Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When did food stop being medicine? When did medicines stop being food?

Hippocrates said: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

Today, many people quote this phrase.  But it is no longer true.

When did it stop being true?  Why?

It is illegal for food to be medicine.
This change happened gradually, but it is now in full place.  If you claim that your food is a medicine, or has properties of a medicine, you are not allowed to sell it (with out a government medicine approval number). It doesn't matter what country you live in, these standards are being 'harmonized' in many international trade agreements. Harmony of the ridiculous.

When did it start?  According to, it started in 1958, when "the Dutch Medicine Laws defined all substances in nature as medicines, if they were in any way presented as suitable for curing or preventing a disease." These laws have been extended to all EU countries and similar laws are in place in all of North America.

It's more than ridiculous. It is illegal to advertise the obvious. If you claim that your food increases healthiness, in any way, you can't legally sell it without official approval.

If you sell bottled water, and you put, on the label "This product can be used to prevent and treat dehydration". The "medical authorities" can issue a cease and desist order, halting your sales.  If you persist - they can confiscate your product, to 'protect the health' of the people who might buy an un-approved medicine.

Food is not allowed to be medicine.  Medicine is not allowed to be food.

This confusion arises from a confusion about the words 'health' and 'illness'.  Our medical systems have, in typical Orwellian fashion, turned the words inside out.

Our 'health systems' are actually 'medical systems', our health insurance is really 'sick insurance', our so called 'health protection laws' are all about medicine. Our medical systems treat 'health as if it is a subset of medicine. The truth is the opposite.

When combined with government bureaucracy, it gets steadily worse... Governments don't actually approve medicines. They approve paperwork.  If you are claiming to sell a medicine, or any product that improves healthiness in any way, you need to do the paperwork.  The key piece of paperwork is the documentation of clinical studies that PROVE your product is effective to prevent, treat, or cure illness.  Governments view clinical studies as 'scientific evidence', even though clinical studies are only remotely connected to science, and are, at best simply 'concentrated anecdotal evidence'.

There is no similar requirement for a food.  If you want to create a new food, it does not need to have any nutritional value at all, as long as you present it as a food, not as a medicine - no problem. It is entirely possible to create a food that is simply water, polluted with low levels of various toxic chemicals - and market it as a food. You can walk over to the local grocery today and buy some examples.

Medicine, and illness is a subset of health and healthicine.

Healthiness extends from the impossible state of being perfectly healthy, to the unbearable state of being near death. A measure of healthiness includes all illnesses.  A true measure of your health includes a measure of all of your current healthinesses, as well as all your current illnesses.

Foods are not allowed to 'create or improve healthiness', even though we know that foods are essential in the creation of health and the maintenance of health.

If you claim the food you are selling will create or improve healthiness - it is no longer a food, it is classed as a medicine.  And if your food is classed as a medicine, you are not allowed to sell it, not until the paperwork is approved.

The field of medicine has invaded the territory of health. It's not a friendly invasion, they have brought the medical police, backed by the medical lawyers - to ensure that you are not allowed to sell, and thus not allowed to buy:

Healthy Food

There is a lot of pretending.  Everywhere you will see lists of foods that are healthy, foods that are unhealthy.  In fact, it's not hard to find evidence that EVERY FOOD IS HEALTHY, as well as evidence that EVERY FOOD CAUSES CANCER. Doesn't that make you a bit suspicious?

You can market a  product as a 'health food', or as a 'health drink'.  As long as you don't make a specific 'health claim'.  If you actually make a health claim, as in "this bottled water prevents dehydration" - it is classed as a drug, and you are not allowed to sell it without an official 'drug' number.

You might be surprised to learn that if it is marketed as a food, there is no need to include 'food' in the actual product. And the non-foods that you can put into a food, and still call it a food, are more than ridiculous, as this blog post points out: "The 6 most horrifying lies the food industry is feeding you."

I believe we need to go back in time.

We need to go back to the time when our foods were our medicines, and all of our medicines were foods.

What are 'food medicines'?  They are natural medicines. Non-food medicines are patented chemicals, that cannot be produced or sold without a licence. is a site that collects and presents scientific studies about natural medicines.  There is lots of research about natural medicines - but... Unfortunately, you often cannot buy these natural medicines, they've already been banned.

We need to go back to the theories of Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - for the health of it!

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness.  Everyone has a right to healthy food-medicines and to accurate information about the healthiness of our food-medicines.
to your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: