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IAHF List: I just sent this editorial to the Natural Products Industry Center in response to an editorial submitted to them by all of the US Vitamin Trade Associations (which all endorse the FDA's ban on ephedra.)

We will see whether or not NPI Center is willing to publish my editorial for the sake of balance or not. Unfortunately, the global pattern is that pharma's tentacles not only dominate the industry trade associations, but also the trade press.

Natural Products Industry Center

To the Editor

In response to your editorial Supplement Industry Trade Associations Respond to FDA Action On Ephedra at http://www.npicenter.com/index.asp?action=NBViewDoc&DocumentID=5628

International Advocates for Health Freedom is a consulting firm to the dietary supplement industry on legislative issues, and has a strong global grass roots component.
IAHF published the first article in the world calling global attention to the Codex International Threat to Health Freedom.

IAHF takes strong exception to the position of CRN, NNFA, AHPA, and UNPA who have decided that the FDA's final rule on ephedra is "balanced."

How is it in ANY WAY "balanced" to ban ephedra, while allowing pseudoephedrine to remain on the market in a slew of OTC cold preparations and in such OTC drugs as "Pseudofed" when objective data clearly indicates that pseudoephedrine is far more dangerous than ephedra is? The FDA is required by law to be balanced in their rule making efforts. IAHF maintains that FDA is in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, and urges ephedra manufacturers to retaliate in court.

Now that CRN, NNFA, AHPA, and UNPA have caved in to the FDA on ephedra, whats NEXT? Saw Palmetto? Melatonin? Chromium Picolinate? DHEA? Glucosamine? Shark Cartilage? Chaparrel? (After all, FDA/NAS-IOM have had these substances in their cross hairs for the past few years, and have only been waiting to create a legal precedent before they start challenging all of them too.) See the NAS- IOM Framework for Evaluating the Safety of Dietary Supplements.http://www.iom.edu/project.asp?id=4605 This "framework" is being created ostensibly to "evaluate the safety of dietary supplement ingredients" (which is ostensibly the same reasoning behind the EU's creation of a black list for dietary supplement ingredients, while the EU's so called "white list" of "approved" ingredients includes such toxins as lye....)

In IAHF's opinion, none of the vitamin trade associations can be trusted by consumers, health food stores, or small, innovative manufacturers. In IAHF's opinion they're all controlled from the top-down by pharmaceutical interests, and they're walking in lock step with these pharmaceutical interests.

In IAHF's opinion, the FDA is not acting in the best interests of consumers in banning ephedra, they're acting in the best interests of the same multinational pharmaceutical companies that dominate CRN, et al, who don't want ephedra cutting into the sale of prescription weight loss drugs that are far more dangerous than ephedra.
(CRN's membership includes Wyeth, Pfizer, Bayer, BASF, and Monsanto: http://www.crnusa.org/who_omc.html

The situation with ephedra, unfortunately, is just the tip of a much larger iceberg when it comes to pharma dominance of all of the vitamin trade associations world wide.

Given that a finalized Codex vitamin standard could be created at the next Codex meeting in November, and that the FDA whitewashed an oversight hearing on the Codex vitamin issue on March 20, 2001 such that the USA has been set up to lose in a future WTO trade dispute via which our supplement laws can be forcibly harmonized to a grossly restrictive international standard- all IAHF can do is hope more companies in the supplement industry wake up and take notice of what is happening right under their noses.

Companies and individuals seeking additional information on IAHF's views in this matter are welcome to view the IAHF website at http://www.iahf.com
Contact IAHF directly at 800-333-2553 (N.America); and via 360-945-0353 (World) or via jham@iahf.com