National Health Federation

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National Health Federation
FormationJanuary 1955
TypeHealth-freedom organization

The National Health Federation (NHF) is a lobbying group which promotes alternative medicine.[1] The NHF is based in California and describes its mission as protecting individuals' rights to use dietary supplements and alternative therapies without government restriction. The NHF also opposes mainstream public-health measures such as water fluoridation and compulsory childhood vaccines.

The NHF was founded by Fred J. Hart in 1955, after he was ordered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cease marketing fraudulent radionics devices.[2] Mainstream medical organizations have criticized the NHF for promoting dubious alternative cancer treatments and health claims; the American Cancer Society recommends that cancer patients avoid products promoted by the NHF,[2] while Quackwatch describes the NHF as "antagonistic to accepted scientific methods as well as to current consumer-protection law."[3]

History and activities[edit]

The National Health Federation was founded in 1955 by Fred J. Hart, a marketer of radionics devices. Hart founded the NHF after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration compelled his company to cease marketing untested devices for medical treatment. Over the years, the NHF has promoted a range of unproven cancer treatments, including laetrile.[2] According to its website, the NHF fought and won the battle for mandatory inspection of poultry, coordinated a drive to help chiropractors become legally licensed in the United States, waged a campaign against water fluoridation, and advocated legislative recognition of acupuncture in the United States.[4] The Federation has collaborated with European consumer organizations and political parties in a campaign demanding that the European Union (EU) accept the outcome of a referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty.[5]

In the 1990s, the Federation lobbied to pass the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which allowed dietary supplements to be sold without prior testing for safety or effectiveness. The organization has also promoted claims that vaccines were dangerous, fought malathion spraying, and opposed water fluoridation.[6] The organization publishes a quarterly newsletter, Health Freedom News.

Scott Tips is the current president for the National Health Federation. He is a California-licensed attorney and former Managing Editor of the California Law Review.


Several independent sources have described the National Health Federation as a fringe lobbying group or as a promoter of dubious and unproven medical claims and devices. The McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine defines the NHF as a "fringe medicine organization that exerts political pressure to secure 'health freedom' and 'freedom of medical choice' on behalf of alternative medicine practitioners, their families, and 'health food' consumers."[7]

The American Cancer Society, noting that the NHF is "not a medical or scientific body," recommended that "persons with cancer avoid the therapies and products promoted by the National Health Federation for the treatment of cancer."[2] Quackwatch calls NHF "an alliance of promoters and followers who engage in lobbying campaigns... and uses the words 'alternative,' and 'freedom' to suit its own purposes," adding that "NHF is antagonistic to accepted scientific methods as well as to current consumer-protection law."[3]


  1. ^ Schneirov, Matthew David; Jonathan David Geczik (2003). A Diagnosis for Our Times: Alternative Health, from Lifeworld to Politics. Albany, New York: SUNY Press. p. 129. ISBN 9780791457313.
  2. ^ a b c d "Unproven methods of cancer management. National Health Federation". CA Cancer J Clin. 41 (1): 61–4. 1991. doi:10.3322/canjclin.41.1.61. PMID 1898638.
  3. ^ a b Barrett, Stephen (1993). "Be Wary of the National Health Federation". Quackwatch. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "About us". National Health Federation.
  5. ^ Diane M. Miller (2008). "Legal Matters: Collaboration in the Health Freedom Movement: A Source of Power and Healing". Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 14 (6): 315–320. doi:10.1089/act.2008.14610. PMID 18380609.
  6. ^ Easley MW (1985). "The new antifluoridationists: who are they and how do they operate?". J Public Health Dent. 45 (3): 133–41. doi:10.1111/j.1752-7325.1985.tb01127.x. PMID 3861861. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05.
  7. ^ "National Health Federation - definition". McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. 2002. Retrieved December 8, 2012.

External links[edit]