NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 20, 1977
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(Studio) Controversy with regard to whether or not drug laetrile helps cure cancer noted.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) [Cancer specialist Dr. Joseph ROSS - says laetrile is fraud.] [Cancer specialist Dr. Mario SOTO - says laetrile not magic, but does help many patients.] Laetrile is legal in Mexico and also goes by names of amigdalin and Vitamin B17. 1 of largest mfrs. is Cyto Pharma de Mexico, South America, in Tijuana, Mexico. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) claims laetrile is worthless; thus many United States residents go to Mexico for treatment. Jack Carver came to Tijuana clinic from Florida. [CARVER - cites departure of pain after treatment; has confidence.] [Clinic patient Marguerite WILLIAMS - has seen others improve and feels better herself.] Dr. Soto founded clinic and says his work was instrumental in getting Mexican government to approve laetrile use. [SOTO - says he doesn't cure, just controls and sometimes gets regression.] United States physicians don't agree; University of California at Los Angeles professor Ross investigated laetrile. [ROSS - says in records submitted by advocates of laetrile, not one case showed beneficial effects.] Recently, San Diego court convicted, of conspiracy to smuggle, some of drug's top promoters. Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy's president is Robert Bradford; Vice President of committee is Frank Salaman. [SALAMAN - says they'll continue fight.] [US attorney Herbert HOFFMAN - he'll continue fight also, not because of laetrile as cancer treatment, but because smuggling is illegal.] Committee publishes magazine, "The Choice", in campaign for laetrile; Alaska has legalized it and 8 other states consider it. Federal court rules patients can bring private supply into US, with doctor's prescription. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has received court order to conduct public hearing on issue; will be held in May.
REPORTER: Roy Neal