(L-R) Jonathan Emord, John Hammell, Byron Richards- Sounding an Urgent Alert re Need to Amend S.1082/ HR 1561
The Natural Solutions Foundation milked the FDA's Cam Guidance Document for all it was worth as a distraction to stop people from putting their focus where it belongs right now (on defending DSHEA by amending S.1082/ HR 1561 to defuse the BOMB lurking within it.)
Now that the FDA Comments period on that non issue has concluded, Natural Solutions Foundation has seized on yet ANOTHER non issue which is being used as the LATEST distraction: HR 2117, The Health Freedom Protection Act which was reintroduced from the last Congress by Ron Paul on May 2nd.
Since several of you have written and called feeling confused about HR 2117, and have asked me what our priorities should be, and why, I'd decided to devote part of today's e-alert to a discussion of this issue.
The first thing to realize is that there is no connection between the two bills and that HR 2117 doesn't solve the problems caused by S.1082/ HR 1561 (which blows the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act sky high if not amended.)( HR 2117 would stop FDA from blocking truthful health claims from being made on supplments. While that would indeed be valuable, its crazy to focus attention on this when our ACCESS to supplements is threatened to the DEGREE that it is by S.1082/ HR 1561 which gives FDA new tools for attacking supplements via the Critical Path Initiative wherein FDA would challenge their safety via the unproven new sciences of genomics and proteomics.
Given that FDA recently banned ephedra on a whim by only looking at alleged "risks" while ignoring benefits, its clear that unless the word "unreasonable" is removed from the current bill language, FDA will be free to make subjective opinionated judgements by comparing product risks with benefits- they'll only be able to ban a dietary supplement if it presents a SIGNIFICANT risk, a much higher standard to meet.
In his most recent article about this, China Has a Solution for the FDA's Problem http://www.newswithviews.com/Richards/byron32.htm Byron Richards notes that Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of China’s FDA, was sentenced to death for accepting $832,000 in drug company bribes and for dereliction of duty.
He suggests that in marked Contrast, here in the USA where FDA Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach is responsible for approval of Avandia, a diabetes drug that just killed 35,000 people, all thats going to happen is that Congressman Waxman is going to hold an oversight hearing on June 6th where Von Eschenbach's wrists will merely be slapped (when he too should get the death sentence.) Although there is a chance that Waxman will attempt to put some teeth into HR 1561 from a drug safety standard to protect the public in an effort to undo some of the harm caused by S.1082 its Senate companion bill, as the biggest opponent of DSHEA in the House along with Congressman Dingell, its a certainty that these men will try very hard to block the amendment that attorney Jonathan Emord is urging us to push for- so we have to get very busy!
WHAT TO DO:
Please go to http://www.lef.org and scroll down to Consumer Alerts. I don't mind if you send in their form letter pushing for HR 2117 as long as you don't take that action to the EXCLUSION of sending in their form letter to amend S.1082/ HR 1561. (An attempt to dissuade them from putting an alert into the top spot under Consumer Alerts failed, as it stands now they intend to have an alert for HR 2117 in the top spot til June 10th, then put the one for S.1082/ HR 1561 BACK into the top spot, but don't be misled if they do that.)
I've just made contact with Dr.Julian Whitaker's office on this issue. His secretary just returned from a vacation and she called me, so we can expect help from Dr.Whitaker to also sound an alarm on S.1082/ HR 1561.
You can help us by educating the owners and managers of area health food stores. Download the form letter off LEF's website and bring copies to the stores- ask them to pass them out to customers. If they try telling you that Natural Products Assn says this is a "non issue", tell them they're wrong and direct them to this article of Byron Richards: "Understanding the Threat to Dietary Supplements" http://www.newswithviews.com/Richards/byron31.htm
MORE DETAILS IF YOU'RE INTERESTED OR STILL CONFUSED
You must realize that 96% of all bills that are introduced are never passed into law, in all probability HR 2117 falls into that category, but S.1082/ HR 1561 is DIFFERENT, it is considered "MUST PASS" legislation by congress due to it renewing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (which is renewed every years by passage of legislation.)
Its not that HR 2117 isn't a good bill (it IS a good bill and I would like it to be passed into law), but knowing what I do about legislation and about the level of THREAT arrayed against us by what lurks inside S.1082/ HR 1561, and knowing that Waxman and Dingell (arch enemies of DSHEA) control the subcommittee and full committee that we have to work within in an effort to get the amendment we're seeking, plus knowing from long experience how challenging it can be in the summer to rally the grass roots to do anything legislatively given how busy people get outdoors in the summer and with taking vacations- I am not going to send anything out that DIVERTS grass roots attention from the task at hand: Amending S.1082/ HR 1561.
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