The Health Freedom Movement

Note that this article is taken from many different sources.

The term “health freedom movement” is used to describe a loose coalition of organizations, consumers, activists, alternative medicine practitioners and producers of products around the world who are campaigning for unhindered freedom of choice in health care.

The major tenets are:

1. Access to natural healing modalities, including supplements, herbs and organic food, is under threat.

Unfortunately, it seems that conflicts of interest abound in the very government agencies that are supposed to be looking out for your health. The FDA and the USDA are known to be revolving doors for Big pharmaceutical and big agricultural executives. You constantly hear about someone whose tenure with the FDA is up and accepts a very lucrative job with a large Pharmaceutical company

Furthermore, the big pharmaceutical companies, who view natural products as a direct threat to their profits, and Agricultural giants like Monsanto, are widely considered to be the driving forces behind something called Codex Alimentarius.

The controversy over the Codex Alimentarius relates to the fact that it is a mandatory standard  for the safety of food, including vitamin and mineral supplements and other ways of approaching health. In theory this sounds good, except that firstly, they are not bound to base their recommendations by scientific facts and research and secondly that there have been too many conflicts of interest between it’s members who many times are executives of large pharmaceutical and chemical companies and actual facts regarding health. Proponents of the Health Freedom Movement argue that Codex really does not take into account  scientific studies as evidence of food safety and consumer protection. For many, Codex is simply a way of controlling what you eat, what vitamins you can and cannot take etc. (unfortunately, there seems to be truth to this statement).

2. Government censorship of scientific information

Perhaps even more troubling, is the fact that the government currently has the power to effectively censor information about natural healing modalities. As it stands, it’s illegal for a grower, manufacturer, distributor or retailer to reference valid research concerning the health benefits associated with a food or supplement. Referencing such research converts the food or supplement into an “unapproved drug” in the eyes of the FDA.

 According to the Alliance for Natural Health, putting an end to government censorship of scientific information as it relates to the effects of foods and supplements on health would empower consumers to make informed decisions about their health. The long-term results of these legislative changes would be a healthier population and dramatically reduced health care costs for both individuals and for the government.

3. Lack of health care coverage for natural medicine

The whole health care debate is generally very frustrating for those  who believe in the healing powers of natural medicine. On a personal level, what’s frustrating is that many of the tools we use to stay healthy — and the practitioners  sought out for support — are not even considered part of the U.S. health care system, as they’re generally not covered by insurance providers. Shouldn’t all Americans have equal access to natural healing modalities and holistically minded health care practitioners, along with conventional treatments and practitioners?

4. Our health care system needs to shift its focus to prevention.

The ongoing debate over access and payment seem irrelevant when it’s apparent that our health care (or “sick care,” as many refer to it) system, as it stands, is fundamentally ineffective. Until the system itself moves toward a more prevention-oriented model, the exorbitant costs associated with health care will always be unmanageable.

Recent statistics indicate that our health care system is failing us. Life expectancy in the U.S.behind that of other high-income nations. Additional, studies have shown that the young 20’s and 30’s generation will be the first in recorded history not to live as long as their parents. Generally, children are supposed to live a longer span to to better food, sanitation etc, but this trend is now reversing.It is argued that people are victims of their own. own prosperity. Rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease — all conditions that are considered largely preventable — are rapidly rising. In fact, some say that 90% of all illness are lifestyle caused. What we need is change — a widespread awakening to the reality of the “sick care” system and people learning how to use diet, lifestyle changes and other natural means of healing. It is believed that the government is barely doing anything to help facilitate this change, rather, due to lobbyists and large money interests, the governments are just putting even more money into supporting a pharmaceutical industry that is fundamentally flawed and only profit based. You just have to turn on the television and every other ad is for a medication with the final words of “see you doctor and ask if this med is right for you. People are than almost demanding that their doctors are prescribing these meds as the patients have seen how “so called” miraculous these meds are by the slick “Madison Avenue” advertising they are exposed to.

5. Pharmaceutical dangers

Drug safety is a growing concern in this country. Reports of adverse drug reactions have skyrocketed in recent years, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 20,000 Americans last year alone. There are many who believe that this number may be even higher, due to selective misreporting the causes of death. A study released in 2007 showed that reports of serious adverse drug events more than doubled between 1998 and 2005, and these disturbing numbers continue to grow, as physicians write more and more prescriptions. Too often, the physicians knowledge of a new med comes only from the pharmaceutical representatives making their visits to doctors offices. Furthermore, it is estimated that any Doctor with a DEA license (one who who can prescribe drugs) receives on average, at least two visits from a rep per week. On the other hand, zero deaths have been attributed to dietary supplements in 2009? . Not a one. Yet, it’s dietary supplements that are constantly under attack for their “dangers”.

So, what are your thoughts, especially for those of you on that never ending Fibromyalgia Merry-go-round!

2 thoughts on “The Health Freedom Movement

  1. Great blog….. my sentiments exactly and written so well. If I could revolutionise healthcare with a magic wand…. Oh how I would. Over here we have the NHS, we pay for it in our taxes…. wish we had more of a say in how the money was spent.

    • We really have so little say here in the states, our system is extremely broken, with lots of fraud. It is no uncommon for people who have been hospitalized to be billed for procedures not due, yet they don’t know better. For example, an old patient of mine who had an emergency appendectomy (male) was also billed for a Pap smear, a mammogram etc among other things. There were about 20 K added charges and as he had no insurance, and after I spoke to the billing people (with a fight), a 39 thousand dollar bill became 6 thousand. He was in the hospital for a total of 14 hours

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