin. When she returned to her original doctor he still wanted to amputate. She declined the offer.
Dr. Richardson's successes with B17, Laetrile, the vegan diet etc. attracted increasing numbers of patients. For the first time in my entire career I began to see terminal cancer patients abandon their stretchers and wheelchairs and return to normal lives of health and vigour. Word of my successes with cancer patients brought far more new patients than I could handle alone. I increased the staff, soon my little neighborhood practice was converted into a busy cancer clinic with patients from many States.
The inevitable finally happened at ten in the morning, 2 June 1972. Four cars screeched to a halt outside of the clinic and disgorged ten uniformed officers. Guns drawn, they burst into the clinic, flashed a search warrant as they passed a receptionist on their way into the clinic, where they pushed the doctor against the wall and searched him for concealed weapons. Dr. Richardson and his two nurses were marched out past the specially-invited television cameras and were arrested under the Californian anti-quackery laws.
At the time of the raid, a little girl about seven years old was in examination room number three. She had just begun metabolic therapy for an advanced case of osteogenic sarcoma. Kerry had responded beautifully in terms of increased appetite, weight gain, freedom from pain and a feeling of well-being. Normally, Kerry would have received a massive injection of vitamins including vitamin B 17, not being sure what kind of legal trouble I would be in, I simply cleaned and dressed her lesions and sent her home, the little girl, as well as her parents, were greatly upset by the threatening presence of police officers. The child died three days later and there is no doubt in my mind that this death could have been postponed or avoided altogether if it hadn't been for the raid.
The concerted campaign, which was to last for years, to ruin Dr. Richardson; physically, mentally, financially, professionally and legally had begun. The authorities revoked his medical licence and he was ordered to attend meetings 600 miles away in San Diego, with many of the hearings cancelled at the last minute; a procedure kept up at weekly intervals for six months.
The threat to the cancer business from effective therapies was taken very seriously from the beginning. By the 1940s the Syndicate had 300,000 names on its quack files. Vitamin B17, being a unique threat due to its simplicity, attracted more concentrated attacks than all the other treatments put together: fraudulent test reports; hired, banner-carrying pickets outside clinics; rigged juries; newspaper character assassinations; dismissal of heretic employees, etc.
The FDA, orchestrating the onslaught, sent out 10,000 posters and hundreds of thousands of leaflets warning about the dangers of the toxicity of the non-toxic substance. Earlier, a Congressional Accounting Office had found that 350 FDA employees had shares in, or had refused to declare an interest in, the pharmaceutical industry. After much searching, geographically and historically, the FDA came up with three alleged cases of deaths from Laetrile poisoning. This in a country where hundreds are killed daily by PDA-approved treatments. Two were women who had swallowed vials of Laetrile which were for injection only and one was an eleven month old baby girl, one of whose parents was taking the medicine for cancer. According to the PDA the child had become ill after she had accidentally ingested up to 5 (500mg) tablets of Laetrile.
This was doubted by many including Dr Harold Manner: I was lecturing in Buffalo, New York and after I had made some strong statements a man stood up and said Dr. Manner, how in the world can you make statements like that when the FDA is making these other statements? I reiterated that the FDA statements were lies. He said, Look at this little girl in upstate New York, she took her father's Laetrile tablets and died of cyanide poisoning. Just then a little lady stood up: Manner let me answer that question. I think I am entitled to because I am that little baby's mother. That baby never touched her father's Laetrile tablets. The doctor, knowing the father was on Laetrile, marked down possible cyanide poisoning.
At the hospital they used a cyanide antidote and it was the antidote that killed the child. And yet that statement will continue to appear even though they know it is a lie. The totally-fabricated stories of B17/Laetrile toxicity were eagerly grasped by the UK cancer combine. The Department of Health, aided by Gwyneth Dunwoody MP and her hysterical outbursts about 'cyanide poisoning', had apricot pit powder removed from the health food shop shelves.
In March 1984 the government brought in The Medicines (Cyanogenetic Substances) Order 1984. This Order meant that preparations which are presented for sale or supply under the name of, or as containing, amygdalin, laetrile or vitamin B17 or contain more than 0.1 percent by weight of the 'cyanide-producing substances' were to be under the control of the 1968 Medicines Act and, therefore, out of easy reach of any cancer patient who preferred to exercise freedom of choice instead of opting for the manslaughter on offer from the cancer hospitals. The 0.1 percent figure shows the extent to which the cancer cartel were prepared to go to stop amygdalin.
Apricot and bitter almond kernels are around 2 percent amygdalin and have long been found in British and Italian biscuits on supermarket shelves in the UK. The fact that the biscuits have not attracted any attention shows the non-toxicity of the substance and confirms it is only a danger to the cancer racketeers and not to the consumers. A much greater farce, of course, is the fact that all the billions of seeds within the apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, apples, pears etc., sold by fruiterers since March 1984, are all in contravention of the Order.
Whilst the battle over B17 in the UK has remained mainly dormant, due to the lack of awareness on the part of most of the alternative health movement, the US has seen an on going, pitched battle with the cancer establishment using any and all tactics to reinforce the original Garland/MacDonald fraud.
Animal research has played a fundamental role: in almost every case the patients tested were mice (which do not have the same metabolism as humans,) the tumours were transplanted (which do not react the same as spontaneous tumours,) and in all of the experiments cited, reduction of tumour size was the primary criterion for evaluating results - there is nothing quite so easy to accomplish as failure. Or success, depending on which animal you choose and whether he who bank-rolls the research wants a positive or a negative result.
Other attempts to discredit Laetrile involved force-feeding large amounts of cyanide, extracted from amygdalin, directly into dogs' stomachs: in Laetrile therapy small doses are used and the cyanide component is released only by the cancer cell, in the presence of protective enzymes. As the Laetrile/B17suppression was demonstrably failing, with the ban being lifted in State after State, and as public pressure built up against the cancer fraudsters, the NCI were forced into a two-year, two hundred patient trial of the medicine. The official verdict having been already decided, it was paramount that the trial was rigged to confirm the authorised version. This was achieved by a multi-facetted approach.
Phase IV - dying - patients were selected. In normal synthetic drug trials early stage patients are chosen. The NCI admitted, All patients had proven cancer, beyond any hope of cure or therapy known to extend life-expectancy. Laetrile was not used, a Laetrile manufacture by-product was substituted. The usual junk diet, including animal products, was allowed the patients. The injections were discontinued after 3 weeks, not three months. The criterion applied to the test was of tumour reduction, not the improvement in well being, appetite, lack of pain etc. Missouri and West Virginia legalised Laetrile after the verdict; reasoning, presumably, that if the American Medical Association, the FDA and the American Cancer Society had tried to ban Laetrile, it must be of considerable value in treating cancer.
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute sacked one its senior directors, Ralph Moss, for blowing the whistle on the cover- up. Basically, the results were coming out positive and we in public affairs were told to say the results were negative and this went on for three years. - Moss.
Dr. Dean Burk, head of cytochemistry at the NCI for 34 years, stated: Once any of the hierarchy so much as concede that Laetrile anti-tumour efficiency was indeed once observed in NCI experimentation, a permanent crack in the bureaucratic armor has taken place that can widen indefinitely by further appropriate experimentation.