It has recently been brought to my attention that Ascendis Health, a JSE listed company, has been spending billions acquiring various companies which manufacture natural health products. They started their 7 figure acquisition orgy in 2012 with the acquisition of Nimue and SSN for R120 Million and over the next few years acquired Solal, Marltons, Pharma Natura and Arctic Healthcare among others for well over a Billion Rand. It is rumoured that there are other natural health product companies which Ascendis is currently in discussions with, with a view of acquiring. On the surface this might not seem worth the mention. After all, they do call themselves Ascendis Health and what can be more natural than for a company entering the healthcare market to be buying up healthcare brands? Isn’t that what the capitalist corporate acquisition game is all about? Trying to accumulate as many smaller companies as possible in order to establish a monopoly in a given market sector? Sadly this is seen as normal and accepted behaviour in our society and not many eyebrows are raised when this information is encountered but if we delve a little deeper, an altogether more sinister picture unfolds.
Dr. Karsten Uwe Harald Horst Wellner, PhD has been the executive director of Ascendis Health Limited since July 2011. From 1989 to 2001, Dr. Wellner served at Fresenius AG. From 2001 to 2008, he served as Managing Director of Fresenius Kabi, Executive Vice President of Africa and Middle East. Seems like a perfect candidate for the Ascendis CEO job but it seems that, according to Bloomberg, Dr Wellner also serves as CEO for Effekto care Ltd.1
Effekto are the licenced South African agents for Monsanto’s Roundup and Kilo Max glyphosate based herbicides. Glyphosates have been linked to birth defects and the World Health Organisation recently announced that it probably causes cancer in humans.2 It is the chemical used by the SAPS to spray dagga and food crops in the Eastern Cape. Enough has been written elsewhere about the incredible detrimental impact of this poison on the environment and on the people who are unwittingly and unwillingly exposed to it in the South African government’s chemical warfare campaign against the poorest of the poor in our country for me not to have to comment further here. 3
The link between Efekto and Ascendis is far more substantial than just a communal CEO though, substantial as that is. Both Ascendis and Efekto are owned outright by the same holding company namely Coast-2-Coast Holdings Ltd. If you ever have the misfortune of visiting their rather sterile-feeling HQ in Bryantson, you will find a mock health store as you walk into the foyer, sporting all the products they market. Peppered among health products on the the shelves are rows of Roundup and Kilomax. It seems almost bipolar for a company to be selling ‘health’ products from one hand, and demonstrably ‘harmful toxins ‘from the other. Founders Cris Dillon and Gary Shayne cemented their partnership at a Warren Buffet conference and are such ardent admirers of the controversial capitalist that their web site contains a quote from him on the front page. These people adhere to the corporate philosophy which places profits above all else regardless of human or planetary cost.
The question that begs asking here is; How does the average consumer of some of the most trusted natural health brands in South Africa feel about inadvertently supporting ecocide in the Eastern Cape? When seen against the backdrop of the SA government’s recent policy changes which saw many nutritional supplements being reclassified as medicine thus effectively forcing many small companies which were supplying affordable natural health care out of business due to the exorbitant medicine registration costs, it becomes apparent that your natural health spend additionally supports the demise of small natural health companies as it has now become the exclusive domain of large corporates such as Ascendis. Their empire is highly geared, having gambled on the hopes that the new regulatory regime for natural health products will eradicate small and medium companies who can’t comply with the regulatory requirements to register.
This twist in the tale of the corporate onslaught on human health highlights the ‘controlled opposition’ strategy used by the corporatocracy. On the one hand they poison people and the environment, causing disease while simultaneously establishing monopolies on healthcare. According to one source; “Ascendis–owned companies have already begun reformulating many of their products without informing the public. In many cases, nutrient contents have been lowered and herbs replaced. Whether these products will remain effective, which made them household staples in the first place, remains to be seen.” Readers of this blog are familiar with the healing properties of cannabis and should take note that the same companies who supply the poison to kill the plants which cures the cancers caused by the poison used to kill the plants are sneakily manoeuvring to profit from their atrocities.