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AOL Article on Celebrity Endorsement of CAM

Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, was interviewed Monday, January 23 by Carla Hay of America Online’s Thirty Mile Zone (TMZ) on the celebrity use and endorsement of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). TMZ is America Online’s new entertainment channel, and its article focuses on whether celebrity endorsements put Americans at risk.

Suzanne Somers, for example, eschewed traditional chemotherapy to “cure” her breast cancer; she instead used a mistletoe therapy from Europe and hormonal medicines. When asked if he thought this is an appropriate practice for celebrities, Blumenthal commented that she had every right to discuss her experiences and stated that he would never judge her personal encounter. As long as she did not tie her experiences to a certain product or service, he continued, and had no financial gain on the line, there is nothing wrong with sharing her story.

Blumenthal also told Ms. Hay that the previous issue of ABC’s peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram (#68) carried a 10-page cover story on mistletoe (Viscum spp. and other genera). The article discusses the history, lore, and modern scientific research behind this fabled parasitic plant and is available online at the American Botanical Council website:

The TMZ article also discusses other high-profile individuals and their experiences with other alternative medicines and modalities. For example, country music legend Naomi Judd believes that a change in her diet and the use of milk thistle extract (Silybum marianum) cured her hepatitis. The article is available online at the TMZ site ( or by clicking the link below:

Celebs Pushing Alternative Cures - Are They Putting Americans at Risk?