Europe Bans Food Supplements

Jenny Marsh—01/2002
On Wednesday 13th March 2002, new bureaucratic legislation was undemocratically passed by the European Parliament that will outlaw* most food supplements currently available in health shops.

DESPITE OVERWHELMING protest from the people of Europe who demanded their right to natural healthcare, these regulations were passed in secret behind closed doors, in the usual Eurocratic dictatorial fashion. In a nutshell, they will make it illegal, in a few years, to sell about two thirds of the current food supplements in our health shops today — supplements which are not only completely non-toxic, but are central to many alternative and complementary therapies. Why have these safe health supplements been banned? Because even though the health food industry has an almost perfect safety record, and even though laws exist that prevent unsafe supplements reaching the market, the health industry directly competes with the multinational pharmaceutical companies ensconced in the very heart and soul of the Brussels oligarchy — companies that, back in 1962, set up a master plan (final solution) called the the Codex to achieve a worldwide ban of all non-prescription health supplements.

So, first of all, I would first like to take this opportunity to thank our unelected Members of the European Parliament for their short-sighted, bone-headed sycophancy to the pharmaceutical lobby. And you can rest assured that, apart from the kickback (money or otherwise) that many of you receive directly or indirectly from this industry, your collusion with it will only serve to stain your own hands with the blood of the millions it poisons every year, and the suffering of those of us denied the basic human right to natural heathcare choices — choices which are not only effective, but have an almost perfect safety record. (Remember that I.G.Farben was the parent company of three of Europe's leading pharmaceutical giants. I.G.Farben manufactured the gas that killed millions in the Nazi concentration camps, whereas its offspring help make the chemicals, including those used in chemotherapy, that kill millions of people today.)

But then maximising profits is a very delicate balance for the pharmaceutical industry: if people die quickly, they only use your drugs for a relatively short time; if, on the other hand, they are too healthy, they may not need your drugs at all. That definitely would not do! optimise your profits, you need to encourage the population into a chronic state of ill health and degeneration, and you need to keep them away from natural therapies and supplements that would only make them healthier, more self-reliant and less profitable. That way you can slowly and systematically squeeze them for their life-savings (either directly with private health or indirectly through taxes with national healthcare).

Of course, government "healthcare" choices, strongly motivated by the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, have been so subtly incremental over the last century that most of us never noticed that we have arrived at a disease-centred medical system that serves only the coffers of our governments and the pharmaceuticals. Doctors, many of whom are on the payroll of the pharmaceutical companies, use their ill-earned status to bully patients into accepting expensive and often lethal chemical patch-ups. And a large percentage of medical researchers have admitted altering research findings in accordance with instructions from their masters. The fact is that the pharmaceutical companies are directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people worldwide, either through the suppression of effective alternatives or directly from the side-effects of their drugs (pharmaceutical drugs, taken correctly, have become one of the leading causes of death in hospitals).

If we are naïve, we might think that pharmaceutical companies would never act immorally. We might even personally know some of the individuals that work in these institutions, and found them to be moral and caring. But corporations are not just collections of human beings, but legal entities in with a very specific mandat — to make money. They are the software in society that organises collective human activity along the lines of profit maximisation. Anyone working in these organisations will, consciously or unconsciously, be making decisions that support that mandate first and foremost. And if those decisions result in activity that is immoral, then that is just business. "What else could we do?" the directors of multinationals might say, and to assuage any guilt they are likely to spew forth transparently absurd justifications. "We want to alleviate suffering and starvation on the planet" — the double-speak of denial.

The founding fathers of democracy were well aware of the dangers of uncontrolled corporate activity to the integrity and harmony of society, and so they set up strict limits to the power and influence of the commercial sector — limits that have since been consistently eroded by the new cancer of laissez-faire politics. Today, the large multinational corporations are more powerful and have more financial clout than governments; the beast has grown too large to handle and is now ravaging everything in sight.

What do our politicians do about this? The average politician spends most of his or her career making Faustian alliances with those who already have power. In this way, he or she can build political influence. As the boards of multinational corporations hold the most power in Western societies today, instead of denouncing run-away corporate activity, politicians embrace it. In fact, at the end of their political careers, many of our politicians will find themselves on the boards of multinationals if they want to retire in style.

This symbiotic relationship between politicians and multinationals has ensured that governments have turned a blind eye to even the worst of corporate behaviour, whilst paying lip service to the value of the human being. Our governments preach peace, and yet they encourage arms exports; they talk about social justice, and yet they consistently block the redistribution of wealth and power. (Here in the United Kingdom, Blair's smile is synonymous with deceit — the scheming self-satisfied grin of today's consummate politician who confuses rhetoric with principle and believes that truth is derived from a PR campaign.)

What is more, the control that governments are unwilling and now unable to impose upon the big business has instead been transferred to the individual. After all, politicians need somebody to have power over, and if it is not going to be the more powerful corporate sector, it will be the ordinary man and woman in the street. At the same time, this colludes with the aims of corporations which rely upon a steady supply of ideologically-shackled individuals to work them, a public that has been brainwashed into "needing" their products, and a market place that has no room for no-profit alternatives. George Orwell said in his book 1984, "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever." And it is not just a human face, but the face of every creature on this planet, and every life-affirming opportunity that humanity has.

But we cannot maintain this lie forever; we cannot fetter the human spirit nor treat the earth like a gigantic resource indefinitely. The signs of breakdown are now everywhere apparent, from the violence and suffering in our society to the breakdown of our planet's life-support system. Our politicians' empty rhetoric is being drowned out by a cacophony of human suffering and the cries of an ecosystem that has endured enough. As conditions deteriorate, more and more of us are waking from our hypnotic conformity to a system that is blatantly self-serving. The fact is that the direction of capitalism is on a direct collision course with that of human society and Earth's ecology. And capitalism will be thrust aside. The question is whether we will have developed enough alternative "lifeboats" to save society as we know it from being destroyed in the process. The European Parliament's vote to eliminate natural healthcare in favour of the most immoral and destructive industry on the planet is certainly a huge step in the wrong direction.



Addendum: if you believe that the banning of health supplements could never happen in countries outside Europe such as the United States, you could be in for a shock. The codex is actually a worldwide grand plan that will try to visit your country soon. You must fight now to stop it. Also, I would like to add that not all pharmaceutical companies are immoral and destructive. There are some smaller ones that are focused on finding natural solutions to health problems. But they tend to be on the perifery of the industry and are far from being representative of it.

*Thank you to Sue F. for your very pertinent feedback pointing out that the European Parliament was not actually banning health supplements but imposing "controls". Whilst you are right, if those controls are so restrictive that they will inevitably result in a large proportion of safe food supplements being taken off the shelves purely for political reasons (Brussels have themselves admitted that the safety issue is a red-herring). Lets call a spade a spade and not use euphemisms that serve only to obscure political agendas.20th June 2002 update: Natural Products reports in its latest issue that the health minister, Lord Hunt, is refusing to meet with representatives of the natural health retail sector to discuss the impact of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD)! Yes, you did read that right… REFUSED to meet. That is British democracy in action! All the major health food chains are now backing campaigns for a liberal interpretation of the directive and there are some good things going on in the European courts trying to block the implimentation of this legistlation.

Update 2009: The situation now looks very dire and this article unfortunately looks less and less sensationalistic every day.