US To Sell Saudis 355 Missiles To Be Used In The War On Yemen

AGM-154-air-carrier-400x225

(PressTV)The US Defense Department has awarded major weapons maker Raytheon to provide the Persian Gulf Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 355 air-to-ground missiles amid its persisting campaign of aerial strikes against civilian and economic targets in neighboring Yemen.

According to a Pentagon announcement cited Saturday by the Russia-based Sputnik News, in a $180-million contract assigned to the arms manufacturer, Raytheon is to deliver the AGM-154 series missiles to the Saudi regime in a move clearly regarded as a bid to support the aerial strikes against Yemen.

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US Encircling Russia with Bioweapons Labs, Covertly Spreads Them

us-bioweapons-lab-georgia.si

(RT) The US is obstructing international efforts to eradicate biological weapons, seeking to involve other nations covertly in research on weaponized diseases, Moscow charged. America’s record of handling bioweapons is poor.

The accusations of mishandling biological weapons voiced by the Russian Foreign Ministry refer to a recent report that the US military shipped live anthrax by mistake. Last week, the Pentagon admitted sending samples of the highly dangerous disease to at least 51 labs in 17 US states and three foreign countries.

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Will Jesse Ventura Make a Libertarian Run for President in 2016?

ventura

The list of possible 2016 Presidential Candidates continues to grow. Now former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is thinking about running for President as a Libertarian Party candidate. There has been some speculation that Governor Ventura would run for President in 2016 as a Libertarian, but it has never been substantiated. This is the first time that Ventura has openly considered running as a Libertarian. Continue reading

US-Russia reach landmark deal on destruction of Syria chemical weapons arsenal

Russia and the United States reached a deal on a framework that will see the destruction or removal of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid- 2014. Under the plan, the Assad government has one week to hand over an inventory of its chemical weapons arsenal. Continue reading

10 reasons why diplomatic solution is unlikely in Syria

Over the past few days, there has been a tremendous wave of optimism that it may be possible for war with Syria to be averted. Unfortunately, it appears that a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria is extremely unlikely.

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U.S. Faces Brand-New Cuban Missile Crisis

WND – by F. Michael Maloof

130720cubanorthkoreamissileThe recent seizure of a North Korean freighter carrying Cuban, nuclear-capable SA-2 missile components for refurbishment has resurrected the spectre of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when another communist nation developed nuclear dealings with America’s island neighbor. Continue reading

Russia Hits Back at U.S. Over Syria

MOSCOW—The Kremlin criticized the U.S. decision to arm Syrian opposition fighters and said Washington’s evidence that the Syrian regime is using chemical weapons was unconvincing, but said Friday that Moscow is “not yet” discussing its plans to deliver of air-defense missiles to the regime. Continue reading

US to Blame China on NSA Scandal. Chinese Warships Enter American Waters. Japanese Troops Drill with Marines in CA

Photo: Top Information PostChina has been quietly taking steps to encircle the United States by arming western hemisphere states, seeking closer military, economic, and diplomatic ties to U.S. neighbors, and sailing warships into U.S. maritime zones.

The strategy is a Chinese version of what Beijing has charged is a U.S. strategy designed to encircle and “contain” China. It is also directed at countering the Obama administration’s new strategy called the pivot to Asia. The pivot calls for closer economic, diplomatic, and military ties to Asian states that are increasingly concerned about Chinese encroachment throughout that region.

Read more:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/china-encircles-us-arming-western-hemisphere-state/#ixzz2Vo5RjOqX

Obama urged to ‘punch’ China

A leading U.S. manufacturing group on Monday called on President Obama to take a tough line on China when he holds his first summit with new Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the week in California.

Even as Chinese companies are stepping up their acquisitions in the American market, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), suggested the Obama administration should “punch back hard” against the Chinese for recent national security and economic intrusions of U.S. military and business targets.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/3/obama-urged-to-punch-china/#ixzz2VobPW0yR

 

Japanese troops will converge on California’s southern coast in the next two weeks as part of a military exercise with U.S. troops aimed at improving that country’s amphibious attack abilities.

 

U.S. and Japanese military officials said the unprecedented training, led by U.S. Marines and sailors, will help Japan’s Self-Defense Force operate in stronger coordination with the United States, its main ally, and better respond to crises such as natural disasters.

 

China may see it differently, however, given the tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a long-running dispute concerning islands claimed by both in the East China Sea.

“It’s another dot that the Chinese will connect to show this significant expanding military cooperation,” said Tai Ming Cheung, an analyst of Chinese and East Asian security affairs and director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/09/japanese-troops-head-to-california-for-military-exercise-with-us-marines/?test=latestnews#ixzz2VlA0bkX1

China has, for the first time, attempted to spell out its strategy — and plans — to secure its interests in the Indian Ocean in its first “blue book” on the region, released here on Saturday.

The blue book makes a case for China to deepen its economic engagements with the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR) littoral states, but stresses that Beijing’s interests will be driven by commercial — rather than military — objectives.

However, it warns that the Indian Ocean could end up “as an ocean of conflict and trouble” if countries like India, the U.S. and China failed to engage with each other more constructively as their interests begin to overlap.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/china-details-indian-ocean-strategy-and-interests/article4795550.ece?homepage=true

Nicaragua canal: Will China build rival to Panama Canal?

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0609/Nicaragua-canal-Will-China-build-rival-to-Panama-Canal

With NSA Leaker in Hong Kong, US Looks to Blame China

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/06/09/with-nsa-leaker-in-hong-kong-us-looks-to-blame-china/

RT @tomphillipsin: Staff @ Hong Kong’s Mira hotel just told me #snowden was def there, checked out today, won’t say what time

https://twitter.com/TomLasseter

Could Hong Kong shelter Edward Snowden?

Mr Snowden said he chose to hide in Hong Kong because of it’s “strong tradition of free speech”

Edward Snowden, who has identified himself as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes, is believed to be holed up in a hotel in Hong Kong.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22837599#TWEET784322

 

http://investmentwatchblog.com/breaking-us-to-blame-china-on-nsa-scandal-chinese-warships-enter-american-waters-japanese-troops-drill-with-marines-in-ca/

US Prepares War with Syria as Washington backed Al Qaeda Rebels Lose Ground

war

Calls for a war with Syria mounted yesterday, despite mass popular opposition to war in the United States, amid reports that US-backed Islamist opposition forces fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have suffered serious reverses.

Speaking on NBC News yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed for Washington to take military action against Syria.

He repeated unsubstantiated allegations that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, which have been refuted by UN investigator Carla del Ponte, claiming, “It is clear the regime has used chemical weapons and missiles.” Claiming that a “red line” had been crossed, he said: “We want the United States to assume more responsibilities and take further steps. And what sort of steps they will take, we are going to talk about this.”

Erdogan dismissed out of hand reports that chemical weapons used in Syria were in fact used by the US-backed opposition.

He stressed that his government would support US imposition of a “no-fly zone” in Syria, which would involve destroying Syrian air defenses and shooting down any Syrian aircraft that took to the skies.

Erdogan’s calls for military action were echoed across the American press. The Washington Post ’s editorial board called for “an air campaign as well as arms for the moderate opposition” aimed to “quickly tip the military balance against the Assad regime.” Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens proposed a long list of attacks against Assad, including sending in US ground forces: “disable the runways of Syrian air bases, including the international airport in Damascus…use naval assets to impose a no-fly zone over western Syria…supply the Free Syrian Army with heavy military equipment, including armored personnel carriers and light tanks; and be prepared to seize and remove Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, even if it means putting boots (temporarily) on the ground.”

The calls for war come amid reports of major setbacks in Syria for the US-backed opposition, reflecting its small size and lack of popular support, and growing military assistance from Russia, Iran, and Lebanon for the Assad regime.

After two months of heavy bombardment, government forces have retaken the strategic town of Khirbet Ghazaleh from the “rebels,” re-opening government transport routes to Deraa, the city where initial opposition protests began two years ago. Opposition leaders acknowledged it as a major setback. “Tomorrow, the big tragedy will happen, the regime’s supply route to Deraa will reopen, and the officers will go back and ammunition will be resupplied and the bombardment will resume,” said Abu Yacoub, commander of the Martyrs of Khirbet Ghazaleh brigade.

Yesterday, BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar wrote that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) amounts to little more than “men with guns,” united only by the fact that they “point their guns in the same direction.” He said the FSA is not a “cohesive force” and lacks a “command structure.”

Jerusalem Post article of May 3rd entitled “Is Assad Winning in Syria?” describes the defeat of opposition militias around Qusayr by Hezbollah forces, as well as the capture of Otaiba by Assad’s forces last week, indicating the growing strength of Assad vis-à-vis the US proxy forces. According to the article, “morale among supporters of the regime has improved markedly in recent weeks.” It concluded, “Assad shows no signs of cracking.”

Under these conditions, Assad’s allies are stepping up military deliveries to Damascus. The Russian government has announced plans to sell S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria, in a $900 million deal that would substantially bolster the Syrian regime’s capacity to defend itself against US and Israeli airstrikes.

Secretary of State John Kerry criticized the sale as “destabilizing,” and the Israeli government appealed to Russia to halt the transaction. Syria’s purchase comes in after Israeli air strikes that used long-range “stand-off” missiles to attack Damascus from beyond the Syrian border.

On Thursday, Iran vowed to respond to the Israeli raids with “blows under the belt in several locations.” Iran’s envoy to Syria, Ali Akbar Salehi, promised “full and unlimited support from Iran, politically, militarily, and economically, to the Syrian leadership and people, against the takfiris [Al Qaeda-type Sunni extremist forces], terrorists, Israel, the US, and all who dare attack this country.”

Also on Thursday, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah announced that Syria would supply his militia “special weapons it never had before,” calling the decision “game-changing.” The weapons are apparently being transferred as a response to Israel’s air strikes on Damascus. “This is the Syrian strategic reaction,” he explained.

These deliveries highlight the broad regional implications of the proxy war Washington has waged against the Assad regime, relying primarily on Islamist forces tied to Al Qaeda, and the risk of a US war in Syria escalating into a regional or even global conflict.

There is broad opposition in the working class to the US drive to war in Syria overseen by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. A recent poll pegged popular opposition to war at 62 percent of the US population.

The conflict has already taken a horrific toll on the Syrian people. Over the past several months, the number of Syrians displaced from their homes by the war has increased from 2 million to 4.25 million. A total of 6.8 million Syrians, including 3.1 million children, are classified as “in dire need of humanitarian assistance” by the UN’s Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Jordanian officials have stated that Syrian refugees now make up 10 percent of Jordan’s total population, with this figure set to explode to 40 percent by mid-2014 on current trends.

The ramping up of US military operations against Syria is accompanied by diplomatic efforts to bring about a post-Assad government on terms favorable to US imperialism. Secretary of State John Kerry has sought an agreement with Russia, which would pave the way for a power-sharing arrangement.

This plan also received significant endorsement in US strategic and media circles. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a prominent architect of US imperial policy, issued a strong criticism of proposed US military action against Syria, proposing instead to try to involve Russia and China in US plans to remove Assad through diplomacy.

He said,

“The various schemes that have been proposed for a kind of tiddlywinks intervention from around the edges of the conflict—no-fly zones, bombing Damascus and so forth—would simply make the situation worse. None of the proposals would result in an outcome strategically beneficial for the US On the contrary, they would produce a more complex, undefined slide into the worst-case scenario. The only solution is to seek Russia’s and China’s support for U.N.-sponsored elections in which, with luck, Assad might be ‘persuaded’ not to participate.”

Along these lines, David Ignatius of the Washington Post proposed “a military transition government” that would include “reconcilable elements of Assad’s army,” under the leadership of US-backed General Salim Idriss, a defector who now commands Syrian opposition forces.

Effectively, US officials are hoping that, in the context of negotiations jointly organized by the Russian government, they could persuade Syrian officers to organize a coup to oust Assad, and then make a deal with the US-backed opposition. Their plan involves a new ruling coalition composed of opposition and regime elements, described by Ignatius as a “military transition government that would include reconcilable elements of Assad’s army.” Assad would be removed, though lower-ranking members of his government might remain.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-prepares-war-with-syria-as-washington-backed-al-qaeda-rebels-lose-ground/5334587

Homeland Security’s New $3.9 Billion Headquarters

The construction site of the Department of Homeland Security's new headquarters, Feb. 15, 2012, in Washington, DC

President Barack Obama is trying to solve big problems in his proposed 2014 budget. His efforts to curtail entitlement spending have gotten most of the headlines. But he also seems determined to complete the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new headquarters, the largest federal construction project since the Pentagon rose in the 1940s. The cost: $3.9 billion.

The project would unite at a single location nearly all DHS’s 22 divisions devoted to thwarting terrorists and safeguarding the populace from natural and manmade disasters. The site is the campus of St. Elizabeth Hospital, a former federal asylum that was once the home of poet Ezra Pound and John Hinckley, Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin. There would be 4.5 million square feet of workspace in the new facility and ample employee parking.

The project’s supporters say the price tag is justified. They say it’s not easy to get the various DHS divisions to operate in concert with each other if they are scattered throughout the capital area. At the 2009 groundbreaking, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano herself made the casefor the agency’s costly new digs: “It will help us have meetings. It will help us create a culture of ‘one DHS.’”

It didn’t take long for the project to become mired in politics. House Republicans, a number of whom see the DHS as an inefficient and fiscally profligate bureaucracy, were loath to fund the new headquarters fully. A new headquarters for the U.S. Coast Guard, which involved more excavation than any real estate development in the District of Columbia’s history, moved forward. The rest of the endeavor languished, becoming a symbol of Washington dysfunction. The tighter integration that Napolitano promised also remained a work in progress. The DHS is on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s “high risk” list, a distinction it shares with such troubled federal agencies as the U.S. Postal Service.

Now Obama is trying to ensure that the DHS headquarters eventually rises. On Wednesday, the president included $367 million in his budget to continue construction.

Getting the money won’t be easy. In February, one of the DHS’s more persistent naysayers, U.S. Representative John Mica, a Florida Republican, boasted about how he and his fellow party members had curtailed the project.He said he would also like to dismantle much of the DHS.

He’d better act swiftly. If the White House ever gets all the DHS’s divisions on one campus, nobody will want to move them again.

 

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-12/the-department-of-homeland-securitys-new-3-dot-9b-headquarters

North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South ‘On Verge of Nuclear War’… Will Fire Missiles Over Japan Wednesday! Japan Deploys Patriots To 3 Sites In Tokyo… Putin and McCain Warn of Thermonuclear War…

 

North Korea warns foreigners to leave South

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/09/us-korea-north-idUSBRE93408020130409


‘On verge of nuclear war’

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea on Tuesday urged all foreign companies and tourists in South Korea to evacuate, saying the two countries are on the verge of nuclear war. The new threat appeared to be an attempt to keep the region on tenterhooks over its intentions.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/04/09/north-korea-urges-foreigners-to-vacate-skorea-following-hostile-actions-of-us-warmongers/

 

Japan Deploys Patriot Missiles to Defend Tokyo

Japan has deployed Patriot missiles in and around central Tokyo as a defensive measure should North Korea decide to launch an attack amid rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Tokyo has moved three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile launchers, according to the defence ministry. Two more batteries are likely to be stationed at other places.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/454992/20130409/north-korea-missile-japan-interceptor-tokyo-pyongyang.htm

 

Pyongyang warns foreigners to evacuate S. Korea, Japan deploys Patriot missiles

Yonhap: Kim Jong-un orders mass artillery production for “rapid pre-emptive attack”

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently ordered the country’s arms industry workers to increase their production of artillery, a television report out of Pyongyang showed Saturday.

“Once the war breaks out, we have to destroy the enemies’ key military locations and government institutions with a quick and sudden strike,” Kim was quoted as saying. “We must absolutely guarantee the quality of our artillery and shells to ensure a rapid pre-emptive attack on our enemies.”

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2013/04/06/34/0401000000AEN20130406001800315F.HTML

 

North Korea urges foreigners in South to evacuate

 

https://twitter.com/timesofindia

John McCain warns of ‘accidental war’ with North Korea

North Korea, Russia Putin’ Warn’s About Grave Danger of Nuclear War

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22065348

 

 

BEIJING – China called Tuesday for the protection of citizens from all countries and warned against “chaos” on the Korean peninsula after North Korea urged foreigners in South Korea to evacuate.

Beijing, a key backer of its defiant neighbor, has repeatedly urged calm and restraint despite spiraling tensions since Pyongyang tested a third nuclear bomb in February and reacted angrily to resulting UN sanctions.

The isolated regime said Tuesday the peninsula was headed for “thermo-nuclear” war and advised foreigners in South Korea to consider evacuation.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/world/04/09/13/china-urges-citizens-safety-amid-nkorea-threats?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

“North Korea says it will fire missiles into the Pacific Ocean on April 10 & that these missiles will pass over Japan.”- Sankei Shimbun

https://twitter.com/PrinceofSydney

Japan vows to shoot down North Korean missiles “even if it is just a test”

http://investmentwatchblog.com/this-is-official-instructions-from-the-pm-of-japan-on-north-korea-to-shoot-down-missile-even-if-it-is-just-a-test/

 

South Korea Believes North Could Launch Missile Test As Soon As Tomorrow

Read more:

http://www.businessinsider.com/south-korea-believes-north-could-launch-missile-test-as-soon-as-tomorrow-2013-4#ixzz2PxZPTE29

Japan deploys Patriot antimissile system in downtown Tokyo

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/11746
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com

British tour operator in North Korea warned to stay away, ‘outbreak of war hours away’

 
March 30, 2013 – NORTH KOREA – The order came after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Washington would not be cowed by Pyongyang’s bellicose threats and stood ready to respond to “any eventuality.” Mr. Kim directed his rocket units on standby at an overnight emergency meeting with top army commanders, hours after nuclear-capable US B-2 stealth bombers were deployed in ongoing US joint military drills with South Korea. In the event of any “reckless” US provocation, North Korean forces should “mercilessly strike the US mainland … military bases in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea,” he was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). While North Korea has no proven ability to conduct such strikes, Mr. Kim said: “The time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists.” Meanwhile, Dylan Harris, director of Lupine Travel, which specializes in holidays to unusual places like Iran, Chernobyl and Siberia, received an email on Friday morning. It said US stealth bomber flights over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK) had made the situation “critical with the outbreak of war probably only hours away.” It was not clear who the email was from. –Telegraph
War with N. Korea would be ugly in opening hours: Prominent North Korean analysts, citing what they see as increasingly troubling signs coming from the dictatorial regime, have voiced concerns that its new young leader, Kim Jong-un, could do something ill-advised and even start a war with the US. On Friday North Korea renewed what the U.S. has condemned as its ‘bellicose rhetoric’, saying Kim had ordered the nation’s missile forces to prepare to strike the United States and South Korea. According to the Christian Science Monitor, in response to the prospect of North Korea following through on this and other marginally less dire threats, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US military “will unequivocally defend, and is unequivocally committed to the alliance with, South Korea.” Some former US Special Operations Forces and longtime Korea defense analysts have their own thoughts on what an ‘unequivocal’ US military response could look like. That includes how US troops would be deployed in the event of a lethal first strike on US and allied military forces by North Korea – precisely the sort of move Kim has been threatening to make. Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said that should Kim choose to do “something even more outlandish,” the US military and South Korean response would be more dire. Retired Brig. General Russell Howard, former commander of the 1st Special Forces Group, which has an Asia focus, said that should Kim decide to begin firing them, he says, “in the first few hours of the conflict, it would be pretty ugly.” At the same time, North Korea could begin “swarming” its sizable contingent of 600,000 Special Operations commandos, Howard added, now the director of the Terrorism, Research, and Education Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the report added. –Zee News

U.S. sicker than rest of developed world—nutrition industry speaks out


(New Hope 360) A new report released last month found that Americans are unhealthier than 16 other developed countries.

The report, which was compiled by the National Research Council and the Institutes of Medicine, found that, despite the fact that Americans spend the most money per year on healthcare, we’re not healthier or living longer than other countries.

Several factors contribute to U.S. debility, such as a large uninsured population, high consumption of calories, high drug abuse, less use of seatbelts, high levels of poverty, high reliance on cars and low physical activity. No single factor explains the overall status of American health.

Of the health areas studied, Americans ranked worse than other countries in nine categories, including, among others, drug abuse, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and lung disease.

The study found that U.S. men live the shortest lives of all 16 countries at 76 years, and U.S. women ranked second-to-last at just under 81 years. Americans are more likely to die younger because of illnesses like obesity and heart disease.

“I don’t think most parents know that, on average, infants, children, and adolescents in the U.S. die younger and have greater rates of illness and injury than youth in other countries,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, chair of the panel and of the department of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to NBC News.

But there is a silver lining. Americans who live to the age of 75 are expected to live longer than those in the other countries. Not to mention people in the U.S. control blood pressure and cholesterol better and have a lower death rate from cancer.

Does industry have the answer?

The nutrition industry is concerned with the results of this study because of its implications for the world of consumer health and the industry’s interest in improving the well-being and health of the country.

Industry experts Mark LeDoux, chairman and CEO at Natural Alternative International, Inc.; Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition; and Robert Craven, CEO of FoodState, commented on the findings of this study.

LeDoux: It’s ‘sick care’ not ‘healthcare’

Mark LeDoux, chairman and CEO, Natural AlternativesInternational: The first obvious issue that arises from this report is that the “healthcare” system in America is a misnomer. We don’t provide healthcare, we provide sick care. Many of the commondiseases that lead to our mortality rates being high are directly linked to what we affectionately call “high-risk behaviors.”

If we look at food choices in the family from an early age, we see that convenience plays a role in generating unhealthy choices. Getting a frozen dinner and plopping oneself in front of the television while eating retards the development of proper social family time. When children go off to public school, they are often fed by institutional food service programs that are big on quantity, but not necessarily up on freshness or quality. It never ceases to amaze me that people will order 1,200 calories of fat laden foods at fast food restaurants, and then order a super sized diet soft drink, thinking that simply by ordering a diet beverage they are somehow redeeming the poor choices of food that accompany the beverage. Unfortunately, when it comes to healthcare in America we have seen the enemy, and he looks an awful lot like us.

Supplements can and should play a vital role in securing appropriate nutrient densities in our tissues and organ systems, but failure to be mobile leads to a whole set of other negative consequences. Gluttony leads to obesity, and that condition takes a toll on overall health—putting undue burdens on the ‘sick care’ system in America to hopefully alleviate the symptoms of self-wrought misery. It would seem self-evident that Americans may be the most overfed and undernourished people in the developed world.

Mister: We can deliberately defy unhealthy culture

Steve Mister, president and CEO, Council for Responsible Nutrition: This report is certainly troubling. At the same time, maybe it illuminates some opportunities for potential growth in the U.S. supplement marketplace. As the researchers noted, it’s not any one factor, but rather a whole collection of health-related behaviors that contributes to the U.S.’s health score.

As individuals we all need to be more conscious of the small daily behaviors that collectively contribute to a longer, more healthy life—everything from easing up on the accelerator, to taking a daily jog, to passing on the second piece of chocolate cake. When we think about health as a constellation of lifestyle choices rather than “I need to lower my cholesterol orI need to lose weight,” we can start to understand how all these things work together. Our bodies are not a collection of unconnected parts, they are integrated holistic systems all working together. So what we eat, the supplements we take, the exercise we get, all impact our entire bodies and life outlook—not just our blood pressure, or just our mood or just our alertness, but everything. Supplements are just one of those behaviors, but because they are easily incorporated into a daily regimen, they can be a daily reminder to do other healthy things too.

Daily supplement regimens have direct effects on health, but just the act of taking a supplement can also serve as a reminder to engage in other healthy behaviors. It gives us a feeling of autonomy and empowerment over our health which in turns makes us more conscious of our health and more invested in protecting it. Marketers ofsupplements could move the needle toward a healthier U.S. if they rebrand the routine of taking supplements as a brave, deliberate act of defying the unhealthy culture around us.

Craven: Let’s lead by example

Robert Craven, CEO, Food State (MegaFood): Like Mark, I am convinced that new legislation will do very little – although I was in favor of the super-size soft drink ban in NYC. I got into a Facebook fight on this one as some of my friends started saying that this was taking away “freedom” and “liberty” and I made the point that if your liberty and freedom starts costing me money it ceases to be your freedom. But I digress.

I believe our industry has a real opportunity to take a leadership position here—not from a legislative perspective, but from one that is much more aspirational. What if our industry was the healthiest industry in the nation? What if we could prove it? What if our industry did more for turning around disease directly—meaning we had more of an impact than any doctor or legislator or health insurer ever could? What if we could prove we were healthier with real data? I think this would do more for our positive stature in the world than anything else we could ever do. It’s walking all the talk.

What if the leaders in our industry got together and did nothing else but decide that all of our employees would be healthy? Has anyone ever taken a count of how many people that would represent (employees of natural and supplement companies and their families)? Has to be in the millions…

If we did nothing else but decide that we (our industry) were going to set an example by being healthy, that as CEOs we were going to lead the charge and set the example—being healthy ourselves; creating systems and support that truly promoted health within our own companies; leading the conversation with other CEOs in our communities; ringing the bell for wellness right where we live—wouldn’t this one act, if we had enough great companies on board and bought into the vision, do more for solving the U.S. health crisis than any other act? Especially given that our employees and customers are the most willing participants.

I can’t think of any other answer. In the end, there may not be enough of us out there to ultimately solve the problem—regardless, as for me and my company, we are going to try.