Financial Reform Legislation Puts Natural Supplements At Risk
May 25, 2010 by Bob Livingston
Keep your eyes focused on the rogue corporatist Congress over the next couple of weeks as the reconciliation process takes place to merge the House and Senate versions of the financial reform legislation in a conference committee.
While the provisions in the two bills which further centralize control over the financial system in the hands of power-grabbing chief executive are bad enough, a provision in the House version that has nothing at all to do with finance has really caught our attention and must be defeated.
It’s an amendment that would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to require supplement companies perform at least two human studies before making any claims for their products, according to the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH). Currently, supplements are regulated under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).
The amendment to HR 4173 was introduced by Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and has nothing to do with the financial services industry. But it will limit your ability to acquire and use natural health supplements.
The trials the amendment requires are time-consuming and beyond the financial means of most supplement companies, according to the ANH. And even if the companies could find the money, the FTC could require more and more costly versions of these studies, or more of those studies. At each stage, fewer supplements would be available, and those available would cost more and more, until they became as costly as drugs.
The decisions about supplements would then be placed in the hands of five unelected FTC commissioners who could issue binding regulations in a wide range of areas. And companies that didn’t comply with the new rules could be put out of business.
It’s not an unusual tactic as the FTC has done this before with other companies who didn’t toe their line.
“According to renowned constitutional attorney Jonathan Emord, ‘The provision removing the ban on FTC rulemaking without Congressional preapproval contained in H.R. 4173 invites the very same irresponsible over-regulation of the commercial marketplace that led Congress to enact the ban in the 1980s. FTC has no shortage of power to regulate deceptive advertising; this bill gives it far more discretionary power than it needs, inviting greater abuse and mischief from an agency that suffers virtually no check on its discretion.’” (www.anh-usa.org)
Waxman is an enemy to freedom, choice in medical decisions and to the supplement industry. On his website, Waxman writes: “I am troubled that the FDA lacks the basic information necessary to protect consumers from unsafe dietary supplements. The FDA clearly needs to have more resources to give consumers real protection. I intend to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that FDA has the tools it needs to address this and other important public health missions.”
What he means is that big pharma doesn’t profit from natural supplements so Big Brother needs to quash them. By the way, the top four industries contributing to Waxman’s campaign in the 2009-2010 cycle are: hospitals/nursing homes; health services/health maintenance organizations (HMOs); lawyers/law firms and health professionals.
While it’s bad enough that Congress’ elected elitists are more interested in protecting their sugar daddies (large financial firms that slip large amounts of cash into their pockets) than Average Joe; what’s worse is their desire to limit your freedom to make choices about which natural health supplements you can take.
We urge you to call your Senators and member of Congress this week and tell him or her to make sure no provisions restricting the use of supplements get included in the final version of the financial reform bill. You can find your member of Congress here.
And finally, I’m often struck (or saddened) by the comments from some who post on this site who fail to see how their government moves past socialism toward fascism on a daily basis. They often ask—sometimes by logging in under several different names and carrying on a conversation with themselves in an effort to disrupt a discussion—exactly what freedoms are being taken away by an overreaching corporatist government.
Well, here’s one: the ability to make your own decisions about your health and how you choose to remain healthy.
There are many others: like freedom of speech, freedom of association, gun ownership, the ability to own property (if you are required to pay a tax in order to keep it, is it truly yours?), freedom to operate a business as you see fit, freedom to pass along your earnings to your children and the freedom to decide whether your children are given potentially harmful vaccinations (enforced through rules requiring vaccinations to enroll in public schools).
If you are too blind to see that these things are happening daily, then may God help you, because you are incapable of helping yourself.