This article was originally written in 1998 by Richard McDonald, C.H., and revised by the author in November, 2005.

Just as we are beginning to be able to scientifically prove the effectiveness of herbs, and we are beginning (once again) as a nation to use herbs and supplements more and more to help maintain good health, my attention has been directed towards an insidious plot to take them all away from us all!! (These proposals are being put forward in the name of "protecting" you.)

It may seem incredible after all the big news of the herb Saint John's Wort being an effective replacement for the drug Prozac, (As seen on the television program 20 /20 ), but believe it, because YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS ENTERED INTO TRADE AGREEMENTS WHICH WILL TAKE YOUR HERBS, SUPPLEMENTS, AND MANY FOODS AWAY FROM YOU!! (and which supercede your Constitutionally-protected rights).

If you like your herbs and your ability to come to your favorite health food store or herb store to obtain vitamins & minerals, and especially herbs, then you need to understand the issues, and focus your attention against the serious threat to your freedom to use these products.

I can hear you saying, "I thought we had this issue taken care of a couple of years ago." Well, I thought the same thing, but apparantly, a "trojan horse" clause was put into the DSHEA agreement. (DSHEA is the agreement worked out with F.D.A. and Congress in 1994, which has allowed us to label products telling all you folks what effects you could reasonably expect to gain from taking the products. These are called structure & function statements). But now, a hidden clause in the DSHEA legislation, added at the last moment, by Democratic Congressman Waxman from California, has allowed the F.D.A. to begin a process to re-classify herbs and supplements as OTC drugs (Over the counter drugs).!! Can you imagine?

Just a couple of days ago, the F.D.A. convened their meeting (in Washington D.C.) to terminate the public comments period in their proposal to re-classify herbs and supplements as OTC drugs. Afterwards, a friend of mine, Mr. John Hammell, who is the head of the "International Advocates for Health Freedom", called me to tell me what he saw when he attended this F.D.A. meeting. He said that "the F.D.A. commission which was appointed to study this proposal and draft a final recommendation, had failed to discharge their duty, and ignored fully, two thirds of the public comments they had received. He also said that "the meeting was poorly publicized and poorly attended".... (which is how government agencies like it, when they want to ram some unpopular law down our throats). His eyewitness account should make us realize that public opinion is being ignored to a large degree, and that this particular branch of the government is in sore need of complete overhaul.

The effect of this commission's recommendation, if it is adopted, will be to allow the F.D.A. to implement their proposed "Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines", which would impose burdonsome regulations on producers of herbal products.. (requiring them to submit samples of all their source material herbs for testing.. and would require "laboratory-type conditions" for manufacturing facilities, similar or equivalent to those used in pharmaceutical manufacturing)... both of these proposals would drive the costs of herbal remedies through the roof, or eliminate them altogether, except for those huge companies which are able to afford the exorbitant costs of constant testing of raw herbs.

Since this F.D.A. meeting (above), the F.D.A. has continued to work hand in glove with the Codex Commission in Europe, with the intent of harmonizing international standards for herbs, supplements and minerals. One of the latest developments in January of 2005, was to pass the "upper level limits standards" for vitamin and mineral supplements, which would effectively outlaw such things as 1,000 mg. tablets of vitamin C, (which would be several times the adopted upper limit for this vitamin) !! This is an example of the sorts of mindless rules and regulations being passed by this commission, which WILL endanger your ability to maintain your health with these substances, because you won't be able to find them.... OR... if you can find them, you will need to take many tablets or capsules in order to achieve the level of supplementation you now get from taking only one capsule or tablet.... AND... the cost will increase exponentially!!

Many large herbal products manufacturers (who cloak their actual identities through the use of corporate subsidiary structures) are actually the offspring of pharmaceutical companies, and are trying to do two things: 1). Pass themselves off as real herbal companies... and, 2). Use their potent lobbying efforts to get the F.D.A. to enact the MOST stringent laws being considered, so that nobody other than those with multi-million dollar production facilities will be able to comply with the regulations.... thus leaving the entire herbal market open to takeover by the pharmaceutical industry, while forcing most small and medium-sized herb companies OUT of business!

Now, for the clincher.... Since you have access to a computer and to the internet (if you're reading this), then you can confirm this next part for yourself. The F.D.A. has a website on the internet. It's address is: This will take you to a particular article on their site, which is a copy of a speech given by the head of the F.D.A. to Congress. Since it is a 40 page document, just scan through it until you get to Item 6. This item confirms the F.D.A's intention to adopt the recommendations of the little-known Codex commission, (established as an international regulatory commission under the G.A.T.T. treaty...the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade between the U.S and the European Union). This commission, called the Codex Alimentarius commission, has been charged with creating rules and standards which are supposedly being formulated with the intent of "harmonizing" the laws of different countries, to create one single uniform standard. However, in this case, the Codex Commission has been turned into the henchman of the pharmaceutical industry, (since fully 90% of the commission members are representatives of Pharmaceutical companies.)

Effectively, this means that the Pharmaceutical companies will control which products (such as herbs, and supplements) will be allowed on the market...(and of course, the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to get rid of their herbal competition since they came into being, around 1910). Herbs pose a significant benefit for individuals who wish to use them, however, they are percieved as a threat by the drug industry, which is pulling out all the stops in their attempts to have herbs regulated as drugs or restricted by manufacturing standards, which DO NOT need to be created in the first place.

Herbs and their products ARE at least AS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE as pharmaceutical drugs, but really, herbs are safer, because they do NOT have anywhere near the number of unwanted side effects, as do pharmaceutical drugs. This is because pharmaceutical drugs are TOXIC AT THEIR PRESCRIBED DOSAGES. (Read "The Lost Language of Plants", by Stephen H. Buhner for more information and examples about how drugs are killing our planet and contributing towards the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, and ever more powerful forms of bacterial and viral organisms, which present a danger to the entire human population of Earth. The truth is, the pharmaceutical industry knows about this, but has decided to concentrate on reaping profits rather than protecting your health or the viability of life on Earth!

These are the Codex Alimentarius recommendations:

1. No vitamin, mineral, herb, etc. can be sold for prophylactic (preventative) or theraputic use.

2. None sold as food can exceed potency (dosage) levels set by the commission.

3. CODEX regulations for the dietary supplements would become binding... (eliminating the escape clause in the G.A.T.T. treaty that allows a nation to set its own standards.

4. All new dietary supplements would automatically be banned unless they go through the CODEX approval process.

If these draconian measures are adopted, all signatory nations to the G.A.T.T. treaty will be forced to accept them as law,(suprceding the former "rights" under their own Constitution), and implement them in their countries. (the U.S. is one of the G.A.T.T. treaty signatories).

If the signatory nation refuses to adopt these standards, then the World Trade Organization, (WTO), can impose heavy monetary sanctions against them, effectively crippling large sectors of that nation's economy, until they comply.

Since the F.D.A. has freely stated that they intend to implement the recommendations of the Codex Commission into their policies, it becomes clear that WE, THE PEOPLE, are no longer running our own country, but it is now being managed by a commission on foreign soil, who has as the top item on their list, to wipe out (or at least absorb and control) the herbal industry.

If you value your independence and freedoms as an American citizen, then you simply cannot let this happen!! It flies in the face of our CONSTITUTIONAL rights, and takes away our individual choices about managing our own health, by making some of the very best alternatives ILLEGAL !

Most of the people in the herbal industry with whom I've spoken, feel that the government does not have the resources to carry out such a widespread implementation of these policies, but I do. In looking at two recent issues, I am convinced that the powers that are in control of our country right now intend to fully carry out this process.

First, look at the voluntary recall of the herb PLANTAIN. This herb is very effective at healing damage to skin, as well as removing excess mucous buildup in the bowels, and healing brown recluse bites without the use of antibiotics, by pulling out the flesh-dissolving poisons, when applied topically as a poultice. It is a wonderful herb. The recall of this herb was caused by it's supposed contamination with another possibly toxic herb, called Foxglove..(Digitalis).. which is a powerful heart medicine, and which can cause elevated blood pressure or irregular heart functions..(arrhythmias). I have never heard the results of this recall, regarding the amounts of contaminated herbs which may have been found in it.

The second sign of the new improved regulatory powers of the F.D.A. can be seen in their fight with the tobacco industry.  The government lawyers have brought one of the most powerfully entrenched industries to it's knees, and in the process, have gained wide public support for the new round of F.D.A. activities.

I think that controlling the tobacco industry is a good thing, however, I think that taking away your ability to use herbs (which are nature's own profound healing agents) is another thing entirely.

The reason for writing this article is not to give you some new thing to worry about, but it is my sincere wish to educate the public as to exactly what is going on behind the scenes. It is also my attempt to galvanize you into action to protect your ability to use herbs, which are our original medicines, used very effectively for over four THOUSAND years by human beings in every part of the world. Some ideas and addresses are listed below in order to help you to contact the people who are supposedly our representatives in these sorts of lawmaking realms.


1.) Contact your representatives... both House members and Senators... to object to the removal of the escape clause in the G.A.T.T. treaty, and to all subsequent treaties over the past 10 years. Tell them you object to any "Good Manufacturing Practices" guidelines which are any more stringent than those imposed in any restauraunt's commercial kitchen.
Look up your state and federal representatives.

2.) PROTEST to the F.D.A about their recommendations to accept the CODEX guidelines as their own policies. Here's an address to write to:
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857

or contact them by telephone:

* 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)
This is the main FDA Phone Number (for general inquiries),

or visit their site to submit a letter via their "contact FDA" link FDA website

Express your objections to the CODEX proposal, and to ALL the so-called "Free Trade Agreements", through which these people are attempting to manipulate your Constitutional rights !

3.) Educate yourself about the history of the CODEX commission, and the ways they have been able to push the issues to this point... by visiting John Hammell's website. John has been watching this scenario progress to it's present dangerous point. Find his site by going to the library and using their computer or if you have one at home, the website address is:

4.) Don't wait to get involved Start a petition in your neighborhood or community. Take the petition around to everyone you know. Take the time to explain to them what is happening, and get a commitment from them to not only sign your petition, but to pass the word on, do some photocopying, or call their "representatives" in congress to express their outrage at their attempts to control your access to natures' own healing agents, which have comprised a huge part of every traditional healing system on Earth. Also, encourage them to brainstorm, and to do anything else they can think of to help get the word out to everyone and to keep them active.

To everyone out there who believes in herbs, please participate.

Thank you in advance for whatever you're able to contribute!

May the forces which guide the Universe, bless our efforts.

With kind regards, Richard McDonald, Clinical Herbalist

For more information, send us an e-mail:

Contact Desert Bloom Herbs

Ordering Page


Herbal Products

Back to Articles