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"On Behalf of the Third World"

This lecture on the vitamin situation in the Third World was given by Dr. Shirang Netke from India to the Symposium "Health for the 21st Century" on Sunday, June 18, 2000 in Berlin.

There can be no doubt that the people have had to suffer a great deal and that they could gain comfort and a better quality of life through vitamins.

Dr. Shirang Netke

There is a real brotherhood, a brotherhood which uses vitamins deliberately, a brotherhood that wants to make these vitamins accessible, not only to preserve their own quality of life but that of all humanity.

Unfortunately there are those in the world who do not have this access. I am speaking of the developing countries and would like to expound my thoughts. The developing countries have a huge population of billions of people who still suffer from vitamin deficiencies. There are major deficiencies of vitamins A, E, D, B, C and others, leading to symptoms of deficiency.

This is not only the case in this part of the world. Later on I'll also show you other areas. In this part [of the world] there is no country that would not be affected by vitamin deficiency. I'll give you an example of vitamin deficiency here: you see here that 41% of the children suffer from vitamin deficiency.

Every year half a million children go blind and 30.5 million suffer permanent damage.

Those are just a few figures. We don't know how many people suffer from malnutrition.

We don't know how many children contract infections due to vitamin deficiency.

But people are doing something about it. Last year in Manila a conference involving six developing countries took place and the aim was that the people of all regions would have access to affordable medical treatment and nutrition by the year 2010.

Now there are proposals tailored for the people of developing countries. They want to administer vitamins in the form of enriched foods.

In the case of vitamins and dietary supplements you have to add up not only the cost of the vitamins but also the costs of the technology and not least the handling costs. Who can afford all that? All that for who? Only for the very few who can afford to pay for these new developments?

There are people who ask why people like you and I should have no access to vitamins. Because the fear is that people "would take excessive amounts of vitamins". There is no foundation for this, for as Dr. Rath said this morning, people in the USA have free access to vitamins and can also afford them. The people take vitamins, but less rather than more than the recommended amounts.

Totally without foundation, then! You and I, we are people who know how important the consumption of vitamins is.

Nevertheless it is said, "You cannot have these vitamins, you may only take vitamins after meals either in the morning or in the evening." Is that logical? It is absurd.

And who really thinks that anyone will only take vitamins and forget to eat as well? If that is entirely without foundation in the USA, then all the more so in the developing countries.

It is assumed that someone who receives his weekly dose of vitamins will use them all on the first day. That is complete nonsense. The harmfulness of excessive consumption of vitamins cannot be proven by anything, because the gap between the recommended vitamin intake and an intake that would have toxic effects is very great.

Nobody says, "We want to give people no access to high doses of vitamins." It is only claimed that high dosages are equivalent to a drug. And thus vitamins are classified as if killers. That is complete nonsense! Why do certain people want to equate vitamins with drugs and killers?

They are not speaking in our name but in the name of western industry.

I simply think that we people in the developing countries want to be free. Families in the developing countries do not want their children to be born with defects. Families in the developing countries do not want their children to suffer from vitamin deficiencies. They don't want it, we don't want it, so let us put an end to this situation.



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