It is well known that most federal agencies are unresponsive to the needs of the public. It has been said that we have the best government that money can buy, meaning that moneyed interests, not the public, run the government. Nowhere is that more evident, and nowhere does it cause so much harm, than at the National Eye Institute.
This organization is located in Bethesda, Maryland and is part of the National Institutes of Health which is itself under the Department Of Health and Human Services. The policies of the NEI contaminate and degrade the reputation of these organizations. Its actions result in the destruction of the vision of millions of people and the blinding of many of these people. Its Web site is http://www.nei.nih.gov.
The director of this monstrous agency is Paul Sieving. He was appointed on January 11, 2001 as the NEI's second director. He oversees a budget of $510.6 million, a staff of 300 scientists and administrators on the NIH campus, and approximately 1,600 research grants and training awards made to scientists at more than 250 institutions across the country and around the world. His role is to pretend that meaningful research is being done while being careful not to "rock the boat" full of vested interests who care only about money. He is also responsible for getting as much money as possible out of our tax dollars so he can pass the money on to the research community.
We claim that he is unfit for this position and should be fired because he ignores myopia prevention techniques that have been proven successful. He refuses to assist in testing the Myopter, a device that has been shown in documented case histories to reverse acquired myopia. He refuses to assist the Myopia Prevention movement in any way. He doesn't LOOK like an evil person, does he? But looks can be deceiving. Or should we say Sieving can be deceiving?
The people who pull Sieving's puppet strings are not merely ignorant or mistaken. They know very well what they do. They work hard to prevent the public from learning the truth. They do this to insure that millions of children will continue to become myopic and provide the billions of dollars of annual income that fill the pockets of the eye doctors and optical industry. They have "blood on their hands." You will not find any greater evil than this anywhere in our government.
The number one vision problem in this country, and in many other countries, is myopia, or nearsightedness. It causes millions of our children to become visual cripples during their school years. And it increases the risk of cataract, glaucoma, and blindness due to macular degeneration and retinal detachment.
The National Eye Institute has spent billions of dollars on vision research, including myopia research. Most of this money never leads to any worthwhile discoveries. There is often a close personal relationship between those who hand out the money and those who get it. It is thus almost impossible for an unknown outsider to get any research support, however worthy the project might be. It is rare for an optometrist to receive any research money. Much of the money goes to ophthalmologists, none of whom have any interest in really finding a way to prevent myopia.
Research grant applications must go through a "peer review" process. This means that eye doctors who are opposed to anything that has to do with myopia prevention will decide if the research will be funded. Obviously, meaningful research in that area has no chance of getting past that wall of resistance.
The money that is granted is spent on inane research that is intended to convince everyone that acquired myopia is inherited from one's parents. However, the real cause of this myopia is the excessive amount of close work, such as reading, that we do in our modern society. Illiterate people do not become myopic. Overturning the hereditary theory would threaten the billions of dollars that are spent on eye exams, glasses, contacts, LASIK corneal surgery, and surgery for retinal detachment and other diseases caused by this problem. The eyeglasses with minus or concave lenses that are routinely prescribed by eye doctors cause the myopia to accelerate rapidly. Most myopia is caused by eye doctors who care nothing for the human suffering they cause. Sieving also appears to care nothing for the hundreds of millions of children the world over who are having their vision destroyed by the routine prescription of minus lenses.
We have a right to expect government officials to do what is best for the public, not what is financially best for doctors and other vested interests. However, the officials of the National Eye Institute do not want to be criticized by their colleagues who are happy with the present situation. So we can expect them to do what is best for the health of the medical profession and to neglect the health of the public. The main source of funds for vision research in this country comes from the taxpayer's pocket and is controlled by the National Eye Institute. The Institute's lack of interest in myopia prevention is thus a misuse of the hard-earned money of our people. The situation is all the more tragic since the mistreatment of myopes would quickly end if the National Eye Institute were to call for the federal government to pass the proper laws to render such behavior illegal.
On the other hand, just because valuable research is done is no guarantee that it will ever be used. Much research through the years has been ignored by those who are responsible for the care of the public's health. Usually when research is put to use, it is because someone has a vested interest in it -- that is, someone can make money from it. Take the drug industry as an example. Great sums of money are spent on drug research. If a useful drug is discovered, the doctors and the public will be bombarded with advertising material praising it. Doctors and hospitals will be offered money to test it. The new drug will hardly be ignored.
Now ask yourself who has a vested interest in preventing myopia. The doctors? The big optical manufacturing companies? The schools? The government? The fact of the matter is that no one has a financial interest in preventing myopia except the unfortunate person who suffers from it.
Billions of dollars are also being spent on such degenerative eye problems as cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, which are due in most cases to a faulty diet -- primarily our refined, high fat diet. To really attack these problems at their source would disturb too many business interests, so we can expect to see our research money spent only on investigating little pieces of these problems, seeking that magical, ever-elusive "cure."
The story of the Myopter is an excellent example of how they suppress anything that might question the hereditary theory of myopia development.
It was introduced to the optometric profession in the United States in a paper the inventor, Donald Rehm, presented at the 1973 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry in San Francisco. This paper, "The Myopter® viewer: An Instrument for Treating and Preventing Myopia," was published in the American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics 52, no. 5 in May, 1975. It was introduced to optometrists of other countries in a paper he presented at the 1973 Congress of the European Society of Optometry in Copenhagen, Denmark. This paper, "The Myopter Viewer: An instrument for Preventing, Improving and Eliminating Acquired Myopia," was published in the Journal of the Scottish Association of Opticians in September, 1974.
The Myopter allows you to read with your eyes fully relaxed and focused for distance. This instrument can also be used by people who are already nearsighted to improve their vision. For details of its construction and use, read the Myopter Research Paper.
After the introduction of this device, it was used with excellent results by Sidney Heller, a Pittsburgh, PA optometrist, on numerous myopic children. He succeeded in REVERSING the progression of their myopia in a few weeks, not merely stopping it. These case studies are covered in detail in the book, The Myopia Myth.
The next logical step was to do a larger, controlled study, so Rehm and Heller sent in a grant application to the NEI. It was promptly rejected. Rehm visited the NEI in Bethesda, MD and sat down with Carl Kupfer, the director, and his top three assistants and pleaded with him to help get it tested. After about one minute of apathetic listening, Kupfer got up and left the room, without even a goodbye, making it perfectly clear how much interest he had in this topic. A few months later one of his assistants said that, "We'll never test anything like this." Wouldn't you think that the NEI would be knocking on the door of any optometrist who claimed that he was reversing myopia in his patients with a new device and had patient records to prove it? Shouldn't they be begging to do a study? No, that isn't how the system works.
At first, no answer was given by the NEI as to why they had no interest in testing the Myopter. Rehm and Heller had to demand an explanation before one was forthcoming. This letter is reproduced here for your enlightenment:
To see the letter with our comments between the paragraphs, see NEI Rejection Letter Comments.
To see the original letter, see NEI Rejection Letter.
Rehm was a close friend of Francis Young during his research years. Formerly the director of the Primate Research Center at Washington State University, Young has done more meaningful research on the true cause of myopia than anyone in the world. Young was also astonished at the doctors' lack of interest when he went around to the conventions or schools and lectured. He got his papers published; he was such an authority in the field that he could hardly be turned down. But then his work was ignored and never used to bring about a change in the way our myopic children are treated. He told of being visited one day by three men who said they represented the NEI. They informed him that if he didn't redirect his research away from questioning the inherited myopia theory, he would get no more NEI money. He told them what they could do with their money and never did get any more grants. Draw your own conclusions.
Over the many years which have passed since then, no one in the eye care field has cared to do further testing. This device should be available through your eye doctor, but not one doctor in the entire United States uses it. Yet, some of them have had the nerve to criticize us for making the product available on this website. The optometric schools and medical schools have clinics where they treat children all the time, but none of them have tried the device on a single patient, let alone do a controlled study. This is not surprising since these schools get a lot of money in grants from optical companies that might not take kindly to any research that could decrease sales of their products.
The National Eye Institute has failed in its assigned task of improving the public's visual health. Instead, it ignores the nation's number-one vision problem and wastes millions of our tax dollars annually on research that benefits no one but the doctors themselves. The money is often given to people who examine the trees but fail to see, or don't want to see, the forest. Kupfer is no longer director of the NEI, but nothing has changed. For more on this, see A Critique of NEI Myopia Research.
Because of this wall of silence, Rehm decided to take the story to the public and founded the International Myopia Prevention Assn. Until the Internet came along, he had little success in drawing attention to this tragedy. Then, on July 13, 2002, noting that the NEI had a new director, IMPA wrote to Sieving, asking again for NEI assistance in testing the Myopter. No reply was ever received. On September 19, 2002, a followup email was sent to Sieving. A reply was received to that -- a one paragraph, brush-off, form letter. Read Rehm's reply to this brush-off at Our Reply To The NEI.
Every day that passes, Sieving's refusal to test this simple myopia prevention device that has been produced by others and placed in his lap condemns countless more children to a lifetime as visual cripples. A successful test of the Myopter would put to rest forever the ridiculous hereditary theory of myopia development that has been used to cloud our thinking for over a century.
He could, if he had the courage, go down in history as the man who saved millions of children from becoming visual cripples. He could put a stop to the indiscriminate prescription of vision-destroying minus lenses. But we don't think he has the courage to stand up to the money-hungry vision destroyers of the world.
Before coming to this job, he was director of The Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. The work there is said to "target diseases that cause progressive vision loss and ultimately blindness." High myopia fits perfectly in this category, but apparently they choose to ignore it. The people who put him in office and pull his strings do not want to hear about prevention.
It is estimated that there are over 1,000,000,000 myopic people in the world. Most of them face deteriorating vision CAUSED by their EYE DOCTORS for the sake of profits! The NEI, together with the eye doctors and optical companies truly forms an AXIS OF EVIL.
The NEI needs to be led by a consumer-oriented individual, not someone who is content to support business as usual. Since you are paying his fat salary, why don't you send Sieving an email at email@example.com and tell him what you think of his job performance?