Money and Power Vs. Medical Science
Hi! IÕm Ralph Moss, author of The Cancer Industry. IÕd like to tell you how and why I came to write this book.
The Cancer Industry is a complete revision of my first book, The Cancer Syndrome, which was published in 1980. I wrote it after I was fired from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York for publicly condemning their cover-up of positive experiments with Laetrile, a controversial cancer remedy.
The book was, and remains, very controversial. It was rejected by two dozen publishers and after about a year of this torture I informed my agent, Ruth Brod, to stop sending it out. The very next day she told someone at a party about my troubles. He turned out to be a friend of publisher Barney Rosset, and within a week I had a contract with Grove Press! The book then went through many editions, in various languages, and was featured on Ò60 Minutes.Ó
The Cancer Syndrome (whose title echoed a popular movie, The China Syndrome) was completely revised and rewritten in 1989, when it was republished by Paragon House. The current Equinox Press edition was revised and published in 1996, with an extensive new preface, which took into account developments up to that point.
Since The Cancer Industry stemmed from my experiences at MSKCC, some have supposed that it is a book about the Laetrile controversy. One of my purposes, certainly, was to explain in detail what led up to my firing. But my larger purpose was to expose the outrageous way in which almost every non-toxic and non-conventional treatment for cancer had been disposed of by the Òcancer establishment.Ó
I chose eight of the best documented stories. These include the sagas not just of Laetrile but of Joseph Gold and hydrazine sulfate, Linus Pauling and vitamin C, Max Gerson and his low-sodium diet, Virginia Livingston-Wheeler and Lawrence Burton and their respective vaccines and Stanislaw Burzynski and his Antineoplastons. In preparation for the book, I visited most of these pioneers in their clinics or laboratories. In most cases, these are still the definitive discussions of these treatments. (I was very moved when I learned that Dr. Lawrence Burton had ÒhisÓ chapter read to him on his deathbed.)
I also made some astonishing discoveries about the links between the pharmaceutical industry and the cancer institutions, particularly between Bristol-Myers Squibb and MSKCC. Some the most revealing information of this sort is in Appendix A, so if you buy the book, be sure to also read this section.
Well, as everyone knows, times have changed considerably. Today, we have a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) research, with a starting budget of $50 million. We have a Cancer Advisory Panel on CAM treatments, on which I am proud to serve. I also advise the National Cancer Institute on its newly minted statements on non-conventional cancer treatments. So, in some ways, the perspectives of The Cancer Industry are working their way into the mainstream. For me personally, it was very important that I was invited back to Memorial Sloan-Kettering in May, 1999 to present my views at the Department of SurgeryÕs Grand Rounds meeting. I was well received...nothing was said about past unpleasantness, much less the ÒL wordÓ (Laetrile).
Despite the new climate of openness (which this book had its part in creating) the political economy of modern medicine still remains operative. The Cancer Industry is about how this lust for money and power (by institutions and individuals) has corrupted medical science, and specifically how the search for an effective approach to cancer has been stymied by an overemphasis on highly profitable (and patentable) treatments. A visit to the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) convention reveals a huge and powerful industry, far beyond my wildest imaginings of 1980. Thus, I would say that in many ways the book is more relevant than ever.
Please visit my website, www.ralphmoss.com, for more information on these topics.