Herbal holocaust


?? Underground drug dealers may soon
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

      ??? In
      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

      ??? In
      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

      ??? The
      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.

      ??? The
      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.

      ??? It’s
      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.

      ??? Jean-Marc
      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:

      ??? “The
      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

      ??? Ominously,
      the banning of herbal supplements is following the same path that the banning
      of cannabis did in the thirties.

      ??? The
      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

      ??? In
      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

      ??? Once
      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.

      ??? Most
      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?



?? While
the introduction of new and prohibitive taxes on herbs and vitamins continues
in Canada and other nations around the world, ominous events are also occuring
on the international level.

International treaties like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are going to
be used to coerce countries to conform to worldwide bans on herbal supplements.
GATT and NAFTA are to be used as tools to enforce a set of international
standards on products called “Codex Alimentarius” (Latin for “food code”).

The Codex was originally created by the World Health Organization as
a set of standards which would be applied internationally, so that consumables
could be shipped from country to country without the problems posed
by having different standards in every nation. It is claimed that Codex
is meant only to be a recommended standard, but GATT and NAFTA both
include sections which refer back to the Codex, making it enforceable
by trade sanctions.3

If a country like Canada fails to comply with Codex, it will be isolated
from trade with other “family” countries of GATT and NAFTA, which accounts
for virtually every country on the planet, until it agrees to ban and restrict
the availability of all dietary supplements, including herbs and vitamins.
The threat of trade barriers has traditionally been reserved for countries
with ? among other things ? lenient drug policies. Consider
the recent trade barriers imposed by the French president Jacques Chirac
against Holland.

The incestuous dependence
of countries on international trade is being used to effectively negate
a country’s internal powers of democracy.

heal, drugs kill

If vitamins, herbs, and other dietary supplements are being banned or restricted
to protect public health, then it would make sense that such health foods
must pose an equal or greater health risk than the patented pharmaceutical
drugs which are fated to replace them.

Yet vitamins and herbs are the most risk-free treatments in the world.
When released to the general population, herbal treatments for particular
diseases have been shown to be both safer and more effective than their
synthetically produced pharmaceutical counterparts. Examples of the safety
and effectiveness of herbs over dietary supplements include marijuana as
a treatment for glaucoma, horsetail as a treatment for osteoporosis, and
saw palmetto as a treatment for benign prostate enlargement.

Pharmaceutical drug treatments for glaucoma can cause headaches, drug allergy,
metabolic acidosis, rashes, cataracts, hypotension, blood dyscrasia, kidney
stones, and ulcers. Similarly, pharmaceutical solutions to benign prostate
enlargement are approximately 60% less effective than saw palmetto, and
conventional treatments for osteoporosis increases the patient’s risk of
developing cancer.

As acclaimed natural
health practitioner Zoltan Rona notes, “thousands of people die each year
in North America as a direct result of prescription and over the counter
drugs, [while]the Atlanta Poison Control Centre does not even track herbal
adverse reactions because they are so rare. There have been no deaths directly
attributable to a herb in North America for the past 10 years.”

Even US government studies agree. In 1990, the US Accounting Office released
a Food and Drug Administration “Review of Postapproval Risks (1976-1985)”,
which found that of 198 approved pharmaceutical drugs released for sale
to the public, 102 had serious side effects and had to be either taken
off the market or labeled as dangerous.

Marijuana has been
denied to Canadian glaucoma victims since it was banned by the Narcotics
Control Act. Horsetail was banned from health food stores by the Canadian
Health Protection Branch within the last decade. Through the Codex Alimentarius,
the World Health Organization seeks to make other effective herbs, like
saw palmetto, equally unavailable.



      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.

      ??? Worse
      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
      prescription drugs.4

      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
can be sold for preventative or therapeutic use. Any product making a health
claim becomes a registered drug, controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.

2. No dietary supplement
sold as a food can exceed dosage or potency levels set by the commission.
This means that consumer access to dietary supplements will be limited
to the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) as a maximum limit for vitamins.
Supplements without an RDA would be illegal to sell because they would
all be considered drugs.

3. Codex standards
for dietary supplements would become the reference international standard
under GATT, and NAFTA. This means is that Canada and the US would have
no choice but to comply.

4. All new supplements
would automatically be banned unless they go through the Codex approval


      Canada loves Codex

      ??? The
      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”.

      ??? The
      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”.

      ??? It’s
      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.

      Manufacturing Ignorance

      ??? Since
      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

      Government Silence

      ??? Government
      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.

      ??? The
      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

      ??? When
      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.

      ??? Disease
      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.

      ??? With
      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.

      ??? A
      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.”

      ??? When
      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?

      ??? Canadians
      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
      to greed.



      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.

      • 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

      • Bloodroot

      • Brazilian Sassafras oil,

      • Ocotea Cymbarum oil

      • Calabar Bean

      • Calamus

      • Camphor Oil

      • Cannabis Sativa

      • Cascara Sagrada

      • Castor Bean

      • Catha Edulis

      • Chaparral

      • Coltsfoot

      • Common Celandine

      • Common Comfrey

      • Coonties Seeds,

      • Florida Arrowroot Seeds

      • Croton

      • Daphne, Mezereum

      • Deadly Nightshade

      • Devil Pepper

      • Dogbane

      • Ephedra

      • Euphorbia, Spurge

      • European Mandrake

      • European Mistletoe berries

      • European Pennyroyal Oil

      • Foxglove

      • Germander

      • Ginkgo Biloba

      • Seed and Fruit

      • Golden Ragwort

      • Gotu Kola

      • Hemlock

      • Henbane

      • Kenbane

      • Horse Chestnut

      • Jimson Weed, Thornapple

      • Lantana

      • Lily of the Valley

      • Lobelia, Indian tobacco

      • Micranthrum Oil

      • Narcissus, Daffodil, Jonquil

      • Opium Poppy

      • Poison Nut

      • Prickley Comfrey

      • Ragwort

      • Red Baneberry

      • Red Pokeweed

      • Russian Comfrey

      • Sage Oil

      • Savan Oil

      • Senna

      • Spanish Arrowroot

      • Spreading Dogbane,

      • Bitter Root

      • Strophanthus

      • Tansy Oil

      • Thuja, White Cedar

      • Tonka Bean

      • White Bryony

      • White Baneberry

      • Wormseed

      • Yellow Jessamine

      • Yohimbe

      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.


      • Pau D’Arco (taheebo)

      • Arginine

      • Ornithine

      • Lysine

      • Carnitine

      • Tyrosine

      • D,L-Phenylalanine

      • Goldenseal

      • Tryptophan

      • Kava Kava

      • Melatonin

      • DHEA

      • Pregnenolone

      • Stevia

      • Chromium Picolinate

      • Germanium

      • Zinc, Manganese and

      • anything else picolinate

      • Vitamin K

      • Cramp Bark

      • Boron

      • Selenomethione

      • Horsetail

      • Sodium Oxide Dismutase



      For More Info


      • 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


        1. Codex:
        International Threat to Health Freedom, John Hammell. Essay. 1996.

        2. HPB-Codex
        Connection Kills DHEA, Zoltan P. Rona. Essay. 1997.

        3. Will
        International Harmonization End Health Freedom?, Suzanne Harris. Essay.

        4. Archives
        of Internal Medicine, Journal. October 9, 1995.

        5. The
        Crime and Punishment of IG Farben, Joseph Borkin. New York: The Free Press,

        6. Canadian
        Health Protection Branch under fire, Laura Eggertson. Article in The Globe
        and Mail, May 30, 1997.