Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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June 17, 2003

Consumers demonstrate against EU directives

15 June 2003 - Health-conscious consumers protested in three European capitals against restrictions on the availability of food supplements and herbs proposed by the European Union. A directive on vitamin and mineral supplements was passed into European law in July 2002, which is expected to eliminate a large number of safe and currently available ingredients of supplements, while proposing to limit dosages in a largely political process of setting "acceptable upper levels" for all vitamins and minerals. Member states must transcribe the directive into national law within the month of July 2003.

Alliance for Natural Health reports on the European legislative actions and says that another directive on traditional herbal medicines is still under discussion. The measure proposed by the European Commission is set to eliminate all herbs that cannot show a tradition of use in Europe - ayurvedic herbs from India, Chinese traditional medicine, and a number of other traditional systems which, according to the WHO are used by a large majority - 80 per cent - of humans who do not have access to western medicine.

The protest marches took place in London, Stockholm and Paris last Sunday and signal widespread discontent with government interference in personal health choices. First reports say that the turnout was less than hoped for, but the events provided an excellent opportunity for linking up those who believe health should be a personal responsibility and who reject the reasoning of European Union authorities that natural health products must be tightly regulated to protect the consumer.

Natural health products are immeasurably safer than the pharmaceutical alternatives which are the cause of death of numerous patients - more than 100.000 a year only in the USA - every year, as evidenced by data from official government and medical sources.

Some first information about the protests is coming in....

Paul Taylor reports from London

" I can report that it was a good day out. In the great scheme of things of course the march will not by itself change anything, but a great many new contacts were made by all, and Lynne had arranged for all of the marchers' email addresses to be collected (no mean task) which will benefit the future spreading of information. The march also got the attention of many thousands of other people in London who were not involved in it, as quite apart from all of the noise that everyone was making a great many of those marching handed out leaflets to anybody and everybody that we could.

I look forward to hearing from others how the simultaneous marches that were held in France, Denmark, Sweden and Germany went."

Ingrid Franzon tells us about the march in Stockholm

"The march in Stockholm yesterday was a great event - though smaller than hoped. One of our celebrities - Thomas di Leva - was a great asset. It started on "Plattan" in the middle of Stockholms Sergels Torg and a band "Magnus & Rustan" playing and the rest of Stockholm looking on. While we were waiting to take off, Thomas di Leva took the mike - and including himself he challenged all of us and all the unsuspecting spectators to stand up for our right to natural health - keeping in mind that this is not our choice alone, we are also making choices for future generations. (Loud cheers!)

With police escort front and back we marched - very noisily shouting what we were demonstrating about - through town and 3 kms to a park where we continued with talks, music and collecting signatures from spectators. So about 4 hours later those of us who had driven from Falun for the day, at last wended our way to a restaurant to revive ourselves and our voices before the 3 hour drive home!

Although the march made little obvious difference to the overall effort to stop any directives - it made a huge difference to those 300 who took an active part in this. We became a team. We became aware of each other. We realised that we can do more if we do it together and we had a lot of fun doing it. We are not prepared to give up on this either!

So now we await the next big push which we will all take on together. Meanwhile, names are being written into a database - one for e-mail adresses and one for those who prefer snail mail."

Here are some pictures of the Swedish demonstration

Emma Holister from France gives us a first impression of the Paris demonstration

"I've just spoken to Patrick Machelard and there is good news about the Paris demo. Although, owing to last minute communications etc, the turn out was comparatively small, still about 150 people turned up. They made a lot of noise and handed out about I500 leaflets. The good news is that those who turned up are invaluable contacts, that they all put their heads together for UNACS's next plan of attack, that next time they intend to get their messages out to way more than their 30 000 contacts, that Patrick will be doing a radio talk show and a conference very soon in order to outline the issue of the EU directives and why they must be opposed.

Therefore, he is asking me to URGENTLY give him the precise dates of the meeting in Brussels because UNACS intends to have a turn out for that meeting. Can somebody tell me those dates pleeeez?

He also needs a copy of Rob's marvellous CD Rom he showed us in Paris which outlines in extremely clear terms the problems with the directives. I must translate that CD rom immediately, because Patrick needs it for his conferences, for informing people.
He would also like to know how the demos went in London, Stockholm etc so as to get an idea of the International side of things."

And here a picture of the Paris event...

And here another comment just received from What Doctors Don't Tell You, the main organizers of the march in London, through their latest newsletter.

THE SUN SHONE, THE BAND PLAYED: And 3,000 of you marched

Yes, we were being optimistic. We wanted 12,000 of you on the streets of London to join our march against the EU directives, but the 3,000 of you who did turn up made their feelings known.

And it's surprising how long a procession of 3,000 or so can be. It stretched the best part of Piccadilly, and was well in excess of half-a-mile in length.

Led by a seven-piece jazz band, the marchers - who also included pop star Billie Piper - made their way from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square where they heard rallying speeches from Conservative MP John Redwood, Euro MP Daniel Hannan, and Lynne McTaggart, editor of What Doctors.

So what next? We distributed 5,000 cards on the day, asking protestors to write to their local MP, and our special proclamation, which calls for the rejection of the directives and a warning that we will not abide by the laws if they are introduced, was signed by thousands.

Thousands more need to sign it - and do write to your MP if you haven't already done so.

We are planning a number of guerilla-like moves that will ensure that everyone who wants to continue taking high-dose vitamins and other supplements will still be able to.


The march: We've had a lot of nice comments back from people who attended the march, and to thank us for the efforts we've put in. "Thank you. Whatever we achieve, whatever we don't achieve, you are brilliant to have organized today" was one typical response. Thank you everyone, and thank you for attending, and for standing up and being counted. As that wonderful saying has it: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything".

For more information, please go to the Health Freedom Movement website


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday June 17 2003
updated on Friday December 10 2010

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Readers' Comments

I attended the london march and felt seriously let down by the poor turn out. Despite the numbers being much larger than those in Paris and Stockholm i am still shocked at the apathy surrounding something so serious!! These directives will affect so many people across Europe...and yet how many have shown their support for these protests? I was also shocked at the lack of media coverage. I found two tiny mentions in the daily express and mirror and only due to the presence of Billie Piper (minor celebrity!)who apparently led the march?!
If anyone knows of any other coverage please let me know.

Posted by: zoe braganza jones on June 18, 2003 04:42 PM


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