The Ultimate Irony: China Pushes Alternative Remedies For Pain. While It Makes Our Fentanyl.

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Can't make this s#######t up. Seriously. 

Perhaps the irony that follows was lost on the largest country in the world. But at the American Council, we just love irony because, aside from being just plain fun, it is often associated with junk science. Might want to be sitting down when you read this one. 

In the latest Nikkei Asian Review, there is an article by staff writer Ariana King.  It is called "Americans Distrusting Big Pharma Seek Traditional Chinese Cures." The article, which is mostly a big fat lie, focuses on our opioid, uh, I mean, fentanyl crisis, and how the Chinese want to use ancient concoctions of herbs and acupuncture to help wean us off opiates. (Emphasis mine).

"Now America is beset by an opioid epidemic -- a national health emergency fueled by doctor prescriptions of extremely addictive painkilling narcoticsa and fed by money from the pharmaceutical industryb. It is hardly a surprisec that alternative pain treatments like acupuncture are gaining support and recognition."

A. King May 19, 2018

a- Lie by omission. The epidemic did not arise from ethical doctors treating pain patients. It arose from unethical doctors who ran pill mills, theft, and diversion of drugs.

b- Yes, of course, when something goes wrong blame the pharmaceutical industry. It's a sure winner. Usually it's a bunch of nonsense. But not always. It's perfectly fine to lay blame on Purdue Pharma, which made false claims about a lower abuse potential for OxyContin vs. fast-release drugs like Percocet. It cost them $635 million of their favorite dollars, and got three executives convicted of misbranding (a misdemeanor) who were spared jail time only because the prosecution could not prove that the three men knew what was going on. The judge was DYING to throw them in the slammer but he could not. Now they are being sued by every living organism on the planet. 

c- This is correct. It is hardly a surprise that alternative treatments for pain (and just about everything) else are gaining support. Whether they work or not is largely irrelevant. Much of the US has been brainwashed into thinking that there are magic answers to medical problems that have been rejected by "traditional" medicine for (whatever) reason. For example, Here's a look at the training and practices of naturopaths. Prepared to by unimpressed. 


To write in any depth about all of the powders, herbs, tinctures, and needles and whether they are actually useful would be a very long, arduous process, which would take forever. I wouldn't do it for all the tea in China.

Here's the crazy part. While Chinese doctors and researchers are looking for alternative ways to treat pain, which could possibly stem the fentanyl disaster, Chinese chemists are making fentanyl by the ton and shipping it to the US where it is killing a whole lot of people every day! This leaves me speechless. The last time that happened was .... never?

Homer is also speechless. And could probably use a good ophthalmologist right about now. Image: Deviant Art\

If you don't believe me, I interviewed Special Agent Erin Mulvey of the New York division of the DEA (emphasis mine). 

"The news stories about fentanyl pouring in from Mexico are consistent with what the DEA is seeing. This is being driven by the Mexican drug cartels. They receive their fentanyl from China, but also make their own in labs located in Mexico. It is difficult to put a number on the amount of fentanyl coming across the border but considering the significant increase in seizures and overdoses, we can determine it has increased."

Special Agent Erin Mulvey, DEA. November 22, 2016

Is this a beautiful world or what? Chinese doctors and scientists are exploring "alternative" (1) treatments to opiates while some of their fellow countrymen are working 24/7 to ensure that the US has a "sufficient" supply of illicit fentanyl (and its analogs most of which are worse). 

Nope, you can't make this s#######t up.


(1) "There is no such thing as alternative medicine. There is medicine that works and medicine that doesn't work." Dr. Paul Offit, "Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine." Harper Collins 2013. A must read.