Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
July 23, 2003



July 17, 2003

Dear Maryann,

We need to take action, and we need to take action now. There is a movement in Congress to restrict your freedom to use nutritional supplements. The only way to stop it is for us to flood our elected representatives with so many e-mails and faxes that they will be forced to say no to the powerful interests that are behind this movement.

Click now to take immediate action, or read on.

You Can Make a Difference
Don't underestimate the power of such a grassroots movement. Ten years ago, Health & Healing readers were instrumental in rallying the passing of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). Millions of letters were written to our Congressmen and Senators in support of this legislation - it generated more letters than any other issue in US history. Because of DSHEA, which reduced the FDA's power to block the production, sale, and use of natural substances, we have free access to herbs, amino acids, vitamins, hormones, minerals, and other nutritional supplements.

Don't Believe the Smokescreen of "Safety"
Well, DSHEA - and your right to purchase nutritional supplements - is under fire. A bill (SB 722) has been introduced in the Senate to amend current legislation and give the FDA even broader regulatory powers. Under the guise of "consumer protection," it would place safety requirements on nutritional supplements that are even more stringent than those on drugs!

Just one complaint of a serious adverse reaction attributed to a dietary supplement would give the FDA license to remove entire classes of supplements (hundreds of products) from the market, even if that product was used against manufacturer's instructions. This nefarious bill is singling out "stimulants" such as ephedra - a sure step towards banning such supplements altogether. But mark my words, virtually all nutritional supplements are at risk.

All this additional scrutiny, by the way, is directed solely at nutritional supplements, which have a long history of safety. According to Congressman Dan Burton, a maximum of 16 deaths were attributed to a nutritional supplement last year. (Excessive doses of ephedra were the suspect in the majority of these cases, and the supplement link was definitively proven in only a few of them.) Meanwhile, the FDA turns a blind eye to the 106,000 deaths from adverse effects of prescription drugs and the tens of thousands of deaths from aspirin and other over-the-counter drugs that occur every year.

A Power Grab by the FDA
You may have read in the press that we need new laws because there is no regulation of nutritional supplements. This is simply not true. DSHEA gives the FDA tremendous regulatory power, and in fact, it already has the power to pull any supplement it feels is unsafe off the market.

Yet because DSHEA also gives supplement manufacturers some autonomy, the FDA has attempted to circumvent it from day one. This agency fought hard against the passage of DSHEA ten years ago and, in a thinly veiled attempt to get rid of or amend it, has refused to act responsibly within its confines ever since.

Folks, this isn't about safety. It's about control. SB 722 undermines DSHEA and gives unprecedented power to an agency that has proven time and time again all too willing to abuse that power.

The Bad Old Days
Some of you might remember the pre-DSHEA days when the FDA was completely out of control. They raided the offices of nutritional physicians like Jonathan Wright, MD, of Kent, Washington - at gunpoint! They barged into manufacturing facilities and seized natural substances such as stevia. They authorized the removal of coenzyme Q10 and other supplements from health food stores, claiming they were "illegal." They refused to allow any information on nutritional supplement labels that would help consumers make informed choices. They mandated that many supplements now sold over-the-counter require a prescription, making them more expensive and less accessible.

This is the kind of tyranny I'm worried about, and if you think this kind of stuff couldn't happen today, think again.

Send an E-Mail and Tell a Friend
Time is of the essence. SB 722 has quietly wormed its way through committee and may be on the Senate floor as early as late July. We can and must act quickly to stop this legislation.

What can you do? E-mail your senators today and ask them to vote against SB 722. If you've already done so, do it again. (You may also send a fax, but I don't recommend sending letters. Anthrax screening has slowed mail delivery to a crawl.)

Forward this to your friends and get them to contact their Senators. If each one of you could commit to generating four e-mails, over a million messages would descend upon Washington. You may not realize how powerful a grassroots campaign like this can be, but our elected officials cannot ignore something of this magnitude.

Click here to learn more about SB 722 and to contact your senators.

To your health and freedom,

Julian Whitaker, MD

P.S. This isn't the only threat to health freedom lurking on the horizon. I'll keep you informed on all these issues, but for now, let's send a strong message that we're not going to take this lying down. Voice your opinion about SB 722 by e-mailing your Senators today.



posted by Chris Gupta on Wednesday July 23 2003
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

URL of this article:



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