Medicinal Herbs to be Illegal in European Union

Heidi Stevenson

Big Pharma has almost reached the finish line of its decades-long battle to wipe out all competition. As of 1 April 2011—less than eight months from now—virtually all medicinal herbs will become illegal in the European Union. The approach in the United States is a bit different, but it’s having the same devastating effect. The people have become nothing more than sinks for whatever swill Big Pharma and Agribusiness choose to send our way, and we have no option but to pay whatever rates they want.

Big Pharma and Agribusiness have almost completed their march to take over every aspect of health, from the food we eat to the way we care for ourselves when we’re ill. Have no doubt about it: this takeover will steal what health remains to us.

It Begins Next April Fools Day

In the nastiest April Fool’s Joke of all time, the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMPD) was enacted back on 31 March 2004.(1) It laid down rules and regulations for the use of herbal products that had previously been freely traded.

This directive requires that all herbal preparations must be put through the same kind of procedure as pharmaceuticals. It makes no difference whether a herb has been in common use for thousands of years. The costs for this are far higher than most manufacturers, other than Big Pharma, can bear, with estimates ranging from £80,000 to £120,000 per herb, and with each herb of a compound having to be treated separately.

It matters not that a herb has been used safely and effectively for thousands of years. It will be treated as if it were a drug. Of course, herbs are far from that. They’re preparations made from biological sources. They aren’t necessarily purified, as that can change their nature and efficacy, just as it can in food. It’s a distortion of their nature and the nature of herbalism to treat them like drugs. That, of course, makes no difference in the Big Pharma-ruled edifice of the EU, which has enshrined corporatism in its constitution.

Dr. Robert Verkerk of the Alliance for Natural Health, International (ANH) describes the problem of requiring drug-like compliance on herbal preparations:

Getting a classical herbal medicine from a non-European traditional medicinal culture through the EU registration scheme is akin to putting a square peg into a round hole. The regulatory regime ignores and thus has not been adapted to the specific traditions. Such adaptation is required urgently if the directive is not to discriminate against non-European cultures and consequently violate human rights.(2)

Trade Law

To best understand how this can be happening, one needs to see that trade laws have been at the center of the moves to place all aspects of food and medicine under the control of Big Pharma and Agribusiness.

If you’ve followed what’s been happening in the United States regarding raw milk and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) claims that foods magically become drugs when health claims are made, you may have noted that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been part of the process.

Rather than treating food and traditional medicines as human rights issues, they have been treated as trade issues. That makes the desires of large corporations the focus of food and herbal law, rather than the needs and desires of people. It’s this twisting that has resulted in the FDA’s making outrageously absurd statements, such as claiming that Cheerios and walnuts quite literally become drugs simply because of health claims made for them.

The goal of it all is to make the world safe for the megacorporations to trade freely. The needs and health of the people simply are not a factor in their considerations.

How to Fight This Encroachment on Our Health and Welfare

It’s not a done-deal, at least, not quite. If you value your access to herbs, or if you care about access to vitamins and other supplements, please take action. Even if these issues seem meaningless to you, consider the people who do care. Should they be denied the right to the medical treatment and health maintenance of their choice?

The ANH has been active in fighting these encroachments. They are currently going to court in an attempt to stop the implementation of THMPD. We can hope that they’ll succeed, but recent history shows that no legal maneuver is likely to stop this juggernaut. We cannot afford to sit back and wait for the results of their efforts. We need to see their endeavor as part of a whole, one in which each of us plays a role.

It’s up to us—each and every one of us—to take action. If you live in Europe, please, send a letter or message to your Member of European Parliament. Go to this page to find out who is your MEP and the contact information. Then, send a letter that states, in no uncertain terms, that you strongly support the ANH’s actions in trying to suspend the implementation of THMPD and that you hope they will also take a stand in support of the people’s right to choose herbal treatments.

If you find it difficult to write such a letter, click here for a sample (in the universal .rtf format) suggested by ANH. Feel free to use it.

Try to imagine facing your children or grandchildren when they ask why you didn’t. How will you tell them that you really weren’t that interested in their welfare? How will you tell them that it was more important to watch the latest fake reality show on television than to take the time to write a simple letter?

It is only by actively protesting that this travesty against our welfare can be stopped. If we sit back in apathy, then it will happen. Our right to protect our health and that of our children is hanging in the balance. If you care for your child’s or grandchild’s welfare, then you must act. Speak out, for now is the moment of truth. You can sit back and do nothing, or you can speak out.

And then, once you have, talk to everyone you know. Tell them that it’s time to act. There truly is no time to waste.

Pharmacists getting Cancer from dispensing Chemotherapy Chemicals

Natural News

One of the side effects of chemotherapy is, ironically, cancer. The cancer doctors don’t say much about it, but it’s printed right on the chemo drug warning labels (in small print, of course). If you go into a cancer treatment clinic with one type of cancer, and you allow yourself to be injected with chemotherapy chemicals, you will often develop a second type of cancer as a result. Your oncologist will often claim to have successfully treated your first cancer even while you develop a second or third cancer directly caused by the chemo used to treat the original cancer.

There’s nothing like cancer-causing chemotherapy to boost repeat business, huh?

During all this, the pharmacists are peddling these toxic chemotherapy chemicals to their customers as if they were medicine (which they aren’t). While preparing these toxic chemical prescriptions, it turns out that pharmacists are exposing themselves to cancer-causing chemotherapy agents in the process. And because of that, pharmacists are giving themselves cancer… and they’re dying from it.

Why pharmacists are dying of cancer?

People who live in glass houses should never throw stones, they say. And you might similarly say that pharmacists who deal in poison shouldn’t be surprised to one day discover they are killing themselves with it.

Chemotherapy drugs are extremely toxic to the human body, and they are readily absorbed through the skin. The very idea that they are even used in modern medicine is almost laughable if it weren’t so downright disturbing and sad that hundreds of thousands of people are killed each year around the world by chemotherapy drugs.

Now you can add pharmacists to that statistic. For decades, they simply looked the other way, pretending they were playing a valuable role in our system of “modern” medicine, not admitting they were actually doling out chemicals that killed people. Now, the sobering truth has struck them hard: They are in the business of death, and it is killing them off, one by one.

The Seattle Times now reports the story of Sue Crump, a veteran pharmacist of two decades who spent much of her time dispensing chemotherapy drugs. Sue died last September of pancreatic cancer, and one of her dying wishes was that the truth would be told about how her on-the-job exposure to chemotherapy chemicals contributed to her own cancer.

Second-hand chemo

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), it turns out, does not regulate workplace exposure to toxic, cancer-causing chemotherapy chemicals. At first glance, that seems surprising, since OSHA regulates workplace exposure to far less harmful chemicals. Why not chemo?

The answer is because the toxicity of chemotherapy has long been ignored by virtually everyone in medicine and the federal government. It has always been assumed harmless or even “safe” just because it’s used as a kind of far-fetched “medicine” to treat cancer. This, despite the fact that chemotherapy is a derivative of the mustard gas used against enemy soldiers in World War I. Truthfully, chemotherapy has more in common with chemicals weapons than any legitimate medicine.

So today, while workers are protected from secondhand smoke in offices across the country, pharmacists are still being exposed every single day to toxic, cancer-causing chemicals that OSHA seems to just ignore. The agency has only issued one citation in the last decade to a hospital for inadequate safety handling of toxic chemotherapy drugs.

As the Seattle Times reports, “A just-completed study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — 10 years in the making and the largest to date — confirms that chemo continues to contaminate the work spaces where it’s used and in some cases is still being found in the urine of those who handle it…”

That same article goes on to report more pharmacists, veterinarians and nurses who are dead or dying from chemotherapy exposure:

• Bruce Harrison of St. Louis (cancer in his 50’s, now dead)
• Karen Lewis of Baltimore (cancer in her 50’s, still living)
• Brett Cordes of Scottsdale, Arizona (cancer at age 35, still living)
• Sally Giles of Vancouver, B.C. (cancer in her 40’s, now dead)

The great contradiction in cancer treatments

As the Seattle Times reports:

“Danish epidemiologists used cancer-registry data from the 1940s through the late 1980s to first report a significantly increased risk of leukemia among oncology nurses and, later, physicians. Last year, another Danish study of more than 92,000 nurses found an elevated risk for breast, thyroid, nervous-system and brain cancers.”

The story goes on to report how new safety rules are being put in place across the industry to protect pharmacists, veterinarians, nurses and doctors from toxic chemotherapy chemicals. But even the Seattle Times, which deserves credit for running this story, misses the bigger point:

If these chemicals are so dangerous to the doctors, nurses and pharmacists dispensing them, how can they be considered “safe enough” to inject into patients who are already dying from cancer?

It’s a serious question. After all, if nurses can become violently ill after merely spilling chemotherapy chemicals on themselves (it’s true), then what effect do you suppose these chemicals have when injected into patients?

The cancer industry, though, has never stopped injecting patients long enough to ask the commonsense question: Why are we in the business of dispensing poison in the first place? Poison, after all, isn’t medicine. Not when dispensed in its full potency, anyway.

The whole idea of “safety” in the cancer industry is to find new ways to protect the health care workers from the extremely dangerous chemicals they’re still injecting into the bodies of patients. Something is clearly wrong with this picture… if health care workers need to be protected from this stuff, why not protect the patients from it, too?

Nobody ever died from handling herbs

In contrast to all this, consider the truthful observation that no naturopath ever died from handling medicinal herb, homeopathy remedies or nutritional supplements. These natural therapies are good for patients, and as a bonus, you don’t have to wear a chemical suit to handle them.

Furthermore, medicinal herbs, supplements and natural remedies don’t cause cancer. They support and protect the immune system rather than destroying it. So they make patients healthier and more resilient rather than weaker and fragile.

But herbs, supplements and natural remedies don’t earn much money for the cancer industry. Only the highly-toxic patented chemotherapy drugs bring in the big bucks. So that’s what they deal in — poison for the patients. And when you deal in poison, some of it always splashes back onto you.

Chemotherapy doesn’t work

Beyond this whole issue of pharmacists and health care workers dying from exposure to secondhand chemotherapy, there’s the issue of whether chemotherapy actually works in the first place. Scientifically speaking, if you take a good, hard look at what the published studies actually say, chemotherapy is only effective at treating less than two percent of the cancers that exist. And that two percent does not include breast cancer or prostate cancer.

Yet chemotherapy is routinely used to “treat” breast cancer even though it offers no benefit to breast cancer patients. In effect, the cancer industry is engaged in a criminal treatment hoax that promises to make you healthier but actually gives you even more cancer — which is great for repeat business, but terrible for the cancer patients who suffer under it.

The level of quackery at work right now in the cancer industry is simply astonishing. You would think that if doctors and pharmacists were dishing out these chemicals to patients, they would make sure there was some sort of legitimate science to back them up. But they haven’t. The science doesn’t exist. Chemotherapy doesn’t work at anything other than causing cancer — and it accomplishes that indiscriminately, damaging any person it comes into contact with. Merely touching chemotherapy chemicals is dangerous for your health.

So if you’re considering chemotherapy for yourself, think about this long and hard: If chemotherapy is so dangerous that it’s giving the pharmacists cancer just from touching it, why on earth would you want to inject it into your body?

This is not an idle question. It is perhaps the most important question of all for someone considering conventional cancer treatment using chemotherapy. The question is essentially this: If chemotherapy causes cancer, how can it treat cancer?

Treating cancer with chemotherapy is like treating alcoholism with vodka. It’s like treating heart disease with cheese, or like treating diabetes with high-fructose corn syrup. Cancer cannot be cured by the very thing that causes it.

And to those who deal in poison, watch out for the cause-and-effect laws of biology. If you deal in chemotherapy chemicals, don’t be surprised if you get cancer one day. If you deal in chemical pesticides, don’t be surprised if you get Alzheimer’s. If you’re a dentist installing mercury fillings in the mouths of clients, don’t be surprised if one day you just go stark raving mad (because mercury causes insanity, and dentists breathe in mercury vapor thrown into the air from their drills).

If you work around chemicals, they will eventually impact your health, and never in a good way. There’s a karmic element in all this, too: If you spend your life dishing out chemotherapy drugs as a pharmacist, you have a lot to answer for. You have been an enabler of a very real chemical holocaust against the people. Don’t be surprised if that holocaust turns against you one day. Karma tends to work that way. Cause and effect is a universal law that cannot be escaped.

And if you’re a cancer patient, I urge you to think twice about the toxicity of anything you might allow in your body. If you are trying to HEAL your body, why would you allow yourself to be poisoned with a chemical that causes cancer?

Don’t let some cancer doctor talk you into chemotherapy using his fear tactics. They’re good at that. So next time he insists that you take some chemotherapy, ask him to drink some first. If your oncologist isn’t willing to drink chemotherapy in front of you to prove it’s safe, why on earth would you agree to have it injected in your body?

Who is Behind Mexico’s Drug War?

Eurasia Review

On Friday, two patrol cars were ambushed by armed gunman in downtown Ciudad Juarez. In the ensuing firefight, seven policemenmexican drug war were killed as well as a 17-year old boy who was caught in the crossfire. All of the assailants escaped uninjured fleeing the crime-scene in three SUVs. The bold attack was executed in broad daylight in one of the busiest areas of the city. According to the Associated Press:

“Hours after the attack, a painted message directed to top federal police commanders and claiming responsibility for the attack appeared on a wall in downtown Ciudad Juarez. It was apparently signed by La Linea gang, the enforcement arm of the Juarez drug cartel. The Juarez cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“This will happen to you … for being with El Chapo Guzman and to all the dirtbags who support him. Sincerely, La Linea,” the message read.” (“7 Mexican police officers killed in Ciudad Juarez”, Olivia Torres, AP)

The massacre in downtown Juarez is just the latest incident in Mexico’s bloody drug war. Between 5 to 6 more people will be killed on Saturday, and on every day thereafter with no end in sight. It’s a war that cannot be won, but that hasn’t stopped the Mexican government from sticking to its basic game-plan.

The experts and politicians disagree about the origins of the violence in Juarez, but no one disputes that 23,000 people have been killed since 2006 in a largely futile military operation initiated by Mexican president Felipe Calderon. Whether the killing is the result of the ongoing turf-war between the rival drug cartels or not, is irrelevant. The present policy is failing and needs to be changed. The militarization of the war on drugs has been a colossal disaster which has accelerated the pace of social disintegration. Mexico is quickly becoming a failed state, and Washington’s deeply-flawed Merida Initiative, which provides $1.4 billion in aid to the Calderon administration to intensify military operations, is largely to blame.

The surge in narcotics trafficking and drug addiction go hand-in-hand with destructive free trade policies which have fueled their growth. NAFTA, in particular, has triggered a massive migration of people who have been pushed off the land because they couldn’t compete with heavily-subsidized agricultural products from the US. Many of these people drifted north to towns like Juarez which became a manufacturing hub in the 1990s. But Juarez’s fortunes took a turn for the worse a few years later when competition from the Far East grew fiercer. Now most of the plants and factories have been boarded up and the work has been outsourced to China where subsistence wages are the norm. Naturally, young men have turned to the cartels as the only visible means of employment and upward mobility. That means that free trade has not only had a ruinous effect on the economy, but has also created an inexhaustible pool of recruits for the drug trade.

Washington’s Merida Initiative–which provides $1.4 billion in aid to the Calderon administration to intensify military operations–has only made matters worse. The public’s demand for jobs, security and social programs, has been answered with check-points, crackdowns and state repression. The response from Washington hasn’t been much better. Obama hasn’t veered from the policies of the prior administration. He is as committed to a military solution as his predecessor, George W. Bush.

But the need for change is urgent. Mexico is unraveling and, as the oil wells run dry, the prospect of a failed state run by drug kingpins and paramilitaries on US’s southern border becomes more and more probable. The drug war is merely a symptom of deeper social problems; widespread political corruption, grinding poverty, soaring unemployment, and the erosion of confidence in public institutions. But these issues are brushed aside, so the government can pursue its one-size-fits-all military strategy without second-guessing or remorse. Meanwhile, the country continues to fall apart.
THE CLASHING CARTELS

The big cartels are engaged in a ferocious battle for the drug corridors around Juarez. The Sinaloa, Gulf and La Familia cartels have formed an alliance against the upstart Los Zetas gang. Critics allege that the Calderon administration has close ties with the Sinaloa cartel and refuses to arrest its members. Here’s an excerpt from an Al Jazeera video which points to collusion between Sinaloa and the government.

“The US Treasury identifies at least 20 front companies that are laundering drug money for the Sinaloa cartel…There are allegations that the Mexican government is “favoring” the cartel. According to Diego Enrique Osorno, investigative journalist and author of the “The Sinaloa Cartel”:
“There are no important detentions of Sinaloa cartel members. But the government is hunting down adversary groups, new players in the world of drug trafficking.”
International Security Expert, Edgardo Buscaglia, says that “of over 50,000 drug related arrests, only a very small percentage have been Sinaloa cartel members, and no cartel leaders. Dating back to 2003, law enforcement data shows objectively that the government has been hitting the weakest organized crime groups in Mexico, but they have not been hitting the main crime group, the Sinaloa Federation, that’s responsible for 45% of the drug trade in this country.” (Al Jazeera)

There’s no way to verify whether the Calderon administration is in bed with the Sinaloa cartel, but Al Jazeera’s report is pretty damning. A similar report appeared in the Los Angeles Times which revealed that the government had diverted funds that were earmarked for struggling farmers (who’d been hurt by NAFTA) “to the families of notorious drug traffickers and several senior government officials, including the agriculture minister.” Here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:
“According to several academic studies, as much as 80% of the money went to just 20% of the registered farmers…Among the most eyebrow-raising recipients were three siblings of billionaire drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, and the brother of Guzman’s onetime partner, Arturo Beltran Leyva”. (“Mexico farm subsidies are going astray”, Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times)

There’s no doubt that if the LA Times knows about the circular flow of state money to drug traffickers, than the Obama administration knows too. So why does the administration persist with the same policy and continue to support the people they pretend to be fighting?

In forty years, US drug policy has never changed. The same “hunt them down, bust them, and lock them up” philosophy continues to this day. That’s why many critics believe that the drug war is really about control, not eradication. It’s a matter of who’s in line to rake in the profits; small-time pushers who run their own operations or politically-connected kingfish who have agents in the banks, the intelligence agencies, the military and the government. Currently, in Juarez, the small fries’ are getting wiped out while the big-players are getting stronger. In a year or so, the Sinaloa cartel will control the streets, the drug corridors, and the border. The violence will die down and the government will proclaim “victory”, but the flow of drugs into the US will increase while the situation for ordinary Mexicans will continue to deteriorate.

Here’s a clip from an article in the Independent by veteran journalist Hugh O’Shaughnessy:

“The outlawing and criminalizing of drugs and consequent surge in prices has produced a bonanza for producers everywhere, from Kabul to Bogota, but, at the Mexican border, where an estimated $39,000m in narcotics enter the rich US market every year, a veritable tsunami of cash has been created. The narcotraficantes, or drug dealers, can buy the murder of many, and the loyalty of nearly everyone. They can acquire whatever weapons they need from the free market in firearms north of the border and bring them into Mexico with appropriate payment to any official who holds his hand out.” (“The US-Mexico border: where the drugs war has soaked the ground blood red”, Hugh O’Shaughnessy The Independent)

It’s no coincidence that Kabul and Bogota are the the de facto capitals of the drug universe. US political support is strong in both places, as is the involvement of US intelligence agencies. But does that suggest that the CIA is at work in Mexico, too? Or, to put it differently: Why is the US supporting a client that appears to be allied to the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico? That’s the question.   More…