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by Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., M.Sc.
"The HPB is a bureaucracy out of control that is jeopardizing the health and safety of all Canadians. The HPB has been able to oppress the natural health products industry for as long as it has only because the public has been kept in the dark -- and because many of those in the know attempted to court its favor rather than oppose it. It is time to take the blinders off. The game is over. We, the consumers, are not going to take it any more."
Publisher, Health Naturally
In January, 1997, I published some articles in Alive magazine and Natural Health Products Report about recent changes in the status of natural remedies in Canada. My articles referred to a long list of herbs, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and hormones which were suddenly made unavailable in Canada due to the actions of the HPB (Health Protection Branch). Dozens of commonly used nutritional supplements were suddenly reclassified as drugs. On further investigation, it became obvious to me and many others that this was a world-wide phenomenon orchestrated by the WHO at the UN under the banner of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. This group consists of representatives of the drug companies, in particular Bayer, Hoechst and BASF, who are under the umbrella of the drug giant, IG Farben.
IG Farben happens to be the name of the drug company that manufactured the poison gas used by the Nazis to exterminate Jews during World War II. They also operated their very own concentration camp where untold horrors were perpetrated under the pretence of scientific experimentation. The evidence for this is voluminous but rarely discussed or presented for concern.
"Starvation was a permanent guest at Auschwitz. The diet fed to I.G. Auschwitz inmates, which included the famous `Buna Soup' - a nutritional aid not available to other prisoners - resulted in an average weight loss for each individual of about six and a half to nine pounds a week. At the end of a month, the change in the prisoner's appearance was marked; at the end of two months, the inmates were not recognizable except as caricatures formed of skin, bones, and practically no flesh; after three months, they were either dead or so unfit for work that they were marked for release to the gas chambers at Birkenau. Two physicians who studied the effect of the I.G. diet on the inmates noticed that `the normally nourished prisoner at Buna could make up the deficiency by his own body for a period of three months....The prisoners were condemned to burn up their own body weight while working and, providing no infections occurred, finally died of exhaustion.'" (Borkin, Joseph. The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben. New York: The Free Press, 1978, and London: Macmillan Publishing Company, 125)
The notorious IG Farben is the one now pushing the hardest to prevent access by the public to nutritional supplements. Sadly, the Canadian HPB has been found to be working hand in hand with these convicted international criminals. It was the Canadian Codex representative, Dr. Mary Cheney of the HPB, who proposed a negative list of herbs to ban from international sale. She then proceeded to deny the fact that these herbs would become unavailable to the public due to their reclassification as drugs. She lied.
It is not possible to communicate with any degree of trust or confidence with people who blatantly associate themselves with internationally convicted criminals. The HPB must be banned. For many reasons, they have failed the Canadian public with respect to their health, welfare and peace of mind. They are every bit as guilty of treachery as IG Farben, the dogs they sleep with. This article will detail the top ten reasons why the HPB must go. There are others which will be soon be exposed, so look for many follow up articles here and elsewhere.
1) Negative, Disrespectful and Arrogant Attitude
2) Bias against Canadian small business
3) Bias in favour of toxic drugs, tobacco and alcohol
4) The fraudulent "cost recovery" scam
5) Bias in favour of the biotechnology scam
6) Unjustified suppression of and aggression towards the natural health products industry
7) The active prevention of free speech and the expression of a belief in natural therapies
8) Collusion with convicted international criminals
9) Lying to the public about the Codex threat to freedom of choice in health care
10) Failure to accept documented facts and heed expert opinion on safety issues resulting in deaths
I was told not to write this article but, since, I believe too strongly in freedom of speech and expression, cannot possibly heed this advice. I was told that to use the term, Nazi, was taboo or, at the very least, offensive to the ear of the average Canadian. I was told to "tone down" my language and was, for the first time ever, told that it was too strong to be published by a Canadian magazine. Aside from this I was criticized by some for playing on the emotions of the public by bringing up that horrible Nazi issue.
I am writing this article also because I have been severely chastised in writing (see Jan/Feb Natural Health Products Report) for reporting the facts by the pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim, the owner of Quest Vitamins. This chastisement occurred because I wrote about the dangers of Codex and the HPB and how various vitamin companies like Quest are owned by pharmaceutical firms supportive of the HPB and Codex while, at the same time, maintained a membership with the CHFA (Canadian Health Food Association).
"As an American, I employed the element of surprise by using American political tactics in a Canadian arena which isn't used to them. Sometimes, you've just gotta shake the damn tree - lob the grenade into the pond, and let the chips fall where they may. Canadian health freedom fighters could have great success by emulating certain American hard ball tactics in the political arena."
So, let's play hard ball. I still believe, as do most lawyers, that it is a conflict of interest for a pharmaceutical firm to be a member of an organization (CHFA) purporting to represent the concerns of food supplement manufacturers while actively working with the HPB, Codex, IG Farben and all their connections to put small manufacturers out of business. I do not want to see the large pharmaceutical and supplement firms with their Nazi connections have a complete monopoly on natural health care products. This article also serves to clarify these issues and my position.
One other reason why I am speaking out in this way is because three large Canadian supplement manufacturers with heavy drug company connections have tried in various ways to shut me up. One threatened to pull advertising from any magazine carrying my articles and asked that the CHFA reconsider inviting me to speak in Calgary in April. Two with intimate HPB ties tried to buy me off while the third complained to one of my publishers that I was opposed to the natural supplement industry since I had written a damaging article about harmful additives in vitamin and mineral tablets that was published in the Toronto Star.
My intention here is to inform you of the very real and serious threat that now exists to your freedom of choice in choosing natural therapies. I am not employed by any drug company, herbal company, or medical association. I am not against any organized plan to create a legislated third category for nutritional supplements but also do not believe this will solve the real problem. The real problem is the very existence of the HPB and Codex, a collection of drug company monopoly enforcers. What I support much more strongly is any organized effort to cripple the HPB by way of class action law suits, organized demonstrations and peaceful resistance to unfair and abusive legislation.
I am not a member of any political party and will not be bought off. I could care less if you cringe each and every time I use the word Nazi because the truth cannot be changed or spin doctored to keep the faint of heart happy. A murderer is a murderer and no fancy language should be used to soften the fact for mass public consumption.
The public has never been exposed to the true personality of the HPB until very recently. Many people are angry about the loss of health products like melatonin, taheebo tea, kava kava and DHEA and have been continuously asking me and my colleagues why these things have been banned. The simplest and best answer as to why is summed up succinctly by Robert McMaster in a letter of complaint to the HPB (Feb. 24, 1997):
"The entire reason that the Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom has come into being is because we are fed up with the pervasive bad faith, technical incompetence and lack of professionalism that radiates from the HPB on the subject of natural health. We represent the major associations of health professionals, consumers and suppliers. We have lost all confidence that we will receive a respectful hearing from the HPB."
HPB representatives are sometimes rude and verbally abusive. Allow me to quote from a letter of complaint to the HPB by Robert McMaster, steering committee member of the CCHF (Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom):
"On Tues. Feb. 18, 1996, a Drug Inspector of the HPB left a voice message for CCHC (Citizens for Choice in Health Care). An article which I had written for Alive magazine was denounced in the most derogatory language which included the assertion that it was 'just a bunch of fabricated bullshit'. The subject of the article was Canada's involvement in the Codex Alimentarius. Subsequently, I learned this same officer wrote a letter to Alive expressing similar sentiments. To be attacked by an official of your department, on the record, in this manner and in public, is unacceptable. It has been frequently alleged that a climate of bias and outright hostility exists within the HPB in regards to natural health products. We now have direct evidence which verifies this claim."
The HPB is anti-health in that it supports the continuing sale of cigarettes, alcohol and a long list of over the counter drugs that kill over 100,000 people in Canada each year. On the other hand, the HPB openly admits that 50% or more of the currently available natural products will disappear from health food stores within the next few months irrespective of the fact that none of these remedies have been proven to kill anyone. According to that same letter by McMaster,
"Evidently, things are so lax at HPB that personnel can just do or say anything they want, at least insofar as it involves bashing natural health. This is perfectly consistent with the ongoing pattern of uneven and arbitrary enforcement of policy by drug inspectors across the country."
As they typically have done in the past, the HPB has not yet responded to this letter.
"Canadians are speaking out across the country against attempts by the HPB to limit their access to safe natural health products, including Chinese herbs, and to charge exorbitant new fees which might drive them out of business and to restrict access internationally through the Codex forum."
Svend J. Robinson
NDP Health Critic, March 19, 1997.
"There is a lot of discontent on how the HPB is coming down on the industry by driving the small businesses out and playing a devious game with the big pharmaceutical grade manufacturers. Classifying all herbs and natural products as drugs to be only manufactured by certified pharmaceutical industry plants will kill the health care product industry in this country as we know it. With spies in our own supposedly trustworthy organizations this is likely to happen sooner than later. One of the more prominent members of the CHFA has also been a big player in helping to wipe out the smaller companies, and if they are not stopped soon enough there will be no natural products nor any health food stores left in Canada. We can then all go shopping at the drug stores or large supermarket chains for pharmaceutical grade chemicals."
Over the past decade, the HPB has removed at least the following natural supplements available in the USA without prescription from Canadian health food stores:
Pau D'Arco (taheebo)
Zinc, manganese and anything else picolinate
Sodium Oxide Dismutase (SOD)
The following 67 herbs are considered by the Health Protection Branch to be harmful substances and may be stopped at Customs or seized where they are sold:
American mandrake, mayapple
American mistletoe, false mistletoe
American pennyroyal oil
American sassafras oil
Autumn crocus, meadow saffron
Barberry root and its extract
Brazilian sassafras oil, ocotea cymbarum oil
Canadian hemp, Indian hemp, dogbane
Coonties seeds, Florida arrowroot seeds
European Mistletoe berries
European pennyroyal oil
Ginkgo biloba seed and fruit
Jimson weed, thornapple
Lily of the valley
Lobelia, Indian tobacco
Narcissus, daffodil, jonquil
Spreading dogbane, bitter root
Thuja, white cedar
According to HPB suck-and-blow-at-the-same-time logic, a Canadian is free to purchase any banned supplement from other countries like the USA by mail order for personal use but this same Canadian is not allowed to sell or buy them from a health food store in Canada. Now, if I buy a carton of Camel cigarettes from the USA for personal use but later decide to sell it to another Canadian, why is it legal for me to do so but illegal for me to sell this same person a bottle of melatonin to provide him with antioxidant protection against the cigarettes?
All this really results in is a bias against Canadian small business. All the money for the natural products banned in Canada now goes to some other country instead. People who want or need the product (melatonin, chaparral, taheebo, etc.) will still purchase the product from a non-Canadian. If you argue that this does not represent HPB bias, then explain to me why it is legal in Canada to buy carnitine from an American but not from a Canadian? Are Canadians somehow more toxic?
The HPB bias against Canadian small businesses results in the loss of $ billions in profits, tax revenue and jobs to the U.S.A. or other countries. If the HPB considers it safe for a Canadian to use such products, why is it unsafe then to purchase the exact same product in a Canadian health food store? Sounds like some sort of scam to me. No one, not even a bureaucrat, can be so incompetent as to penalize Canadians in this manner.
The HPB protects pharmaceutical profits at the expense of human safety. This is evidenced by its continuing approval of the sale of toxic drugs while banning harmless herbs like gotu cola, yohimbe, taheebo, horsetail and dozens of others.
For example, in Canada, virtually all menopausal women are encouraged to swallow daily pills containing extracts of pregnant horse's urine called Premarin to prevent osteoporosis but are prohibited from using horsetail, a herb that is a rich source of naturally occurring silicon that has been well documented to prevent osteoporosis. Horsetail is banned by the HPB. HRT (Horse Urine Replacement Therapy) increases a women's risk of breast cancer by 46% according to a study published a year ago in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"It is a misnomer to call medicine a healing art. The healing art is the secret wisdom of the human body. Medicine can do no more than to facilitate it."
Andrew Weil, MD
Osteoporotic women are free to take potentially harmful drugs like fossamax, recently reported in the Medical Post to cause gastrointestinal hemorrhage, but prevented from using a safe and effective natural derivative of wild yam called DHEA. DHEA was banned by the HPB for even personal use.
Seldane is available in Canada without a prescription. Studies show that people have developed serious, even fatal, irregularities of heartbeat when taking terfenadine (Seldane). If a person who takes Seldane is also taking erythromycin for a bacterial infection or ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox) for a fungal infection Seldane can cause life-threatening side effects such as a heart arrhythmia or even a heart attack. The FDA has been notified of 125 deaths and 1,400 serious heart problems in people who took the antihistamine Seldane and the antibiotic erythromycin at the same time. Warnings have been issued three times. The manufacturer of Seldane, by the way is Hoechst Marion Roussel, a unit of Frankfurt, Germany-based Hoechst AG.
"I recently learned from a patient that Seldane is sold OTC in Canada and England. The pharmacist and I were shocked. Does anyone know that this is true? We asked the girl about it -- and explained the drug interactions that exist. Her reply was that the doctor always asks you what you're taking. Why am I having bad dreams about a patient "forgetting" to tell a doctor or dentist that they are taking an OTC drug? Does everyone out there list every OTC drug they are taking to all doctors all the time?"
"I think it becomes effective July 1, 1997. We have cost recovery. This is a system whereby appropriations are taking away from agencies like Health Canada and HPB. And the appropriation that is withdrawn from the agency's budget then has to be replaced through a fund raising mechanism or cost-charging mechanism which is, in my parlance, cost recovery. So, since this is a very special service that these companies get, there is a charge attached to that, or there will be a charge attached to that."
Chief of Drug and Environmental Health Inspection, HPB
Are the services of a HPB bureaucrat worth over $500 a minute? According to a ex-HPB physician, Dr. Michelle Brille Edwards, the so-called "special service" of granting a DIN for a herbal or other supplement is nothing more than a rubber stamping exercise taking a few minutes. No specific tests or procedures are done on the product being DIN'ed yet it costs the manufacturer $720 to apply and $560 to renew the DIN for each and every herbal product annually.
It is totally unclear what the manufacturer or the public really gets with a DIN. There are no studies showing that DIN's have any bearing on safety, efficacy or death rates from drugs. DIN's are unscientific, of unproven value and an oppressive way of gouging the public. DIN's are nothing short of highway robbery because the time required for a HPB bureaucrat to do this each year is a matter of minutes. The HPB calls this "cost recovery". Lawyers I have talked to call this fraud. Given that we already pay hefty taxes for bureaucracies like the HPB, what, if anything extra are we getting for the outrageous fees?
"Echinacea is not regarded as a food. It is regarded as a drug. And, it's common treatment as far as I'm aware for colds or the prevention of colds. It's clear and unequivocal that that is a therapeutic use of that substance........In the instance of echinacea and the treatments for which it s used, new regulations don't have to come into effect. There are regulations that require the product be sold with a drug identification number....Echinacea that is legally sold would have a DIN. And if it doesn't have a DIN it is still a drug but it is a drug in violation."
Chief of Drug and Environmental Health Inspection, HPB
Not only does the HPB "cost recovery" scam end up reducing the availability of natural supplements by about 50% within a year but it also serves to make the remaining supplements much more expensive due to the higher fees that manufacturers now have to pay. As more and more small companies and health food stores go out of business as a result of the HPB oppression, they will be displaced by the large manufacturers (Quest, Nu-Life, Swiss Herbal, Natural Factors and others) in collusion with large drug store chains like Shopper's Drug Mart.
"Naturopathic organizations are having a lot of trouble with HPB. As you know, several thousand naturopaths across Canada sell supplements to their clients. If access to herbs like golden seal, hawthorne, chamomile, gotu cola and others is limited what can practitioners recommend???"
I have reliable source documentation which I cannot divulge at this time that Quest, Nu-Life, Natural Factors and Swiss Herbal have committed their participation at both Shoppers Drug Mart Road shows and Regional Merchandising Shows. Shoppers Drug Mart is at this moment creating a store within a store concept for their vitamin section. Stores greater than 48 square feet will eventually be staffed by a naturopath to service customer needs. I wonder if this subservient, under the frog's ass, drug store position is even considered by the naturopathic college to be professional behaviour for a licensed naturopath. Are Canadian naturopaths aware of the pharmaceutical world's planned role for them in drug store chains? In any event, goodbye health food stores.
Quest, Nu-Life, Natural Factors, Swiss Herbal and perhaps others are the companies that currently support the actions of the HPB and Codex and even believe that, at least in the Vancouver area, the HPB are "the good guys". Look for brown noses in this bunch.
"We have invested heavily in the development, manufacture and distribution of the highest quality natural health products, have been industry leaders in supporting complementary health care to the HPB and all stockholders, and have worked tirelessly with industry colleagues to support our common goals such as education, quality assurance and regulatory acceptance."
Such companies are thought by the public to be the top tier of the natural health products industry. What they really are is the the bottom tier of the pharmaceutical monopoly. All have strong ties to multinational drug companies or drug store chains. Know who and what you support before you hand over your money for nutritional supplements.
Scientists can genetically engineer foods by taking the genes of bacteria and viruses and inserting them into the cells of foods. Products containing foreign DNA from insects, fish and even humans are in the R&D stages and soon will be headed unlabelled to our dinner tables. Genetically engineered foods contain proteins and other material that have never before been part of the human diet. When eating genetically engineered foods, we may very well be eating the proteins from bacteria and viruses, insects, scorpions and people. In a sense, the HPB seems to be condoning cannibalism by failing to act to curtail the mad scientists of the biotechnology world. No one can say with any certainty whether or not such foods are safe to eat. The only way to tell is to test them rigorously before allowing them into the grocery stores. Unfortunately, the HPB does not require such testing and won't even comment on the labelling issue.
It is a certainty, however, that untested biotechnology can lead to disaster. For example, in 1989, a dietary supplement, L-tryptophan, caused 37 U.S. deaths and 1,511 nonfatal cases of a disease called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). The Centers for Disease Control linked these cases to tryptophan manufactured using genetically engineered bacteria. A 1990 study published in Science confirmed that the tryptophan was contaminated with a toxic "novel amino acid" not present in tryptophan normally found in high protein foods or synthesized by other non-biotechnology methods.
According to Ron Dugas, National President of My Health, My Rights, in a letter to the HPB asking why the HPB has yet to do anything about genetically engineered foods stated:
"In Canada alone, more than 500 food products have been genetically manipulated and will soon be on the market without being thoroughly tested for the long term side effects. We have noticed that the companies involved in genetic engineering of foods are keeping a low-profile approach because surveys show that the public will not support genetic changes to their traditional foods. Therefore, it is easy to understand why genetically engineered foods are coming on the market without any labelling and with very little publicity. Biologists knowledgeable in genetically engineered foods are concerned about the possibility of genetic mutations, the spread of dangerous diseases between species and super viruses resulting from genetic recombinations." The HPB seems to have one law for the suppression of natural products and another law which allows them to turn a blind eye to products with a reputation for potential ecological disaster. This attitude is irresponsible and potentially dangerous because thousands of these foods will be brought to market over the next several years. Statistically speaking, the risk that any given product will produce unanticipated deleterious effects is virtually certain when dozens of new genetically engineered foods have become part of the diet of large populations over extended periods of time. As Hannibal Lechter in the famous movie, "Silence of the Lambs" was known to say, "Bon appetit."
The HPB initiated a campaign shortly after Jan. 1, 1997 to ban at least 50% of the herbs and other natural supplements within one year and slap heavy fines or imprisonment on any store proprietor or health professional caught selling these newly banned remedies. This campaign included the hiring of over 100 new inspectors with search and seize orders to enforce the bans and extract money from the alleged criminals - the health food store owners and naturopaths that sell the herbs.
"The Health Minister's 'health police' are criminalizing law abiding Canadians who consume herbs and other natural health supplements. Will the Health Minister call off his health police and let Canadians continue to practice preventive health care with safe, proven, herbs and other natural health supplements?"
Grant Hill, M.D.
Reform Party Health Critic
March 20, 1997.
The reclassified list of herbs to drugs, for the most part, have been used safely and effectively by many cultures around the world. The HPB makes claims that this has been done in order to protect the public. While thousands of people die each year in North America as a direct result of prescription and OTC drugs, the Atlanta Poison Control Centre does not even track herbal adverse reactions because they are so rare. There have been no deaths directly attributable to a herb in North America for the past 10 years. Claims to the contrary are unproven and biased.
According to the Oct. 9, 1995 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine:
17% - 28% of all hospital admissions are caused by the side effects of drugs administered by an MD
8 million people are hospitalized annually for diseases brought on by prescription drugs
Adverse drug reactions are responsible for up to 200,000 deaths yearly. Aspirin alone causes 7000 deaths in the USA each year.
Between the years 1983 - 1990 only 1 person died in the USA from a vitamin overdose (based on Poison Control Centers data).
Prescription drug-related diseases and death cost the US $77 BILLION dollars a year
Despite these facts, the HPB focuses and penalizes the harmless herbs and natural food supplements, not the toxic drugs.
The misuse and abuse of prescription antibiotics by conventional doctors has created an epidemic of antibiotic resistant bacteria and a rapidly escalating incidence of hospital acquired infections. According to Dr. Joseph Pizzorno in his new book, "Total Wellness", nosocomial infections (aka "hospital generated") strike 1 out of 10 hospitalized patients, or 2.5 million people per year and the average nosocomial infection costs $1,800 to clear up, or $4 billion yearly. Nosocomial infections cause 20,000 deaths annually and are a contributing factor in another 60,000 deaths per year.
THE HPB HAS NO AVAILABLE STATISTICS OF ANY DEATHS OR IRREVERSIBLE HEALTH PROBLEMS CAUSED BY ANY OF THE POPULAR HERBS, HORMONES, AMINO ACIDS, VITAMINS AND MINERALS IT HAS REMOVED FROM THE MARKET. ALL WE SEEM TO BE ABLE TO GET FROM THE HPB AS AN EXPLANATION IS THAT THESE PRODUCTS HAVE NOT BEEN PROVEN TO BE SAFE OR EFFECTIVE. If natural remedies are so toxic, where are all the dead bodies? If they are so ineffective, why are the sales skyrocketing?
"In Ontario hospitals alone, over 600 deaths annually are attributed to adverse effects of drugs correctly administered. This figure is probably understated because it relies on reports submitted by attending physicians, the ones who prescribed the drugs in question. It does not include deaths caused by overdosing or by taking the wrong drug. The lowly ASA tablet, for example, is the leading cause of death by accidental poisoning in children under the age of five. All told, as many as 10,000 Canadians may be killed each year by pharmaceuticals."
Publisher, Health Naturally
Despite these statistics, the HPB is on a mission to raid Canadian health food stores to confiscate alleged violations of their new and arbitrary "cost recovery" program.
Even a suspected murderer has the right to be served with a search warrant before the police are allowed to set foot on his or her premises. I used to think that the only raiders were in Oakland, California. HPB inspectors, however, think they have the right to raid health food stores and physicians offices without a warrant. The legal truth is that they cannot. Many health food store proprietors and practitioners are so frightened by their appearance that they willingly cave in and allow these inspectors to come in to confiscate DIN-less products. According to legal opinion, the HPB must have a warrant to do so. If they continue to harass any retailer without a warrant, barge in without permission, they can be prosecuted for trespassing and theft. CALL THE POLICE. YOU CAN THEN CHARGE THE HPB INSPECTORS (IF THAT'S WHO THEY REALLY ARE) WITH TRESPASSING. Do not cooperate unless you see an authentic ID and official warrant. Let them play cops and robbers with someone else.
"The HPB has not produced a shred of evidence to show that any of the natural health products it has removed from the market are harmful. Many, in fact, have been safely consumed by millions of people for centuries. Whatever the HPB may profess as its motives, the effect of its actions is clearly to eliminate competition for the pharmaceutical industry. This is more than a turf war over profits. It is a game played with human lives. Food supplements are safe. Prescription drugs are lethal."
Publisher, Health Naturally
Canada already has more than enough laws on the books against physical injury and fraud. Product promoters are legally allowed to make any claim for any product in any industry in Canada if they honestly believe and can document them to be true ...... except in the natural supplement industry. Is it really fair to allow the HPB to prevent a manufacturer from claiming that certain supplements are antioxidants when over 200 scientific studies document the claim? Does this not violate our individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution?
If a claim were later found to be fraudulent, laws already exist to deal with the situation. Rather than completely banning any and all claims wouldn't it make a lot more sense to restrict only those products that can be proven by the HPB as unsafe and fraudulent? In other words, doesn't our legal system allow us to assume innocence until proven guilty and not the other way around? Why is the natural health care industry singled out as assumed to be guilty until proven innocent?
In October, 1996, Codex met in Bonn, Germany to make radical changes in the rules governing dietary supplements for member nations. The proposals of greatest concern were those made by the German delegation ("Proposed Draft Guidelines for Dietary Supplements") and is being sponsored by Hoechst, Bayer and BASF. These are the three drug companies formed when the Nurenberg War Trials disbanded IG Farben, manufacturer of the poison gas used in Nazi concentration camps. This is not the first time that the U.N. has been linked closely with Nazi war criminals.
Ostensibly, their purpose is "....create a set of international standards to guide the world's growing food industry and to protect the health of consumers." If you really believe that, I have some ocean front property for you at half price in Saskatoon. The drug company backed proposals call for the following:
1. No vitamin, mineral, herb, etc., can be sold for prophylactic (preventative) or therapeutic reasons.
2. Natural remedies can be sold as food but they must not exceed the potency (dosage) levels set by the commission. This means that consumer access to dietary supplements will be limited to the RDA dosage as a maximum limit for vitamins. Supplements without an RDA (e.g. coenzyme Q10) would be illegal to sell because they would all become drugs.
3. Codex regulations for dietary supplements would become binding, eliminating the escape clause within the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that allows a nation to set its own standards. This applies to all member countries of the U.N. Any nation that does not accept and apply these new standards will be heavily fined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) creating the potential of crippling entire sectors of that nation's economy.
4. All new supplements would be banned unless they go through the Codex approval process.
Five steps have already been taken in the Codex process over the past few years. Remember Canadian Bill C-7 which was passed eventually in Canada as C-8? The similarity of the process, the secrecy and the wording between the Codex proposals and the Canadian laws is uncanny. Voting in favour of adopting the German proposal has been overwhelming (16 for and 2 against in the most recent vote). The Codex process is now at "Step Five"- formalization and debate concerning the specific features. In two years, Codex could jump from step 5 to step 8 to finalize these restrictions.
The Codex proposals already exist as law in Norway and Germany where the entire health food industry has literally been taken over by the drug companies. In these countries, vitamin C above 200 mg is illegal as is vitamin E above 45 IU, Vitamin B1 over 2.4 mg and so on. Shering-Plough, the Norway pharmaceutical giant, now controls an echinacea tincture which is being sold there as an OTC drug at grossly inflated prices. The same is true of ginkgo and many other herbs and only one government controlled pharmacy has the right to import supplements as medicines which they can sell to health food stores, convenience stores, or pharmacies.
According to Dr. Matthias Rath, researcher and author who discovered a correlation between vitamin C deficiency and heart disease, the three Nazi-linked drug companies pushing so hard for the German proposal, Hoechst, Bayer and BASF, are also manufacturers of heart drugs. Obviously, with the vitamin competition gone, nothing will stop their profits.
In June of 1996, the Codex Executive committee will be creating an "expert panel" on herbs which is likely to generate a "negative list" to prevent public access to certain herbs internationally. The formation of this "expert panel" was advocated by none other than the Canadian representatives.
Bayer, one of the major players in the Codex Commission, is the manufacturer of Nifedipine, documented to have killed thousands of people worldwide. Bayer, however, is better known for Aspirin. The following is taken from a small article buried in the back pages of the financial section of the Jan. 30th, 1997 Toronto Star:
"Bayer unit gets $67 million headache"
Washington (AP) - A U.S.-based unit of the drug and chemical giant Bayer AG has agreed to pay a fine equivalent to $67 million to settle criminal price-fixing charges involving the worldwide sale of citric acid, a widely used ingredient in soft drinks and processed foods.
The justice department said yesterday the penalty against Haarmann & Reimer and a senior executive, Hans Hartmann, was their second-largest criminal antitrust fine in the department's history.
Citric acid - an additive to detergents, cosmetics, and foods - has a worldwide market value exceeding $1 billion (U.S.) a year.
"We will not tolerate international conspiracies that defraud American consumers," Attorney General Janet Reno said.
"What hypocrisy. A multinational company, found guilty of price fixing (in effect ripping off consumers world wide), has the ear of the German government, several other nations, and is able to have direct input with a United Nations World Health Organization bureaucracy, namely the Codex Commission - all of which have bought into a clear conspiracy to violate human rights under the guise of consumer protection."
Past President, Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA)
"It's time the Liberals started to listen to Canadian consumers and not the multinational drug companies. Indeed, some of the most abused and dangerous drugs are legal pharmaceuticals. The government should be showing leadership by directing the HPB to fund research into herbal and alternative medical therapies, including traditional Chinese herbs. Instead, the new fees levied by the government threaten to drive many health food stores and practitioners out of business. On the international level, the multinational drug companies are pushing draconian new restrictions at the CODEX meetings."
Svend J. Robinson, NDP Health Critic, March 19, 1997.
Codex is officially known as the United Nations/World Health Organization (WHO) Codex Alimentarius (Nutrition Code) Commission. It meets every 2 years, usually in Rome, and very little has appeared about it in the media. Nevertheless, documentation supports the possibility that Codex is the greatest threat to health freedom in the world today. Most of the information we have on this secretive group can be found on the Internet.
Codex is empowered by governments to set standards of operation for the health industry. Over 90% of the international organizations "allowed" to send delegates to the meetings represent giant multinational pharmaceutical corporations. The only "consumer" organization is the "International Organization of Consumer Unions". Neither the natural health care industry nor the general public has any representation at Codex meetings.
"The Codex rules might work for Europe but not Canada. Perhaps some European countries have a greater affinity for the Nazis. In Canada, Codex can destroy our economy. In the U.S. there is freedom to make claims under their labelling law but here they are sleeping with the Nazis from Codex. Canadian consumers don't have to put up with this crap. All they have to do is dial the 800 numbers south of the border and support the American giants by ordering banned products for personal use from the US. The Canadian Nazis have no problems with allowing the masses to import melatonin and virtually any herb into Canada. Try to sell it here and you get your balls cut off."
"If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity." O.W. Holmes, MD Professor Of Medicine-Harvard University
Dr. Michelle Brille Edwards of the Canadian Alliance for Public Accountability says it best:
"Canadians must undertake an open independent investigation of the inability of our health protection system to render reliable decisions on health hazards affecting potentially each and every Canadian. Repeated serious failure to conduct honest, reliable health hazard management involving drugs signals danger. A prompt, open public investigation is an essential first step toward a new reliable health protection system for Canadians."
Failure to accept documented facts and heed expert opinion on safety issues resulting in deaths
The HPB has not done any long term safety studies on a dangerous class of drugs called calcium channel blockers despite the fact that several doctors and research scientists strongly recommended that they do so before releasing them on to the Canadian market. One HPB employed doctor, Dr. Michelle Brille Edwards actually resigned because of the corruption seen at the top levels of the HPB. When asked how many deaths can be attributed to Nifedipine, Dr. Brille Edwards said:
"The numbers involved are off the scale......We're talking here thousands, tens of thousands, maybe more than that worldwide certainly."
In a letter to Canadian Health Minister David Dingwall, Anthony F. Stephan of the Synergy Group of Canada Inc. writes:
"On behalf of numerous consumer groups here in Canada we express the following grave concerns regarding your complacency in resolving the gross corruptive practices of the HPB. Solid evidence was provided to you in September of 1996 by the Alliance for Public Accountability regarding the notorious Nifedipine issue and other scams enacted by the HPB. You yourself reviewed and are well aware of the February 27, 1996 "5th Estate" airing of "The Heart of the Matter". In September of last year you committed the government to a judicial inquiry based on these concerns. This has not occurred...."
The media around the world has reported on the dangers of calcium channel blockers but the power of the drug lobby is such that no one dares to pull the drugs off the market. Certainly, the HPB have not done so.
"A medication that millions of Americans rely upon to treat high blood pressure may not be so reliable after all. Citing recent studies, a federal agency last week began alerting doctors to write prescriptions for Procardia and Adalat, short-acting forms of the drug nifedipine, only "with great caution (if at all)." The safety of their longer- acting siblings, Procardia XL and Adalat CC, is still a question, as is the safety of their close cousins, diltiazem and verapamil-- drugs all known as calcium channel blockers.
Furberg and his co-authors analyzed 16 studies that examined the short- acting form of nifedipine, which patients take three or four times a day. His findings: Of about 8,350 patients with heart disease, those who received a high dose (80 mg a day) of nifedipine had a death rate almost three times as high as that for patients who did not take the drug."
(U.S. News & World Report)
"Older people taking calcium channel blockers, a widely used class of drug for high blood pressure, got cancer at about twice the rate of people taking a different kind, a preliminary study reported.
"The new study, led by Dr. Marco Pahor of the University of Tennessee in Memphis, analyzed the medical records of 5,052 people 71 and older Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa. Of those, 451 said they had taken one of three calcium-channel blocking drugs.
"Overall, the cancer rate was 70% higher among those who had taken the drugs compared to those who had not. The total number of cancers in the drug group was small--only 47--which kept the researchers from definitively linking the drug to any type of cancer."
(Los Angeles Times)
"So far, there has not been discovered any effective chemotherapeutic substance which is devoid of potential toxicity. Perhaps no drug administered orally or parenterally is entirely without some hazard."
W.H. Feldman, MD
A 1994 New England Journal of Medicine reports that acetominophen (Tylenol) causes an estimated 10% of the 50,000 cases of kidney failure that occur in the USA each year. According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, an average daily dose of more than one tablet can double the risk of kidney failure as can the use of more than 1000 tablets over an extended period.
"This drug in large enough doses is a potent toxin for the liver," he says. "Even doses considered safe can lead to serious injury in individuals who drink regularly or are fasting. But for a quarter of a century, the problem was overlooked."
Dr. Hyman J. Zimmerman
Professor of medicine emeritus at George Washington University Medical School
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Ibuprofen is the active ingredient of the pain relievers Advil, Nuprin and Motrin IB, one of a class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDS can eat away at the lining of the stomach until an ulcer forms, which may then perforate the stomach walls and provoke serious bleeds.
"There's an epidemic of adverse drug reactions to NSAIDS. The Food and Drug Administration believes anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 deaths each year are the result of severe bleeding caused by NSAIDs. It's a big problem."
Dr. James F. Fries
Professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine
The government must act swiftly to ban the HPB's very existence and replace it with an unbiased group of qualified experts in both the fields of pharmacology and naturopathy. We do not need an IG Farben in Canada. What we now have in the form of the HPB is a corrupt group of multinational drug company puppets that, for all intents and purposes, is making it easier for its masters to take over the entire natural health products business by bankrupting or otherwise wiping out the perceived competition.
Civil disobedience is a tried and true way of fighting the HPB's brand of tyranny. It worked for Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters throughout history. A recent editorial by David Rowland, the outspoken publisher of Health Naturally, provides answers to why this type of protest can be so successful. Rowland states:
"Submitting to unjust regulations is the surest way to perpetrate them. Every oppressor ultimately relies on the sanction of its victims. All it takes to stop abuse is for the alleged 'victims' to take back their power. If you believe what the HPB is doing is wrong, then oppose it. To know better and do nothing is to add tacit approval to the HPB's wave of destruction."
This is not the end of the HPB/Codex horror story. Look for updates and information about new HPB scams as they scramble to maintain damage control with the politicians breathing down their backs. New evidence is just coming in now and will be reported as soon as possible in this publication. The battle for their very existence has just begun.
House of Commons Canada - HANSARD
Thursday, March 20, 1997
Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, preventive medicine is very popular in Canada these days. With many acute care facilities closing it makes only good sense to do what we can to stop disease before it starts. Health foods, vitamins, nutritional supplements and alternative medical practices are tools to prevent disease. These are employed by many thoughtful citizens.
The health protection branch and international Codex proposals threaten those choices in Canada. For example, melatonin has now been banned. Is there any proven harm? No. Is there any proven side effect? No. Is there any proven impurity? No.
Reform's position on this issue is clear. An informed consumer is a far better judge of their health care needs than some distant bureaucrat in Ottawa. Our message is also clear to the health protection branch and to Codex. Get out of our faces.
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Copyright 1997 by Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., M.Sc.
1466 Bathurst Street, Suite 305
Toronto, ONT. M5R 3J3
PH: 416-534-8880; FAX:416-534-6723
Reproduction and dissemination of this article is encouraged but written permission is required.
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