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Milestones: A New Era of Human Health Begins

The following page highlights the historic development behind the Dr Rath Health Foundation. It is based on a presentation by Dr. Rath at a Conference of the American Academy for the Advancement of Medicine and has been updated for this website.

Further information relating to these historic developments is available in the Dr Rath's book 'Ten Years That Changed Medicine Forever.'

Only rarely comes the privilege of being present at the moment of triumph in the control of a major disease, and, for cardiovascular disease, that moment is now. Over half a century ago the Canadian cardiologist, J.C. Paterson, published the first clinical studies that vitamin deficiency is a primary cause for heart attacks and strokes. Each year, more than 12 million people die worldwide from heart attacks and strokes. Since Dr. Paterson’s studies, over half a billion people have died from cardiovascular disease, more than in all wars of mankind together. Throughout this century, cardiovascular disease has become one of the largest epidemics in the history of mankind. Now, at the end of this century, we have to realize that most of these deaths could have been prevented and that the cardiovascular epidemic could have been controlled long ago by an optimum intake of vitamins and other essential nutrients.

I am often asked: “If this knowledge had been used in medicine, could my father, sister, uncle or son still be alive?” The answer is “Yes, very likely!” Why did so many people have to die? The main reason is the non-patentability of vitamins and the massive economic interest of pharmaceutical companies.

Pioneering scientists and health professionals deserve credit for their advocacy of vitamins and other natural therapies. Among them are Irwin Stone, Linus Pauling, Abram Hoffer and many others. Despite their noble efforts and until very recently the opposing pharmaceutical interest groups prevailed and continued to control public opinion by discrediting the health benefits of vitamins. As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of physicians and other health professionals and millions of people around the world were deceived and remained misinformed and biased against the health benefits of vitamins.

Now, on the turn of this century, everything is changing. Vitamins suddenly make the front pages of newspapers and they are on national TV news almost every week. The American Medical Association suddenly endorses the use of vitamins in the fight against heart disease, and legislation allowing health claims for vitamins is being discussed. The groundwork for this change of perception in favor of vitamins has been laid over many decades. However, the trigger for the current large-scale acceptance of vitamins came from the field of science, from a medical advance, which will lead to the control of cardiovascular diseases during the next few decades.

Here I would like to share with you an account of this advance in cardiovascular health, of the milestones we have already passed, the obstacles we have overcome and of the breathtaking perspective towards an improvement of human health on a global level.


In 1990, I came to America with a discovery in my suitcase that would lead to a new scientific rationale of cardiovascular diseases. The message was clear: Vitamins are the key to the control of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in the industrialized world. But this breakthrough was not immediately embraced. When I decided to give up my clinical career to pursue this research avenue, many of my colleagues in Germany warned me that working on vitamins would ruin my career.


The cooperation and friendship with two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling was so close, that Pauling asked Dr. Rath to continue his life work. In the centre of the picture Dr. Pauling’s secretary Dorothy Munro

During 1989 I presented lectures and introduced my research project to leading cardiovascular research centers in America - among them Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, University of Chicago, National Institutes of Health, and the University of California at La Jolla. Everywhere the new risk factor, lipoprotein(a), was met with great interest - but working on vitamins was still considered too controversial. In early 1990 I accepted the invitation of Linus Pauling to work with him, only to discover that at age 89 he had become tired of fighting and a breakthrough for vitamins in medicine was nowhere in sight. Heartened by my discoveries, he and I founded two companies in order to jump-start this process.

1990 was also the year when America’s worst prescription drug disaster came to light. An estimated 50,000 Americans died from taking an antiarrhythmic drug that actually caused arrest of the heart beat and sudden cardiac death. This was the same number of people killed in the Vietnam War. A Congressional investigation established that the FDA had approved this drug without any controlled clinical studies. This tragedy is presented in Thomas Moore’s book Deadly Medicine, a “must-read” for everyone. Thus, while drug research had reached another deadlock, vitamins and essential nutrients as effective and safe alternatives were still ostracized by conventional medicine and restricted by the regulatory climate.

Nutritional medicine was a stepchild in America, but the situation was even worse in Europe. When you wanted to ship a bottle of 1,000 milligram tablets of Vitamin C to Germany, it was returned by customs because vitamin C pills above 500 milligrams are considered drugs. This was the state of affairs only five years ago. It is with this background that we can truly appreciate the milestones we have reached and the obstacles we were able to remove in the meantime. In the next part of my talk I would like to give you an account of this process from my personal experience.

Breakthrough Discovery

The first step towards control of cardiovascular disease was discovery of the connection between lipoprotein (a) and vitamin C. The human body produces the risk factor, lipoprotein (a) to compensate for loss of the body’s own vitamin C production. As a result, every second human being dies from heart attacks and strokes, while cardiovascular diseases are essentially unknown in the animal world. This discovery attracted my interest in vitamin research.

By 1991 the conceptual work was completed and I summarized it in two scientific articles: Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease and A Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease Leading the Way to the Abolition of This Diseases as a Cause of Human Mortality. These publications presented for the first time the scientific rationale that heart attacks and strokes are preventable and that cardiovascular disease can be eradicated. I invited as co-author Linus Pauling, who agreed to support these far-reaching conclusions.

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Entirely new Understanding of the Nature of Cardiovascular Disease

The new understanding about the nature of cardiovascular disease is presented in detail on this website. This new understanding clarified that the primary cause of cardiovascular disease is not high cholesterol or a fatty diet. These factors can only become risk factors if the wall of our arteries is already weakened by vitamin deficiency - and only then.

It became also clear that atherosclerotic plaques in our arteries are not preordained events; these plaques are nothing but a scaffold of Nature trying to stabilize and repair the blood vessel walls during vitamin deficiency. Finally, this new scientific rationale can also explain why we get infarctions of the heart and not the nose or ears.

Obviously, a new scientific rationale that could suddenly explain so many unsolved mysteries about the number one health problem would not go unnoticed. At that time, it became clear to the pharmaceutical companies and to the medical opinion leaders that the cholesterol dogma and a huge prescription drug market would eventually collapse. The time this would take was only dependent on one factor: How fast can the discovery of the scurvy-heart disease connection be spread globally. Thus it was in 1990 that a giant battle for public perceptions started, with a multi-billion dollar industry fighting for its survival.

But there were also other voices early on. One of the first congratulations came from the head of Cardiology of Harvard Medical School, Professor Valentin Fuster. In July 1992 he wrote me, “You may be quite correct in your predictions about the role of vitamin C in cardiovascular disease”, and he announced that his own department would start in this line of research.

Media Support for Vitamins

The next step in this process was the key media support for vitamins and nutritional medicine. The title story, "The Real Power of Vitamins" in the April 1992 issue of TIME Magazine was triggered by an international conference on vitamins held by the New York Academy of Sciences in February of that year. Many scientists contributed to this conference. I was privileged to be one of them and to introduce our new understanding about the nature of cardiovascular disease, including the key role of vitamins and its prevention.

After decades of bias and boycott against vitamins in the media, this issue of TIME Magazine became a watershed event, and media coverage about vitamins changed forever. From then on, essentially every epidemiological study showing the benefits of vitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease made front page news. Only weeks after this TIME Magazine article, an important epidemiological study by James Enstrom and his colleagues from the University of Los Angeles, received national attention. It showed that long-term vitamin C supplementation, as opposed to the average American diet, could cut the rate for heart disease almost in half.

Thus the suddenly available and positive media coverage led to a change of perception in favor of vitamins, with worldwide repercussions.

Empowerment of the Patients

Because this new understanding about the Nature of cardiovascular disease had direct and immediate importance for the health and the lives of millions of people, it had to be presented in a language understandable to everyone. My popular science book Eradicating Heart Disease and Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, precisely serve this purpose.

Why was this step so important? A hundred years ago, when bacteria were discovered as the cause of infectious diseases, it still took several decades before the first antibiotics and vac-cines were developed. Now, with the breakthrough in cardiovascular disease, no such time is needed. Vitamins and other essential nutrients, the solution to the cardiovascular epidemic, are available for everyone right now. Thus, the time it takes to control the cardiovascular epidemic depends on one main factor – the time it takes to spread the message about the health benefits of vitamins. These books were written to serve precisely this purpose and they have already empowered tens of thousands of people to take a greater responsibility for their own health. Patients now go back to their doctors, many of whom are still skeptical, and present this valuable information about the health benefits of vitamins to them.

This growing avalanche did not go unnoticed. During the last two years, major medical schools, the American Heart Association, and the pharmaceutical industry followed with their own versions of cardiovascular “self-help” books and information brochures. But their information lacked the decisive message: Vitamins and other essential nutrients are the solution to the cardiovascular epidemic.

The Natural reversal of Cardiovascular Disease is Officially Regognized

The next important step in this process was the granting by the US Patent Office of the world’s first patents to reverse heart disease without surgery. This was the first time that a patent had been issued for a natural process to reverse atherosclerotic deposits and cardiovascular disease. The details of new therapeutic technology are described in the first chapters of my book.

New Legislation Guarantees Free Access to Vitamins

Thus, while the U.S. Patent Office, a Federal Agency, issued patents for the use of vitamins to reverse cardiovascular disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), another Federal Agency, tried to make these essential nutrients prescription drugs. Why did the FDA start this battle in 1991 and why was it the fiercest FDA attack on nutritional supplements thus far? I have already given the answer: If vitamins are the solution to the cardiovascular epidemic – a prescription drug market of over 100 billion dollars annually is going to collapse.

In August 1994 the U.S. Congress passed legislation preserving free access to vitamins and other essential nutrients. This victory in the battle for vitamin freedom has a truly historic dimension and it provided an important window of opportunity that can now be used to win similar battles in other countries. Many contributed to this historic success, but most important were those millions of Americans who made it unmistakably clear to their political representatives that they will have free access to their vitamins today – and in the future! My first book Eradicating Heart Disease contained an Open Letter to the US-President. As an Open Letter, the primary addressees were the American people, in order to empower them to take a stand on this important issue.

Health food store owners informed me that copies of this “Open Letter to the President” were picked up in their stores by the hundreds, together with the petitions to political representatives to halt the plans of the FDA. Thus, the medical breakthrough in vitamin and heart disease research that triggered this battle also became a contributing factor to win it.

Cellular Medicine – Foundation of a New Health Care System

The next step was to lay the ground for a new health care system that is no longer dependent on the pharmaceutical industry. Cellular Medicine since has become synonymous for the worldwide change in medicine. Based on the breakthrough discoveries described in this book, we developed natural health programs which today are available around the world. At the same time this medical breakthrough was featured on the internet.

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The Flood Gates of Established Medicine are Opening

By 1995 the news of the current book “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks - But People Do” was spreading like a wildfire and reached the doctor’s offices across America. In the following months the flood gates of established medicine against vitamins broke and essential nutrients entered conventional medicine on a broad front.

  • On June 21, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), published for the first time an article on the use of antioxidant vitamins as a basic treatment for coronary heart disease.
  • In October, 1995, the leading medical schools in America decided to establish departments of nutritional medicine in order to provide to future generations of doctors with a basic understanding about the health benefits of vitamins and other essential nutrients.
  • In November, 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) decided to give multi-million dollar research grants to ten leading research institutions in America, among them Stanford University, to study “alternative” treatments, including vitamin therapy.
  • The leading medical schools, including Harvard University, started to recommend vitamins as basic health measures in patient brochures, self-help books, and community newsletters.

These developments are no coincidence; they are brought about by the message of this book. They are long overdue and they will change medicine forever.

First Victory Against the Pharma-Cartel at the International Level

With the battle to make vitamins prescription items in the U.S. lost, the pharmaceutical industry decided to regroup at the international level. Now they decided to start a campaign to outlaw worldwide all preventive and therapeutic health information about vitamins and other natural therapies. Towards this end the pharma industry founded the international Pharma-Cartel with the main goal to abuse the United Nations in order to ban any natural health claims in all UN member countries. The Pharma-Cartel’s thrust is being led through the World Health Organization’s “Codex Alimentarius” Commission, wherein the decisive Committee is headed by the German Pharma-Cartel. Moreover, the name “Codex Alimentarius” was an ideal cover to camouflaged the efforts of the Cartel as “consumer protection”.

The “Codex”-Cartel is a desperate effort of the international pharmaceutical industry to secure its survival as we know it today. If they lose this international battle, similar to the defeat in the U.S., vitamins will become accepted worldwide as powerful preventive and therapeutic agents, benefitting millions of people – and substantially reducing the markets for pharmaceutical pills.

Particularly noteworthy has been the political support for the unethical “Codex” plans by the previous German government. The background: German Ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s first employer was the German Pharma-Cartel. From 1959 to 1969 he worked as a lobbyist for the Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI), the lobby centrale of the German Pharma-Cartel. Evidently, this interest group was able to promote one of their own lobbyists into the highest office of government. For 16 years an ex-pharma lobbyist governed the world’s third largest industrial nation on behalf of the Pharma-Cartel and used his political position to influence world affairs on behalf of his former employers. The close connection between the pharmaceutical industry and government in Germany throughout the 20th century is summarized on the previous page. Until September 1998 the German government was the political spearhead of the international Pharma-Cartel and of its efforts to ban of all therapeutic health information in connection with vitamins and other natural therapies. To make sure these controversial laws would go through in countries where resistance would be strong, such as the U.S., the Cartel has threatened international trade sanctions in case of non-compli-ance.

If the people and the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia or any other country refuse to accept vitamins as prescription drugs, the Pharma-Cartel, would impose UN trade sanctions for other industries from that country. With this strategy the Pharma-Cartel has tried to force the entire corporate world at its side and, at the same time, has declared war on the health interests of millions of people.

By the end of 1996 the Pharma-Cartel’s “Codex”-Plans had already reached stage 5 of an 8-stage process within the United Nations, Covered as “consumer protection” these unconscionable plans were about to be recommended to the UN General Assembly for adoption. This was the situation until June 21, 1997. On that day Dr. Rath gave a speech for 3,400 people in Chemnitz, Germany. He revealed the connection between the “Codex” Cartel, the German Government and its roots in the tradition of those companies responsible for World War II and the holocaust. With a view on the devastating consequences of the “Codex” plans for global human health he stated:

“ Twice in this century, indescribable worldwide suffering and death originated from Germany. This must not happen a third time.”

This speech was immediately distributed via the Internet. In addition, audio tapes and video tapes of this historic spech became available. Today hundreds of thousands of them are circulating. Together with the spread of Dr. Rath’s book in Germany, the “Chemnitz Programm” became a political topic in the living rooms and in the streets of Germany.

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Black September for the Pharmaceutical Cartel

The next severe set-back for the pharmaceutical cartel's Codex plans came in September 1998, which can justifiably be described as the “Black September for the Pharmaceutical Cartel”. On 27 September 1998, pharmaceutical lobbyist and Federal Chancellor Kohl was swept out of office after 16 years as a result of an overwhelming vote of no confidence from the people.

Busting the Vitamin Cartel

On May 20, 1999, the media bomb detonated: The pharmaceutical multinational corporation Hoffmann-La Roche, BASF, Rhône-Poulenc and other multinational pharmaceutical companies admitted to have formed a socalled “Vitamin-Cartel” to conduct criminal price fixing for vitamin raw materials. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide were defrauded for almost a decade and had to pay higher vitamin prices because of this criminal activities. The US-justice departement declared that this Vitamin-Cartel was the largest cartel ever discovered and named it an economic “conspiracy“. Roche, BASF and the others cartel members agreed to pay almost a billion dollars in fines for committing these crimes.

While the magnitude of these fines made headlines around the world, the events that triggered the formation of this criminal cartel remained obscure. Until now. The background of this illegal Vitamin-Cartel is the scientific breakthrough documented in this book in relation to vitamins and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Already in the beginning of 1990 I informed the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche about these discoveries. On June 2, 1990, I send the summary of the discovery that heart attacks and strokes are – similar to scurvy – the result of vitamin C deficiency to Prof. Jürgen Drews, head of Roche research worldwide and member of its executive board.

Roche is the world’s leading manufacturer of vitamin C raw material. The Roche executives realized immediately that my discovery will boost their international demand for vitamin C and create a multi-billion dollar market for vitamin C and other viatmins. In order to get further information from me, the executives of Hoffmann-La Roche signed a confidentiality agreement and invited me to represent the new understanding of heart disease at their global headquarter in Basel, Switzerland. However, Roche decided not to promote this medical break-through, despite the fact that they acknowledged it as a breakthrough. The reasons they gave to me in writing: Roche did not want to finance the dissemination of this understanding of heart disease for all their competitors and they did not want to compete with other in-house pharmaceutical drug developments, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Thus, while they refused to promote this medical breakthrough that could have saved millions of lives, this pharmaceutical companies turned around and decided to conspire in form of a vitamin Cartel in order to take advantage of this medical breakthrough anyway. Roche apparently invited BASF, Rhone-Poulenc, Takeda and other manufacturers of vitamin raw materials to criminal price fixing on a global level. The fraudulent profits these companies made from their criminal practices are estimated over 100 billion dollars over the past ten years. Compared to that, the fines these companies had to pay are nothing less than peanuts.

Not only the US government should receive compensation for the damage these companies have done, but vitamin companies and above all consumers world-wide should sue these companies in class action law suites all over the world. This is even more urgent, since these companies have harmed millions of people twice: First, they refused to promote and disseminate the live-saving information on the use of vitamins in order to prevent heart disease, thereby causing millions of heart patients to die unnecessarily over the past ten years. Second, they caused financial damage to literally every vitamin consumer on earth.

My correspondence with the Roche executives also proves the statements by Hoffmann-La Roche as a lie that the leadership of Roche did not know about these criminal activities. The opposite is now clear: The executives of Roche, BASF, Rhône-Poulenc and others did not only know about these crimes, they were the organizers. The mangers responsible for these crimes up to the highest levels of these companies have to be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions. But already today everyone can call those companies and their leadership as criminals, who distinguish themselves from a street robber only by the magnitude of their crimes. The criminal activities of this vitamin Cartel have opened millions of people the eyes even further about the “business with disease“ maintained by the pharmaceutical industry. The scandal of the vitamin Cartel has only just begun but it has already become another major nail in the coffin of the pharmaceutical industry.

The Berlin Tribunal

The most recent full assembly of the Codex Alimentarius Commission took place in June 2000 in Berlin. The aim of the meeting was a world-wide ban on health information concerning natural healing methods, in order to keep alive artificially a pharmaceutical market worth billions. To camouflage its activities, the pharmaceutical cartel and its political accomplices hid away from 19 - 23 June in the so-called “Federal Office for Consumer Health Protection” (BgVV), which was hermetically sealed behind barbed wire.

On the evenings before, 17 and 18 June, I held a conference against the pharmaceutical cartel in Berlin, as I had also done two years previously in September 1998. The “Berlin Tribunal”, which in the meantime has become a historic document, can be read in full on our website. I publicly demanded that the pharmaceutical managers and their political accomplices should be indicted for “crimes against humanity”.

On Monday 19 June, the first day of the Codex conference, my co-workers gave each of the official Codex delegates from more than 40 countries an English-language copy of the plans and intentions of the pharmaceutical cartel. As a result, the debate in the Codex Commission was so vigorous that the pharmaceutical cartel's plans could not gain acceptance at this full assembly either.

The Pharma-Cartel runs amok

Great Britain
Even after all these defeats, the Pharma-Cartel is not giving in. Now they try to cement their rule by twisting the arms of national governments and international parliamentary bodies such as the European Community. A particularly striking example of the desperation of the Pharma-Cartel is a new legislation that is currently being pushed through the British Parliament under the cover name MLX 249. This law foresees to criminalize the dissemination of any preventive or therapeutic health information in relation to vitamins and other natural health remedies. Even worse, the pharmaceutical industry demands the judicial power in order to judge and punish any violations under this proposed legislation.

The Netherlands
In the Netherlands the Pharma-Cartel organized a coup to bring down the Dutch government. One member of parliament, Senator Wiegel, the gatekeeper of the Pharma-Cartel in the Dutch health insurance industry, casted the decisive vote that almost brought down the government of prime minister Kok. In a second attempt, they attacked the pharmacritical Health Minister Els Borst in an attempt to force her to resign from office. Both crises were planned and carried out on behalf of the Pharma-Cartel. Fortunately, the people and politicians in the Netherlands found out about it and were smart enough to defeat these acts of political sabotage.

In the USA the Pharma-Cartel is making a new attack on natural health information and products. Only weeks after the house bank of the German Pharma-Cartel, Deutsche Bank, took over the US bank Banker’s Trust to become the largest bank in the world, their influence on the US-Government became visible. Five years after the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA had experienced their largest defeat in the USA ever, the German Pharma-Cartel directly organized their first attack on US soil. This time they did not use the FDA as their front organization rather than the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Pushed by the international Pharma-Cartel, the US-FTC announced a nation-wide campaign with the sarcastic name “Operation Cure All“. The goals and the hypocrisy of this effort can be reviewed in detail on our website. The goal of this witch hunt by the FTC is the same as it was 5 years ago with the FDA: Preventing the dissemination of live saving health information on vitamins and other natural and non-patentable products in order to protect and promote a multi-billion dollar market of unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs.

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