Federal Health Ban Mania

Federal Health Ban Mania

ative Hawaiians are generally viewed as traditionally benevolent, characterized as insatiably friendly, innocent, and loving—at least until Hawaii was colonized by the West in the nineteenth century. The truth, however, is radically different.

Until 1838, the Hawaiian kingdom was governed without legal enactments and was based upon a system of “royal law” that consisted partly of the ancient kapu (taboo) and the practices of the celebrated chiefs, which had been passed down by tradition since time immemorial. In those days, if you broke a kapu law, you were subject to an immediate death sentence—and there were upwards of 20,000 capital offense kapus! As an example, the royal compound was usually a shady area next to the water, under waving palm trees. If a commoner’s shadow fell on these grounds, it was immediate curtains. Also, common women faced death for eating bananas, coconuts, and other foods.

About the use of the kapu system, the kahuna (high priest) might typically have said, “It was power we sought over the minds of the people, to influence and control them.” Fortunately, the influence of the United States resulted in a Hawaiian-endorsed Declaration of Rights in 1839, which was the first essential departure from these ancient ways.

By design, the ancient ways are being revived—not in Hawaii, but in Washington, D.C. There, our federal health agencies (including HHS, FDA, etc.), widely believed to be fundamentally benevolent, are repeatedly portrayed as well-meaning service providers working hard to ensure better health, prevent harm, and establish standards. The truth—as with pre-Declaration of Rights Hawaii—is otherwise. Our health agencies are now operating in the spirit of kapu law, a declarative-edict system that grows more threatening to free choice and the real tradition of common law (law for commoners rather than royalty) with each passing day. At least as of yet, death sentences for, say, your shadow falling on a bureaucratic footpath have not been established, but who knows . . . if this goes on.

In just the last few weeks, the word “ban” has become a mainstay of declarations issued by the likes of Tommy Thompson and Mark McClellan, respective heads of Health & Human Services and the Food & Drug Administration. To ban something is to declare it taboo, kapu, verboten. Now that the hook is set on the idea of a ban on ephedra, what next? Gaining momentum, the following bans are being proposed:

  • Bans on bovine glandulars used in food, cosmetics, and dietary supplements
  • Bans on ephedra alternatives, such as bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)
  • Bans on certain anabolic sports nutritionals
Given that the recent ban on ephedra is the first for a dietary supplement, it is as if the sluice gates have been opened. What is going on?

Quoting Commissioner McClellan from a speech given at the University of Mississippi expressing his concern about ephedra alternatives, “I know the Cochran Center [at Ole Miss] is working on many ideas that can help along this effort to improve the safety and effectiveness [emphasis added] of dietary supplements used by Americans.”

Wait a moment. How do we get from safety to effectiveness, the vehicle for the great expansion of the FDA back in the 1960s? Make no mistake, what’s going on is a play for power to enlarge their kahuna-like control over the “minds of the people, to influence and control them” and, in effect, as Milton Freidman has warned, to take away self-responsibility and free choice.

The Nazis had an edict that flew as a banner during their reign of power: Everything is forbidden that isn’t permitted. Let your Congress critters know that we will not support a continued move in that direction and the creation of a kapu society.

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