- Imagine dropping by your favorite health food store to
find it boarded up and out of business. So you go around to your local
drug mart to pick up some vitamin C, but the only dosage on the shelf is
ridiculously low. The druggist informs you that 60 mg is now the maximum
dosage available without a prescription. So if you've been taking a mega
dosage of vitamin C to help fight heart disease or build up your immunity
against cancer, you'll have to find a doctor willing to prescribe that
dosage - you're no longer free to decide on your own how much of this natural
vitamin you want to take.
- Sounds like a nightmare? It gets worse.
- Imagine that all of this is the result of new legislation
imposed by lawmakers with direct ties to pharmaceutical companies - powerful
companies that will use the law to create an enormous new source of profits.
Now that's a real nightmare. But what makes it truly nightmarish is that,
incredibly, it will soon become a reality in the United Kingdom and most
of Europe - if the global pharmaceutical industry has its way.
- On March 13th the European Parliament - a 626-member
legislative body representing the 15 European Union countries - passed
the "EU Directive on Dietary Supplements," which classifies vitamins
as medical drugs rather than food supplements. The Directive grants a transition
period of three years for vitamin supplements already on the market. But
in 2005, every EU country will be required to implement the Directive.
- As it currently stands, in just three years a wide range
of natural remedies will be banned across most of Europe, making as many
as 300 ingredients - including chromium picolinate, yeast, lysine, and
selenium - illegal for over-the-counter sale. Other supplements that remain
in stores will contain very low dosage amounts - not enough to provide
any real therapeutic value.
- It's almost like they're passing a law against prevention.
So not only are the pharmaceutical companies eliminating competition from
natural products for treating illnesses, they are essentially forcing greater
need for prescription products for citizens of the EU. After all, without
prevention, where will people be forced to turn when they get even the
slightest bit ill? To physicians who will prescribe mainstream pharmaceuticals
or super-strength, prescription-only vitamins supplied by - guess who -
the Pfizers, Mercks, and Bayers of the world.
- Nothing strange about these bedfellows
- To make things even worse, a number of European Union
Commissioners have direct links to international pharmaceutical companies.
For instance, a prominent EU Commissioner, Frits Bolkenstein of the Netherlands,
is also a member of the supervisory board of the second largest pharmaceutical
company in the world - Merck, Sharp and Dohme. The blatant pharmaceutical
industry influence on this directive would be laughable if the consequences
weren't so great.
- In a smooth double-speak that's almost frightening, the
EU Directive states: "In order to ensure a high level of protection
for consumers and facilitate their choice, the products that will be put
on the market must be safe and bear adequate and appropriate labeling."
- The good news is that the "consumers" are not
buying it. "Protection?" To "facilitate their choice?"
More than 600 million people read that and shouted back a resounding, "No!"
In what is believed to be the largest global online petition ever, a staggering
604 million people (to date) have added their names, demanding continued
free access to natural remedies.
- Lend your voice - no matter where you live
- I have signed the petition and I encourage you to do
so too if you believe the availability of natural supplements should not
be controlled by the international pharmaceutical industry. Anyone can
sign the petition - you don't have to be a citizen of a European Union
nation to add your name - and you can find more information and read the
petition at http://www.vitamins-for-all.org./english/default.html
- This web site was created by Dr. Matthias Rath, a leading
researcher in the field of natural treatments for cancer, and one of the
most prominent campaigners against the EU Directive.
- And for those of you who think this is a European issue
- that this couldn't happen here - consider this: the United States and
the European Union are each other's largest trade and investment partners.
In 2000, two-way trade in goods and services between the EU and the US
totaled more than $557 billion. With economic ties this deep, any European
law that gives the global pharmaceutical industry such sweeping power over
the health choices of millions, will have global effects. Once they've
conquered Europe, how long before they set their sights on the US marketplace?
Just look at recent directives from the FDA; it's already happening.
- The EU Directive is not yet law. Our HSI associates in
London believe that by the time the Directive is implemented in 2005 there's
a chance that the most oppressive aspects of the legislation might be eliminated,
especially if enough people raise their voices and mobilize against it.
But you can be certain that the Commissioners of the European Parliament,
with special interests and billions of dollars in the balance, will not
back down without a prolonged fight.
- In the meantime, we'll be watching, and I'll keep you
informed of developments as they unfold. And we encourage you to sign the
petition demanding open, unrestricted access to natural medicine and supplements
for ALL of us.
- To Your Good Health,
- Jenny Thompson Health Sciences Institute
- Sources: Health Confidential; May 2002, Vol 1, No 3 European
Union "Directive on Dietary Supplements," healthchoice.org.uk
European Union in the US: eurunion.org Petition 450/2001: vitamins-for-all.org
- Copyright (c)1997-2002 by Institute of Health Sciences,