Press release from NHF
TAKE ACTION NOW TO PROTECT YOUR SUPPLEMENTS!
February 4, 2010
They are at it again! This time, it is Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) who are trying to gut the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 by introducing a new bill (as yet unnumbered) with the misleading title of the â??Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010.â?? This bill has as much to do with safety as pigs with space travel.
Senator McCain just held a press conference to announce that he was co-sponsoring his Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 with Senator Dorgan. The draft bill can be found on the National Health Federationâ??s website at http://www.thenhf.com/press_releases/10_0202_Dietary_Supplement_Safety_B… The bill will be introduced shortly in the Senate.
As Scott Tips, the president of the National Health Federation, stated, â??This bill strikes at the heart of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which was passed unanimously by the U.S. in 1994, and which took away the Food and Drug Administrationâ??s arbitrary powers over supplements. Now, this bill would create a Euro-style â??positive listâ?? of â??acceptableâ?? new dietary ingredients. And by â??acceptable,â?? the bill means acceptable to an appointed bureaucrat. This is completely unacceptable. Failure to comply would result in punitive fines upon such a company selling or distributing a product not being â??accepted.â??"
â??Just as worse,â?? Mr. Tips continued, â??would be the proposed change in the definition of an adverse event to be reported to the FDA concerning any supplement. As we first predicted when the AER bill was introduced (and unfortunately supported by too-many dietary supplement companies), this adverse event reporting bill was only to be the camelâ??s nose in the tent. More would follow, NHF predicted. And this new bill proves that we were right. McCain and Dorgan want to change the events to be reported from â??serious adverseâ?? events to any â??adverseâ?? events! This is totally unacceptable since supplements already have the safest track record of any consumable on the planet. It is just once again politicians using a special-interest group to advance their own pro-pharmaceutical agenda against natural health products.â??
Lee Bechtel, the NHF lobbyist, also said, “These two Senators want to make a law based on NFL players who took weight loss supplements. Supplements have other healthy benefits, and access of millions of consumers of dietary supplements should prevail over six highly paid football players, who cannot read the labels on supplement products.”
The reason put forth by Senator McCain for his advancing this bill was that the government needed to protect athletes who are often surprised by positive drug tests, believing that the supplements they are taking are safe, legal, and free of banned substances. He declared that all Americans have a right to know what ingredients are in the supplements they use, and that FDA should have the authority to regulate the safety of dietary supplements.
This is complete nonsense. You donâ??t take a hammer such as this and destroy a safe industry just to help a few consumers, who have clear-cut alternatives anyway. As they already do today, athletes can share information about which companies make which products that are safe for them to take so as to pass drug tests. A sane person does not destroy an entire industry for reasons such as this one.
We urge everyone to join with the National Health Federation in killing this bill before it even takes its first breath. Telephone Senators McCainâ??s and Dorganâ??s offices to tell them in no uncertain terms how strongly you are opposed to their ridiculous, power-grabbing bill. Then, send them an e-mail saying the same. Then write them a letter telling them exactly what you think of them and where they can shove this bill. Be polite, but be persistent and vocal. Be sure to write and telephone both of your Senators to register the same complaint.