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"The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.)

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"The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on July 24, 2003 at 11:42:18:

Sorry if this is getting repetitous to some... But it is so
important to get the word out, now, while we still can...
Thank you if you have already let your voice be heard...
Misty L. Trepke

The Fix Is In

The Fix Is In

Contributing Editor: Health Sciences Institute, 7/22/2003 Members
AlertThe Fix Is In

"This bill will save lives and restore America's confidence in the
use of dietary supplements."

Those were the words of Senator Dick Durbin last March when he
introduced Senate Bill 722 (S. 722) titled the "Dietary Supplement
Safety Act of 2003."

What Senator Durbin didn't mention is that S. 722 will broadly
expand the FDA's authority to control the dietary supplement market.

Simply put: these regulations will seriously inhibit your current
freedom to make your own health decisions. But there is something
you can do to help prevent this from happening.

Lives left behind

First let's talk about saving lives.

There are many hundreds of deaths each year associated with aspirin
and acetaminophen. (By some estimates, aspirin-related deaths alone
number more than 1,000 per year.) These pain killers are
manufactured by many companies, but the major players are Bayer (the
maker of Bayer Aspirin, of course), and Johnson & Johnson (the maker
of Tylenol) - two of the largest drug companies in the world. They
both have deep pockets to fuel very aggressive lobbying efforts in

So don't expect to hear any senators calling for a ban of aspirin or
acetaminophen. (Deaths? What deaths?)

Ephedra, on the other hand, is a sitting duck.

S. 722 doesn't mention any specific supplements, but Senator
Durbin's press release uses the recent controversy surrounding
ephedra to promote the fear of supplements. Senator Durbin states
that 117 deaths have been attributed to ephedra. (That's 117 deaths
TOTAL - not 117 per year.) What he doesn't mention is that almost
all of these deaths involved a synthetic form of ephedra - a drug,
in other words - called ephedrine, in which the active agent of
ephedra is boosted to levels that can be dangerous if not taken as

When used properly, ephedrine is a strong weapon in the battle to
control your weight. And, more important, the actual herb ephedra is
an effective treatment for asthma. If ephedra is banned, the main
winners will be pharmaceutical companies that make asthma drugs.

So when you hear lawmakers talking about "saving lives,"
and "protecting the public," be aware that their targets are very
selective when it comes to the products they want to see banned.

Get out your handkerchiefs

Senator Durbin wants you to think that the poor folks over at the
FDA are working with their hands tied behind their backs. His press
release states, "The burden is currently placed on the U.S. Food &
Drug Administration (FDA) to prove that they are unsafe before the
agency can take any action against dangerous dietary supplements."
And according to Durbin, "this places an unreasonably high hurdle in
the path of effective agency action."

Senator Durbin knows better. The FDA currently has the power to pull
any product off the market that it deems to be unsafe.

The inquisition

Under S. 722, the FDA will have the power to remove an entire class
of supplements from the market if there is even a single serious
adverse reaction complaint filed. This will be the case even if the
complaint is filed by someone who has used the supplement in
contradiction to the instructions and warnings of the manufacturer.

In such an instance, the manufacturer will be required to
demonstrate the safety of the supplement. This process is expected
to put a heavy financial burden on accused manufacturers - heavy
enough to drive some out of business. For those supplements that do
reach the evaluation stage, the FDA will set the standards for the
evaluations and then determine if the standards are met. In effect,
the FDA will act as prosecutor, judge, and jury, while accused
manufacturers foot the bill against a stacked deck.

That's like asking a death row inmate to pay an electric bill in
advance for his electrocution.

Chipping away at freedom

Will S. 722 save lives? I seriously doubt it. Behind this bill
there's a naive idea that a law to strengthen regulations can make
everything all right. And yet the current regulations that promise
safety for prescription drug users somehow let many thousands of
lives slip through the cracks every year. Increased regulations
can't guarantee safety, but they do guarantee greater power for

And when that power is increased, what then? Here's a comment from a
recent e-mail I received from HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D.: "I'm
convinced the Dietary Supplement Safety Act is merely a stepping
stone to complete control. The FDA has been very upset about the
passage of DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
(DSHEA) of 1994 - specifically designed to help protect the
supplement industry from unnecessary constraints). I think the FDA
will piecemeal DSHEA away as fast as possible, if possible (and I
believe it is)."

S. 722 may come before the Senate for a vote before the end of this
month. And although it has good support, its passage is not a
foregone conclusion. I strongly urge you to take a moment to send a
brief letter or e-mail to your state Senators. (You can easily find
Congressional addresses and e-mail addresses at just by entering your zip code.)

Tell your Senators that you oppose S. 722 (the "Dietary Supplement
Safety Act of 2003"), which will limit your freedom to make your own
health care choices with the responsible use of dietary supplements.
Tell them that S. 722 unnecessarily expands the authority of the
Food and Drug Administration, while offering no more protection for
consumers than is already granted under the Dietary Supplement
Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.

Think of S. 722 is a staging area from which the FDA will prepare to
slowly but surely dismantle the dietary supplement freedom that
we've enjoyed for almost a decade under DSHEA. The first line of
defense is to convince our senators that this act is unnecessary and
will do more harm than good.

Please share this e-Alert with a friend and help get the word out
about S. 722.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

"Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003" Senate Bill 722, 3/26/03,
"Durbin Moves to Prevent Sale of Dangerous Dietary Supplements like
Ephedra" Dick Durbin Press Release, 3/26/03,
"FDA Moving to Dismantle DSHEA" Smart Publications, 4/25/03, smart-
"An Urgent Call to Action: Your Right to Use Nutritional Supplements
is in Jeopardy" Julian Whitaker, M.D., 7/17/03,
"Toxicity, Acetaminophen" Susan E. Farrell, M.D.,
Copyright 1997 - 2003 by Institute of Health
Sciences, L.L.C.

Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by reader on July 24, 2003 at 15:11:37:

In Reply to: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Walt Stoll on July 24, 2003 at 11:42:18:

Oh Hell. What can we do?

Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by peterb on July 24, 2003 at 21:19:01:

In Reply to: Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) posted by reader on July 24, 2003 at 15:11:37:

You can let your representatives in Washington know where you stand!

It's simple:

1. Click Here and respond to the zip code prompt, which will automatically prepare a webmail protest that will be delivered to your Senator. The NNFA also opposes over-regulation of the natural supplement industry.

2. Your Done!

3. If you would like to help fight CODEX globally so it never reaches the USA (and we must think globally to stop it), please contribute to the United Kingdom lawsuit and help overturn similar regulation just enacted there. To do this, Click Here. You'll see the words "Make Donation" near the ANH logo at the top right of their home page.

Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Mary on July 25, 2003 at 00:53:42:

In Reply to: Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) posted by reader on July 24, 2003 at 15:11:37:

Hi Reader,

We as a group can do a lot! The more people who get involved by calling their congressional representatives (all you have to do is call then at their Washington, DC office and leave a message. I called mine 3 days ago and simply said, I urge her to VOTE NO on S722).

Additionally, you would be surprised how influential a few well written letters can be. But if everyone sits on their butts and do nothing, then our representatives have no other input than the lobbyists who hound them to pass their pet bills. (No pun intended.) To repeat, the more people who get involved the better for our country.

Please take a minute to find the telephone number of your 2 senators and call their office in Washington tomorrow and ask them to VOTE NO on S722. Call even if you happen to live in Illinois where Senator Durbin lives. Call his office! The more people who hold our elected reps feet to the fire, the better for us as US cititzens. (NO time to write a letter now.) You could email them also. I personally think a fast phone call is better with a human being who works for the Senators than an email.

Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) How easy to be heard.

Posted by Walt Stoll on July 25, 2003 at 06:12:14:

In Reply to: Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) posted by peterb on July 24, 2003 at 21:19:01:

Thanks, PeterB.

How easy it is now and how hard it will be once this gets passed--for the rest of our lives!



Follow Ups:

Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) How to help.

Posted by Walt Stoll on July 25, 2003 at 14:18:50:

In Reply to: Re: "The fix is in." (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Mary on July 25, 2003 at 00:53:42:

Thanks, Mary.



Follow Ups:

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