Mr. Charles E. Ragus, Founder of Advocare International, L.L.C., a successful 150 million dollar a year direct sales company, which has over 100,000 distributors, has worked for years with leading nutritional scientists and physicians to formulate test and sell dietary supplement formulations. In 2000, Mr. Ragus was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, recognizing that he had become one of the most successful and well-respected entrepreneurs in the United States. They are fully dedicated to the cause of healthcare freedom. "I want to encourage everyone here to be a difference maker," said Charles Ragus. "It only takes one person, one voice to be a major difference maker sometimes. Our freedom and our right to assemble here today people died for once."
Matthias Rath, M.D., is an internationally recognized and respected physician and scientist who discovered important associations between vitamin C and cardiovascular health. His publications have appeared in the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and others. Dr. Rath is the founder and president of an international research and development firm that studies and publishes on nutrition science. Until 1992, Dr. Rath was Director of Cardiovascular Research at the Linus Pauling Institute of California, where together he and Linus Pauling published several landmark scientific works.
Dr. Rath, a German citizen, has taken an active role in informing the public about an insidious and potentially life-threatening issue. The issue is called Codex alimentarious. Codex is an international code of food standards developed by a Commission under the United Nations through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This international code of food standards attempts to impose very strict rules restricting all countries including the USA from access to information on health choices and the right to obtain high-potency vitamins without a prescription. This means that we would only be able to buy over the counter vitamins and supplements that have no more than the minimal RDA amounts. Stronger formulations would be prohibitive without a prescription from a doctor and consequently, more expensive as well. This would take away our freedom of informed choice and restrict access to valuable medical tools. Most doctors don't even know much about vitamins and supplements! If this passes, doctors will be the ones prescribing. How could this happen?
The Commission that created this code consists of appointed (not elected) members from each participating country. Consequently, they do not represent consumer interests. The majority of these members are representatives from multinational pharmaceutical corporations that would benefit financially if the Codex is accepted. "Presently, the European Parliament has made a substantial effort to decrease the availability of vitamins all over Europe by forming binding legislation," said Dr. Rath. "In 1989, the British parliament created a piece of legislation called Amilex 249 criminalizing the spread of natural health information. Great Britain is the #2 export country of pharmaceutical products," he said.
This piece of legislation did not pass due to elaborate efforts by advocates such as Dr. Rath. In June, 2000, Dr. Rath distributed a newspaper to two million households in London picturing a sailor dying from scurvy stating that if the legislation passes, such a piece of literature would be prohibited. More that one half million people used his website to protest to each member of the Commission. "Since 1996, the European governments meet every two years in Berlin. (The most recent meeting was November, 2001). Switzerland, the #3 pharmaceutical product export country, now has a national law criminalizing the spread of natural health information related to vitamins and unpatentable natural therapies," said Dr. Rath. France and Germany already imposes restrictive vitamin rules which limit access to information and restrict the right to obtain high-potency vitamins without a prescription. Canadians have limited access to vitamins and supplements as well. "In 1992, the FDA's effort to turn vitamins prescriptive medication was defeated. Under Codex in Europe they are still trying to outlaw the use of preventive and therapeutic health statements," said Dr. Rath. "We will win because we are right. No army in the world can stop the truth once the time has come." Let's hope the time has come. This is a serious issue.
Dr. Charles B. Simone, MMS, M.D., of the Simone Protective Cancer Center in New Jersey, was the next recipient of the Bulwark of Liberty Award. Dr. Simone is one of the few people in the world who has formal training in medical oncology, radiation oncology and immunology with an expertise in nutrition, cancer detection and cancer prevention. Known for his exceptional bedside manner and tenacious efforts to leave no stone unturned, he is a pioneer in integrative medicine combining effective conventional and alternative modalities to bring his cancer patients the best of both worlds.
Dr. Simone has created a series of exceptional publications about a variety of related topics, and has helped thousands of people find treatments that could extend their lives. He also started a series of outstanding scientific investigations at the NIH, which made some significant discoveries in the field of immunology and cancer. These investigations uncovered the fundamental mechanism of how human white blood cells kill foreign cells; helped demonstrate how "complement proteins" aid in destroying foreign cells; demonstrated how adriamycin, an anti-cancer drug operates at the cellular level; and conceived and developed the idea of splicing monoclonal antibodies to killing cells that seek out cancer cells, called directed effector cell killing.
Dr. Simone stated that he and his family are committed to finding the truth of what is effective in diagnosis and treatment so that the public can make informed choices. Consequently, he has opposed government censorship of health information. Dr. Simone has helped organize the Office of Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. He has also testified on multiple occasions before the United States Senate and House of Representatives on health issues, FDA reform and alternative medicine, and has appeared on numerous national television programs including "60 Minutes," "Prime Time Live" and others. He is a compassionate, sensitive, brilliant and exceptional physician, scientist and spokesperson for health related issues.
Jonathan Emord, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the First Amendment battles said, "The FDA is a mammoth agency that controls a third or more of the Gross Domestic Product of the country. The Court of Appeals process showed this agency that it too must abide by the law. The Constitution, has input beyond. . . anyone in this country who would through government actions attempt to deprive us of our freedoms. Without much money, Durk and Sandy, Dr. Whitaker and the APMA took on this agency and brought it to its knees. I salute them."
The time and efforts required to force the FDA to recognize just one health claim relating to folic acid was enormous. Health freedom advocates continue to aggressively litigate against the FDA to force the agency to allow health claims that are thoroughly documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Michele G. Morrow, D.O., is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.