May 30, 2007
Ron Paul's Given Us a Great Bill
to Get Behind!
Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-TX) has done it again. He has introduced a great bill into the House of Representatives, The Health Freedom Protection Act, H.R. 2117. This bill is of monumental importance to your health and health freedom. Short, pithy and to the point, it allows supplements to carry scientifically justified health claims. It shifts the burden of proof to the FDA to prove that health claims are NOT scientifically warranted, rather than assuming that health claims are forbidden as advertising unless they relate directly to either structure or function. Thus, "Cherries may be good for arthritis" would be permitted since there is strong scientific evidence that they help people with joint pain.
FDA Restricting Your Right to Know What Supplements Can Do For You
The FDA does not want you to know how good supplements are for you. If you understand how safe, effective and inexpensive they are, why would you take drugs? When I coined the term "Nutricide" I gave it two definitions:
1. The death of a body of knowledge about the health benefits of foods
2. The death of large numbers of people through the manipulation of the food supply.
The FDA is working on both the first (through tools like the recent dangerous and assaultive "CAM Guidance") and the second (through forcing Codex "HARMonization" on you and your food).
It's Your Right to Have
Information About Supplements
Although Dr. Paul is trained as an allopathic physician, he believes in your right to use supplements and herbs which have truthful, informative health claims on their labels and in their promotional material.
The FDA does not believe any such thing, of course. Their endless attacks on truthful health claims are part of a "Pharma-Phriendly", lop sided and dangerous policy designed to put drug competitors (i.e., natural products and practices) out of business. FDA policy which attempts to gag real information on natural products while colluding with dangerous drug to hide their dangers. To cite just one example of an unfolding cabinet of horrors, the FDA colluded with drug companies to allow neurotoxic, suicidality-inducing anti depressant medications (commonly known as SSRIs) to be prescribed as if they were safe and effective (despite abundant information showing they are neither) in the very young, the very old and everyone in between. The FDA resisted tooth and nails adding precautionary information ("black box warnings") to labels notifying doctors and patients that these compounds could cause death and injury in a variety of ways (e.g., suicide, homicide, cardiac death, stroke, neuroleptic crisis, etc.) and do permanent harm to anyone taking them. They also buried the information that these drugs did no better than placebo, although placebos did not lead to death or permanent physical injury. And placebos are a whole lot cheaper. Loved ones were lost, families were devastated, brains, livers and lives were injured beyond repair.
Truth is Just A Bowl of
At the same time, the FDA threatened the Michigan Cherry Growers Association (MCGA) with severe legal punishment if they did not remove links from their websites to independent peer reviewed scientific studies. These studies, which the MCGA had no role in producing or sponsoring, showed that cherries were good for people who had arthritis. According to the FDA, mounting such "advertising" on their web site which then was making "health claims" TURNED CHERRIES INTO AN UNTESTED DRUG. Of course, cherries are a lot cheaper and safer than, say, Vioxx or Celebrex. Cherries have never been associated with 130,000 plus deaths from heart attacks, but, then, their profit margin is absolutely unacceptable to Big Pharma.
You probably recognize this twisted, commercially engendered "logic" from the recently proposed abusive and dangerous "FDA Guidance on CAM Regulation" which proposes that same magical transition for ANYTHING whatsoever (including a needle to remove a splinter, holy water or carrot juice) used with the intent to induce health. (By the way, despite broken links and other manipulations, over 197,733 people submitted comments through our site to the FDA opposing their inaccurate "restatement of the law".
One of the people who urged the FDA to back off from its intended abuse of its power was Congressman Ron Paul. But, because he realizes well that the FDA is just gearing up for another round of assaults on your health and health freedom, he did more than that.
What H.R. 2177 Does to Protect
Your Health Freedom
Dr. Paul reintroduced his important and powerful Health Freedom Protection Act shortly after the disastrous "FDA Revitalization Act of 2007, S. 1082, passed the Senate. Congressman Paul's bill shifts the burden of proof onto the FDA whenever the agency wants to deny the public the benefit of health claims information about Dietary Supplements. And it wants to deny the public that information a lot.
H. R. 2117 provides that reasonable health claims, with proper disclosure language, shall be allowed "unless the Secretary determines that -- (i) there is no
scientific evidence that supports the claim; and (ii) the claim is inherently misleading and incapable of being rendered non-misleading through the addition of a disclaimer." Thus, even "a scintilla*" of scientific evidence would allow Dietary Supplements to make claims that they may be of benefit to individuals. The requirements of the bill are consistent with the law that already governs the agency's position, announced in 2004, "FDA intends to apply a standard for substantiating claims for dietary supplements that is consistent with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) standard for dietary supplements and other health related products of 'competent and reliable scientific evidence'."
This policy has not been adhered to by the FDA since it attacks health claims on a regular basis and allows only so-called "structure function claims", barring all other types of health claims.
Kill the knowledge of health benefits of dietary supplements and you kill the market for dietary supplements. The logic is unassailable. The impact is a classic double whammy:
Whammy 1: a rise in the preventable diseases of under nutrition, defined by the World Health Organization as
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Diabetes and
Whammy 2: a rise in the number of deaths and serious adverse events from the use of drugs where natural, safe, effective (and cheap) treatments could have avoided this human tragedy.
The Natural Solutions Foundation and our legal counsel believe that this bill would greatly enhance public access to truthful and non-misleading health information. Your right to access truthful, non-misleading health information is supported by, and is in keeping with, the US Supreme Court's dictum in Thompson v. Western States Medical Centers,
"If the First Amendment
means anything, it means that regulating speech must be a last - not first - resort. *** We have previously rejected the notion that the Government has an interest in preventing the dissemination of truthful commercial information in order to prevent members of the public from making bad decisions with the information. *** Even if the Government did argue t that it had an interest in preventing misleading advertisements, this interest could be satisfied by the far less restrictive alternative of requiring ... a warning ..."
Health Freedom Protection Act
The Health Protection Act, H.R. 2117, is cosponsored by Congressmen Burton (R-IN), Shays (R-CT), Bartlett (R-MD), and Duncan m(R-TN). It presents a clear opportunity to enhance legal protections for Dietary Supplements and natural remedies. Its adoption would
shift FDA resources from over-regulation of safe food substances (e.g., Dietary Supplements) to what should be their main task: protecting people from truly dangerous drugs and medical devices. We need to encourage other congresspeople to join as cosponsors and get behind the Health Freedom Protection Act.
And, should the House equivalent to Senator Kennedy's disastrous "FDA Revitalization Act of 2007, S. 1082, be passed, we are urging your Congresspeople to act strongly to attach the whole of H. R. 2117 to it as an amendment to provide strong protective language for Dietary Supplements and their legitimate health claims.
Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Natural Solutions Foundation
*scintilla \sin-TIL-uh\, noun:
A tiny or scarcely detectable amount; the slightest particle; a trace; a spark.
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