Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, July 11, 2005

Alternative Medicine? Not Any More

Do you take any vitamin supplements? Ever use any kind of herbal tea or capsules? If so, your choices may soon become limited — and eventually eliminated — by the pharmaceutical industry.

This stealth legislation will be accomplished by a little-known section of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). I know, international trade and finance is boring; I’ve never paid much attention to the whole alphabet soup of NAFTA, CAFTA, IMF, WTO, yada yada yada.

But, the Senate has already approved CAFTA and the House of Representatives will be voting on it this week, possibly as early as Tuesday. If you don’t want the pharmaceutical industry taking away your right to purchase herbal/vitamin supplements, Act Now. Please send this e-mail to your Congressional representative, asking for a No vote on CAFTA (or at least to have this one section removed from the bill).

If approved, CAFTA will overturn a 1994 law that protects the personal use of vitamin and nutritional supplements. The worldwide pharmaceutical cartel would then combine their monopoly power with international law (e.g. the World Trade Organization). Eventually they plan to either eliminate most vitamin/herbal products or make them only available with a prescription.

If CAFTA passes, these changes won’t happen overnight. You won’t go to your supermarket next week and find Vitamin C and Echinacea taken off the shelves. Yet. They’ll start slowly and just eliminate the obscure herbs that nobody’s heard of. If Golden Slippery Skullwort gets banned, who’s gonna notice, right?

Each time they ban another nutritional supplement it’ll get just a little bit easier. By the time they’re ready to ban that popular supplement you take every time you feel run down or get a cold, they’ll be too entrenched and have too much momentum. (Sort of like that German quote about “when they came for the Jews I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a Jew…”)

Or, before they ban a popular supplement, a government “scientific” board that’s stacked with pharmaceutical “scientists” will “discover” that Goldenseal causes cancer; Vitamin E causes blindness. Then of course these hazardous substances will have to be banned for “health” reasons.

So again, please send this e-mail. And forward it to everyone you know.


Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I agree this is redicilous but I doubt it will ever get that bad. Too many people take vitamin supplements. What I CAN see happening is all of the irregular supllements like echinacea being taken of the shelf. I expect regular basics like Vitamins A-K and Calcium and that lot will be safe. Still, you have a point.

July 12, 2005 at 12:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

OK Democrat: I don't know, I think it could get serious -- eventually -- if CAFTA passes. They'll move slowly and just ban the obscure herbs and supplements at first, and by the time they're ready to ban the most popular vitamins they'll have too much momentum and too many legal precedents.

I've heard and seen rumors of this for a long time, but every time I saw a link to a website it would either be a defunct website, or the site would be so full of ads that I couldn't find any information. But that e-mail from Downsize DC really confirmed it.

I hope I'm just paranoid, but they're a pretty reliable group -- nonpartisan -- they want to shrink government, period. I don't think they have any party affiliation unless it's Libertarian.

July 12, 2005 at 12:55 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

I am sure back in 2002 people were saying that it was "ridiculous" to think an American President would tell lies to get the US into a war.

I put nothing past the Shrubbernaut-it exists to serve its masters, of who the pharmas are a component.

July 12, 2005 at 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Jolly Roger: Yup, the pharmaceutical industry is definitely one of Bush's masters, along with banks, oil companies, international contractors...

Freedom is on the march (for CEOs).

July 12, 2005 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I understand and agree that they will probably act to ban some supplements but it seems uinlikely that they will do away with it all outright. The vitamin supplement industry was an $11 billion industry last year and it has been growing for years. Given the tax revenues it brings and the doctors who lobby and swear by it, I doubt that the Shrubbernaught will be able to do away with it. For one thing, the Shrub and his buddies will not be in Washington forever. I suspect they will suffer modest defeats next year and even more in 2008 depending on how events unfold. I agree you have a valid concern but I don't think events will allow them to do this.

July 12, 2005 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

OK Democrat: That's true, that the vitamin industry is very lucrative and probably has a lot of clout. I hope you're right and that they will hold their own against the pharmaceutical companies and international trade organizations.

July 12, 2005 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

It's one more thing that doesn't make enough money for big business (marijuana is the big thorn in their side because people grow their own - where's the profit in that? THAT's why it's illegal) so it has to go...that fact has to be addressed and addressed again. They only ban that which they can't force a consumer need - petty soon growing your own goldenseal will be made a felony...all so that you purchase from the companies they want you to purchase from. Forcing consumers into going to a doctor (read pay for an office visit) and get a prescription (just how does one go about asking for generic Uva Ursi?)then go back to the doctor for a follow up visit (cha ching) when the refills are up. Nice.

July 12, 2005 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: Yup, you’ve got it. That seems to be their plan. A prescription for Uva Ursi, followup visits to the doctor, etc. And a long prison term for anyone who tries to grow their own Comfrey or Echinacea.

July 13, 2005 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

On top of that, can I just mention (and as someone who has experienced the loveliness that is basal cell carcinoma) there is a sun screen widely used in Europe, and has been for years, called octyl methoxycinnamate, which despite years of success, and the fact it is the ONLY sunscreen to protect from UVA effectively (not to mention wrinkle reduction) - the FDA will not approve here, and has gone further by simply banning products purchased elsewhere that contain it. I'm looking at my last tube of face cream that contained it that I'm no longer allowed to buy. Why, you ask? Not because it is dangerous - but more than likely (and here I'm speculating because it's the only thing that makes any freakin sense) the FDA considers it to be a product that will have unfair competition financially. They are willing to put billions of dollars into erectile disfunction medications - but sunscreen? Ooooh, shudder, let's make it illegal. F___ers

July 14, 2005 at 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: Sorry to hear you’ve had basal cell carcinoma. I’ve read about that sunscreen, octyl methoxycinnamate. It most definitely is dangerous -- to the pharmaceuticals’ profits. I don’t know when the FDA started protecting the drug companies’ financial health instead of the public health, but that sure is the case now.

July 14, 2005 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Don't know if you are near California, but the latest that deals with this issue - and our ersatz Governor is doing nothing for the cause...Arnie actually is against federal control of nutritional supplements - which is a good thing - but with his advanced mental awareness: (from today's LA Times) SACRAMENTO — Two days before he was sworn into office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger accepted a consulting job paying an estimated $8 million over five years to "further the business objectives" of a national publisher of health and bodybuilding magazines.

The contract pays Schwarzenegger 1% of the magazines' advertising revenue, much of which comes from makers of nutritional supplements. Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have imposed government regulations on the supplement industry.

Now, with reason, everyone's shouting conflict of interest - thanks, Arnie.

July 14, 2005 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Okay, I'll shut up after this, I swear - just want to say thank you for saying sorry about my getting "the cansuh" - it's not the fatal kind - just the kind that means I can't go out in backless evening gowns anymore because it looks like I might have been involved with rough trade.

July 14, 2005 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: It sounds like Schwarzenegger at least is on the right side on this. Bodybuilders probably use more “supplements” than the rest of the population put together. The manufacturers and advertisers of these supplements are a pretty powerful group; maybe they’ll be able to make a difference. Or maybe they’ll just arrange a loophole where you can buy steroids but possession of Vitamin C is a felony.

July 14, 2005 at 8:48 PM  

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