Yes, I watched the whole thing. I was left wanting for more data. Seems all we got were anecdotes and unsubstantiated claims.
I did a little googling and found this houstonpress.com article. Note that the article is 6 pages.
Based on that, his claims are definitely suspect. Over time, I have noticed that people without any backing to their claims tend to resort to ad hominens (attack the person, rather than respond to the question/criticism). For example, WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) literature is full of ad hominen attacks against plant-eaters. The article has several other good questions.
I think that we as a group are a little susceptible to this sort of stuff. Someone comes out with some alternative way of doing things, claims the government or a corporation is trying to shut them down, and we seem to immediately come to their defense. I figure we are more susceptible to these claims because, in our case, it actually happened; the government has royally messed up the nutritional guidelines, and the meat, dairy, and various unhealthy food industries are lying about their products (just like the tobacco industry). The difference is, we have the data to back up our assertions. But it appears that Burzynski does not. I don't know very much about him, but based on what I saw in the movie, and some quotes in the article, it seems like he is following the well-worn path of a charlatan trying to milk his snake oil for all he can before he gets caught.
You have to remember, you can't believe every book or documentary you come across. For every person, or group, that has a legitimate claim about government and/or industry corruption, there are probably dozens to thousands of frauds claiming the same corruption.
I am not saying he is a charlatan, only that it sure looks like he is based on what little there is to go from. Hence, I suspect he is a charlatan.
Vegsource editors: I wish you would research these things more before you post them. I know we can all get caught up by a well-done documentary that tugs at the right emotional coords and jump to a conclusion too soon (lord knows I am guilty of that many times over). But you have to remember that you have thousands of readers, and you are vegsource.com! People are going to find you when they google. Do you really want sick people looking for help to see "the vegans" endorsing frauds? People who have no understanding of healthy eating read your site and think you represent all vegans. It is unfortunate that anyone is burdened with that responsibility, but that is the position you have.
Realizing that we all have human failings and we can all be manipulated by charlatans, my suggestion to you is to work around this with a change in your process. When you read or see something and think "OMG, I need to tell the whole world about this right now!", I suggest you write up what you want to say about it and leave it on your computer for at least two days - especially for something that is not just a run-of-the-mill-eat-your-veggies article. Give yourselves time to calm down and process the information. Do some googling. Ask one or more of our trustworthy doctors. If it still pans out, then post it. If not, junk it.
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I can appreciate what you're saying, Cliff, and the caveat to all of us who have biases in any direction is to look at the facts and evaluate them free of our prejudices and emotional inclinations. From what I have read about this situation, it appears to me that the FDA has behaved dishonorably.
Since two of my friends died of cancer this movie is even more important for me. I wish that more people could watch this.
There are two issues here -- the trustworthiness of big government/big business fascism, and the best way to heal. I take it that the video is one more piece of the everlasting stream of evidence that big government control, in collusion with the medical/industrial establishment, is a disaster. Do we really need to have that demonstrated again? Dictatorships, even when implemented with patronizing good intentions, create immense suffering and injustice. Let freedom ring!
However, the second issue is also important. How shall we understand healing? For the last century, medicine has developed a very impressive set of technologies for dealing with disorders that are a function of a more or less separable PART of the whole physiological/psychological person. However, we are running into increasing difficulties with those disorders that involve the person as a whole -- these emerge quite noticeably in the so-called degenerative disorders that absorb most of the modern health care costs. I take it that the great healers of cancer an other such disorders have generally not attempted to introduce another medical technique, but have attempted to create a systemic environment in which the body's natural restorative and self-healing capacities are liberated to do their own amazing work. Of course, this approach requires the responsible action of the client (I do not use the term patient, as it has come to be associated the irresponsibility of sick persons to participate in their own healing).
This is why, if I had cancer, I would probably not consider Burzynski's approach. It might work in certain circumstances. In the absence of more research, who really knows? But we all know that the body possesses remarkable mechanisms of self-healing. Moreover, diet -- especially a whole food plant based diet -- is key to promoting those capacities. So, after I have had my carrot juice, please pass the broccoli and brown rice, thanks.
trent489, yours is the most cogent reply. The FDA's behavior does not legitimize Burzynski's approach. My hunch is Burzynski does not have a valid treatment.
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