on the Wall - Big Brother goes after vitamins
Editor: Health Sciences Institute, 4/29/2002
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 www.vitamins-for-all.org.
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,
Health Sciences Institute
Health Confidential; May 2002, Vol 1, No 3
European Union "Directive on Dietary Supplements,"
European Union in the US: www.eurunion.org
Petition 450/2001: www.vitamins-for-all.org