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The world hasn't ended

on December 21 2012.

Earth Matters did.

For now...

 

 

 

On December 14th the next phase of the Codex Alimentarius came into effect in the Netherlands. Since this date, EU regulations determine that health claims for foodstuffs and food supplements are no longer allowed in most cases. You can still write about the effects of supplements, but can’t offer products or refer to products in any manner, directly or indirectly. Violations are punished severely with astronomic fines of at least €30,500. The Netherlands is the first country where this new regulation has come into effect, to prepare for the worldwide implementation in 2013. The law has been presented under the disguise of consumer safety, but is actually an attempt by the pharmaceutical industry to put natural remedies out of action. The consequences are enormous for nearly everyone, because it greatly limits the freedom of speech and of press – a civil right. Producers and distributors of foodstuffs and food supplements, publishers of health magazines, journalists and websites with independent news are among those hit. Earth Matters has also technically been muzzled. Serious internal consideration has led to only one possible conclusion: we’re going to do things differently. And for this we need your help!

In three years’ time, Earth Matters has built up an enthusiastic reader audience that now consists of over 70,000 people. With over 50 authors and editors we have placed nearly 7,000 articles online and built up a valuable library. Approximately 65% of the visitors come from the Netherlands, the rest comes from 133 other countries. In November the site was visited over 225,000 times and more than 1 million pages were viewed.

Our dilemma
A concrete example of something that’s no longer allowed: if we were to publish that a plant such as plantain can help for a runny nose due to allergies or a cold, and we included a link on our site anywhere to a site which sells (a remedy containing) plantain anywhere on the website, even if this doesn’t have any reference to the effects of plantain, we’re already liable to punishment. If you don’t believe this, which we can certainly imagine, then we direct you to the NVWA’s website (Dutch). You can find the information there, deeply hidden. Various magazines and websites around us have already received very high fines which are legally irrevocable.

The consequence for Earth Matters is that an estimated 50-80% of the articles need to be removed, and even then a mistake is easily made. Complying with the new law is basically unfeasible for us. That’s why our dilemma is: either we comply with the law and can barely write anything anymore, or we’re recalcitrant and risk very high fees. In other words: either we lay our head on the chopping-block, or we continue irresponsibly… Is there another solution?

Our conclusion
Marieke de Vrij (one of the greatest visionaries of the Netherlands and author for Earth Matters) recently told Arjan Bos (founder of Earth Matters) that “the time of the pioneers is over. Even the time of the students of the pioneers and the students of the students of the pioneers is over. They have done their job. It’s now time for society to stand up. If society, the users of complementary health care products and services, doesn’t stand up now and raise her voice, the tide won’t be turned.” That was when Arjan realised that the process has progressed too far to be carried by merely a few people.

We have studied the new law and then looked at our management seriously and meticulously. We have come to the unexpected and unhoped-for, but unavoidable conclusion that Earth Matters can’t come online anymore in its familiar form under the new regulation.
(Of course we greatly regret that our extensive database is no longer accessible. We’re still researching whether we can offer the database through a different construction, for example through founding an association, but we don’t know yet if this will be allowed).

We can’t and won’t disguise or ignore the facts. One of the ten famous steps from Naomi Wolf’s work, who makes clear how a democracy turns into a dictatorship, has been put into effect for Earth Matters. Shocking! Don’t we live in a free country?

Powered by the heart!
We won’t be silenced. We will continue with Earth Matters, with even more spirit and it will be revolutionarily different! For the next few weeks only this page will be online, so we can inform as many people as possible about this step. Then we will be back with a new, initially empty, Earth Matters, with different features. Our previous slogan was: ‘The other news’. And it was: other news than mainstream, written by many from over the entire world and brought together by us. There were certainly in-house contributions, but this only comprised a low percentage. The new Earth Matters will bring nothing but its own news. Not without your contribution, however!

How can you help?
Our goal is to continue to listen to what our heart is telling us. We want to get shared, solid ground underneath our feet and from there determine a new direction for the honest, free future that is our birthright. In order to get this solid ground underneath our feet, we must explore the field. This is where you step in! Help us to map out the current situation and deliver alternatives. We will collect all alternatives, research them thoroughly and will report about them as verifiably as possible. In this way we wish to present to you a number of conclusions and recommendations in every area of life with which we can truly change the world, a sort of ‘the best of the best’. The arguments must be convincing enough so that they can’t be disproven. We will also take a close look at the coverage in mainstream media and place this information into the ‘real’ context with the help of experts. We will, amongst other things, organise table conversations with these experts.

By helping us, we are building our own future together. By setting to work together we are both energetically and practically clearing the path where change can take place. So many beautiful things can be discovered for the general public in many areas. This is kept under covers in all sorts of ways, but that’s OK. The voice of the heart can no longer be kept quiet. It’s time for a peaceful revolution and Earth Matters wants to make it happen!

Let’s start by taking the viewpoint that the government exists to let the lives of everyone in the country run their best course. Of course much can be criticised in the current politics, but it’s incredibly complex to do things right in the current international society. On top of that, there is much ignorance on many topics that cannot be blamed on them. So, let’s help the people in The Hague!

We will begin with a citizen’s initiative with the theme: Hands off the supplements, freedom of speech and press’. This petition, which will be presented on the 18th of March, can be signed here

But we will do more. Without additional actions, a petition often ends up in the trash. During the run-up to the presentation we will make so much noise in the Netherlands that it can’t be ignored. During the three preceding weekends (2/3 March, 9/10 March and 16/17 March) we will organise small and large events to make known what supplements, homeopathy, all sorts of other complementary treatment methods and the freedom of speech and press mean to us all. Let’s shout from the rooftops that nature is a perfect healer! We could stand near entrances of hospitals, media companies, shopping malls, city squares, health centres, the Binnenhof (where the government is seated), the NWVA and police stations. In this manner we will show how criminalising supplements has led to a severe limitation in the freedom of choice in the health area, and that there is damage to the freedom of speech and press.

Earth Matters will make all sorts of material and ideas available. You are crucial to their implementation! We will keep you updated.

Earth Matters as an organisation
Our plans need a completely different way of working, a process of, without a doubt, falling and rising. We will also badly need your financial help in this. We had nearly reached the point that we could just look after ourselves with all our activities (Orongo, Earth Matters and ONEheart), but this new law means we’re immediately falling back financially. Up until now we’d receive approximately €300 per month from donations and we’re very grateful for this. In order to continue our plans, though, we will need much more financial support. Plus, we have to keep our office in Groningen going.

If what’s happening now pains you and you want and can contribute to the realisation of change, you can do this, apart from the manners described above, by donating to us. Preferably on a monthly basis.

Ja, ik doe mee!Yes, I will fight for freedom of choice in health, speech and press!

Donate by Paypal

So stand up. With your support we can make the revolutionary difference! Thank you.

Arjan Bos
On behalf of the Earth Matters team

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Auteurs

Ad Broere
Aernoudt Knecht
Albertha Gerritsma
Arjan Bos
Betteke Visserman
Devatma
Dick Nijssen
Door Frankema
Els Van Sonhoven
Eric Huysmans
Eveline Peters
Gerry Damen
Henk Fransen
Isabelle Hofstra
Janet Ossebaard
Janita Venema
Juglen Zwaan
Koen Bugter
Lars Faber
Lily Maarsingh
Marianne Jaspar
Marieke de Vrij
Miguel Estevez
Rinno Heidstra
Rob Greuter
Tessa Koop
Ton van der Kroon
Wendy Doeleman

Redacteuren

Agus Judistira
Ester Poeder
Harmen Uijttewaal
Jan Louwes
Jessica Solcer
Käthy Gritter
Marjan de Haan
Mark Pages
Mykel Neddermeijer
Rob van der Poel

Partner organisaties

A3boeken
Corporate Compassion
EnlightenNext
Frontier Magazine
Medisch Dossier
Movies that Matter
Orongo
Rauw op de dak
Sea First
Spiegelbeeld
Stop UMTS
Uitgeverij Akasha

Vertalers

Hansjelle Dijkstra
Karin van den Berg
Marieke Schoutens