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EmpowerPlus Research VII
Health Canada Litigation, Warnings/Advisories & Health Hazard Evaluation of EmpowerPlus®, Media Articles, and Press Releases

On 2004-07-09 criminal charges were filed against the Synergy Group of Canada Inc., the distributor of Empowerplus®, for violations of the Food and Drug Act. R. v. Synergy Group of Canada Inc., 2006 ABPC 196 (Case number 040608200p101001-006), in the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. All charges pertain to the period between 2003-01-01 and 2003-12-31:

  1. Did unlawfully import into Canada for sale a drug made, represented or sold for treatment diagnosis investigation or prevention of disease contrary to section A.01.040
  2. Did unlawfully advertise contrary to section C08.002(1)(a)
  3. Did unlawfully sell contrary to section C01.014(1)
  4. Did unlawfully advertise and sell a drug not labelled as required and thereby advertise and sell in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive and give an erroneous impression of its character, value, quantity, composition or safety in violation of section 9
  5. Did unlawfully import a drug without an establishment license contrary to section C01A.004(1)(a)
  6. On or about Nov 6, 2003 did sell a drug without the name and address of the manufacturer on it contrary to section C01.004(1)(c)(i)

what's new Regina v The Synergy Group of Canada and Truehope Nutritional Support No. 040608200P1 Trial (excerpt) 2006-03-13-29: http://www.circare.org/th/040608200p1_ex2006-03-13-29.pdf

On 2006-07-28, a decision was issued in R. v. Synergy Group of Canada Inc., 2006 ABPC 196, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. Accessed on 2007-03-04 at: http://www.canlii.org/ab/cas/abpc/2006/2006abpc196.html

In April, 2004 The Synergy Group of Canada Inc. attempted to quash the search warrant executed by Health Canada. The application was unsuccessful.

R. v. Synergy Group of Canada Inc., 2004 ABQB 296. Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. Docket 031070824X1. 2004-04-16. Available from http://www.canlii.org/ab/cas/abqb/2004/2004abqb296.html

Health Canada Warnings and Advisories

Reports of Adverse Reactions in Patients With Serious Mental Health Conditions Suspected in Association With Use of Prescription Medications and EMPowerPlus®. Health Canada Advisories / Warnings. 2007-02-28: http://news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=279739

Health Canada is Advising Canadians Not to Use Empowerplus®. Health Canada Advisories / Warnings. 2003-06-06: http://www.circare.org/th/hc_truehope_2003-41.pdf

Questions and Answers — Health Canada's Actions Against Empowerplus®. Health Canada Advisories / Warnings. 2003-07-15: http://www.circare.org/th/hc_truehope_20030715.pdf

Health Canada's actions against Empowerplus®. Health Canada Advisories / Warnings. 2003-41: http://www.circare.org/th/hc_truehope_20030606.pdf

Mueller TC. Health Canada Health Hazard Assessment of EmpowerPlus® 2002-07-21: http://www.bioethicswatch.org/uc/hc_hhe_20020718.pdf. On the basis of the Health Hazard Assessment of EmPowerPlus® Health Canada concluded:

Recommendation: this product represents a category II health hazard, on the basis that it contains (a) vitamins which exceed the maximum limit permitted for nonprescription use when the 'full loading dose' is ingested; (b) two substances — boron and d.l. phenylalanine — which would render the product a New Drug; (c) the presence of germanium and vanadium, which could pose a serious health risk if ingested in large amounts over a prolonged period of time; and (d) false and misleading advertising which may result in an individual abandoning conventional therapy. (Health Hazard Evaluation of EmpowerPlus, p. 83.)

what's new For Health Canada's Health Risk Assessment of Empowerplus® of 2007-01-06, see Section VIII — Health Canada ATIP A200800462


Media Coverage

what's new Did Alternative Medicine Lead to Murder? Marvin Ross Huffington Post 2012-07-09: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/marvin-ross/vitamin-tragedy_b_1650054.html

Truehope Empowerplus — and the Danger of Unproven Nutritional Supplements. Schizophrenia Daily News Blog. 2007-04-11.
URL: http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/004899.html

Battle over supplement set for court. Sherri Gallant. The Lethbridge Herald. 2006-03-10.
URL: http://www.tricubemedia.net/lethherald/publish/printer_1534.php

MP Lunney responds to supplement story. MP James Lunney. Nanaimo Daily News. 2005-08-17.
URL: http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/News/nanaimodaily050817lunneyltr.html

Scientist refutes Tory MP claims on nutraceuticals. Randy Boswell. The Calgary Herald. 2005-08-13.
URL: http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/News/ch050813lunney.html

Canadian MP misrepresents data. Marvin Ross. The Scientist. 2005-08-12.
URL: http://www.the-scientist.com/news/20050812/01/printerfriendly

Vitamin cure. Susan Freinkel. Discover Magazine. May, 2005.
URL: http://www.discover.com/issues/may-05/features/vitamin-cure/

Something is just not right: Vitamins and minerals may be able to limit effects of bipolar disorder. Danielle Bailey. The Lafayette. 2004-11-12.
URL: http://www.truehope.com/_media/Lafayette_news.asp

Controversial supplement maker faces charges. CBC News. 2004-07-08.
URL: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/07/08/sci-tech/em_power040708

EM Power+ Controversy, part 1. CBC Newsworld Healthmatters. 2002-05-27. Available from http://media.cbc.ca:8080/ramgen/newsworld/clips/rm-programs/hm_1empower020527.rm

EM Power+ Controversy, part 2. CBC Newsworld Healthmatters. 2002-05-27. Available from http://media.cbc.ca:8080/ramgen/newsworld/clips/rm-programs/hm_2empower020527.rm

Pigs will fly. Brad Evenson. MD Canada. January/February 2004.
URL: http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/News/mdc0401evenson-all.html

Schizophrenic stopped taking drugs; found not responsible for offences. Jake Rupert. The Ottawa Citizen. 2003-10-25.
URL: http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/News/oc031025criminal.html

Raid! Barbara Kermode-Scott. The Medical Post. September 02, 2003;39(31).
URL: http://www.medicalpost.com/mpcontent/article.jsp?content=20030903_111613_4044

The lure of a miracle pill for mental illness. Joanne Laucius. The Ottawa Citizen. 2003-07-21.
URL: http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Thought_Disorders/schizo/articles/empowerplus.asp

Truehope backers warn of suicides, Health Canada insists raid was necessary. David Heyman. Calgary Herald. 2003-07-17.
URL: http://www.healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/News/ch030716heyman.html

Deliverance, The Believer. CBC News Disclosure. 2002-01-15.
URL: http://www.cbc.ca/disclosure/archives/0208_deliverance/believer.html. (Use of Synergy/Truehope's EmpowerPlus in exorcism.)

Bipolar breakthrough. Mike Byfield. Report Magazine. 2002-01-21.
URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20020703232908/http://report.ca/archive/report/20020121/p32i020121f.html

E.M. Power: From Swine Feed to Science. Status Report – The Quarterly Newsletter on Disability Issues In Alberta. 2001-02.
URL: http://www.truehope.com/_news/news6.asp
Originally published at URL: http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/helping_albertans/premiers_council/Status_Report/February_2001_Status.asp

Vitamin firm tells pysch patients to stop meds. Marvin Ross. The Medical Post. 20 March 2001;37 (11).

Psych patients shouldn't halt meds. Abraham Hoffer M.D. The Medical Post. 5 June 2001;37 (11).
URL: http://www.medicalpost.com/mpcontent/article.jsp?content=/content/EXTRACT/RAWART/3721/14A.html

Nutritional supplement for bipolar disorder studied. Jason Van Rassel. The Calgary Sun. 2000-10-06.
URL: http://www.canoe.ca/Health0010/06_mentalhealth-sun.html

From pig feed to miracle cure. Mike Byfield. Report Magazine. 2000-12-18.
URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20021226190017/http://report.ca/archive/report/20001218/p45i001218f.html

Supplement may help treat bipolar disorder. Ben Li. eG News University of Calgary. 2000-10-19.
URL: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~gauntlet/eg/news/stories/20001019/news09.html

Synergy Group: True Hope or True Hype? Terry Polevoy M.D. Canadian Quackerywatch. 2000-2005. Available from http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/index.html

Decision a Major Victory for Whistleblowers Anti-quack Advocate Dr. Terry Polevoy Vindicated. Healthwatcher.net Press Release. 2006-04-27. Available from http://www.healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/polevoydecision.html

Synergy Group: True Hope or True Hype? EmpowerPlus Dosage, Ingredients, and Upper Tolerable Intake Levels for Vitamins and Minerals. Available from http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/Ingredients/vitlist.html

Synergy Group: True Hope or True Hype? Dubious Promotional Claims about Harvard University. Available from http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/evaluation-2.html


Press Releases

Bipolar Disorder Treated With Nutritional Supplement Early Study Shows Promising Results. University of Calgary Press Release. 2000-10-05. Available from http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/events/unicomm/NewsReleases/bipolar.htm

Nutritional Supplement Yields Positive Results for Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in University Study. The Synergy Group of Canada Inc. Press Release. 2000-10-05. Available from http://web.archive.org/web/20010413043825/www.truehope.com/press_release.htm

About The Synergy Group of Canada Inc.

Anthony F. Stephan's wife, and mother of ten children, Debbie Stephan, was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD) and committed suicide on January 30, 1994. Her tragic death initiated a series of events that would eventually lead to the discovery of a new and exciting nutritional supplement, eliminating the effects of a variety of Central Nervous System Disorders. The supplement was first administered by Anthony F. Stephan and David L. Hardy for the benefit of two of the Stephan children who were also diagnosed and suffered symptoms of BAD. The successful long — term effect, i.e. that is the elimination of all symptoms of a severe bipolar diagnosis in Anthony's children for a period approaching five years, as well as the similar experience in hundreds of others has formed the basis for the development of the current nutritional supplement. This program is now being made available for all those who suffer with CNS disorders and who may wish to participate in the Truehope Research Program. This can be accommodated through the organizations' Web sites found at:

www.truehope.com   (Western Canada — Manitoba westward)

www.truehope.tv   (Eastern Canada — Ontario eastward)

Telephone: 1-888-TRUEHOPE

For more information call:
Anthony Stephan   David L. Hardy   Cindy Porter
Tel: 403-653-3336   Office Tel: 403-752-3639   Tel: 613-225-4149
Tel: 403-653-1753   Cell: 613-797-5265

astephan@truehope.com   dlhardy@truehope.com   cindyporter@home.com

Nutritional Supplement Offering New Hope to the Mentally Ill. The Synergy Group of Canada Inc. Press Release. 2001-05-25. Available from http://web.archive.org/web/20021207160824/www.truehope.com/abstracts/press_release_may_2001.htm

Truehope Sues Health Canada in Federal Court for Discriminatory Attack Against the Mentally Ill. Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd. Press Release. 2003-05-29. Available from http://tinyurl.com/g7l2q. (Originally posted at URL: http://www.canadanewswire.ca/releases/May2003/29/c7295.html.)

Health Canada's Censorship is putting your health at risk! Full-page Advertisement. The National Post 2003-06-30. p A13. Available from http://healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/News/np030630tuck.pdf

Lunney Introduces Natural Health Products Bill Canadians deserve freedom in health choices, says MP. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2003-03-20. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./news_detail.php?recordID=72


Bill C-420 Natural Health Products: Debate. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). 2003-04-09. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./speeches_detail.php?recordID=160

Lunney Delivers 30,000 Signatures to Parliament Canadians desire and deserve freedom in natural health products, says MP. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2003-04-30. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./news_detail.php?recordID=164

MP Lunney Rallies with Concerned Canadians for Natural Health Products in Edmonton. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2003-05-30. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./news_detail.php?recordID=180

Lunney Joins Women with the Red Umbrellas to Protest Obstruction of Natural Health Product. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2003-06-12. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./news_detail.php?recordID=184

… Dr. James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, and Reed Elley, MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, today joined nine courageous women from across Canada for a press conference in Ottawa.

The women, all recovered patients with former bipolar illness, were in Ottawa seeking help because Health Canada has stopped shipments of the Natural Health Product that has restored their mental health. The vitamin and mineral supplement was being researched at the University of Calgary in a double-blind study, approved and funded by the Alberta Research and Science Authority, before Health Canada stepped in to shut it down …

War on Natural Health Products Courting Disaster. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2003-06-03. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./news_detail.php?recordID=181

Elley Supports Need for Natural Health Product Empowerplus. Press Release. Reed Elley M.P. (Nanaimo-Cowichan). 2003-06-12. Available from http://web.archive.org/web/20030628031226/http://www.reed-elley.com/PRESS+REL+-+Empowerplus+-+June+12,+2003.htm

War on Natural Health Products Escalates. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2003-07-17. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./news_detail.php?recordID=190

Bill C-420, Natural Health Products: Debate 2003/20/10. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). 2003-10-20. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca/speeches_detail.php?recordID=205

National Cancer Strategy. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). News Release. 2005-06-07. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./speeches_detail.php?recordID=288

Bill C-420 Natural Health Products: Debate. James Lunney M.P. (Nanaimo-Alberni). 2004-11-29. Available from http://www.jameslunneymp.ca./speeches_detail.php?recordID=261


McLellan A, Minister of Health. Reply to Ron Reinhold. Board of Directors, Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, and Rainbow Investigations Inc. 2002-12-12. Available from http://www.circare.org/FOIA/mclellan_20021212.pdf

Trenchant Commentary from the Trenches

FM Truehope Treatment? Uusenet. alt.med.fibromyalgia. 2000-04-13.


Updated: 2012-08-12

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