ALEXANDRIA, VA. Today, the leading non-profit defending the right to natural health, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), has launched a campaign to gather 1 million signatures petitioning tech giant YouTube, and its owner, Alphabet Inc, to change the medical misinformation policy it implemented in August 2023.

The policy currently disallows any health information that does not align with local authorities like the US National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the inter-governmental agency, the World Health Organization (WHO).

“YouTube’s policy means any health information that isn’t approved by these local or inter-governmental authorities is treated as misinformation”, says ANH’s executive director, Rob Verkerk, Ph.D. He added, “This is madness given these authorities have limited expertise in so many areas of health, including nutritional and lifestyle-based approaches.”

The campaign has been triggered by the introduction of a medical misinformation policy by YouTube last August, 3 months after the WHO declared an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many free speech advocates upheld that censorship of health information would be relaxed once it was clear the risk posed by SARS-CoV-2 was minimal, but the opposite has happened.

In America, still widely regarded as the bastion of free speech, the right to express opinions without government restraint is protected under the First Amendment. While court documents have revealed significant government-influenced censorship on private tech platforms, online platforms like YouTube, as private companies, apply their own ‘community rules’ to which content owners are forced to comply or face sanctions.

The ANH has been closely monitoring content moderation practices by major online platforms and has found that, in the post-pandemic era, de-platforming has become less common, while more subtle and non-transparent techniques, such as ‘shadowbanning’, that de-prioritizes specific, ‘less-preferred’ content, are rife, and are often unrecognized by the public.

Commenting on shadowbanning, Verkerk said, “After YouTube changed its policy last year, we saw huge drops in viewer numbers on channels run by top experts in areas like intermittent fasting and keto diets. What’s more, YouTube searches on these subjects were replaced by content from non-experts who made it their business to bash these non-drug approaches for dealing with very common metabolic issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

The ANH argues that YouTube’s medical misinformation policy, which is controlled by complex and non-transparent algorithms managed by artificial intelligence, will work against public health and the public interest. Such filtering of content distorts perspectives on health and wellbeing and creates echo chambers that further polarize society.

The campaign aims to bring on board a wide range of pro-freedom and natural health interests, not only in the USA, but all over the world. ANH and its strategic partners plan to deliver the petition, supported by over a million people, to the Alphabet offices, calling on YouTube to modify how it interprets, prioritizes, and censors so-called ‘medical misinformation.’The secondary goal will be to influence other private tech platforms that host health information to use transparent and appropriate content prioritization and moderation approaches that operate in the public interest and do not unnecessarily limit free speech.

Learn more about this critical campaign to protect free speech for health and sign the campaign petition at

“YouTube’s policy means any health information that isn’t approved by these local or inter-governmental authorities is treated as misinformation”

- Rob Verkerk PhD




USA: Jo Twombly, deputy director, Alliance for Natural Health USA, tel 1-800-230-2762, email [email protected]

All other countries: Melissa Smith, Alliance for Natural Health International, tel +44 (0)1483 362 200, email [email protected]


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The Alliance for Natural Health is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting natural, sustainable healthcare through good science and good law. ANH protects the right of natural health practitioners to practice, and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options and treatment modalities they prefer, including complementary and alternative medicine. ANH unites consumers, practitioners, and the natural health industry to speak with a common voice, having worked since 1992 to help shift the medical paradigm from its primary focus on drugs and surgery to an “integrative” approach that seeks to optimize dietary health and lifestyle, while minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals.

ANH has fought for decades for the right to talk about the many benefits of natural health options. The organization was part precedent-setting lawsuits in the USA that expanded free speech about the benefits of supplements, including permitting consumers to learn that folate supplementation during pregnancy helped prevent neural tube defects in the unborn child. In the US, Europe and beyond, ANH has continued to champion free speech about natural products so more consumers can be empowered with the wide range of information needed to make the best choices for their health.