Narrow minded Leftist drones want the Government to have full control over your health care. They want all supplements to be controlled by the Medical Industry which will in turn be controlled by them. Public Sector Health Care is goal #1 in Socialism... That would turn a culture into a prison for a dissident, would it not? They can take your name off the list and you get no healthcare!! Or they can put your name on a list and you get the plug pulled... http://www.anh-usa.org/nyt-attack-as-dshea-under-threat/ NYT Launches Attack on Supplement-Protecting SenatorâJust as DSHEA Comes under Renewed Threat July 19, 2011 Print This Post The New York Times made nasty insinuations about both the supplement industry and Sen. Hatch, one of the two authors of DSHEAâand got the facts completely wrong about ANH-USA. The New York Times recently ran a piece about Sen. Orrin Hatchâs support for the supplement industry. The article was full of innuendo about Sen. Hatch being in bed with supplement companies, in effect helping them make exaggerated claims to push their products. ANH got a similar treatment. The paper calls us âa trade groupâ (that is, a front for supplement companies) that helped defeat the McCain bill. This is similar to the treatment we received in the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) report which also identified us as a trade group. The Alliance for Natural Health is not a trade groupâwe are a consumer-run and consumer-serving advocacy organization. Contrary to what the Times piece suggested, it was our activistsâconsumers who themselves buy nutritional supplementsâwho helped defeat the McCain bill. Access to natural health products is a consumer choice, and the pressure to protect them from drug-related interests isnât coming from industry, lobbyists, or Washington âpoliticsâ as the Times (and the CREW report before it) claimed, but from consumers like you. The article also repeats the familiar tactic of conflating a few bad actors with the entire nutritional supplement industry. The reporter was only able to point to a few companies that have made exaggerated health claimsâyet made these anecdotes representative of the entire industry. The article assumes that further regulation is needed. But the offenses they repeatedly point toâexaggerated health and disease claims, including steroids in supplements, etc.âare already illegal. As we have noted many times before, supplements are already subject to extensive regulation. In order to keep consumers safe, the FDA merely has to enforce the current regulationsânot add new ones! For example, Xango juice company is quoted as having thanked Sen. Hatch for âhelping their exotic fruit juice business âoperate without excessive intrusionâ from Washington,â and the piece reports that some supplement companies are making donations to Hatchâs campaign. This insinuates that Hatch was helping companies engage in questionable business practices by stepping in and opposing regulation. But as noted, exaggerated health claims are already illegal, and Sen. Hatch has never supported any illegal actions from this industry, legislatively or otherwise. The implication that, but for Hatch, companies would not be able to make exaggerated health claims, is ridiculous. The piece further implies that Hatch has hindered regulators from preventing dangerous products from being put on the market, including supplements that are illegally spiked with steroids or other unapproved drugs. This is also ridiculous. The senator has never tried to prevent enforcement against illegal products. In fact, Sen. Hatch co-authored, along with Sen. Harkin, the DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act, a bill designed to bolster enforcement against the few supplement companies engaged in illegal behavior. The Times article adopts a familiar paternalistic toneâas in, âWe know whatâs best for you!ââparticularly in referring to natural health products as âniche industries or parochial programs.â In fact, over 50% of Americans use supplements, so supplements are hardly a ânicheâ interest. Is it any surprise that these citizens are making their voices heard? The article presents the McCain bill as a law to protect consumers when in reality it would have greatly restricted consumer access to natural health products. One reason we fought so hard against the McCain bill was that it would have given the FDA full discretion and power to compile a list of supplements that would be allowed to remain on the market and ban the rest. This would have been completely arbitraryâjust whatever the FDA decided to list, and we all know that the FDA is much too close to the drug industry and much too hostile to supplements. Weâve seen what has happened in the European Union, with their adoption of strict new guidelines on supplement accesses, and we do not want to go down that path. The European Food Safety Authority has sharply reduced the list of available supplements and is in process of lowering the potencies allowed, e.g., less beta carotene than can be found in half of a large carrot. There are numerous other problems in the New York Times article: It suggests that McCain backed off his own bill because he was concerned about the damage to his campaign from a highly motivated industry. But industry didnât ârally consumersââopposition came from the groundswell of self-motivated grassroots opposition opposing the bill, with more than 200,000 messages from our activists alone. It implicitly criticizes current legislation for not requiring supplements to be subject to the FDA drug approval process. But as regular Pulse readers know, this completely ignores the fact that manufacturers of natural, non-patentable substances cannot afford the billion-dollar costs associated with FDA drug approval, because without patent protection they would never make back their money. The article claims, âJust in the last two years, 2,292 serious illnesses, including 33 that were fatal, were reported by consumers of supposedly harmless nutritional supplements, federal records show.â We contacted the New York Times and asked where this data came from, since we have not seen it elsewhere. They told us that an unnamed source within the FDA had given them these figures by phone. No such figures are available on the FDA website. Moreover, in its reporting of adverse events, the FDA does not presently break out supplements from drugsâperhaps because the agency does not want to highlight that almost all the adverse events are coming from pharmaceuticals that have gone through the FDA drug approval process.A federal agency that does publish annual statistics on supplement adverse events and deaths is the national Poison Control Center. Its 2009 Annual Report, which is the latest available data, records only a single death concurrent with supplement useâan âunknown dietary supplement or homeopathic agentââwith no deaths reported before 2009. (By way of comparison, the same report attributed 122 deaths to acetaminophenâan over-the-counter pain reliever sold under the brand name Tylenol.) It is notable that this one death was concurrent with an âunknown dietary supplement or homeopathic agent.â So there was an alleged supplement or homeopathic agent, but they donât know what it was! Furthermore, for anyone who understands homeopathy, the notion that a homeopathic agent caused death is ludicrous. It is also completely inconsistent with the conventional medical view that homeopathy is just sugar pills that do nothing other than create a placebo effect. Conventional medicine canât have it both ways: homeopathy canât be both a killer and a harmless placebo. It states that under legislation Hatch âpushed through Congress,â nutritional supplement companies could introduce products without FDA approval, and make general health claims without proving their effectiveness or safety.â But it is already illegal to make disease claims under DSHEA, and there are strict protocols for other claims. The only doctor the article cites is Steven Novella. He is president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Societyâa group which, like its ally Quackwatch, is violently opposed to all Complimentary and Alternative Medicineâhardly what you would call a balanced and unbiased source. He certainly is not representative of the high number of physicians who both recommend and take supplements themselves. We find it interesting that less than two weeks before the Durbin bill was introduced and the FDA simultaneously released its New Dietary Ingredient (i.e., supplement) guidelinesâboth of them frontal attacks on DSHEAâwe get this article in the New York Times defaming Sen. Hatch, one of the principal authors of DSHEA and one of few people still able to tell everyone what Congressâs original intent was when passing DSHEA. The irony is that Sen. Hatch is hardly someone who is anti-FDAâin fact, he has authored legislation to give the FDA more funding! No, this carefully orchestrated campaign is nothing less than an attempt to crush DSHEA and outlaw the vast majority of nutritional supplementsâwhich will ensure a total monopoly for the pharmaceutical industry. To that end, we want to reiterate both our Action Alert on the Durbin bill and our Action Alert on the FDAâs NDI guidance. If you have not already done so, please send your messages to Congress on both these matters immediately. Your access to natural supplements is at risk.