An estimated 41 million women in the United States and 250 million women worldwide experience chronic and sometimes debilitating symptoms of menopause. Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) drugs have been the common pharmaceutical remedy, particularly Premarin and the low dosage version, Prempro, manufactured by Wyeth, now a division of pharma giants Pfizer.
Premarin and Prempro are made from conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) — produced from pregnant mare’s urine (PMU).
The mares horses spend most of their 11-month pregnancies confined to stalls so small that they cannot turn around or take more than one step in any direction. The pregnant mares must wear rubber urine-collection bags at all times, which causes chafing and lesions. Their hind legs are “secured” to prevent the catheter from pulling out. Their drinking water is limited so the urine will yield more concentrated estrogen. Once the foals are born, the mares are re-impregnated. This cycle continues until they are no longer able to get pregnant. The average lifespan of these horses is 8-9 years.
The fate of the thousands of foals born on PMU farms each year is equally disturbing. Some are used to replace their exhausted mothers. Some are offered for adoption (although Wyeth-funded farms are not permitted to work with rescue organizations), but the remaining foals — along with spent mares —are sold at auction, where most are purchased by buyers for slaughterhouses.
On December 12, 2009, the New York Times published “Menopause, as Brought to You by Big Pharma” by Natasha Singer and Duff Wilson.
Susan Perry writes a couple of days later for the MinnPost:
Almost as soon as the New York Times posted a long article this weekend on how the pharmaceutical industry turned “horse estrogen into a billion-dollar panacea for aging women,” the article jumped onto the newspaper’s most e-mailed list — right behind a recipe for oatmeal buttermilk blueberry pancakes.
It remained there this morning.
Women taking hormones (and the people who care about them) must be sharing the article with each other, I thought. That’s good. But the popularity of the article also bewildered me.
Are there still any women taking hormones for hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness (the only three menopausal “complaints” for which the drugs have been proven effective), given what we know about the drugs’ long list of health risks (blood clots in the lungs, stroke, heart attacks, breast cancer, colon cancer, gall bladder disease and dementia)?
In other words, can it be that the information in this article is news to any middle-aged woman?
Probably not, but women are alarmed and hungry for safe and effective alternatives.
Not that we don’t care about women. Of course, we do. However, there is just as much at stake, if not more, for the mares and foals who are used and blithely dumped by the pharmaceutical industry.
We are constantly on the hunt for safe alternatives for the treatment of menopausal symptoms that will also save the mares and foals, innocent byproducts of the Premarin and Prempro industry.
Enter Marie Osmond, who is promoting a drink called GEM™ Make it Cool.
The website (http://drinkgem.com/) says “GEM™ Keep it cool uses natural and nature-identical ingredients to reduce the miserable symptoms of menopause. Just drink 8 ounces, once a day, and you will love the way you feel.”
The list of active ingredients are:
* Black Cohosh Extract
MARIE OSMOND’S TESTIMONIAL (approx. 2 mins)
GEM™ Make it Cool is offering a 32-day money back guarantee to try their product, plus a video competition as you just saw (if you watched Marie’s testimonial). Would you like to be a product tester for us? If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms and interested in trying this product, why not do it for yourself, and the horses? Email us at tuesdayshorse[at]yahoo.com to start the conversation.