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FDA Attacks Alternative Clinics Cancer Patients' Lives Threatened

April 2002

By John C. Hammell, President, International Advocates for Health Freedom


One of our greatest fears is being diagnosed with cancer. There are few diseases where the treatment inflicts such massive mutilation, toxicity, lethargy and pain. Once cancer is discovered, a person's life is often never the same.

Even when treatment is initially successful, the patient can be rendered disfigured and parts of their body dysfunctional. The chance of a recurrence is ever present and even after five years, the cancer cells can come roaring back, usually much more resistant to treatment. Even after enduring the agony of conventional therapy, a huge number of cancer patients still succumb from the metastasis or infiltration of the initial tumor.

Conventional oncologists are so overwhelmed with patients (sometimes more than 40 a day), that they lack the time to provide the type of individualized treatment that is required to induce a complete response.

A cancer diagnosis can humble a person of any means, exposing them to hospitals where human beings are treated as if they were on an "assembly line." At conventional cancer treatment centers, patients are forced to tolerate inconvenience, neglect and abuse that a healthy person would not accept at a cut-rate motel.

The organizations that we have counted on to find a cure (National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, pharmaceutical companies, etc.) have failed. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, for most types of cancer, the chances of surviving more than five years in 1995 was not much better than 1950 (Welch HG. et al 2000).

We partially attribute the failure to develop better anti-cancer strategies to the failed policies of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This agency has a long-standing track record of suppressing novel therapies that compete with conventional oncology's obscene profits.

In this article, we report on recent FDA raids against alternative clinics that offered a treatment that appears to be effective. The harsh reality is that because the FDA summarily banned this treatment, cancer patients who were using it may now needlessly die.

One of the reasons you read Life Extension magazine is to learn of facts not reported by the mass media. The news you haven't heard about is that the FDA continues to attack those involved in innovative medicine, despite the documented failure of mainstream oncologists to save the lives of their cancer patients.

Unlike charlatans who sell worthless products to terminal cancer victims, nutritionist Joe Di Stefano, Daniel Mayer, DO and Ivan Danhoff, MD, PhD seemed to be doing everything right. They had discovered a non-toxic therapy that appeared to be prolonging survival time.

Joe Di Stefano, Drs. Mayer and Danhoff were attempting to file the cumbersome paperwork with the FDA in order to conduct a formal clinical study. They did not advertise or promote their product, nor did they promise any miracles. They charged $1,200.00 for as many intravenous treatments that a patient needed to achieve a remission or complete response. If a cancer patient could not afford the $1,200.00, the therapy was provided for free. No one was denied this therapy based on inability to pay.

Cancer patients given a death sentence by their oncologist appeared to be getting better when using this natural therapy. There is also evidence in the published scientific literature indicating that this therapy might be effective. Based purely on word-of-mouth, a growing number of terminal cancer patients began to seek out this low-cost, non-toxic and possibly effective natural therapy.

According to the FDA, none of the above was permissible. The FDA has taken particularly brutal steps to make sure that no cancer patient can access this therapy. The FDA now wants to criminally indict those involved so that this therapy will never be available.

FDA caught trespassing in dumpster. . .

Image with Caption
Nutritionist Joe Di Stefano
seemed to be doing
everything right. He had
discovered a non-toxic
therapy that appeared to
be prolonging survival time.

In early October, 2001, Joe Di Stefano exited his medical clinic at midnight after a long day's work, and was startled to hear strange noises coming from the dumpster in the back. Trash was strewn all over the ground. He peered over the top of the dumpster and caught two strangers red handed, with rubber gloves on, probing through his dumpster, trespassing on his property without a search warrant. Then he noticed their unmarked car nearby. Obviously they just assumed no one was there late at night.

When Joe demanded to know who they were, and what they thought they were doing in his garbage, they would not identify themselves and had the nerve to say, "we're looking for boxes." "Sure you are," said Joe, "everyone looks for boxes at midnight in a dumpster with rubber gloves on." Joe proceeded to write down their license number in order to file a complaint with the St. Petersburg police. He demanded that they put the trash back in the dumpster, which they only grudgingly did, before peeling out of the driveway with screeching tires, angry at getting caught trespassing. It turned out that these "dumpster divers" were FDA agents seeking evidence to obtain a search warrant against Joe Di Stefano's clinic.

The raids. . .

A week later on October 11, 2001, 120 agents from the FDA, DEA, Customs, U.S. Marshall's Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office raided Joe DiStafano and Dr. Mayer's clinics in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. The home of Joe DiStefano was also raided. Joe's personal property, including his children's computers that they needed to do their schoolwork, was seized as the agents made disparaging and insulting comments to DiStefano and his wife, Georgeann.

When the FDA agents attacked the clinics, patients were being administered various therapies by IV injection. The law enforcement officials asked the patients if they wanted to be unhooked from their IVs, but not a single one said yes. Paul Schebell, with stage 4 liver cancer who'd seen marked improvement during three months of treatment, said directly to the FDA raid leader, "We're all adults here making free will choices. Why don't you get out of here and leave us alone?" The FDA agent emphatically stated, "This will be your last treatment!" Schebell slumped in his chair. A nurse worried that he might be having a heart attack tried to go across the room to comfort him, but the FDA agent stood in her path. She pushed past him and went over to Schebell, who felt like he'd just been issued a death sentence.

A simultaneous raid occurred against Ivan Danhoff, MD, PhD of Grand Prairie, Texas, the solidly credentialed researcher and author of the book, Remarkable Aloe: Aloe Through the Ages. Dr. Danhoff has published more than 80 research papers, and has served as a consultant to several pharmaceutical research institutes. He has been a consultant to the FDA, serving on review panels and committees dealing primarily with gastrointestinal drugs. After more than 20 years of research, Danhof developed an intravenous aloe vera preparation called Albarin. It is this special aloe extract that was being used so successfully at the Florida clinics. The compounding pharmacist who prepared the aloe extract (Jerry W. Jackson of Allied Pharmacy Services, Arlington, TX) was also raided.