First World Health Freedom Assembly: A Watershed Moment for Health Freedom

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    The convening of the first World Health Freedom Assembly – and fourth annual National Conference for Health Freedom Advocates – in St. Paul on September 29 through October 1 is a watershed moment in the history of health freedom.

    For the first time, health freedom organizations from around the world will gather together and create a Declaration of Health Freedom and Health Freedom Resolutions. The public is invited to witness and take part. This body will form a counter-balance to the global monopoly of the "medical status quo" now represented in multi-lateral deliberations at the United Nations, World Trade Organization and their affiliated standard-setting bodies.

    National Health Freedom Coalition has invited health freedom organizations from the world over, and many have responded and plan to come, including representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Great Britain and Sweden.

    The last 40 years of fighting to maintain our inherent rights to make our own choices of services for maintaining our health have inevitably led to this. There is a strong case to be made in life, as in health freedom, that the loudest voice isn’t always "right." Information on the risks of allopathic medicine has gradually seeped into the psyche of the world’s consciousness (in spite of one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of all time). At the same time, a new awareness of the safety and efficacy of many new, and many centuries-old, "natural" remedies has begun to displace the sales of the once-profitable pharmaceutical industry.

    Consumers voting with their wallets is a market force the allopathic monopolists have been unable to counter using traditional stifling methods. As an industry, the dietary supplements business has the ultimate sales tool – tens of millions of satisfied customers. The public not only continues to purchase favorites products and services in record numbers, but most importantly, continues to relate their "miracle healing" stories to their personal circles of friends and family. Talk about high credibility endorsement!

    This time-honored method of promotion has forced the monopolists to try and remove health choices and decisions as far as possible from the public. But in countries around the globe, committed health freedom fighters are staging legal and legislative battles to challenge arbitrary and restrictive potency, labeling and classification standards, as well as medical standards of practice.

    It is for this reason that this meeting is a watershed moment. For the first time, the interests of consumers, practitioners and industry from around the world are being represented in a single forum to develop rational health policy for presentation at the state, national and international table.

    The most critical resource at our disposal in this ground-breaking initiative is the average everyperson, everywhere in the world: people who merely seek to be healthy and have a healthy family. Individual citizens must insist on their right to accurate and truthful information. Ultimately, as citizens, we have to speak as loudly to power on this vital issue as we speak with our wallets at our favorite practitioner or health-food store.

    We must endorse the efforts of this first-ever World Health Freedom Assembly and the policy statements it ratifies. The initiatives which arise from this meeting will be our last best hope for staging a counter-attack on the international front.

    To be successful in that effort, funding will be needed. Donations will gladly be accepted, to enable health freedom representatives to attend international meetings such as Codex and participate in the process.

    As pioneers, the attendees of the first WHFA need to discover what it is that we fundamentally agree upon and what we can collectively endorse at the policy level based on those shared values that advance the agenda of health freedom, and then work together to achieve those goals. This is why it is critical to have the international scope in our work at the World Health Freedom Assembly, and why it is so groundbreaking to have so many health freedom leaders from so many countries meeting together for the first time.

    The 2006 World Health Freedom Assembly, and fourth annual Conference for Health Freedom Advocates, will take place September 29-October 1 at William Mitchelll College of Law, 875 Summit Ave., St. Paul. The public can attend the entire conference, or just one or two days, or even just come for the evening events. Friday evening is a Health Freedom Literary and Film Festival with featured authors, and Saturday evening is the Health Freedom Awards Banquet with keynote speaker Jonathon Emord, constitutional lawyer successfully defending the public’s rights to dietary supplements and freedom of speech for health claims. Local sponsors include Spring Forest Qigong, Mastel’s Health Foods and Healing Insights Therapy Center Ins. For more information and to register, go towww.nationalhealthfreedom.orgor call (952) 476-8617.

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    Peter Helgason
    Peter Helgason is vice president of regulatory affairs for Friends of Freedom International. Copyright © 2006 Peter Helgason. All rights reserved

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