The complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approach to cancer is under severe attack in the Republic of the Philippines, an island nation of 107 million people. The target? Dr. Farrah.
In July 2018, 50 armed agents of the Philippine FDA carried out a search-and-seizure raid in the town of Victoria, Tarlac province. You might think that Communist terrorists had seized the island of Luzon. But, no, their target was the Natural Medicine Center of a soft spoken but eloquent young doctor named Farrah Augustin-Bunch, MD.
The FDA authorities did not claim that anyone had actually been harmed at the clinic. According to all reports, not a single patient filed a complaint. Quite the opposite. See testimonials here. Dr. Farrah as she is known has built up an extraordinary following online. She has more than 3.3 million followers on Facebook. If you Google “Dr. Farrah Bunch” you will see that she has 166 Google reviews, with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5.
If you scan through these reviews you will get some idea of the passion of her supporters. It is something extraordinary.
But today the clinic is permanently closed, with no prospect of it opening any time soon. Dr. Farrah, her husband and children have fled the country in fear for their lives. And the hopes of literally millions of people have had their hopes dashed by this bureaucratic action.
What triggered the raid was not an allegation of poisoning or death. It was a bureaucratic dispute over some paperwork. The Philippines does not have a Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) act, like in the United States. That law gives some protection to manufacturers and consumers of safe supplements. Instead, the Philippine FDA appears to have powers that the U.S. FDA can only dream of.
There, the FDA gets to require manufacturers of herbal supplements to come hat in hand to get “proper authorization” for marketing even self-evidently harmless products, like coconut drinks. The U.S. FDA does not actually test products. That is left up to the manufacturers. But the Philippine FDA maintains laboratories where government employees get to decide whether or not a food supplement or even a traditional drink can be sold. The opportunities for corruption in such a system are endless.
And, not to point fingers, but the Philippines are no stranger to corruption. In fact, at transparency.org it presently ranks 99th in the world in that dubious category.
Dr. Farrah’s Support
Dr. Farrah has incredible support in the Philippines and beyond. She (and her father and grandfather before her) racked up an extraordinary record of treating vast numbers of people with herbal and natural treatments. Income is no barrier to treatment, because by all accounts she treats the poor for free. No one was turned away for lack of money.
Since 2002, she treated over 100,000 cancer patients, many of whom could not afford the escalating cost of Western medicine. At the time of the raid, there were 5,000 patients under active treatment at her clinic.
Nela Charade Puno, RPh, is the director general of the Philippines FDA. Starting in 2017 she issued one public health warning to Dr. Farrah and two to people who were counterfeiting Dr. Farrah’s products. These warnings were against the purchase and consumption of “unregistered food products.” These included Dr. Farrah’s most famous product, “Boston-C.”
According to Ms. Puno,
“The above mentioned food products [the Boston-C line] have not gone through the registration process of the agency and have not been issued the proper authorization in the form of Certificate of Product Registration.”
That’s it. According to the FDA, some of her products had not gone through proper registration.
According to Dr. Farrah, all the products had previously been tested extensively by the government’s own laboratory at the Department of Science and Technology, and that they had an existing CPR (Certificate of Product Registration) which the FDA refused to renew after the death of her father. “A CPR cannot be passed to an heir, a new one must be filed for, which we did after my father passed.”
50 Armed Agents
But from a dispute over the registration of some coconut-based herbal drinks, which by all accounts are harmless, this escalated into 50 armed agents of the security forces invading a peaceful clinic, seizing truckloads of documents, harassing and threatening doctors and staff, expelling the existing cancer patients, and disappointing millions of people who saw Dr. Farrah as a ray of light in the otherwise bleak picture of cancer. They then proceeded to padlock the clinic.
Initially, Dr. Farrah vowed to fight the shutdown. But soon afterwards she, her husband, and their children, received credible death threats and went into hiding. And death threats in the Philippines are nothing to laugh at.
In fact, in October, the FDA Director herself claimed that she was ambushed in an attack which she escaped uninjured but that left three of her bodyguards dead. Other sources say that it was the police who were the target of the attack, not Ms. Puno.
And so Dr. Farrah fled the Philippines and are living thousands of miles from home. They are in exile, their lives turned upside down, and their future in doubt. The clinic was also a major employer in their town, with hundreds of employees, who were thrown out of work.
This is reminiscent of the U.S. FDA’s crusade against laetrile and alternative practitioners like Stanislaw Burzynski and Lawrence Burton in the 1980s. It is compounded of the same elements, including overreach, exaggeration, and character assassination. American “quackbusters” have jumped into the scene to stir up antagonism and distrust.
Dr. Farrah says ‘I’m just getting started!’.
Moss Reports would like to express solidarity with Dr. Farrah in that we advocate for patients’ rights, especially in cases where the choices they make are out of dire financial need, and natural and alternative remedies are their only option. To take these choices away from needy people struggling for life is unjust and inhumane.
We have not had yet had a chance to review the remedies that Dr. Farrah offers, so we cannot yet say that we know that they are a valid treatment for cancer, but the testimonials are strong, and from everything we can tell, nobody was being hurt as a result of the treatment. We hope to do more investigation into ‘Boston-C’ and report back to you soon.
You can read more about Dr. Farrah’s story on her websites and social media pages below.
https://drfarrahcancercenter.com/ (unofficial fan site)