T Nation

Questions for the Biotest staff

 In your opinion, what is the probability of all andro products getting banned next year? If the probability is high, what do you want your readership to do to help prevent this from happening? I think that we should all start fighting this now while there is still time instead of waiting until it is too late. If Congress receives tens of thousands of persuasive, well written letters from all over the country that highlight the excellent safety record of andro, perhaps they will realize that it is not a public health hazard at all. Prospective letter writers must understand that NO letters should be sent to your Governor or State Representatives and Senators. Since this is a federal bill, your correspondence must be directed to the two federal Senators in your state, in addition to all of your federal Representatives in the House, particularly the ones assigned to the Committee. If any of you are interested in writing, please respond to this post and I will post an example of a very professional letter that you can send to Congress. Let's get organized now or its all over in 2003! It is your government and they are your elected officials, so let them know how you feel and don't sit back and do nothing like a bunch of submissive school children.

I highly concur.

I don’t think it’s possible to assign a probability.

The way that legislation reaches the floor of Congress and is voted on is, well at best, odd.

If you were elected a Senator or Congressman, for example, that would not mean that you could present to your colleagues a bill for them to consider and vote on. No.

Only the “leadership” (if I’m not incorrect, the majority leaders of the Senate and House) decide what proposed legislation may reach the floor for vote. If they don’t care one way or the other or personally choose not to allow it, it doesn’t get voted on.

Very many bills are written which never are voted on, for this reason. Probably most.

It is also possible for the sponsor of a bill to ask that the leadership collect signatures of those also supporting the bill, and I think if 240 signatures are collected (in a secret process) then the bill does come up for vote. For example DSHEA reached the floor this way, though the relevant subcommittee chairman (Ted Kennedy) had been blocking it for years.

So whether this new bill will ever actually be voted on is simply not predictable I think.

I’m sure that reasons such as the good safety record, and issues such as maintaining liberties of the American people, are of no significance to our Senators and Congressment. (Call me a cynic but I believe that is true.) Furthermore, you can be assured that the vast majority of those voting on the bill, if it is presented for vote, will never actually read it. Indeed, often it is not even possible for a Congressman or Senator to acquire the text of a bill before voting on it, believe it or not.

So, there are reasons to vote against it besides these, perhaps the most compelling of which is that banning “prohormones” would turn people from a legal product that has a good safety record, to purchasing illegal products of dubious safety and worst of all, of course this would be FUNDING TERRORISM as we all know that money going to illegal drugs gets funneled to terrorism.

That’s the sort of argument that might get somewhere in protecting the legal status of “prohormones”… I doubt anything else would register – except possibly if other elements of the nutritional supplement industry choose to see this as being an issue where if we fold on this class of product clearly protected by DSHEA, then doesn’t this put their products at risk too, as soon as someone in the government decides they don’t like them?

Not important to Congressmen and Senators, but perhaps important to “health food” sorts of people, which did have enough lobbying influence to get DSHEA passed in the first place.

Great idea. Here is a link to the U.S. Senate website. It has all the e-mail and mailing addresses for the Senators in your state (remove the space between “/” and “contact”):

http://www.senate.gov/general/ contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

The probability = 100%. They will be banned. It doesn’t matter what you do. I also hate to be a cynic, but sometimes you have be realistic.

No, Bill. The Congress responds to pressure, not logic. This is why special interest groups like the NRA and AARP are so potent. They are well organized, well funded, and boast millions of supporters that vote. Any member of Congress that does not support their agenda risks losing a large percentage of the vote during election time. The consumers should do the same thing right now with an aggressive e-mail and letter writing campaign with tens of thousands of messages and letters like they did prior to 1994.
The supplement companies should immediately contact the NNFA, lawyers, lobbyists, supportive physicians, and other high profile sttakeholders. This will not be cheap. You should also meet with your Congressmen to highlight the excellent safety record and the crippling economic consequences like closed businesses, loss of employment, and decreased sales revenue. The retail outlets and distributors should also do the same. You should also contact the powerful Senator from Utah (Hatch) because he is the greatest advocate of the industry and was the chief architect of the 1994 legislation. He believes in personal responsibility.
I won’t get into a discussion about standing, conference, select, joint and subcommittees in this venue. The industry is largely responsible for this mess due to the ridiculous way that these products were marketed like using terms such as “pro-steroids.” There isis no more time for debate or philosophical discussions about the potential for a vote. We must assume that there will be a vote or we will be ill prepared for one if the time comes. Its time to take action. Trying to provide evidence that andro users will turn to the real stuff is a risky strategy because they already believe that andro is the real stuff and carries the same risks. Thats why they want to ban it!

Mark, I did not mean to imply, nor do I think I really did, that Congress responds to logic or is motivated towards the best interests of Americans. They do respond to image. Voting for a bill that could be expected to shift hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens, safely doing something with no harm to anyone including themselves, to buying black market drugs and thereby funnelling money to terrorism, is perhaps an image they may not wish to acquire. Other than this, there are no image negatives to voting for the bill.

Mark, So what would a well-written letter look like? Any examples? Also where could the safety records of andro products be found for reference purposes? Also is anything being done about the potential ephedra ban?

What do you base your opinion on?