Why More Health Regulations Are Not What We Need

“There is no odour so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted… If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life…”           ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

When the Egyptians informed their president recently that they were fed up with 32 years of government tyranny which had been justified as protection from harm, we all watched in amazement. Few of us realize, though, that in North America and Europe, we are heading for “tyranny light” as our governments determinedly proceed to ensure that we are protected in every which way except the way we want.

On January 6, Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians commented in the Globe & Mail: [Here is] “what you don’t know about a deal you haven’t heard of,” namely the impending Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

In this new treaty, CETA requires harmonization of all regulatory bodies in all the governments involved (i.e. EU countries, US, Canada and Mexico), and eliminates the power of elected representatives (from federal MPs down to municipal governments) to make decisions within their areas. Since the CETA treaty was created to serve the needs of industry, it has been designed to legally prevent the citizens of all participating countries from raising any objections through their MPs or municipal councils. Thus, local politicians are unable to counteract or override the treaty’s requirements for harmonized control over everything that can be bought or sold.

Canada’s Environmental Law Association is appalled at this comprehensive blueprint for an anti-democratic new world order in which people are transformed from citizens to customers-serfs.


Meantime, governments in the E.U., U.S., and Canada are preparing for this “harmonization” full throttle. By the time the ink dries on the CETA treaty, everything it intends may already have happened. Preparations for full harmonization include the following:

1) A few weeks ago, Ottawa rammed into law Bill C-36 (the former C-52 and C-6) without mandatory public hearings and despite hundreds of thousands of protests. C-36 is defended by Ottawa as protection for Canadians from toxic substances, but in reality it bypasses all relevant constitutional safeguards. Its illegal arbitrary powers, open to nobody’s scrutiny, abolish due process and deregulate business for toxin producers, while pretending to go after polluters (see Shawn Buckley’s Sept. 2010 Vitality article).

2) Its counterpart in the U.S. (S-510), became law at the same time that C-36 did in Canada. The U.S. bill masqueraded as a food safety bill, but is actually potentially disastrous to organic foods.

3) The E.U., meanwhile, has “responded to rising concerns over adverse effects caused by herbal medicine”; without any evidence of harm, all indigenous, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbal medicines will be banned from the European marketplace, effective April 1st. (For more on this, see Dr. Verkerk’s February Vitality article.) In the House of Lords, there was a call to outlaw university courses on Chinese medicine.

Meanwhile, Ottawa began preparations for the return of Bill C-51 to “modernize” the Food and Drugs Act. Bill C-51 reinterprets the government’s legal “duty to care and serve the public interest” so that those quaint ideals no longer stand in the way of profits. Mike McBane, the national coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition, writing about drug safety in Canada on January 17 (“Drug Safety: Health Canada thanks you for not enquiring”), reported that the “technical consultations” on the “modernization” of regulations governing prescription drugs were to take place at closed-door meetings from January 19 to 21. That government-Big Pharma love-in focused on scrapping the precautionary principle altogether, and all new drugs will now be presumed safe without manufacturers’ proof. Health Canada announced that these modernizations are “grounded upon our understanding of what Canadians believe federal approval of new drugs should mean.”

Because of CETA plans and its requirements of harmonization between all these countries, the EU Directive’s limits on availability of all natural health products has to be extended to all participating countries. So, in Canada we have a deadline after which the Natural Health Products Directorate rules come into effect – on March 1st, at least half or more of the “unapproved” herbal medicines, vitamins, minerals, etc., become technically illegal. (Shawn Buckley is challenging this in federal court and will hopefully have this challenge registered before March 1 so it can proceed through its various stages in court. Simultaneously, Robert Verkerk will start his legal challenge, already registered in the U.K.) In both countries the deadlines are based on legally insupportable policies.)

Greg Schilhab, the editor of Nutrition & Mental Health (a publication started by the late Dr. Abram Hoffer) observed in the January 2011 issue: “We have been complacent thinking that just because something is natural and unpatentable it is the common inheritance of humanity and free for all. After all, harnessing nature to cure illness is as basic a human right as we can imagine. Nevertheless, the EU, in its feigned concern for its subjects’ health and safety, created the opening to grant sole ownership of diagnosis and treatment to the pharmaceutical giants.”


Well, the fight is on. In Canada, the Natural Health Products Protection Association ( is pursuing a plan for legal action, as are the Alliance for Natural Health ( and the European Benefyt Foundation in the U.K. – having won previously, when vitamins and minerals were slated to go off the market in the E.U. in August 2005, we may be guardedly optimistic about the outcome.

U.S. “Vitamin Lawyer” Jonathan Emord, who has won many cases against the FDA, has written a book about this global deception-fest entitled Global Censorship of Health Information, which also describes Canada’s role in detail (to order, call (202) 466-6937). Importantly, he outlines the actions that can and must be taken in order to secure our right to freedom of choice in medicine.


The 2009 report from the U.S. National Poison Data System was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology and, once again, shows that there were zero deaths reported by Americans using natural health products such as vitamins and minerals in 2009. On the other hand, The Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter published Canadian data in April 2010 showing that 26,061 adverse events were reported, of which 74.9% were considered serious (e.g. death). Of those 26,000 cases, 516 are supposedly connected to natural health products ( Seeing as how the U.S. population reported no adverse effects from natural health products during that time, and as it is known that more than 50% of Americans regularly take supplements (which indicates an amazing level of product safety), one wonders what this Canadian data is all about, especially since the range of natural health products available in the U.S. is enormous compared to the far fewer products available here. In both countries, reported adverse events occurred almost exclusively in hospitals (i.e. drug reactions). Furthermore, the FDA and the CDC have repeatedly stated that the reported adverse events reflect only 10% of the total cases occurring.

As for vaccines, we have an alarming statistic to ponder: In 1994, the U.S. recorded that 22,780 students in the school system were autistic. By 2009, that number had risen to 335,199 autistic children. Meanwhile, outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, and other childhood diseases continued to occur in almost-fully-vaccinated populations in North America and Europe, but the overall incidence decreased. Every attempt was made to blame Dr. Andrew Wakefield for an alleged increase in childhood illness, because more parents refused to vaccinate their kids after his research showed a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, World Health Organization statistics proved that – prior to the Wakefield scandal – the U.K. and Ireland reported 226,961 cases of measles, in spite of national vaccination programs. Yet, after the Wakefield scandal, there were only 3,079 cases reported. Evidently these diseases are neither influenced by vaccines nor by those who warn against their use (see my review of Wakefield’s book in this issue).

With drugs killing tens of thousands, and vaccines shrouded in medical mythology, let’s look at cancer – the quintessential environmental disease for which we have nobody but ourselves to blame. The science publication, Nature, reported on January 20 that cancer costs are continuing to climb at a steady 2% annually and will drive the cost of U.S. cancer care to $173 billion by 2020. Given that virtually all cancers are avoidable, and that the medical treatments used to arrest cancer growth temporarily are themselves carcinogens, we are locked into a system that is starting to appear somewhat ridiculous.

Enormous money is made from the “cancer industry” (as Ralph Moss calls it) and equally enormous profits are made from those substances that cause cancer. But this is a bad business plan for government health care programs. Ontario, for example, spends 50% of its annual budget on health care.

Curiously, governments push for all of those things that make people sick: drugs, vaccines, and environmental toxins. Imagine if human health were a top priority – how much money could be saved on healthcare by taxpayers?


We haven’t taken to the streets as the Egyptians did, but there is clear evidence of a slow, steady revolt against the hype and spin which promotes everything from prophylactic mastectomies for alleged genetic reasons, to every possible drug to control cholesterol, pre-hypertension, pre-diabetes, etc., while also promising one breakthrough after another – with more toxic drugs for new conditions we never knew we had.

Big Pharma is getting close to killing the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs. Fines used to be small for defrauding governments and for killing people with drugs marketed fraudulently. Settlements with governments and class action groups were less than a billion dollars in 1999. By 2009, this number rose to $5 billion per company. Such a dramatic change can only occur when there is scientific evidence to prove wrongdoing. Indeed, mainstream research is increasingly revealing the disturbing truths about pharmaceutical medicine. Consider that in December 2010, PLoS One analyzed the evidence that many prescription drugs – especially antidepressants – cause violent behaviour.  The famous website has been chronicling these for many years, and has shown that most of the inexplicable mass murders, such as the one in Montreal and the Columbine event, were all directly linked to antidepressant drugs.

Statin drugs, which were originally touted as so important that even children were to take them, have suddenly proven to be less than useless as a preventive measure (CBS, January 19, 2011). The prestigious Cochrane Library (which takes no money from Big Pharma) provided this analysis.

And the important American Journal of Public Health handed down an astounding indictment of the business practices of Big Pharma by showing that drugs were being sold for outrageous prices (90% higher than appropriate) to milk the system. Simultaneously, Stanford University Medical School published a study asserting that Big Pharma’s products “lack strong evidence that the drugs will actually help … [and] may cause serious side effects as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, and cost Americans billions of dollars.”

The January issue of Vanity Fair carried an excellent article analyzing Big Pharma and the damage its research and marketing practices cause to people all over the world. And the American Journal of Public Health came straight out and stated that currently permitted drug marketing practices undermine patient safety and public health. One of its authors was professor Lexchin of York University, an internationally-respected authority on pharmaceutical sleaze.

And now consider the fact that in spite of this growing evidence, Health Canada and the U.S. and E.U. governments are working feverishly to harmonize our regulatory systems to supposedly protect us by giving Big Pharma freedom to do as it pleases, while simultaneously removing access to those products the majority of us want (natural health products) because we found them to do what drugs can never do – prevent and heal our illnesses.


The rebellious demand for true accountability is also appearing in regard to environmental toxins. In the December 16, 2010 issue of Nature, the editorial was devoted to the “irresponsible policies” of governments such as Canada in regard to the mining and marketing of asbestos; it demanded that “governments must ban the extraction, processing, and use of materials that can cause serious disease.”

On the fluoride front of the war against environmental toxins, important victories were scored – all led by citizen groups. The FDA banned the use of a fluoride-based fumigant and the U.S. government finally decided to reduce water fluoridation. Of course, they did not admit that it is neurotoxic and causes cancer, but it’s a good start. The city of Calgary banned fluoride from its water supply on February 11, with city councillors voting 10 to 3 in favour of the ban.

The Mayo Clinic announced that “there really is no place for mercury in children.” This was in connection to dental amalgam, which finally appears to be teetering on the brink of extinction as the FDA reviews the evidence once again. On January 14, Harvard University’s Environmental Health Perspectives published data showing that 99% of all pregnant women in the U.S. test positive for multiple neurotoxic and carcinogenic substances, many banned for years. Basically all babies conceived start out swimming in a toxic soup. In all women tested, the concentrations were higher for most chemicals than considered tolerably safe.

The American Stroke Association announced at their annual conference in February of this year that diet soda and salt increase the risk of stroke by 61%. This was based on a large study involving 2,564 people. So, does this mean that not only are statin drugs out, but that decent food is considered a healthy preventive substitute?

On the “dirty electricity” and EMF front, things are happening at a rate that is difficult to keep up with. At the point when I started writing this article, the Swedish evidence that cell phones cause brain cancer and cell phone towers can also be harmful, held centre stage. Soon after, an e-mail informed me that Germany had just banned fluorescent light bulbs, because they cause cancer in mice and contain unacceptable amounts of mercury. Germany is also calling for a drastic reduction of CT scans, because the increased use of this diagnostic method is now known to correlate with the increase in cancer incidence from radiation.


Those who are working to bring back Bill C-51 and to force Europe and North America into the megalomaniacal fantasies of CETA, CODEX, and the European Directive are as out of touch with reality as the ousted Egyptian president. My hero, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, observed recently that:

“Capable, generous men do not create victims, they nurture victims,” and that his way of nurturing victims was by helping to “police perpetrators.”

Each one of us can help to expose and police those who benefit from sickness and environmental degradation while pretending to help us.


• For details on how Bill C-36 was passed into law and what is being down about this unconstitutional piece of legislation go to the website of the NHPPA and Google to find out what you can do to help.

• For an analysis of the unconstitutionality of C-36 (identical to the problems with the previous bills C-6 and C-52) download for free my 2008 book from my website.  The book is entitled What Part of No! Don’t They Understand? Rescuing Food and Medicine from Government Abuse – go to

• For a full overview of what is currently happening in the EU go to that is the Alliance for Natural Health run by Dr. Robert Verkerk who is organizing the legal challenge.  See his February 2011 article in Vitality.

•Mike McBane of the Canadian health Coalition wrote his article on Health Canada’s safety discussions behind closed doors in FAIR which is an organization that protects government whistleblowers who work to protect the public interest. This January 17, 2011 article is on the internet; Google the author’s name.

• Greg Schilhab is the editor of the Nutrition & Mental Health quarterly newsletter published by the International Schizophrenia Foundation, 16 Florence Street, Toronto, ON, M2N 1E9. To subscribe, send email to:

• The full report on adverse events from drugs etc. compiled by the US government for 2009 was published in Clinical Toxicology, vol. 48, p. 979 ff, 2010.  Free download from dnn/Portals/0/2009%20AR.pdf

• The Canadian data for 2009 were published in Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter vol. 20, issue 2, April 2010

• The issues concerning adverse events, how many people are killed by properly prescribed drugs etc and the history of this research are most efficiently accessed by Googling the name of the key researcher Dr. Barbara Starfield (of Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore).

• For the complete report on how many children became ill with which disease, despite vaccines, the autism statistics from 1994 through 2009 and more, as well as the WHO records, Google Dr. F. Edward Yazbak and/or “The Wakefield Factor.”

• Statistics on the increasing costs of cancer care were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Jan. 19/11, vol. 103, No 2.

The fines paid by pharmaceutical companies for fraudulently marketed or toxic drugs are published in Public Citizen, December 16, 2010.

The Mayo Clinic’s pediatric neurologist Dr. Suresh Kotagal’s statement that “there is no place for mercury in children” refereed to both vaccine preservatives and dental amalgam fillings.  He said this at the FDA hearings on dental amalgam toxicity in December 2010.  Read the whole report on the website of Dr. Mercola (Google his name) of January 28, 2011.

The fact that 99% of all pregnant women tested had above-limit stores of toxic chemicals, even those that were banned many years ago and are still circulating in water and soil, comes from Environmental Health Perspectives, January 14, 2011: Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004.

The increased risk of stroke from diet soda and salt intake was a report from their annual conference January 2011 and can be downloaded from their website (Google American Heart Association February 10 entries).

The sources for the abuses of health care systems by Big Pharma were published in the American Journal of Public Health on January 13 and refer back to a study in the UK’s Lancet in 1971 on the topic of “inverse care law” which was tested in 2010 with current pharmaceutical marketing practices.

The findings that statin drugs are not preventive of heart disease and stroke came from the Cochrane Library.  Summaries and links to these and related articles are available on

PLoS One stands for Public Library of Science One which is an on-line no-cost medical journal in which the leading people of any field publish, but only if they can declare that they receive no money from Big Pharma or that their research involves these companies. The SSRI/antidepressant connection to violence was in Volume 5, issue12, December 2010. For further information go to

For issues on cell phones and cancer see Debra Lee Davis, Disconnect – The Truth About Cell Phones and What the Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know, 2010.

For the information on the toxicity of energy-efficient light bulbs and Germany’s stance on them go to or e-mail You also will find a great deal of information on this topic by going to Wikipedia and Googling “Compact fluorescent lamp” which was last modified on February 17, 2011, and contains all the links to the relevant European Union sites.

The information on fluoride is available from the website of Fluoride Action Network.

Any questions? Contact Helke Ferrie at

Helke Ferrie is a medical science writer with a master's degree in physical anthropology. Her specialty lies in investigative research into ethical issues in medicine and the politics of health. She started her investigative journalism career in the mid-1990s, looking at issues of medicine and environment. She has been a regular contributor to Vitality Magazine ever since. Helke has also authored several books on various subjects including: "Ending Denial: The Lyme Disease Epidemic", "What Part of No! Don't They Understand: Rescuing Food and Medicine from Government Abuse", and "The Earth's Gift to Medicine". Here are links to some of her works: Book Review Find her book -Ending Denial Read her article: When governments abandon the public interest — look out for your own health Find her book -What Part of No! Don't They Understand Helke has also been a regular contributor for the Vitality Magazine. Links to few of her articles: The Tyranny of Government Protection Success Story - How I Recovered from Lyme Disease IN THE NEWS: Fluoride Dangers; Roundup Lawsuits; Lyme Disease Epidemic Helke Ferrie now lives a retired life and can be reached at

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