Free Speech About Natural Health Science—It’s Time to Fight Back!

March 29, 2011
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capitol_hillThe Free Speech about Science Act of 2011 is about to be introduced in Congress. This is an exciting and hugely important bill that you’ll want to support with zeal.

Current FDA regulations prohibit dietary supplement manufacturers and food producers from referring to any scientific studies on the health benefits of a food or natural substance. FDA says that such a reference changes the regulatory category of said food and—as absurd as it sounds—actually makes it an unapproved drug. In the FDA’s view, even providing a link on a website to a study converts a healthy fruit or nut into an unapproved new drug—a bizarre result that effectively censors scientific information and greatly restricts consumer access to scientific research.

As more and more Americans take charge of their personal health, they need accurate, reliable information more than ever. We fervently believe that consumers have a right to access that information, particularly the scientific studies that discuss a food’s health benefits.

The Free Speech about Science (FSAS) Act, which our sources on Capitol Hill tell us could be introduced at any moment, would change FDA regulations so that legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific studies can be referenced without changing the food’s regulatory category to an unapproved drug. This will protect access to scientific information, and will protect your right to know about the healthy benefits of food and food supplements. The bill amends the appropriate sections of current law to allow the flow of legitimate scientific and educational information while still giving FDA and FTC the right to take action against misleading information and against false and unsubstantiated claims.

As we note in our FSAS White Paper, research suggests that changes in diet could reduce both heart disease and cancer by as much as 90%. This is not just a question of eating more fruits and vegetables, although that alone might increase lifespan by an estimated average of 14 years. It is also about specific nutrients. In many cases, there is strong scientific evidence that a specific nutrient may be used to prevent, moderate, reverse, or in therapeutic doses cure disease. Unfortunately the American people do not hear about this research. Food producers would like to tell them about it. But FDA rules prevent it.

Take cherries. Research from Harvard published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested that cherries could reduce heart attack risk. A large number of other studies published in prestigious journals have indicated that cherries could do that and also reduce pain and cancer. But the FDA says that cherry producers, sellers, and food manufacturers may not talk about this research: In 2006, the FDA demanded that 29 companies cease making claims about the health benefits of cherries, and draconian requirements were imposed on the growers.

FSAS was originally introduced last year in the House by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT3). But that bill died in committee at the end of the previous Congress with no action being taken on it. This year we have a new committee chairman and prospects are much better.

The government should not be gatekeeper of scientific information. And the last time we looked, the First Amendment prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of speech. When the information being censored is true, scientifically sound, and will only make people healthier, it is particularly galling. Our White Paper says it best:

The FDA’s own mission statement says that the Agency “is responsible for…helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.” Given this mission, it is perverse to allow pharmaceutical companies to spend so many billions on consumer advertising but not to allow food producers to tell the public about legitimate and revolutionary food research. This is all the more true given our heritage of free speech and free science, the opportunity to save or prolong million of American lives, and the need to use every resource at our command to rein in surging and economically destructive healthcare costs.

As soon the Free Speech about Science Act of 2011 is introduced, we will be issuing an Action Alert and asking you to contact your congressional representative immediately and ask him or her to co-sponsor and support this extremely important bill. We’ll be emailing our newsletter subscribers the moment it happens. If you’re not already a subscriber, just click here to sign up. It’s free, and you’ll be among the first to hear the news.

81 Responses to “Free Speech About Natural Health Science—It’s Time to Fight Back!”

  1. Dr. Jordan Gonzalez says:

    I believe that most of you read into my first statement way too deeply without considering the rest of the comment. This in itself proves what I was saying in a way. Like I said in the rest of my comment, things can be skewed in any fashion but it takes a truth seeker to find what they seek. Yes, you can look things up, but where? wikipedia? epocrates? … these are good beginings only. I think that the government should not get involved in the “alternative medicines” regulation, but that doesn’t mean an expert shouldn’t help you in your choices…but hey, what’s a Stevens johnsons allergy/interaction anyway right…

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  2. Wilma Ralls says:

    The FDA is a monster created by the pharmaceutical industry. Like everything else in our government, our Corporations decide what the laws should be. The population is slave to the feeding of these corporations . Our rights and lives are not of any concern. Those in positions of power prefer to denigrate our smartest and most dedicated scientists while they push on the American people corporate products that are actually harmful to humanity and the planet. Drugs, genetically modified organisms and the destruction of our environment are killing humanity for MONEY! And the worst part is the population is fed pablum, lies and deceptive marketing by our “infotainment” media. Our news is gossip rather than substantiated fact. No wonder the US Empire’s decline is unknown and un acknowledged by the American public.American exceptionalism is a lie.

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  3. Walker Bennett says:

    Since the GOP is in the mood to eliminate departments of the government, I suggest the FDA becomes one of the first.

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  4. Edie says:

    A question I have posed for years: What possible motive does any pharmaceutical company have to cure you of anything? Follow the money.

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  5. Get Real says:

    The biggest problem with our Health Care is the FDA. They quickly push through bad drugs with millions of side effects that costs millions of dollars to correct and ignore natural cures because they cannot make any money from them. Our government needs to take a long hard look at the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA; our healthcare dollars would go much farther if these greedy groups were gotten under control.

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  6. Frederica Huxley says:

    Count me in – it is not before time that we have the right to know the scientific facts about all nutrients and supplements. Mind you, the FDA does a good job of suppressing scientific facts about a number of pharma meds…..

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  7. Linda Zigich says:

    The FDA’s poster should read “Genocide-American Style”. What with the FDA looking the other way while big pharma kills people (Vioxx alone killed over 60,000 people before it was taken off the market), Monsanto getting more adulterated foods into the systems of everything that has a heartbeat, and doctors getting bonuses for promoting chemo and toxic vaccines, we are being murdered by out own government. The supreme court just allowed Pharmaceutical companies immunity against liability caused by vaccines. Interesting? Who do these people work for? We have less to fear from foreign powers, even extraterrestrials than our own government. People we must take a stand. This is genocide!

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  8. Drina Brooke says:

    Sorry folks! I just found the link and appreciate the information and all the motivated, detailed work you have done. And continue to do. We applaud and appreciate you!

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  9. Drina Brooke says:

    I would want to see the text of the bill and an analysis of it.
    It’s good that the ANH (thank you, friends) are plugging for the free speech in naturopathic science, and we appreciate and applaud you for it.

    But if it’s written into the bill that the FDA still has the right to crack down on “false and misleading claims” then they will go ahead and find ways to do that .Legitimately, or illegitimately.
    The profiteering motives involved are obvious, please let us not be innocent about this or call such an assertion paranoid. It is time to open up our eyes.

    What are the safeguards and legal definitions in the bill, and in other bodies of law, which would put a parameter around such abusive action from the FDA? How do we know what we are signing here? It would be important for us to know the details about this.

    It seems to me that the Government Of the Corporations, By the Corporations, and For the Corporations:

    a) was never signed into law by our founding fathers b) is swallowing up American freedom c) this is unconstitutional, and not just illegal d) is a blockade against the free exchange of information, cultural thought, and choice of medical care modalities e) many people are made sick by mainstream medicine and others die from its side effects. People have a life-and-death right to free choice in medical information, and this includes nutrition and preventive care as much as anything else. f) the Government Of the Corporations, By the Corporations and For the Corporations has no right to control our health care and nutrition, and our freedom of choice therein. g) All of this while we are paying them.

    Thank you for plugging for free speech , and for the free exchange of cultural and intellectual thought. And for the free choice in medical modalities. Again this is heartily and warmly appreciated. Please show us the text and analysis of the bill and I will be more than happy to sign the petition.

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  10. Shadowfox says:

    The FDA is not and never has been for the safty of people when it come to drugs.The FDA accepted false information and reports on Floudide. There were more reports stating how dangerous this posion was and is, yet the FDA accepted the only bias positive report.It is still in our water and many produts. When will people step up and boycott Flouride? It is used to control the population and keep everyone at bay. The first time it was used in dring water was for the NAZI Concentration camps, does anyone believe the Germans were concerned with the health of the inmates teeth? Follow the MONEY. Flouride is TOXIC!

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  11. Chris Weeks says:

    If the bill isnt accepted.Theres only one reason and its the same reason it has always been.Very simply..the money.Cant have people gettin well or knowing anything.

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  12. Sandra says:

    Any Self Legislating Government Agency should not have the right to govern…….period the end!
    Nazi Action’s by the FTC should be stopped.
    Big Governement needs to end.
    I am capable of deciding for myself what to put in my body. I don’t need Government Regulations.

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  13. James Young says:

    I was left on a guerny in the hallway of a hospital for three days….left for dead.
    I am alive today because of me taking responsibility for my own health care. My costs went down from $2000. a month to $500. Because I am off medication by more than half. Eating foods for their specific micronutrients and phytochemicals and teas without refined sugar lowered my food bill. I pass up the potato chips and french fries. My body worked better on all natural food supplement vs one a day and expensive half synthetic fish oil. Drs. don’t get to just have me, now!
    I don’t visit very often and not for long.

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  14. Jo Quiley says:

    Cherries. Acerola Cherries have been around for Centuries. Other varities are coming from Africa and Austraila, New Zealand, and Mexico and combintions that lift up the antioxidant power and boost the immune system and maybe in time to save us from this toxic world we created. The Presisent’s Panel on Cancer In May 2010…..reported to the President that millions of more Americans are going to have Cancer because of increased accumulation of toxins in our system.
    Why would we let the Doctors, Researchers, Drug companies and any Governing Company take away our freedom of choice….if Vitamin C is the answer to Cancer or fish oil, or Grandma’s chicken soup, along with herbal tea. Why should be close any door? Leave it open.

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  15. Jo Quiley says:

    No, my health improve many times over, after I gave up traditional treatment and made the committment to take better care of myself. I did not have time to cook whole foods in my busy work week of 90 hours, so I used all natural food supplements shipped to my doors and took worthwhile classes and workshops to educate myself for optimal health and paid fabulous one on one therapists……and had money left over for the price on the monthly perscription costs to not get well. People look at me and cannot believe my age……..I am 70 and look 35. Vitamin C at 10,0000 mg’s a day. To end vitamin C to protect our cells is mass stupidity and un American. The greatest sources of Vitamin C are cheeries. Cheeries are banned by the FTC. Why take Vitamin C away from sick children in burn wards. Why close a door to healing Cancer because of the lack of understanding by the people who make the laws and the rules? The fault is not with natural medicine….it is Doctors and drug companies who keep the lie going.

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  16. The FDA and the FTC’s power to self regulate needs to end…..especially since they change at will an all natural food supplement and suddenly make it a drug with ramifications for the manufacturer and person taking the drug. Medical students need to be exposed to the benefits of all natual (from carbon sources) before they graduate……and Drug Companies should not be allowed to give or finance practises for students or graduate students…..the body knows the difference between natural and synthetic micronutrients…..Linus Pauling and other biochemists…..all medical choices need to be represented and especially the life threatening diseases of the autoimmune system.
    Why does the FTC have the power to come at gun point and distroy, rob pc, and equiptment and proescute and then lool the other way from Doctor’s passing out perscriptions mismade in other countries and killing and maiming humans and over dosing patients in the name of curing the disease without taking any punishment?

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  17. Who is over seeing the FDA? Their actions are absurd!

    Albert Einstein
    Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.
    Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
    Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

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  18. Dr. Jordan Gonzalez says:

    I agree with what the bill proposes. But, a catch 22 exists when the information provided is biased. Not all scientific studies are sound or prove to have clinical significance despite having seemingly statistical significance. This bill has the potential to open up the food and drug act to the charlatanism that existed before it was created. To elaborate, some studies could be funded by the people who will ultimately benefit from what the studies’ conclusions are and yet be masked by some group name that is not ususally connected with said producer of product. Statistical formulae as well as the respective data can also be skewed by not using the proper statistical procedure. These are things that most health professionals (pharmacist, physicians, nurse practioners) are well versed in and are taught to

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    • Marie says:

      Dr. Gonzalez, From what I have read on cancer cures, GMO foods and products that contain harmful ingredients, that are all being passed and ignored by the FDA I would rather bet on my intelligence that I could decipher the truth from the research available. I am sure that there would be several research references available and they should all relate the same information or close to and the source should be a recognized reliable one.

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    • Dawn says:

      Dr. Jordan,
      Thank you for your concern. I believe most of us are fully capable of taking responsibility for ourselves, and are intelligent enough to research something before taking someone’s word for it blindly. This is something we have all had to do more of since our ability to find information has been challenged due to our lack of access to the studies we need to see. I think most of us are almost expert at that by now, and if this law passes, we will have important information readily at our fingertips in order to make our own educated decisions about our health care. I can appreciate your alternate view on the subject matter, but ultimately, this is the only “American” thing to do.
      Respectfully,
      Dawn

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    • Denise Hickey says:

      Dr. Gonzalez, you are right. However, big pharma has been doing just that for way too long now. They have created studies, falsified the data and sold it to the FDA who in turn approved drugs that KILLED people or seriously harmed them. I trust food producers over the FDA, as long as the food has not been Genetically Modified. For many years, people healed themselves with food and natural herbs and they should be allowed to continue to do just that. In todays medical society, it is Buyer Beware so it will be the same as far as dietary supplements and food.

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    • Mark says:

      This is certainly a valid issue. I believe it’s an example of what’s called the Agency-Principal Problem: do the agents’ (conductors of the study) interests coincide with mine? This problem, I think, is at the root of the majority of the problems we’re having right now in politics, business, and yes, in medicine. Does my congress persons’ interests coincide with mine? My presidents’? My bosses’? The FDAs’?? And yes, my Doctors’?
      The answer in this case is simple: let us follow the money. Make it very plain and unambiguous WHO FUNDED THE STUDY, and if the money came from a source where there exists a potential conflict of interest, then the study should be suspect. Maybe a group like SOURCE WATCH could take on this kind of thing, or a similar project put together specifically for this purpose. As for badly constructed research studies, I think spotting them would be a good skill for everyone to develop. The time of the (perceived) all-knowing, oracular expert is over. You experts need to work WITH us instead of being gatekeepers of information. I think that the general public, on the whole, is becoming much better informed, and getting more into the habit of questioning the experts (not a bad thing IMO). Discerning useful information from junk is ALREADY a vital skill for the society that’s now forming around information technologies, and people without this skill MUST develop it. We don’t need babysitters, we need ACCESS.

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  19. The FDA should be charged with crimes against humanity and all of the agency heads over the past 30 to 40 years should be put in jail (for life!). However, what is more disturbing to me is why there aren’t a plethora of whistleblowers who work for the FDA; those below management level? How can you sacrifice the health of your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and yourself just to keep a job? They should all walk out en-mass and do one of the most heroic acts for the American people that has ever been done. There are many out here that would support you and honor your act.

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  20. Katherine MacTavish says:

    I am for this bill! The FDA has been in the pockets of big pharma long enough!

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  21. Jody says:

    PLEASE INCLUDE ME IN FAVOR OF THIS BILL!
    I encourage everyone to end the FDA’s tyranny!

       1 likes

  22. Norma Galinn says:

    These people are our employees who are suppose to work for the good of the people or its citizens.
    The FDA is compromisied because former and future employees have worked or will work for the drug manufacturers. I am for this bill and the end of corruption!

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