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When conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy fact

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Robert Verkerk PhD is the executive and scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health International, a consumer group that aims to protect our right to natural healthcare and information. For more information and to get involved, please visit: www.anh-europe.org

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When conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy fact

October 25th 2017, 15:36
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The terms 'public health' and 'consumer protection,' as used by governments, are among the biggest misnomers of all time. Governments and Big Business love telling us just how hard they're working to protect our health and our interests. Well, they're lying to us.

Public health policy typically comes as a top-down dictate from health authorities that are deeply intertwined with business interests. It's pretty hard for them to work in our interest when they're busy building economies based on industries that serve us addictive and harmful foods, ineffective and harmful drugs, and that both plunder and pollute our natural environment.

What's more, consumer protection has become something of a metaphor for restricting our access to products we not only want but need for our health. There's a global trend by public health bodies around the world to deny the existence of swathes of scientific evidence showing the benefits of dietary and food supplements containing ingredients that are increasingly hard to find in our normal diets, as well as a trend to restrict or even ban our access to these supplements.

This isn't conspiracy theory. It's more like a conspiracy fact. 'Conspiracy,' after all, refers simply to a group of people—including those sitting in the boardrooms of transnational corporations—who engage in secret acts with the aim to benefit themselves at the expense of others.

What's probably more arguable is the extent to which such corporate or governmental conspiracies are conscious or unwitting.

My view is that there are many pawns in the system and not all are knowingly engaged in a conspiracy. Those who aren't may simply be unaware, disinterested or brainwashed.

Dr Marcia Angell, for 20 years the editor of the prestigious The New England Journal of Medicine, was among the first to burst the bubble. Back in 2009, she said, "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines."

Professor Peter Gøtzsche made headlines around the world when his 2013 book, Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare, was published. As a physician and co-founder of the world's most prominent independent evaluator of medical effectiveness, the Cochrane Collaboration, he was impossible to ignore. He was also far from a 'has-been,' as director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and a highly accomplished medical researcher.

Gøtzsche explains that despite the paid-for headlines, very few people benefit from new blockbuster drugs. He goes on to describe how scientific studies are commonly fabricated and serious unwanted and dangerous side-effects concealed, along with false claims, immoral threats, intimidation tactics, bribery, illegal kick-backs, and defrauding government insurance programs.

But the good doctor reveals something else that is less often spoken about. It relates to the mindset of those employed within the pharmaceutical industry. In making his point, Gøtzsche cites a former vice president of the world's largest drug company, Pfizer, as follows: "It is scary how many similarities there are between this industry and the mob. The mob makes obscene amounts of money, as does this industry. The side-effects of organized crime are killings and deaths, and the side-effects are the same in this industry. The mob bribes politicians and others, and so does the drug industry . . ."

Then, just last year (2016), Dr Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, the UK's leading medical journal, commented that "much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."

With this kind of background, are we surprised that the level of distrust for a doctor's prescription, whipped up in a few short minutes of consultation, is at an all-time high? Equally, are we surprised that people are increasingly resorting to Dr Google for advice and shopping online for healthcare products?

In response, the European Commission, supported by food and medical authorities in all 28 (soon to be 27) EU member states, is already clamping down on internet sales of natural health products, especially ones that challenge big-selling drugs. Given the increasingly coordinated, international efforts of regulators and their drug company 'servants,' it's just a matter of time before something similar is tried and tested in the US.

While the corporatocracy does its best to impinge on our fundamental rights and freedoms, we beg you to not lose heart. Such plays for control have been enacted many times before in human history, though never on this scale. Our best option lies in doing what we can to keep open all channels of responsible business that genuinely exist to protect our health.

We must do everything to keep alive those parts of the democratic system that allow our elected representatives to do our bidding. And we must fight for our freedom, our health sovereignty and our fundamental rights.

Doing nothing and expecting others to act for us is a sure-fire way of losing the battle against the conspirators.

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