Saturday, November 15, 2008

Musings on Health Freedom in the Coming Period

There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding out there when it comes to the relationships among our right to truthful information about nutrients, and national and international regulation of speech about nutrients. Nutrient purveyors and distributors need to know what the regulations say about what they can and cannot say about nutrients. Those regulations are complicated and constitute significant barriers against commerce in nutrition.

Simply put, nutrients nourish the normal structure and function of the body. You cannot say that nutrients "treat, prevent, mitigate or cure" any disease. This is, of course, a restriction on free speech since sometimes nutrients may very well have powerful health benefits.

At one end of the spectrum we have the libertarian ideal of free and open discourse, exemplified to some degree by Justice O'Connor's stirring words in Thompson v. Western States Medical Center, decided on April 29, 2002 - 535 U.S. 357:

"If the First Amendment means anything, it means that regulating speech must be a last - not first - resort... We have previously rejected the notion that the Government has an interest in preventing the dissemination of truthful commercial information in order to prevent members of the public from making [even] bad decisions with the information... Even if the Government did argue that it had an interest in preventing misleading advertisements, this interest could be satisfied by the far less restrictive alternative of requiring ... a warning that the [product] had not undergone FDA testing and that its risks were unknown."

At the other end of the spectrum is, for example, the Codex Alimentarius (world food code) "Vitamin and Mineral Guideline" of 2005 that, in my opinion, seeks to treat nutrients as though they were industrial toxins or drugs, rather than foods. I've extensively researched the VMG and together with others developed what Dr. Rima E. Laibow termed "The Codex 2 Step" about how countries can opt out of Codex restrictions without WTO trade consequences.

My brief video about that is on the Ntural Solutions media site,

We prepared, for the Two Step, an alternative VMG that is friendly to nutrients and a model International Dietary Supplement Act that countries can adopt; it follows from the Alt VMG and is modeled after DSHEA with some of Dr. Paul's innovative legislative proposals included. These texts are available in the Codex eBook, from

Will, as the rumor has it, all vitamins be banned in the next couple years? Not if we can help it! But innovative, high potency products may likely be harder to find. Innovation drives markets while status quo bureaucracy and regulation stifle markets.

You can't see the VMG in isolation. It is part of a broad "new world order" agenda supportive of Big Pharma and Big Agra, implemented through the FDA's illegal policy of HARMonization of our freedoms with international regulations -- the North American Union may be more central to those plans right now than even Codex. We've petitioned the FDA to stop these bad policies, but, unlike "citizens petitions" from the likes of the recent GSK "petition" attacking weight control nutrients, our petitions, supported by hundreds of thousands of Americans, do not receive mass media or FDA attention.

We are, though, gaining influence, and last year, when Congress rushed through what I call the 'FDA Enabling Act' granting more power to that failed agency, strong public protests secured language in the bill exempting DSHEA products. We do not know what the new Administration will bring, but see my recent blog on the potential for innovative change during the Obama presidency.

There is no specific "proposal" now pending in Congress to ban nutrients outright.

Rather there is a continual wearing-away of availability through excess regulation. More toxins are allowed into the food chain. More non-organic ingredients are allowed in so-called USDA "organic" foods. More herbs and nutrients are forbidden at meaningful intake levels. The process goes on and on, in Codex committee meeting after meeting, in FDA regulation after regulation. It is a cumulative effect. And its result is to stifle a vibrant nutrient market.

And that is where the danger truly lies. That is why, with Health Freedom as well, "eternal vigilance" is the price of freedom. One place to keep that vigil is through where you can join the free Health Freedom eAlert [just click on the "Join Mailing List" link at the upper right corner] to receive urgent updates.

Remember, alone we are each just a "voice in the wilderness" of cyberspace, but together we are growing strong!

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