On May 6 of this year, 15 US Food and Drug Administration agents with flak jackets, backed up by a batch of county policemen with guns at the ready, surrounded the clinic of Dr. Jonathan Wright in Kent, Washington.
Instead of knocking, they chose to kick in the door commando style, and forcibly pick the locks of the three additional back and side door entrances, so that armed police and agents poured into the clinic from all sides.While pointing guns at some of Dr Wright's staff this SWAT team filled a U-Haul truck with nearly every important element of Dr Wright's practice.
What illicit substance were they looking for? Although the FDA refuses to comment on the incident, and is attempting to seal records, Dr Wright's crime, it seems, was using injectable vitamins. A medical doctor with a Harvard degree, Wright now uses naturopathic methods. He imports pure vitamins from Germany because he can no longer get them in America; their US counterparts have preservatives that cause allergic reactions. In the eyes of the agency, Dr Wright is guilty of smuggling.
Dr Wright is fighting back. While he was still being raided, he and his employees contacted radio stations. An organization called Citizens for Health also turned on its fax machine, sending out hundreds of press releases to media all over the country.
As a result, thousands of citizens have contacted Washington to protest against what they view as a conspiratorial effort by the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry to stamp out alternative health options. Dr Wright has the FDA on the run.
There's a lesson here for the UK and for all those who feel that a raid on alternative medicine a la Miami Vice could not happen here. With the European recommendation limiting the potency of vitamins, we may find ourselves soon having high potency B vitamins confiscated as contraband.
If you don't want the government to outlaw freedom of choice in health care, write to Washington, your MP and EMP. Protest against the Wright incident, the EC directive on vitamin supplements and the intended congressional bill (HR 3642) giving the FDA jurisdiction over vitamins. Turn on your fax machines. Consider your health care a political issue. The government already does.