To: IAHF List
Subject: CHANNEL THE OUTRAGE INTO THE LAWSUIT!! A Discussion of Our Political Reality
Date: 6 Jul 2003 22:46:03 -0000
Below my comments I have two solidly documented articles which clearly illustrate the frightening stranglehold Pharma have on both the British Parliament and the US Congress. These articles clearly represent our political reality, and I have no illusions about this because I've been lobbying in defense of our access to vitamins since 1989. I know what is and is not possible, and see no point in not calling a spade a spade.
Sometimes, you have no choice but to sue the rotten Cartel bastards, and now is certainly one such time.
Last week the massively corrupt British Parliament did the expected and voted in favor of harmonizing England to the mindlessly restrictive EU Food Supplement Directive.
We must channel the outrage we all feel concerning the predictable fixing of the vote, into momentum behind ANH's fund raising efforts for the lawsuit to overturn the Directive.
Some in our midst would have us believe we actually had a chance via lobbying to keep this from happening. I say that this group, CHC, is backed primarily by a huge company (Nature's Bounty) that BENEFITS from the Directive through grabbing radically increased marketshare across Europe, and they they don't GENUINELY WANT us to succeed in fighting back. I say they're trying to steer us into dead ends. while making it APPEAR as though a real fight back is occurring.
I say they're wrong in their assertion that we had a chance via lobbying. I say we had no chance from the start, that the stacking of the committee against us proves it, and that the articles below which document the massive hold Pharma has on the British Parliament and the US Congress prove the truth of my assertion beyond any shadow of doubt- clearly illustrating our political reality.
Ralph Pike of CHC was highly critical of me for circulating a list of email addresses of British MPs to people on the IAHF email list because many on my list live outside the UK.
His view was that our emailing the MPs would just "piss them off" and "alienate them against us." My view is that the level of corruption we're up against is so extreme that regardless of whether we alienate them or not- they're going to do the bidding of their Cartel Masters and the articles below proves this, for both the British Parliament and the US Congress.
Pike was highly critical of Rob Verkerk of the Alliance for Natural Health in an email that was forwarded to me in which he referred to Rob as his "nemesis" and was highly critical of his supposed "lack of focus" implying that by not being in the UK to lobby Parliament at that time was somehow "treasonous." (Rob was in the US generating donations for the ANH lawsuit.)
My view is that Verkerk has a far better grasp of our political reality, and that it was a very wise move on his part to come over here to raise money for the all important lawsuit to sue the EU in order to legally OVERTURN the Food Supplement Directive.
The articles below back my assertion that it was not reasonable for Pike or anyone else to expect to prevail against the Pharma Controlled Labor government which has infinite ability and political will to stack the Standing Committee on Health just the way they did.
This should have been no surprise to Ralph Pike given what happened previously in the debate in Parliament over whether or not to harmonize to the Food Supplement Directive because in that debate, the Labor Party made it clear that they did not CARE how many signatures we'd collected. They didn't care that we collected a million, and wouldn't have cared if it had been 10 million- their view is that England is in the EU, so thats all there is to it.
Yet Pike saw fit to call Verkerk his "nemesis". He also lambasted me in an email accusing me of being "controlled opposition" because I encouraged consumers world wide to express their views to the British MPs in their own words, and he did not like the email I sent them in which I stated that if they approved the Directive, it would be tantamount to "urinating in the faces of British vitamin consumers."
Well I stand by that assertion with no apologies to Pike or to anyone else.
Sometimes you just have to speak your mind.
My view that it didn't matter if we angered them, they would have pulled their last minute stacking of the committee regardless of anything we did due to the degree to which they're massively lobbied by Pharma and they're already totally controlled anyway as documented in the articles below.
So: Why DID I encourage people on the IAHF list to email Parliament in opposition to their harmonizing British law to the EU Food Supplement Directive given my total conviction that it wouldn't make any difference?
Simple, we all have the RIGHT to free speech, and people have a RIGHT to be indignant, and to vent their anger at decisions which threaten to impact them even though many of us don't live in England. Anyone who doesn't see the degree to which England has been subsumed into the EU must be blind. The situation there is NOT the same as what we faced in the US Congress in '94 when we pushed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act through.
I wanted people to communicate with Parliament in their own words in order to feel good and ignored, because I wanted them to feel INDIGNANT!
I know in reaction to their anger they'll then urge more people to make donations to the ANH lawsuit via http://www.alliance-natural-health.org because this lawsuit is our only chance anyway.
The ONLY positive thing that can be expected to come out of a stacked vote like the one that just went predictably against us is we can use the anger it generates to get more people aware of, and BEHIND our lawsuit to overturn the Directive. If you have already donated to the lawsuit, many thanks and please make more donations! If you have not, please do.
Donations to ANH for the lawsuit and to IAHF are your ONLY CHANCE to stop the Cartel's agenda. We never had a CHANCE via lobbying last week.
http://www.alliance-natural-health.org and IAHF POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062 USA http://www.iahf.com
If you doubt what I'm saying, you won't after reading the articles below:
Please forward this to more people. Anyone can sign on to the IAHF list via http://www.iahf.com SEE ARTICLES BELOW WHICH ILLUSTRATE WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST
The Secret Life of Pharmaceuticals
Illustrates how the UK Parliament is even more controlled by Pharma lobbying than the US Congress is- in the UK- you can't learn anything about hazards of pharmaceuticals that have gone through the government approval process the way you can in the USA under the Freedom of Information Act In the UK- under the Medicines Act, it became a criminal offense for a public official to disclose safety data learned in the course of licensing the product.
'Follow The Dollar' PhRMA Report
PhRMA Wins Big on Medicare After Spending More Than a Half Billion on Political Contributions, Lobbying and Ad Campaigns
Download Document - (PDF)
Drug companies – long a potent political power in our nation’s capitol – are likely to score a huge victory this year in Washington with the passage of legislation that would extend prescription drug benefits to Medicare recipients. Supported by the Bush Administration, the House and Senate have each passed separate versions of such bills, and conferees are expected to iron out the differences in coming weeks. But these proposals lack the one element that older Americans want most: lower drug prices. Congress and the Administration both support proposals that fail to use the mass purchasing power of Medicare recipients as a lever to negotiate lower drug prices for all Medicare beneficiaries. So drug companies get the best of both worlds – a $400 billion government program to enable more older people to afford their prescription drugs, plus no meaningful brakes on the skyrocketing cost of those medications. A Washington Post story recently mentioned a drug industry lobbyist who said that the pharmaceutical industry had decided that with a Republican Congress and Administration, now was the time “to lock in the best deal it can get,” and that the legislation would take the pressure off Congress to “impose more draconian price controls.”
The industry’s victory has not come cheaply. Over the past decade, drug companies that belong to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) have poured more than a half billion dollars into efforts to advance their legislative agenda. PhRMA and its members wrote a prescription for at least $558 million in political contributions, lobbying and advertising campaigns.
Between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2002, these special interests gave $57.9 million in political contributions, including more than $35.5 million in soft money donations to the national political parties and more than $22.4 million in Political Action Committee (PAC) donations to federal candidates, according to Common Cause. Republicans have received $44.7 million of total contributions from PhRMA and its members, while $13 million was donated to Democrats. Soft money donations alone increased ten-fold over the past decade.
Between January 1, 1996 and December 31, 2002, the pharmaceutical industry also spent more than $435.1 million to lobby Congress, the White House and federal regulators.
It is estimated that from 1993 to 2000, PhRMA alone spent well over $65 million on advertising campaigns to fight legislative proposals it disliked, often funneling the money through other groups. During the 2002 election cycle, PhRMA donated an undisclosed amount to the United Seniors Association to run an advertising campaign that supported the industry’s legislative agenda. It was one of the largest issue advertising campaigns during the cycle, costing an estimated $17 million.
To date, this money cure has helped the industry block legislation to rein in prices. Indeed, since 1994, the financial health of the drug industry has grown more and more robust, racking up one legislative victory after another. In 2002, it was the nation’s most profitable industry, according to Fortune magazine, with the top 10 companies posting revenues of over $217 billion and profits of almost $37 billion, a 17 percent return on revenues compared to the Fortune 500 median of 3.1 percent.
Soft money contribution figures are based on national political party committee reports of their non-federal, or soft money, accounts filed with the FEC covering the period January 1, 1991 through December 31, 2002 and political action committee (PAC) reports of contributions to federal candidates during the same period.
Under current law, corporations and labor unions are prohibited from making contributions in connection with a federal election, while individuals and political action committees (PACs) are subject to federal limits. The term ‘hard money’ refers to contributions that are legal under federal law for federal elections, while ‘soft money’ refers to contributions made outside the limits and prohibitions of federal law, including large individual or PAC contributions and direct corporate or union contributions.
National political party committees were required to disclose their soft money contributions beginning in 1991, after Common Cause filed a petition with the FEC, challenging the way in which it was treating soft money.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 went into effect November 6, 2002, permanently banning the national parties from raising soft money.
View Full Document with Charts and Tables - (PDF)
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062 USA