Where is the future of natural health?

Where as I cannot give you a definite answer on that, what I can tell you is that the natural health industry has seen a huge rise both in interest and sales in the past decade especially. But at the same time, as this increased interest is spreading, there is a growing concern that the freedom of natural health is threatened.

The truth is that most people today are coming around and seeing clearly for the first time that no matter what country you live in, the so called “health care” is looking increasingly, like nothing more than “sick care.”

Our health care systems do not promote prevention, instead they promote treatment, using various drugs and medical interventions. With this kind of approach, it is thus no wonder that many institutions and corporations are feeling more and more threatened by the area of natural health, which emphasizes prevention.

What do you think would happen if all the people in the world re-discovered that the secret to their health, optimal health that is, is in their diet? Where would the need for pills, surgeries and hospitals be? It is not hard to see, in one sense of the word – gone.

Thus, today I want to introduce you to a compelling documentary entitled “We Become Silent: The Last Days of Health Freedom” that looks deeper into the political side of natural health and what possibilities are facing natural health foods and supplements from a regulatory perspective. I also want to give you a small update of what is happening in countries like Canada and the US currently where natural health politics are concerned.

Politics and Natural Health

In the past few decades, natural health has been both suppressed by modern medicine and at the same time become a threat to modern medicine. Why? The answer is simple.

Ever since companies in the mid 1950′s began to experiment full force with synthetic chemicals that they called “medicines“, natural plants, herbs, foods and the like where no longer looked upon favorably, as they generally speaking, cannot be patented and with that said cannot bring in profit – at least no where as much profit, as synthetic and patented formulas can.

Once governing bodies like the FDA took over, then things got even more interesting. Many times natural products would be banned, where their questionable synthetic counterparts were approved.

In the 1990′s, as chronic diseases became the obvious threat for the inhabitants of developed world countries, more and more people where finding modern medicine unsatisfactory when it came down to healing and treatment. This number continues to climb to this day.

Hence, as natural health began to make a come back and captured the interest of more and more people, it also re-captured the interests of the governments and regulatory organizations.

In Canada for example, which in my opinion at this time has perhaps the best outlook when it comes to natural health compared to the United States, Europe, and many other countries, bill C-51 was brought forth. At first many people opposed this bill tremendously, but in my opinion it is probably one of the better alternatives out there to find a happy medium between responsible sales and distribution of natural health products and at the same time freedom of choice for the Canadian consumer.

Bill C-51 was brought forth by the Canadian government “to protect and promote the health and safety of the public and encourage accurate and consistent product representation by prohibiting and regulating certain activities in relation to foods, therapeutic products and cosmetics.” The bill follows “the Natural Health Product Regulations“, which were brought about in 2004, and which already recognize that natural health products are different from drugs, and that the evidence requirements for drugs are not appropriate for natural health products. That is probably my favorite part and the best line from which many other governments and regulating bodies could learn from.

Under Bill C-51, Canadians will continue to have access to natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality and which can easily be found and bought in their local health food store. For more information about this bill see here.

So that all sounds great, doesn’t it. Well, not all countries are that lucky. While Canada still does not have a “perfect” system in place for regulating natural health products, or one that everyone agrees with, or a “perfect” health care system for that matter, it is still way above many other countries. In both Europe and the US, greater bans are imposed on natural health products.

Europe has severely limited the sales and distribution of most natural health products, including herbs, dietary supplements and even vitamins and minerals. In most places in Europe in fact, one will find common vitamins and any other accepted supplements behind a pharmaceutical counter.

In the Unites States currently the story is perhaps the most interesting as it can go both ways. On the one hand there are the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA pulling strongly in the favor of pharmaceutical drugs and opposing the sales and distribution of most natural health supplements, and on the other there are informed citizens and natural health care practitioners who are fighting for their rights where natural health supplements and care is concerned.

In fact two of my most favorite vocal personalities on this are Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com and Dr. Joseph Mercola from Mercola.com. If you need to know where things stand with the FDA and natural health, both of them are heavily involved in up to date research of what is going on, on that end, especially Mike Adams, who writes fantastic articles, is not afraid to speak up and speak out, and is living out each day by bringing research and awareness about the power of natural health.

There is only one other more serious threat that remains for all of us, where natural products and health is concerned and that is, regardless of where we live, if the governments come together and try to enforce world-wide regulations where natural health is concerned. If it went according to Canada’s system, then others stand to benefit. However, if it goes according to the European or US systems, then we all have a lot to lose. That is where the Codex Alimentarius comes into play. More on this is covered in the documentary that I introduce you to below.

Regulation or Freedom for All

While I do not disagree that many questionable products are on the market today posing as “natural health” products, and while I am not naive to the fact that there are many with less than honorable intentions when it comes to capitalizing on various supplements, I am in no way in agreement that governments or organizations like the FDA, should take over and solely regulate these products, telling us what we can and cannot have access to.

The claims and arguments that come from medical and government officials in favor of modern medicine and the control of all supplements, is that many of these natural health products, whether they be “dietary aids”, “herbs” or even vitamins and minerals are not properly regulated, tested, safe or even effective.

These types of arguments are not entirely false, but in order to really appreciate this issue, we need to look at the bigger picture, which is, are they then telling us that if THEY were to control them, then these products would be safe and effective? Because I think one can quickly see how ridiculously false that would be. They cannot even properly handle the control, testing, safety and effectiveness of medical drugs and now they want to mettle in natural health supplements too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think so.

That argument just does not stand one bit of credibility with me. If you have researched or informed yourself on how many food additives alone came to be passed by the FDA since the 1980′s to this day, despite the known negative effects, then you too can imagine what chaos, favoritism and conspiracies exist behind closed doors. And don’t for one second think that would not happen to with respect to what gets approved or not approved when it comes to natural health supplements. Today profit has replaced the greater good of the people, and that is a fact no one can deny.

Ultimately this is about so much more than whether garlic pills, glucosamine, multivitamins or any other natural health supplements will be available to us freely. What it comes down to is case scenarios like this: say I or anyone of us get cancer and want to pursue natural therapy not chemo, or radiation or any synthetic drug treatments, which normally destroy the human body more than the cancer itself, then I should have freedom of choice and freely available natural therapy just like modern therapy. In a perfect world this would be the case. However, in a world governed by greed and money, those is high positions want to make sure that this does not become the case and in many instances currently does not give people the option to choose an alternate and natural route.

My personal stance on this, is let the products be available in some standardized forms and let the people regulate what they choose to take, because I do not believe we are doing any worse job at self-regulating these supplements then the big guys would. Sure, there are some naive and misinformed people out there, but they are just as likely to take controlled medication improperly as they are to take natural health products improperly. The truth is that today thanks to the Internet, the growing popularity of naturopathic doctors and the growing interest and demand in natural health, we have more resources than ever to get the proper information we need.

The main point is that we should have the freedom to choose what is right for us. We should have the right to choose how we decide to go about our own health. And if the governments and organizations really care about us and really want to help, then I encourage them to embrace both modern and natural health equally, and give us the option to choose what is right for us. Not pick for us what THEY think is the “right” choice, as if we were some incompetent beings who were unaware of how to make personal choices of what is in our best interest.

On a final note, even if, someone would argue that natural health products are used improperly and can be harmful, the harm that comes from some natural health supplements in many cases does not come close to the damage that medical drugs are doing to people’s bodies. The fact that we accept dangerous and debilitating side-effects as “normal” from drugs, but people get bent out of shape when some excessive vitamin C gives a few people a little diarrhea, is a whole other story.

We Become Silent: The Last Days of Health Freedom

I want to leave you for today with the following documentary movie on this topic, entitled “We Become Silent: The Last Days of Health Freedom.” This movie is a production from WellTv.com and it was produced in 2005 by Kevin P. Miller. It is narrated by Judith Dench (the famous “M” if you are a James Bond fan). It features some key political players from both sides of the coin where the regulation of natural health is concerned, and even features a great little addition by Mel Gibson.

The documentary also explains the dangers of Codex Alimentarius and regional trade treaties, like NAFTA, CAFTA and WTO.

In general however, I have to tell you the video is quite political – not usually my cup of tea. While most parts are very informative and worth learning about, I have to be honest, others I had a hard time following for their sheer political nature. Overall though, I highly recommend it to be seen by anyone who cares about natural health and wants to know more closely what is happening in the back drops of world governments, where the future of natural health is concerned.

My favorite part was the ending, where it leaves us with some powerful messages of what happens if personal choice becomes replaced by complacency. Let us thus not let others inform us of what our freedom should be. Let us not allow timeless and traditional herbs, with which we have evolved to be replaced by toxic cocktails. Let us remember that we each create our own reality, by the conscious or unconscious choices we make each day.

Our lives begin to end, the moment we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King