The subject areas that we grapple with at ANH-Intl are so big and sometimes unwieldy—from our freedom to choose natural healthcare, to the pincer movement against the great, millennia-old, eastern, whole body medical systems, through to GM crops, water fluoridation or radiation for wireless systems and mobile phones— that it's not easy to know where to start.

I thought perhaps a good place would be to tackle one of the areas that we know is fiercely under attack and that has been the subject of a recent conference in which I participated up in Glasgow. The theme is cancer. The disease that supposedly afflicts more than two thirds of us, killing us in the process. The disease that exists in many forms, about which most medical doctors know surprisingly little about. A disease that we know is strongly associated with environmental risks yet continues to be treated by mainstream medicine much like it were an infectious disease that needs to be killed, whether it's by surgical removal, highly toxic chemicals or radiation.

It was exactly 30 years ago that the pioneering Teddy Goldsmith told us in the pages of his ground-breaking magazine, "The Ecologist", sadly no longer available in hard copy, that our health system is broken. And guess what he proposed as a fix? He said, in order to repair the malfunctioning, dangerous, and ineffective system, an ecological approach to our physical and social ills was required. It continues to be tenuously referred to as a "health care system" when it more properly should be referred to, as proposed by Derek Wanless, a "disease management system".

The specific point I want to focus on in this blog is how mainstream Western medicine responds to dealing with the cancer challenge. We all know that a bundle of cancer charities have been established and these are largely controlled by the pharmaceutical industry and exist primarily for their benefit and not that of patients. Most of us also know that these charities fund a huge amount of research in the field of cancer, both to better understand its nature, and to shed light on possible new ways to treat the disease. The fact is, there is more or less unanimous agreement amongst the scientific community that around 80% of cancer cases originate as a result of environmental rather than genetic factors. And how interesting it is that so little effort is made to resolve them by dealing directly with these causative agents......

But here is the point that I'm really getting to: how is it that the cancer establishment can for so long get away with either ignoring or attacking those who have chosen to reject orthodox treatment and go instead with natural treatments.

In any other field of endeavour, if you were looking for a solution to a problem, and you were aware of a significant number of instances of the problem being resolved in a manner that was well beyond your own expectation, or that which could be achieved with known technologies, you would immediately find yourself studying in great detail these 'novel' approaches.

But what we see in the field of oncology, as well as in many other disciplines of orthodox medicine, is something very different. Regardless of where we are in the western world, we find that those who have chosen alternative routes are challenged. The attacks of course rapidly morph into criminal accusations the minute someone actually dies. The interplay between the accusers and the media is generally seemingly uncanny. This even happens where the quality of life of the patient has been substantially improved, or their life expectancy has surpassed expectation.

Attacks by the West Australian medical profession and the media leading to and arising from a coronial inquest, directed at Perth-based toxicologist Peter Dingle Ph.D. is one such case in point. The issue is running hot as we speak. The case has surfaced some 5 years after the death of Dr Dingle's wife. Dr Dingle himself is a man of exceptional character. I know this because I have known him personally for well over 20 years given that we campaigned together on hazardous chemicals issues in Australia back in the 1980s. However, he was becoming progressively more outspoken against the pharmaceutical industry, and his respect for his wife's chosen path in her treatment of colon cancer, which included homeopathy, has resulted in vicious attacks against him. He has recently endured 2 and a half days in the witness box of the coroner's inquest into the case. He has been accused of being responsible for her death. Not only has he had to contend with this, he's had to deal with his wife's death which occurred some 20 months after surgery, after which she refused conventional treatment.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Had Penelope Dingle died when she did, following surgery and then chemotherapy or radiotherapy, her death would have been reported as one of the cancer deaths that afflicts over two thirds of us in the industrialised world. Had a drug such Avastin been involved alongside chemo, there would have been much celebration had she lived as long as she did. How serendipitous that today, in the UK, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just rejected Roche’s anti-angiogenic drug Avastin, intended for use in alongside chemo in patients with certain late-stage cancers including bowel cancer. This rejection by NICE means the drug won’t be used by the National Health Service. And why did NICE reject it? Because it is seen as not cost effective given it costs GBP 21,000 per patient and on average it only extends a patient’s life by 6 weeks.

We now hear squeals supposedly from patients’ groups over NICE’s rejection of Avastin. These are squeals designed to strike an emotive chord within us because the people affected are cancer sufferers, and we are all (say the cancer charities) “touched” by someone close to us who has cancer. But the reality is that these squeals are much more the result of carefully orchestrated, pharmaceutical industry controlled public relations exercises by the cancer charities, which work effectively as marketing arms for the pharma industry.

It seems that however intense the attacks on alternative medicine become, an ever growing number of us are not prepared to allow our health to be controlled in the way the medical establishment, itself now so heavily supported and intertwined with Big Pharma, has seen fit.

At the bottom of all of this are two factors, more than any other, that maintain this status quo. One is control, the other is profit. If you go with the flow, and allow yourself to be controlled, you are metaphorically patted on the head, given your next appointment, and you contribute to the coffers of the pharmaceutical industry. Go against the flow, and things are not so smooth, although, at some higher level, and often even at a physical level, they may be much more rewarding.

An observation I have made over the years is that those of us who reject some or all new-to-nature drug-based modalities often have a heightened sense of awareness of the world around us, as compared with the average person (if there is such a thing). Such people tend to be respectful of nature, and they care deeply about its destruction and pollution. They are, to hypothesise, perhaps more in tune with the internal coding that makes us so much of who we are, at least physically. I refer of course to our own unique genetic make-up—our individual DNA coding system. It may just be that those of us who are more ‘tuned in’ to our DNA, experience a rejection of medical treatments involving toxic chemicals or radiation sources with which we have had no exposure over the last few millennia of our evolution that is actually innate.

As the gathering at The Truth Matters conference last weekend showed, the stories about people’s ongoing successes with alternative cancer treatment—that should whet the appetite of every cancer researcher out there but doesn’t for the reasons we’ve discussed—will continue to be communicated. Attempts at censorship and personal attacks will persist, but most of us who understand how the ‘medical establishment’ works, also understand their motives. Remember? It’s all about control and profit.

The fact is, a very large and growing number of us believe passionately in our right to choose natural systems of healthcare, and we outright refuse to be controlled by exceedingly large corporations who act primarily in the interests of their own profit. Blame it on your survival genes if you like…