Critics Cluck At Breast Cancer Awareness In A Bucket

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Post by kenobewan » Sun May 27, 2012 8:09 am

Stoughton's Burger King Supporting Pediatric Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Burger King guests can help fight childhood cancers from May 28 through July 1 by donating $1 to the Jimmy Fund through the A Chance for Kids program at participating Burger King restaurants in six New England states.

With each contribution, restaurant guests will receive a promotion card guaranteed to be a winner, with prizes ranging from all-inclusive resort vacations and airline tickets, to theme park admissions and Burger King food.

The Stoughton Burger King, located on the Stoughton/Brockton line at 1333 Park St., is participating in the program.

Through the A Chance for Kids program, more than 600 franchise and company-owned Burger King restaurants set a goal to raise $1.2 million for pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“The Burger King family around the world is dedicated to making a difference in the communities in which we work and live,” said Jim Froio, Burger King franchisee.

“Cancer touches so many lives and A Chance for Kids helps support the fine work done at Dana-Farber ridding the world of pediatric cancer. We are happy to continue our support of this program and look forward to supporting it in the future.”

In the last 12 years, participating Burger King restaurants have raised $10.3 million for pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through A Chance for Kids.

This year, the Burger King restaurants in New England that will participate in the campaign include: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

A Chance for Kids supports the many young cancer patients who are treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. The lifesaving research conducted at Dana-Farber will ultimately help pediatric cancer patients from around the world.

“For the past 12 years, Burger King employees and their restaurant guests have been an invaluable partner in our fight against pediatric cancers,” said Suzanne Fountain, director of the Jimmy Fund. ... utive-year

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Post by kenobewan » Tue May 29, 2012 8:08 am

Fun run a success despite rain

Around 130 runners braved Broken Hill's cold, wet weather yesterday morning to raise money to support local breast cancer patients.

People as young as 2 and as old as 81 joined in the Breast Cancer Support Group's fun run.

Organiser, Mary Barrie, said the day raised more than $3 000.

"It stays here locally for our breast cancer support group and we try to help out families where they need any support at all or we buy things for the hospital or palliative care, that sort of thing, but it stays locally with this one," she said.

The race consisted of a walk or run over 1, 3 or 5kms around Sturt Park.

Ms Barrie said she was worried when it rained on Sunday morning.

"Yes, and it was wet and everything and I thought, yeah, but the rain has held off," she said.

"It's cold, but people were great, they still turned up anyway so it was excellent." ... in/4037050

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Post by kenobewan » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:37 am

CM, Gates discuss health programme

PATNA: Microsoft co-founder and leading philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday called up chief minister Nitish Kumar and told him about the progress of the works in health sector by his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During their half-an-hour telephonic talk, the CM highly praised the work of the Foundation and requested Gates to expand his philanthropic work in Bihar. The Foundation currently is carrying out health programmes in only eight districts. He said that such programmes are needed to be introduced in other districts too.

Gates is on India tour and phoned Nitish while explaining his inability not to revisit Bihar. The CM is on his Seva Yatra in Bhagalpur. The CM discussed with him in detail about pulse polio campaign, immunization, family welfare, kala-azar, tuberculosis and encephalitis and their prevention and cure. "We are confident that in collaboration with your Foundation, our government will succeed in effecting positive reforms in health sector," Nitish told Gates.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has $80 million worth partnership with Bihar government in health sector. In 2010, a memorandum of cooperation had been reached between the Foundation and state government. The Foundation works through NGOs as per their methodology in eight chosen districts. They also suggest to the government the works to be done.

Gates, who is quite impressed with the functioning of the state government in health sector and particularly in eradication of polio, visited Bihar in 2010 and again in March 2011 with wife Melinda. The couple had visited some villages and interacted with people to know about their living and health condition. They had inquired about the immunization, vaccination and institutional delivery. Gates had commented, "The great works being done here are lessons for other places in the world." ... 694844.cms

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:32 am

Conman steals cash by faking cancer charity bike ride

A LOWLIFE conman pocketed hundreds of pounds from a charity by pretending to raise cash for a five-year-old girl battling BRAIN CANCER, a court has heard.

Fraudster David Saville, 22, pretended he was taking part in a sponsored bike ride in aid of brave youngster Ruby Owen.

Ruby was struck down with a second brain tumour and a children’s charity organised a sponsored bike ride to raise cash to send her to America for life-saving treatment.

Jobless Saville asked well-wishers to sponsor him to ride 85 miles from Blackpool, Lancashire, to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.

He even used official sponsorship forms distributed by Caudwell Children charity and collected £237 in pledges.

But not one penny was ever given to charity and Saville pocketed the cash, North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court heard.

Saville admitted one charge of fraud by false representation when he appeared at court on Wednesday.

He was slapped with a two-year community order with supervision, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to repay the £237 he stole which will be shared between Caudwell Children and Help for Heroes.

Ruby’s family raised over £170,000 to send Ruby to America for specialist radiotherapy treatment in 2010.

Her father Martin was forced to abandon his thriving fire-alarm business to become a full time fundraiser.

In February this year her devastated family were told the cancer had returned and charity Caudwell Children agreed to help raise cash to send her to the US for more treatment.

Speaking after the hearing, Trudi Beswick, chief executive of Caudwell Children, said: “Unfortunately, those who abuse the public’s trust also harm future fundraising as those affected are less likely to donate when asked by genuine fundraisers.”

Saville refused to comment outside court.

A host of celebrities have helped raise money for Ruby’s cause including designer Jeff Banks and comedian Lee Mack who donated £20,000 in 2010. ... -ride.html

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:57 am

Sue Robins 60 beaches in 60 hours cancer charity walk

A Cornish woman who has battled cancer twice is celebrating her 60th year by walking across 60 Cornish beaches in 60 hours for charity.

Sue Robins from Newquay - who had breast and ovarian cancer - started her challenge at Trevone beach in Padstow.

Money raised from the walk is going to support the Pinnacle Cancer Research Trust.

Mrs Robins said her first diagnosis age 36 was "devastating" as she had "three young children at the time".

She said: "The thought of not seeing them grow up was horrendous.

"I was not given a very good prognosis at first and started watching my diet and taking up meditation, and then I got told that my chances were bright.

"A year later I knew I had survived and vowed to live life to the fullest."


But in February 2011 Mrs Robins discovered she had ovarian cancer.

"It was a shock as after 23 years the cancer had gone to the back of my mind but I was really positive and already saw it as I had 23 years I might not have had before."

After her first diagnosis Mrs Robins vowed to her family that she would like to see life through to be a grandmother and on the day she found out she had ovarian cancer she also found out her daughter was pregnant.

Mrs Robins finished her chemotherapy treatment in July last year and said she "remains positive".

She will be accompanied on her challenge by her 16-month-old dog Alfie.

Along her route Mrs Robins will be building sandcastles and placing a Cornish flag in them so people know where she has been.

She said: "I will be carrying boxes with me and I am hoping that beach cafés will have collection boxes for me.

"For my birthday I asked for donations so I have already raised £700."

The Pinnacle Cancer Research Trust was established in September 2004 to support cancer research exclusively in Devon and Cornwall.

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Post by kenobewan » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:19 am

Knife-wielding man robs Vic cancer clinic

A man armed with a knife has held up a cancer clinic in East Melbourne.

Police say the "heartless thief" threatened a security guard manning a booth at the car park of the Peter MacCallum Centre shortly after 5pm (AEST) on Friday.

He then stole cash before driving out of the clinic's car park in St Andrews Place in an early model Nissan pulsar sedan.

Detectives hope witnesses can help them track down a slim, dark-haired Caucasian man aged in his early 30s and between 172cm and 182cm tall.

He was wearing reading glasses with square frames and a blue rain proof jacket at the time of the hold-up, police said in a statement.

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:25 am

Foundation halfway to nurse goal

THE McGrath Foundation has marked the fourth anniversary of Jane McGrath’s death by funding its 75th breast care nurse – halfway to its goal of a breast care nurse for every family experiencing breast cancer.

The 75th McGrath Breast Care Nurse will be based in Dubbo, continuing the Foundation’s strong connection to rural and regional Australia.

Foundation chairman Glenn McGrath said the 75th breast care nurse – announced yesterday on the anniversary of Jane McGrath’s death – was a significant milestone.

“When we started the Foundation in 2005 we never imagined it could have such an enormous impact on the Australian community,” Mr McGrath said. “But today, from the calls, emails, faxes, snail mail and Facebook posts, we are flooded with people who genuinely want to make a difference and it is because of them that we can proudly say we are halfway to meeting our goal of 150 McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia.

“No matter how people have contributed, whether it was buying a pink product with our logo on it, attending one of our foundation events or hosting their own, the Foundation has made a difference because of the support we’ve received.

“To the Australian community, businesses and the Federal Government, we want to say thank you. For being a part of something truly incredible that together we have helped more than 12,000 Australian families though a breast cancer experience.” ... 00073.aspx

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:28 am

DPP to consider charges over cancer deaths

CONTROVERSIAL alternative treatments given to four cancer patients in Perth hastened their deaths, the State's deputy coroner has found.

The case will now be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether an offence has been committed, after a lengthy coronial inquest into the deaths of the patients who were treated at the Mosman Park home of Dr Alexandra Boyd,

Deputy State Coroner Evelyn Vicker investigated the deaths of Sandra McCarty, Pia Bosso, Sandra Kokalis, Deborah Gruber, and Carmelo Vinciullo after they all undertook the radical cancer therapy at Kathi Preston Memorial Health Centre - which operated a "clinic" out of Dr Boyd's home in 2005.

Austrian doctor Hellfried Sartori was the mastermind behind the treatment, and the inquest heard he had his medical licence revoked in several states of the USA and was jailed for practising medicine without a licence.

The treatment, which the patients were told would cure them of cancer, was an administration of an IV High pH Cancer Therapy, using a range of substances including caesium, the industrial solvent DMSO, and laetrile - all of which are potentially toxic.

Ms McCarty, Ms Bosso, Ms Kokalis, and Ms Gruber all commenced the 12-day IV therapy on May 14, 2005.

Mr Vinciullo commenced the treatment on May 20 2005, but stopped five days later as he was in so much pain he could not continue.

He died on July 1, 2005, with his cancer uncured, and Ms Vicker said his death was from natural causes.

The other four patients died over four days from May 25 to May 28, 2005 - all as a result of the treatment they were given and all still suffering from cancer.

Ms Vicker said four of the seven patients treated at the centre died before they had finished the 12-day course.

WA Police were alerted to the operation of the clinic on May 26 after concerns raised through Fremantle Hospital.

In handing down her findings today, Ms Vicker said the treatment accelerated the deaths of the four women.

"While it is accepted all six cancer patients who died in 2005 had serious, end stage cancer, one of the issues of concern was whether the treatment accelerated any of their deaths," Ms Vicker wrote in her findings.

"The four women who died, and those who had families involved with the treatment, were given serious misinformation about the risks involved with the treatment itself,

"There is no evidence this particular treatment had any real benefit at all to patients. There is considerable evidence it is dangerous and has a serious risk of accelerating death."

Ms Vicker said she more concerned that Dr Boyd did not use her conventional medical knowledge to stop the treatment for patients who were clearly suffering than the fact she administered the treatment.

"My biggest concern with Dr Boyd is I simply cannot accept she did not know that part of the treatment involved the administration of caesium and laetrile along with other questionable substances," Ms Vicker said.

"All patients were anxious to survive. This made them very vulnerable to a claim their cancer could not only be stalled, but most probably cured. All they had to do was believe."

Ms Vicker said she did not find the public hospitals involved, where the victims eventually died, had any part to play in the deaths.

Her recommendations included restricted access for caesium chloride and other caesium salts, close scrutiny by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for any Visa application for entry into Australia by Dr Sartori, and that data available from the centre in Perth be comprehensively evaluated to provide education and information to medical health practitioners of the effects of the administration of the substances. ... 6412646537

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Post by kenobewan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:23 am

Whiter teeth put to the test

AUSTRALIANS are paying a premium for so-called whitening toothpastes that offer no extra benefits, Choice has said.

According to consumer watchdog Choice, consumers are forking out for marketing spin rather than actual benefits when purchasing higher-priced toothpaste.

It reviewed 17 toothpaste products ranging in price from $1.27 to $7.99 and broke down product claims such as "advanced-whitening", "multi-action", "enamel-lock", and "micro-cleaning crystals".

Choice found none of the whitening toothpastes investigated actually contained a bleaching agent required to physically alter the colour of teeth.

"These terms give the impression that the large range of toothpastes all do something different, with the expensive items doing something more than a basic product," said Choice representative Ingrid Just.

"In reality, you're paying extra for essentially the same product."

Most toothpaste products contain the same ingredients, such as fluoride, a mild abrasive such as calcium carbonate or hydrated silica, along with humectants to help the paste retain water.

Thickeners, sweeteners, lathering agents and flavours are added to enhance taste and appearance.

The consumer body said children's toothpaste products were also guilty of spin through the use of colourful packaging and popular cartoon characters.

In Australia, Colgate-Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline account for 92 per cent of the toothpaste market. ... 6416248950

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:55 am

Breastfeeding group defends sleeping with baby

A breastfeeding support group has rejected a call for a unified declaration from health authorities that sleeping with small babies is dangerous.

A Victorian coroner criticised the inconsistent advice given to parents get about babies sleeping in the same bed.

Coroner John Olle said more uniform advice about the risks of co-sleeping was needed after investigating the deaths of four babies aged between 10 weeks and five months which died of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.

All had been sleeping in a bed next to at least one of their parents when they died, which he labelled "inherently dangerous".

He said in the first six to 12 months of life, babies should sleep on their backs in a cot in the same room as their parents.

However, the Australian Breastfeeding Association's Renee Kam says making a blanket statement that co-sleeping should or should not be done is dangerous.

Ms Kam says parents need all the information on risk factors.

"People who co-sleep with their babies have an increased duration of breastfeeding," she said.

"We also know that breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome."

New South Wales Health links to a SIDS site which is against co-sleeping, but its advice for indigenous parents, only says do not share beds when parents have been smoking or have had alcohol. ... ng/4115992

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Post by kenobewan » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:30 am

Elaborate cancer hoax ends in jail cell

A WOMAN who concocted an elaborate cancer hoax to avoid a jail sentence has lost a final bid to escape punishment.

Leanne Tracey Church began telling residents of Hill End, in central NSW, she had bowel cancer in 2006 -- not long after she was charged over a serious assault at the local pub.

Church covered her newly shaved head with a bandanna and made regular "visits" to a cancer clinic, and locals held a fundraiser to scrape together $200 for her treatment.

And while victim Donna-lee King, who ran the local general store, had been left bruised and battered in the attack, the magistrate took pity on Church when she was eventually found guilty of the assault.

"The only thing stopping you from going to jail is because of your medical condition," Magistrate John Hodgson told Church, who had a history of violence. He imposed a three-year good-behaviour bond.

But Church's cancer claims were a lie -- uncovered as a suspicious Ms King rang around treatment centres and discovered her attacker had never been a patient.

This week, the 42-year-old Church's Supreme Court appeal was thrown out after she tried to overturn a 16-month jail term for perverting the course of justice with her hoax.

Church claimed at her sentencing last year in the District Court that she committed the cancer fraud out of a "need for attention". ... 6424911211

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:37 am

Parents make a dash for jab cash

PARENTS who refuse to vaccinate their children are pocketing thousands of dollars in Federal Government immunisation incentives.

Opponents to childhood vaccines say it is unfair to be denied Federal Government cash because of their beliefs, and are exploiting a loophole to claim more than $2000 a child after registering as "conscientious objectors".

In July, the Gillard Government scrapped the $129 Maternity Immunisation Allowance, a specific payment to encourage parents to have their children immunised.

In an attempt to boost immunisation rates, it has now linked vaccination incentives to Family Tax Benefit A $2100 to be paid over three immunisation "check points" once children are fully immunised at ages one, two and five.

While parents have been warned they will lose their payment and the childcare benefit if they do not fully immunise their children, they are also being told exemptions will be given to objectors.

All they have to do to still receive the money is fill out a form supplied by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government's Department of Human Services website outlines the immunisation requirements.

It reads: "To meet the immunisation requirements, children will need to be fully immunised, be on a recognised immunisation catch-up schedule, or have an approved exemption."

The exemption forms are available from the Department of Human Services website.They require signatures of the parent/guardian of the child and recognised immunisation provider a GP or family doctor.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said it was a bizarre policy.

"This is a case of everyone wins a prize. It's a bit like getting the Baby Bonus without having a baby," Senator Xenophon said.

"Anti-vaxers", as they call themselves, are now joining parenting forums to encourage others not to be bullied by the Government and to give tips on how to get objection forms lodged quickly.

One person on the controversial Australian Vaccination Network suggested: "Do not take the child to the appointment as it is for information gathering only.

"Have the Medicare form for conscientious objection already printed out (and) have your friend ready with a recording device in case the doctor starts to behave unprofessionally."

In the past eight months, the Government has granted more than 16,000 exemptions from conscientious objectors, children with immunity and families with legitimate medical reasons.

Queensland last year recorded 3432 cases of whooping cough and 133 cases of pneumococcal, vaccine-preventable diseases that still kill babies in Australia. Up to 10 per cent of Queensland children are not fully immunised.

For some it's a sticking point

MICHELLE Burcin is like most mums. Baby spew is her latest eau de toilette and multi-tasking has become a lifestyle.

However, unlike other mums, there's one thing missing from her busy schedule: dates and times for immunisations.

The Cairns mother of one and former primary school teacher is an "anti-vaxer" and refuses to be swayed by the majority.

She chose not to vaccinate 12-month-old son James after doing her own research about immunisations and wants him to build his immune system naturally.

She is a registered conscientious objector and has no problem telling people James is not immunised.

"People don't understand it. It's a parent's choice and I think that's why people don't discuss it with me," Mrs Burcin said.

It's a stance accepted by Brisbane physiotherapist and mother of three, Tanya deKroo.

"I think people should have the choice. It's a medical intervention and is not without risk," Mrs deKroo said.

"But the risk is so minimal, so it was a no-brainer (that the children would be vaccinated).

"Everything you do, you're trying to keep your kids in good health. If there are diseases that are easily preventable (by having a jab), it was really not a difficult decision for me."

Some doctors interviewed by The Sunday Mail said they privately believed vaccinations should be mandatory. However, they conceded that it would never happen because of the controversy.

They said some members of the public were being confused by the "ludicrous" information published by anti-vaccination groups.

The Australian Vaccination Network, which says it offers the other side of debate to pro-vaccinators, has listed 10 reasons why parents choose not to immunise their children, including: "vaccines have never been tested, doctors and health professionals rarely, if ever, report vaccine reactions", and that some childhood illnesses "have beneficial aspects", such as the measles to help treat eczema.

Doctors dispute the claims. ... 6426118851

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Post by kenobewan » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:24 am

Child cancer charity probe

A high-profile children's cancer charity - which collected $1.5 million in 2010 but gave just $41,000 to the cause - is under investigation by Consumer Protection.

Strike a Chord was behind the celebrity visit to WA in the same year by billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson and holds an annual fundraising ball for its musically inspired charity.

But the organisation, run by concert promoter John Zaccaria, will have to answer questions from the Government agency on how it keeps its business separate from various private companies run by Mr Zaccaria and other Strike a Chord committee members.

"The department is making a number of inquiries," associations and charities manager Will Morgan said.

"I wouldn't want to go into it until we've had a response to those matters - and there are quite a number of issues we're asking about. It's not just one question, it's a lot of questions."

Strike a Chord has been licensed to raise money to buy musical instruments and organise music tuition for sick children since 2008.

"I can confirm that the organisation has a licence to collect money for a charitable purpose, but that should not be taken as a form of endorsement by the department," Mr Morgan said.

A 2010 financial report obtained by _The Weekend West _reveals that $41,810 was paid in grants and donations by the charity to support its cause.

The sum is dwarfed by the $915,729 collected by the Branson event, which came at an operating cost of $904,128.

A ball in that financial year cost $367,448 to run, and collected $352,095.

There were also donations to the charity totalling $286,426. The figures also show payments of $60,000 in consultancy fees and $16,800 for a fundraising New Year's Eve party.

Mr Zaccaria accepted the 2009 and 2010 results were "not great" and that he had met department officers last year to explain the reasons why.

He said that Strike a Chord had to pay Mr Branson's personal charity Virgin Unite $400,000 to secure his 36-hour visit to WA.

He believed the department had given Strike a Chord a "tick of approval" and was unaware of a new investigation until contacted by _The Weekend West _. He would meet department officers next week.

The department will examine a potential conflict of interests in payments from the charity to one of Mr Zaccaria's companies, Linkwest Enterprises. ... ity-probe/

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Post by kenobewan » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:04 am

Tony Robbins event ends in 'wails of pain' as attendees walk on hot coals

Burnt soles rather than cleansed souls awaited attendees at motivational speaker Tony Robbins's latest life coaching seminar, with 21 people needing treatment after a painful walk across coals.

During a four-day gathering in California entitled Unleash the Power Within, the famed lifestyle guru encouraged participants to take a leap of faith and test their luck on the red-hot surface.

Emergency services were called to deal with the fall-out, as many in the group suffered second- and third-degree burns. Three needed hospital treatment, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"I heard wails of pain, screams of agony" one witness told the newspaper.

"First one person, then a couple minutes later another one, and there was just a line of people walking on that fire. It was just bizarre, man," Jonathan Correll, 25, said.

The injured fire walkers were among thousands who attended the Robbins event. As part of the multi-day seminar, a crowd were led to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals had been laid out.

A brochure for the Unleash the Power Within event suggests that once you overcome the fear of walking on coals of between "1,200 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit" you can "conquer the other fires of your life with ease".

A spokesman for the San Jose fire department told the San Jose Mercury News that it does not recommend that people undertake the endeavour.

Robbins has used fire-walking throughout his career as a motivational speaker and life coach.

In a statement, the Robbins Research International told the newspaper: "We have been safely providing this experience for more than three decades, and always under the supervision of medical personnel … We continue to work with local fire and emergency personnel to ensure this event is always done in the safest way possible." ... -walk-burn

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Post by kenobewan » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:26 am

New age group's herbal supplements under investigation

A NEW AGE community branded a ''cult'' by its critics is under investigation by health authorities over a range of herbal supplements it sells online.

Universal Medicine, based in Lismore, on the NSW north coast, is the subject of an ''urgent review'' by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The leader of Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon, a former tennis coach who has claimed to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci and Pythagoras, sells three different ''Eso-Herbs'' - Harmony, Re-Balancing and Connection - for $40 a plastic tub.

A TGA spokeswoman said the products met the definition of therapeutic goods because they made general therapeutic claims and were sold in a dosage pack rather than being raw herbs.

''The TGA is concerned that these goods are not included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and have not been evaluated by the TGA as the law requires,'' she said.

''In order to protect the public, this matter is being urgently investigated by the TGA with the sponsor being required to achieve compliance with the regulatory requirements of Australia's therapeutic goods legislation.''

Mr Benhayon said he would co-operate with the TGA.

''I wish they would have just said to me, 'Hey, you're doing the wrong thing','' he said.

The Sun-Herald revealed yesterday that Mr Benhayon, 48, has up to 1000 followers - mainly female - but he faces a backlash from a group of men who say they have lost their partners to Universal Medicine, which they claim is a cult based around him.

Most adherents radically alter their eating, exercise and lovemaking habits when they take up the esoteric lifestyle.

One Universal Medicine student, Tamara, objected to the claim that it was a cult, saying she had reclaimed her life from an abusive relationship rather than losing herself to a cult.

Mr Benhayon confirmed the group had held a book burning at the property of his lawyer, Cameron Bell, at Billinudgel, near Mullumbimby.

The director of Melbourne-based Cult Counselling Australia, Raphael Aron, questioned the validity of Mr Benhayon's treatments, which include ''esoteric breast massage'' to fight cancer in women and ''chakra-puncture'' offered by his sons Michael and Curtis for $70 an hour.

Records show Mr Benhayon owns six properties in the Lismore suburb of Goonellabah, where the healing centre is based. He is also the director of five companies associated with Universal Medicine, including Fiery Investments Pty Ltd and Fiery Impulses Pty Ltd. ... 31862.aspx

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