SAVE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
Dear readers, I got this message forwarded by a friend of mine.
Please read and take action!
Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy, CU Boulder)
Senator Durbin presented his legislation on the Friday July 1th. The Alliance for Natural Health learned of the bill almost as soon as it was available, and sent out a much needed warning to begin mobilizing against it.
About the same time Senator Durbin proposed his legislation, the FDA itself announced its plans to enforce an entire new set of rules on supplement manufacturers.
A bill proposed by Senator Durbin and new proposed FDA regulations could severely limit public access to dietary supplements.
ACTION TO TAKE
Please contact your Senators and Representatives, by phone, fax, or e-mail, expressing your strong opposition to the Durbin bill S1310, which could potentially severely limit the availability of nutritional supplements. Public outcry has stopped many intrusions onto the supplement industry in the past, and we can do it again, but it takes pressure, and effort, and energy.
In addition, please notify your elected representatives of your opposition to draconian new regulations proposed last week by the FDA, which if enforced to the letter could, along with the Durbin legislation, significantly restrict supplement availability.
In your contacts with your elected officials, express your opposition to the Durbin bill and the new proposed FDA regulations. You can also reach the FDA at http://www.fda.gov/
— FDA already has sufficient power to regulate supplements, their labeling, as well as food additives and to remove harmful supplements from the marketplace.
— The FDA has a long history of antagonism toward any form of alternative medicine and the over-the-counter sale of supplements and for decades has sought to restrict severely their availability.
— The FDA has a long history of working hand-in-hand with the drug industry to restrict supplements in favor of prescription drugs.
— Responsible alternative practitioners require a variety of nutritional supplement to provide their treatments, and the removal of these products will effectively eliminate such practices, to the detriment of thousands and thousands of Americans who want and depend on these legitimate approaches.
— The Durbin bill and the proposed FDA regulations could force all Americans to accept the drug model of medicine for treatment of their health issues, a model which many of us rightfully and appropriately reject.
— Many people need the supplements that could be taken off the market should FDA have expanded regulatory powers.
— No one wants dangerous products in the marketplace, but the safety record of dietary supplements compared to FDA-regulated drugs is very high.
Over the years we have all witnessed many serious threats to supplements proposed by members of Congress and the FDA, always presented in the guise of consumer protection. Invariably the proposed legislation or regulations have been onerous, repressive, and apparently intended to eliminate or seriously curtail the availability of most nutritional products. In the past, we here in the US have been able to mobilize to stop such proposals, such as the McCain bill of a year ago.
The first threat is Senator Durbin’s Senate bill S1310, the “Dietary Supplement Labeling Act,” ostensibly prompted because of a recent episode of melatonin tainted brownies. Senator Durbin has long been an opponent of supplements and their availability as over the counter products. He has supported a strong FDA as well as the pharmaceutical industry. In any event, this bill would give the FDA a new set of powers that could easily be used to badger honorable, honest supplement manufacturers providing legitimate and useful products. The FDA needs no new authority in terms of labeling, because it already has enormous power to regulate additives to food, and remove harmful or dangerous supplements from the marketplace. Furthermore, the FDA has already mandated very stringent “Good Manufacturing Practice” regulations that promote standards and require manufacturers of nutritional supplements to provide the highest quality, legitimate products to consumers. This new legislation appears to be part of a concerted effort to add a new intrusive set of regulations that could eliminate legitimate health-promoting nutritionals.
In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which in once sense did protect nutritional supplements available at the time and their suppliers from FDA over-regulation and overt FDA harassment. However, the bill also gave the FDA enormous power over any new supplements that might be developed after 1994, with the authority to require the expensive, and time consuming process normally reserved for synthetic pharmaceuticals before these new supplements could be approved and made available to consumers. Basically, if implemented, supplements would remain stuck in 1994, with manufacturers unable to provide new products in response to ongoing research in the field.
Experts we have consulted who have read the new, complicated regulations feel that, in their opinion, any supplement manufacturer might be at risk and few could financially survive should the FDA enforce to the letter the regulations that it presented last week.
Nutritional supplements, because of the concern and integrity of the great majority of manufacturers, are extraordinarily safe and the FDA knows this. Currently, all supplements in the US must be manufactured in compliance with the strict FDA Good Manufacturing Practices. The FDA already has the power it needs to “protect” the consumer. New regulations are unnecessarily.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information about the Durbin bill and the new FDA regulations we suggest you consult the following website: http://www.anh-usa.org/