Healing the Planet

by Helke Ferrie

After 9 years of investigation and 37 days of hearings, spread out over 4 years, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons handed down their Decision on Environmental Medicine physician Dr. Jozef Krop of Mississauga.  At the end of their 64 page Decision, the committee states that Dr. Krop fails “to meet the standard of practice in the Province of Ontario.” Hallelujah!  It is a great blessing for Ontario residents to have among them a doctor who refuses steadfastly to sink to that standard of medicine which the CPSO tries to enforce and which its disciplinary committee so eloquently presented in their Decision on Dr. Krop.

The first curious fact is that, although the actual Sentencing Hearing is yet to come, when the punishment will be pronounced, the CPSO was apparently so thrilled with its efforts, they could not wait to let the world know about it. So, on January 6th Dr. Krop received a call from a Toronto Star reporter, asking for a comment on the CPSO’s decision on his case. He replied, that he was still awaiting one.  The reporter then informed him that she had a copy of it in her hands, dated December 23, 1998.  Newspapers all over Ontario had received a copy on January 5th, and by the 6th published it.  Dr. Krop himself did not receive his copy of the Decision on his case until the afternoon of the 7th.

Exactly 10 years earlier, on January 5th 1989, this investigation  began.  Unlike any common criminal, Dr. Krop does not know to this day on what basis it all started who accused him of what, and what necessitated the invocation of the Health Disciplines Act.  Every effort by his lawyers to obtain the legally mandated disclosure was stonewalled, and finally, in cross examination CPSO investigator Leah Tunney explained that all the files pertaining to the commencement of this case had been “shredded, as is the practice” of the CPSO.

Next, the mandatory investigative report on Dr. Krop’s practice composed by a CPSO appointed doctor was not sufficiently negative, so it was withdrawn by the CPSO, but the process continued without the benefit of a known accuser and the legally required report.  Dr. Krop was ordered by Deputy Registrar Dr. John Carlisle to provide scientific evidence for his diagnostic and treatment methods, and he complied by handing in several pounds of documentation.  In cross-examination, Dr. Carlisle stated, that he never read any of it, nor had he considered it necessary to give it to anybody else to read. This attitude flows logically from the CPSO’s stated decision in September 1989 when Dr. Carlisle wrote in an internal memo his superior, Registrar Dr. M. Dixon, “This may be a costly and lengthy process, but may be the only way of finally, once and for all, dealing with these clinical ecologist.” Indeed, Dr. Dixon confirmed this in cross-examination; asked by the defense lawyer if indeed the objective was to “deal with clinical ecology once and for all”, he replied “Yes.”

The formal charges against Dr. Krop are truly baroque: he is charged with suggesting a patient drink pure water, get an air purifier, avoid hydro towers, undergo acupuncture therapy, and eat organically grown foods.  He is charged with diagnosing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and failing to refer such people to a psychiatrist.  He is charged with diagnosing food allergies, Sick Building Syndrome, systemic Candidiasis, and poisoning by neurotoxic and lung damaging solvents listed in all industrial toxicology manuals.  He is charged with prescribing vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, evening primrose oil, and antifungal medication.

These accusations are upheld by the CPSO Disciplinary Committee in the face of the fact that the Canada Health Act for the past 11 years has a special section protecting all alternative medical practices as specified by the Helsinki Accord on human rights which Canada signed in 1988; even though for the past 11 years Canadian tax law provides a specific section for tax relief for chemically injured individuals; in spite of the fact that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was the world’s first government organizations to develop housing safe for people suffering from chemical sensitivities.  Ironically, 14 years ago the Thomson Report on Environmental Hypersensitivity Disorders, commissioned by the government of Ontario, provided the world wide impetus for the first international, government sponsored medical conferences on this issue.  The publications of the researchers in top medical centers cite this report as the watershed event that opened up the whole field of environmental medical science.  The irony is enriched by the fact that Judge Thomson used Dr. Krop’s practice as one of the primary sources for his committee’s study!

Although the committee repeatedly observes throughout their Decision that no evidence of any harm was found, they even added a few more items to prove that Dr. Krop “fell below the standard of medical practice”.  These are 1) the suggestion that a chemically injured patient exposed to neurotoxic solvents undergo sauna therapy and 2) the observation that a particular drug, not available in Canada, would perhaps be helpful, (it was not used). Finally, 3) the Committee opined that the use of intravenous vitamin C at any time just “may be” harmful, and therefore is unacceptable in Ontario.  Not a shred of evidence was cited in support of this statement  of course, since none exists.  I know, I did a literature search and received the absolute latest scientific information on the subject from the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon, the premier Vitamin C research centre in the world.

In summarizing just how Dr. Krop doesn’t meet the standard of medicine in Ontario, the Committee painstakingly lists virtually every diagnostic and therapeutic procedure used by environmental physicians everywhere all based on the work of universities the world over, gained from international peer reviewed journals, and for epidemiological problems identified by the World Health Organization in their many reports.

Well, all one needs to do is look at the list of expert witnesses called by the CPSO and compare them to those called by Dr. Krop’s defense to get a feel for which camp had the bright lights. The CPSO had the American allergist Dr. J. Anderson, a professional witness who does not practice medicine, whose business it is to provide his standard denial of the validity of environmental medicine in whatever forum pays him, while simultaneously admitting without a blush that he is totally unfamiliar with the relevant literature.  Then there was the CPSO’s Professor G. Sussman of the University of Toronto. As the defense proved, he served as the chairman of the advisory board for the drug company giants Pfizer and Merrell Dow; his opinion was considered valid in the case of a doctor whose treatments are designed to avoid the products of those companies and others.  Another of the CPSO witnesses, Dr. Moot, admitted to receiving during the period of 1985  1995 more than $ 1.3 million from pharmaceutical giants Sandoz, Upjohn, Fison, Schering, Astra, Ciba Geigy, Janssen, Glaxo Wellcome, and Abbott; he also provided lectures to family physicians on behalf of Fison, Sandoz, and Parke Davis to introduce them to those companies’ latest drugs.

By contrast, the expert witnesses for Dr. Krop were professors from Stanford University, Johns Hopkins Medical School (the world’s Mecca of medical science), the University of Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University which has the world’s first (Canadian) government funded environmental health clinic. One witness was Dr. W. Rae, the author of the 4 volume standard medical textbook on chemical sensitivity conditions.

Curiously, the CPSO Decision describes each of these allegedly non-existent “occult diseases” and “unscientific treatments” by providing their definitions and purposes using Dr. Krop’s own writings.  Thus the CPSO has composed a tight little catalogue of all the latest and the best advances modern medical science has given us to protect our health and our frequently challenged immune systems and chemically assaulted organs in this our increasingly degraded environment.  Yet, in the end, like the captains of a medical Titanic, the Committee firmly declares, that  No, there is no iceberg anywhere!  Anybody who says otherwise, is best chucked overboard… Mark Helprin wrote some time ago in The Wall Street Journal, “The truth, which is indestructible, has a way of accumulating against pride and arrogance, and then sweeping them from their path.”  The scientific observations and medical advances so arrogantly denied in this CPSO Decision will yet haunt their authors.

Having ignored or circumvented a host of legal requirements in order to proceed regardless, they were compelled to provide at least the appearance of grounds for their judgement. This was achieved by rejecting all scientific literature past 1990, simply declaring it all as “lacking in authority of acceptable scientific evidence”.  The sum total of the defense’s evidence and Dr. Krop’s own published double-blind studies were simply rejected  and for good reason, since the CPSO’s purpose would have been totally undermined by accepting them; this field of research exploded in the 1990′s and has become a major focus in virtually every medical school; the conditions Dr. Krop treats successfully have since been recognized by government and most professional bodies (a few dinosaurs lurk about here and there to amuse us and they are kept well fed by those who stand to gain by keeping us sick). The Committee also has the temerity to cite the Thomson Report of 1985 repeatedly as the basis for their opinions, even though the co-author of that report, Dr. J. Gerrard, testified for Dr. Krop, making it explicit that this report was never intended to be used for the conviction of a doctor, since its primary purpose was to stimulate research. But for the CPSO nothing whatever has been stimulated in the last 14 years.

Among the many stunning examples of procedural abuse is an  accusation concerning a drug potentially harmful to the liver. Not until the 1998 edition does the CPS (Canada’s pharmaceutical compendium) include an observation concerning this.  The patient in question was treated ten years earlier.  Yet, D. Krop’s own standard of practice was to routinely monitor patients with liver function tests whenever using this drug   more than a decade before the standard practitioner became aware of the need for this safety measure.

In Kafka’s famous 1920′s novel, The Trial, the hero is told, “You can’t defend yourself against this court, all you can do is confess.”  The hero replies, “A single hangman could replace this entire court.”    The CPSO does not reign supreme in Ontario as The Court did in Kafka’s great parable.  Dr. Krop does not intend to accept this verdict, but will continue to meet this surrealistic disciplinary process with the unwavering demand for rationality on behalf of patients in Ontario, and indeed everywhere.

NOTE in November 2012:

Dr. Krop did not lose his license and was eventually formally reprimanded for “falling below the [Ontario] standard of practice” because of his diagnosis and treatment of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) which, according to the CPSO’s disciplinary panel “has no scientific basis”. The panel members also noted that they “preferred” the information provided by the prosecution witnesses and dismissed the defense witnesses completely. They also noted that none of Dr. Krop’s patients were harmed and that all showed improvement in their health conditions, following those apparently unscientific treatment methods.

Strangely, the sentencing statement allowed Dr. Krop explicitly to continue diagnosing and practicing as he had done for the past three decades, as long as he made it clear to his patients that whatever he was offering was “only his opinion” and did not have “scientific support.” In the same month that this sentencing was issued, Johns Hopkins University’s medical school (one of the world’s leading medical schools) published the criteria for MCS.

In the July 15, 2004, issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology, Canadian scientists published researching showing the genetic basis for multiple sensitivity: G. McKeown-Eyssen et al. “Case-control study of genotypes in multiple chemical sensitivity: CYP2D6, NAT1, NATY2, PON1, PON2 and MTHFR.” Int. J. Epidemiol. 2004, 33:1-8.

Harvard University’s Environmental Health Perspectives published 2012 the collected published findings to date on environmental medicine, a special issue entyitled Incorporating Environmental Health in Clinical Medicine, edited by Stephen J. Genius et al. This book can be downloaded via google and contains virtually all those issues for which Dr. Krop was found “guilty”.

Pressure from doctors and patients and patient advocacy groups finally resulted in a Human Rights investigation: In 2007 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recognized both MCS as well as harm from EMFs (electromagnetic fields), ordering both to be eligible for compensation as well as accommodation in the workplace.

In the July 15, 2004, issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology, Canadian scientists published researching showing the genetic basis for multiple sensitivity: G. McKeown-Eyssen et al. “Case-control study of genotypes in multiple chemical sensitivity: CYP2D6, NAT1, NATY2, PON1, PON2 and MTHFR.” Int. J. Epidemiol. 2004, 33:1-8.  Harvard University’s Environmental Health Perspectives published in 2012 in the form of a book-size special issue the findings to date on environmental medicine, entitled Incorporating Environmental Health in Clinical Medicine, edited by Stephen J. Genius et al. This book can be downloaded via google. It contains virtually all those items for which Dr. Krop was found “guilty”.

On February 1, 2011, Women’s College Hospital’s Environmental Health Clinic in Toronto issued the Environmental Sensitivities-Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Status Report: Advances in Knowledge and Current Service Gaps; the authors are practicing physicians some of whom also teach at the University of Toronto.

On May 21, 2012, a publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) (www.pnas.org) published research showing that exposure to environmental toxins predisposes the fetus in a woman thus exposed to various health problems, especially cancer. This type of inherited sensitivity to toxic chemicals is known as “epigenetics”: David Crews et al. “Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of altered stress responses”.

Dr. Krop went on to discover that what often looks like MCS can in fact be chronic Lyme disease and can be treated effectively with methods used for infectious diseases. This finding got him into trouble with the CPSO regulatory authority once again, a second disciplinary trial was initiated on the grounds that there is no Lyme disease in Canada, despite publications about its presence in Canada published, since 1998 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. For the details see Ending Denial: The Lyme Disease Epidemic – A Canadian Public health Disaster, Kos 2010, available for sale on this website. Dr. Krop contributed chapter 4 in which he describes the commonalities and differences between MCS and Lyme disease.

Dr. Krop was able to stop the CPSO’s attempt to start another standards-of-practice trial and then retired from the CPSO. He now continues to practice under his homeopathic license outside the Medicare system.

This article appeared in:

FRASER FORUM  March 1999
And in excerpts in various US-based magazines














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