Two leading natural health campaign organisations are formally merging as of today. The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), based in Dorking, UK, and the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF), of Washington DC, have merged to form the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH International). The new organisation is headed up by internationally acclaimed scientist and activist, Dr Robert Verkerk. The organisation’s headquarters will be in Dorking, UK, which will remain the base for ANH International’s European activities, now to be conducted through ANH-Europe. The Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA), under the leadership of attorney Gretchen DuBeau, will continue to operate out of its Washington DC base, although its activities will be closely coordinated with that of ANH International. The merger joins two powerful, results-orientated natural health organisations that have long advocated for natural and integrative medicine.
Dr Verkerk and his co-workers at ANH-International have been at the forefront of moves to reduce the impact of the increasingly far-reaching and stringent European regulatory system. This system threatens to decimate clinical nutrition, nutritional therapy, non-European healthcare traditions such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda as well as the leading-edge of the health food sector across the 27 Member States of Europe. European regulation is also acting as a key regulatory template influencing many countries around the world, as well as global standards and guidelines for food products issued through the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The ANH has pioneered the use of ‘good science’ and ‘good law’ as the key principles in establishing a legal and scientific framework appropriate to the continued and expanded use of natural and sustainable approaches to healthcare.
Known for its longstanding efforts to protect integrative practitioners from unjust prosecution for utilising natural healing modalities and ensuring consumers have continued access to the natural healthcare options of their choice, ANH-USA brings an arsenal of lobbyists and more than 50,000 advocates dedicated to shifting the medical paradigm from an exclusive focus on surgery, drugs and other conventional techniques to an “integrative” approach incorporating food, dietary supplements and lifestyle changes.
“United we are stronger”, said Dr Robert Verkerk. “Europe has one of the most restrictive systems which we badly need to liberalise,” continued Dr Verkerk, “while the US represents one of the most liberal systems, which we must ensure is not lost. Together, we handle both sides of the issue. Many consumers and natural health advocates have criticised the lack of cooperation among natural health campaigners. We hope today marks a permanent change.”
Gretchen DuBeau, executive director of ANH-USA, commented, “We are thrilled about the merger. The opportunity to join forces with a top-notch, international natural health organisation increases our strength in moving towards a sustainable, integrative medical model.”
ANH International is committed to sustainable approaches to healthcare. It strongly believes the existing orthodox medical paradigm, based around the over-use and abuse of pharmaceutical drugs, can no longer be countenanced. Its lack of respect for biological principles, born out by poor efficacy and huge costs in terms of side effects, is just one expression of this.
According to ANH International, preventative medicine is too often incorrectly defined by the use of increasing amounts of drugs, earlier and earlier in life, even in childhood. The concept of sustainable healthcare is about genuine prevention, particularly chronic disease prevention. Chronic diseases represent the single greatest burden on healthcare systems around the world and it is well accepted that they are largely preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes, rather than the use of drugs.
Drawing on the legal, scientific and policy expertise of its US and European offices, as well as its affiliates around the world, ANH International will work tirelessly and with even greater effectiveness to help stimulate a fundamental shift in the orthodox western healthcare paradigm. The new paradigm, built on the principles of sustainability, needs to work harmoniously with biological systems, rather than against them.
Given the imminent threats to natural health in many parts of the world, and the urgency of required action, ANH-International, and its two regional offices, is looking to expand significantly its reach among consumers, practitioners and companies in the natural health field. New or substantially revised campaign websites have been launched which hope to facilitate this process. Companies or practitioners, or even volunteer members of the public, wishing to collaborate with any of the organiations should contact their nearest regional office.
The Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) represents an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting natural and sustainable approaches to healthcare. It upholds that the integrative medicine and functional medicine models, as well as many traditional healthcare systems that have evolved over millennia, are more appropriate means of dealing with today’s health challenges than the current dominant western medicine model, which is over-reliant on the use of pharmaceutical drugs. The ANH is working collaboratively to help facilitate the development of scientific and legal frameworks appropriate to natural healthcare.