This week the US House of Representatives passed a 'food safety' bill that looks likely to force many small organic farmers out of business and thereby massively restrict the availability of local, organic produce. This is just one of an ongoing series of legislative measures worldwide that has been presented as being in the public interest but that, in reality, protects only the interests of the world's largest food, biotech and/or pharma companies.
The Winter issue of Get Fresh! magazine (which mailed out to subscribers this Wednesday, incidentally) carries an in-depth round-up of the most pressing issues affecting our health freedom, and what we can do about them. To ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information on this topic we went straight to one of the world's most vocal and respected health freedom campaigners - Dr Robert Verkerk, founder and executive director of Alliance for Natural Health International. Here is an excerpt from editor Sarah Best's interview with him.
Sarah Best: Let’s start with the big-picture view. What are the biggest threats to our health freedom right now? If 'the powers that be' are successful in all they are currently trying to achieve, what health freedoms that we take for granted now will we no longer have, say, five years down the line?
Dr Robert Verkerk: Unfortunately, it’s not scaremongering to say that our ability to care for our own health as we see fit is under the greatest threat in our history. The screws are being tightened in every direction.
We hear all the time from regulators – whether trading blocs like the EU or supranational organisations like Codex Alimentarius – that “the public must be protected” through comprehensive new legislation. However, when you actually look at the proposed or existing laws, it’s frighteningly obvious that the only people being protected are those in the big corporations. Their power and ability to reap enormous profits from our healthcare will be very safe indeed if they achieve their aims!
In short, the main problems in the EU come from EU-based legislation that will, amongst other things, (a) ban many thousands of herbal medicinal products from May 2011, (b) set unscientifically low limits on doses of vitamins and minerals in food supplements, and (c) ban any claim about the benefits of foods or food ingredients, unless pre-approved by EU authorities according to very narrow criteria that are often impossible to achieve.
These laws are already in place, but their provisions are in a ‘sleeping’ or transitional phase to give manufacturers and suppliers time to adjust to the radical changes. They will come fully into force after preset time periods – for example, the three legislative catastrophes I've just outlined are expected to become fully operational EU-wide in the narrow window between May 2011 and December 2012. We refer to this as “boiling the frog slowly” – the changes are made gradually and incrementally, so that people don’t notice what’s going on until it’s too late. We’re pretty much at that point now.