The Barletta Declaration
Making Natural Preventive Health a Human Right
by Dr. Matthias Rath, MD
Barletta, Italy, October 19, 2014
On October 19, 2014, a memorable event took place in Southern Italy in the historic town of Barletta. Addressing the audience and the people of the world, Dr. Matthias Rath gave a keynote speech in which he outlined the cornerstones of a future preventive health care system. Demanding that powerful corporate interests should be stopped from imposing the “business with disease” on the people of the world, he described unique and impressive strategies that will allow mankind to free itself from the current dictatorial system of health care.
Today, at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, we, the people of the world, have the opportunity and responsibility to reduce and largely eliminate diseases that have haunted mankind from its very beginning, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Over the past century, great progress has been made in the field of human health. Despite this, today's most common diseases continue in epidemic proportions. Human health is being held hostage on a global scale by the status quo – at its center, the pharmaceutical investment industry that has defined wide-spread diseases as its target market and which thrives on their continuation.
The World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies have defined optimum health as one of the greatest social goals to be achieved by mankind. But despite many declarations, these international organizations have failed to achieve this aim. This is due to their dependency upon corporate interests and the fact that there was no scientific rationale that would have allowed the people of the world to support and help implement the great goal of ‘health for all’.
Emboldened by these facts, the status quo has now declared an economic war on mankind to be led on the battlefield of human health. We are being told that over the next decade and a half we will have to spend almost 50 trillion dollars for the management of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness and respiratory diseases alone. This amount essentially equals the sum of the gross domestic products of almost the entire world, excluding only the United States and China.
In this situation we, the people of the world, have a choice: Either we allow this and all future generations of mankind to become economically dependent upon the investment business with disease and to be controlled by its political stakeholders – or we take responsibility now by creating a new prevention-oriented health care system for the people and by the people.
The Principles of New Preventive Health Care
First, we have to define the principles of this new, preventive health care. Health is one of the most important human needs and social goals worldwide. A comprehensive state of health and well-being for the people of the world cannot be achieved by interventional medicine that is merely making sure diseases are being treated once they occur.
The goal of providing health to all the people of the world can only be achieved when the focus of healthcare is switched from intervention to prevention – that is, towards averting and correcting the malfunctioning of our body before diseases develop.
Once the root cause of a disease is understood, effective preventive strategies can be implemented. Moreover, the effective long-term prevention of any disease on a global scale must lead to the eradication of this health condition as a cause of human mortality. Achieving this goal will save millions of lives and billions in health care costs.
We must be aware that the prevention and elimination of diseases fundamentally threatens the giant investment business that is dependent on their continuation. To secure continued revenues from this business and to cement its power, these special interests have been trying to create a global monopoly on health, essentially penetrating all sectors of the current health care system and influencing health policies in most countries of the world. Thus, in undertaking the historic transformation towards natural and preventive health we must not live under the illusion that the stakeholders of the current businessoriented health care system will become allies in this transformation process.
We, the people of the world, must lay down the principle of disease prevention by natural means as the foundation of the new health care system. Moreover, since the people are the primary beneficiaries of this new health care, we must also be the architects of this breathtaking world in which today's most common diseases become largely unknown.
This new health care system must be built from the bottom up. Starting at the level of communities and eventually reaching the national and international level, new, effective health care structures have to be created and controlled by the people. New health professions specialized in all aspects of natural, nutritional and other forms of preventive medicine and primary health care have to be created. This is the only way in which the current monopoly on health care, controlled by business interests, can be overcome.
Eventually, a new international body has to be created to replace the current structure of the World Health Organization that has failed in its mission to provide health for all people and has proven to be unreformable due to its close ties with the business interests of the status quo.
Undertaking the historic task of building a new, prevention-oriented health care system, we embrace anyone sharing these goals who commits to ending the dependency of the people of the world upon the current health monopoly of the investment business with disease.
The driving forces of this historical transformation are millions of lay people worldwide who qualify themselves in different sectors of natural health and commit as active architects of a prevention- oriented health care system. They are supported and complimented by health professionals from the field of science-based and evidence-based natural health.
Finally, we will be joined in this historical transformation by a growing number of conventional doctors who recognize the deadlocks of conventional medicine in many areas of health and who realize that they, too, have become victims of a medical training system that degrades the medical profession, essentially reducing it to a sales force for the pharmaceutical investment business.
Nutritional and Cellular Health – The Scientific Basis of a Preventive Health Care
Many disciplines of science- and evidence-based health will join in the build-up of a prevention- oriented health care system. But the scientific core of an effective preventative approach to health care is nutritional and Cellular Medicine.
The rationale for this priority can be deducted with compelling logic. A new, globally sustainable health care system can only be achieved based on the following steps:
First, we need to identify and understand the biological processes at the smallest unit within our body where health and disease is determined – the level of the billions of cells that make up our body.
Second, we need to identify micronutrient deficiency as the most common cause of cellular malfunction. Vitamins, minerals and other plant-derived micronutrients are bioactive compounds that provide essential bioenergy to each cell of our body and function as the catalysts of thousands of metabolic reactions. An optimum daily intake of these micronutrients is essential to prevent cellular malfunctioning and, thereby, to stop the development of disease. This is the foundation of Cellular Medicine.
Third, we need to identify where we can find these essential micronutrients in nature. The great majority of them are contained in fruits, vegetables and the plants that grow in our gardens and fields.
This simple, logical rationale paves the way towards the natural control of today’s most common diseases.
Today, many chronic health conditions have been identified as being directly caused by, or at least associated with, a deficiency in the dietary intake of micronutrients. They include such widespread diseases as arteriosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes; heart failure; arrhythmia; diabetic circulatory problems; osteoporosis and many others. Over the past century, half a dozen Nobel prizes have been awarded for the role of vitamins and other micronutrients in strengthening the immune system and helping to fight a multitude of infectious diseases.
The powerful health benefits of micronutrients are explained by the fact that they are bioactive components of plants. Moreover, plants have been the primary source of nutrition for our ancestors over millennia. Thus, the metabolism of our body today has become dependent on a balanced and optimum intake of fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, knowledge about the micronutrient content of plants has to become a key element in any education program towards a preventive health care system. Knowledge about the vitamin C content of citrus fruits, the polyphenol content of green tea or the micronutrients contained in sweet potatoes, cruciferous plants, grapes and many other plants, and their role in optimizing cellular metabolism, creates the decisive links between nutritional and Cellular Medicine.
An effective, preventive health care system has to tear down any remaining artificial barriers between nutrition and health as well as between medicine and agriculture. The most effective medicines for the health care system of the future are grown in our gardens, on cultivated land within our communities and on the fields of our farms.
The fruits and vegetables we plant and eat are organically grown and are free of pesticides and GMOs.
While nutritional and Cellular Medicine form the scientific basis of effective disease prevention, they are complemented by other well-established preventive health measures. These include other natural health approaches, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, the means to reduce stress at the workplace, the commitment to secure clean air and water, and other measures promoting disease prevention.
Education and Participation of the People are Key Building Blocks of Preventive Health Care
The essential building blocks of a new, prevention-oriented health care system are education and participation of the people. The artificial division between our food and our health is an important reason for the widespread health illiteracy among the people of the world today. This health illiteracy is no coincidence but a precondition for the continuation of the status quo’s ‘investment business with disease’.
The disregard for the essential role of micronutrients in human health was also the main reason why all declarations by the World Health Organization and other United Nations organizations proclaiming the global need for preventive and primary health care have failed. Without a viable scientific concept these proclamations remained empty and had to fail.
Now, the people of the world are rapidly learning about the scientific facts and compelling logic of nutritional and Cellular Medicine. Thus, they will be able to largely liberate themselves from the burden of today’s most common diseases and actively participate in the construction of a prevention-oriented health care system.
The hallmarks of this global health liberation movement are:
- Awareness. We need to create awareness among the people of the world about the deadlocks of the current health care system and the urgent need to develop alternatives. The quest for ‘health’ in a person’s life must no longer be limited to those moments when they are sick and in need of a doctor or hospital. Most importantly, we must realize and become aware that health is not given to us voluntarily; we need to take action ourselves to make health a human right.
- Education. The second hallmark of health liberation is ‘education’. We can no longer delegate our health to another profession or institution. We need to take responsibility for our own health in a comprehensive way by educating ourselves about the most common causes of diseases and how to prevent them in a safe and effective way. This education is a continuous process throughout our life.
- Empowerment. Solid health education creates ‘empowerment’. With ongoing education and increased knowledge in natural, nutritional, cellular and other forms of preventive medicine we will be able to make better decisions for our own health and that of others. By passing life-saving health information on to others we gradually become ‘health teachers’.
- Participation. And finally, out of the power of knowledge, the desire of ‘participation’ grows within ourselves – the urgency to take an active role in overcoming the deadlocks of current health care. Only if we, the people, take responsibility within our communities and beyond will we be able to create a new preventive health care system at the national level and achieve the ultimate goal of ‘health for all‘ on a worldwide scale. The participation of the people in building a new preventive system of health care is the right and duty of every responsible citizen.
The Key Strategies of a Worldwide Preventive Health Education Campaign
Among all these hallmarks for a historical transformation, education about natural, nutritional and cellular health is the key. This education will be conducted at several levels:
There is a global level of health education: The Internet and online social networks will allow health education and communication on the subject of effective natural health in unprecedented dimensions, reaching every corner of the planet. Students of these online programs can share their experiences across five continents and become teachers of natural preventive health in their own communities – irrespective of whether their community is a large city or a village in a rain forest.
At the local level of this health education initiative, setting up community health information centers are a key element. People, young and old, who recognize the need for an immediate change in global health care, will unite to set up these centers in their communities. In some countries these centers will resemble stores. Alternatively a center may simply be a small hut in the middle of a school or community garden. Regardless, the key function of these centers is to offer information, education and consultation about natural, nutritional and cellular health and about the breathtaking perspectives of preventive medicine. These community health information centers are connected through social networks and international partnerships that allow an exchange of information across national, social and ethnic barriers – especially among young people.
Education of the people in natural and preventive health must take place at all levels: Nutritional and Cellular Medicine courses will be offered at every level of education, from kindergarten to adult education programs. Every school will have classes on the essentials of optimum nutrition and cellular health, thus enabling the youngest inhabitants of our planet to take advantage of these health breakthroughs. Every major college and university will open faculties to educate future experts in nutritional health, Cellular Medicine and preventive health in general. In this context new professions will be promoted that offer diplomas and degrees for ‘primary health care teachers’, ‘cellular health consultants’ and other prevention oriented disciplines.
Moreover, to accelerate this historic transformation, new independent medical schools and universities will be founded around the world with the focus on nutritional health and Cellular Medicine.
Key Elements of a Preventive Health Care System
The key element in building a future, prevention-oriented health care system is the participation of the people of the world in the planning, implementation and control of their own health care. Millions of people, empowered by comprehensive education in preventive health, now become architects of this new system. Building this new global health care is a stepwise process. The milestones are:
- Healthy Community: First, we must create a healthy community. Coordinated through community health information centers, these health architects make sure that the breakthroughs of nutritional and cellular health and the possibility to improve health and save lives reaches every member of the community. They build a network of committed citizens who help to implement primary health care programs towards improving health in the community. Primary health care is defined as essential health care made accessible to community members through the participation of the community at large.
- Healthy nation: The second milestone on the path towards a new global health care system is a healthy nation. The sum of all local and regional activities will ultimately contribute to a new approach to health care at the national level and will help to create a healthy nation. Redirecting the national health care system towards the prevention of diseases is a major milestone in the history of each nation.
Preventive health care will be promoted at every level of political decision taking. Health insurance systems will promote nutritional and cellular health, as well as other preventive health care approaches. This will decrease health care costs for individuals, the public sector and corporations, thereby stimulating employment and economic growth.
Taxpayer money will be channeled to public and private research that focuses on the prevention and elimination of diseases. New universities and research institutes will be created in order to accelerate the transformation of national health care systems towards an effective, affordable and sustainable preventive approach.
- Healthy Planet: Our ultimate aim is to create a healthy planet for ourselves and future generations. The transformation of health care systems towards prevention in more and more nations of the world will inevitably change global health care in the same direction. The concept of Cellular Medicine is the only scientific rationale that allows the buildup of a health care system that is sustainable on a global scale.
Sustainability and Selfreinforcement
The fact that the key compounds delivering health to the human body are found in plants, that can essentially grow everywhere, allows a health care system based on this knowledge to provide health to people anywhere in the world.
But nutritional and Cellular Medicine do not only sustain global health care – it goes beyond that: they are self-reinforcing. The continuously expanding knowledge about the health benefits of plants and the micronutrients they contain will gradually reduce diseases while, at the same time, lowering the costs of health care. The growing acceptance of nutritional and Cellular Medicine as the basis of a new health care system will enable us to provide effective health care around the world at less and less cost. The synergistic sum of the health benefits of optimum plant selection, new agricultural procedures, and of new results in cellular health research via the internet and social networks will propel the liberation of mankind from diseases at a continuously accelerating rate. This principle of continuously ‘achieving more health at lower cost’ is a unique feature of the preventive health care system we are building together.
Moreover, the global dissemination of this nutrition-based health care will greatly reduce the economic dependency of the developing world upon the industrialized nations. The need for developing countries to import expensive pharmaceutical drugs – that today are strangulating the already weak economies of these countries – will be significantly reduced.
The Need for a World Health Alphabetization
The greatest goal uniting all mankind at the beginning of the third millennium is the need for a world health alphabetization. Within the coming years, the information regarding which plants are rich in essential micronutrients and which should be grown to fight hunger and disease – at the same time – will reach every community and every village in the world. In those developing nations where the majority of people are still unable to read and write, our global health education campaign will become a health alphabetization campaign. It will bring health, but it will also serve the goal of bringing general education to the people and increasing the literacy rate in those countries.
Hunger, disease and illiteracy have been key tools that cemented the economic dependency of the developing world upon the industrialized world and widened the gap between rich and poor nations. Our World Health Alphabetization campaign will be the single most important measure in the history of mankind towards overcoming economic inequality and will finally help to establish social justice on our planet.
The Breathtaking Historical Parallel of Our Mission
The breathtaking historical parallel to our mission is the transformation from the Dark Ages to Modern Times – half a millennium ago. At that time the great majority of people were living a life deprived of the ability to read and write and were thus condemned to living in utmost dependency.
The translation of books from Latin into spoken languages and their mass production via the newly invented printing press led to an unprecedented explosion of knowledge. Many new schools and universities were founded, propelling knowledge in all areas of life – eventually terminating the medieval Dark Ages and ushering in the Modern Times. The intellectual and economic potential released through these measures provided unprecedented wealth to the people, communities and states at that time.
Today, most areas of our planet have been liberated from the inability to read and write – but essentially the entire world is still enslaved by illiteracy in relation to our health and our body. The logic of nutritional and Cellular Medicine – which can be understood by anyone, anywhere in the world – liberates the people of our planet from health illiteracy.
Moreover, the parallel to the invention of the printing press five centuries ago is the advent of the Internet and the development of social networks in our time. The economic wealth that will be created by a significant reduction of diseases – and by creating an effective, sustainable and prevention-oriented health care system on a global scale – will be unprecedented.
Huge amounts of money will now become available to address the burning issues of mankind, including mass unemployment, environmental protection and support for economic and social advances in the developing world.
But this quantum leap forward for mankind will not come by itself – we need to organize it!
What Are the Next Steps?
From this conference in Barletta, Italy, we call to the people of the world, to the health professionals and scientists, the corporate executives in our community, the media in our countries, the churches and congregations in our home towns, the political stakeholders at the local, regional and national levels – but above all, we call upon the youth of the world:
“Come and join us in saving millions of lives! Join us in building your future world – a world where the diseases of today are essentially unknown!”
We commit that we will make every effort to spread the life-saving benefits of nutritional health and Cellular Medicine and to building a new, prevention- oriented system of health care for our planet. We will not rest until this new health care system has reached the last corners of the world. From the Amazon Forest to the mountains of the Himalayas, from the favelas of Latin America to the townships of Africa, our message to the world is clear:
“Health is available to all! Come and join us now!”
See these links for more information:
- Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency – A Global Progress Report
- White Crow Farm Project – a video web series and photo blog that tells the stories of young, rural and urban farmers who are working from the ground up
- Movement of Life: Health, Peace and Social Justice for All – A global campaign
- A Permaculture Design Course Handbook
- Setting Up and Running a School Garden: A manual for teachers, parents and communities
- World Health Alphabetization – World Health Educator course
- BodyXQ – the world's first interactive education program that enables you to travel inside the organs of the body and explore their functions
Download the “Barletta Declaration” Brochure
The Barletta Declaration:
By Dr. Matthias Rath, MD
32 Pages, PDF – 2.11 MB
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