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