Natural Health Remedies | Health Blog

Date: 09/12/2007    Written by: Jon Barron

Money Makes Government Health Policy

I'm not a conspiracy theorist by nature. I don't buy into vast governmental intrigues designed to undermine our health or conceal UFO invasions. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm naïve, and that I don't understand how much influence money has on government decisions.

In an attempt to raise the nation's historically low rate of breast-feeding, federal health officials commissioned an attention-grabbing advertising campaign to convince mothers that breast feeding was good and that formula feeding posed significant health risks. The ads featured photos of insulin syringes and asthma inhalers topped with rubber nipples. But those ads never went very far. Why?

In a story released just one week ago in the Washington Post, Clayton Yeutter (a former chairman of the Republican National Committee) and Joseph A. Levitt (who had until several months earlier directed the FDA's division that regulates infant formula) were hired to intervene with the HHS and defuse the ads.

The net result is that although the intervention did not block the ads, it decidedly changed their direction. Instead of the hard hitting ads originally developed, we saw ads that used images of dandelions and ice-cream sodas to promote the virtues of breastfeeding. But gone were any images or languaging that focused on the dangers of formula feeding. In a February 2004 letter (pdf) to the HHS, the lobbyists thanked them for stopping health officials from "scaring expectant mothers into breast-feeding," and asked for help in scaling back more of the ads.

This, of course, is not the first time we've seen health policy distorted by intense lobbying. Perhaps the most classic example is the total redesign and distortion of the USDA's food pyramid to reflect the lobbying interests of the National Dairy Council, the Soft Drink Association, the American Meat Institute, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and the Wheat Foods Council.

Another example is President Bush's refusal to ban the use of the mercury based preservative, Thimerosal, from children's flu vaccines as he promised he would do during his 2004 campaign. I know it's probably just a coincidence that George Jr.'s father, the former President Bush, is a one-time member of the Eli Lilly board of directors.

Bottom line: Your government, whichever one it is, is not necessarily putting your health interests first when determining government health policy.

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Comments

  •  
    Submitted by Justin on
    September 14, 2007 - 3:10am

    Hi Jon,
    I am not much of a conspiracy theorist either however there is definitely some corruption in the government. This isn't to say there aren't any good politicians (like Ron Paul) or people in government who actually get into it to help people.
    But I see in America that the corporations with the lobbying and money spending toward like-minded politicians (such as Bush/Lilly connection, Bush/Oil - and that's the prominent example) that given the position and power they fulfill their own ends.
    Whether its realized or not, or intended or not by those who are playing, there is a viscious circle that I see, particularly in American society.
    You have poor health habits, fast foods, bad oils, msg, aspartame, nitrites/nitrates, etc. add in the chemicals in the body care products, the chemical byproducts such as flouride in toothpaste, the stuff in city water, etc. and its no wonder that we have more disease now than we ever have. Especially since you never see commercials about Vitamin C or Enzymes, its always about the latest drug.
    But this then leads to poor health which sends the ""customer"" to the doctors. Western medical is a monopoly (there have been several articles documenting how cancer patients aren't allowed to refuse conventional surgery, chemo, etc.) and if these ""customers"" don't end up at the MD to get on 1-10 drugs to handle their problems and submit to the latest scalpel techniques, then they end up at a head shrink who will surely give them 1-10 drugs and in the process probably makes them crazy.
    This in turn creates a turbulent society when you take the ""customer"" and realize that it's several million people in America. Then you get these poor guys (or kids) pumped full of drugs and definitely not on any sort of nutritious program, to go out and wreak havoc (every kid involved in a school shooting to date was on psychiatric drugs).
    So then with this effect you get more laws, and the noose tightens on society in an effort to control the problem. Meanwhile, we elect (and re-elect!) someone who goes after Bin Laden but somehow ends up in Iraq to get Saddam and secure the pipeline that runs across that country ...to bring democracy though its said on the PR side of it.
    So yeah, I cannot say whether or not these things were well planned or they just sort of came together. But if people can take their health back and make informed decisions, then they can be more active and aware about things in society.
    Drugged societies are not aware, are more docile, (with the occasional person who cracks that you hear about on the news), but being drugged the society is less able, less healthy and so actual freedom perishes ever so slightly, until one day you wake up and realize that freedom is gone and that the noose is so tight that it resembles a police state. When you consider that part of the noose could be a ban on natural supplements it begins to get even more uncomfortable, at least to me.
    Every able person should become aware of their local, state and federal politicians and get involved with changing conditions. Do not support people, laws or products that do harm.
    I think the only way out of the bog we are in as society is through education of its people and fighting for the freedoms such as free to choose which type of health care, etc. But in a non-violent way.
    There isn't ""someone taking care of it"" that someone is all of us. It's our future, our kids' future and the societies well being at stake. Don't just help yourself health-wise, spread the word. Individually we may be easy to overcome, but as a united front of educated, non drugged, healthy people, we are a power and a force.
    Thanks

  •  
    Submitted by Paul Lamon on
    October 1, 2007 - 1:23am

    I am amazed to hear that the original ad was so strong. Kudos to the HHS.

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