Why Your Concern re Durbin's Bill (S.722) is Seriously Misplaced: How It is Distracting You From a FAR Greater Threat Detailed Assistance to Help You See the Global Chessboard As Pharma Attempts to Destroy the Dietary Supplement Industry Globally
IAHF Webmaster: Post this under breaking news, whats new, what to do. Allied webmasters, please post.
IAHF list: Please forward this widely, help is needed to offset damage done inadvertantly to the cause of health freedom by Jeff Rense who I hope will read this carefully because it is not intended to be a personal attack on Jeff who I know was honestly motivated, even if he did recently make a serious mistake- but its not too late for Jeff to realize what is going on or to put Rob Verkerk and I back on the air for an ongoing discussion of this extremely important matter. What follows here is a response to Elizabeth Wright, who was responding to something of mine that was recently posted on the Jeff Rense website. I hope this serves to not only educate Elizabeth on this issue, but also many others as well who may feel similarly confused or unsure as to what to do.
At 12:13 PM 8/8/03 -0500, you wrote re Senator Durbin's Bill S.722 "The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003" and my statement that it is a "red herring":
Hello Mr Hammel;
I'm sorry sir, I think you're wrong. The very fact that it was introduced is a major factor here. Seems to me like they're testing the waters more intensely to see exactly what will be ignored and what will not be ignored. My opinion about the whole affair is this, it's dangerous to ignore anything they're doing on the Hill. You may be willing to take the risk in saying it's nothing, and ignoring the bills, but I am not so willing to take the same risk.
We are not even going to discuss the wonderful way you made it seem as though I and every other American are so ignorant we can't tie our shoe laces.
Elizabeth Wright ("Liz" )
My apology if I offended you. It was never my intention to offend you or anyone else with what I wrote. I am working an average of over 80 hours per week in an effort to defend consumer access to dietary supplements not only in the USA, but all over the world, and I see a very big picture which is frustratingly challenging to explain to people, but I am going to try here because I deeply appreciate your concern. Due to the genetic need I have for the supplements I take, my back is to the wall, and I am most assuredly not misleading anyone when I tell them that Durbin's bill is a red herring. You can read my personal story of recovery from a life threatening illness via a suppressed alternative treatment mode involving the use of dietary supplements at http://www.iahf.com/on_the_back_wards.html
Things are seldom as simple as they first appear on the surface when confronting the multinational pharmaceutical industry, the world's #1 profit making industry which has their tentacles as deeply into the dietary supplement industry as they do. The PR Campaign to get everyone focused on Durbin's bill S.722 was initiated early in the summer by the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), as part of an intentional effort on the part of pharmaceutical interests that are dominating NNFA to keep their rank and file members (who they're actively deceiving), and the vitamin consuming public, (who they're ALSO actively deceiving), from paying any attention to a BONAFIDE threat to the dietary supplement industry that is FAR more real and IMMEDIATE than any threat posed by Durbin's bill at the present time. I will provide complete details herein.
By the time you are done reading, you will be STUNNED by the awful truth of what I am saying.
I sincerely hope Jeff Rense will be too, because I am forwarding this to him with the strong urging that he not only post this, but that he put Rob Verkerk and I back on the air to do a follow up to the show he did with us on July 10th, because a follow up is badly needed. If you did not hear the show I did with Jeff on July 10th its in his archived shows as an audio file at http://www.soundwaves2000.com/rense/
This deplorable situation exists because NNFA is not enforcing Article 14.3 in their Bylaws: Conflicts of Interest Disclosure. Against their own bylaws they are allowing multinational pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, the world's largest, to join, and play an integral role in running their trade association and determining its policies on legislative matters- to the supreme DETRIMENT of their rank and file membership and the vitamin consuming public at large, which is being artfully kept in the DARK as to how to fight back. What they ARE being told SOUNDS plausable on the surface to busy people who don't have time to examine the issues as I do, but it remains nothing more than very slick spin control, and it sickens and frustrates me when people fall for it.
Ralph Fucetola, JD http://www.vitaminlawyer.com can attest to the truth of the things I'm saying here, and I am ccing this to him. You can reach Ralph at for independent verification of what I am telling you. Gayle Eversole http://www.leaflady.org/ can also attest to these truths, and I am also forwarding this to her. Robert Verkerk, PhD, Executive Director of the UKs Alliance for Natural Health http://www.alliance-natural-health.org firstname.lastname@example.org can also attest to the truths expressed herein.
As you can see from the cc line above, I have sent this to all of these people, along with Jeff Rense.
I would have explained all of this to Jeff by phone if he had merely called me as I invited him to recently. It would have taken far less time and energy for me to explain all of this to him by phone, but he did not call me. I feel very uncomfortable by the censorship he is engaging in by not allowing me to respond to "Sparrowdancer" (see http://www.rense.com/general39/diver.htm ) where I could have cleared up any confusion about this had I been afforded a chance. (I am sending this to "Sparrowdancer" and invite a dialogue with her and with Jeff about what I am saying here.
Since Jeff chose to engage in censorship with me, given the seriousness of this situation, I will be posting this on my website and sending it to my distribution list. I will also be posting it on Rumormillnews where more people can see it, and I'll be asking a number of allied websites to also post it, because if theres one thing I don't respect, its censorship, from Jeff Rense, or anyone else on the planet.
The only honest thing to do here Jeff is to not engage in censorship and to put me back on the air for a followup show to the one he did with me on July 10th. Jeff- If you truly care about defending consumer access to dietary supplements, as I fully believe you do, you will not take offense at what I am saying to you here because you will realize my intent here is not to put you down in any way, but to educate you, along with Liz and Sparrowdancer. Because you did not call me, you leave me with no choice but to respond to you publicly. Jeff- I sincerely hope you take this email in the spirit with which it was intended and don't misconstrue this to be a personal attack, because it is not intended to be one.
RENSE UNWITTINGLY ASSISTS PHARMA CARTEL - AN HONEST MISTAKE- BUT A MISTAKE NONE THE LESS
By posting an alert about S.722 on the front page of his website http://www.rense.com/general39/stops.htm, Jeff Rense is unwittingly playing directly into the hands of the pharmaceutical interests which dominate the National Nutritional Foods Association and who STARTED the massive PR campaign regarding Durbin's bill as an intentional DISTRACTION so that people will IGNORE a FAR GREATER THREAT than S.722- which in fact, poses very little threat at the present time as I will fully prove to you and to Jeff. (Lets hope Jeff has the integrity necessary to properly address what I am saying given the extreme gravity of the situation before us which threatens the lives of millions of people globally. Jeff would not allow me to respond to Mary Sparrowdancer's comments at http://www.rense.com/general39/diver.htm
where I could have explained all of this, had I not been wrongly denied a chance to. I am sending this to Jeff and to Mary for the sake of a dialogue.)
I have been a lobbyist on the front lines in the battle to defend consumer access to dietary supplements since 1989. I don't only work on Capital Hill in Washington DC, but I do my health freedom lobbying all over the world and I am able to examine the relative threat posed by Durbin and Sweeny's bills in a global context. Frankly, they are not the biggest threat we're facing right now, not even close, but they are serving to DISTRACT people from paying any attention to this much larger threat, and unfortunately, Jeff is helping them do that.
What you fail to grasp is that all threats are relative. Could you get killed by lightening if you walk outdoors during a thunderstorm, or could you get killed by a bee sting if you go on a picnic? Yes, you could, and some people have died this way, but Is it statistically probable? No, its not. This is the way you must learn to think as you assess this situation because right now we've got a hemmorhaging dike situation on our hands, we've got more damn leaks in the dike than we have fingers, so we have to be STRATEGIC about how we channel our energies or we WILL get our butts kicked. If you will please bear with me, I will fully explain why I have called Durbin's bill a "red herring."
THE BIGGEST THREAT TO CONSUMER ACCESS TO DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS IS NOT DURBIN OR SWEENEY'S BILLS
The biggest threat currently posed to consumer access to dietary supplements, not only in America, but globally, will be if the Alliance for Natural Health http://www.alliance-natural-health.org in the UK fails to get the necessary financial support from vitamin companies and consumers to overturn the European Union Food Supplement Directive via a lawsuit that they MUST file no later than the middle of September, to give us the optimum chance of saving the dietary supplement industry from total global annihilation.
As the person who first alerted dietary supplement consumers to the UN Codex International Threat to Health Freedom in my article in Life Extension Magazine http://www.lef.org in 1996, I am able to weigh and assess threats posed by bills such as S.722 in a much broader context than the average person- I am one of the few people in the world who clearly sees the global chessboard on which the multinational pharmaceutical industry is plotting to destroy the dietary supplement industry. This knowledge did not come easily or quickly to me, it has been very hard won, and I have the battle scars to prove it. I have had DEATH THREATS and constant threats of legal action due to my effort to expose this agenda. Call me at 800-333-2553 if you'd like to discuss any aspect of what I am telling you here.
VERKERK AND I WERE ON RENSE'S RADIO SHOW ON JULY 10th - JEFF SHOULD LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVE OF HIS OWN SHOW
Although Robert Verkerk, PhD, Executive Director of the UK's Alliance for Natural Health and I each spent an hour (2 total) being interviewed by Jeff Rense on his July 10th show (listen to the audio archive at http://www.rense.com if you missed it), it is apparent to me that Jeff fails to grasp what is currently going on, even though he spent two hours interviewing Rob and I on the air.
If Jeff had called me to ask if he should post an alert regarding S.722 (or Sweeney's HR 1075) on his website, I would have said no- its a red herring, its not necessary at the current time, Congress is not even in session til September 2nd and the far GREATER THREAT lies in ANH not getting the donations they need by mid September to file and sustain the lawsuit to overturn the EU Food Supplement Directive, which has enormous international ramifications. (details below). If Jeff had called me, I could have told him that NNFA's internal communication on this issue was recently leaked to me, and that it reflects a pattern of deception and subterfuge thats been going on inside the trade association for YEARS because they are not enforcing their conflict of interest disclosure bylaw and are allowing pharmaceutical interests in to their trade association, which they are dominating from the top-down.
THE CURRENT SITUATION WE FACE WITH DURBIN AND SWEENEY'S BILLS WHICH I AM ACTIVELY TRACKING AND NOT IGNORING
The current situation we face with regards to Durbin's S.722 and Sweeneys HR 1075 (Ephedra Public Protection Act)
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c108:2:./temp/~c108Huw6RI:: is that both bills are being very solidly contained via a massive lobbying campaign by Metabolife http://www.metabolife.com/index_flash.htm, of which I have inside knowledge that most people don't have because it is my business to monitor these bills- I have earned a living as a professional lobbyist in the dietary supplement industry for the past 15 years.
Metabolife is a multimillion dollar dietary supplement company that has lobbying resources which eclipse the average dietary supplement company by a very wide margin. They have the level of lobbying firepower that is normally only found in a pharmaceutical company. S.722 only has 3 cosponsors, while HR 1075 only has 4. Neither has a head of steam behind them, and neither will EVER GET a head of steam behind them because of what FDA Commissioner McLellan said in the Ephedra hearing on July 23-24 (details below including the url where you can watch the archived videofile of the hearing so you can see what he said with your own two eyes.)
Metabolife's political power can be readily seen via a perusal of the Federal Election Commission website http://www.fec.gov where you can see the campaign donations that they have made to numerous members of Congress as a way of bottling up any legislation that threatens their business interests. They are able to get ushered directly in to the inner sanctum of Senators and Congressmen's offices with the level of campaign donations they are making, but most people don't realize any of this.
With what just happened in the ephedra hearing held on July 23rd and 24th, these bills have been all but killed- and by a surprising means too: believe it or not, FDA Commissioner McLellan is a man of uncommon integrity, I have never seen an FDA Commissioner as honest as he is- and believe it or not, he made a statement that you can watch on the archived videocast of the hearing, that is going to contribute very heavily to the killing of these bills, which at the present rate, won't even make it out of committee and onto the floor of either the house or senate. Due to how they're currently being contained, they will be among the 96% of all bills that are introduced which "die on the vine."
The first thing you should do in order to have an objective basis to assess the degree to which S.722 or Sweeny's house bill poses a threat is to go to http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/07232003hearing1021/hearing.htm and watch the archived videocast of both days of the ephedra hearing which just took place on July 23 and 24th in the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Congressman Greenwood from Pennsylvania.
At this hearing, when grilled by Congress, surprisingly, McLellan did NOT give them what they wanted him to say. They tried to get him to say that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 "ties FDA's hands" and "blocks FDA from properly protecting the public from unsafe dietary supplements." They tried to get him to say "FDA needs help from congress to repeal or amend DSHEA" but surprisingly, McLellan would not give them any of that.
What he did say was something like this: "FDA has been able to move successfully on numerous occassions under DSHEA to remove adulterated and misbranded products from the shelves, including ephedra that has been illegally spiked with pseudoephedrine, and including ephedra which was illegally sold as a substitute for street drugs. FDA has had no problem moving under DSHEA to confront manufacturers who had illegal labelling or who were making illegal health claims. The only untested part of DSHEA is the safety clause which has never been thoroughly tested in court. The last time we went to court to try to ban ephedra, the Judge threw us out telling us that we had to have something a lot more substantial to prove that the risks of taking ephedra outweigh the benefits than just some anecdotal Adverse Event Reports- he told us we had to have solid clinical data. We have to do this right. We will be going back to court armed with clinical data that we did not have the first time. In the mean time we aree still sorting through thosands of comments received from the public in response to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking pertaining to a proposed rule we will be coming out with on Ephedra. It would be premature for me to comment on exactly what that final rule will be, but we are leaning toward coming out with strict warning labels on ephedra as well as imposing potency restrictions."
You may not realize it, but McLellan did more with that statement to pour cold water on this bill than any other single factor, and you can be sure Metabolife's lobbyists will be using this in their efforts to kill the bill. While it is ironic that the FDA Commissioner has just done us all a huge favor by saying this, it is none the less true. It will be very difficult for these bills to move appreciably after this, and I am much less concerned about it as a result. That doesn't mean I won't continue to track the bills, but I predict that my suspicions will be confirmed that these bills are not moving after Congress reconvenes on September 2nd just as soon as bill status updates the information on the number of cosponsors. (Anyone can learn the current number of cosponsors on any bill at http://thomas.loc.gov and by going to the bill summary and status file for the bill, such as for S.722, see http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s.00722: where you will see the bill has just 3 cosponsors.
(For the record, FDA isn't going to get ephedra banned in court for the simple reason that even if they were to succeed in a lower court, which is far from certain, they'd be overturned on appeal because Metabolife would appeal under the Administrative Procedures Act, wherein they'd argue successfully that pseudoephedrine found in OTC cold products poses a far greater threat than ephedra and its not justified for FDA to ban ephedra unless they're ALSO prepared to ban pseudoephedrine- (which aint' gonna happen due to the Pharma lobby, but this would be an air tight argument in court.)
THE THREAT THAT IS FAR MORE IMMEDIATE THAN DURBIN OR SWEENEYS BILLS-
ANH NOT GETTING THE DONATIONS THEY NEED BY MID SEPTEMBER-------
IF ANYTHING INTERFERES WITH THEIR GETTING THE FUNDS NECESSARY TO FILE AND SUSTAIN THEIR ALL IMPORTANT LAWSUIT TO OVERTURN THE EU FOOD SUPPLEMENTS DIRECTIVE- GIVEN ITS GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS- WE'RE SCREWED!!!
See my article at http://www.iahf.com/anh_lawsuit.html or the editted version as published in the July issue of Life Extension Magazine at
That much larger and far more REAL threat stems from the fact that the FDA has set the USA up to lose in a WTO Trade Dispute via which our domestic vitamin laws can be forcibly harmonized to a very restrictive, rapidly emerging international vitamin standard. We CAN protect ourselves from what is going to unfold, but ONLY if we act VERY QUICKLY and make timely donations (prior to mid September when they must file their lawsuit) to the UKs Alliance for Natural Health via their website at http://www.alliance-natural-health.org where you can donate via a credit or debit card via a secure server, or via an international money order send to the
Alliance for Natural Health
Mount Manor House
16 The Mount
Surrey GU2 4HS
It is only from being able to see the global chess board on this issue as clearly as I do that I have made the statement that it is premature of NNFA to sound the huge alarm that they have sounded regarding S.722- but because I am privvy to their internal communications, which have been leaked to me by disgruntled NNFA members who are tired of being lied to and misled on issues such as this, I am fully aware of aspects of this situation that you and the vast majority of other Americans are not aware of.
I realize that at first glance it would seem perfectly reasonable to get behind NNFA's bandwagon in opposition to S.722, it seems perfectly reasonable to adopt this position......... until you are able to see the global picture which I have just tried to explain to you here. It is my hope that this explanation will help you to more clearly see how a lobbyist thinks, and that it will help you to properly assess the relative degree of threat posed by Durbin's and Sweeney's bills. Also note that no one ever told you about Sweeney's house bill before I did, you only knew about Durbin's bill. Trust me, I am tracking these bills, and if at a future time I feel that the threat posed by them overshadows other threats in our midst, I will be the first to sound an alarm.
Right now, as of August 9th, they do not, our most immediate concern should be to alert everyone we know to the dire need to get donations in to the Alliance for Natural Health for their lawsuit which has huge international ramfications. Remember, 96% of all bills that are introduced are never passed into law, but the threat posed by the EU Food Supplement Directive if it is not overturned in court is INDISPUTABLE.
For Health Freedom,
John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062 USA
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062 USA