“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” 

Alvin Toffler

When I lived in Saudi Arabia in 1984 and 1985 I observed how the king kept the populace compliant. They were all given money to build houses for themselves and they didn’t need to pay the money back until construction on their houses was completed. Needless to say, many of the whitewashed, walled villas had a slightly incomplete look, with bits of rebar steel sticking from the concrete on the upper corners.

The other strategy was to control the media. The news was decidedly pro Sunni (the House of Saud from which the extended royal family descends and virtually the entire indigenous population was Sunni) and anti Shiite. The Jews were cast in a negative light and the king dominated visual clips, being shown almost daily cutting ribbons, consulting with other royalty, visiting Mecca …. Although I’m sure none of them had ever met a Jew, my Saudi colleagues all claimed to hate Jews.

I sometimes wonder if things are really so different in the West. As we watch the bankers and the oil companies do as they please we mostly accept what is done because we are reasonably comfortable. Many of us own our homes and only slowly pay them off, to the benefit of the bankers. And mainstream media is controlled by a select group of wealthy people. The average person is inundated with the chosen perspectives of corporate and political power players, ensuring our compliance and support through apathy to their chosen agendas.

In 2008 the Labour government attempted to amalgamate New Zealand’s health regulations with those of Australia, with the intention of making it virtually impossible for the multitude of small businesses making herbal remedies and other natural products to survive—the compliance costs would be simply too high. That proposed legislation was vigorously opposed by many in the natural health community including some open thinking people within the medical profession. The bill was stopped.

Now there is a National Party bill being passed without the public’s knowledge that will affect New Zealanders’ ability to buy simple vitamins, herbal medicines, homeopathic medicines and any alternative medicine in any therapeutic dose.

This is being pushed through with a MEDIA BLACKOUT, and after government has had 18 months of preparations. There is only three weeks for people to write submissions in opposition to the bill.

If the bill is passed it could effectively WIPE OUT natural medicine overnight. 
The right of health care choice of people is being removed and Big Pharma will be laughing all the way to the bank.

This same battle is going on in other Western countries today. The form is slightly different but that is all. Look at the recent attempts to force all Americans to be vaccinated for the swine flu. That was brought about by a widespread media campaign of scare-mongering.

In the mean time, this from Nicola Grace, Spokeswomen for Health Freedom New Zealand Health Freedom NZ Newsletter Action Alert

Most of you have undoubtedly heard that a consultation document to regulate natural products was recently released on the Ministry of Health Website in response to the Natural Products industry and consumer call for a standalone New Zealand regulatory model for Natural Products, rather than an Australian takeover of our current regulatory body, Medsafe.

We were expecting the discussion document to be based upon the proposed Natural and Traditional Health Products Bill that was prepared in full consultation with Maoridom, Consumers, the NZ Health Trust, and the Natural Health Products Industry over a two year period.

Unfortunately the Ministry of Health Consultation Document is diametrically opposed to most of the principals outlined in the proposed Bill and has aptly been labeled the ‘TGA in drag’. It is nothing short of a bureaucratic hood wink. 

The bureaucrats appear to have re-instated all of the unacceptable aspects of the TGA and Trans Tasman models that Health Freedom were successful in rejecting, including:

1.    The White List (Napoleonic Law – every natural ingredient to become illegal without a permit). Please Note: Under Common Law anything not forbidden is permitted.
2.    The power to make up the rules as they go along.
3.    Anything in therapeutic dose be classed as a medicine and therefore regulated as a drug.
4.    Excessive compliance costs that would put most small businesses under, push up the price of natural products, and see the loss of thousands of jobs and products in the industry.
5.    Over the top fines that don’t make sense unless you want to send numerous small businesses to the wall.
6.    Extremely limited claims. The ability to say “may support” will go, replaced by a few extremely low level claims acceptable to the drug industry this proposal seeks to protect.

Here are the details of the document and submission schedule.

The MoH is inviting submissions with a short deadline which is 17th May 2010. You may wish to write to them for an extension. Since the full time employed bureaucrats had 18 months to deliberate and come up with this document, it is only fair we the public get at least 90 days.

We are currently liaising with other organisations to formulate a comprehensive strategy and will have a document of the main points of objection to the document that you can use as a reference as soon as we can. 

In the mean time if you want continued access to affordable vitamins, minerals and other natural products we suggest that you:

1.    Read the discussion document yourself, highlighting the points you object to with a highlighter pen.
2.    Spread the word – Print this email and give it to your local health food store, natural health practitioner, family and friends.
3.    Begin to plan your submission (again we’ll have our main arguments to you in next few days).
4.    Don’t get hood winked and razzle dazzled by the propaganda that is currently being spread by the media, bureaucrats, bogus science, some members of the medical fraternity and the skeptic activist, Vicky Hide.

We are going to need more than 5,000 submissions made against this document in order to be effective, so everyone who wants continued access to natural products needs to act.

We believe this might well be the last opportunity we have to send a very loud and clear message that the consumers, the bureaucrats pretend they desire to protect, do not need the kind of protection the bureaucrats are offering – protection of pharmaceutical profits over our health.

Please keep an eye on your emails over the next coming days and be on standby in-case we have to mobilize fast. In the mean time please help us spread the word fast.

Thank you
Nicola Grace
Spokeswomen for Health Freedom New Zealand

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.