[MOL] FDA cracks down on laetrile resurgence [00509] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] FDA cracks down on laetrile resurgence



FDA cracks down on laetrile resurgence
    [09/07/2000; Cable News Network]

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal health officials warned Internet users
Wednesday to beware of a concoction made of apricot seeds that's
touted as a cancer cure, as a Florida court case became the government's
latest attempt to quell a resurgence of laetrile.

In the 1970s, thousands of patients went to Mexico seeking laetrile,
and some doctors sold it in the United States, before a National
Cancer Institute study concluded the substance did not fight
cancer. Experts also warned that laetrile pills could cause cyanide
poisoning. 

So the Food and Drug Administration declared laetrile illegal.
Several states fought the FDA action but courts backed the government,
ending laetrile's heyday by 1980.

Now laetrile is rebounding on the Internet, sometimes sold under
the aliases amygdalin or "vitamin B17."

Wednesday, the FDA announced that a U.S. District judge in Miami
had issued a preliminary injunction halting sales by three Internet
sites, and warned consumers to beware.

"We do not want people to take products that have not been proven
to be safe and effective," said FDA enforcement chief John Taylor,
saying the biggest worry is that patients will forego proven
cancer therapy. 

The full article can be found at:

http://www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/cancer/09/07/laetrile.crackdown.ap/index.html

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