By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 16, 2013
- Sneaky attacks may limit your access to dietary supplements
- Big Pharma pays FDA to get drugs on the market
- Fight for the freedom to control your health
If you value your right to purchase, take and reap the benefits of nutritional supplements, take notice!
On August 1st a bill was introduced in yet another attempt for the government to potentially limit our access to vital nutrients. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s being called the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2013 (S.1425.)
This latest attempt is being headed up Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. And it’s not his first attempt to wrestle control of our supplements. Back in 2003 he introduced a bill that could have potentially banned all but the weakest nutritional supplements from over-the-counter sales.
More recently, in 2011, Durbin attempted a sly attack. He introduced this piece of anti-supplement legislation on a slow news day. And it was on the Friday before a long holiday weekend.
In 2012 he got even sneakier. He tried to slip it in as an amendment to a Senate bill scheduled for vote the following day.
Now here’s the thing. After both of these attempts failed, he decided to dig up some ammunition. So the Government Accounting Office (GAO) was commissioned to do a review.
Their job: To examine the adverse events database (AER) for supplements to prove just how dangerous they are.
Well that backfired.
It turned out the number of AERS was incredibly low for supplements. Between 2008 and 2011 only 6,307 events were reported. This is a very promising number. Especially when you consider that more than 50% of Americans take dietary supplements.
On the other side of the coin, do you know how many adverse events were reported during the same period for FDA regulated prescription drugs? A whopping 2.7 million!
Comparing the two, I’d say dietary supplements deserve a gold star. More importantly the FDA needs to get more serious about regulating dangerous pharmaceuticals. This, by the way, is their real job.
Still, Durbin is pushing his bill once again. He continues to claim supplements need tighter regulation to protect consumers. But before taking sides, let’s take a look at some of the ramifications of this piece of legislature…
There are numerous problems with Durbin’s agenda. First and foremost is the FDA’s favorable bias toward the pharmaceutical industry. After all, the FDA gets most of their funding from Big Pharma.
You may not realize it, but drug companies pay the FDA “user fees” to expedite approval of their products. Sadly, this is a perfect example of the fox guarding the hen-house.
But it’s certainly working to keep the FDA funded. So their first priority is to keep their biggest financial contributors happy. And what better way to do that than gain control over nutritional supplements. After all, supplements are Big Pharma’s fiercest competition!
If this bill were to pass, it would arbitrarily give the FDA the power to….
- Limit the supply of certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients by claiming they are risky or dangerous
- Restrict dosage levels to the point where they are ineffective
- Drive supplement companies out of the market with red tape and legal costs
This also leads to another problem. The companies not driven out of the market would likely have to increase prices in order to remain in business. This could price many products out of reach for the average consumer.
And it’s not like we don’t already have a system in place to monitor and ensure the safety of dietary supplements.
It’s called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. And it’s been working in your favor for almost 20 years.
Over all of these years it has done a fine job of monitoring health claims and protecting consumers against the few companies that resort to deceptive practices. In other words, it’s working exactly the way it was intended!
With all of this in mind, the only thing I’m seeing here is a loss of personal freedom to choose natural health choices over prescription drugs.
Let me explain…
Here in the U.S. we have freedom of choice. We are free to make plenty of unhealthy choices, like smoking, drinking and loading up on junk food.
But Durbin isn’t attacking any of these unhealthy actions. Quite the contrary.
Instead, he has zeroed in on one of the few healthy choices American’s are willing to make. According to research from the Council for Responsible Nutrition an amazing two-thirds of U.S. adults are taking supplements.
The same report shows 77% of adults believe taking supplements is a smart choice for a healthy lifestyle. In fact more than half of supplement users say they use them to support health and wellness, while a third take them to fill gaps in their diets.
Choosing and taking dietary supplements is a healthy freedom that should be yours to make. I urge you to take protect your access to these vital nutrients and state your opposition here.
Healthy Habits Linked To Dietary Supplement Users. Council For Responsible Nutrition. June 2013.