4 out of 4 stars
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Sylvie Beljanski spent her childhood feeling that she came in a distant second to her parents’ work. She swore she’d never get involved with the research to which they devoted their lives and attention – until it became her life’s mission.
WINNING THE WAR ON CANCER: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure reveals how Sylvie’s parents’ work became hers. Her parents were arrested, not by police, but by the military, and their lab and work destroyed. The obvious corruption that led to this unwarranted assault forced Sylvie to surround herself with people who knew about the cancer treatments her father had discovered. She was determined to clear his name and continue his legacy.
Sylvie was eventually able to start a foundation that endeavors to bring effective natural medicines to patients. There have been, and still are, many obstacles to this objective; funding, legalities, and attacks on the legitimacy of test results. Funding for trials is refused, then it’s reported that there are no trials that show these products are effective. A competing company sold products that relied on the reputation of Beljanski’s extracts but contained an ineffectively miniscule amount of the active ingredient. Then there were products that were from a different source than the original extract was from; when proven ineffective, Beljanski’s reputation suffered as well.
Something I disliked are comments the author makes that insist the only real reasons natural medicines are not approved by the FDA is for money and control. She claims, “If ‘ignorance leads to the loss of freedom’ as Benjamin Franklin has taught us, there is no doubt that the intent of this policy is to keep us ignorant and deprived of our freedom of choice”. (Emphasis added) This disregards the fact that the policy protects the public from such charlatans as she herself ran into; many patients insist on those very protections she reviles. Whether or not that ought to even be a government function is a different matter.
The ten numbered and labeled chapters of the main narrative are buried in the middle of extensive front and back matter. It’s all worth reading. I was surprised to find that one bonus section includes dosages for specific ailments. A couple of minor errors were all I found so I think this was properly edited.
I rate this 4 out of 4 stars. Most of what I could find corroborated her facts. Because of the author’s stance on the process of FDA approval, this isn’t for an audience that firmly believes that the role of government is to interfere in daily life and decisions. This book should appeal to those interested in natural cures of course, but also to anyone who wants to examine social and legal implications of government involvement in healthcare. If you’re interested in the science of health, this is definitely a book for you.
Winning the War on Cancer
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