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Originally published May 6 2009

Natural Products Association Issues Disinfo Announcement over Dietary Supplements and Swine Flu (opinion)

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The natural products industry leaders are engaged in a clever "disinfo" campaign to brainwash people into thinking that herbs and nutritional products are useless for defending against swine flu. Today, the Natural Products Association (NPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) took part in issuing a joint warning against any "natural" remedies that are being promoted as ways to prevent or treat H1N1 influenza.

Their joint statement is classic disinformation, stating, "We are unaware of any scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to treat swine flu."

That's because according to health authorities in the U.S., there is no such thing as any dietary supplement that treats any disease whatsoever. If any dietary supplement were found to treat a disease, it would shift categories to become a "drug," not a "dietary supplement."

Thus, it is technically impossible for any dietary supplement to treat anything, according to the way the terms are used in America today.

Furthermore, since swine flu is only a few weeks old, it is impossible for any substance to yet have "scientific evidence" of efficacy, including government-recommended anti-virals like Tamiflu. Technically speaking, there is zero credible scientific evidence that Tamiflu works to treat swine flu infections, either. Where are the studies? The scientific papers? There are none, precisely because swine flu is too new to have been carefully studied by anyone.

The subjugation of the natural products industry

This statement from these industry leaders is nearly equivalent to stating that "no plants have anti-viral action." And that statement is, of course, laughable. Not only do plants contain natural anti-viral medicine, but it is difficult to find ANY plant that does not exhibit some degree of anti-viral action!

Why is that the case? Because plants must defend themselves against viruses, too. And since they cannot run down to the local pharmacy to spend their life savings on Big Pharma's drugs, they have to manufacture their own medicine. Plants are nature's pharmaceutical factories, generating the most amazing medicines in the world like resveratrol, vitamin C, and even the key ingredient in Tamiflu, shikimic acid. (

And yet it remains the official position of the so-called "leaders" of the natural products industry that there is no such thing as a plant that can treat swine flu.

That's a fascinating position, especially given that Tamiflu is derived from a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb called star anise.

The position of the natural products industry leaders seems to be that when a medicine is found naturally in a plant, it is inert. But when it is removed from the plant and branded a drug, it suddenly becomes "active!" Ridiculous.

What you've probably already noticed over the last few years is that the pharmaceutical industry has subjugated the natural products industry, and many of the companies that now "lead" the industry are in fact owned in part by Big Pharma, which pushes its pro-drug agenda through the sponsorship and financial support of various natural products industry organizations.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, for its part, is focused on "harmonization" with the FDA and FTC, pushing its members to avoid making any statements about nutrition and disease that might accidentally inform consumers of the truth about the medicinal properties of natural products.

When the so-called leaders of the natural product industry actually issue a press release claiming that no natural products can help with swine flu, that's when you know the industry has been taken over. The very idea that no herb exists anywhere that can help defend people against swine flu is so ridiculous that it questions the sanity of anyone who dares utter it.

If you really want to follow the Natural Products Association, I suppose, you should take more pharmaceuticals. That alone is an astonishing realization. It's as if the apparent leader of the industry stood up and shouted, "All the products we represent are useless!"

Obviously, plants, herbs and real foods are not useless. And they do contain powerful anti-viral medicine.

Where is all the Tamiflu?

In fact, it is my position that plants will be the only available source of anti-viral medicine for most people if an outbreak occurs.

That's because supplies of government-approved anti-virals are strictly limited. There's simply not enough Tamiflu to go around, and vaccines don't even exist yet. Plus, most of the Tamiflu has been sitting around on the shelves for three years or so, and its potency is questionable. In an outbreak scenario, herbs and dietary supplements may be the only available anti-virals many people can get!

Is it really the position of the Natural Products Association that during a pandemic, when there's no more Tamiflu, and no vaccine, and the hospitals are overrun with dying, infected patients, that consumers should NOT take natural anti-viral products?

Are you kidding me? The leaders of the natural products industry are essentially telling people to avoid buying herbs and just go home and die?

Fascinating. That right there tells you everything you need to know about these natural product organizations.

Let me be the first to tell you that in a pandemic outbreak, following the advice of the Natural Products Association may get you killed. To issue a statement that implies people should avoid using herbs or dietary supplements to protect themselves from an approaching pandemic is extremely dangerous, unethical and in my opinion, downright foolish. It's the kind of thing I would expect to hear from the FDA, which is run by unethical bureaucrats, but not from the apparent leaders of the natural products industry.

I seriously question the integrity of any association that would issue such bad advice. If swine flu does become a pandemic and people start dying in large numbers, some of those deaths will no doubt be due to these "disinfo" campaigns pursued by the very industry leaders who should be teaching people how to protect themselves with the help of anti-viral herbs and natural medicines.

After all, when the Tamiflu runs out, what exactly are people supposed to do anyway? Eat dirt?

Take Tamiflu if you can get it, but don't stop there...

I'm not against Tamiflu. It's a very effective anti-viral drug, thanks to the fact that it's derived from a natural anti-viral herb. If I were infected with swine flu and offered some Tamiflu, I'd take it, too.

But I wouldn't limit my arsenal of lifesaving medicines to one drug (because that would be stupid).

I would also have anti-viral herbs, tinctures and dietary supplements in good supply. I'd be growing lemon balm and thyme in my garden and chewing on fresh culinary herbs every day. I'd be fighting the viral load with numerous natural products while boosting my own stores of vitamin D and getting plenty of sleep.

And you can bet my chances of surviving swine flu would be far greater than anyone who was stupid enough to follow the Natural Products Association's advice to essentially avoid taking dietary supplements.

It's all summed up by this sentence in the joint press release issued by these so-called industry leaders:

"Each of the associations is also committed to recognizing that there are some health conditions for which the choice of self-care should be actively discouraged. The current global outbreak of swine flu is such a condition."

In other words, don't take care of yourself! Remain a victim that depends 100% on western medicine. That's the new message from the natural products industry leaders, folks. Depend on FDA-approved drugs only, and don't you dare think for yourself or enhance your immunity with medicine from nature.

Welcome to the new natural products industry, which actively encourages consumers to abandon medicinal herbs and bet their lives on government-approved pharmaceuticals that are in short supply.

What the industry should have said instead...

So what should the natural products trade groups have said instead? They should have said, "Use Tamiflu if you can get it. If you can't -- or if you want extra protection beyond what one pharmaceutical can provide -- take advantage of the natural anti-viral attributes of herbs and dietary supplements."

That statement would have made more sense. That's the statement I'm backing here at NaturalNews. Yes, get medical help if you're sick. Yes, take Tamiflu if you can get it. But if not, don't just give up and die. Enjoy the healing power of herbs and dietary supplements, and you may just live through a pandemic that ends up killing those individuals foolish enough to bet their lives on the bad advice of misinformed trade groups.

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