Jason Vale risks prison for apricot seeds
Jason Vale, a cancer survivor, former arm wrestling world champion and self-described entrepreneur, who is on trial for allegedly violating a government order that he stop promoting the use of apricot seeds as a cure for cancer faces a possible prison sentence, according to an article be Nathan C. Masters, correspondent of CNSNews.
The trial, which lasted from Monday 14 July through Thursday, is now adjourned and the jury is expected to deliver its verdict in a matter of days.
Update 22 July 2003
Jason Vale held without bail, pending sentencing, after a jury found him guilty of ... selling apricot seeds.
FDA Commissioner McCLELLAN stated that "The FDA takes seriously its responsibility to protect patients from unproven products being peddled on the internet by modern day snake oil salesmen such as the defendant in this case. There is no scientific evidence that Laetrile offers anything but false hope to cancer patients."
Cancer Survivor Faces Possible Prison for Selling Apricot Seeds
By Nathan C. Masters
July 18, 2003
(CNSNews.com) - Federal jurors in Brooklyn, N.Y., must decide the fate of Jason Vale, a cancer survivor, former arm wrestling world champion and self-described entrepreneur, who is on trial for allegedly violating a government order that he stop promoting the use of apricot seeds as a cure for cancer.
Closing arguments in the case were held Thursday with Vale serving as his own attorney and accusing the government of setting him up. But Vale's alleged defiance of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) consent decree, issued in 2000, could land him with a 20-year prison sentence. The FDA claims the Apricot pits, more than 100,000 of which federal agents reportedly seized in a raid on Vale's basement, have no therapeutic value.
Vale was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1986 and suffered from the disease for eight years, enduring chemotherapy, radiation treatments and an operation to remove a tumor. But in 1994, Vale saw a video touting apricot seeds as a cure for cancer and began taking the seeds, which release organic cyanide into the system. Vale claims his use of the seeds along with his faith in God eliminated the tumor and saved his life.
"I have watched first-hand as apricot seed consumption has helped to shrink tumors in almost every cancer patient [with whom] I've dealt," said Vale. "I have also followed horror stories from many of those using highly toxic chemo and radiation therapies."
Vale's legal troubles began when he started selling a concentrated form of the vitamin found in apricot seeds, known as laetrile or amygdalin, to other cancer patients over the Internet.
The FDA is currently refusing comment on this matter, but according to a warning letter sent to Vale in 1998, the agency stated that it considered laetrile to be a "new drug," and as such, was not approved for sale or importation. The FDA obtained an injunction in November 2000, forbidding Vale and his company, Christian Brothers Contracting Corporation, from selling or promoting the use of laetrile as a cancer treatment.
Following undercover investigations by the FDA, the agency alleged that Vale had continued to sell and promote laetrile in violation of the consent decree and recommended in March 2002 that Vale be prosecuted for criminal contempt.
Eliezer Ben-Joseph, a doctor of naturopathy and host of the Natural Solutions talk radio show in El Paso, Texas, describes the government's efforts as "ludicrous."
"It's a vindictive prosecution," said Ben-Joseph. "We're talking about apricots , and yet the government is so drastically opposed to having this information out."
The U.S. government maintains that because Vale made therapeutic claims about his laetrile products, the apricot seeds should be treated as drugs and therefore require FDA approval before they could be sold or distributed within the United States. Furthermore, the government maintains that laetrile has no medicinal benefits. A National Cancer Institute report obtained by CNSNews.com concluded that, "laetrile has shown little anti-cancer activity in animal studies and no anti-cancer activity in human clinical trials."
Ben-Joseph doubted the credibility of those clinical trials, and noted that, "several concerns have been expressed about the way the study was conducted." He pointed out that some recently developed cancer treatments use artificial cyanide, which is very similar to the organic cyanide that laetrile emits.
"It's not a cure; there is no cure for cancer, but there are things that we can do that augment how metabolism works," he noted. "These are chemicals that the body would use to detoxify or get rid of cancer."
Regardless of their efficacy, Ben-Joseph argues, apricot seeds are no more dangerous than other natural remedies, and he believes they should be legal for use as a cancer treatment.
Vale is not alone in touting laetrile as a cure; Donald Factor, the son of cosmetic tycoon Max Factor, sought natural cancer treatment in Mexico 17 years ago. After being treated with laetrile and other natural remedies, Factor's cancer disappeared, and he is still alive today.
And Vale claims that his apricot seed products have helped over 30,000 cancer patients, many of whose personal testaments are documented on Vale's website .
Ben-Joseph considers Vale's case a "freedom issue" and calls the government's prosecution an inappropriate use of the judicial system.
"To make a law that says that the public cannot eat an apricot pit, because they think it might keep people from going to regular cancer therapy, I think is a ludicrous jump in jurisdiction," he said.
Vale also faced legal troubles in 1998 when America Online sued him for allegedly sending over 20 million "spam" e-mail messages to its subscribers. A federal judge awarded AOL $631,585 in damages. Vale and his attorneys could not be reached for comment regarding the AOL case.
Jason Vale has the following message:
Dear Friends and Family,
The jury we begin deliberating again on Monday morning. The court house is at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201. Please pray. Sunday morning starts the fast until the jury is out. Some will go until the jury comes back with a verdict and some will fast only for Sunday. I need your prayer as does the many that will be helped after the Lord gives the victory. He has delivered me from death, surely He will deliver me from this situation. The Battle is the Lord's!
1. That the jury's mind is protected from all the influence of the govt.
2. That ministering angels, minister to them along with the Holy Spirit for revelation during their deliberation.
3. That the Lord turn the heart of Judge Gleeson. He told me straight out at a side bar that apricot seeds were a scam and that I was taking advantage of vulnerable cancer victims. He was bias from the beginning for certain reasons. This made it very difficult during trial. I have seen apricot seeds stop cancer in every single case from prevention to stage two. After stage two cancer more intense health therapy is needed. At the site apricotsfromgod.org you can read more about it.
4. That this situation is used to bring God the glory and healing to the nation.
5. For strength and faith
Jason David, Vale
The following is a press release issued by the US. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on July 22, 2003.
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney -- Eastern District of New York
One Pierrepont Plaza
Brooklyn, New York 11201
147 Pierrepont St.
Brooklyn NY 11201
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2003
Peggy Long, U.S. Attorney's Office:
Jason Brodsky, FDA Office of Public Affairs:
President of Queens Firm Found Guilty of Criminal Contempt For Violating Court Order Not to Market Bogus Cancer Cure Over the Internet
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF , United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and MARK B. McCLELLAN , M.D., Ph.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced today that a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York has convicted Jason Vale, president of the Queens based company Christian Brothers Contracting Corporation ("Christian Bros."), of three counts of criminal contempt in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 401(3). On April 20, 2000, in a civil suit brought by the United States against Vale and his company Christian Bros., the Honorable John Gleeson entered a preliminary injunction ordering Vale and Christian Bros., during the pendency of the civil suit, not to directly or indirectly sell, distribute, package, label, or promote Laetrile., also known as amygdalin, "Vitamin B-17," or apricot pits. On November 16, 2000, Judge Gleeson ended the civil suit by permanently ordering Vale and Christian Bros. not to sell, distribute, package, label, or promote Laetrile. For years before the civil suit was brought, Vale, through Christian Bros., had sold Laetrile over the Internet in order to cure and prevent cancer, having saturated the public with a massive Internet and "spam" E-mailing marketing campaign which guaranteed persons a cancer free life if they used his products. Laetrile is not approved as a drug for the treatment and prevention of cancer and evidence introduced during the civil suit demonstrated that Laetrile has no known effect on cancer and that it is highly toxic, breaking down in the human body into cyanide gas. Moreover, when cancer patients take Laetrile they often forego conventional medical therapies until it is too late for these therapies to be effective. An undercover investigation conducted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and by FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations demonstrated that Vale set up a shell corporation in Arizona through which he continued to sell Laetrile in complete disregard for the Court's injunctions. Although Vale announced over the Internet that he had stopped selling Laetrile because the court had ordered him not to sell it, he continued to tout Laetrile as a cure for cancer and further announced that there were other companies that still sold it. If customers called Christian Bros. and tried to purchase Laetrile, Vale and his employees told them that, although Christian Bros. no longer sold Laetrile, the customers could purchase Laetrile from a wholly unrelated company at a toll free number which he and his employees gave to them. The undercover investigation demonstrated that the toll free number rang inside Vale's own house and that Vale would send the Laetrile to customers from his house under the name of his Arizona shell corporation. Vale and his employees would stamp a Phoenix Arizona "return address" on these outgoing packages which was in fact nothing more than a mailbox which was rented in Phoenix Arizona with Vale's own credit card.
A search warrant executed at the defendant's house during the undercover investigation demonstrated that after the preliminary injunction the defendant had stored in his basement ready to be shipped to customers around the world enough Laetrile to supply a single person for over 242 years.
The jury announced the guilty verdicts on July 21, 2003, following the conclusion of a week long trial. During the trial, supporters of Vale had handed out leaflets to persons who entered the courthouse, including a number of the jurors who were deciding the contempt case against Vale. The leaflet told jurors that they had a constitutional right to ignore the evidence and the Court's instructions if they so chose. This incident was one of the factors taken into consideration by Judge Gleeson in ordering Vale held without bail pending his sentencing.
United States Attorney ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF stated that "This office will not tolerate any disregard for the lawful orders of this Court. Nor will it tolerate fraud, especially when it foists dangerous products on a vulnerable public."
Commissioner McCLELLAN stated that "The FDA takes seriously its responsibility to protect patients from unproven products being peddled on the internet by modern day snake oil salesmen such as the defendant in this case. There is no scientific evidence that Laetrile offers anything but false hope to cance patients."
United States Attorney ROSALYNN R. MAUSKOPF wishes to thank the Office of Criminal Investigations of the Food and Drug Administration for its unstinting efforts to investigate this matter and assist in its prosecution. Sentencing is scheduled for October 24, 2003 at 2:00 p.m., before United States District Court Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn. The government's case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Charles S. Kleinberg and Patricia Pileggi. Marc L. Caden, Associate Chief Counsel to for Enforcement, is assigned to the case from the FDA.
Name: Jason Vale
Residence: 82-50 235th Street
Bellrose Manor, New York 11427
Name: Christian Bros. Contracting Corp.
Bus. Add: 82-50 235th Street,
Bellrose Manor, New York 11427
See also related articles:
IS CANCER MERELY A VITAMIN DEFICIENCY DISEASE? Vitamin B17 Laetrile Cancer Treatment Available in Australia
"Cyanide targets cancer" - By BBC News Online's Jonathan Amos, 7 September 2000
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Sunday July 20 2003
updated on Monday December 6 2010
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