Dr. Joel Wallach, Health Freedom Champion
Recipient of the 2011 Klaus Schwarz Award recognizing the work of pioneers in the field of trace element research
A biomedical research pioneer, Dr. Joel D. Wallach, DVM, ND spent more than 40 years in the field of Veterinary Medicine, observing and researching the effects of individual nutrients on animal health, before becoming a Naturopathic Physician in 1982. Today, Dr. Wallach is renowned for his groundbreaking research on the health benefits of selenium and other minerals. He currently dedicates his time to lecturing throughout the world on the therapeutic benefits of vitamins and minerals, and on lobbying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on behalf of the dietary supplement industry.
Dr. Wallach obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1962, with a major in Animal Husbandry (Nutrition) and a minor in Field Crops and Soils. In 1964, he was awarded a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM), also from the University of Missouri. Thereafter, Dr. Wallach completed a three year (1965-68) post-doctoral fellowship at The Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1982, he obtained a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (ND) from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Wallach has held key positions with leading zoos and universities in the United States and Africa, including Director of the Jacksonville Zoological Park in Jacksonville, Florida; Research Veterinarian for the South Africa National Parks Department (where he was a member of the famous “Operation Rhino” team); and Director of Research at the St. Louis Zoological Park in St. Louis, Missouri. At the request of Africa’s National Parks and Wildlife Management Department, Dr. Wallach led an expedition to capture and mark elephants in the Wankie Game Preserve in Rhodesia as part of a migration study. He is one of the founders and a former editor of the Journal of Zoo Animal Medicine. A prolific author, he has published more than 70 scientific papers and six books including the famous textbook, Diseases of Exotic Animals, still used today by leading veterinary schools, and on the Smithsonian Institute’s recommended reading list for Zoological Garden and Aquarium libraries.
Groundbreaking Research on Trace Minerals
As a researcher at the Emory University Yerkes National Primate Center in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977, Dr. Wallach discovered the world’s first known case of non-human cystic fibrosis in a selenium-deficient Rhesus monkey. At the time, cystic fibrosis was believed to the result of a human genetic disorder. Dr. Wallach’s monumental discovery set him on a 20-year path of research on the health benefits of selenium and other minerals. As a result of this work, he became known as The Mineral Doctor and the Father of Liquid Mineral Supplementation.
The Founding of Youngevity
In 1997, Dr. Wallach and Dr. Ma Lan, MD, MS, founded American Longevity, the network marketing company known today as Youngevity. Within five years the company had an international network of distributors and preferred customers plus offices in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Japan. Today Youngevity is a network marketing leader providing high quality, innovative, and unique products health conscious consumers.
First Amendment Advocate
Dr. Wallach currently dedicates his time to lecturing throughout the world on the therapeutic benefits of vitamins and minerals, and on lobbying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on behalf of the dietary supplement industry. His tireless efforts and dedication to the public’s First Amendment rights to complete information on the therapeutic benefits of nutrition prompted the FDA to establish Qualified Health Claims for Selenium (“may reduce the risk of certain cancers”) and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (“may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease”). Only a few Qualified Health Claims exist, placing Youngevity in a unique position among Dietary Supplement and Direct Marketing companies.
Dr. Wallach is the author/co-author of more than 70 articles published in peer-reviewed journals covering nutritional and pharmaceutical research. As well he is a major contributor to eight books, including the famous textbook, Diseases of Exotic Animals, still used today by leading veterinary schools, and on the Smithsonian Institute’s recommended reading list for Zoological Garden and Aquarium libraries.
The following is a partial list of published articles and presentations authored in whole or in part by Dr. Wallach:
Wallach JD. Goitrogenic hypothyroidism in feeder lambs. Vet Med Small Anim Clin. 1965 Oct;60(10):1051-1053.
What’s involved in the Health Claim Petition Process and is it really a big deal? Well let’s take a look. How many people have heard of Folic Acid? Have you ever heard a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for Folic Acid? You know, the March of Dimes now runs TV announcements as to the importance of Folic Acid and that women of child bearing age should be consuming Folic Acid to reduce their risks of having a child with a Neural Tube Birth Defect. Well those claims had to be litigated! Yes, that’s right, the FDA did not want these claims to be freely disseminated! The FDA had to be SUED, and the courts agreed that this information should be allowed to be given to the public. Since these claims were allowed by the courts, these Birth Defects have declined by 50-70% in the US and parts of Canada! Just think of the many thousands of children born healthy that would not have been with out the dissemination of this information!
Now many industrialized nations are disseminating this information. We believe that the public is better off by getting more information to better come to an educated decision regarding their own health. The FDA believes the public’s access to health information should be limited to what The FDA allows, which is quite limited.
Well the question to us is, why don’t other companies do this? There are several answers I have been given, from it’s too expensive or “they don’t want to rock the boat”. But is this information important? You BET it is!
Remember all those kids and families that are better off because of simply getting Folic Acid information?
Dr. Wallach and Youngevity spent a lot of money to get the Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid claims authorized. Kraft Foods, a $30 billion a year global company, submitted a letter to the FDA stating that an EFA claim would be a good thing. I don’t know how much that letter cost, but I’m sure Dr. Wallach and Youngevity spent much more even though Kraft Foods is a MUCH larger company. Even the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from the White House was urging the FDA to amend the Dietary Guidelines and to get the information out about the importance of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids, yet it took the Youngevity petition to get the claim approved!
Well there are hundreds of beneficial nutrients and many of them have multiple beneficial effects for the human body, that means there are many more of these claims that must be filed.
The Claims we have gotten authorized so far have to do with reducing the risk of certain cancers by consuming the Trace Mineral Selenium and reducing the risks of Cardiovascular Heart Disease (CHD) by consuming EPA and DHA which are Essential Fatty Acids primarily found in Fish Oils. CHD is this country’s leading cause of death! More than 500,000 Americans die each year from it. Just think if we could reduce the occurrence of these deaths by 50-70% simply by educating the public! MIT’s Durk Pearson, PhD says that we may be able to reduce the risk of CHD by as much as 80% just with the proper Fish Oils and getting this information out to the public. Now that we have achieved this Health Claim Petition for Omega-3 Essential Fatty acids and reducing the risks of CHD, Europe has adopted this claim as well. What if we only saved a small percentage of these lives each year? Would it be worth it? OF COURSE! We now have more Claims under consideration as well and there will be more!
Dr. Wallach and Youngevity have not only sued the FDA, they have defended the FDA and the Health Claim Petition Process as well. The FDA was sued by a group, the CSPI which was claiming that the Health Claim Petition Process violated the FDA guidelines. Youngevity and Dr. Wallach wanted to help ensure this information continued to be available to the public, so they asked the court to be co-defendants with the FDA. By doing this, they could help to protect the Health Claim Petition Process.
Ultimately the FDA, Youngevity, Dr. Wallach and others were successful in defending The Health Claim Petition Process, but we all know that we will have to be diligent in always defending this process. We know there will always be groups that want to limit your access to these nutrients and this information. When people think Dr. Wallach or Youngevity are in the nutrition business to only make money, I have to disagree! It is to get this information to the public so they may use it to make a better-informed decision regarding their own health. As long as there are those that would want to limit your access to these nutrients and this information, we will be there to defend your rights to have access to them! By the way, that 1200 page book, “Diseases of Exotic Animals,” is now recommended by the Smithsonian Institute for all zoological gardens and professional aquariums! In 2003, the FDA authorized a first ever Health Claim for Selenium, submitted by Dr. Wallach and Youngevity for the Trace Minerals anti-carcinogenic effects in the body!”