The Michigan School of Public Health has this listing for Dr. Gagnier: http://www.sph.umich.edu/iscr/faculty/profile.cfm?uniqname=jgagnier in which it states that in addition to having a ND degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where he was also an assistant professor (2002-2004), that he has a PhD in epidemiology, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology, and is presently an assistant professor at the Michigan School of Public Health.
Dr. Gagnier told me and another commentator that we are “incredibly uniformed” about naturopathy and should not write about topics that we don’t know anything about. Speaking directly to me, he said that I was making “outrageous, inflammatory, and generalized statements…” and guilty of “classical inferential, unfounded, biased reasoning,” things alt med practitioners are notoriously guilty of, going so far as to call me a monster adding that what he feared about our public exchange was that “good reasonable people” would read it and “not actually think for themselves.”
In response to my questions regarding the promotion, use and sale of silver by licensed naturopaths, Gagnier replied that NDs study toxicology, learn about argyria, skin discolored by silver, and can diagnose the condition. He added that, “I am a Canadian, licensed in Ontario, ... We do not use colloidal silver. I have never used it, don’t know anyone who has, and would not recommend it…I do not claim there is evidence for colloidal silver for any therapeutic means.” I assume that final sentence means that he doesn’t know of any evidence showing that ingesting silver offers benefits.
What Gagnier did not respond to was my question as to why if all that he said is true that 241 of his colleagues, naturopaths licensed in Vermont with degrees from 4-year naturopathic schools including Canadian, had included silver for internal use in their state sanctioned formulary. He didn’t explain how they could possibly have done that if they knew, as he claimed they did, that it causes argyria and that there is no evidence that it offers health benefits. Or as the attorney who heads the naturopaths’ Vermont state regulatory agency put it when I presented him with evidence of the uselessness, danger and illegality of including silver in the state formulary, “Why hasn’t anyone brought this up before?”
Oh if only Gagnier or one of his colleagues would tell me! I mean with 241 NDs in VT who graduated from schools that he claims teach them about the danger of ingesting silver, why hadn’t any of them picked up their mistake? And why won’t Gagnier or any of his ND colleagues address this when I bring it up? And why do they all insist that they don’t know of any licensed ND who uses silver when you can find several of them promoting and selling it on the Internet?
If they don’t have answers, why won’t they admit that Vermont NDs were wrong to include silver in their formulary and that all the licensed NDs outside the state who use and sell it are too?
Could it be because they know that such an admission will reflect poorly on their profession and be bad for their businesses? Or perhaps because their system of medicine is based on the belief that Nature and her products heal, they believe in spite of all the objective evidence to the contrary, that taking silver internally offers benefits and can be done safely because, even without toxicology studies, NDs think that they can accurately guess the amount that is “safe” to take? Neither explanations would surprise me.
I am furious with NDs for ignoring this very important issue and trying to sweep it under the rug. I am furious with NDs for trying to convince the public and legislators that the dangerous belief-based system of medicine that they practice is safe, effective, supported by evidence and scientific when that isn’t so. While I suspect that many naturopaths actually believe all that and believe that they learn the same things in their accredited schools that MDs learn in medical schools, the fact that so many of their naturopathic treatments and remedies are unproven or disproven shows that they are wrong. I will continue shouting that as loud as I can and continue presenting the reasons why I believe I am correct in order to protect the public.
I don’t want another person to come down with argyria in this day and age. I don’t want one more person to hear people who claim to know as much or more about medicine than MDs do, people the public trusts because they are licensed as “physicians” by governments, that ingesting silver offers benefits and is safe when that isn’t true. I especially don’t want another child or teenager to have to live through what I lived through.
In this day and age there is absolutely no excuse. MD stopped using silver internally over 50 years ago when they discovered that ingesting it was at best useless and at worst harmful. Silver seriously disfigures people for the rest of their lives! In this day and age anyone calling himself “doctor” who has a government license to do so and a license to “practice medicine” should know better than to promote silver and should be prosecuted if he sells, recommends or administers it to patients.
No matter how angry NDs like Gagnier get with me for exposing their profession for the dangers it poses, I will continue to do so because I fear that they will cause more new cases of argyria and that one or more of their “treatments” or “remedies” may be far more dangerous than silver.
Yes, Dr. Gagnier, PhD, I know that I have “inferred” that you are angry with me. While you may consider the inference to be “unfounded” and based on “biased reasoning”, I believe that your comments are evidence that my conclusion or inference about your attitude towards me is correct. Any interested reader can decide for himself. I also think you’ve got your priorities all screwed up. Instead of being angry with me you should be furious with your colleagues who have included dangerous snake oil in their state sanctioned formulary and totally ignored me and my friend Arline when we expressed our concerns, http://rosemaryjacobs.com/naturopaths.html. You should call licensed NDs who promote and sell silver quacks.
Doctor, heal yourself and your profession before trying to save and legitimatize it. Go back to the drawing board and get it right before you try selling it to the public.
Joel J. Gagnier, Michigan School of Public Health, silver, colloidal silver, naturopaths, canada, ontario