In 2002 my magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You first learned about plans within the European Union to radically restrict natural medicine across all member countries, starting with laws that would create a very low ceiling of ‘safe upper limits’ in vitamins.
Although the laws were ostensibly to create a level playing field within the European supplement market, the proposals bore the heavy hand of Big Pharma.
At the time, the solution appeared simple. The majority of people in the UK use some form of natural medicine. All we needed to do was to band together, whip up a national protest, and the laws would be stopped in their tracks.
In early 2003, we invited all the heads of the largest vitamin companies and representatives from all the leading natural medicine organizations – homeopathy, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and many others – to a meeting in central London.
Many of the organizations never showed up. Of the 50 or so who did, many groups felt that our concerns were alarmist. Others welcomed the new moves as good for business. A few attempting to fight the legislation were busiest fighting each other.
No group seemed able to see the bigger picture. Each organization was mainly concerned with whether their own business was under fire. If it wasn’t – and at the time it wasn’t for many of the disciplines – they weren’t interested. Not my problem.
Big Pharma had big plans all those years ago. Unless there is sufficient opposition, within the next year or two, laws will come into effect in Europe that will drastically restrict the access of all Europeans to high-dose vitamins and herbal medicine.
Most therapeutic herbal medicine, plus forms that are new to the West, such as Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese herbal medicine, will effectively be banned. And although homeopathy has emerged unscathed from future EU law, the British Medical Association is working to eliminate funding for NHS homeopathic hospitals.
This pogrom will not end in Europe. The near identical international laws that have been drafted within the United Nations suggest that a well organized and concerted effort is under foot to finish off any alternative to orthodox medicine.
The plan is to watch Europe closely to assess the level of consumer protest. Thus far, that protest has been minimal. The two consumer groups that have maintained any sort of consistent attack – the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) and Consumers for Health Choice who have challenged the law and lobbied parliament are starved of funds.
The individual organizations to this day remain isolationist. Not my problem.
This attitude reminds me a bit of the speech given by Pasto Martin Miemoller about the passivity of many German groups to the purging by the Nazis of group after group.
First they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me for me
and then there was no one left to speak out for me.
For all of us wishing to maintain alternatives to drug-based orthodox medicine, these laws are all of our problem, and every last one of us has an obligation to speak up now.
Here’s what you can do:
Right now, in the absence of collective consumer action, our best hopes in the UK rest with the CHC and the ANH. Both need funds desperately in order to continue their fight.
Alliance for Natural Health, The Atrium, Curtis Road, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1XA. Tel: 01306 646 600. Website: www.anhcampaign.org
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