Stevia Book Burning

by Julian Whitaker, M.D.
author of Reversing Diabetes
Dr. Julian Whitaker is also the author of the newsletter Health &
Healing (1 800-539-8219).  This is a supplement  to the August issue

ALTERNATIVES, James P. Carter, M.D., professor Tulane University,
writes "The FDA serves as the pharmaceutical industry's watchdog,
which can be called upon to attack and destroy a potential competitor
under the guise of protecting the public."  To this end, the FDA will
even BURN BOOKS -- and intended to do just that until I told them of
my plans to file suit in a federal court to stop them.  This is an
ugly story about a sweet herb.

Stevia is a safe, natural herb that is 200 to 300 times sweeter than
sugar, contains no calories, and is used extensively throughout the
world as a sweetener. In some places it's almost as popular as sugar.
In Japan, for example, stevia consumption is equal to the sweetening
power of 100 million pounds of sugar per year.

Aspartame (as in NutraSweet and Equal) is the non-caloric, artificial
sweetener I wrote about in the Dec l994 issue of Health and Healing.
It is anything but safe.  It breaks down in your body to thousands of
adverse reactions from vision problems to headaches to seizures.
Aspartame was developed by the pharmaceutical company G. D. SEarle
Co., now a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto.

The FDA has been after stevia since l986, coincidental with the
growing popularity of aspartame.  Without warning, the FDA seized
several pallets of stevia from Celestial Seasonings, a nationally
known tea company that had been using this herb as a sweetener and
flavoring agent in their teas for over two decades.  The company was
simply told they could not use it in their teas anymore.

The FDA then banned stevia completely in l991, claiming it was an
unsafe food additive and thus eliminating one of aspartame's potential
competitors.  I initiated - and many of you participated in - a letter
writing campaign to put stevia back on the market in l994, and six
months later the ban on its importation was lifted.  Now, however, it
can only be sold as a food supplement, manufacturers cannot add stevia
to drinks or foods.  And the persecution of those who market and sell
it has not abated.


Oscar and Patricia Rhodes of Arlington, Texas, sell stevia and books
about stevia by mail order.  In early May of this year, Compliance
Officer James Lahar and other FDA agents confiscated their stevia,
proclaiming that selling stevia and books about stevia, including
cookbooks, at the same time constitutes "mislabeling" and
adulterating" stevia.  Following what I consider to be extremely poor
legal advice, the Rodeses said they would be willing to stop selling
the books if the FDA would simply release the stevia they had

At this point, James Lahar decided that refraining from selling the
books wasn't enough.  Harking back to humanity's dark (and not so
distant) past, Lahar mandated a book burning.  He and another FDA
agent showed up at the Rodes' business to take inventory of and
witness the destruction of the books.  Oscar Rodes called the local
television station, which sent in a news camera and the FDA chose not
to proceed with the book destruction at that time.  However, the FDA
agents defiled six of the cookbooks by putting their initials and the
date on the front page so that they couldn't be sold.

Lahar subsequently wrote to Oscar on May 19, stating that "a current
inventory must be taken by an investigator of this office, who will
also be available to witness destruction of the cookbooks, literature,
and other publications for the purpose of verifying compliance."

What's a small businessman to do?  When I heard about the FDA's
actions, I had my attorney in Washington, D.C., Jonathan Emord,
prepare a lawsuit to prevent the destruction of the books.  When  we
informed FDA lead prosecutor, Eric Blumberg of our intent to file
suit, he immediately asked us not to.  He stated by phone and by
letter that the destruction of the books would not be necessary and
that I could buy any number of them I wished.  I have bought several,
including four of the cookbooks defiled and dated by FDA agents.
These have definite historical value.

Ironically, I am writing this on July 4, Independence Day, the day the
Declaration of Independence was ratified and signed.  Once you get
beyond the flowery rhetoric and famous opening lines, this document is
essentially a list of complaints to King George of Great Britain
regarding "repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct
Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States."

It stated that King George had "erected a Multitude of New Offices,
and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out
their Substance."  What's the difference between the behavior of
agents sent forth by King George and the activities of FDA agent James
Lahar?  Both are functioning with the full weight of the government,
interpreting or misinterpreting laws as they see fit.

Our constitutional government is anchored by the Bill of Rights, which
guarantees specific protections for the people from government.  The
framers of our Constitution were not primarily concerned about the

regulation of commerce.  They were deeply concerned about the tendency
of government, in particular, zealous and mean-spirited government
agents, harassing and enslaving the people.


I have filed a citizen's petition to the FDA Commissioner demanding
that orders be issued immediately to prohibit FDA agents from this
sort of activity.  I pointed out that James Lahar and his agents had
no authority whatsoever to threaten Mr. Rodes with "an inventory" of
books and other publications.  They certainly had no authority "to
witness destruction of the cookbooks, literature, and other
publications .."  Lahar is so off base that he's not even in the

These actions serve to confirm the description of the FDA used by
physician and attorney Nancy Lord in a successful defense of her client
who faced similar FDA persecution.  In her closing arguments, she
stated, "This is a case about a federal agency, the Food and Drug
Administration, that has spun so completely out of control -- out of
control of the people, out of control of Congress -- that they are now
no more than a band of armed terrorists."  The jury concurred, and she
won the case for her client.


I suggest you write to FDA Acting Commissioner Michael Friedman, 5600
Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857, and demand that he act
quickly on the citizen's petition to stop this unconscionable
behavior.  Express your outrage about the behavior of FDA agent James
Lahar and the tacit approval of such  by the FDA.  Demand an immediate
change in the code of conduct and procedures by FDA agents to
specifically state that agents are not allowed to "take inventory" of
publications or "witness destruction of (cook)books, literature and
other publications."  Nowhere in FDA law or the Federal Food, Drug and
Cosmetic Act (cited by Lahar) does it state that the FDA has the
authority to behave in such a manner.  Folks, other small businesses -
perhaps yours - are in danger of inappropriate and illegal government
attacks by overzealous FDA bureaucrats unless the FDA's officer code
of conduct is changed.

Send copies of your letter to Congressman Joe Barton, Chairman, House
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, 2264 Rayburn House
Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; Congressman Dan Burton,
Chairman, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, 2185 Rayburn
House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, Attention:  Laurie
Taylor; and to me, % CF, Health & Healing, Phillips Publishing, Inc.
,7811 Montrose Road, Potomac, Maryland 20854.  I'll get back to you
with copies of the citizen's petition I sent to the FDA, and the
frontispiece of one of the defaced books.

It's about time we re-asserted our rights as a free people by simply
exercising them.  Let's all do just that.

I recommend you go out and buy yourself some stevia.  Use this
healthy, non-caloric sweetener daily in my tea and cereal, and I even
travel with it.  Stevia (sold only as a food supplement) and books
about stevia are available in most health food stores.

To your health and liberty,
Julian Whitaker, M.D., Editor"

                         End of article
       The above article is on the WEB site as

The foregoing article has been put in this news-group because
Stevia is used in Brazil for diabetics because it helps in the
metabolism of sugar.  It is a food  On the other hand, aspartame is a
chemical poison.  Dr. Louis Elsas, Pediatric Professor at Emory
University (genetics) testified before Congress that aspartame is a
neurotoxin.  A neurotoxin is a toxin that attacks brain cells and a
toxin is a poisonous substance.

H. J. Roberts, M.D., diabetic specialist  - Board Certified and
Re-certified in Internal Medicine has declared aspartame to be a
disease and world epidemic.  His paper was distributed at the First
International Conference on Emerging Diseases in Atlanta on March 8,
where doctors and scientists assembled from 91 countries of the world.
His new medical text on the world plague should be available in about
six months.  His other publications can be obtained via 1-800-814-9800.
His position paper on aspartame and diabetics is on http://www.dorway
.com/doctors.html where he explains that aspartame destroys the optic
nerve, keeps blood sugar out of control and even causes convulsions. 

One lawyer says that tobacco will pale against aspartame.  Also see http://www  to read the transcript of neurosurgeon Russell
Blaylock, M.D. on Mission Possible Radio as he explains how tests are
doctored and how aspartame depletes glucose from the brain, which causes
hypoglycemia and then seizure.  Remember that aspartame precipitates
diabetes - no wonder it has tripled.

Do spread the word and send us all case histories with a copy to the
FDA (form is at or a text copy from