Free Blind Mice

Simon Kernow
© Simon Kernow 2001

©dwij 2000

Article 6 in our series on Ethics

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Simon Kernow is a UK based writer and commentator who will be contributing to

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Free Blind Mice

Questionable "Standardization" by GATT, WHO, WTO and the FTC

While freedom has different meanings across the cultural spectrum, it is a direct reflection of education, the truth of the information imparted, and the ability of the populous to contribute their interpretation of that information towards the fundamental directives that give shape to that culture—locally or globally. While many embrace the concept of being free they may be as blind as the mice in a children's fairy tale if misinformation is the hallmark of government and media.

The concept of "One World" has been with us in some shape or form since the dawn of history. On its own, it is a wonderful idea; a Utopia where people everywhere, regardless of race, color or creed would live side by side in harmony.

It all sounds wonderful, and as we move further into the 21st Century the idea of The Global Village is something that we are encouraged to believe in and embrace. World travel and world trade are a reality. The Internet makes instant (almost) communication possible with virtually anyone or any place on the planet. Nation can speak unto nation; the cold war and all of its ramifications have retreated into the mists. In most of the industrialized world, everyone has food on their plates, at least one car in the garage, a well appointed home, and access to affordable medicine of their choice; whilst the peoples of the non-industrialized communities benefit from the export of their natural resources, exotic foods and native crafts worldwide. Spiritual awareness is blossoming with many embracing doctrines that we would have found positively "cranky" only a decade or two ago. So what is wrong with this picture?

Basically, the pieces of the scenario that you don't see are the issue—those interesting pieces of the jigsaw that just won't fit without some careful manipulation.

One of those ill-fitting pieces is the idea that "standardization" is a necessary requirement of the Global Village—ostensibly to facilitate world trade and understanding. Thus packaging must carry the same message to everyone, and products must meet a universal standard. At a recent world trade meeting a document was introduced which required the major trading nations to agree on a "standardization" policy for the production and labeling of all foodstuffs and medicines, an idea which was heartily supported by the World Health Authority: After all, people have a right to know that the products which they are consuming are indeed good for their health. Unfortunately, this piece of helpful legislation has a very sinister "side effect."

Take a closer look at the label on your herbal tea or vitamin supplement and you will find a little note that reminds you that any statements made by the manufacturers as to the possible benefits of their product "have not been evaluated by the FDA" or MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture Farming and Fisheries, if you live in Europe) and that the product is "not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." Another statement starts with the phrase "Dietary Supplement: Not intended for . . ." The meaning is the same. Herbal or natural products that are not produced by pharmaceutical companies cannot claim to have any beneficial properties—they are not scientifically approved or clinically tried medicines, so how can they be anything other than food supplements?

All this, if the officers of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), WHO (World Health Organization), WTO (World Trade Organization), and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have their way, is about to change. Under the guise of "standardization" any food, herb, or natural product that is known to have medicinal properties will have to be manufactured and controlled by the pharmaceutical companies, who will set "standards" and prices. Health Food stores will only be able to offer products with low, or very low potencies (agreed upon by the Pharmaceutical Companies), and there will be no "confusion" as to what is food or what is medicine. And what is wrong with that? you may ask.

Herbal medicines are as old as history; their benefits are known to, and appreciated by, millions, of people all over the world, and to many in different parts of the world they are the only medicine which is available and affordable. Once the new requirements of the bill, which is becoming known as "Operation Cure All," are fully implemented, the Pharmaceutical Companies world wide will have total control over any food that may have medicinal properties, and they will decide what products will be freely available, where they can be sold, what price you will pay, and which products should be available only with a physician's prescription.

Imagine the scenario where you may need a prescription for a simple herbal sweetener. No need to imagine! In the United Kingdom the herb Stevia, a natural alternative to sugar, has been declared a "novelty food" and its sale banned. (Not surprisingly, the strongest lobbying for this measure came from the sugar refiners.) No one, however, has sought to ban the sale of other manufactured "artificial sweeteners," although the harmful side effects of Aspartame are well known but not readily available to the general public. (See Nancy Markle's article - Diet Drink Anyone? Newsletter Vol. 5 issue 6d—on Sufferers from Diabetes who have relied on Stevia for their "treats" are currently seeking supplies from more liberal minded countries, but "Operation Cure All" will soon cure that.

The policies outlined in this document are already law in Norway (where an extract of Echinacea can only be produced and marketed by one pharmaceutical company) and Germany. Legislation will soon be in place to force all member countries of the European Economic Community (EEC) to fall in line. Nations who fall outside of this consortium will not be immune from this dictate, as trade embargoes, exorbitant export levies, and other trade sanctions will be brought to bear on any malcontents who fail to comply. Stevia, incidentally, is not the only herb to fall victim to "legislation." Herb such as Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Aloe Vera, Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulous) are already subject to legal restrictions in some countries.

Cast your mind back five years and recall how the traditional medical profession emphatically denied the value of supplements, herbs, and alternative health care. Is it not interesting to note that since realizing how many millions of dollars are spent annually on these items, that the pharmaceutical companies (who have a large vested interest in what doctors prescribe) are now so keen to acknowledge that there may indeed be some very real benefits in those "folk medicines"—to the extent that they want global control?

For those of you who appreciate and depend on herbal, homeopathic or alternative therapies, take heed: every signatory of the GATT trade agreement is required to comply with this ruling before the end of the year 2002. The United States, Canada, Japan, most of Asia, and South America have already signed agreements pledging total harmonization of their food and drug laws with these international standards.

No one would argue with the common sense of warning a prospective user of any contra-indications that exist for a particular herb or oil, and of the very real dangers of trying to self-diagnose a serious illness. The recommended Daily Amount (RDA) is already used as a standard guideline across the world and a universally accepted common language for herbs, herbals, and homeopathics already exists—it is called botanical Latin. (Stevia is Stevia rebaudiana anywhere in the world.) Those who fervently believe that herbal medicine is hogwash and that alternative practitioners are a bunch of charlatans, watch out when you reach for your bottle of "spring water," as it may have healing properties and very soon you might need a prescription for it. Everyday edibles such as garlic and peppermint could also be categorized as drugs.

To understand the full implications of "Codex Alimentarius" (Food Code), you should read The Sinister Truth Behind Operation Cure All, by Ruth James. She can be contacted by e-mail at

Advances in information technology and the Internet have made global communication possible, but much of what we read is couched in sound bites and news-speak (a phrase coined by George Orwell in his "novel" 1984) designed to encourage us to buy, buy, buy, or simply to hide the real truth behind statements which we are urged to believe. (The chain store, for example, who advertises items as being on SALE for much lower than the regular price, whilst, conveniently, omitting the fact there is only one, or very few, of these items available in their store. Or, to cite another example of Orwellian newspeak—"the price of this bar of chocolate has been reduced." What they do not disclose is the fact that the weight of your bar of chocolate has also been reduced, and that you are effectively paying the same price for 3ozs as you paid for 4ozs last year.)

We all know that there are some who are using this technology for more malefic purposes and they should rightly be brought to book, but when "in the interests of national security" actually translates as "more limitations on civil liberty" there is something wrong with the picture. The flaw in the perfect idea of the Global Village is the hidden element of Global Control or World Domination. Throughout history there has always been one person (Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot), one body (the orthodox Christian church, the Communists, the Capitalists, the Islamic Fundamentalists), or one industrial conglomerate whose goal has been world domination through their products. They have all tried to impose their will on the populous, in many cases by censoring what people read or listen to. Reading is knowledge and an educated, well informed population is more difficult to control. In ancient times only the elite were taught how to read and write for this very reason. The Catholic Church ordered the burning of all books that could be deemed heretical and, more recently, the leaders of South Africa legislated that blacks should receive only the most rudimentary education (in order that they could not question the rightness of Apartheid). Today, it is the Taliban who prohibit women from education thus ensuring their subjugation to the males, who regard them only as brood mares—incapable of intelligent thoughts and with no more rights than cattle.

Optimally, we believe and trust that those who we elect, in a democratic process, will govern us and do so with integrity and wisdom of the highest order.

The truth may not always be the sweetest medicine to swallow, but in the end, it is the bitterness of lies and deceit that leads to social unrest, and allows the less scrupulous elements in our world to incite hatred and acts of terrorism; ordinary people are told that they must be prepared to sacrifice their civil liberties in the name of democracy and freedom. History has shown that once lost, those liberties are never regained, and the voice of the people is drowned in the shouting of those with money and vested interest.

For 6 billion souls, whether they are all aware of it or not, the Global Village is a reality. Six billion souls! How many languages, creeds and cultures from this rich human tapestry will be lost, in the name of "standardization" when one "Global Government" prevails? It is vital that we all understand the real implications of what is being said, or being fed to us daily, and that we educate ourselves so that we can recognize those little things, of vital importance, that are "conveniently" left out. Remember that while you embrace the concept of being free, without sterling information to guide you, you may become as blind as the mice in this children's fairy tale:

Free Blind Mice, Free Blind Mice;
See how they run, see how they run.
They all ran after Mendacity's wife,
Who cut off their heads by creating strife;
Did you ever see such a thing in your life
As Free Blind Mice?

(Slightly adapted from the original, with apologies for poetic license.)

If it becomes law the Codex Alimentarius will not only affect your quality of life, it will also decide how the future is shaped for your children, and your grandchildren, even before they are born.

Simon Kernow

©Simon Kernow 2001 all rights reserved

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Editors note:

Our Ethics segment of the Forum is an effort to hear from many in our communities about the quality of performance and decorum expected from those in positions of leadership; we embrace the fact that each of us is a leader.

This is a complex and paradoxical subject; simply about human interrelationship and intentioning. We'll be highlighting the views and dreams of many folks, while honoring a broad range of perspectives and insights on this journey.

© dwij 2001
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