Health authorities around the world have generally avoided giving any credence to food or dietary supplements. Limited exceptions include folic acid supplements for women wanting to become pregnant to reduce risk of neural tube defects. 

The catch cry from most health authorities are statements like 'you can get all the nutrients you need from the diet', 'don't take food supplements—they may potentially harm you'. These sorts of statements, ironically, have little or no scientific basis but are widely accepted by those who are blindly supportive of drug-based medicine.

In an almost unprecedented move, UNICEF have determined that they have no option but to use a functional food supplement or 'therapeutic food', packed with vitamins and other nutrients, to avert a wide range of health problems that are linked to inadequate nutrition and poor healthcare infrastructure, particularly in children. Given UNICEF's already close relationship with the pharma companies which continue to push vaccinations and drug usage on children, it is not surprising that they are not prepared to accept that the 'therapeutic food' product is indeed a food.

A UNICEF spokesperson, commenting on the ready-to-eat food supplement, made from milk, peanuts, and added micro-nutrients, said, "It is seen to be a drug and should be used in a certain way—in specific amounts and a certain rhythm. It is a treatment and it is important that it remains as such."

Dr Robert Verkerk, executive and scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health, commented, "While it is a step in the right direction to see a major health authority opt for nutrients rather than drugs to avert the desperate situation caused in part by poor nutrition, it is a sad day when such foods have to be regarded as drugs. This makes it very difficult to communicate the fundamental importance of foods and nutrients as the bedrock of effective healthcare and encourages the continuing dominance of drugs as the primary interventions in healthcare."

Find out more about foods and nutrients in healthcare, by checking out ANH's sustainable healthcare and Food4Health campaigns. 

Click here to read the full report from Haiti by Rupa Chinai ([email protected]), an independent journalist based in Mumbai.


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