Social Policy: Manders: The FDA Ban of L-Tryptophan: Politics, Profits, and Prosac Winter 1995

Rich Murray rmforall at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 20 16:09:59 EST 2000

Social Policy: Manders: The FDA Ban of L-Tryptophan:
Politics, Profits, and Prosac   Winter 1995

The FDA Ban of L-Tryptophan: Politics, Profits and Prozac
© Dean Wolfe Manders, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved

Dr. Dean W. Manders, 5961 Sherwood Drive, Oakland, CA 94611
Dean Wolfe Manders is a senior lecturer in humanities and sciences
at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland/San Francisco.

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This article first appeared in
"Social Policy", Vol. 26, No. 2 Winter  1995.
Dr. Manders has lectured and done extensive research on the
medical politics of L-Tryptophan.
The article also appeared in "Blazing Tattles".

In the fall of 1989, the FDA recalled L-Tryptophan, an amino acid
nutritional supplement, stating that it caused a rare and deadly
flu-like condition (Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome / EMS).
On March 22, 1990, the
FDA banned the public sale dietary of L-Tryptophan completely.
This ban continues today.
On March 26, 1990, "Newsweek" featured a lead article
praising the virtues of the anti-depressant drug Prozac.
Its multi-color cover displayed a floating, gigantic green and white
capsule of Prozac with the caption:
"Prozac: A Breakthrough drug for Depression."
The fact that the FDA ban of L-Tryptophan and the Newsweek
Prozac cover story occurred within four days of
each other went unnoticed by both the
media and the public. Yet, to those who understand the effective
properties of L- Tryptophan and Prozac, the concurrence seems
"unbelievably coincidental."

The link here is the brain neurotransmitter serotonin---a
biochemical nerve signal conductor. The action of Prozac and
L-Tryptophan are both involved with serotonin,
but in totally different ways.
Elevated levels of serotonin in the body often result in the relief of
depression, as well as substantial reduction in pain sensitivity,
anxiety and stress.
Prozac, as well as other new anti-depressant drugs such as
Paxil and Zoloft, attempt to enhance levels of serotonin by working on
whatever amounts of it already exists in the body
(these drugs are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
None of these drugs, however,  produce serotonin.
In contrast, ingested L-Tryptophan acts to produce serotonin,
even in individuals who generate little serotonin of their own.
The most effective way to elevate serotonin
would be to use a serotonin producer
rather than a serotonin enhancer.

The continuing FDA public ban of L-Tryptophan prevents
popular access to this most effective serotonin producer.
The millions of Americans who for decades safely have
relied upon L-Tryptophan to relieve depression,
anxiety and PMS, as well as to control pain and induce natural sleep,
have been forced elsewhere for solutions.

Routinely, such solutions are pharmaceutical in nature: people are
forced to use either often highly addictive, expensive,
and sometimes dangerous drugs like
Xanax, Valium, Halcion, Dalmane, Codeine, Anafranil, Prozac,
and others, or simply suffer.
Present FDA public policy maintains that
L-Tryptophan is an untested, unapproved and hazardous drug. The
analytical work done a few years ago by the
Centers for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic,
research which traced the fall of the serious flu-like condition
to contaminants found in batches of L-Tryptophan made by the
Japanese company Showa Denko, has not convinced the FDA
to allow L-Tryptophan back on the market.
This decision is based primarily on the research of FDA and NIMH
scientists who state that L- Tryptophan itself, irrespective of
contaminants, is a dangerous substance. Other university-based research
scientists disagree with these findings.

The public availability of L-Tryptophan is too important an issue only
to be argued and shrouded within scientific debate that remains,
ultimately, mystifying to the vast majority of Americans.
There are many obvious facts worthy of public attention, and concern.

For example, consider the following: On February 9, 1993, a United
States government patent (#5185157) was issued to use
L-Tryptophan to treat, and cure EMS,
the very same deadly flu-like condition which prompted the FDA
to take L-Tryptophan off the market in 1989.

Notwithstanding its public ban and import alert on L-Tryptophan, the FDA

today allows Ajinomoto U.S.A. the right to import from Japan
human-use L-Tryptophan.
Distributed from the Ajinomoto in Raleigh, North Carolina,
the L- Tryptophan is then sold to, and through, a network of compounding

pharmacies across the United States. Purchased by individuals only under

a physician's order, L-Tryptophan emerges here as a new prescription
in the serotonin marketplace; one hundred 500 mg. capsules cost about
$75.00, approximately five times more than if they were sold as a

Since the FDA holds the political mandate and power of a public
regulatory agency established ostensibly, to protect people from
raw corporate interests in drug production and distribution,
the actions of the FDA in concert with Ajinomoto U.S.A. are
By publicly banning L-Tryptophan from its dietary supplement status
and price, while allowing L-Tryptophan to be sold as a high-priced
prescription drug, the naked duplicity of the FDA L-Tryptophan
policy is revealed.

During and after the 1989 EMS outbreak, the FDA did not totally ban the
use of L- Tryptophan in humans---then, as today, the FDA has granted the

pharmaceutical industry the protected right to use L-Tryptophan in
hospital settings. Manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, the amino acid
injectable solutions Aminosyn and Aminosyn II contain as much as 200 mg.

L-Tryptophan. (Moreover, L-Tryptophan has never been removed from baby
food produced and sold within the United States.)

While the FDA has banned the public sale and use of safe,
non-contaminated, dietary supplements L-Tryptophan for people,
the United States Department of Agriculture
still sanctions the legal sale and use of non-contaminated L-Tryptophan
animals. Today, as in the past, feed grade L-Tryptophan continues to be
used as a nutritional and bulk feed additive by the commercial hog and
chicken farming industry. Additionally, L- Tryptophan is now available
for use
by veterinarians in caring for horses and pets.

Outside of the United States, in countries such as Canada, the
Netherlands, Germany, England, and others, L-Tryptophan is widely used.
Nowhere, have any serious or widespread health problems have occurred.
At bottom, the FDA public ban of safe, non-contaminated L-Tryptophan is
uneven, expensive, and biased in favor of the pharmaceutical industry.
The FDA proscription effectively awards billions of dollars in profits
pharmaceutical companies and their suppliers in the same proportion as
it adds billions of unnecessary dollars to the nation's already bloated
health care expenditures.

On June 15, 1993, the FDA Dietary Supplement Task Force published a
report on the work it had been doing in the area of developing FDA
around nutritional supplements. On page two, the report admits,
"The Task Force considered various issues in its deliberations,
including ... what steps are necessary to ensure that the existence
of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive
for drug development."
In this case, the FDA has succeeded in carrying out its stated policy
goal. With competition from publicly available L-Tryptophan removed,
the rapidly expanding market in prescription serotonin drugs---now
among them L-Tryptophan itself---contains no major "disincentives" for
the massive accumulation of pharmaceutical industry profits.

It is now time for appropriate congressional committees to review openly

and aggressively the entire matter of L-Tryptophan. This will provide a
needed forum where political, corporate, and scientific issues of the
FDA L-Tryptophan regulatory policy may be addressed. There exists ample
precedent for such hearings: in the 1980's and early 1990's, for
example, such investigations uncovered favoritism in the approval
of generic drugs and the bribery of FDA officials.

The story of L-Tryptophan illustrates a sad perverse picture of the
politics and priorities of public health in America: A safe,
dietary-supplement serotonin producer is publicly unavailable to people,

while daily fed to animals by corporate agribusiness.
A patent is approved to use L-Tryptophan to cure the very condition
the FDA claims it caused.
And, while publicly exclaiming that L-Tryptophan is a dangerous and
drug, the FDA more quietly, allows human-use L-Tryptophan to be
imported, and
then marketed and sold by the pharmaceutical industry.

To allow the FDA ban of L-Tryptophan to continue unreviewed and
univestigated condemns millions of Americans to unecessary financial
expenditures and needless suffering. Are you Dean Manders,or do you have

his email address or know anyone who does? I have a ton of info on this
subject. The patent he is discussing on L-tryptophan for the cure of
eosinophilia myalgia syndrome is held by Dr.Christopher Caston
of Spartenburg S.C. and info about his patent was published
in two peer reviewed medical journals at the exact same time
the FDA banned l-tryptophan. I have a transcript
of the entire FDA run hearing on Dietary Supplements which took place in

the Masur Auditorium of NIH on August 29th 1990 in which the FDA was
shamelessly parading eosinophilia myalgia victims up to the microphone
propaganda purposes, in order to have them denounce the dietary
supplement industry
over the Showa Denko contaminated tryptophan.
(Showa Denko is a PHARMACEUTICAL company, and a really bad actor at
that- they once BLEW UP part of their plant to thwart a Japanese
inspection which would have proved that they were responsible for
contaminating a river in Japan with mercury, causing untold misery and
suffering- kids born with birth defects, etc, ad nauseum. The
contaminated l-tryptophan was caused by using genetic engineering to
crank up a
strain of bacteria used in the fermentation process that the amino acid
generated through. They wanted to make the stuff FASTER than their
and tossed GMPs out the window.

At NIH these poor people were being plugged full of prednisone, and
other highly dangerous drugs, which did NOTHING to alleviate their
while a patented, peer reviewed nutritional protocol including
l-tryptophan existed, to the FDA's knowledge, but the FDA and NIH did
not let these patients at NIH hospital have it, because they wanted to
them as political pawns. I can document everything I'm saying here
because I
testified at that hearing and exposed the whole charade, and I have the
official government transcript of my testimony, along with the proof of
everything I said, stored in multiple locations in case they ever burn
my house down. You are right, there should be a congressional
investigation-- but there never will be unless we CRUSH congress with
faxes about this.  Anyone want to?


Sun, 29 Mar 1998
Congressional investigation over the fraudulent ban on tryptophan is
long overdue. Following this excellent expose by Dean Wolfe Manders,
I've added a few things that he missed. I have enough documentation on
issue that a Congressional investigation could stem from it if we could
find anyone in Congress with the balls to go against Eli Lilly. In
to my evidence, Citizens Commission on Human Rights has plenty of
documentation to show that when they forced FDA to hold a hearing
regarding the
dangerous drug Prozac, FDA stacked the panel with people who made their
working for antidepressant manufacturers, and one of them was on the
payroll of Eli Lilly. This was exposed, but Congress has been largely
bought and
paid for with the exception of a tiny handful such as Ron Paul, who
takes no
money from the multinationals.

John C. Hammell  Legislative Advocate  jham at iahf.com
International Advocates for Health Freedom   www.iahf.com
2411 Monroe St.   Hollywood, FL 33020  USA
800-333-2553,  954-929-2905,  FAX 954-929-0507

Life Extension Foundation

Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute
Menlo Park, CA 94026  650-321-2374
Steven William Fowkes, editor, Smart Life News [formerly Smart Drug
CERI exeacutive director

www.mindgear.com  mindgear at aol.com  216-354-5159
Mentor, OH 44060  800-525-6463
George Szeless, President

Dean Manders   Labelling Theory and Social Reality: a Marxist
Critique  "Insurgent Sociologist" 6, 53-66   Fall  1975

Dr. Dean W. Manders, 5961 Sherwood Drive, Oakland, CA 94611

Dean Wolfe Manders is a senior lecturer in humanities and sciences
at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland/San Francisco.
He has lectured and done extensive research on the medical politics of

(Reprint, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, December 1996 edition)

360-385-6021    Fax 360-385-0699    info at tldp.com   www.tldp.com

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