be peddling illicit Vitamin C and other dietary supplements, including
herbs. Police may soon have the authority to break down your door and search
your fridge for health food. Health enthusiasts could one day be rounded
up like prisoners of war and have their homes confiscated and their livelihood
destroyed, like marijuana users and growers.
War on Health
some countries, the War on Health has already begun. In Norway, Germany,
and Australia, Vitamin C and other health supplements are already illegal
in moderate doses, and weak tablets can only be bought over the counter
for, on average, 18 times the price we presently pay here in Canada. Norwegian
vitamin distributor John Hansen reported being chased by undercover agents
for his part in selling Vitamin C above the 200mg limit.1
South Africa, vitamin distributor Clive Buirski recently had his shipment
of vitamins seized by customs authorities intent on preventing them from
passing into the hands of alternative health practitioners.
In Canada too, the process is well underway.
In the past decade, the Health Protection Branch (HPB) has made over 100
health food supplements illegal, 23 of which are still available in US stores.
One of these “dangerous” herbal remedies still available in the United States
is DHEA, a derivative of wild yam extract which has been shown to promote
longevity and strengthen immune functioning. With less side-effects than
a cup of coffee, DHEA has been a controlled substance since December 19,
1996, under changes to legislation suggested by the HPB.2
If you say it’s good for you, it’s a drug
Food and Drug Act defines a “drug” as including any substance “for use in
the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder,
abnormal physical state, or the symptoms thereof, in man or animal.” This
incredibly broad definition can be interpreted to include vitamins like
Vitamin C, used to treat and prevent the disorder of scurvy, plants and
herbs with therapeutic uses like garlic, ginger and peppermint, and even
ordinary food and water, since these act to prevent the abnormal physical
states of dehydration of starvation.
HPB has decided that once someone claims that a vitamin or herb can have
a therapeutic benefit, it becomes a drug. This means that peppermint and
ginger tea would be considered a drug if the brand name or label suggests
that it could be used as digestive aid.
not even necessary for the person selling the herb to make a health claim
for the product. As long as someone, somewhere has claimed that the herb
or vitamin can have a health benefit, it is considered a drug. In fact,
some herbs have been banned from sale by the HPB simply because their names
indicate a possible therapeutic use. Eyebright, cramp bark and feverfew
have all been prohibited for sale in Canada, simply because their names
denote their traditional medicinal use.
Charron, Chief of the Drug and Environmental Health Inspection Division
of the HPB, warns of the penalties of being caught trying to sell any of
these herbs or vitamins that have been deemed “drugs” by the HPB:
penalties for trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking
are severe, the length of imprisonment ranging from a term not exceeding
eighteen months on summary conviction, to a term not exceeding ten years
on conviction by indictment.”
National Fees and International Treaties
the banning of herbal supplements is following the same path that the banning
of cannabis did in the thirties.
contemporary worldwide sanctions against cannabis had their genesis in the
United States’ Marijuana Tax Act, passed in 1937, which made the sale of
cannabis prohibitively expensive. This eventually developed into full-scale
prohibition, with international treaties enacted through the United Nations
forcing other member countries to comply. International pressure is one
of the main reasons cannabis is illegal in Canada today.
HPB introduces exorbitant
Canada, the process of using exorbitant taxes and fees to eliminate natural
medicines from the market is already in place, under the guise of “cost
Health Canada decides that a herb or vitamin is actually a drug, they require
that it receive a “Drug Identification Number” (DIN). Although this is little
more than a bureaucratic procedure which does nothing to guarantee the safety
or efficacy of the substance in question, receiving a DIN is a very expensive
A supplier must pay the HPB up to $1600
for testing and approval of each substance which requires a DIN, plus a
one-time fee of $750 and an additional annual fee of $500 simply for maintaining
DIN status. Each supplier of a DIN product must also pay $4500 for a three
day routine inspection for product compliance.
Each company that manufactures or imports
any DIN product must also pay to have all of its building sites inspected
and approved anually. If the substance is being manufactured in a foreign
country, the supplier must pay all transportation and accomodation costs
as well as the inspection fees. Thus it can easily cost over $4000 to licence
an importer’s location, and $6000 to licence a manufacturing lection.
companies in the natural health industry carry hundreds of products from
all over the world, meaning that they will soon be approached by a Health
Canada inspector, asking for tens of thousands of dollars in return for
permission to continue selling the herbs and vitamins which they already
sell. These massive taxes will push many natural health stores out of business,
and force the remainder to drastically raise the cost of their vitamins
and herbal medicines.
|International Plan to Ban?
heal, drugs kill
Pharmacy of Greed
Today, the world-wide health market is undergoing a product repolarization
opposed to the interests of big pharmaceutical business. People are buying
fewer pharmaceutical drugs and more health food, vitamins, and herbs. More
money is staying in the local economies of independently owned stores,
and less money is available to fuel the hunger of multinational corporations.
Health food stores are appearing on every corner. World Health Organization
studies show that even in 1985, 80% of the world and 60% of North Americans
used herbs as cures for common ailments on a regular basis.
yet for multinational pharmaceutical interests, health food also has a tendency
to make people sick less often, so the market is shrinking at the same time
as it is repolarizing. If people relied more often on pharmaceutical cures,
the market would be growing rather than shrinking. This is because 8 million
people are hospitalized each year for ailments caused by the ingestion of
Originally, Codex threatened to facilitate the movement of the market away
from pharmaceuticals by lowering international standards for natural products.
The lowering of international standards would mean that traditional healing
substances with a proven track record would be subject to even less scrutiny
than they already are. They could be sold without the expensive testing
procedures or licensing imposed on pharmaceuticals. Consequently, they
would be easily available and also cost less than pharmaceuticals. By the
law of supply and demand, they would continue to take more of the market
than the drugs produced by big business.
Is it a coincidence that large pharmaceutical companies have backed a proposal
to make Codex Alimentarius a vehicle for the destruction of the world-wide
health food industry?
Old Nazi Chemists & the HPB
??? IG Farben
was a German chemical company which, among other things, produced Zyclon
B, the poison gas used in WWII German death camps. They even operated their
own concentration camp during this period, where scientific experimentation
on human subjects were commonplace.5 IG Farben were also
the originators of heroin, methadone and nylon. Their nylon patents were
snatched up by Dupont after the war. Now the progeny of IG Farben threaten
the health of all people, world-wide.
When WWII ended, IG Farben was broken into three subsidiary companies as
a result of the Nuremburg War Trials. These companies are Bayer, BASF,
and Hoescht. At the October, 1996 meeting of Codex, in Bonn, Germany, IG
Farben’s subsidiary companies sponsored an amendment to restrict traditionally
proven remedies by subjecting them to the same ineffective and expensive
testing procedures as new pharmaceutical drugs.
The German proposal also included an amendment to ban health food, vitamins,
and herbs from being sold for therapeutic uses, striking a blow at the
very heart of the health-food philosophy. The proposal was accepted, with
an overwhelming majority of the delegates voting in favour of the amendment.
German Amendment to Codex
1. No dietary supplement
- American Mandrake, Mayapple
- American Mistletoe,
- False Mistletoe
- American Pennyroyal oil
- American Sassafras oil
- Autumn Crocus,
- Meadow Saffron
- Barberry root and its extract
- Betel Nut
- Bittersweet, Nightshade
- Brazilian Sassafras oil,
- Ocotea Cymbarum oil
- Calabar Bean
- Camphor Oil
- Cannabis Sativa
- Cascara Sagrada
- Castor Bean
- Catha Edulis
- Common Celandine
- Common Comfrey
- Coonties Seeds,
- Florida Arrowroot Seeds
- Daphne, Mezereum
- Deadly Nightshade
- Devil Pepper
- Euphorbia, Spurge
- European Mandrake
- European Mistletoe berries
- European Pennyroyal Oil
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Seed and Fruit
- Golden Ragwort
- Gotu Kola
- Horse Chestnut
- Jimson Weed, Thornapple
- Lily of the Valley
- Lobelia, Indian tobacco
- Micranthrum Oil
- Narcissus, Daffodil, Jonquil
- Opium Poppy
- Poison Nut
- Prickley Comfrey
- Red Baneberry
- Red Pokeweed
- Russian Comfrey
- Sage Oil
- Savan Oil
- Spanish Arrowroot
- Spreading Dogbane,
- Bitter Root
- Tansy Oil
- Thuja, White Cedar
- Tonka Bean
- White Bryony
- White Baneberry
- Yellow Jessamine
- Pau D’Arco (taheebo)
- Kava Kava
- Chromium Picolinate
- Zinc, Manganese and
- anything else picolinate
- Vitamin K
- Cramp Bark
- Sodium Oxide Dismutase
- Health Action Network
Society, 202 – 5262 Rumble St, Burnaby, BC, V5J 2B6; tel (604) 435-0512;
fax (604) 435-1561.
- Endangered Products
Campaign, tel (604) 435-0512 (Vancouver, BC)
- Dr Mary Cheney,
Health Canada’s delegate to the Codex Commission, tel (613) 957-0352
Canada loves Codex
Canadian Health Protection Branch, which has been facing extinction as the
result of recent government cutbacks, fully supports the Codex proposals,
which fall directly in line with their own efforts at self-preservation.
With Codex proposals firmly in place, the HPB could gain new life as an
enforcement agency for a whole new class of illegal substances, even while
raking in millions in licensing fees for the few substances they deem “market-worthy”.
Canadian delegate to Codex, Dr Mary Cheney of the HPB, didn’t just vote
for the German amendments to Codex, but went so far as to propose further
restrictive amendments. She proposed a “negative list” which would give
Codex delegates the power to fully prohibit any herb, vitamin, or health
food which they decide is “dangerous”.
surprising that there were any votes at all against these amendments, considering
that about 90% of Codex delegates are representatives from large international
pharmaceutical companies. Because of the Bonn conference, Codex has been
transformed into a weapon for the destruction of health food industries
everywhere. International agreements are delivering democracy firmly into
the hands of the corporate elite.
beginning their campaign to inform the public about Codex, John Hammell,
an American health activist, and Zoltan Rona, a Canadian health activist,
have been effectively ignored by an unresponsive media. Speaking engagements
and the internet have been their only available contact points with the
The HPB has been desperately
trying to keep Rona’s testimony from public awareness. So far he has been
blocked from speaking at medical conferences in Toronto and Calgary. Similarly,
John Hammell, while attempting to cross into Canada, was red-flagged at
customs, and delayed so as to be blocked from speaking at a public health
officials seem wary of the topic as well. When Codex is mentioned in the
press by government officials it is only mentioned indirectly, as the “health
food issue”, or as the “regulation issue”, buried deep under other unimportant
articles. In an attempt to diffuse the issue before the ?97 Canadian
federal election, the federal government announced that it would form an
“expert panel” to consider the “regulation issue”. The international implications
of Codex were not mentioned in the press release, leaving the average voter
unaware of the real issue.
likely goal of such tactics is to placate those sections of the public who
know something about Codex, without further spreading the message to everyone
else. As Robert McMaster of the Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom (CCHF)
notes, “there have twice been ?expert advisory committees’ on herbs,
and every time they met, they made a nice report, and then they did nothing.”
Half-hearted “government commissions” have long been the tool of politicians
seeking to postpone and defuse issues which they plan to do nothing about.
Witness the “comprehensive review” of our drug policy, promised as a consolation
for those opposed to the passage of the Controlled Drugs and Substances
Killing the Source
the Europeans set out to conquer North America, their arsenal included disease
and dependence. Because amerindian tribes were less resistant to European
disease, they died by the millions. Because amerindians became dependent
on goods brought from the New World, they forgot their traditional ways
of life, and were forced into trade. Skins for guns, metal kettles and knives.
The fur trade opened up North America once and for all to European settlers.
and dependence continue to be the tools by which multinational corporations
enslave the world’s populace. By placing themselves between Canadians and
the traditional healing arts, the multinational pharmaceutical companies
ensure that their hold over us remains strong. The gardener and naturopath,
the grower and the shaman, all are outlawed in a society that seeks to exchange
our bond with the earth for a bond of slavery.
a monopoly on health, the pharmaceutical companies will have the power to
extort the last penny from ailing seniors and sick children, while those
who can’t pay will be left to die. Who won’t be willing to sell everything
they have to save a loved one from disease? Synthetic cures won’t come cheap
when there’s no competition or alternative.
health food store owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has visions of
a Canada without medicare. “Right now they have plans to pad the system.
Because soon whenever someone wants to get Vitamin C, they will have to
go to a doctor for a prescription. All of those visits will be charged to
medicare, and sooner or later the medicare system will be bankrupt.”
the medicinally beneficial hemp plant was outlawed, North America lost a
versatile medicine, as well as an efficient means to produce paper, fabric,
and many other items. This resulted in the unchecked cutting of our forests,
and the massive use of pesticides to grow less hardy cotton. When all herbs
are outlawed, and our attachment to the earth is more fundamentally shaken,
what destruction will be unleashed upon the earth then?
need to learn a lesson from the prohibition of cannabis and act out against
the banning of other healing herbs, before the entire world is sacrificed
The following herbs
are among many considered by the Health Protection Branch to be harmful
substances which may be seized by Customs or wherever they are sold.
Over the past decade, the HPB has removed at least the following natural
supplements from Canadian health food stores. They are generally available
in the USA without prescription.
For More Info
International Threat to Health Freedom, John Hammell. Essay. 1996.
Connection Kills DHEA, Zoltan P. Rona. Essay. 1997.
International Harmonization End Health Freedom?, Suzanne Harris. Essay.
of Internal Medicine, Journal. October 9, 1995.
Crime and Punishment of IG Farben, Joseph Borkin. New York: The Free Press,
Health Protection Branch under fire, Laura Eggertson. Article in The Globe
and Mail, May 30, 1997.