Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Responsibility for a healthy world Dr. Rath Research Institute 100+ Studies Published In PubMed

Matthias Rath: 'It is the multinational pharmaceutical companies that control the world'

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

At the beginning of November there will be an important Codex Alimentarius meeting in Germany. How does this operate?

Dr. Rath: The Codex Alimentarius is a joint commission made up of people from the WHO and the FAO. About half its membership is involved directly or indirectly with the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, while it does deal with numerous food safety issues, most of its time is devoted, in the interests of the pharmaceutical cartel, to preventing the dissemination of information on how to improve health naturally through the use of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

After my discovery of the connection between vitamin C and heart disease, the success of my book Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks, But People Do , and the failure in 1994 of their first attempt to outlaw natural remedies in the USA, the pharmaceutical multinationals revived the Codex Alimentarius in 1995. Since then they have led an energetic campaign to protect the pharmaceutical industry from effective, safe, non-patentable micronutrients. Currently this Commission meets every year behind closed doors. Its main, and unspoken, aim is to outlaw anything that has to do with vitamins, minerals or other nutrients essential for disease prevention. Now they are unscrupulously attempting to foist these recommendation on the United Nations General Assembly so that they become binding law for all member states, i.e., for the whole world. That, at least, is the pharmaceutical cartel's plan.

Which you are not prepared to consent to...

Dr. Rath: In recent years we have organised regular protests against this plan, including scientific conferences, political meetings and protest campaigns directed at Codex Alimentarius Commission members and the governments that still support the Commission. During our last campaign we persuaded people to send millions of protest letters to the governments and members of parliament of countries supporting this shameful enterprise. On the eve of the Codex Alimentarius meeting in Berlin in November 2002 we held a conference attended by health experts from all round the world, including South Africans. And it was at this very meeting that the official South African delegate unmasked for the first time the hypocrisy lying behind the Codex Alimentarius .

To understand the importance of this step we must appreciate the following facts: nobody in his right mind would support a prohibition without a reason. Accordingly , the pharmaceutical cartel had to present still undecided politicians with a pretext for outlawing natural therapies. And the pretext they came up with was the existence of secondary effects of vitamins, which is a falsehood. These secondary effects only exist in the imaginations of groups upholding pharmaceutical interests and on the drawing boards of their worldwide public relations machine. Vitamins, minerals and amino acids are the building blocks of life and the body is capable of eliminating excessive quantities of them without difficulty.

This state of affairs is diametrically opposed to that applying to synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. It is precisely because pharmaceutical drugs are synthetic rather than natural that the body does not recognise them, and this is why almost all of them have serious side effects. In its issue of 15 April 1998, the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that the fatal side effects of pharmaceutical drugs had become the fourth most important cause of death in the industrialised world. But despite this evidence the pharmaceutical industry's public relations machine is attempting to manipulate world public opinion and pressurise politicians into adopting the unscrupulous recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius .

This is the background against which we must view the position taken by the South African government at our meeting in 2002, lending official support to our arguments and unmasking the hypocrisy of the campaign waged for decades by the pharmaceutical cartel. Clearly this is no coincidence. Two years previously the South African government had confronted the pharmaceutical cartel by refusing to pay the royalties on anti-AIDS drugs. Their argument was simple: paying such exorbitant royalties for these drugs would place them out of reach of the majority of the South African population and of people in the developing world generally. And they accused the pharmaceutical industry of deliberately putting at risk the lives of millions of people in Africa and throughout the world by insisting on maintaining such enormous profit margins. The pharmaceutical cartel, i.e. the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations , was arrogant enough to take the South African government to court in Pretoria. It comes as no surprise that this battle was won not in the law courts but in the court of public opinion. Demonstrations all round the world against murder in the interests of the pharmaceutical trade in disease' made it impossible for the pharmaceutical cartel to pursue its case. In January 2001, just a few weeks after challenging the South African government in court, the pharmaceutical cartel admitted defeat and withdrew its lawsuit. The South African government had won a historic victory against the pharmaceutical cartel. Today the governments of many other countries have followed their example and are manufacturing their own drugs without having to pay crippling royalties.

At next month's meeting vitamins and minerals will once again be on the agenda, along with a proposal regarding the requirements to be met by any product which claims to have health properties' .

Dr. Rath: Under the umbrella of the United Nations, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which meets in Bonn from 4 to 7 November will be holding a meeting which is decisive in the light of the events of the last 12 months, all the more so given that all the decisions it takes are adopted directly by the WHO, and thus end up affecting national legislation. The new threat could come from the European Union, which has decided to adopt new directives which could end up meaning the final prohibition of all natural therapies. The 15 European Union member states will probably form a power block to stand against the few member states demanding freer access to natural therapies. However, it could well also be true that this represents a new opportunity for the developing countries. The historic initiative taken by South Africa at the meeting in Berlin openly calling for unrestricted access for its population was much more than just a fierce dispute within the Commission. It activated a support mechanism which could well lead to resistance by all developing countries against the prohibition of natural therapies, because these are the key to liberating their economies from the burden of the pharmaceutical trade in disease'.