Free Speech About Science Act (FSAS)
- Consumer empowerment; and
- Eliminate government censorship
- A healthier nation; and
- Healthcare cost savings from informed decisions
More and more Americans are taking charge of their personal health—determined to improve their diets and emphasize preventive care in order to stay or get healthy. Consumers are looking for reliable information backed by legitimate scientific research to assist in making informed choices. Access to this information is essential to knowing which foods and food supplements really are healthy and helpful for good health.
Problem with existing law:
FDA regulations currently prohibit any reference to a scientific study by manufactures of a dietary supplement or producers of food relating to the health benefits. Violation of this ban can result in FDA declaring common dietary supplements and food to be unapproved drugs — this is censorship.
Current federal law allows FDA to treat any reference to scientific studies about food or food supplements as an extension of the product’s “label” and as an illegal health claim. The effect converts common foods like cherries (that have real, proven health benefits) into “unapproved drugs” if the producer mentions a possible health connection.
In the FDA’s view, even providing a link on a website to a study converts a healthy fruit or nut into an unapproved drug – a bizarre result that effectively censors scientific information and greatly restricts consumer access to scientific research.
The Free Speech about Science Act provides a limited and carefully targeted change to FDA regulations so that legitimate, peer reviewed, scientific studies can be referenced by manufacturers and producers without converting a healthy food or dietary supplement into an unapproved drug. 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.
The Free Speech About Science Act:
- Provides a clear definition of the types of research that may be referenced by growers and manufacturers
- Ensures that referencing such research does not convert a food or dietary supplement into an “unapproved [and therefore illegal] new drug”
- FDA and FTC still have the authority to pursue any fraudulent and misleading statements.
The Free Speech About Science Act ensures the free flow of legitimate scientific research for consumers to make informed decisions based on all scientific information—not just limited pieces endorsed by the government. The government should not be the gatekeeper of scientific information. Consumers have a right to receive information about what they consume. In order for Americans to make informed choices on their own well-being and exercise ‘self-responsibility,’ consumers must have access to legitimate scientific information.
Informed lifestyle and healthcare decisions lead to positive lifestyle changes—which ultimately improves the quality of life and results in cost savings for individuals and the government.