Share information and work with us at the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) so that you can connect the dots, and see why there has never been a more important time for action.
Click here if your computer is wired for sound and you can make the time to listen to a lecture on the subject Natural Health at Risk given Dr Robert Verkerk on 17th June 2008 for Changing Times. It will help you understand why our health choices—particularly natural ones—are so severely threatened.
Europe is becoming the central platform for global harmonisation of food laws relating to natural health. The ANH-Intl is based in Europe so we are right at the cutting edge. Much of the legal infrastructure that is set to cause major problems downstream has been in place for some time—and is finally beginning to be felt, as key parts of the European regulations and directives are now being implemented.
The EU framework has started to really bite between 2010 and 2011 when—although pro-natural health interests like us have continued to positively influence the process—we have seen:
There are a number of Directives and Regulations in the EU, many of which are in the process of coming into force, that are particularly problematic. Some of the key pieces of European legislation—or shortly to be implemented legislation—along with ANH-Intl's key concerns about them and responses, are detailed in a series of leaflets [issued October 2012] and one-page ANH-Intl Briefing Papers that can be downloaded below:
2012 Downloadable summary information leaflets:
The copius scientific problems associated with the proposed approaches to nutrient risk analysis have now been detailed and elaborated in two scientific papers published in the leading peer-reviewed journal, Toxicology
To read the papers click on the titles below:
You have a fundamental right to the information that will help you to understand what you are eating and drinking; to give you the ability to make informed choices; and ultimately, to have control over your health and wellbeing.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to write to their MEPs to try to convince them that a veto of the health claims proposal was necessary. So what happens next, you might ask? Watch this space, and we will let you know what our next move should be!
There are two key actions that you can help with, one intended for European consumers, the other for food supplement companies. Please sign up to the following, accordingly:
Consumers, please sign the petition (14,899 at the time of writing) at: www.sup.nl/petition
Food supplement companies, please join the signatory list (344 companies at the time of writing) established by the European Health Claims Alliance: www.healthclaimsletter.org
The Canadian government, against the wishes of its its people and its Parliament, brought in a licensing system for 'natural health products' in 2004 which is so onerous, it has already caused a significant loss of products from health stores. It is estimated that some 20,000 products have already been lost.
This system was forced through after a huge public outcry and demonstration of concern about unnecessary restrictions on natural health products in 1997, which culminated in the 'third category' for natural products, keeping them outside of both the food and drugs categories.
But, following the imposition of the Natural Health Products Regulations of 2004, things have been steadily getting worse. Like the European model—the worst of it has yet to be felt—because there is a huge backlog of products being considered for licensing that can legally be sold until the applications are evaluated.
The Canadians have been desperate to get extremely restrictive laws through any which way possible, but thanks to the work of some very concerned citizens Bills C-51, C-52 and C-6 have been abolished. Bill C-36 has just been pushed through and is almost identical to Bill C-52 and Bill C-6.
Click here for the Red Code alert about Bill C-6, and its call for immediate action by Canadians.
In A Question of Sovereignty, international award winning Writer/Director Kevin P. Miller (GENERATION RX, WE BECOME SILENT) exposes how Canadians are being stripped of their personal sovereignty by government agencies — and how free trade deals and other international agreements imperil Canadian democracy.
Quietly, over a period of many years, unconstitutional legislation encompassed in Bills C-51, C-6, and the current Bill C-36 have placed not only basic civil liberties and freedoms at risk, but Canada's national sovereignty as well. The film shares how entangling alliances with groups like the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, Codex Alimentarius, the United States and even multinational corporate interests have become so powerful that they literally threaten to make elected officials in Parliament irrelevant.
A QUESTION OF SOVEREIGNTY discusses why this dramatic shift in the balance of power puts the nation and its people at a vital crossroad early in the 21st century — and why some of the past giants of Canadian politics may hold the answers to Canada's future.
US citizens along with the natural products industry came together in a unique effort back in 1994. This mass reaction to the Food and Drug Administration’s attempt to medicalise dietary supplements was simply not acceptable to Americans. Emerging from this people’s revolution, which saw a higher level of citizen protest in Congress than any other issue in US history, was the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This US law not only maintained dietary supplements as a category of food it also prevented their adulteration and allowed for specific structure/function claims linked to disease risk reduction.
Since DSHEA there has been a massive growth of the US natural health product market. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that US regulators, probably in cahoots with their corporate allies in the pharmaceutical industry, are desperate to put the brakes on the dietary supplement industry. There is plenty of evidence of attempts to pass laws that are congruent with the draconian laws of Europe.
There has never been a more important time to defend the US natural products base, particularly given that it acts as the research and development arm for the rest of the world.
Find out all about that’s going on via the ANH-USA website
New Zealand citizens have being fighting for the rights to not be forced into a medicalised model, that was imposed in nearby Australia back in 1990, and continues to strangle more and more of the natural health industry.
In the front lines of this work, is ANH-Intl's affiliate, the New Zealand Health Trust.
Although 'Trans-Tasman harmonisation' has recently been beaten in the New Zealand parliament, we know from experience in other parts of the world, such as Europe and Canada, the pressure won't go away. Vigilance is one of the most important requirements for anyone concerned about maintaining their health freedom and freedom of choice in healthcare.
We'll keep you posted on new developments—and those wanting to keep a finger on the NZ pulse—please bookmark the NZ Health Trust website.
Read ANH-Intl's consultation response.
Clinical nutrition, nutritional therapy and plain old good nutritional management have long included using dosages of vitamins and minerals that are substantially higher than those typically found in the average, contemporary diet.
Our bodies' requirement for higher dose supplements
The following set of precepts were formulated and published upon the founding of the British Society for Nutritional Medicine, now the British Society for Ecological Medicine, in June 1984  and modified in the first issue of this journal in 1990, as follows.
The EU is in the process of developing a regime to control the maximum permitted levels (MPLs) of food supplements EU-wide. The levels are likely to be unnecessarily low—being based on flawed science—an they could prevent you obtaining sufficient nutrients to allow you to manage your health. For example, the level of beta-carotene could be less than that found in just two carrots, and that for selenium, less than the amount found in two brazil nuts.
Can you let this happen?
The beta-carotene content of just one large (70 g) raw carrot provides around 7.2 mg of beta-carotene. This amount of beta-carotene might exceed the maximum permitted level (MPL) allowed in supplements across Europe as of late 2010, when MPLs find their way into EU law.
How the European institutions are responding?
Find out how the Irish Association for Health Stores petition is playing a critical role in bringing sense, good science and democracy to the process. In January 2009, the European Parliament's Petitions Committee voted to keep the petition open and referred it to the key parliamentary group dealing with matters of health and consumer protection.
Markos Kyprianou, the (unelected) European Commissioner responsible for health and consumer protection, made clear in January 2007 that the European Commission does not wish to allow sale of therapeutically active food supplements.
So, while many countries in Europe have regulated maximum levels of vitamins and minerals via multiples of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is in the late stages of planning the methods it will use to develop EU-wide, harmonised, maximum permitted levels for food supplements and fortified foods. This process will be instigated legally through an implementing measure of the Food Supplements Directive.
A harmonised European market for maximum (and minimum) dosages will no doubt be of considerable benefit to large corporations, especially the pharmaceutical companies that dominate the low-dose end of the supplement market, as they will no longer need to reformulate products for specific EU markets.
Low doses EU-wide are also regarded by many regulators as a useful end-point for meeting the Food Supplements Directive’s requirements for a “high level of consumer protection”. Nutritional therapists may, of course, take a different view, since they are much more likely to recognise the two-tailed nature of risks associated with nutrients. At very low levels of intake there are risks of inadequacy (that go well beyond simply the risk of developing deficiency diseases, but of course significantly impact the risk of chronic and even infectious diseases). At high levels of intake of some nutrient forms, there are, of course, potential risks associated with excessive intake. This may be particularly true of certain fat soluble vitamins, especially synthetic, isolated forms, and also some minerals, that have a somewhat narrow beneficial and therapeutic dose range (e.g. selenium, vanadium). Complicating matters even further, practitioners are also much more cognisant of the differences between short and long-term exposure. Short-term, high dose therapy with certain nutrients may in fact be highly beneficial (e.g., B vitamins), while the risks associated with long-term exposure, which are generally mild, transient and fully reversible, unlike many side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs, are well recognised.
So how is the EU looking to take into account these differing requirements? An obvious approach, which has never been seriously contemplated by the EU authorities, is to develop a bespoke regime for practitioners—a third category, that exists between food and medicines. Whether the absence of a ‘third category’ has been the result of pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, inadequate pressure from practitioners and their associations, a requirement for simplification of the legal regimes by the regulators, or a combination of these elements, is anybody’s guess. But, all the evidence thus far suggests that a system is in development that utilises the formulaic, one-size-its-all approach already laid out in Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive, which is likely to result in extremely low daily levels of many vitamins and minerals.
The Federal Institute of Risk Assessment in Germany (the Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, or BfR) has already employed their interpretation of Article 5 to determine maximum permitted levels (MPLs) and the results emphasise the concerns of many objective scientists.
Some proposed MPLs (daily doses) for food supplements, as determined by the BfR, are listed below:
Putting the BfR values into perspective....
[the above determinations have been made using the USDA National Nutrient Database]
Fortunately, there have been many objections to the BfR approach to risk assessment and management for the determination of MPLs, but other options that are under consideration still, in the main, reveal MPLs, and in several important cases even Safe Upper Levels (SULs) for most vitamins and minerals that are well beneath the therapeutic range. A dramatic reminder of how cock-eyed these risk-based assessments are is given by comparing MPLs with amounts found in our food. For example, and astonishingly, the beta-carotene in two carrots or the selenium in one Brazil nut will typically exceed the MPLs for beta-carotene and selenium respectively.
Maximum Permitted Levels, or even SULs, insinuate that higher levels may expose consumers to risk, so most people assume that therapeutic ranges would typically be risky. Several decades of clinical nutritional practice demonstrates that the therapeutic range, just like the beta-carotene in ten carrots, or a handful of brazil nuts, poses no risk and is, as the term ‘therapeutic’ would imply, beneficial to health.
The ANH-Intl has submitted detailed submissions to European Commission, EFSA and the UK Food Standards Agency, drawing attention to some of the limitations of the proposed methodologies and suggesting alternatives, that are based on rational science. It is of paramount importance that, in determining MPLs, due account is given to other factors and processes. These include:
Just imagine what would happen if we all just followed the 10 simple behaviours listed below.
24th April 2013 Spring is here – are you becoming more physically active?
10th April 2013 What did we learn at Natural and Organic Products Europe 2013?
10th April 2013 ANH-Intl Feature: Healthcare systems are broken and desperately need fixing
27th March 2013 The DorkingShift 2013: a unique event to help you set new goals for health and vitality
20th March 2013 ANH Feature: Healthy death – leaving a sustainable legacy
13th March 2013 ANH-INTL FEATURE: Big Pharma trade association takeover in Europe
6th March 2013 ANH-Intl Feature: When surviving childhood cancer is only the start of the journey
6th March 2013 ‘Balance of competence’ or how EU over-reach threatens your freedom of choice
27th Febraury 2013 Epic fail: The verdict on the US healthcare system
6th Febraury 2013 Does the NHS do more harm than good?
30th January 2013 European Commission’s latest plan to curb commercial free speech
30th January 2013 How maverick cancer treatments are suppressed by the mainstream
23rd January 2013 ANH Feature: Nature's answer to the blues
23rd January 2013 Child cruelty on the NHS: Neon Roberts appeal fund launches
16th Janurary 2013 US and EU regulators share legally abusive tools
21st December 2012 BREAKING NEWS!! Neon Roberts forced to have radiotherapy
19th December 2012 Neon Roberts update: Judge orders further brain surgery against mother’s wishes
12th December 2012 Government tyranny vs parental rights in the UK
5th December 2012 Healthcare options in the austerity age
21st November 2012 Treating People Not Cancer conference runs smoothly in Totnes
7th November 2012 International cancer forum calls for more of the same despite failures
24th October 2012 Systems biology: EFSA’s escape route from health claims dead-end?
17th October 2012 Governments push potentially harmful and mostly ineffective winter flu jab
17th October 2012 ANH-Intl Guest Feature: The dark side of insulin - a medical murder mystery
17th October 2012 ANH-INTL FEATURE: The European winter of health claims discontent?
10th October 2012 CAM conference in European Parliament breaks new ground
26th September 2012 Are you British and happy to have your medical records sold?
22nd August 2012 Totnes Cancer Conference gets the go-ahead
8th August 2012 ANH Feature: The ’12-step’ programme to diminishing natural healthcare – worldwide
25th July 2012 EFSA: “Too lenient” with sports drinks health claims?
11th July 2012 EU health claims: the veto, the lawsuit and the Dutch interpretation
5th July 2012 GSK has admitted it's guilty of fraud! Let’s boycott GSK products!
27th June 2012 ANH Feature: UK homeopathy’s Catch 22 moment
20th June 2012 Stop press: prunes DO have a laxative effect, according to EFSA!
13th June 2012 ANH book review: The Cancer Survivor’s Bible by Jonathan Chamberlain
23rd May 2012 ANH FEATURE: Applying the Gaia principle to human healthcare
23rd May 2012 European Commission rejects MEP health claims solution
16th May 2012 ANH-Intl Short Story: a world without health information
9th May 2012 Coping with the EU’s Community Register of health claims
9th May 2012 Swiss Government finds homeopathy effective and cost efficient
27th April 2012 Big Food and Big Pharma in bed together
27th April 2012 Time to stand up for our freedoms in healthcare
20th April 2012 ANH Book Review: Health Claims Censored by Bert Schwitters
19th April 2012 ANH Feature: Being made sick for the sake of corporate profits
5th April 2012 To drug or not to drug? That is the question!
30th March 2012 Governments get heavy handed over natural health
23rd March 2012 Trials of the Totnes Cancer Health Care Conference
22nd March 2012 EU health claims battle lost, but war far from over
15th March 2012 ANH-Intl Press Release: Final push to help European Parliament block European Commission health claims proposal
09 March 2012 Health claims campaign update: not long until the vote
24 February 2012 Health Claims Veto Campaign: Stage Two
10 Feb 2012 Politicians, trade associations, lobbyists — and the health claims list
10 February 2012 ANH-Intl Press Release: MEPs object to health claims list
31 January 2012 European citizens - please write to your MEPs urgently
20 Dec 2011 Dreaming of a whitewash Christmas with EFSA
6 Dec 2011 ANH-Intl Press Release: European Parliament faces major test over EU health claims
25 Nov 2011 ANH FEATURE: From 44,000 to 224 — the Great EU Health Claims Cull
25 Nov 2011 ANH-Intl Press Release: EU draft health claims list would infringe commercial free speech
17th November 2011 First do no harm
16th November 2011 Boy kills friend because of Prozac
11th November 2011 British TV survey exposes drugging of children
4th November 2011 Caesarean sections to be ‘on demand’ in UK
3rd November 2011 Raw milk versus the world?
28th October 2011 Natural health and the Eurozone crisis
12th October 2011 ANH FEATURE: Iowa Women’s Health Study: Do supplements kill older women more quickly?
7th October 2011 France waves au revoir to green tea in food supplements
5th OCtober 2011 No place for prevention in high-profile cancer report
2nd September 2011 Don't drug my child, or I'll shoot
13th July 2011 ANH FEATURE: Dirty Medicine — The Handbook by Martin J Walker
12th July 2011 Natural healthcare rocks! ANH-Intl at SuperJam 2011
5th July 2011 Local UK council trounces a family’s human rights and sustainable lifestyle
5th July 2011 Polypharmacy increases risk of death in over-65s
30th June 2011Natural healthcare and 'patient-centred outcomes'
17th June 2011 NHS reforms itself to suit European line on food supplements
10th June 2011 More anti-alternative medicine propaganda in major publication
27th May 2011 Marmite not banned in Denmark – just not specifically allowed!
6th May 2011 EFSA carries on regardless
21st April 2011 European Commission sets new standards – in hypocrisy
1st April 2011 Health claims clampdown begins in UK
1st April 2011 ANH-Intl Press Release: Alliance for Natural Health launches poster campaign
10th March 2011 MEP concerns mount over regulatory threats to natural healthcare
4th March 2011 ANH-Intl Press Release: CAM practitioners in cross-hairs of UK skeptics
24th February 2011 More Alice in Wonderland decisions on health claims
10th Febraury 2011 ANH-Intl reports on the first ever Hygeia Symposium
28th January 2011 Wakefield hits back at BMJ over “fraud” claims
27th January 2011 UK cancer survival lags behind
25th January 2011 ANH Press Release: ANH launches campaign to save Park Pharmacy Trust
20th January 2011 ANH-Intl introduces the first ever Hygeia Syposium
20th January 2011 Injectable vitamin C branded an “unapproved drug”
18th January 2011 ANH-Intl Feature: Why the healthy ‘school dinner’ revolution is vital to our kids’ futures
12th January 2011 Natural healthcare proven amazingly safe – once again
10th January 2011 BMJ joins anti-Wakefield bandwagon
23rd December 2010 Festive wishes from the ANH-Intl core team
6th December 2010 Polish researchers brand EU Food Supplements Directive “useless”
2nd December 2010 More bad vitamin science from the BMJ
18th November 2010 ANH Feature: Ground-breaking CAM Interest Group meeting in European Parliament
11th November 2010 ANH Feature: Are medical students being manipulated by Astroturfers?
28th October 2010 Analysis of clinical trials reveals that placebo content is rarely described
27th October 2010 EFSA holds consultation on possibility of expanding specific health claims
19th October 2010 Ontario considers curbing vitamin D testing
13th October 2010 Have you fallen victim to "disease branding"?
20th September 2010 BMJ research says glucosamine and chondroitin don’t work
10th September 2010 Pharma game plan revealed?
9th September 2010 ANH Feature: What is ‘natural’?
8th September 2010 Osteoporosis drugs linked to oesophageal cancer and jaw tissue death
18th August 2010 Would you like chips, tomato sauce and statins with your burger?
9th August 2010 ANH Feature: Graced by breast cancer
6th August 2010 ANH-Intl Summary: Key challenges to natural methods of healthcare in Europe
4th August 2010 BMJ analysis of calcium studies 'finds' cardiovascular risk
28th July 2010 Homeopathy choice within the UK survives propaganda-style attacks
23rd July 2010 UK school bans playground football after copycat World Cup fouling
14th July 2010 Homeopathy under attack in its founding father’s homeland Germany
2nd July 2010 Healthy eater? You may need to see your doctor urgently
2nd July 2010 Victory for whales proves ‘people-power’
28th June 2010 ANH Feature: ANH contests European regulators in Brussels
25th June 2010 US professor who faked Pfizer drug research is jailed for 6 months
4th June 2010 Swine flu: BMJ investigation confirms WHO experts in pay of ‘pharma’
2nd June 2010 EFSA confirm health claim nightmare at Parma meeting
31st May 2010 ANH Press Release: Court victory against FDA for free speech
6th May 2010 'Mixed bag' ruling from European Court on French vitamin case
27th April 2010 ANH petition on Maximum Permitted Levels still open
19th April 2010 ANH Feature: Beware scientism’s onward march!
15th April 2010 The apparent turn around of Professor Ernst
8th April 2010 ANH Feature: The Mediterranean Diet—Can It Help You Live Longer?
26th March 2010 ANH Press Release: New ANH study says EU vitamin laws must change track
12th March 2010 ANH taking action today with EU strategy on cancer
10th March 2010 Update on Senator McCain's plans to 'Europeanise' US supplement laws
9th March 2010 Snake oil—or a breakthrough for bipolar disorder?
1st March 2010 UK homeopathy groups unite as hundreds lobby MPs at Westminster
19th February 2010 European Commission to fund research into complementary medicine
2 February 2010 EU border contols stepped up to enforce feed and food law
22 January 2010 Over-reliant pill poppers
14 January 2010 ANH Press Release: New ANH study exposes flawed nature of EU plans to limit vitamins
12th January 2010 Orthomolecular doctors turn to humour
8th January 2010 ANH Feature: US health claims regime under Euro-threat
18th December 2009 ANH Press Release: 'United we are stronger' - ANH announces merger
15th December 2009 Jonathan Emord affirms EU health claims Regulation basis for legal challenge
14th December 2009 UK FSA tells ANH it won’t be swayed from ‘Eurotrack’ on FSD
10th December 2009 Unexpected incidence of cancer from higher dose synthetic folic acid
3rd December 2009 Downing street e-Petition shown to be a farce
30th November 2009 Downing Street ignores weight of public concern over Codex
30th November 2009 Congratulations given to the AAHF/ANH
12th November 2009 ANH Press Release: Food supplement ban in 2010 may contravene EU law
3rd November 2009 UK Conservative MP voices support for herbalists at Westminster demonstration
30th October 2009 UK herbalists threatened by Government inaction over statutory regulation
20th October 2009 UK plans for mass medication with folic acid gear up
10th October 2009 Neutering our freedom of speech: EFSA health claims opinions
9th October 2009 Preventative healthcare must be UK NHS priority says HSC Chairman
30th September 2009 Pressure against Lisbon intensifies
24th September 2009 Volunteers needed for sweetener study
22nd September 2009 News item - Irish trade group campaigns for truth about supplements
10th September 2009 Vitamin C deficiency worse than feared: research news
18th August 2009 Industry win against FTC: is the tide finally turning?
14th August 2009 ANH-US files third suit against FDA for suppression of antioxidant claims
7th August 2009 ANH’s US arm files suit against FDA over new GMP rule
6th August 2009 Welsh magistrates return guilty verdict in novel foods case
30th July 2009 ANH sues FDA over suppression of free speech on selenium health benefits
18th July 2009 US agencies challenge natural products in advance of vaccination program
30th June 2009 New campaign to defend Poland's rich natural traditions
19th June 2009 Vitamins / minerals reduce cancer risk, may lengthen life & prevent bone loss
6th May 2009 Vitamins and minerals reduce asthma symptoms
28th April 2009 Another question mark over mandatory food fortification with synthetic folic acid
9th April 2009 Higher dose vitamin D reduces fractures by 20% in over 65s
1st April 2009 Study shows vitamin E tocotrienols delay tumour growth
23rd March 2009 Researchers confirm nature's folates best for baby
18th March 2009 Vitamin D: Another study shows RDAs/RDIs grossly inadequate
3rd March 2009 Three-in-one: three positive studies in one scientific journal!
22nd August 2008 Vitamin D: as close to a magic bullet as you can get?
18th July 2008 Three ways to die: putting together some of the jigsaw pieces
30th January 2004 ANH PRESS RELEASE: Landmark legal challenge
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