Recently, I was talking to my team about events — specifically, us attending as vendors. Many events are small and we unfortunately don’t have the staff or time to be able to do everything.
“But the one we should definitely attend is Expo West!” I told them. “It’s THE event of the year. All the major players attend.” And that’s true — every major natural company you’ve probably heard of is there, and many you probably haven’t. Press and influencers go. Major retailers go. It’s the best place to get “seen” and grow your brand’s presence.
Then I dug into their rules…and realized something awful.
They are requiring masks to be worn at all times (absolutely no exceptions) and also require proof-of-vaccination to be shown at the door or a professional test administered within 72 hours (no at-home tests).
This honestly just makes them Big Pharma shills. The “natural” industry has gone off the rails.
Expo East and West MANDATE Big Pharma
Tell me you don’t trust anything about natural health without telling me you don’t trust anything about natural health.
“We sell natural products that we want to get into other peoples’ hands to make the world a better place! …but don’t you dare come near us unless you’re masked and triple vaccinated first.”
I don’t have a problem with individual people in the natural industry personally choosing to wear a mask or get vaccinated. I believe in medical freedom, and that means allowing people to make whatever choice they want, whether or not I agree with it.
I have a big problem with them mandating that we use Big Pharma products before we can discuss natural!
Expo West happens annually in California during the second week of March. The state has recently lifted all indoor mask mandates. The conference has acknowledged that the rules and guidelines have changed, but stated that they have chosen to keep the mandates in place. This is not about a state or venue’s rules, they are doing this.
They have decided that to exist purposely in Big Pharma’s shadow, continuing to center Big Pharma in all of the “health” info and choices that we make.
The Natural Industry Should Be Better
Natural health is more than just avoiding a few toxins. It’s a whole lifestyle of making choices that are better for individuals, communities, and the environment.
In many cases, they seem to understand this. They rail against the overuse of prescription drugs, the opioid crisis, the fact that seriously toxic ingredients are allowed in our food supply and personal care products (much worse than what’s allowed in other countries). They understand the damage that these mainstream systems are doing to our health.
But not vaccines. They will not question those.
Have you ever really thought about that? How literally everything else can be questioned, should be questioned? How they rail against opioids and the greed of Big Pharma and Big Food and Big Skin Care (and so on)? They’re greedy corporations who will do anything to make more profit!
Then you mention vaccines and they stop talking very fast. It’s a magical subject, in that it cannot be questioned whatsoever. Vaccines are always good, for everyone, in every situation, and do not cause any harm, and are the only thing keeping our society together. Literally nothing is that good…isn’t it very, very weird? If it’s not, it should be.
The natural health industry has fallen for this just like everyone else. They should be sanity in a world that is filled with madness.
The Natural Product is Missing the Point
The natural industry is quite large and powerful, and they have lobbyists. These lobbyists try to get favorable laws passed, just like any other industry. They like that supplements don’t have to be approved by any government body before they can be marketed to the public.
They also lobby for access. Making alternative modalities like chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. legal and recognized, getting it covered by insurance, etc.
I support all of this. I believe transparency and access matter, and people should get to make their own choices about their health, without the interference of a governmental body. I believe that companies can and do hold themselves to high standards in most cases (I have learned a lot about this as an owner of a multi-million dollar natural product brand).
But the flip side of all of this is the right to make your own health decisions, including whether or not to wear a mask or receive a vaccination. How can they have such a blind spot there?
The natural products industry needs to get on the right side of history here. Demanding that people take Big Pharma’s products is not it. They need to uphold bodily autonomy and the very basic human right to decide what goes into or onto your body. It is the only way to a better situation.
The Big Problem with Big Pharma
The big problem with Big Pharma isn’t that it exists. It’s that it has a stranglehold on our country. They have posed themselves as the only solution to our health needs. The default choice for health. The only ones who actually “understand science” enough to take care of people.
This is sanctimonious and ridiculous.
We do need some aspects of allopathy — trauma care, organ transplants, emergency surgeries. I don’t want to see these things go away! They do save lives, and they are important.
But there are many times that allopathy simply doesn’t have the answers. About 80% of our country’s health needs would be better managed through a variety of other health modalities. We need allopathy to work respectfully alongside all of these other modalities, each being the go-to option where it shines most.
It is up to the natural industry — made up of these other modalities! — to create this change. And they cannot and will not as long as they bow at the altar of Big Pharma and use it as a gatekeeper before anyone can access or understand alternatives. They also undermine their fields by not trusting their roots or intentions and believing that Big Pharma is the only thing that can actually “work.” (Which it seems they do believe if they force masks and vaccination and don’t accept “I have a diet and supplement routine that keeps me healthy.”)
The natural industry is useless if they don’t create real change.
This is a call to all natural companies out there: be better. Reject mandates. Stand for personal choice in health, and support and encourage people to choose natural whenever it is the best option. Insist upon medical freedom.
To all the consumers out there: know the companies you’re supporting. Don’t buy from “natural” companies that act as Big Pharma puppets. Vote with your dollars for medical freedom every day.
We can make a real change in the world, but it starts by fully embracing medical freedom.