We have had the pleasure of interviewing Kat Carroll. She is the Associate Editor of the National Health Federation’s magazine, Health Freedom News, Associate Editor of the NHF e-newsletter, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Health Federation Canada and the Advisory Board for GreenMedInfo. Kat won the award for the 2014 National Health Federation Health Freedom Hero.
1. Can you give a brief introduction about yourself and a background on how and why you became a Global Food Activist?
Pregnancy and the desire to handle the trust of another’s life within me spurred me toward what would become my life’s work. But really it began from my own gestation. Like many, I was not afforded a good start in life nutritionally and was actually not only compromised but in great danger before I even ventured into the World that I would later come to serve in the arena of health.
Additionally, I was reared in the home of a crop-dusting pilot and endured much chemical and pesticide exposure, both legal and contraband, along with filterless cigarettes smoked for years in our home and a closed car, and a typical “standard American diet.” Like each of us, my parents did the best they could at the time. We are all on a path of growth and change—well hopefully all of us!
But this hard start instilled in me the desire to champion those who cannot speak for themselves. It gave me an overwhelming commitment to taking exceedingly great care with lives under my care, inside the womb and out. All of life is evolution and when I look back there are millions of things I’d do differently now; it will most likely always be so as I grow.
My personal experience and my desire however, began a journey from which now billions of the World’s people benefit….all due to a seemingly “chance” encounter first with my first health mentor (apart from reading a book on health) who took my self-education to a higher level and later when the President of the National Health Federation, Scott Tips, afforded me a vehicle to take my commitment to the World. Thanks to these mentors and more, I learned firsthand the power of one person to totally change a life. Nothing is by chance, but the teacher appears when the student is ready. Mine certainly did.
During the childbearing time in my life in my 20s, being largely self-taught, I devoured books on nutrition and researched home-birth. Did you know that most of the Presidents of the U.S. were home-birthed? Committed then to health and a good diet, I naturally-birthed three super-healthy children between 9 and 10 pounds, delivered one home-birth, and did so without using so much as an aspirin during pregnancy much less childbirth drugs. My children’s APGAR scores, designed to evaluate their physical condition, were all excellent and they entered the World fully present, alert and alive with vigor and not in a drug-induced stupor. They breastfed without issue and for years in some cases.
I quickly learned the limitations and illogical thought process of mainstream medicine and progressed toward my current path of health and health freedom as my children grew. Their health issues, like ear infections, challenged me to find a better way than what was and still is offered. The path became a journey with continuing commitment and evolving integration of what would work for health and healing. Learning to trust myself to solve my health concerns as well as my children’s rather than turning them over to a doctor or health care practitioner (unless I wished to partner with them) to work on an issue was key in the process. And finally asking the Great Physician to be my doctor, giving me wisdom and teaching me, guiding me toward therapies, education, and practitioners was the real breakthrough in my 30s when doctors wanted to remove all my female organs and medicate me for pain and depression because of painful and heavy menstruation. I still possess everything- even my tonsils so cutting out parts to solve problems just seemed nonsensical. I have a firm “just say no to drug” policy and always have.
Again, the power of one person to change a life came into play. Dick Nunez, head trainer at the largest health club in Olympia, Washington, teaching diet and exercise, and personally a vegan and heavy weight lifter with an incredible physique despite what we have been led to believe about musculature changed my life. He told me, after sharing my desire to keep my organs, that if I did what he said, I would find healing. I followed his instructions to the letter without deviation. I became a vegan overnight “cold-turkey” and also gave up soda drinks, alcohol, coffee, and sugar. Everyone said this kind of approach was too severe and wouldn’t last. Not only did it last, but I began heavy weight lifting doing a 15 minute “one set to failure” workout three times a week and aerobics for 50 minutes 5 days a week. And in my early 30s I had transformed my health and my body so much I was asked to compete in Olympia Naturals: a steroid-free body building competition. the doctors offered me drugs and lost body parts. Dick offered me a great body and a healthy life. Which would you choose? The doctors never offered me anything that would take me where my life needed to go.
When most mothers are settling in to “middle aged” spread, Dick’s training gave me the body of my dreams. My health, while not perfect yet, was improving and I have all my body parts to this day which is actually rather rare… I began teaching with him and became a trainer myself later opening my own business and learning and growing all the way along this life-giving new path. Not only was my body and health improving but my spiritual life rose dramatically with the addition of so much light-energy foods – real plant-based foods – in my life. My prayers seemed to be answered nearly instantly and my wisdom increased. I can’t really explain why but it was so. We are a complex and cannot divvy out one part from the next.
Being a seminar and self-education junkie, alongside my husband Dr. Donn Carroll, I’ve enjoyed a fantastic education for decades specializing in general and ocular nutrition. In 2004 I received my certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and opened up a full nutritional dispensary in our Optometry clinics starting a private practice consulting optometry patients, specializing in ocular disease, and working with the health issues of the general public in natural ways.
This led, when my children were grown and on their own, to moving closer to the clinic and opening Adytum Sanctuary (www.adytumsanctuary.com), then a bed and breakfast with a health-centered focus, to the public in 2010. While I envisioned Adytum being a healing retreat, it began as a place to “reconnect with all that really matters in life…” and now with the addition of two Far Infrared Saunas and my certification in First Line Therapy, it is embracing its roots being used frequently for detox or by those who are seriously ill. This all exists harmoniously alongside the romance, weddings, and celebrations it’s been host to for the past five years.
The World of health-freedom activism found me there at Adytum in August of 2011. The President and General Counsel of the National Health Federation (www.thenhf.com), Scott C. Tips, came to Adytum as a guest. He gave me several magazines published by the NHF which he edited and which I have since come to write for and work as Associate Editor for: Health Freedom News. I had lost my cleaning staff to pregnancy that year and had no help. But I took time to read the magazine that would change my life.
Not only did this fortuitous encounter provide entrance into the World of health-freedom activism and define me as a published writer outside the realm of NHF, but it gave me an outlet to express what has emerged as an enormous, driving passion in my life. This passion of mine is the protection and care of the integrity of our body/mind/spirit complex and to protect those unable to speak for themselves. At the time, President Scott Tips said the NHF work would give me a “window to the World” but in reality it gave me the World to work in protecting its very foundations by ensuring safe, clean, and healthy food was provided and that nutritional supplements remained accessible that possess therapeutic values.
Scott Tips had written an article on a dangerous veterinary steroid called Ractopamine in the Health Freedom News magazine. After reading about this food-production-animal-use-only steroid lurking in our food supply I was furious. Once again, the power of one person to change a life cannot be underestimated; and that one life going on to impact billions of other lives. I entered into a miracle and my true path as a Global food activist; the National Health Federation and came under the mentorship of Scott Tips into Codex Alimentarius, the vehicle to Global Activism.
When Scott Tips’ timely article introduced me to the abuse to food-production animals –shaking, vomiting, “downer” pigs and cattle having their hooves fall off, barely able to walk as they were in great pain I was absolutely livid. I emerged from one of Adytum’s far infrared saunas from reading his article asking to be signed up to volunteer with NHF on the spot. I volunteered for 22 months while working two other consuming full-time jobs: Adytum Sanctuary and our optometry clinic administration. It meant that much….
It wasn’t just the animal abuse that moved me into activism; the 20% residual effect of these powerful vet steroids drugs in our body which cause rapid heartbeat and vessel constriction mimicking panic attack and heart attack, all in the guise of trying to provide a meal for one’s family drove me from anger to action. It was as clear then as it is now: international markets are driven by greed. Health, animal husbandry, and soil management with integrity take a back seat to the bottom line and to opening Global markets for free trade.
Despite the fact I was a vegan and would not be affected by Ractopamine, I was appalled that a small child could be unwittingly consuming multiple servings of a vet steroid daily capable of adding 50 pounds to a huge cow! Bacon at breakfast, a turkey sandwich at lunch, and beef stew for dinner equals three doses of a powerful vet steroid consumed. It accumulates in the body.
My original passion for defending those who cannot speak for themselves remains a driving force. NHF has given me the chance to make a difference. I now attend the Codex Committee for Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses, one of many Codex Committees NHF is active in, and I participate in the international electronic working group for Follow-Up Formula and others- another travesty for the children of the World not only because it is unnecessary but loaded with GMOs in the U.S. and contaminants. When I consider how careful I was in pregnancy and when feeding my family, this assault on young, growing bodies is definitely worth fighting against.
The very idea of medicating not only America, but the World against our will in order to further someone’s bottom line (Eli Lilly and Elanco, their vet drug arm) was my trigger, shooting me into food activism because of one dedicated veteran freedom-fighter’s article. Ractopamine is labeled “all natural” and is the ultimate in label deceit. Entering NHF as the Executive Assistant to the President Scott Tips, I did every job imaginable to embrace and further health freedom and years later, still do. Along the way, Adytum Sanctuary morphed into a self-catered breakfast experience so I would have time to use my mornings to write for NHF. My guests were happier to set their own schedule and I was passionately writing volumes which are still being added to my compilation of work at http://globalfoodfighter.com/.
After nearly 4 years working with the National Health Federation, I am widely published beyond the many blogs I’d been working on prior to NHF’s entrance into my life. I am Associate Editor of Health Freedom News, Editor of the online NHF newsletter, and participate as a delegate at international Codex meetings where food, beverage, and nutritional supplement standards are set for the Planet; all this because of one article by one man! At this point, I have attended and participated in more international Codex meetings than any other health freedom activist apart from Scott Tips. There are some on the internet who tout themselves as Codex experts but believe me, they aren’t even in the parking lot holding up a sign. Scott Tips gained a seat at Codex in 2002 and the World hasn’t been the same since, nor has mine.
In my other “work-lives” which amazingly all dovetail so well with NHF, I still consult and write as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, run Adytum Sanctuary without chemicals and with little help, and administrate two of our optometry clinics practicing ocular nutritional therapy and still write for my many blogs and for general publication. Passion and finding and practicing our destiny calling is an amazing force that drives us beyond what we feel is “normal” productivity.
2. What is the National Health Federation?
The National Health Federation is the first health freedom organization on the Planet, founded in 1955 with international members in over 23 countries. NHF is a consumer-education, health-freedom organization working to protect individuals’ rights to choose to consume healthy food, take supplements, and use alternative therapies without unnecessary government restrictions. NHF is the only health freedom organization at Codex. Think about that for a minute. NHF is the ONLY health freedom organization able to submit research, speak out to shape international food law, and correct final report entries at Codex Alimentarius. Codex means “food code” in Latin. Decisions made at Codex impact 7 billion people on the Planet. The NHF has the ability to speak out equally as India, China, and any other country or independent non-governmental agency or industry represented there.
There are Monsanto front groups at Codex. There are industries like the artificial sweetener and artificial dye groups there. Do you think they are even remotely adhering to the stated goal of Codex “to protect food safety?” I have done extensive writing along with Scott Tips’ own writing volumes on the topic— even a book before my day— revealing the reality of how food, beverage, and nutritional supplement decisions are made for the people of the World. Were NHF not present to moderate the inherent greed in this Global mix, you and your family would not be experiencing the health you have nor have any hope for it. Because of this, NHF is the most experienced and the most powerful internationally among all health freedom groups who are limited in scope of practice to local, state, and national. These groups have their merit and NHF attends the Health Freedom Congress nearly every year in order to cooperate with other health freedom groups in the U.S. and we participate locally and nationally as well.
3. What key events lead you to receiving the National Health Federation Health Freedom Hero award?
I will share with you what follows that appeared in the Health Freedom News:
“Katherine Carroll joined the Federation in the Summer of 2011, having worked first as a volunteer in every area where she could further NHF and health freedom. but her principal passions lay in creating bridges for the Federation with other groups and individuals and in raising funds and conducting research for NHF so that it could continue its work at Codex Alimentarius meetings and in fighting its other battles both nationally and internationally. Working as our Associate Editor of Health Freedom News and Director of Social Media and Outreach, as well as in many other areas, she is without a doubt a strong missionary for NHF, who has attended a number of Codex meetings herself. Perhaps one of the most successful fundraisers for the Federation, she has furthermore been tireless in her efforts to promote both our organization and the principles of health and health freedom. For these reasons and more, the Federation thanks Ms. Carroll for her hard work and devotion to the NHF and health freedom.”
4. What are the most memorable contributions have you made regarding food safety and why?
I have done a tremendous amount of writing and educating the last nearly 4 years as Scott Tips has before me. Codex is a mystery to most and many have never heard of it nor its power over their lives. There are no reporters behind those doors where decisions are made for what we will eat, drink, and what supplements we will take and in what therapeutic strengths. NHF and I have been faithful to open the otherwise closed doors and allow entrance into a World few have the privilege to participate in.
In Beijing, China in 2013 NHF, with Scott Tips as Head of Delegation, got 50% of aluminum reduced in the food supply and completely eliminated in many food groups. Later walking through the airport and passing a restaurant with a lot of breaded items displayed on the menu board above the counter, I turned to Scott and said, “Those diners don’t realize that we just protected their brains and bodies against all the aluminum in their meal.”
The more you learn about food, food safety, additives, and yes- even additives to additives, you will appreciate the work that NHF does often silently and without fanfare for your health and health freedom. That flight to China was 17 hours in economy and adjusting to a 16 hour date/time line difference with no time to adjust before the Codex meeting commenced. It is a sacrifice and one that was well worth it and one funded by just a few loyal, awake and aware donors. NHF doesn’t have a big trust fund and I foot the expenses for my own Codex travel every time. Sad but true. People need to become aware of their benefactors and support them….
The same year in Minneapolis, MN, NHF participated in the Codex Committee on Vet Drug Residues in Foods during Minnesota’s greatest heat wave in years. Side-walk cafes and schools closed. The air conditioner in my hotel room was broken. But NHF worked on (with jacket off….) and got 9 out of 10 antibiotics banned in imported shellfish one that caused aplastic anemia leading to leukemia!
We prepare to attend this Codex Committee meeting again in Costa Rica in late April. Recombinant bovine growth hormone will be discussed along with a host of vet drug residues in our food supply. We are being medicated against our will and it is causing antibiotic resistance, the destruction of our gut microbiome, and ill health in man and beast.
Recently in Bali, Indonesia, NHF participated in the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses and prevented the proposed “dumbing down” of our nutritional supplements and instead got Vitamin C raised 220%. This is significant when you realize that there has been a steady march to lowering values so that our supplements, if available at all, are costly and impotent. We also fought the use of Follow-Up Formula, which in America is ridden with GMOs as the weight of the first five ingredients indicates. Interesting GMOs are not inherent elsewhere but our FUF is rife with these killers.
As a nutritional therapy practitioner of ten years’ duration and a dedicated supplement user, we must fight to retain the right to heal ourselves, our family, friends, and our clients. Few are aware that some very common, safe supplements such as melatonin are illegal in countries like Denmark. In Germany if you go into a health food store you will find….body products and one tiny area dedicated to overpriced, under-therapeutically valued supplements. We need to wake up and move from “slacktivism” (signing a petition and thinking we’ve done our part) into “activism” where we leverage power to create change.
NHF is the power I found where leverage was possible because of our work at international Codex meetings. Local, state, and national activist efforts are noble and NHF most assuredly embraces their valuable work too, but when the World is trending toward “harmonization” so that World trade is facilitated and food, beverage, and supplement standards are the same in every country, we must think globally and act from that point. The statement, “Think globally, act locally” is in need of revision. Codex changed the game. We must work at a global level and that is why NHF, Scott Tips and I and other delegates around the World, participate in Codex Committees on Contaminants, Additives, Nutrition, Vet Drug Residues in Foods, and others we hope to attend such as Pesticide Residues and Culinary Spices in China and India respectively. We currently lack funding in order to represent you. This is the frustration of being a non-profit accepting no government funding but depending solely on donations.
Additionally NHF participates in Codex Commission meetings in Europe. Before my involvement with NHF, Scott Tips alone – read that again – ALONE- led the charge at Codex Committee on Contaminants in the Netherlands against deadly melamine. Can you believe the entire World represented at Codex remained silent when this killer contaminant was up for debate? What will ever be so incredibly humbling for me is realizing that my family and I were being protected- yes, even my animals, by the National Health Federation before I even knew they existed.
5. What is one of the largest underlying issues with today’s food industry that needs more global awareness and what are you currently doing to work towards it?
When I attended the Codex Committee on Food Additives in Hong Kong in 2014, I have never been so frustrated nor felt so angry. One of the agenda issues was aspartame, a deadly neurotoxin of which I’m sure you are all quite aware and wisely avoiding. The game has never been clearer in this debate and in all the others we face at Codex: greed and opening global markets trumps health and health freedom despite the stated goal of Codex to protect the consumer and provide food safety. NHF is the true food activist global watchdog. We have the track record in years of news releases published after every meeting detailing what we fought and what the outcome was. Aspartame, we were all told, was not going to be debated as “its safety has already been determined.” So Codex relies on junk-science provided by FDA appointed JECFA. Unbiased, open sourced science is not a part of decisions being created that will determine your health and health freedom.
When you understand what drives decisions that reach the market place and the consumer, and how wrong the science and the motivations are, you will agree that siting voiceless on the sidelines doing nothing but pushing “like” on Facebook or just acting locally will never work in today’s food and nutritional supplement climate.
6. Can you give us some insight on what International Codex meetings are like and some key topics that have been discussed during your attendance?
Codex Alimentarius, Latin for “food code” is where NHF impacts Global policy to change the World. The National Health Federation participates with Country Delegates, Industry Delegates (Monsanto front-groups included), and other Independent Non-Governmental Agencies to shape Global policy for what we eat, drink, and the availability and potency of nutritional supplements. There are 27 Codex committees in all governing the Planet.
Codex is short for the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), which based in Rome, is an international organization jointly created by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. Later, the World Trade Organization (WTO) joined the ménage a trois and the stated goal of Codex 50 years prior when it came into existence, fell even further from its lofty beginnings.
NHF gave me, and now you, entrance into a World few enter. Scott Tips was responsible for getting NHF into Codex in 2002 as the only health freedom organization able to speak, submit scientific research, and shape Global policy. By a seeming “chance meeting at Adytum Sanctuary” I have been allowed to participate at the highest level of international food politics and it remains a tremendous privilege for which I’m humbly honored and grateful. When NHF speaks, BILLIONS of lives are impacted for the better. Since we are one of only 5 consumer groups at Codex, and many times the only consumer group present, NHF’s power to protect the health and health freedom of the World is vital.
The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) sets the guidelines and standards for Dietary Supplements and Medical Foods and is one NHF is particularly committed to as there have been Global attempts to dumb-down nutritional supplements making them impotent and expensive. NHF also speaks at the Codex Committee for Food Additives, Codex Committee for Contaminants, Codex Committee for Vet Drug Residues in Foods, and many others. As I have written about and coined my first quotation, “We live in a day when food is suspect is proven innocent.”
We can’t assume anything is safe. NHF has debated and fought successfully for the most part, not always, against the inclusion of many contaminants like lead, ochratoxin-A, aluminum, aspartame, MSG, GMOs, Ractopamine, melamine, antibiotics in foods, and many, many more. We have fought hard to retain our nutritional supplements, not only their therapeutic values but their very availability. DSHEA is a false hope when the World trends toward homogenization and harmonization. America needs to wake up. Realize the rest of the World has lost or is losing the ability to get the simplest supplements, like melatonin. Either fight for retaining your supplements and the ability to heal yourself and your family or to practice your profession….or lose it.With so many assaults against us now from the soil to the sky, from Monsanto to Geoengineering, we must do whatever we can to stop the cumulative effect of toxins invading our body and the Planet.
To have the power to create positive changes on at the global seat of power, Codex Alimentarius, is a unique privilege afforded to only health freedom organization: the National Health Federation and it is our honor and our privilege to fight for you and your family. All we ask in return is that you take up your part in this battle for our lives and for the Earth by doing what you can, where you are, and providing support in active ways for those of us on the front lines. www.thenhf.com. Thank you so much for allowing me to tell my story and to hopefully inspire you to protect and heal those who inhabit our Planet while there is still time and the chance to do so.
“We must fight to the death for health freedom because we will die if we do not fight for it.” Katherine A. Carroll
About Kat Carroll:
Kat Carroll is Associate Editor of the National Health Federation’s magazine, Health Freedom News, Editor of the NHF e-newsletter, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Health Federation Canada and the Advisory Board for GreenMedInfo. Kat received the 2014 Health Freedom Hero award, she also writes for several blogs, is frequent contributor to several publications, and is currently compiling a book on Codex Alimentarius based on first-hand experience attending International Codex meetings.
Kat maintains a private practice as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, certified in First Line Therapy, and is a member of the Nutritional Therapy Association and the Ocular Nutrition Society. Kat is also Clinic Administrator at her and her husband’s two Optometry clinics. Additionally, Kat enjoys hosting guests at Adytum Sanctuary, their Pacific Northwest retreat.
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