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We're seeing a massive pincer movement against our access to dietary supplements both domestically and internationally and if you don't BELIEVE IT, check out the OUTRAGEOUS USA Today article below and my letter to the editor

This is a WAKE UP CALL--------------

MASSIVELY forward my ALERT before's Monday's CODEX MEETING in BONN- or its OUR FUNERAL-------- see THIS if you think I'm "crying wolf":

Re: "Lax Rules Let Supplements Lurk as Health Threats" 10/26/04 http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20041027/opcom27.art.htm

Lax rules let supplements lurk as health threats
By Suzanne Leigh

"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it," said George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential debates with then-presidential hopeful Al Gore. Although it was one of what would become many "Bushisms" to follow, the future president had a point: What exactly is a drug?

If a product is touted as safe and natural and "used for thousands of years," chances are it isn't a drug, despite the fact that it might significantly affect the structure or functions of the body and might cause serious side effects.

Take Citrus aurantium, pitched as an "ephedra-free" botanical "ancient Chinese medicine" and targeted at athletes and dieters. According to a research review published last month in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, Citrus aurantium potentially can cause many of the same cardiovascular effects as ephedra, which was banned after it was linked to cases of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and 155 deaths.

But because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified Citrus aurantium as a "dietary supplement" rather than as a drug (as it also did ephedra), manufacturers did not have to test it for safety and effectiveness before it was marketed. And no warning label was required.

In contrast, products as benign as lip balm, lipstick and other makeup containing sunscreen; dandruff shampoo; and antiperspirant are classified as drugs. That's right: Lip balm needs to be tested for safety and, depending on its ingredients, may require a warning.

This anomaly exists because lip balm meets the FDA's drug definition while supplement makers dodge this classification by carefully wording health claims.

According to a 2002 Harris Poll, 59% of respondents said they thought supplements must be approved before they can be sold, 68% thought the government required warning labels, and 55% thought safety claims could not be made without solid scientific evidence. Wrong, wrong and wrong.

In the wake of the ephedra ban, the FDA says it is interested in gathering safety data on a number of questionable supplements, including Citrus aurantium. But it took seven years for the agency to ban ephedra after it first considered limits on its use. So there is little cause to suggest that a ban of Citrus aurantium is imminent.

The supplement industry has enjoyed a free ride since 1994, when Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. It shifted from manufacturers to the FDA the responsibility to prove that products were not safe.

Mounting evidence showing the numerous side effects of popular supplements and their potentially dangerous drug interactions makes it clear that now is the time for manufacturers to let consumers take the driver's seat. Here's what could be done to help consumers make more informed choices:

•Reclassify supplements routinely recommended by physicians. These include folic acid for pregnant women, calcium for those at risk for osteoporosis, iron for those with anemia, and multivitamins for everyone. None should fall under the dietary-supplement umbrella.

•Mandate warnings on all products. Manufacturers are allowed to make health claims that are unauthorized by the FDA if those claims are followed by a disclaimer that says the product has not been evaluated by the FDA and is "not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." Better to have a mandatory statement on all supplements that says the product has not been evaluated by the FDA and may not be safe or effective.

•Facilitate the reporting of side effects. An inspector general's report estimated that fewer than 1% of all adverse reactions to supplements were reported to the FDA. Although the agency operates a hot line and Web site for reports of suspected reactions, adding the FDA's toll-free number to labels would boost the volume of reports.

Manufacturers favor voluntary cautionary labeling rather than tighter FDA regulation. But since, for clear health reasons, many cosmetics must carry mandatory warnings, so should supplements.

With more and more supplements entering the market in the past decade, products will continue to fall through the cracks. Without action, the deaths linked to ephedra might be just the beginning.

Suzanne Leigh is a medical writer who lives in San Francisco.


To the Editor:

Who are you trying to kid? In 1994 the US Congress received more mail than they've ever received on ANY issue in the HISTORY of Congress during the Campaign to pass the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994- (even more mail than they received over the Vietnam War). This legislation was passed in the direct face of an FDA rulemaking effort known as the "Dykstra Report" in the aftermath of passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act because the FDA was attempting to do the equivalent of swatting flies with a baseball bat and vitamin consumers voted with their feet. Honest statistics prove that dietary supplements are far safer than foods in common form. Whats next? Bans and massive warning labels on PEANUTS just because some tiny percentage of people have extreme allergic reactions and can go into anaphalactic shock from eating them? Get REAL! The FDA has limited resources, and they must use them in a way that TRULY protects consumers- by doing FAR more safety testing on pharmaceutical DRUGS, which in marked CONTRAST to dietary supplements really ARE dangerous. To put things in perspective, read this article DEATH BY MEDICINE http://www.garynull.com/Article.aspx?Article=/documents/iatrogenic/deathbymedicine/deathbymedicine1.htm and see this table which illustrates the comparative risk of ingesting a dietary supplement compared with other risk factors in our environment such as injury from pharmaceutical drugs, injury from food in common form, being hit by lightening,being stung by a bee, or walking across the street- http://www.laleva.cc/petizione/english/ronlaw_eng.html
This article of yours is obviously one small part of a well orchestrated campaign that is about to be unleashed on the American people by pharmaceutical interests who have a "business with disease" and are intent on attempting to repeal DSHEA. Any such bills are DOA- Dead on Arrival.

John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
556 Boundary Bay Rd.
Point Roberts, WA 98281 USA
800-333-2553 N.America
360-945-0352 World

http://www.usatoday.com/marketing/feedback/feedback-online.aspx?type=18 is the link to send your OWN letter to the Editor of USA Today, and we must BURY THEM with email....