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Pharmacist Fined One Million by Tennessee Medical Board for Advising Juices and Natural Supplements

[Editor's Note: This is an old and familiar theme of abuse of power and suppression of choice by the pharma-based medical industry in America. In this case, we have a man, Larry Rawdon, who has a pharmacist licence in Tennessee, but runs a health food store. Rawdon discovered what I and so many, many other people have discovered - drugs don't work, but Nature based "medicine" does. He tells people who seek his advice that taking freshly made vegetable/fruit juices, along with supplements and coffee enemas, for example, will often bring beneficial results in terms of increased energy and recovery from disease debilitation (in essence, the Gerson Therapy which has been successfully applied for 80 years since formulated by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1920s). A man by the name of David Ashley, who had fourth stage pancreatic cancer-the most deadly form of cancer possible- comes to him for advice and finds that juicing had indeed increased his energy level and perhaps gave him hope-for a time- of recovery from his cancer. This was not an unreasonable expectation because a certain percentage of people with fourth stage pancreatic cancer have recovered using the Gerson model of "therapy." (look up the work of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez in New York City. He's been using the Gerson therapy for years to treat pancreatic cancer patients).

But David Ashley didn't recover. He died and his widow now needed someone to blame for his death, so she focused her bitterness on Larry Rawdon.

I'm sure it never occurred to Mrs. Ashley to complain to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners about the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on David's oncologists, the ones who treated him with chemotherapy and perhaps radiation, and failed miserably to save his life. No, no, no, the allopathic medical establishment is never responsible for a lost patient in the eyes of a state medical board, because the guidelines and rules for the "safe" treatment of cancer - to which every state medical board ascribes-has been  written by the very same pharma-based allopathic medical industry.

No sir, only those Nature inspired "quacks" who have turned to natural medicine get their medical office raided by flak-jacketed thugs with drawn guns and the words "Police" or "FBI" printed across the back of their jackets. In Rawdon's case, there was no medical office to raid, so he got slapped with a one million dollar fine in May for the "crime" of advising people who come to his health food store -now transformed into "patients" by the Tennessee Medical board- about Nature based solutions.

The only way to stop this sort of abuse is to get state lawmakers to pass legislation which allow citizens to seek whatever type of treatment that wish to have and to get advice from anyone they wish to council without fear of punitive retribution by pharmaceutical enforcement agents masquerading as state medical boards. Until then, a strong response of indignation from the public directed at the Tennessee Department of Health and the State Medical Examiners board can only have a "purgative" effect to let those people know that the public is on to their pro-pharma restrictive ploys and their attempts to control Tennesseans choices in life are not appreciated.

If this assault on health freedom is not vigorously aborted and reversed in Tennessee, then expect similar situations to occur in other states, where state medical boards will be further emboldened to assign egregious and outrageous fines upon licensed physicians or pharmacists who advocate the use of natural therapies as innocuous as vegetable juice and supplements. Folks, it's time to act. ...Ken]
June 14, 2007

Forward courtesy of Christ Gupta <>

Please e-mail and/or phone the state Commissioner of the Department of Health, Susan Cooper at 615-741-3111 or the Board of Medical Examiners at 615-532-3202. to vent your opinion.

Pharmacist fined for natural therapies

Published: September 14, 2007

NASHVILLE, 14 (UPI) -- A Tennessee pharmacist has received a $1 million fine for treating customers at his health-food store with juices and dietary supplements.

The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners ruled in May that Larry Rawdon’s practice of treating ailments such as cancer with alternative therapies is harmful, The Nashville Tennessean reported Thursday.

The $1 million fine is the largest the board has ever handed out, the newspaper said.

A former patient [Debbie Landers] of the Hohenwald, Tennessee pharmacist has created the group MyHealthMyChoice to raise money for Rawdon's fine and petition to make alternative health care legal in Tennessee, the newspaper reported.


Local pharmacist appealing $1 million fine by Board of Medical Examiners
June 14, 2007

By Becky Newbold,
Associate Editor

The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners ruled May 15, 2007 Dr. Larry Rawdon of  Preventative Family Health Care, had been practicing medicine without a license. Dr. Rawdon, a pharmacist, is appealing the ruling. Rawdon, owner of Osa’s Garden health food store, provides nutritional counseling to people who seek his advice, his supporters stated in an interview last week.

Attorney Don Schwendimann stated evidence used by the Board of Medical Examiners was based on the testimony of a woman [Donna Ashley] and her mother from West Tennessee along with records from Rawdon’s office. Schwendimann stated the women filed a complaint after her husband [David Ashley] sought Rawdon’s advice on nutrition. The man was in the later stage of pancreatic cancer, Schwendimann stated, and an audio tape revealed Rawdon did not advise him to cease treatment advised by his physician.

According to Mr. Schwendimann, the man reported having more energy and resuming some of his activities after one month on the new diet, but when he died, his widow filed a complaint. The State Board of Medical Examiners fined Rawdon $1,000,000.00 in the case, for which hearings began January 24, 2007.

No transcript of the proceedings was available at press time. A faxed copy of the order claims Rawdon charged “patients” for visits and printed testimonial of healings, among other charges. Supporters point out Rawdon never took claimed to have healed, but gave God the credit for healing the patients.

Locally, an effort has begun to defend the rights of Tennesseans to seek alternative health care. Organizer Debbie Landers stated, “This would be the most irresponsible thing I could do,” to ignore this issue. She asserts people should be allowed to choose the type of medical help they want, without fear of repercussion for the person offering advice.

Rawdon is a licensed pharmacist in the state of Tennessee. President for the Tennessee Board of Pharmacists, Terry Grinder of Hohenwald, did not return a phone call for an interview.

At this time, Dr. Rawdon’spharmaceutical license has not been revoked. State Representative Dr. Joey Hensley stated, “They charged him with practicing without a license-- that is a serious charge...the penalty was excessive, I thought.”

Hensley stated he was unaware of the evidence used against Rawdon in the case. “The real problem is the practice of naturopathy is not legal in Tennessee and they [the Board] said he was practicing naturopathy...It is certainly not his fault someone died.”

Hensley stated he would speak with someone on the Board to gain a better understanding of the case. Legislation introduced earlier this session by Senator Tim Burchett concerning the licensing of naturopathic doctors was not heard this Legislative session, Hensley concluded, but may come up in the next session.

Schwendimann indicated Rawdon had made some changes in his operation in response to the charges, but is still running his health food store. Both men, and many supporters in the community, are hopeful the decision will be overturned in a Davidson County court. The order from the State of Tennessee Department of Health stated the civil penalty of $1 million “shall be paid within 30 days” of the filing of an Affidavit of Costs.

June 14, 2007 © Lewis County Herald,
Inc. 2007


Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Pharmacist fights $1 million fine over health-food therapies

Staff Writer

The gospel, according to Larry Rawdon, says that consuming the "life force" in fruits and vegetables can cure disease.

That's why for more than 20 years, the Hohenwald man treated customers at his health-food store with juices and dietary supplements for ailments ranging from obesity to cancer.

Some of Rawdon's patients credit him with healing their ills. Others consider his therapies pure quackery.

The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners determined his practice to be downright harmful, and in May ordered him to stop treating people and slapped him with the one of its largest fines ever handed out: $1 million.

The board decision has sparked a debate over whether people should be able to seek alternative forms of medical care. State officials declined to comment for this story because Rawdon is appealing the ruling.

Debbie Landers, a former patient of Rawdon, has helped to set up an organization called MyHealthMyChoice to raise money for Rawdon's fine and petition to make alternative health care legal in Tennessee.

"As a private citizen, the state of Tennessee has taken away one of my health-care choices," Landers said. "It all boils down to a private citizen's right to choose."

Donna Ashley, whose husband sought treatment for bladder cancer from Rawdon, disagrees. "It's not a true choice because medicine is based on research and studies," she said. "Alternative health uses testimonials."

Ashley said her husband canceled his surgery after consulting with Rawdon and began drinking juice and taking dietary supplements to treat the cancer. Rawdon said he has never discouraged patients from following doctor's orders.

Ashley said she remembers her husband, David Ashley, turning orange from drinking so much carrot juice.

"Every day, I'd beg him not to do it," she said. "He felt like he had a right to choose."

David Ashley died from bladder cancer at age 52.

Naturopathy illegal here

Rawdon calls his approach to health care "Health God's Way." It's a form of naturopathy — using natural remedies such as foods, herbs and minerals to treat illness. Naturopathy is legal in some states, but not in Tennessee.

"It's not me healing people, it's God," Rawdon said.

"God sent Joshua into the Promised Land and told him not to destroy the fruit trees because in them is a man's life that he can eat and live," he said. "So the life force that is in the fruits and vegetables, it's what our cells need for the healing process."

Advocates of naturopathy say that if advising people to consume more plant products is illegal, then the law needs to be changed.

Rawdon "counsels individuals to use natural substances that God gave men for health long before there ever was a medical doctor," reads a petition supporting him. "And of course, God's ways work!"

However, Dr. Kimball C. Atwood, a clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, has said the therapy is not as harmless as it sounds. Atwood authored a report in The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine arguing that naturopathy is "potentially and actually injurious."

"Naturopathic treatments are an eclectic assortment of implausible and unproved methods," he said. In addition, Atwood said that naturopaths often sell "remedies" to their clients, which is a conflict of interests. According to Tennessee Department of Health documents, here are some of the treatments Rawdon's patients received:

One patient identified only as "J.B." was prescribed juices and dietary supplements to treat clogged arteries.

Another, identified as "M.P.," was treated for cancer. Rawdon encouraged the patient not to continue chemotherapy or take pain medication because it would slow the healing process, the documents say.

Rawdon prescribed coffee enemas for M.P., as well as castor oil enemas and dietary supplements to combat the cancer. M.P. paid about $500 a month from August 2002 until January 2003 for these treatments and supplements. M.P. later died. However, Rawdon said M.P.'s condition had been diagnosed as terminal before he treated him.  M.P.'s wife, Angie Pace, could not be reached for comment. A telephone number listed in her name was no longer in service.

Rawdon appealing fine

Rawdon is appealing the $1 million fine in Chancery Court in Davidson County, but a date hasn't been set.

"It's like telling a rock you have to pay $1 million," he said. "There's no way I could do it."

The Board of Medical Examiners determines the amount of fines by considering factors such as risk of harm to the public, what amount would act as a deterrent and how much the practitioner profited.

In 2006 and 2007 there were three civil penalties imposed at $100,000 or more: $100,000 on an unlicensed "licensed practical nurse," $719,000 on an unlicensed registered nurse and $1 million on Rawdon.

Don Schendimann, Rawdon's lawyer, believes the fine is excessive.

"This fine is multiples of anything that has been levied, as far as I'm aware of," he said.

The Board of Medical Examiners found Rawdon guilty of treating patients without a medical license in addition to practicing naturopathy. Rawdon is a licensed pharmacist, but he isn't a medical doctor.

While he claims to have cured people "at death's door," Rawdon says he never told anyone he was a medical doctor. "All my literature stated the degrees that I had," he said.

Rawdon says he no longer practices naturopathy, but does still own Osa's health-food store in Hohenwald.


Leave a Comment

Web posted at:

There is a discussion of this story at PhysOrgForum entitled: Alternative Health.... ???

There are 5 replies in that topic. The last post was on 30-Sep-2007

The first 5 posts are :

On 14-Sep-2007 by Argiod

Alternative health is starting to sound like we"re returning to the days of patent medicines and travelling medicine shows where all sorts of mixes of alcohol and various plant parts are being hawked as "the cure" for all ills. Hard to know what really is of value in treating anything with all the conflicting interests.


On 14-Sep-2007 by hawksecho
If we think alternative health methods are something of use, then lets explore them with strict, double-blind studies. When people say methods like this are not going to by there nature verify if it works or not, I have to ask, what do you fear, I know the conspiracy fruitcakes would say unless they invent it it can't be patented if its based on natural ingredients. Quite frankly, thats crap. Almost every thing we use medicinally in one form or another is based on natural materials.


On 14-Sep-2007 by gski
I would love to see a single reference list of treatments that have been double blind tested. Some people would find it useful. However store shelves are sagging under the weight of treatments that have been proven useless but still sell very well because people don't understand or trust the science and the testing.

I like to peruse, and Dr. Dean Edell has an excellent radio program.


On 14-Sep-2007 by RRB
As a pharmacy student I am appalled by what this pharmacist did. Alternative medicine or holistic medicine may be used, but only as an addition to evidence based medicine. Traditional medicine is backed by many trials and studies. Due to the fact that alternative medicine does not have trials and cases backing it, alternative medicine should only be used in acute settings - like a cold or other ailments - not something as life threatening as cancer. This pharmacist is not wrong in recommending alternative therapies, but because he discouraged the patient to take pain and cancer medications. These medications might not have cured the patient, but may have kept him on this earth longer and without pain.


On 30-Sep-2007 by John Bentley
Astonishing how all of you "scientific" types want to deny people the right to make their own decisions. The paramont issue is freedom. Our governmet should protect the liberty of its citizens. Finally, drugs do not promote health. In fact they lead to increasing decrepitude. They're all designed to be taken for the rest of your life. And, the longer you take them, the sicker you get. If you're really interested in studies, do a little research concerning mortality and what happens to people who take increasing numbers of prescriptions.


----- Original Message -----
To: Recipients
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007
Subject: Natural, Health Care Is Illegal In Tennessee

The OUTLAWING of Nature and Health! This is an outrage – and shows clearly the stranglehold control that Big-Pharma has over the health/lives of citizens- via the dictatorial, legalistic Criminalization and Elimination of Nature and the wisdom of millennia – in a “supposedly” free country – that now insists on “exporting/ inflicting” this Dictatorial-Corporate/Big-Brother-Government Control on the rest of the planet via the regulations of CODEX - all in the NAME of “Protecting us!”.

We truly live in an era of unprecedented "official" fraud, criminality and insanity.

A vehement and immediate response to this injustice and outrage is absolutely essential.

Inge Hanle

Please e-mail and/or phone the state Commissioner of the Department of Health, Susan Cooper at 615-741-3111 or the Board of Medical Examiners at 615-532-3202.

Please pass this info on. ………………………………………………………………………

The Board of Medical Examiners with a corrupt judge as usual are squandering their resources, or should I say doing their real job, by unlawfully and abusively interfering with our rights to choose nutrition as a therapy. Could the phenomenal success, safety and use of nutrients be a factor? Who exactly are they protecting? It sure is not the consumer!

The absurdity of their excuse that "alternative therapies are harmful" and prevent the use of "proper medical care" is the height of arrogance given the death and carnage from "proper medical care". Why should people, at their own expense, turn to other non medical solutions if the essentially free "proper medical care" worked in the first place?

It does not take rocket science to understand that nutrient and not drug deficiency causes disease. With so many safe non drug solutions available that, in the main, can get to the roots of disease, why then are the generally harmful disease masking and often disease causing drugs foisted on the unsuspecting? Could it be "proper medical care" can't compete?

Also see: Use (Abuse) of Regulations to Protect Pharma Monopoly

Chris Gupta



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All information posted on this web site is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.