Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Campaign to Regulate Vitamins as Drugs

Have TV3 been used to launch a political campaign to regulate vitamins as drugs?

TV3’s Wednesday night screening of Inside New Zealand posed the question “Are Vitamins Killing You”. The program viewed more like a propaganda piece, with an intentional political campaign to make Vitamins prescription only drugs. The programs main authority, Professor Jackson, stated this was an exercise to help convince the public and, in Jacksons own words "the powers that be", that dietary supplements should be regulated as medical drugs.

The program presented Professor Jackson as both an authority and a narrator where he called the shots to get his unpaid political message across. At no point was he questioned or interviewed. There was no information offered to counter his claims and he was not asked to produce scientific evidence.

A vague and barely understandable reference was made to the “Cochrane Report”. This was actually The Cochrane Collaboration; published in 2007 it was a meta-analysis that, at the time of its publishing, received much criticism from independent academics as well as senior statisticians.

Meta-analyses are selective, and for this reason they are also controversial and considered unscientific. Of the 815 studies found to be originally relevant for the report, 747 were discarded. A mere 8% of the available database were included. Doctors who carried out the Vitamin E experiment used in the report actually disagreed with the Cochrane doctors interpretation of their data.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“The foundation of the program was inherently flawed, similar to the pseudo science they use to plead their case” says Health Freedom NZ’s Spokeswomen, Nicola Grace. “Important facts and studies that contradict the perspective the program took were completely ignored in favor of advancing the programs political agenda, in an attempt to set the stage to regulate vitamins as drugs“ she says.

There is plenty of real science that contradicts the programs claims, which was omitted. The most recent statistics available from the U.S. National Poison Data System showed zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin (1). Furthermore, there were zero deaths from any dietary mineral supplement.

“If nutritional supplements are allegedly killing us, as Professor Jackson and his colleagues suggest, then where are the dead bodies? “ asks Ms Grace.

In America over half the population take nutritional supplements daily, similar to New Zealand. If each person took only one tablet per day, that would total 154,000,000, or 56 billion doses annually; making the safety of nutritional supplements all the more remarkable.

“In stark contrast, death by Doctor through medical misadventure and properly prescribed drugs is 3 times higher than the road toll in NZ, consistent with most other western industrial countries, a point this program also failed to mention“ states Ms Grace.

Being a program with a political agenda to convince the public and the Government that dietary supplements should be regulated as medical drugs, Professor Jackson should have declared his conflict of interest. He is currently assisting in the New Zealand trials of the polypill, which receives funding from the drugs manufacturer and supplier. This drug, if approved for market, will be used as a preventative for people who are at high risk of heart attack. The agenda to discredit Vitamin E, proven to lower your risk of heart disease, is an anti-competitive attempt to discredit the drugs competitor.

“How absurd to insinuate nutrients are carcinogenic, and produce no scientific evidence supporting that. The medical fraternity hammer the nail in their own coffin of consumer confidence with propaganda pieces and false statements like vitamins can kill you” Ms Grace states.

“Shame on the program makers and TV3 for allowing themselves to be a pawn in a one sided political campaign to indoctrinate and scare the public into thinking vitamins should be regulated as drugs” she concludes.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.