OUR HEALTH AND FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS THREATENED... An alarming development in the health industry has seen the spread of fear among the public regarding natural therapies. So much so, that the US, Australian, UK and Canadian governments are suggesting new legislation designed to remove natural health products from our shelves or to brutally regulate access. The question is, are Natural Supplements a Safe Form of Medicine? Only three recorded deaths have ever been associated to vitamins, two of which are debatable and one which was a known overdose of vitamin A, taken to intentionally kill. Although on the other hand, doctors have admitted to around 18000 fatalities per annum in Australia that are caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

Herbal remedies were used safely by all ancient civilizations for thousands of years, and proved to have beneficial effects. Historically, pharmaceutical drugs are the (very profitable) newcomers on the scene. In reaction to the PAN Pharmaceutical fiasco, there has been wide spread hysteria amongst the Australian community. In May 2003, PAN was served with a "class one" removal of all products from shelves after products caused death. 1600 products with no adverse reactions reported were eliminated from the shelves of all pharmacies around the country, most of these being natural supplements.

How this logically follows the problems caused by one purely synthetic, chemical, pharmaceutical product (there was nothing natural about "Travacalm") has yet to be explained. Following the humiliation that PAN Pharmaceuticals endured, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has assembled a Close Door Committee made up of representatives and pharmaceutical industry peoples from the TGA. This group will release new proposals for the Australian community and the health industry and these suggestions don't look good. A key member in the TGA, Prof. Alistair McLennan, is famous for his comment on the subject: "We shouldn't support the complementary medicine (industry) or subsidize it. It's a bit like subsidizing the tobacco industry or the gambling industry". Australia aren't the only ones coming down on natural supplements like a tonne of bricks, but England and the majority of Europe are doing the same.

A law on all conventional medicines is being initiated. Continuing to be on the market is getting harder and harder, all herbal and natural products must have been on the legitimate market for 30 years or more (15 of which must have been in Europe). Of course the end product is no more independent producers and retailers but most importantly no new movements in the herbal industry. But of course this movement wouldn't be complete without the United States having their say. The US government is introducing a new senate bill. The herbal supplement is being used as a pawn in the government's game of chess.

If passed, the FDA (America's counterpart to the TGA) will have rights to prohibit the public's access to dietary supplements. The bill being, "Dietary Supplement Safety Act". But remember fellow citizens; were America goes, Australia follows. Then there's Canada. In July this year, 20 armed officers and health official stormed a building of natural supplements. The company, Empower plus, had a extremely healthy track record in treating metal illness completely naturally with a combination of 36 minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins.

The offices were raided under a new Canadian law stating that making health claims classifies a supplement as a drug and that it requires rock-hard evidence that the supplement works before it can be sold legally. But to make matters more complicated, Health Canada has already made huge moves to shut down a $500,000 study into the effectiveness of Empower plus despite the clean track record. This worldwide frenzy is motivated by the pharmaceutical industry, because they deal with sickness, not with health. The natural / herbal industry is set to make billions in the next 10 years to the pharmaceutical industry this competition must be crushed. Is it chance that these related circumstances are happening all over the world? Or is it a much bigger picture than one could ever have conceived.

These stories don't have nearly enough news coverage, or is that a plan to keep us, the populace, out of the loop so that legislation's can be passed easier? As the British writer / politician, Edmund Burke, once said "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.".