From The Cancer Chronicles #6
© Autumn 1990 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

[This is an example of fast action which stopped a potential disaster. --RWM]

Fast action in August [1990] blocked a California bill which would have allowed the state to seize the property of practitioners of alternative medicine. "SB 2872" was proposed by Sen. Marian Bergeson of Newport Beach. Beefing up the Sherman Act, which already provides penalties of up to three years in jail for alleged health fraud, the new bill would create a "forfeiture scheme" to seize the property of anyone convicted under this law.

It would provide prosecutors with a financial motive to crack down, since their offices could recover the victim¼s property.

According to the authors of the bill, "this legislation is necessary so that California consumers can be protected from illness, injury and death resulting from reliance on the products of health fraud promoters and so that violators pay for the costs of the Department of Health Services (DHS) and prosecuting agencies." This is a witch hunt, in which the witch has to pay for the fuel.

Who would be subject to the bill? People who prescribe or knowingly administer an experimental drug in violation of California state requirements; who sell, deliver or even give away any new drug unless it has been fully approved by the FDA; who fail to establish and maintain records or fail to report such data to the California authorities; who fail to transmit copies of drug packaging materials; who advertise any substance represented to have an effect on AIDS, ARC or cancer; who use new or untested drugs, compounds or devices invented by persons against whom injunction or cease and desist orders have been issued. And so on.

Flying in the face of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, the bill specifically calls for "seizure without [due] process."

According to "SB 2872," such seizure can occur if it is incident to an arrest due to a search warrant; there is probably cause to believe that the property is directly or even indirectly dangerous to the public health or safety; there is probably cause to believe that the property was used or is intended to be used in violation of the Sherman Law; or the property has been embargoed or seized by an authorized agent of the state.

In other words, all it takes is a search warrant from a judge for state agents to come in and seize almost anything you own! And since almost anything can be construed as „indirectly dangerous¾ to the public health it leaves all practitioners or even advocates of holistic medicine wide open to governmental attack.

State officials are often in collusion with "quackbusters" serving the interest of insurance and drug monopolies. This bill, for instance, is supported by the American Cancer Society and the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH), which derives much of its money from big food and drug conglomerates.

The freedom of choice movement was caught unawares by this bill. It was quietly moved through the legislature with almost no notice. It passed the Senate Judiciary committee with a vote of 8‚0 and the Senate Floor with a vote of 34‚0! Only at the last minute some alarmed citizens found out about the bill and rushed to Sacramento to oppose it. These included Brendan O¼Regan of the Noetics Institutes; John S. James of AIDS Treatment News; Martin Delaney of Project Inform; Gar Hildenbrand of the Gerson Institute; the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; and lawyers for Genentech, the huge biotechnology drug company. Since Genentech markets experimental drugs, it is afraid that its own assets could be seized by zealous, bounty-hunting district attorneys.

On August 9, Gar Hildenbrand, Frank Wiewel and Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. did a 3-hour marathon radio show on the bill. Moss followed this with five more shows in the next four days (four of them heard in California) in which listeners were urged to call the Committee and urge them to kill SB 2872. An official said, "I don¼t know what¼s happening here. The phone is ringing off the hook."

On August 10, the authors [of the bill] decided to shelve it for now. But the battle is far from won. It can be reintroduced next year....

articles on
freedom of choice

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

home - moss reports - books - - contact - order - news
members - chronicles - faq - free email newsletter