Berkley Bedell, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine, describes the creation of the Foundation and its ongoing work.
My name is Berkley Bedell and I am the Chairman of the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine.
When I was 15 years old I took $50 saved from my newspaper route and started a business of selling fishing flies that I had made and other fishing tackle items. That business grew until it is now the largest fishing tackle business in the nation.
Finally I was concerned about what was happening in our nation and I ran and was elected to the United States Congress where I served for 12 years. I left Congress because I came down with Lyme Disease and prostate cancer. Both of those diseases, in my opinion, were resolved with alternative treatments.
So I went to see my friend, Senator Tom Harkin from Iowa. He put a million dollars into the Appropriations Bill for the establishment of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. He also named me as one of the members of an advisory committee on which I served for eight years. Our advisory committee was in complete unanimous. We wanted them to do what we called field trials. We wanted them to send people out to check what was happening with alternative doctors around the world and where those treatments appeared to be effective to run trials to confirm or refute their effectiveness. But the NIH absolutely refused to do any checking of any of the alternative treatments.
Under those circumstances I finally decided that if it is going to happen I am going to have to do it myself. So I and my family started the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine where we are sending researchers around the world to visit alternative clinics and practitioners and find out whether or not they are having success. And if they are, following up to run trials and stuff to see what we can confirm.
It appears to us that a revolution is occurring in regard to the treatment of disease and rather than the toxic treatment of pharmaceuticals or chemo therapy what we are probably going to move to a new era where we have non-toxic treatments for various diseases and treatments that will be more effective than anything we have today.
I urge anybody who cares about this issue to join us either by contributing money to help us fund this work or by studying the work we have already done and trying some of these alternative treatments that have proven effective for me and I hope will prove effective for others.