How I Became Politically Aware
© 2009 by Nancy Jane Mayfield

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I first became aware that this was not an entirely free country in 1970.  Three years earlier I had completed my MS in experimental psychology and had successfully completed the core courses that allowed me to continue on the Ph.D. program. During that summer session I worked half time as a research assistant in the psychology department, carried a double academic load and was engaged to be married at the end of the summer session.


In mid-July I began taking birth control pills, Enovid, since the wedding was scheduled for mid-August. I immediately became extremely tired and had trouble concentrating and remembering. This I assumed was due to an overly ambitious schedule. All I would need is two or three days of rest and sleep to start feeling better. Instead, by the time of the wedding, an unbelievably severe headache began and lasted 24/7 for nearly three years. In addition, I had loss of appetite, my weight dropped to around 95 pounds (I am 5’ 4”) and I continually experienced excruciating foot and leg cramps. A year later I was diagnosed with mono and treated with steroids. There were other symptoms too personal to go into, but perhaps you get the picture. In less than a month, my life had become a train wreck. Not a great start for a marriage nor for an academic future.


Early on I asked the doctor if birth controls pills could cause any of the symptoms I experienced. He assured me they could not. I said I wanted to discontinue them anyway. He said, “You have to keep taking them. If you stop taking them you will get pregnant”. So I continued for another four to six months. He gave me other pills separately targeting each symptom: Pills to improve circulation for headaches, Donnatol for my “nervous stomach”, muscle relaxants for the leg and foot cramps and higher and higher doses of Enovid to suppress “break through bleeding”, an innocuous term for a heavy period every other week. Oh, yes, and iron tablets for anemia.  Finally I told him, “I am being poisoned by these pills. I am not going to take any more.” He replied, “I’m glad you said that. I didn’t want to have to increase the dosage again.”


This was not the mistake of a single doctor. During those three years I must have seen every doctor in the student health facility at one time or another – many more than once. I also saw a number of doctors at the Ft. Riley facility, since my husband was in the military. There was no relief available from the standard medical community.


After three years I read “Let’s Get Well” by health food guru Adele Davis. Within one week after adding her “pep-up” drink to suggested vitamins and minerals, the headaches disappeared, stomach trouble and muscle cramps diminished, energy increased and by the end of the month my weight had gone from 93 up to 115 pounds.


While this did not address every problem that had cascaded from the use of Enovid, it provided more-than-substantial relief and life seemed worth living again. So imagine my dismay on learning from a magazine in a health food store that the FDA was attempting to regulate nutritional supplements as prescription drugs.  Even if I could find a nutritionally literate doctor (2 chances of that: slim and none), the cost of heavily regulated supplements would be prohibitive.


I joined the National Health Federation [1] in order to be informed of pending legislation that would restrict my freedom to access nutritional supplements.


Ongoing power-grab attempts by the FDA continued for several years. Then the Hosmer Proxmire Bill was passed. That temporarily slowed, but did not halt, the attacks. [2]


Next they started trying to sneak in restrictive legislation in unrelated bills, e.g., Claude Pepper’s postal bill, an inter-state commerce bill and so on. [3] Around 1991 or 1992 it appeared that another FDA power grab was imminent. That triggered a grass-roots protest of historic magnitude. The outcome was DSHEA, The Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act, which has given us the freedom of access we enjoy today.


Unfortunately DSHEA has generated such a sense of security that even health food advocates seem oblivious to on-going threats. [4] Thus, none of the majors raised even a whimper of protest over the provision in CAFTA that enables foreign bureaucrats to regulate our dietary supplement industry. Local health food store owners seemed equally unconcerned about or ignorant of the threat.


For example, around 1997 or 1998 the FDA announced its intention to “harmonize” regulation of nutritional supplements with CODEX standards. A congressional aide, who was an alternative health advocate, felt that nothing could de-rail the freedoms gained in DSHEA. I remained unconvinced. He gave me the name of someone who worked in the House Oversight Committee. I phoned that person and got the name and number of John Hammell. John is a schizophrenic who is able to maintain mental stability through use of nutritional supplements. Understandably, he sounds impatient and agitated over the indifference to freedom displayed by our elected officials. His well-being depends upon continued access to things they seem determined to remove from our grasp.  John told me that the FDA intention to harmonize with CODEX was a real and immediate threat. Where could I find help? Maybe Ron Paul would care. I phoned his office and spoke to Norm Singleton. He had not heard about CODEX. I gave him the phone numbers of John Hammell and Patrick von Mauk at The National Health Federation. There was nothing more I could do. A few months later I saw a picture of Ron Paul in a health food magazine. On either side were John and Patrick. Ron Paul had intercepted the legislation and inserted the words, “as food”. The FDA could regulate nutritional supplements, but only as food, not as drugs.  Once again, we managed to dodge the bullet.


CAFTA brings up another issue: When is loss of national sovereignty a desirable thing? Why, when it is part of an international trade agreement! The silence that has greeted this issue is deafening. Foreign bodies should never have ability to over-ride the laws of this country. But now they do. However, instead of acting with the arrogance and blatant force currently employed by the Democrats regarding health care changes, they are boiling the frog. By going slowly, they will institute many small measures that we will dismiss as unimportant or not even notice until it is too late for our protest to make a difference. Notice the current restrictions on bio-identical hormones and weight loss products. Today (Sept. 2, 2009) I learned they are attempting to shut down our access to natural thyroid extract, which has been available for perhaps 100 years. [5]


Yes, Dear Citizen, you are a frog.  


Because of GATS, the Caribbean nations of Barbuda and Antigua, through the World Trade Organization, successfully sued the United States because some states, such as Utah, prohibited internet gambling.  [6]  


How will you feel when some foreign bureaucrat dictates how many children you may have and how excessive pregnancies must be terminated? I feel it is only a matter of time.  The general policy of over-riding our national sovereignty has already been implemented. Now it is just a matter of issues. Our energy consumption is already being attacked through Cap and Trade proposals.


I’m glad to see the public finally arousing from its stupor and expressing concern and outrage over the proposed changes to our [healthcare] system: rationing, assignment of doctors, loss of current coverage, parabolic rising costs. I have experienced similar feelings of anger, fear and helplessness for nearly 40 years. Welcome to my world!


In a truly free country, freedom of choice on health matters would never, ever be in question. In a truly free country the right to care for your own body in ways you deem best would be self-evident. Physicians should be certified, but not licensed. Consumer protection lies in knowledge of facts presented in an unbiased way, not in heavy-handed and corrupted government restrictions and propaganda.  I personally know two alternative health doctors who had their licenses yanked and their lives destroyed by refusing to follow the party line. Their services are now beyond my reach forever. As a consumer, I bitterly resent this.


Freedom is freedom and too often the public has failed to protest when a freedom is destroyed. Even if you were not currently exercising that freedom, it was still yours until your silence permitted its destruction. Stop kidding yourselves that we have a political choice. There is currently no two-party system. There is only one party which masquerades as two. That party consists of big government, special interests, deficit expansion, earmarks and global concessions at the expense of national sovereignty.  We previously got to choose between tax-and-spend Democrats and borrow-and-spend Republicans.  Now we are confronted by the worst of all possible outcomes: Control by the borrow-and-tax-and-spend-like-there-is-no-tomorrow Wall Street and Beltway elitists who control both parties and never have to face the voting public. You have only to notice how Goldman Sachs connections compromise the treasury department and other branches of government, regardless of which party controls the presidency. [7]


We must not let these people continue to distract our attention with hot-button issues such as drugs, abortion, gay marriage, etc. that keep us divided. These issues are never, ever going to go away because they are so effective in keeping us from uniting on the matters with which we can agree: Reining in out-of-control Federal government, returning power to states and counties as the major political units, honest elections with audit trails, the end of gerrymandering, term limits at all levels, the requirement that law makers must live under the laws they perpetuate on the rest of us and the ability to write in our choices if they are not listed on the ballot (State of Oklahoma, are you listening to that last item?).


Stop listening to your party bosses. Insist that candidates at all levels of government be ego-neutral [8] people of integrity. We need statesmen, not politicians. Call your officials (especially your Washington officials) on issues that concern you or that seem to increase expense and decrease freedom. If you only vote you can only deliver a pass/fail grade. It is too late for your opinion on issues to matter. When you vote for the lesser of two evils, the winner declares a mandate. Is that what you want? Dear Citizen, the buck stops here.


End Notes:

[1]  NHF – The National Health Federation, Declaration of Health-Freedom Rights


Also see: St. Petersburg Times Oct. 23, 1974,1466340


Also see: Health Freedom Timeline …, by John C Hammell, President, IAHF

[4]  On CAFTA, Codex and Supplements

[5] FDA Bans Hormone Produced by Human Body as “Unapproved Drug”

Also see: FDA Attacks Natural Thyroid Millions Depend On

[6]  WTO – US—Gambling (Cross-Border Services)

Antigua Gains More Support Over Internet Gambling WTO Issue

and also – WTO Awards Sanctions in Gambling Case  

[7]  Four Amendments & a Funeral

[8] Ego-neutral