Whose side is the FDA on — that of the consumer … or that of the multibillion-dollar drug industry it’s supposed to be policing? In a recent “Health Alert” to his subscribers, Dr. Al Sears points out:

* Over the last 10 years, the FDA has approved nine drugs that proved to have deadly side effects.

* The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that 125,000 Americans will die each year from the side effects of FDA-approved drugs.

* The FDA approved the sale of Baycol (later found to cause fatal rhabdomyolysis) and continues to approve the use of other “statin drugs” to lower cholesterol that are also associated with this deadly side effect.

* Beefed up by drug company funds, the FDA has aggressively suppressed natural alternatives to drugs. Red yeast rice, for example, known to be a safe and effective alternative to cholesterol-lowering drugs, was banned by the FDA in 2001.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Here are Dr. Sears’ recommendations:

1. Write your congressional representative. Tell him/her you have concerns over drug-company funding of the FDA without public debate.

2. The next time you are offered a drug, ask questions. “Why do I have to take it? If I take it, what’s the plan to get me back off? Are there alternatives? What are the side effects? How can I get more information?”

3. Keep yourself healthy. If you need help to get back to good health, chose as natural a therapy as possible. You will be less vulnerable to these dangerous products of a dubious approval process.

(Source: Dr. Al Sears’ Health Confidential for Men newsletter, a publication devoted to men’s health.)