Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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July 21, 2003

RCMP raids supplements for mentally ill

16 July 2003, Calgary Canada - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the "Mounties", have raided a call center of Truehope Nutritional Support in Raymond, Canada alleging the company is supplying "illegal" vitamins to mentally ill. The contention is over alleged claims of Truehope and a related company, The Synergy Group of Canada, that the supplements might help the mentally ill control their condition.

Truehope has been assisting the mentally ill in Canada for years. Their story and detailed information about the psychiatric treatment approach based on pharmaceutical drugs has been documented in a highly disturbing but scientifically well referenced account: Download file

Health Canada, who unleashed the raid, said the supplement should have been registered as a drug, but Canadian MP James Lunney blasted the government for using what he called bureaucratic interference to keep a product away from people who want it. "It's outrageous Health Canada continues this ruse," he said, criticizing the government's rules that designate Empowerplus as a drug. "It betrays the public trust."

Read the article by David Heyman of the Calgary Herald and a comment from Friends of Freedom, a Canadian health freedom campaign group.

RCMP shuts down supplement firm

David Heyman
Calgary Herald

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

RCMP officers and Health Canada investigators raided the offices of a Raymond-based health product company, alleging it has been selling a nutritional supplement to the mentally ill without government approval.

About a dozen armed officers surprised employees of Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd. at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday when they swept in and demanded everyone in the call centre stop working and back away from their computers. Mounties from Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal then began downloading information from hard drives and rifling through filing cabinets.

Officers also backed up vans to the building's doors and prepared to take stacks of documents away.

The owners of the company say they are outraged at the action, but not surprised, accusing Health Canada of bearing a long-held vendetta against them.

"We have nothing to hide," said David Hardy, who with Tony Stephan started Truehope about seven years ago in Raymond, about 30 kilometres southeast of Lethbridge.

Stephan said he's worried his 3,000 customers will suddenly have to go without the nutritional supplement Empowerplus, a combination of 36 vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Each of those substances is sold individually on shelves in North America without a problem, he added. He's also worried Health Canada will use the database information to phone all their customers and tell them not to use the nutritional supplement.

Health Canada, however, said Truehope and its related company, The Synergy Group of Canada, have been making health claims about Empowerplus. Under Canadian law, making those claims classifies the supplement as a drug and therefore requires solid scientific proof of its effectiveness before it can be legally sold.

The government claims it has told Truehope and Synergy to provide a new drug submission but they have never done so. That has led to the accusations they have been promoting and selling Empowerplus illegally.

"Our main concern deals with the unproven health claims being made about Empowerplus and the recommendation that patients decrease the dose of, or eliminate altogether, medications prescribed by their doctors," said Health Canada in a news release Tuesday.

Hardy and Stephan went into business seven years ago after, they say, children in both their families, along with Stephan's wife, were diagnosed with mental illnesses. Stephan said his wife committed suicide after years of suffering from bipolar disorder, spurring him to look for a cure to protect his kids. Around that time he met Hardy, a former animal feed expert. Together, they came up with the idea to give their loved ones pills based on a nutritional supplement Hardy had given to calm agitated pigs.

The product reportedly worked well and they came up with a version for humans which they have called Empowerplus, a combination of 36 minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. The men claim they now have thousands of satisfied customers, many of whom have dropped their conventional medications and are living normal lives. Health Canada, however, believes those using Empowerplus are putting their health at risk and it issued a health advisory June 6 this year asking Canadians not to use it.

In addition to many dedicated customers, Stephan and Hardy have some high-profile allies. Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney blasted the government for using what he called bureaucratic interference to keep a product away from people who want it.

"It's outrageous Health Canada continues this ruse," he said, criticizing the government's rules that designate Empowerplus as a drug. "It betrays the public trust."

Meanwhile, opponents of Empowerplus applauded Health Canada's actions.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic," said Marvin Ross, the head of the Hamilton chapter of the Ontario Schizophrenia Society and co-author of the book Pig Pills, which attacks Empowerplus as a false remedy. "It's reprehensible to be encouraging very ill people to drop their medication in favour of 36 vitamins and minerals."

There is some preliminary scientific evidence the pills work. A 2001 article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found 19 of the 22 male bipolar patients tested showed a positive response, with 11 stable for up to nine months without other drugs. A similar study at the University of Calgary by Bonnie Kaplan found similar results.

Friends of Freedom comments as follows:

The article shows how silly this all is - THE REAL QUESTION is why has society, since the 134 amendment to the Food and Drugs Act that created the massive national censorship mechanism to keep natural health cures and treatments from everyone, allowed the medical doctor unions, in conjunction with the pharmacist's unions, and the mighty PHARMACARTEL CHEMICAL INVESTMENT INTERESTS to run our health care systems to serve THEIR bottom lines, instead of the good health of Canadians?

Do not the following statistics tell you something is very wrong?

[1] 1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women are predicted to develop heart diease in their lifetime,

[2] 40,000 to 50,000 Canadians suffer a stroke each year,

[3] during their lifetime: - 1 in 2.5 men, and 1 in 2.8 women living in Canada will develop cancer - 1 in 9.5 women will develop breast cancer - 1 in 11 men, and 1 in 20 women will develop lung cancer,

[4] 132,100 new cancer cases were estimated to occur in Canada in 2000,

[5] an estimated 50,000 Canadians, twice as many women as men, have Multiple Sclerosis, and on and on!

Another article in Canadian press 18 July

Supplement raid could lead to suicide
The Leader-Post (Regina)
Friday, July 18, 2003
Source: Canadian Press

CALGARY (CP) -- The Alberta head of the Canadian Mental Health Association says mental patients may kill themselves as a result of a police raid that could cut off their supply to a controversial vitamin supplement.

Ron LaJeunesse said he believes the supplement known as Empowerplus has cured patients suffering from mental illness and that their lives are at risk without it.

"It's going to result in dozens of suicides," said LaJeunesse, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association's Alberta division. "I know of two already.

"If there's no opportunity for people to take it, at best we're going to see some mental patients going back to hospital. At worst, they'll die."

Police raided Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd. in Raymond, Alta., near Lethbridge, Tuesday and shut the company down for a day while they searched for evidence that the company was selling the product without government approval.

About 19 hours later, officers carted away nine boxes of material.

While LaJeunesse bemoaned the impact the raid could have on mental patients, others welcomed the police action.

Kaj Korvela, the head of the Calgary-based Organization for Bipolar Affective Disorders, said he doesn't believe the supplement is as effective as its supporters say. He said some people who dropped their prescribed medications to take Empowerplus didn't have a positive result.

"It was too expensive, it made them worse and most of them went back on their medication," said Korvela.

Health Canada said Wednesday the government is standing firm on its decision to initiate the raid which was launched to collect evidence that Truehope and its sister company, Synergy Group of Canada, are marketing and selling a drug without government permission.

Krista Apse, a Health Canada spokeswoman, said the companies have yet to provide scientific evidence the product is safe and effective.

"We're taking action to protect the health of Canadians," she said.

Employees of Truehope said they plan to protest Friday outside the Edmonton office of federal Health Minister Anne McLellan.

"There's an uprising of resentment with what Health Canada is doing," said David Hardy, who partnered with Tony Stephan to set up the company. "If they're really interested in health, why are they restricting access to something that's obviously effective?"

Hardy says several scientific studies have shown Empowerplus is safe and effective -- including a preliminary project by University of Calgary researcher Bonnie Kaplan.

"They have ample evidence this is safe and effective. They can't prove otherwise."

The company claims the supplement can be used to treat bipolar disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, autism, Tourette's syndrome, fibromyalgia and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Apse said Truehope and Synergy have never filed a new drug submission, despite several requests to do so, and have refused to comply with its orders to stop selling Empowerplus in the meantime.

Health Canada issued a June 6 health advisory warning Canadians not to take Empowerplus. The department has also been intercepting shipments of the supplement at the U.S. border but it continues to allow people to bring back up to three-months of the product for personal use.

Health Canada has not decided if or when it will file charges under the Food and Drug Act.

Related sites

Friends of Freedom Canada

True Hope


Nutrients Quiet the Unquiet Brain - A Four Generation Bipolar Odyssey


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday July 21 2003
updated on Wednesday November 24 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Canadian Health Authorities sued over preventing nutritional cure for mentally ill
On May 28, 2003 a mental health support group, individuals and families who are struggling with mental illnesses filed suit in the Canadian Federal Courts. The suit is aimed at the Federal Minister of Health, Anne McLellan, and her department, Health Canada. Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd. (a non-profit mental health support group) and its participants allege in the suit that Health Canada and the Minister have acted outside their statutory... [read more]
June 03, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

The New Face of Mental Illness in Canada
Health Canada's harassment tactics against Vitamins are so transparent and blatant yet most us continue to think that these regulatory bodies are looking after our interests. The attachment is a must read for an education on how the pharma interests have effectively turned governments against their own citizens. Hope we don't let them get away with this before its too late... Chris Gupta... [read more]
July 17, 2003 - Chris Gupta

Psychiatric violations - hunger strike
Psychiatry has long been described as merely an enforcement arm for political control - a tool to "take people out of circulation" who are too unruly or too smart, and who threaten to expose important parts of the control culture that is part of our society. The treatments of psychiatry - not only the violent electroshock "therapy" which has been outlawed in many countries - cause brain damage by the... [read more]
August 22, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Health Canada Harassment to Stop Vitamin Supplements that Work
Here is an example how Health Canada is looking after our concerns. Like in Australia, the CODEX initiative Europe a battle on food supplements is now in full gear in Canada. Health Canada is doing everything, except what it should be doing. They are hell bend on removing our freedoms to access cost effective products and trying to force us towards the very profitable, disease management toxic drugs paradigm. All... [read more]
June 13, 2003 - Chris Gupta

Bush To Impose Psychiatric Drug Regime
Plans to screen whole US population for mental illness According to a recent article in the British Medical Journal, US president George Bush is to announce a major "mental health" initiative in this coming month of July. The proposal will extend screening and psychiatric medication to kids and grown-ups all over the US, following a pilot scheme of recommended medication practice developed in Texas and already exported to several other... [read more]
June 23, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




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