Globalist Threat to Vitamins|
by William Norman Grigg
The New American , September 5, 2005 Issue
Bureaucrats attached to the UN are seeking to deprive millions worldwide of access to nutritional supplements.
To be sick or otherwise physically incapacitated is to be dependent and at the mercy of those who can provide needed care. Where healthcare is politicized, the state stands to benefit from an expanding population of invalids or chronically unhealthy people.
As the American population ages, the constituency for socialized medicine is expanding. At the same time, a growing segment of the population is involved in what has been called the “wellness” movement, seeking to preempt disease through an abstemious lifestyle that includes exercise and sound nutritional habits, as well as regular use of vitamin and mineral supplements. In addition to preventing the pain and expense of chronic illness, this approach also accentuates individual autonomy by minimizing the chance that those who follow it will find themselves caught in the increasingly socialized U.S. healthcare system.
A population of healthy people who are in charge of their own well-being is difficult to control. Those who would abolish individual liberty must therefore undermine individual autonomy regarding healthcare issues, beginning with nutrition. And as we will see, there is an effort — decades in the making, and literally global in scope — to use the power of global bureaucracies to ban the private consumption of nutrients considered by many to be vital for the preservation of individual health.
Simply put, globalist bureaucrats want to control not only the medical treatments you can receive, but the vitamins and minerals you can take in order to avoid going to the hospital in the first place.
“Healthcare” vs. Health Freedom
Dr. Donald W. Miller and his wife, Linda, point out that using the expression “health care” to describe the current system is an example of Orwellian language manipulation. Dr. Miller is a cardiac surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of Washington-Seattle; Linda is a surgical assistant and respiratory therapist. They point out that “‘Health care’ does not, as the term is currently used, focus on health. Health care providers treat illness. The government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs defray the cost of treatment its beneficiaries get. These programs (and private insurance plans) pay for ‘sickness care,’ not health care.”
Obviously, given their background in modern high-tech surgery, the Millers appreciate what they call the “remarkable remedies” available to treat such afflictions as coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the leading causes of death among Americans. But by making intelligent choices regarding diet and lifestyle, Americans can stave off those diseases in the first place.
The Millers, like practically all credible health authorities on the subject, recommend that “rather than going to a pharmacy to have prescriptions filled, we should frequent the produce section of a grocery store,” since a diet rich in fruits and vegetables “can help [people] avoid coming down with diseases that prescription drugs are designed to treat.”
Just as importantly, the Millers advise that Americans should ignore the federally approved “Food Guide Pyramid,” introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a nationally respected family physician who specializes in treatment and prevention of disease through nutrition, concurs with that advice, complaining that the USDA Food Pyramid reinforces the dietary regime “that causes the diseases that kill us: heart attacks and cancer. It suggests we should consume a huge quantity of low-nutrient-content foods such as refined cereals, white bread, and pasta,” as well as an unhealthy “level of animal food consumption.”
Dr. Fuhrman argues that faithfully following the USDA Pyramid “will turn you into a mummy.” Other nutritionists point out that the Pyramid’s dietary regimen is very similar to the approach used by farmers to fatten pigs and other livestock. While well-informed people can honorably disagree as to the best dietary model to follow, it’s clear that the federal approach has been a public health disaster — and thus a raging success in terms of expanding the power of the state.
In addition to following a sound diet, nutritional supplements — vitamins and minerals, sometimes called “micronutrients” — are necessary because the food Americans consume “is being grown in increasingly nutritionally depleted soil,” contend the Millers. “In addition to vitamins and minerals, these micronutrients include various antioxidants, flavenoids, Omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q-10, and other herbal substances.”
British nutritionist Patrick Holford, author of The Optimum Nutrition Bible, seconds that advice. “Even if you eat as much organic and free range food as you possibly can, your diet will not match that of the last century’s,” he contends. “I eat as healthy a diet as I possibly can and I still take supplements,” including a daily multivitamin, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.”
Nutrients as Narcotics?
It is estimated that roughly half of the money spent by Americans on healthcare is invested in non-medical dietary supplements. Among those who make regular use of such nutritional aids is President Bush, whose daily intake includes a potent multivitamin and Omega-3. These supplements are not manufactured drugs, but nutrients found in whole natural foods. For decades, politically connected elements in the pharmaceutical industry have worked in concert with the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have nutritional supplements reclassified as “drugs,” thereby bringing them under the government’s regulatory control.
In 1991, the first President Bush signed into law the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, which authorized the FDA to make standardized nutrition labeling mandatory for all foods and develop “guidelines” for food health claims. Dietary supplements were included under this sweeping grant of power, which effectively gave the FDA the power of pre-approval of nutritional claims. It also, by implication, gave the FDA the power to ban supplements they deemed unacceptable.
Under director David Kessler — the embodiment of bureaucratic officiousness and sanctimony — the FDA began an authoritarian crackdown on doctors and other providers of nutritional supplements. One of the first targets was Dr. Jonathan Wright, a Harvard-educated M.D. from Kent, Washington. Dr. Wright had provoked the FDA in 1991 by filing a lawsuit to protest the agency’s unauthorized impoundment of his inventory of the vital amino acid L-tryptophan.
In May 1992, a heavily armed team of FDA agents, supplemented by local and state police, surrounded Dr. Wright’s clinic in Kent. Following the same script that would be used in raiding a narcotics den, the invaders kicked in the doors, drew their guns, and ordered terrified patients and staff to “freeze!” All of the clinic’s nutritional supplies, patient records, financial records, and computers were confiscated.
The official story was that Dr. Wright had been illicitly providing his patients with an injectable form of B vitamins, as well as a natural adrenal cortical extract called ACE (commonly used prior to the development of the synthetic cortisone) to treat immune disorders. The raid on Wright’s clinic was just one of dozens of paramilitary-style FDA raids targeting health food stores, holistic treatment centers, and other businesses dealing in nutritional supplements.
Not surprisingly, the arrogance and brutality displayed by the FDA prompted a public backlash. In 1994, Congress — with overwhelming public support — passed the Dietary Supplement, Health and Education Act (DSHEA), as a means of reining in the FDA and protecting the right of American consumers to buy and use natural nutritional supplements. The measure acknowledged that “nutrients are foods and presumed safe in the absence of contrary evidence,” summarizes Michael Ostrolenk of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Enactment of DSHEA was an all but unprecedented instance in which the federal government actually acted to protect individual liberties. During the intervening decade, however, proponents of totalitarian “healthcare,” and their allies in politically connected pharmaceutical corporations, have worked to circumvent DSHEA by taking their campaign to a “higher” venue — the UN and its economic counterpart, the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Codex Gambit
In early July, an obscure, Rome-based UN bureaucratic body called the Codex Alimentarius Commission approved a regulatory framework that would eventually phase out over-the-counter sale of food-based nutritional aids. The Codex Commission was established by the UN in 1961 as a joint project of two existing UN agencies — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The commission “establishes guidelines to harmonize trade in food,” explains one European account of the recent decision.
Prior to creation of the World Trade Organization a decade ago, the Codex Commission was an utterly toothless institution, providing job security for bureaucratic place-holders and abetting the slaughter of innocent trees to generate the paper it cluttered with worthless pronouncements. But with the WTO in place, the commission now has the means to enforce its rulings through the targeted use of trade sanctions. With this enforcement authority at its service, the Codex Commission expects all nations to “harmonize” their regulations governing dietary supplements with its new regulatory framework.
For the past eight years, the Codex Commission has been developing guidelines that “treat nutrients as toxic chemicals,” notes AAPS’s Ostrolenk. “The model that the Codex Commission is using in developing ‘upper limits’ (maximum potencies) for each vitamin and mineral formulation is based on a risk assessment model used to assess the health risks of toxic chemicals and environmental hazards rather than a nutritional science model.” This creates what Ostrolenk calls “a prior restraint approach to regulating nutritional supplements.”
At almost exactly the same time the Codex Commission handed down its ruling, the European Court of Justice upheld a Codex-derived ban on substances found in about 200 vitamin and mineral supplements. This ruling by the European Union equivalent to the Supreme Court validated an earlier EU edict “preventing the sale of certain vitamin and mineral supplements whose health benefits have not been proven,” reported the July 17 Times of London.
And just like the Codex Commission’s proposed global nutritional guidelines, the EU regulations involve a “prior restraint” approach to approving supplements. The directive, notes a press release from the European Court of Justice, “establishes a ‘positive list’ system under which only those products containing substances included on the lists … can be marketed in the [European] Community.” Health food retailers in Britain have appealed the ruling, seeking to add about 500 additional supplements to 112 on the approved list. “Once the list has been dealt with, the EU will explore the upper limits of vitamin dosage permissible and, later still, it is expected herbal supplements will come under scrutiny,” relates the Times.
All of this proceeds from a totalitarian assumption, namely: that which is not explicitly authorized by the state is forbidden. This doctrine is particularly pernicious when it is applied to matters of nutrition, since it literally gives the state control over the physical well-being of its subjects — particularly when such people live in countries blighted with socialized healthcare systems, as is uniformly the case in the EU.
Reflecting the pervasive statist bias of the European press, the Times denounced what it called the “low-level hypochondria and half-informed health consciousness [that have] helped turn dietary supplements into a huge and growing industry in Britain.” The paper also inveighed against the perils of what it calls “self-medication” — meaning the use of vitamins and minerals without the invasive regulatory presence of the benevolent state.
Since the 1970s, complained the periodical, Britons have become “a nation of health fanatics” and inveterate “pill poppers,” and “health nuts who won’t rely on five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to keep them fit.” Yet the same report acknowledges that a diet in harmony with the government’s recommendations is nutritionally inadequate.
“It can’t be denied that imported fruit and vegetables combined with our soil means that the fruit and vegetables we eat are not as nutritious as they once were,” admitted the Times. “Over the past half-century or so the vegetables on sale in Britain have 27% less iron and 33% less magnesium,” observes nutritionist Patrick Holford. “In the 1970s a British chicken had 9 grams of fat per 100 grams. Now it’s 23. Oranges bought in a supermarket could contain virtually no vitamin C.”
CAFTA and Codex
In brief, the Brits — like Americans — have a legitimate need for the supplements that the globalist nutrition Nazis would forbid. And health-conscious citizens of the United States, like their counterparts living in the European Union, may soon find nutritional decisions being taken out of their hands.
Like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, the recently enacted Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) contains a provision called the “Sanitary Phytosanitary Measures Agreement.” This section would require all signatory nations to “harmonize” their domestic food safety standards to those issued by the Codex Commission.
By enacting CAFTA, Congress has set the stage for nullification of DSHEA, the 1994 measure protecting a key element of health freedom — the right to consume vital nutritional supplements. CAFTA enhances the power of the WTO to enforce the decrees of the Codex Commission, thereby allowing UN-employed bureaucrats to decide what vitamins people can take — in effect, dictating to us how we will take care of our physical health.