The people of South Africa now have the historic opportunity to liberate themselves from the yoke of HIV/AIDS and many other diseases.
The solution to these health epidemics does not come from high-priced and toxic pharmaceutical drugs but from public education about the dramatic health benefits of vitamins and other natural therapies.
In a series of official recommendations UNICEF, WHO and other United Nations Organizations have encouraged people and their governments – especially in developing countries such as South Africa – to help spread knowledge about the health value of vitamins and nutritional medicine.
The dissemination of this information will save the lives of millions of people in South Africa, especially in the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases caused by immune deficiencies.
But we all must fight for this health freedom. Its biggest enemy is the pharmaceutical business with patented drugs – such as ARVs. This industry promotes diseases as multi-billion dollar markets for their drugs, and these global markets are threatened by effective, natural, side-effect-free nonpatentable therapies.
The pharmaceutical industry was an economic pillar of the Apartheid regime.
To continue exerting their devastating influence in democratic South Africa today, these drug corporations currently operate through Trojan Horse organizations to publicly attack and undermine the South African government. Dr. Rath and his Foundation have already exposed several of these Trojan Horses including the Medicines Control Council, whose members are on the payroll of the drug companies, political parties such as the DA that depend on drug money, as well as the TAC, the running dogs of the drug cartel in South Africa. The TAC has received millions of rands from pharmaceutical front organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation in return for promoting ARV drugs produced by drug companies largely owned by the Rockefeller investment group.
Publicly exposed as serving the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical ‘business with disease’, these interests are now seeking to ban the dissemination of lifesaving natural health information in South Africa by abusing the Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) of South Africa – an organization modeled after the British agency to control the monopoly of drug companies on health information. Not surprisingly, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of South Africa is listed as the ASA’s most prominent member.
Now we shall see where the ASA stands.
Does it side with the interests of millions of South Africans to have free access to life-saving natural health information promoted by the United Nations and their own government?
Or does it side with the multi-billion dollar drug business – ready to sacrifice millions of lives in South Africa? In any case, the people of South Africa must be informed, and we encourage you to send your opinion about this directly to the ASA.
On 26 November 2004 the Dr. Rath Health Foundation Africa jointly with Advocate Anthony Brink presented Public Health Information in relation to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the World AIDS Day Supplement of the Mail & Guardian. This newspaper had specifically invited us to place this Public Health Information, and its content was approved by its editors.
Surprisingly, after publication of this important Public Health Information the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) forwarded a complaint to the Dr. Rath Health Foundation challenging the scientific facts presented and even threatening sanctions for further spreading this life-saving information.
Following is the response of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation to the ASA (in regular text). The bold text is the orginal text as it appeared in the Mail & Guardian (M&G).
Our Public Health Information in the M&G stated:
“On 1 July 2004 a landmark study by Harvard University was published in one of the world’s leading medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, summed up the same day by thea world’s most influential and respected newspaper, the New York Times: “The study found that daily doses of multivitamins slow down the disease and cut the risk of developing AIDS in half.
The question is why the people of South Africa have not been told about this. For actively promoting natural health approaches to AIDS, the South African government has continually been attacked by pharmaceutical interest groups and received no support at all from the medical establishment.
The reason for this lack of support is obvious. Non-patentable natural therapies have very low profit margins whereas patented synthetic pharmaceutical AIDS drugs are a multi-billion-dollar business.”
This statement relates to the fact that a clinical study that documents the effectiveness of multivitamins in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 1, 2004, and reported in the New York Times the very same day.
The fact that this clinical study was prominently featured in the New York Times reflects the global implications of this study for improving human health and its potential to save millions of lives.
It was irresponsible that this essential health information was not featured at all in any newspaper in South Africa – the country in the greatest need for this life-saving information. It is an outright scandal that the publication of this Public Health Information by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation has become the target of an ASA complaint. This obviously serves only the interests of the pharmaceutical industry in suppressing lifesaving natural, non-patentable health information.
Our Public Health Information stated:
“The Harvard study, conducted in Tanzania over a period of eight years, involved more than a thousand HIV-positive pregnant women. It was a placebo-controlled and double-blind trial conforming to the highest standards. The study showed that inexpensive multivitamin treatment is more effective in staving off disease among HIV-positive women then any toxic AIDS drug.”
An editorial accompanying the publication of this important clinical study in the New England Journal of Medicine stated: “The credibility of these data is supported by sound study design and methods, appropriate analyses, and compatibility with the limited existing data, such as those showing decreased mortality among HIV-infected Thai adults who received multivitamins.”
The key findings of this important study are:
- The progression of AIDS to stage 4 (according to the World Health Organization’s grading), which corresponds to full-blown manifestation of the disease, was reduced by 50% in patients receiving multivitamins.
- The progression of AIDS disease to WHO stage 3 or higher was reduced by 28% in patients receiving multivitamins.
- The relative risk for patients to die from AIDS was lowered by 27% in patients receiving multivitamins.
- The study found that “Multivitamins also significantly reduced all signs of complications” including:
- Oral lesions (ulcers) reduced by 48%
- Lip infections reduced by 56%
- Difficult or painful swallowing reduced by 53 %
- Diarrhoea reduced by 25%
- Fatigue reduced by 24%
The most important findings of this study were summarized by major news agencies around the world such as MSNBC: “The study found that daily doses of multivitamins slowdown the disease and cut the risk of developing AIDS in half”.
The accompanying editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine leaves no doubt about the global implications of this study for human health. Acknowledging the dramatic situation in Africa specifically, the editors stated: “Nutrition will have to be addressed in the treatment of HIV disease and AIDS.”
Finally, the following fact deserves particular attention: The above-mentioned study was conducted over eight years and it is the only longterm clinical study available to this day – whether with multivitamins or ARVs – that shows any extension of survival of patients infected with HIV/AIDS.
Our Public Health Information stated:
“More than a decade ago, a study co-authored by twotime Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, published in the official journal of the US National Academy of Sciences, found that an optimal dose of vitamin C alone can block the replication of HIV by 99%.”
The relevance of the study referred to in the above statement cannot be overestimated. No chemical substance and certainly no currently promoted ARV drug has been shown to have such a pronounced effect on inhibiting the key enzyme for the multiplication of the HI virus (‘reverse transcriptase’).
The clinical relevance of this landmark research is supported by the fact that the vitamin C concentrations effective in blocking HIV replication are attainable in human blood by an optimal daily intake of this vitamin.
One of the researchers of these landmark studies, Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, a world-renowned biochemist, now heads the Dr. Rath Research Institute. Even more significantly, these studies showed that – as opposed to AZT – vitamin C can prevent HIV infection and also decrease the viral load in chronically HIV infected cells. In contrast, AZT is unable to inhibit virus production in chronically HIV infected cells.
The clinical relevance of these important research findings has been established beyond doubt. Following is a selection of the available clinical studies documenting the value of micronutrients in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS:
- “Randomized trial of effects of vitamin supplements on pregnancy outcomes and Tcell counts in HIV-1- infected women in Tanzania” by Dr. W. Fawzi and colleagues, was published in the leading medical journal The Lancet. This study showed the effectiveness of a micronutrient combination composed of vitamin A (Betacarotene), vitamin B-complex, vitamin C as well as folic acid on pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal death, preterm birth, low birth weight and others. This clinical study concluded: “Multivitamin supplementation is a low-cost way of substantially decreasing adverse pregnancy outcomes and increasing T-cell counts in HIV-1- infected women” .
- “A randomized trial of the impact of multiple micronutrient supplementation on mortality among HIV-infected individuals living in Bangkok” was published in the journal AIDS by Dr. Jiamton and his colleagues. This clinical study showed that multivitamin supplementation significantly lowered the mortality rate among HIV-infected patients by up to 74%.
- “Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection” was published in the prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology by Dr. A. Tang and colleagues. This clinical study found that supplementation with various forms of vitamin B in HIVinfected patients was associated with a significantly improved survival rate of up to 55%. We include additional studies documenting the significant clinical health benefits of multivitamin supplementation in HIV/AIDS patients. All have been published in leading scientific and medical journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, AIDS, the British Journal of Nutrition and others.
Our Public Health Information stated:
“Every textbook of biochemistry recognizes that vitamins and other micronutrients are the most decisive factors determining the optimum function of the immune system.”
The pathological basis of AIDS is a dysfunctional immune system clinically indicated by abnormally low levels of white blood cells (CD4). It is an established scientific fact documented in science that the following micronutrients are essential and indispensable for blood cell formation: vitamin B-3, vitamin B-5, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and others. Anyone questioning these facts is encouraged to turn to the respective pages in standard modern textbooks of biochemistry, biology and nutrition.
The specific effects of micronutrient deficiency on the immune system and its clinical implications with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS are summarized in the review “Vitamins and Immunomodulation in AIDS” by Dr. Chandra et al. This scientific review describes in detail the impact of micronutrients on immune cell activity, their growth, differentiation, proliferation and on optimum release of cytokines and growth factors. This review also highlights the important fact that deficiencies of vitamins A, B-3, B-6, B-12, and C occur despite consumption at or above the levels established by so-called ‘official guidelines’.
Moreover, it is an established medical fact that even in otherwise healthy people vitamin deficiency is a primary cause of anaemia, the inability of the bone marrow to produce enough properly functioning oxygen-carrying red blood cells. For decades doctors have used vitamin supplements to correct this imbalance and even to treat severe disorders such as megaloblastic anaemia.
With respect to the toxic side-effects of AZT, our Public Health Information stated the following:
“Hundreds of studies have found that AZT is profoundly toxic to all cells of the human body, and particularly to the blood cells of our immune system.”
“Numerous studies have found that children exposed to AZT in the womb suffer brain damage, neurological disorders, paralysis, spasticity, mental retardation, epilepsy, other serious diseases and early death.”
“Incredibly, two weeks after the publication of the Harvard study the Medicines Control Council proposed new regulations that will effectively prevent free access to life-saving vitamin therapy and information about it, and recommended that HIV-positive women take AZT during their pregnancies.”
These facts are thoroughly documented in Advocate Anthony Brink’s comprehensive publications: “Debating AZT: Mbeki and the AIDS drug controversy”, “The trouble with nevirapine” and “Poisoning our Children: AZT and nevirapine in pregnancy”.
Our Public Health Information concludes with the following statement:
“Don’t you think it is time to support the South African government and the traditional healers of South Africa and join our nationwide public information campaign based on natural science and medical truth?”
The Dr. Rath Health Foundation, Advocate Brink and the Traditional Healers Organization of South Africa all support the position of the South African government on the need to implement nationwide natural health programs as a primary health measure. This approach is endorsed at the highest international level including the United Nations and its sub-organizations involved in the control of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic:
- UNICEF in its global report “Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency – a Global Damage Assessment Report” stated in 2004: “Vitamin and mineral deficiencies affect a third of the world’s people – debilitating minds, bodies, energies and the economic prospects of nations. But for once the world is confronted by a problem which could be brought under control in a relatively short time and at a relatively low cost.” The answer is the elimination of micronutrient deficiency! The UNICEF report further states: “Vitamin deficiency is compromising the immune system of approximately 40% of the developing world’s under-fives and leading to the early deaths of an estimated one million young children each year.” As a solution to this global challenge the UNICEF report suggests the fortification and supplementation of food with micronutrients. The UNICEF report specifically recommends “Reaching out to vulnerable groups – particularly children and women of childbearing age – with vitamin and mineral supplements in the form of tablets, capsules and syrups costing only a few cents per person per year“
- UNAIDS, the United Nations sub-organization specifically founded to meet the challenges of the global AIDS epidemic, has issued many recommendations in support of micronutrient supplementation, including a 2002 report entitled: “Pediatric HIV infection and AIDS”. Among other measures this UNAIDS report specifically recommends: “In developing country settings, the implementation of national vitamin programs is costeffective and efforts should be made to include all children, particularly children with HIV infection, in these programmes”
- The World Health Organization in a comprehensive review entitled “Nutrient Requirements for People Living with HIV/AIDS” recommends for the people of the world:
- “HIV infected 6-59- month-old children living in resource-limited settings should receive periodic vitamin A supplements.”
- “To prevent anemia, WHO recommends daily iron-folate supplementation during six months of pregnancy.”
- “Adequate micronutrient intake is best achieved through an adequate diet. However in settings where these intakes and status cannot be achieved, multiple micronutrient supplements may be needed in pregnancy and lactation.”
- The United Nations held a special symposium in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2001, entitled “Nutrition and HIV/AIDS”. The recommendations of this expert meeting specifically included food fortification as well as nutritional supplementation with vitamins. At this UN conference the executive director of UNAIDS, Peter Piot, stated clearly: “Any discussion of the very complex issue of care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS has been narrowed to the price of antiretrovirals. This is a shame, it is also counter productive. Therefore let me declare here that the nutrition voice needs to be heard louder and stronger in the HIV field. Let me also call on all of you to be allies in taking this message forward.”
It should be obvious that both the position of the South African government as well as our Public Health Information are consistent with the official policies of the United Nations, its suborganizations active in the field of HIV/AIDS and other international scientific and non-governmental organizations. Any effort to block the dissemination of this life-saving information would not only be unethical but also directly contradict the efforts of the United Nations organizations to control the HIV-/AIDS epidemic in developing countries such as South Africa with effective, safe and affordable means.
The fact that the ASA complaint was filed despite abundant available scientific knowledge about the value of nutrition in fighting HIV/AIDS clearly shows that this complaint was politically motivated.
Dr. Rath and the Dr. Rath Health Foundation are promoting a new scientific approach based on the scientific evidence for the health benefits of effective and safe micronutrient therapy in the battle against a variety of diseases. This scientific approach is in open conflict with the pharmaceutical industry and its ‘investment business with disease’.
We are aware that the ASA includes the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of South Africa as a member, which has a vested interest in blocking the dissemination of this life-saving health information. The unsubstantiated complaint against our Public Health Information has to be seen in the context of the accelerating global exposure of the unethical practices of the pharmaceutical industry, exemplified by the recent scandals concerning Vioxx, Celebrex, nevirapine and other drugs.
The Dr. Rath Health Foundation has been at the forefront of exposing these unethical business practices. It is no coincidence that attacks like the ASA complaint, which aims at discrediting Dr. Rath and silencing the Dr. Rath Health Foundation, occur at precisely this time. The ASA complaint, which aims to silence and ban natural health information, undermines the efforts of the South African government to promote natural health and make it the basis of an effective and affordable health care system in South Africa.
The lifesaving information about natural approaches to the HIV/AIDS epidemic – as well as many other diseases – must be disseminated to save millions of lives!