X-Message-Number: 8343
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 07:43:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Toxicity

On Tue, 24 Jun 1997, Robert Ettinger wrote:

> Charles Platt (# 8322) tells us that DMF, the purported active ingredient in
> Virodene, the AIDS medication being tested by Mrs. Visser and her medical
> associates, is 50% fatal when given orally to rodents in the amount of about
> 7 milliliters per kilogram of body weight, and roughly 5.5 ml/kg
> peritoneally. 

First, the Merck index says this; I merely quoted it (with attribution).
Mr. Ettinger makes it sound as if I've done my own study. I haven't.

Second, obviously the doses that Visser is using aren't killing people
(quickly, at least). If they were, she'd be in even more trouble than she
is already. My point was that she claimed "Virodene" is nontoxic and not
carcinogenic. Clearly this is untrue.

Third, since I believe Mr. Ettinger's organization paid $25,000 as a 
licensing fee for Ms. Visser's cryoprotectant, we should bear in mind 
that he has an incentive to find some positive aspect of her work.

Fourth, in view of his investment and his close acquaintance with Olga, we
should assume that Mr. Ettinger knows the active ingredient in "Virodene."
He talks about the "purported" active ingredient being DMF, but obviously
there would be no reason for him to start arguing about the toxicity of
DMF if this wasn't relevant. Therefore I feel that he has admitted what we
all knew a long time ago: that the active ingredient is, in fact, DMF. 

Fifth, Mr. Ettinger conveniently did not quote this from my previous post 
(again, this text comes from Merck):

  "Vapor harmful.  Irritating to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.  Liver
  injury has been produced in experimental animals by prolonged inhalation
  of 100 parts per million."

Sixth, Mr. Ettinger makes no reference to Visser's claim that "Virodene" 
is not toxic or carcinogenic in primates. This claim seems totally 
baseless and misleading, since Visser has not published any study, by her 
or anyone else, showing anything of the sort.

--Charles Platt

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