Woodford Files – November 2010

The popularity of natural health care is increasing at a remarkable rate. According to a report by the University of Guelph: “The functional food, nutraceutical, and natural health products industries represent one of the fastest growing markets in the developed world. Social, demographic, and economic factors are changing our attitudes toward nutrition, as more people search for alternative approaches to health care. Sixty-five percent of people over the age of 55 use some form of daily vitamin or mineral supplement. With an increased interest in healthy living, Canadians are placing more emphasis on preventive measures as we move towards actively taking control of our own treatment.”

According to the Canadian Business Journal, “The organic food and natural health product industry contributes $3.5 billion annually to the Canadian economy, and that number is growing as Canadians incorporate these products into their daily lives.”

One would assume, then, that political support would increase in tandem with public support for natural health products. After all, people are embracing natural health products at their own expense and getting healthier as a result, thereby substantially reducing the burden on the taxpayer-funded health care system.

But what do we find instead? Believe it or not, there’s a war going on – a war between consumers who choose natural health care and a government that favours drug-based disease management. For example:

1) As we learn this month from Dr. Zoltan Rona, “Ontario will soon be stopping OHIP/Medicare coverage for vitamin D tests for all but certain individuals already suffering from proven vitamin D deficiency diseases (which means most of us relatively healthy adults no longer qualify for free vitamin D testing).” So even though vitamin D has been proven, time and again, to prevent a range of diseases, particularly here in the northern hemisphere, our politicians have decided it’s not worth funding a blood test which would help doctors determine if supplementary vitamin D is needed.

2) According to a report just released by Trueman Tuck, Bill C-36 quickly passed second reading before the Standing Committee on Health in Ottawa on October 26. He commented: “In an unbelievably orchestrated move, the Committee, with all four party support, completed a so-called clause by clause review of this terrible Bill in 13 minutes and sent it back for third vote in Parliament with the recommendation to pass it into law as soon as possible.” If this Bill should pass into law, its consequences will include severe restriction of our access to natural health products. To learn more about Trueman’s campaign to stop Bill C-36, see page 80.

3) In Helke Ferrie’s report on Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez this month, we learn that he has faced incredible regulatory obstacles thrown in front of him by the American government because he is curing cancer – not with drugs and surgery, but with nutritional medicine. Imagine the audacity.

What all of these examples point to are political regimes with little interest in genuine public health care, and a clear commitment to wasting taxpayer dollars on outdated and expensive medical practices. While government support for disease prevention (ie. tax deductible vitamins, tax exempt organics, etc.) is completely absent, billions of dollars are invested in disease management strategies that don’t cure anything.

The time is ripe for change, I think.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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