Letter from the Aloe Life International Inc. President, Karen Masterson Koch, C.N.
Safety of Aloe & Protecting the Reputation of the Ancient Medicine Plant!
For more than a decade Aloe Vera has become the focus of the FDA due to its popularity. In fact through polling the U.S. citizens the FDA found Aloe products are the most commonly used herb in America. Their recent study recaps Aloes many uses around the globe to include; the immune system, digestive support, help with Diabetic symptoms, wound care and countless other applications.
Under the pretense of protecting the citizens of our great nation the FDA first attempted to stop all sales of Aloe Vera about 10 years ago. They issued an order to cease sales of Aloe that was quickly reversed. The Aloe industry's lawyers had great premise to abate their folly on the grounds that the FDA action was illegally based. Coincidently a new pharmaceutical laxative drug was introduced to the market the following month. One can only ponder about the timeliness of those two incidences.
The DSHEA law called the “Health and Education Act”, was passed in 1994 and signed by President Clinton. This grassroots supplement protection law was long overdue and gave Aloe along with hundreds of other herbs and supplements a type of “Safety Endorsement.” It stated that any supplement sold before 1994, that included the Whole Leaf and Inner Gel Aloe Vera, “...will reasonably be expected to be safe.” DSHEA put the proof of burden (any undesirable side effects) back on the FDA. In other words, supplements that were being sold at that time were remarkably safe for adults and children and did not deserve the constant harassment from the FDA. DSHEA directed that any new products introduced to the market after 1994 that were unique and unknown to the U.S. required a company to demonstrate safety of the product before the FDA authorized approval. It is also very important to understand that regardless of the DSHEA law - the FDA still reserves the right to stop the sales of any product if they receive customer's complaints that warrant such an action or are found in honest research to present a public health problem.
Aloe Vera contains over 200 active ingredients responsible for the healing support to the body and one of its compounds is called “Anthraquinones”. Researcher Dr. R. Davis, PhD, in his book called, Aloe Vera - A Scientific Approach, attributes this compound from Aloe to have diverse applications of easing pain, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and supports bowel regularity. Anthraquinones are found in the latex part of the plant directly under the outer leaf and takes on a yellow to reddish color. Interestingly, the latex has been sold to pharmaceutical companies for over 50 years and used in laxative formulas. This is the very substance I refer to as the “Laxative Property” that the FDA is attempting to ban from Aloe products if they have their way.
The FDA has asked on numerous occasions that the Aloe industry give more safety data regardless of DSHEA to prove the products on the market offer no harm even though not a single death has ever been attributed to Aloe Vera. To address this dogmatic safety issue the Aloe industry sponsored a study to appease the government. In 1997 a 4 year safety study on Aloe was completed that was engineered and conducted at the University of San Antonio, Texas with close to 500 mice. Both Inner Gel and Whole Leaf processed Aloe Vera was used with the subjects and both the controls and Aloe drinking mice received the same chemically designed diet. At the end of the study not only did drinking Aloe Vera everyday NOT show any toxicity or bad side effects the Aloe drinkers developed less disease than the controls and lived significantly longer!
The Anthraquinones, which are also found in other herbal plants, have been regulated in processed Aloe Vera for decades. Most companies remove all of it through intense charcoal filtration and other companies have chosen to leave in allowable amounts because of the extra health benefits. When people have a healthier colon they do not find the Anthraquinones to cause diarrhea but act more as a regulator for healthy elimination without dependence likened to prune juice. Intelligent adults are aware that watery diarrhea is never a healthy state for the body. However, because people do not always use good judgment in life a ruling by the state of California mandated Aloe companies, including Aloe Life, list a warning on all products that states: If diarrhea results reduce the daily amount.
Years passed until just a couple of years ago the FDA again showed their perverse concern for the U.S. citizen. They banned together with the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) and designed a 2 year study conducted on rats that would support their incessant allegation against Aloe Vera products that they are dangerous. Once again the Aloe industry's lawyers are holding vigilant to the FDA letting them know that they must not cross the legal line. However, they have definitely crossed the ethical line and one can only surmise that this was one of their goals. They are achieving some success of smearing the reputation of the Ancient Medicine Plant - Aloe!
The study the FDA conducted was not hard to devise knowing that the plant latex in Aloe can cause diarrhea. The study is termed “Diarrhea-Gate” by some and the FDA calls it Toxicity of Aloe Vera. As written up in the Aloe Life Facts customer handout, the study consists of keeping these defenseless rats in a state of diarrhea for 2 years. Health professionals and scientists can imagine the results of both depleted nutritional stores and inflammation of the lining cells. The results of this merciless study seemed to be the only dialogue the FDA is concerned about even though the pathway is the significant feature to the result. The result of the study was a rat dealing with acute inflammation of the cells making up the colon lining was unable to rebuild healthy replacement cells due to a poor nutritional status. It doesn't take a biochemist to figure this one out. The cells began to slowly develop dysplasia or a distortion and thickness unlike healthy cells. The opportunity for cancer to develop is great with the fecal contamination, frail immunity from mal-nutrition and bingo carcinoma - a win for the FDA! Wrong - a sister study completed in Japan using the same protocol stated Aloe Vera was not considered a carcinogen and that all indicators pointed to the chronic state of DIARRHEA to be the catalyst!
The FDA was left disappointed when the Aloe industry pointed out to the NTP that there are NO Aloe products on the market that are unfiltered and or un-decolorized (possible of creating out-of-control diarrhea)! During the first months of the FDA alerting their staff of danger from Aloe some of the FDA agents out in the field were visibly agitated toward Whole Leaf Aloe companies from the frenzy that this NTP study created. Hopefully this attitude has calmed down because viewing good honest health companies as criminals selling a product that causes cancer is rubbish! Once again the lawyers that the IASC members pay for through their membership dues has kept quality and safe for children or adults ALOE on the market! If a study truly came out that proved a health product caused cancer it would be pulled immediately from the market shelf. The FDA knows that they are walking on thin ice and the smear has been leaked to the media, as they first warned. The lawyers have informed the FDA that they must state in any news release that the cancer they created in “Diarrhea-Gate” was not from filtered or decolorized Aloe Vera.
Phone calls have trickled into the Aloe Life office from concerned Aloe Life juice drinkers that have read smear articles about Aloe Vera. It is online and for any person seeking information on the internet this following article will be one of their choices. When you title the article Aloe Vera Causing Cancer and follow it with, “Should I ask my doctor if it is safe?” and “Is it safe to put it on my skin?” questions, you know it is following in the footsteps of the smear campaign Vitamin E went through several years back. Vitamin E was never pulled from the market even though the FDA made allegations of it causing people to die an early death - because it was not true! While the smear continues the FDA is smugly asking for more safety data from the Aloe industry even though they have been given two peer reviewed studies. They are refusing to consider the excellent mice study because it wasn't conducted on rats!
Please have sufficient handouts to give to your concerned customers and if you are the customer know that our government does not always work in the best interest of the citizen. Aloe Vera, including the Whole Leaf, is 100% safe but diarrhea is not!Healthfully & In Faith of Good,
Aloe Life International, Inc.