The Year in Review 2009Helke Ferrie December 1, 2009
What 2009 Meant for the World of Alternative Medicine and Natural Health
Corruption, stupidity and greed are best viewed as dispassionately as one views household chores. Don’t get mad. Don’t get depressed. Just help clean up the mess. Forming the habit of calmly resisting the chaos that keeps sneaking up on us ensures a balance is maintained between the forces of darkness and creative humanity. The messes of 2009 were formidable.
For me, talking to hundreds of people at the recent Whole Life Expo was at times exhilarating because nobody appeared to feel as victimized as they had in past years. There is an air of empowerment dancing through the public psyche. Instead of worried citizens speaking of what ‘they out there’ are doing to jeopardize food, medicine and human rights, everybody was reporting on what they themselves were doing to expose lies and oppose that sneaking tyranny our government keeps offering under the guise of protection. Space only permits discussing four areas of interest to Vitality readers.
Bill C-6, intended to improve the current Hazardous Products Act, was opposed by several hundred thousand Canadians who read the fine print. Indeed, C-6 may yet go down in history as a successful teaching tool with which many Canadians learned about Constitutional rights and why legal safeguards are important. C-6 proposes the end of government as we know it. It defines “government” as part and parcel of whatever foreign government, foreign corporation, and international organization the Minister of Health chooses – without parliamentary or public debate [Section 2, (a) through (f); 32 (2), (a) through (c), and 36 (4)]. Astonishingly, the Opposition parties let this treasonous bill pass with hardly a murmur. Not one shouted: “Hey! Dude, what happened to our Constitution?”
So many people sent e-mails to the Senate, which was expected to pass C-6 without further ado, that the Senators reconsidered and initiated public hearings in November (see Vitality, October 2009). Lawyer Shawn Buckley, director of the Natural Health Products Protection Association in B.C., addressed the Senate committee, explaining how this bill abolishes constitutional safeguards, disregards our criminal code’s intent and procedures, and in the end protects us from nothing but delivers us unto the evils of arbitrary governmental abuse.
Those Senate hearings provided an especially poignant example of how easily one can violate the Golden Rule: Trade law expert C. T. Cherniak, of the international trade law firm Lang Michener, astonished the Senators when she informed them that the bill would basically wreck international trade – for us. She wondered: “What if [C-6-type legislation were to be] adopted by some of our trading partners?” How would we like it if we had to trade with a country run along the lines of the C-6 fantasy of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-benign Minister? The concern about preventing “harm to our people … should [also] be looking … at the perspective of our trading partners.”
Foreign manufacturers would never be foolish enough to trade with us or establish business branches here when the Canadian government (by law) is free to act arbitrarily, unpredictably, and lacks intelligible procedural dependability. Constitutional safeguards must be protected not only for us, but be assumed to extend to those who wish to trade with us. C-6 lacks reciprocity – this we learned in kindergarten.
Now it’s up to the Senators to pass, change or reject C-6. Whatever they do, if they don’t do it right, many Canadians stand ready to voice their objections once again, loud and clear. Our governmental institutions are maintained by the exercise of the democratic right to ask questions and refuse consent. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Dr. Richard Schabas, medical officer of Health for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, was quoted in The Toronto Star on November 20, observing that this swine flu is in fact, “one-tenth as lethal as the seasonal flu.” He went on to deplore the “media consensus that some apocalyptic plague is lurking somewhere – in a Chinese poultry farm or an African jungle – just itching to swoop down on humanity. All such fears have proven false in the past and are unlikely to be warranted in the future… [meanwhile, health officials] sound like surfers sitting on a beach, watching the waves go in and out and arguing the next one will be better.” In the U.S., investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson of CBS wondered why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were telling health officials to stop testing for H1N1. She learned that only one out of a hundred flu cases was in fact H1N1. She exposed the hype on prime time.
The former vaccine expert at the FDA, Dr. Anthony Morris, stated categorically, “There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza… the producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway” – and our governments pay them for this worthless stuff with our tax dollars. The last time we were served up a hoax like this was 1973, when the U.S. forked out $3.5 billion for that year’s flavour of swine flu, and ended up with more than 4,000 seriously vaccine damaged citizens (see Chopra’s book for the Canadian part of that mess).
Never mind these disasters, Big Pharma is always ready to serve – depend on it! Baxter filed its vaccine patent (patent 20090060950A1) for this year’s swine flu, one year before its first outbreak in Mexico. Medimmune filed theirs back in 2008 (U.S. patent 20081006921 A1), and Novartis was ready to protect us on Nov. 6, 2006 (U.S. patent 20090047353).
The current incarnation of the flu scare suggested a liability nightmare to some insurance companies in Europe; Medisec in Ireland notified doctors that they should not use the H1N1 vaccine. The toxic ingredients became more generally known, too: GlaxoSmithKline’s H1N1 vaccine contains the patented AS03 adjuvant system that includes an oil, squalene, able to cause serious immune dysfunction and has been associated with the onset of Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s (ALS) diseases. Among the other ingredients are neurotoxins and carcinogens such as formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum and potassium chloride (used in executions by lethal injection). This information is readily available from the manufacturer.
Instead of doing what several European countries did, namely refuse to let this vaccine loose on its populations, Canada simply exempted the drug companies from all liability – in full knowledge that these vaccines were never tested for safety in humans. This contravenes the rules set out in the current Food and Drugs Act.
Although Big Pharma got off the hook, the government’s liability is less easily disposed of. As the facts began to emerge, harmful batches of vaccine had to be withdrawn, and the British Medical Journal announced on September 21 that the best protection against any flu is hand washing.
Politically, public anger began to have an effect. The federal Minister of Health, Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, sent out a formal letter on October 7 stating, “It is important to note that the Government of Canada does not have a mandatory vaccination policy for Canadians and will not be seeking any implementation of such a policy with regard to H1N1 vaccine.”
What patents are already hidden in regulatory file applications for diseases that have not yet struck and which already keep PR firms busy formulating scary information at just the right pitch? And just how stupid do they think we will remain?
The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established by the United Nations in the 1960s to regulate foods, drugs, nutritional supplements and packaging for international trade through established guidelines. Heavily influenced since the 1970s by food and pharmaceutical corporations, these ‘guidelines’ totally favour their interests rather than public health and human nutrition. The science cited by Codex nutritional guidelines is corporate-generated to the point of absurdity. (Search Vitality’s website for Codex articles since 2005.)
Britain’s Alliance for Natural Health is the most reliable source on Codex. Its director, Dr. Robert Verkerk, who has been extremely successful through legal action on national and international levels to protect food and supplements from Codex and its corporate allies, recently brought me up-to-date. Dr. Verkerk reminded me that of the 300-plus Codex guidelines, none of which are actually compulsory for any member nation, only one has to do with nutritional supplements, which Codex guidelines treat with hostility. (Canada is a Codex member and its nutritional supplement policy supports Codex.)
The CDC recently published an amazing study in Emerging Infectious Diseases (Vol. 5, No 5, September/October 2009). According to the study, food-borne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths annually in the U.S. The toxicity comparisons were especially interesting: pharmaceutical drugs are acknowledged to be about 100,000 times more toxic than food, which causes all the morbidity and mortality mentioned above. Food itself is 10,000 times more toxic than nutritional supplements – which are not toxic at all.
Why is food so dangerous to health and survival? Because, Dr. Verkerk explained, the more international trade expands to involve foods, the more there is a need for stabilizers and preservatives, which are toxic and also degrade the nutrient value of such preserved foods. The more this trade diversifies, and the local food and supplement production is endangered, the more government regulation is needed, as well.
Needless to say, it is the multinational corporations that wish to use Codex guidelines to increase their control over food and drugs and eliminate competition from natural medicine. Dr. Verkerk’s alliance took repeated, successful legal actions against Codex guidelines and individual nations often outright rejected Codex’s creeping tyranny. For example, several Codex member countries recently responded to the announcement that GMOs are good for us by outlawing them.
The most powerful opposition to this regulatory trickery, he said, comes from those countries that not too long ago were under Communist dictatorships. They know what it is like to live under government “protection.”
The Alliance for Natural Health is now following up its successes in the courts by publishing uncomfortable facts in the mainstream scientific journals. This is possible because many scientists and journal editors are infuriated by the blatant abuse of verifiable scientific research methodology.
My favourite was the beta-carotene revelation: Dr. Verkerk’s organization systematically examined the nutrient content of standard foods eaten by most people. A couple of large carrots, eaten raw, vastly exceeds the maximum limit of daily beta-carotene intake as decreed by Codex nutritional guidelines! The silliness is becoming overwhelming.
As for toxic substances such as pesticides, which Codex also advises government regulators are just fine for us, the courts once again took a very dim view of such assurances. The French Supreme Court ruled in October that Monsanto lied about its flagship product, Roundup, finding that contrary to the manufacturer’s information, this herbicide is toxic and not environmentally benign. The effect of this ruling on sales and potential liability cases can be expected to be punishing.
Dr. Verkerk’s advice was that individual action within one’s own country is the key to dissolving this immense smokescreen. Indeed, I met many Dorothies at the Expo who had decided to inform the Wizard of Oz that he was just a big bully.
One of the biggest scandals in the history of medicine is the denial of Lyme disease, especially in its chronic form. The controversy arose when the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) denied the existence of chronic Lyme disease. This was not based on published science or clinical experience, but was due to financial conflicts of interest pertaining to vaccine development. Last year, an anti-trust investigation by the Attorney General of Connecticut forced the IDSA to set aside their scientifically flawed guidelines.
The CDC estimates that about 200,000 people are infected with Lyme in North America annually. Yet Canada’s medical licensing bodies maintain their allegiance to those defunct IDSA Lyme guidelines. In January, the Lyme Action Group of Ontario approached the Ontario government asking for action in accordance with the medical information available worldwide. In August, a petition with some 1,400 signatures was formally tabled in the Ontario Legislature. Next to nothing has been done to educate the public on prevention, to instruct doctors on treatment, and provincial governments turn a blind-eye to the nationwide prosecution of those doctors who dare to diagnose and treat this disease, especially in its chronic form.
In the U.S., where these shenanigans were going on, too, 15 jurisdictions passed protective legislation or regulations, and the federal government has a bill pending to protect doctors treating chronic Lyme throughout the U.S. Recently, when the Lyme Action Group of Ontario and Dr. Jozef Krop testified on this situation before Ontario’s Standing Committee on Government Policy, members of all three parties in Ontario stated that such action is urgently needed here, too. A recent W5 program explored this unfolding disaster very well.
Worst of all, the Canadian Blood Services takes the view that the Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi (sibling to several other infectious spirochetes, such as syphilis, for which our blood supply is routinely tested), is supposedly only a “theoretical risk.” All other industrialized countries take precautions against the Lyme pathogen and its co-infections in their blood supplies, but not Canada.
I am editor of the forthcoming book, Ending Denial – The Lyme Disease Epidemic: Canada’s Public Health Disaster, in which medical scientists, Lyme-literate doctors, health lawyers, politicians and patients tell the true Canadian Lyme story. The book not only provides solutions, but also contains those international treatment protocols that actually work.
All this clearly indicates that 2010 will be at least as interesting as 2009 was, and that we all have our work cut out for us. If we continue to pursue the spirit of informed rebellion, one thing is sure to happen one day – we might actually forge a true democracy.
Chopra, Shiv. Corrupt to the Core – Memoirs of A Health Canada Scientist, Kos 2009
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: <a href="http://old.vitalitymagazine.com/book-reviews/review/the-earths-gift-to-medicine/">Book Review</a> Find her book -<a href="https://www.amazon.ca/Ending-Denial-Updated-2013-Epidemic/dp/0988243733">Ending Denial</a> Read her article: <a href="https://thebovine.wordpress.com/tag/helkie-ferrie/">When governments abandon the public interest — look out for your own health</a> Find her book -<a href="https://www.riverwashbooks.com/product/17162/What-Part-of-No-Dont-They-Understand-Rescuing-Food-and-Medicine-from-Government-Abuse---a-Manifesto-Ferrie-Helkie">What Part of No! Don't They Understand</a> Helke has also been a regular contributor for the Vitality Magazine. Links to few of her articles: <a href="https://vitalitymagazine.com/article/the-tyranny-of-government-protection/">The Tyranny of Government Protection</a> <a href="https://vitalitymagazine.com/article/success-story-how-i-recovered-from-lyme-disease-and-hypothyroidism/">Success Story - How I Recovered from Lyme Disease</a> <a href="https://vitalitymagazine.com/article/in-the-news-fluoride-dangers-roundup-lawsuits-and-the-lyme-disease-epidemic/">IN THE NEWS: Fluoride Dangers; Roundup Lawsuits; Lyme Disease Epidemic</a> Helke Ferrie now lives a retired life and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org