Health, Freedom & Democracy

Jenny Marsh—11/2006
What sort of future do you want for your children? Do you want them to be free and healthy, living in an open democracy? If so, you need to act now because time is running out.

FRIENDS OUTSIDE EUROPE often think that I am exaggerating when I describe to them how dire the health supplement situation is here in Europe. Most cannot believe that any civilised society would restrict access to safe nutrients, especially when those nutrients can make such a positive impact on health and well-being. So I have to remind them that most governments are actually acting in the interest of the corporations that ultimately bank-roll them — not in the interest of their people — and that any society in which the interests of its people is not the primary concern is not civilized.

Europe is currently drowning in a sea of bureaucracy and red tape, with Brussels ever consolidating its power and side-stepping democratic accountability. Soon it will reach a point of critical mass when Europeans will wake up to a Fascist superstate, and what military action by the Nazis was unable to achieve in in the 1940s will have been realized by political and economic means — the military campaign around the boardroom table.

Most areas of a European's life are now regulated by Brussels, which issues diktat after diktat on what is allowed and what is not allowed, based on the show of hands of a group of unelected officials — votes that often reflect only the interests of big business rather than the interests of the European people. And there is nowhere that dictatorial process is more insidious than in the areas of health and medicine.

The heart of Europe has a long tradition of pharmaceutical political influence, with some of the largest multinational pharmaceuticals sitting like spiders in the middle of their global webs, spinning their poisonous propaganda and chemical remedies to the detriment of global human health. And these spiders have enormous influence on Brussels through one of the major weaknesses of the EU "democratic" system: its susceptibility to the PR of the 15,000 lobbyists working in Brussels who spend their lives influencing the votes of 732 members of the European parliament. That is over 20 lobbyists for each member of the European parliament, and whereas in the US lobbyists are required by law to disclose their client lists and how much they are being paid, no such transparency exists in fascist Europe. What we do know is that the vast majority are being bankrolled by big business, including the powerful pharmaceutical multinationals.

Is this democratic? Of course not. Whenever special interest groups have disproportional influence on the decision making processes of government, democracy goes out the window by definition. Europe can no longer be called a democracy. When power is concentrated to this degree (remember that if the EU were one country it would have the highest gross domestic product of any in the world) those with the most money will do all they can to buy influence. So policy in Europe is now shaped largely by PR firms.

Political influence, therefore, is being effectively sold to the highest bidder, and those with the funds to buy the lobbyists that manipulate the European decision making process are pressing very hard for a pharmaceutical monopoly in healthcare. It is worth too much money to throw away on ideals such as choice, health, life, democracy and integrity. In 2005, the top six European pharmaceuticals, for example, made $185.6 billion in sales, of which $29.4 billion was net profit, up from the previous year from $164.6 billion and $25.7 billion respectively. Indeed, the largest European pharmaceutical, GlaxoSmithKline, itself had a net income of $8.7 billion in 2005 (I wonder how many lobbyists GSK employs).

These are big numbers, and this level of business brings with it unimaginable power and influence. When you have this amount of capital and profit at stake, it is human nature to do everything (and I mean everything) you can to not only protect that wealth but to keep it increasing. So it is not really surprising that there is such government hostility in Europe towards natural health products and alternative medicine, a fast-growing competitor to the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, regulation has come down so hard on the natural health industry that it is estimated that in the UK alone over 5000 safe health supplements currently available in pharmacists and health food stores will soon become illegal to sell and will therefore disappear from shop shelves.

Of course, those pushing through these restrictive regulations state that they are doing so for our own good, that the industry needs to be regulated to protect us and to make sure that we the people get the science-based medical care we need. It's the oldest trick in the book — manufacture a threat and then promise protection from that threat in return for greater political and social control. The Nazi party used it to enslave and ensnare the German people in the build-up to World War II; Bush and Blair have used it in response to the 9-11 tragedy to take away public freedoms and centralize power; and the pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishment it has pocketed both use it to stamp out the competition and to maintain their healthcare monopoly. The irony is that the most dangerous people are precisely those that set themselves up to "protect" the public from "dangers": the Nazis ruthlessly killed millions without a hint of conscience; Bush and Blair were responsible for the deaths of over a hundred thousand civilians in their illegal invasion of Iraq; and doctors kill more people than any other single cause except smoking and alcohol (including themselves: Dr. Joel Wallach claims that the life expectancy of US doctors is considerably below the American average).

In this topsy-turvy world, the laws that restrict our access to alternative medicine in favour of allopathic (conventional) treatment are not there for our protection but to protect the profits of the pharmaceuticals, and the monopoly of the medical establishment. If you don't believe me, try researching how many people are killed by alternative medicine or natural health supplements; and then compare that with how many are killed by allopathic medicine. You will be scandalized by the difference.

It can be difficult to find how many are killed or injured by nutritional supplements and alternative medicine because the numbers are so few. In fact, so few that you have more chance of getting killed by lightning than being killed by alternative medicine or nutritional supplements — see ronlaw_eng.html. Some claim that the figure is around 5 confirmed deaths a year in the US, the country with the highest per capita use of nutritional supplements, although most of these deaths relate to a single batch of genetically modified tryptophan produced in the late '80s. To put this into perspective, Aspirin alone accounts for 46 deaths a year in the US, and food poisoning and intolerance, 5,000 to 9,000 deaths. Food supplements and alternative treatments, therefore, are very very safe.

Now, let's look at allopathic medicine — the so called "gold standard" of medical care. It is estimated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) itself that approximately 225,000 people die in the United States every year as a result of orthodox medicine, with drugs being the cause of half of these deaths. And this is a conservative estimate as some put it as high as one million in the US alone (see mercola.com). Scale the lower conservative figure for the United Kingdom and you are talking about approximately 45,000. Some estimates for the UK put it lower, at 10,000, but these are only based on reported findings. It is a fact that doctors grossly under-report adverse reactions as they naturally do not want to be involved in law suits or bad publicity — one medical journal estimated that only one in 24,433 adverse reaction were being reported, based on a study of 100 practicing doctors in the Bordeaux area of France.

The difference in harm between the two systems of health is off the scale. Of course, this does not mean that the tiny number of individuals hurt by supplements and alternative therapies do not matter, only that it is time we took a realistic perspective of the situation, and stop being mesmerised by the fictitious picture of the situation being painted by the medical profession and and pharmaceuticals for their own ends. All this talk about the dangers of alternative healthcare and nutritional supplements is a complete red herring, one that is being used to control us and to take away our freedom of healthcare choice. Of course there needs to be some regulation of natural healthcare, but not to the degree that the EU legislative body has been coerced into doing by the pharmaceutical lobby. Unlike modern drugs, herbs and nutritional supplements have been used for generations, and this places them in a completely different danger category to some unnatural chemical produced in a laboratory that has only recently seen the light of day.

And the small number of those reported to be harmed by alternative medicine and nutritional supplements is not due to under-reporting — to the contrary, harm caused by alternative treatments will usually lead to a witch-hunt, with the details plastered all over the tabloid newspapers. Harm caused by the medical profession, on the other hand, remains quietly hidden (most would be extremely surprised to learn some of the official statistics two paragraphs above). Alternative and complementary medicine does very little harm because it uses low dose multi-ingredient natural compounds and non-toxic therapies. (In fact, the few cases of harm caused by alternative treatments are generally in those branches of it that follow an allopathic ideology — have one active ingredient, use analogues instead of natural compounds or try to alter one particular metabolic pathway in the body.) The fact is that alternative medicine is orders of magnitude safer than its allopathic counterpart.

As for the claims that allopathic medicine is science based whereas alternative medicine is not: the British Medical Journal's website Clinical Evidence itself reported that of the 2404 orthodox medical treatments they examined, less than 15% were supported by good science and therefore considered beneficial. A full 47% of orthodox treatment is of unknown effectiveness! And less than 5% of all published medical research is "scientifically sound" — much of it is sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies which brings its credibility into question. And this is not some alternative health practitioner attacking allopathic medicine; this is the considered opinion of the medical establishment itself (you can't get more "establishment" than the BMJ).

So who is the real charlatan? The doctor that clings to the false believe that allopathic medicine is science based and helpful whereas all alternative medicine is harmful… or the alternative/complementary health practitioner who uses non-toxic therapies and does negligible harm in comparison, and perhaps a lot of good in the process. Which is the real charlatan?

Recently there was an article by Dr. Jonathan Waxman in the November 2006 reviews section of the British Medical Journal. This man is a professor of oncology at Imperial College, London and is notorious for his irrational and vitriolic hatred for anything alternative. Waxman accuses alternative medicine of being big business with a market value of £250m (approx. $450m), yet he conveniently fails to mention that this is actually peanuts in comparison the the turnover of the UK Pharmaceutical trade. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry itself reports that the per capita average money spent per person on orthodox medicine was £205 per head, making a total of around £12.3 billion (and this does not include hospital and doctors costs which are hidden as they are paid for by tax revenue, costs that could double this per capita figure). So on this basis alone the alternative medicine market is just 2% of the pharmaceutical market. So any criticism of alternative medicine on the grounds of "big business" can be multiplied 50-fold for the pharmaceutical industry, and a 100-fold for the orthodox medical industry as a whole.

Waxman asks the question: "How can it be that treatments that don't work are regarded as life saving?" This is rather an odd statement coming from a man who is an oncologist and who must be aware of the fact that allopathic cancer medicine is almost completely ineffective, and not just ineffective but seriously damaging due to its toxicity. In a rebuttal to Waxman, Dr. Damien Downing pointed out: "In [Waxman's] own specialty, indeed, chemotherapy for cancer was found in a 2004 systematic review of studies in the USA and Australia to improve overall 5-year survival chances by less than 2.5%. Interestingly, the review of dietary interventions he cites derived an odds ratio for the effect of a healthy diet, with or without dietary supplements, of 0.90 — which appears to make them probably 4 times as effective as chemotherapy."

Referring to nutritional supplements, Waxman ends his article with the following: "Reclassify these agents as drugs — for this is after all how they are marketed — and protect our patients from vile and cynical exploitation whose intellectual basis, at best, might be viewed as delusional. In this context the current EU initiative to bring forward legislation on this matter is welcomed."

Remember, this is from a man who uses medical techniques (knowingly I assume) on his patients that published orthodox studies have shown to be only effective in 2.5% of cases! This is the level of hypocrisy and stupidity of many of those involved with the orthodox medical profession, and it is no different around the world. Each country has its own band of Waxmans, ignorant and defensive men who waste no opportunity to accuse alternative medicine of "vile and cynical exploitation" whilst being completely unable or unwilling to see that this judgment is more applicable to themselves and the unscientific allopathic medical systems to which they have sworn deadly allegiance. (There are many doctors who do not fall into this category, but they tend to be far less vocal and less visible for it is risky even for a medical doctor to go out on a limb and promote non-pharmaceutical medicines and more natural healing methods.)

The only difference between most medical doctors and an alternative therapist is that the doctor is involved in a state-approved and generally harmful medical monopoly that legally allows him to kill with impunity, provided he is not negligent to the rules of that medical system. An alternative practitioner, on the other hand, will be hung, drawn and quartered just for practicing medicine in the first place. And ironically, this is especially applicable to the treatment of cancer, which allopathic medicine has such a dismal record against. (Most cancer patients undergoing allopathic treatment die of the treatment itself as it is so damaging to our cells, although it has to be said that a small percentage of aggressive cancer can be treated successfully by orthodox treatments as they can rapidly lighten the cancer-cell load on the body, a load that otherwise would kill the body very quickly.)

So what does Waxman mean by the "current EU initiative to bring forward legislation on this matter"? He is referring to the new EU legislation that is reclassifying effective health supplements as drugs, and thereby preventing their over-the-counter sale. The result of this legislation is that common vitamin and mineral supplements will only be available in ineffective EU-defined potencies little more than the RDA recommendations (those minimal quantities needed to prevent acute deficiency) and many alternative treatments will be regulated out of existence because they are being squeezed into an allopathic medical model that is anathematical to their modus operandi.

Here is the EU's new 2005 amended definition (Article 1 of Directive 2001/83/EC) of what defines a medicine:

"Any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings. Any substance or combination of substances which may be used in or administered to human beings either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis."

The first part of this definition relates to presentation or marketing, whereas the second part relates to function. The European Court of Justice ruled in 1989 that a substance falling into either category is classified as a medicine. So even if a substance is not marketed as a medicine, if the dictators in Brussels believe that a product could potentially be being used to modify physiological function then it will become illegal to sell without a prescription. Having read the above statement I am sure you will realize that it is so broad in its categorization that it is almost meaningless. Drinking a glass of water and eating a plate of food can be regarded as "modifying physiological function".

This means that the only health supplements that are not not classified as medicines are those that are ineffective. Would you take a health supplement that had absolutely no effect on physiological functioning according to the above legislation? Of course not; what would be the point? What the EU is doing in implementing this legislation is basically outlawing effective health supplements, which only increases the demand for pharmaceuticals. By basically classifying everything we take into our bodies as a medicine, the EU dictators gain control over everything that we take in or do to our bodies. In other words, this legislation ensures that we become pawns in Brussels' grand commercial game. They may not use these laws to the letter right now, that would be too shocking too soon to the populace. But in time, when the political climate gradually becomes more dictatorial here in Europe, such laws rigorously implemented could be used as the foundation for a fascist superstate.

Remember how there are at least 20 professional lobbyists or PR agents for every European member of parliament, and how the vast majority are being hired by industry to skew legislation in favour of big business: nobody could argue that this type of medicinal classification is not in the favour of the pharmaceuticals, and it is clear that such a ridiculously inclusive definition of a medicine only serves the big players in the medical game as the massive costs of licensing etc. can only be borne by large companies willing to spend millions on product development. As the vast majority of health supplement companies are not in this category, such an inclusive classification effectively wipes out nutritional competition to the pharmaceutical industry.

Does this matter? Can we afford to lose health supplements in this sort of underhanded way? With regards to healthcare itself, there are three issues involved:

  1. The safety of different medicines, treatments, supplements etc.
  2. The freedom of individuals to choose the type of medicine they take.
  3. The effectiveness of nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

On the safety issue, nutritional supplements are incredibly safe in comparison to most of the things we do in life. Have a look at the following four graphs:





To say that this restrictive legislation is needed to protect the public from the terrible dangers of nutritional supplements is obviously a ruse. But it is one that is repeated so many times that many people in society actually believe that safety is the main purpose of the regulations. (It was Joseph Goebbels who said: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." The safety issue is one such big lie.)

Based on these risks, why should individuals be allowed to take part in sporting activities, consume alcohol, cycle bikes, eat red meat, smoke and drive cars when all these activities that we take for granted as our right are orders of magnitude more risky to health than natural healthcare and supplements. If you choose to take natural health supplements to keep well and healthy, why should the EU deny you that right? What gives it the right to do this? Did you vote any of these men and women in who are restricting your freedoms? No. Europeans are not determining their own fate — big business is. That is the state of Western "democracy" these days.

With regards to the third issue here on how effective nutritional supplements actually are, this is actually irrelevant to the question of whether or not we as self-determining human beings should have access to them nor not. It does, however, have bearing on what is claimed for different health supplements and alternative therapies by those marketing them. Are they effective? Even mainstream orthodox nutritional organisations like the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) believe that they are, as you can read for yourself in a report they produced in 2002 at www.crnusa.org/benefits.html. Nobody can deny that most of the main health food supplements are beneficial to health, and that the food we now buy in our supermarkets contain only fractions of the nutrients that they did a few decades back. Put these two facts together and you realize that anyone not taking nutritional supplements is actually risking their health. But again, you don't have to believe that to afford other individuals the right, in a free democracy, to take what they believe to be beneficial to them. (Another source of information on the benefits of nutrition in comparison to drugs is a well researched new book called Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs by Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne.)

The above issues are just the health considerations of the underhanded and dictatorial way in which Brussels regulates healthcare. But there are deeper and more sinister aspects to this sort of controlling legislation. Yes, it wipes out the competition for the pharmaceutical industry so that they can continue their highly profitable chemical toxification of the populace, but it also lays a legal foundation for a fascist superstate. Few are aware that Nazi Germany during the first half of the last century was anything but unlawful, fanatically following each letter of the law. Each Jew killed in the concentration camps was killed perfectly legally (you don't document what is unlawful as it can stand in testimony against you).

The evils of fascism are the implementation of evil laws; fascism grows out from a bedrock of a fascist legal system, each diabolical act perpetrated with cold legal legitimacy. And that is happening all over again here in Europe with the EU legislative system that is turning decidedly dictatorial and controlling. It is only a matter of time before the legislature of control legitimises fascist government. (Perhaps Europe at heart will always be fascist, however much it tries to deny its past. And were there is a fascist political landscape, industry thrives because its shares with the government the ideology that people are a means to an end. Indeed, the pharmaceutical industry in the form of I.G. Farben was at the heart of the Nazi slaughter of millions in the gas chambers, before it split into three of Europe's leading pharmaceutical companies after the war.)

And don't feel too comfortable if you are outside the EU, in say America, Canada or Australia. Your time of state and corporate control is also fast approaching. For these laws that are being passed in Brussels are part of an international program of legislative control called Codex Alimentarius. This is a set of standards for food and nutrition that were originally put together in 1963 by the United Nations and which are backed by the World Trade Organization. The original intention was to ensure clean and abundant food on the planet and to remove international trade barriers for that food. But like every system of control, those with the most to make our of it soon muscled in, so that the 2005 version of Codex bears little resemblence to its original form and carries far fewer of its initial good intentions. Instead, Codex is being used to hand over control of our entire food supply, "from farm to fork", to the pharmaceutical, pesticide, chemical, bio-technology and industrial agriculture industries — who now circle nations like sharks waiting for their feeding frenzy.

The 2005 version of Codex completely regulates food production and the types of dietary supplement that are allowed to be manufactured and sold. Even Vitamin C, for example, will be banned in concentrations over 200mg. Once again, dangerous legislature is masquerading as "consumer protection" (it is remarkable how much bad comes into the world masquerading as "for our own good"!). What the Codex effectively does is hand control of our entire food and supplement supply to the big corporations, so that they can increase profits. In such a scenario, we the people increasingly become slaves to the corporate machine. And what is so disturbing about the Codex is that it is at the level of the UN. People only vote for governments; their wishes have little influence over UN policy. Most people are not even aware that the UN can have any effect on their lives, let alone seriously restrict their freedoms.

The brilliant Nazi strategist and war criminal, Hermann Goering, stated at the Nuremberg trials: "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and then denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." This age-old method of inventing dangers so that people can be brought into line is the method by which Codex is being implemented. For anyone who opposes this legislation is deemed not to care about the health and nutrition of humanity. Nothing could be further from the truth! (For a crash course on the hidden dangers of Codex Alimentarius, visit www.healthfreedomusa.org.)

Ultimately, democracy and big business are incompatible because the latter is willing and able, with its massive resources, to influence the former, and influence it in a way that is decidedly not in the interest of the people. This is what we we have seen with the EU healthcare legislation being introduced, and it is what is actually happening in most other areas of our lives. But health and food are particularly insidious because they are not luxuries but absolute necessities, linked in with our survival mechanisms, and this makes this area the most profitable one to control because is it the one that we are least able to do without. So from the outside individuals who fight for health freedom are often seen as vitamin-popping eccentrics who resist "safety" regulation. But look more closely and you will see that the "safety" issues are just a cunning ruse to take away our personal freedom to be self-determining and healthy individuals. (Unhealthy individuals are much more profitable than healthy ones to those who manufacture medicines, and so if healthcare is controlled by the medicine manufacturers, by the laws of economics and profit maximisation, ill-health will be encouraged in the general population.)

What can you do about it? That depends where you live. If you are outside Europe, look to what is happening here in the EU as a warning of what happens when power centralizes and regulation gets out of hand. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is why power must always be dispersed as much as possible amongst the people. When it centralizes, as it has done in Brussels, the result is ALWAYS corruption. In this case, this level of power has the real possibility to push the EU over to fascism. It has happened before and there is no reason to think that it will not happen again. The legislative processes are already in place for such a transition, which makes it much harder for us to reverse this process. So if you are outside the EU consider yourself fortunate, and be warned. You must resist Codex; the future of your children will depend upon whether people today are awake enough to reject its implementation. As well as the www.healthfreedomusa.org website above you might also spend time looking through Dr. Rath's excellent website at www4.dr-rath-foundation.org.

If you are unfortunate enough to live in the EU, things are more difficult as there is less opportunity to reject legislation that has already been implemented. You can't just vote your way out of this situation because voting does not directly change legislation, especially when the legislation is being made by non-elected officials. Europe is no longer a democracy, and the more power centralizes in Brussels the less of a democracy it becomes. The only way to challenge what is happening is directly through the law courts. So far, those organisations, such as The Alliance For Natural Health (www.alliance-natural-health.org) and others, who have tried to challenge this restrictive legislation in the European courts have met with little success because the EU justice system that they have appealed to is unwilling to upset the political apple cart. But these freedom organisations bravely keep trying, fighting for your freedom. So if you live within the EU, your best way forward is to donate to this type of organisation, or to Dr. Rath's organisation (listed above), and keep protesting.

Will the people prevail over the corporations that seek to enslave them? The answer to that will depend on how much we all get personally involved in these issues. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping that others will stop this happening, or worse, assuming that "they" would never let things get that bad, are just not options. We owe it to our children to fight for their health and their freedom.