The Work Of Our Foundation In South Africa

  1. Over decades, malnutrition and particularly micronutrient deficiency has been one of the primary causes of immune deficiencies in the developing world. Moreover, in countless international health reports about the poor health conditions in Africa and other regions of the world, micronutrient deficiencies and avitaminosis were listed among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality especially among children. The 2002 UNICEF “Damage assessment Report,” concluding that more than two billion people worldwide suffer from “vitamin and mineral deficiency,” was already discussed in detail above (Annexure ‘VMD’).
  2. In light of these compelling facts, there is no reasonable explanation that so few vitamin studies have been conducted to develop effective and affordable public health strategies and to help improve the health conditions across Africa and the developing world. However, as discussed in detail in Section B of this affidavit, there is an economic explanation for this failure. Vitamins and other micronutrients are non-patentable, yield low profit margins and threaten the multibillion Rand business with patented pharmaceutical drugs in those countries.
  3. For years, the Dr Rath Foundation and the Dr Rath Research Institute have focused on promoting the knowledge of science based micronutrient research in the fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer. As of today, I am not aware of any research institution in the world that has published more scientific publications in these areas of natural approaches to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Thus, we recognized our responsibility to expand this knowledge and to bring our research experience to help effectively fight the AIDS epidemic as the greatest health threat in the developing world.
  4. Towards this end, in April 2004 we were invited to participate in a 3 day workshop at the MRC of South Africa. Immediately following our first preparatory meeting for this event in January 2004, the global pharmaceutical interests and their political stakeholders reacted. Through one of the international bodies it controls – the EU Commission in Brussels (see above) – the astonishing amount of 4.2 billion Rand [ 4,200,000,000 Rand) were allocated in a surprise move to the MRC, the very institution the symposium on natural health was to take place (Annexure ‘European Union’).
  5. This 4.2 billion Rand transaction to the MRC
    1. was in fact a subsidy programme for the export of patented ARVs and other drugs from Europe to Africa,
    2. was covered as a “charity” to help the poor people in Africa and therefore
    3. was “channelled” by the EU Commission through one of its “ruse organizations,” the “European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (ECDTP)” deceptively named to cover what is described in Dr Angell’s book as “Marketing masquerading as research,”
    4. was paid for by millions of taxpayers all over Europe who were unaware of this “ruse,”
    5. did neither serve the people of South Africa , for whom these toxic drugs were designated, nor the people of Europe , who had to pay for this giant drug subsidy programme,
    6. the only beneficiaries of this huge amount of money were the European drug companies, who would receive most of this money in return for exporting toxic ARVs and other controversial drugs to Africa.
  6. It is a significant fact that the payment of this huge amount of “drug export subsidy” money – among the largest amounts ever paid to South Africa in the medical field – happened on the eve of a scientific seminar with the participation of researchers from the Dr Rath Research Institute and marshalling the scientific facts and health benefits of non-patented natural health and micronutrients. This fact documents:
    1. The paramount fear of the pharmaceutical investment business:
      1. of science-based natural health, in particular the scientific knowledge about the essential role of vitamins for optimum immune function documented in every textbook of biology,
      2. that these basic facts of biological science could finally be applied as public health policy to help fight immune deficiencies/AIDS particularly in the developing world,
      3. that if millions of people take advantage of the health benefits of micronutrients – this 80 year old basic knowledge of biological science – then the artificial “wall” would tumble down that the pharmaceutical investment business had built to confine this basic knowledge of biology – as a precondition for conducting its multi-billion rand business with disease dependent on patented drugs,
      4. that if this basic scientific knowledge becomes public health policy, the fraudulent nature of the multi-billion rand investment business with toxic AIDS drugs would be unmasked – and the people of the world would terminate this unscrupulous investment business with the AIDS epidemic,
    2. The transfer of 4.2 billion Rand in drug export subsidies to the MRC in South Africa also documents the fierce resolve of the pharmaceutical industry to
      1. prevent this development from happening and protect its multi-billion Rand investments into the ARV drug market that flourishes only as long as the AIDS epidemic continues,
      2. to invest hundreds of millions of Rands allocated to the MRC in South Africa , and billions more elsewhere with one purpose only: to continue its unscrupulous investment business with the AIDS epidemic based on patented drugs – and risking the lives of millions of people.
  7. Thus, by early 2004 the globally operating pharmaceutical interests had determined South Africa as a key battleground in the “battle of survival” for its unethical investment business with the AIDS epidemic.
  8. The Dr Rath Foundation chose to accept this challenge and stay in South Africa . Moreover, this country’s government has been a global leader in advocating natural health approaches as part of its comprehensive public health strategy. The combination of the Foundation’s experience in natural health research and the political will of the South African government were obviously synergetic, and would ultimately result in science-based natural health strategies benefiting millions of people far beyond this country.
  9. The work of the Dr Rath Foundation in South Africa has two main elements: a) public health education and b) the donation of nutritional vitamin programmes to community organizations, to be given free of charge to community members affected by AIDS. As mentioned before, this work is being supported by the Dr Rath Foundation in Europe.
  10. Initially, we had thought about selling the vitamin product “Vitacell” which we had registered with the South African Department of Health in 2004, but we soon decided against it. The reason was obvious: those people with the greatest need for these nutritional support programmes – the AIDS victims in the poor townships of the country – don’t even have the money to buy food, let alone micronutrients. Thus, already in 2004, the decision was taken to donate these vitamins to community organizations and enable them to provide these micronutrients to those in need.
  11. As for the work of the Dr Rath Foundation Africa into the area of public health education, these activities comprise the distribution of books, brochures, information handouts as well as public health information in the media. In some instances this has occurred by means of paid publications in newspapers, so as to reach a broader portion of the public.
  12. This public health information contains general information about the role of micronutrients and other natural and nutritional health approaches, as well as statements of health policy. In no instance did any of these publications contain any product advertising. Moreover, whenever possible, this public health information stated that the Dr Rath Foundation is a non-profit organization active in the field of research and worldwide dissemination of science-based natural health information.
  13. The need for health education informing the general public about the importance of nutrition and micronutrients for optimum health is especially compelling in South Africa . Here decades of Apartheid have heavily promoted pharmaceutical drugs and left millions of people ignorant of their nutritional needs and of basic health information.
  14. Since there is currently no cure for AIDS, the task at hand has been to bridge the time until such a cure is found. It is scientifically undisputed that ARVs cannot cure AIDS and, in addition, are associated with severe side effects. Micronutrients are no cure for AIDS either, but because of their undisputed ability to improve the immune systems – especially in people suffering from immune deficiency conditions – they have to be considered an effective and safe approach to help control AIDS. Thus, the widespread use of micronutrients should enable the development of effective and affordable public health strategies and help to win valuable time for the governments of the world until a cure for AIDS is found.
  15. It was obvious from the beginning of our work in the field of immune deficiencies that millions of people affected by AIDS would have immediate benefits from the implementation of micronutrient community programmes. Moreover, the private sectors and the governments of those nations whose economies are debilitated by the costs to fight the AIDS epidemic would also greatly benefit from this advance in public health.
  16. In fact, there has been only one group, which has a vested interest to obstruct this advance in public health and to discredit the implementation of micronutrients in public health programmes fighting AIDS. As mentioned above, this special interest group is the pharmaceutical industry and its stakeholders who make billions of Rand with the continuation of the AIDS epidemic and with the promotion of patented ARV drugs. For them the message of science based natural, non-patentable approaches to the AIDS epidemic would be a fundamental threat to their investment business with patented AIDS drugs.