Health : CODEX : Danish Doctor wins Freedom Of Speech suit


Richard Moore

    ...Carsten Vagn -Hansen was then fined 10,000 DKr. for having
    spoken about the beneficial effects of micro organisms, the
    natural sweetener, Stevia, Saint John's Wort, and glyco
    nutrients, on the Internet.


Danish Doctor Fights For Freedom Of Speech And Wins! 

Press release 

3. October 2005 

The Danish physician and health consultant, Carsten
Vagn-Hansen, better known in Denmark as 'the radio doctor',
received a fine of 10,000 DKr. last year for publicly writing
about the health effects of dietary supplements, on the
internet. He refused to pay the fine and instead took The Food
Administration to Court. He won the case in September of this

Around 100 public listeners were in the Court room on Friday
September 16 2005, to support the popular health speaker, whom
- naturally - won the case. The opponent, The Food Region
under the Food Administration, had the right to appeal the
Court's decision until September 30, but this opportunity was
not taken, so the case is therefore settled, and concludes
that the Danish citizens may speak publicly about the health
benefits of dietary supplements.

The supplement legislation of the Danish Food Administration
have since autumn 2004 dictated, that if a dietary supplement
has a beneficial, preventive, or therapeutic effect, then it
must be registered as a pharmaceutical product. The
restrictive legislation of the Food Administration is adopting
the coming Pharmaceutical Directive of the European Union, in
ahead of time.

The pharmaceutical legislation may cause huge problems in
having access to harmless supplements that have a beneficial,
preventive, or therapeutic effect.

The Food Administration had control of more than 150 websites
in December 2004, that contained information about dietary
supplements and alternative therapies, and the website of
Carsten Vagn-Hansen was analysed by the Food Administration
taskforce, The Supplement Group, after which the Food Region
reported the doctor to the Medical Board for 'illegal health
claims.' Carsten Vagn -Hansen was then fined 10,000 DKr. for
having spoken about the beneficial effects of micro organisms,
the natural sweetener, Stevia, Saint John's Wort, and glyco
nutrients, on the Internet.

Carsten Vagn-Hansen has always, throughout his career as a
medical doctor and health consultant, been financially
independent of any supplement and pharmaceutical industries,
and has never received any payments from such companies, for
recommending their products.

Because of ideological reasons he refused to pay the fine and
wanted the case tried in Court, as he wanted to draw attention
to the restrictive, Danish, supplement legislation - thinking
they should be debated and changed.

He found it illogical that one could sell a supplement, but
not be allowed to tell about its effects, even if the effects
were well documented. The case is a very important one for the
freedom of speech in Denmark, as it states, that the Food
Administration has no right to prohibit Danish citizens
telling about the beneficial effects of dietary supplements.
Had the doctor not won the case, he would have been ready to
appeal the case to higher Courts, e.g. the European Court of
Human Rights in Strassbourg, if necessary.

MayDay has supported Carsten Vagn-Hansen, as we found the fine
an unreasonable attack on citizens' freedom of speech.
Furthermore, we find it most unfortunate if the Court case has
resulted in Carsten Vagn-Hansen being fired from his job at
the Danish State Radio (DR) in June 2005. Many listeners will
now miss Carsten Vagn-Hansen's voice in DR. For years he has
been the most popular and brave speaker about natural health
and health freedom, who has dared to speak up against the very
powerful pharmaceutical industry in Denmark.

Carsten Vagn-Hansen is happy about the Court's decision, which
has now given him the opportunity to start TV programs on the
TV channel DK4, where he will be having a one-hour show every
week including having people with health problems coming to
the studio.

Tamara Theresa Mosegaard

MayDay - Civil Health Rights Movement, Denmark 


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