From The Cancer Chronicles #6
© Autumn 1990 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
[This is an example of fast action which stopped a potential
Fast action in August  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
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
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
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....
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