"Food Safety" Bill Targets Natural Supplements
September 27, 2010 by Bob Livingston
The war on your ability to make decisions about your own health continues with the introduction of a new bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee that would put draconian laws on natural health supplement companies and small and mid-sized farm and food facilities.
The bill is the Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010 (S 3767) and it increases fines and penalties for any person who knowingly introduces or delivers for introduction into interstate commerce any food that is adulterated or misbranded. It also imposes increased regulations and fees, including a $500 annual registration fee, which is a great imposition on small producers.
While at first glance it would seem a good thing to police adulterated or misbranded food, the problem is the vagueness of the definition of adulterated or misbranded. For instance, misbranded could mean the supplement was marketed using perfectly sound peer-reviewed research but without the approval of the FDA.
An example of this that has already occurred is a cherry producer who cited peer-reviewed scientific research from prestigious universities on the health benefits of cherries, but the FDA decided by citing that research it had, in effect, turned cherries into drugs through “false and actionable misbranding.” The FDA regularly censors science and quashes constitutionally protected free speech on healthful, natural supplements at the bidding of Big Pharma.
The bill is so draconian that even minor mistakes in record keeping can cause the supplement manufacturer and distributor to be guilty of a violation. It also holds the seller responsible for mistakes made by the manufacturer. This is part of an ongoing effort by Congress to control your ability to make your own health decisions.
The House version of this same bill — which passed a few months ago — is even worse. It imposes prison terms of up to 10 years and fines of up to $100,000 for individuals and $7.5 million for corporations, regardless of the size of the corporation.
While these harsh provisions aren’t in the Senate bill, they could be included in the final bill that comes out of the Conference Committee that merges the bills from the two Houses into one.
We urge you to contact your Senator immediately to state your opposition to the bill. For more information on the bill from the Alliance For Natural Health, go here.