EU Tyranny Awareness Month: Crushing Health Freedom

European Soviet UnionIn addition to the environmental tyranny discussed in one of my previous blog posts, another area in which the power-grabbing on the part of the European Union is more likely to go relatively unnoticed is the health freedom arena. After all, most of us are healthy, at least according to the definition of health generally accepted by modern western medicine – i.e. the absence of overt illness. It is debatable whether or not that is a proper definition of health, by the way, but we will leave that debate for another occasion. Nonetheless, EU policy will affect even those in good health who would simply like to preserve their health rather than take pharmaceutical drugs. So for now, let’s get back to our power-grabbing bureaucratic overlords in Brussels.

The Food Supplements Directive, passed in 2002 marked the beginning of a stricter stance on food supplements  Much in line with the policy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the directive adopted a stringent set of restrictions on the types and doses of vitamins and minerals that can be contained in nutritional supplements while imposing an outright ban on some vitamins that did not make the Annex 1 and 2 “positive lists”. The upper safe level for each nutrient will be calculated via a so-called “scientific risk assessment” which – in perfect Orwellian doublespeak – is anything but scientific. In short, this pseudo-science makes oversimplified generalizations regarding these nutrients, ignores their health benefits while stressing their risks, fails to consider all the available evidence and will likely set very low allowable doses for any nutrient.

The Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive was passed two years later, mandating for the first time that all herbs be registered. Consumer access to any herb classified as a “controllable medicinal herb” for its health benefits – which applies even to peppermint, for example – can consequently be impeded or restricted. The bureaucrats were at it again in 2006, when they crafted the most drastic piece of legislation thus far, the Regulation on Nutrition and Health Claims. This particular law goes so far as to outlaw all suggestions or implications, in any form, that a food has “particular characteristics”, any claim that “states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health or any health claim that “states, suggests or implies that the consumption of a food category, a food or one if its constituents significantly reduces a risk factor in the development of a human disease”. It is important to understand here, that all of this applies regardless of any scientific evidence that would back up such claims. There is ample scientific evidence, for instance, to suggest that green tea consumption reduces cancer risk in both men and women. Nonetheless, many people in the EU will likely never be made aware of the healing properties of green tea solely because a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels think they should not be. Talk about tyranny.

If there is one industry that stands to gain massively from such ignorance and the subsequent ill-health of the public it is the pharmaceutical industry. One of the primary EU organs tasked with enforcing and, wherever possible, expanding this tyranny is the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). And it just so happens that scientists working for the EFSA have been shown to have ties to major pharmaceutical companies. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence though. I’m sure these are all hard-working honest people and that there is no revolving door between governments and transnational pharmaceutical corporations like in banking. Besides, it’s not like powerful industries have traditionally always paid corrupt government “officials” to do their bidding, right?

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