ANH-USA Is Taking On the FTC!

April 26, 2011
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FILES-US-GOVERNMENT-FTCThe Federal Trade Commission has recently created new and arbitrary requirements for ANY food or dietary supplement health-related claim—and is enforcing them—in direct violation of federal law. Help us fight this new censorship of science all the way by taking action to support our Citizen Petition!

It’s imperative we protect access to good information about the benefits of a natural approach to maintaining health. But this will become much more difficult now that the FTC is requiring two random-controlled human trials for any health-related claim—even so-called structure/function claims, which are permitted under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) without such trials. Before it can adopt or enforce such new policies, the FTC is required by law to go through the rulemaking process, a process that becomes even more difficult for FTC whenever a new policy is controversial, such as health claims. Perhaps that is why FTC is ignoring that law and doing it anyway.

You will recall that the FTC would have been granted additional authority, enabling them to legally amend their regulations to require two such trials through what we called the Waxman amendment to the “Financial Reform” bill. Thanks to all of you, that amendment was defeated. But the FTC is just going ahead as if the amendment had passed and they had further gone through the necessary rulemaking process to amend their regulations.

In response, yesterday, April 25, the Alliance for Natural Health USA filed a Petition for Rulemaking before the Federal Trade Commission. ANH-USA is alleging the following:

  • FTC lacks jurisdiction to enforce the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
  • The FTC’s two clinical trial requirement violates the First Amendment standard in Pearson v. Shalala.
  • The FTC cannot violate the Constitution in consent orders.
  • The FTC’s new policies chill protected speech.

Of particular concern is that the FTC’s new policies apply to the industry as a whole. The fear of enforcement under FTC’s new policies chills protected speech and reduces access to important health-related information for consumers. This petition, if denied, will lead to a litigation phase.

Once again ANH-USA and its co-plaintiffs, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, are being represented by renowned constitutional law attorney Jonathan Emord, of Emord & Associates.

Further Background

Food and supplement producers are legally allowed to make structure/function claims. These are claims that describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient as it affects normal structure or function in humans—for example, “calcium builds strong bones” or “vitamin D boosts immune system function.” However, one cannot legally cite the science showing that vitamin D prevents and treats the flu. The flu is considered a disease, so this is forbidden. The science doesn’t matter to the FDA. Nor does freedom of speech, which is why we so desperately need the Free Speech About Science Act of 2011.

Now the FTC is saying that even structure/function claims cannot be made unless two random-controlled human clinical trials, or RCTs, are performed! And that’s two RCTs for each product, not each ingredient. Even one RCT is tremendously expensive, so to require two for each product before any health claim is made is a nearly impossible undertaking.

Our petition essentially asks the FTC to stop this new requirement immediately.  They must follow the formal rulemaking requirement before any policies of this nature are formulated. The FTC should also keep in mind that only the FDA can legally regulate health claims. By usurping the FDA’s regulatory authority, the FTC opens itself up for Pearson v. Shalala to be applied. This landmark legal precedent says that the FDA cannot impose prior restraints on free speech. Our petition argues that if the FTC imposes FDA-specific regulations, then it must also abide by the Pearson precedent. Otherwise we have a blatant regulatory end-run around a federal court decision.

Moreover, we believe that the FTC is violating the First Amendment not only in silencing structure/function claims, but in the legal actions it has taken against companies advertising their products, including POM Wonderful, Iovate, Nestle, and Kellogg, all of which involve new regulatory action by the FTC.

The FTC denies making any new requirements across the board, though the FTC has indeed been making such requirements on a company-by-company basis via Consent Decrees. But Consent Decrees, or any other system of premarket approval or similar degree of censorship, would be an unconstitutional restraint of truthful speech.

The result of such aggressive tactics by the FTC is that companies, particularly smaller companies, are fearful of FTC reprisal and expensive investigations. This may lead them away from making any claims, including truthful and legally allowed structure/function claims. This in turn leaves consumers in the dark. Consumers have few means of finding credible information about natural foods and supplements—which is essential if one is to follow a natural approach to health.

We expect to have to go to court. But we’d rather not, so we’re asking you to contact the FTC and ask the agency to grant our petition. Take action now!

TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO THE FTC

Click THIS LINK to go to the Action Alert page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. We have a suggested message for you, but please feel free to add your own comments to the letter.

We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not Congress, the FDA, etc.

34 Responses to “ANH-USA Is Taking On the FTC!”

  1. website says:

    Excellent site you have here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days.

    I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

       0 likes

  2. David Cledanor says:

    My belief is that the FTC and FDA will lose eventually because the population is already too educated about their health options. The FDA and FTC can start count their time because the clock is ticking.

       0 likes

  3. Digital4u2 says:

    To all American Bureaus.

    The questions to ask yourselves are:
    Will this tact keep the bureau on it’s initial path or is it straying away from basic American Principles so the sovereign nature of our republic is being put at risk? If so, is a change of course or direction needed !!! ?

       0 likes

  4. If all who post to this site really intend to make a difference, let each write the Legislative Branch and inform them of what it is each wants. How can any government be expected to adhere to the desires of the masses if the masses do not inform the Representatives of the voters? Explain to your legislator what you think is the best, and correct course of action and then if they do NOT adhere to your request, demand recall, and vote the duly elected legislator out, and REPLACE that person with someone more in tune with what YOU WANT. Do not lie down and take it- you don’t have to if you are of the age to vote.

       0 likes

  5. By the people, for the people is the way this is supposed to be…not by the fat cats, for the fat cats.

       0 likes

  6. Linda Shine says:

    These is clearly in direct violation of the law. You should be trying to keep us healthy since we are the ones who pay for your extravagant lifestyle.

       0 likes

  7. Joshua Phillips says:

    The more and more I find out about how our government is suppressing our rights and letting the pharmaceutical companies poison our children the more and more angry I am. This is supposed to be a country for the people not KILL the people!

       0 likes

  8. Teresa Beck says:

    I am so shocked how I feel these government agnecies and bureaucrats appear to view us as the dumb masses. I am looking forward to doing anything in my power to help our people get our beautiful country back!

       0 likes

  9. JC says:

    I work in the medical communications area, so It is very upsetting to see how rules and laws already in place are being ignored or compromised. I do not know if this is deliberate or ignorance on the part of the FTC. It seems that they should understand the ramifications of their actions (vis a vis the FDA). If it is a deliberate end-runaround, then someone somewhere is trying to inflict their own agenda on uninformed US citizens. I applaud ANH-USA for keeping all of us informed.

       0 likes

  10. Tammy Lowe says:

    I faithfully use supplements to support my health. I don’t have health insurance and have not needed it since I choose to supplement myself with healthy products. This bill would prohibit me from obtaining the very supplements that keep me from going to the doctor, who would, no doubt, put me on prescription meds which would deteriorate my health. I can only assume that the FTC bill is meant to harm the supplement industry due to financial gains if they do so. Thank you ANH for being the voice of the people on this issue! Without your frequent informational emails -I would not be priviliged to the sneaky processes going on in Washington.

       0 likes

  11. Martha Wright says:

    I think this is just another avenue of the “higher” powers in the corporate pharmaceuticals that are taking a new road of “mischief by decree”. in stopping education and better choices for the people to stay healthy. There is such a propaganda campaign for years that people honestly, for the most part, are in fear for their lives and their helath unless a doctor tells them they are alright. They know little of natural processes and this continued harrassment of the natural providers of food supplemnts and services that promote nature’s pharmacy and all the benefits that people have had from them for thousands of years, PROVEN, is the greatest study above all their clinical trials. I can only think the est defense if a good offense. Mor public education in small groups and larger groups educating people on a grass roots level.

       0 likes

  12. Julie Behmer says:

    As an individual, I have a right to decide what supplement’s to purchase. Natural herb’s along with natural medicine have been around for thousand’s of year’s.

       0 likes

  13. kris azzarello says:

    To attack health choices is insane!

       0 likes

  14. Martin St John says:

    I suspect that informed Americans have long since given up hope that the leaders of the FTC, the FDA or USDA have any intention of protecting the rights, health and safety of those citizens they are supposedly sworn to protect. The fact that they use our tax dollars to legislate against us and enforce laws that act to protect the interest of large corporations and even entire industries against us is a travesty, but to deny us the means by which to choose or to protect ourselves is unconscionable. These continued acts are the fodder of revolution and it is not a matter of whether, but simply a matter of time.

       0 likes

  15. Rodney Lawmaster says:

    FTC: The Constitution is our basis for rule of law. Only congress is authorized to make laws.
    Your agency is not the only Federal agency that uses rule making to increase their power and agenda. This is subversion at its finest. Many times it is years down the road before people become aware of what has happened and by that time perversion is not reversible.

    1. FTC lacks jurisdiction to enforce the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
    2. The FTC’s two clinical trial requirement violates the First Amendment standard in Pearson v. Shalala.
    3. The FTC cannot violate the Constitution in consent orders.
    4. The FTC’s new policies chill protected speech.

    If you want to get into the FDA’s business, provide absolute Truth to the consumer about products and let the consumer’s pocketbook decide what the market will truly support.

    Rodney

       0 likes

  16. David Kaplan says:

    Please listen to our request!

       0 likes

  17. Donna Mae Travis says:

    This is important that we have rights to choose products that will help our health improvements. We want no censorship in place. These things have been known for a long time and is better to return to old ways. It seems as if you are in support of Pharm Compaines with their very unsafe products being used. Turn it another way, let us stop producing commercials on TV from those pharmaceutical companies. I have been very ill harmed by this and have had guidance to use natural healing products for better health.

       0 likes

  18. Drina Brooke says:

    Seems to me that any government body or agent that acts on its own whims is dictatorship, not democracy.

    To require two randomized controlled studies for every health claim is to monetarily harrass and hold down the health industry. By intent and by design.

    Keeping people in the dark about health benefits is a crime and nothing less. This is no different than the insurance agencies which criminally deny health care to their ailing people. It is, in my book of ethics, not much different from murder or violent crime.

    This is not acceptable, on our dime.

    Free speech is the *first* amendment in our Constitution, and that is not an accident.

    Is Big Pharma our governing body? Since when did our Founding Fathers pen that into the US Constitution?

       0 likes

  19. Martha Hyde says:

    I totally agree that the FTC should follow what science says about the benefits of dietary supplements. I also agree that we need safety measures when it comes to taking dietary supplements. However the FTC does not have the jurisdiction to rule on safety without any directive or permission by law or the Supreme Court. We already have a process that allows any such regulation and the FTC is only muddying the waters by stepping in with new rules.

    Yes, there are many Americans who are using supplements with poor judgment. However, the way to proper use is not LESS education, but MORE education and the seller of any product should be allowed to state all health benefits. Furthermore, the store owner, as part of a free market, should have the right to post any counter-arguments to those benefits stated by the product manufacture. Good retail establishments will win in the market place when they provide education. The FTC should not be allowed to interfere with any education efforts about dietary supplements at all.

    Just because we may not like the claims made by a manufacturer, does not mean his rights to free speech should be squelched. Claiming that the information out there now is dangerous to the health of supplement buyers belies the fact that even with random controlled trials, some pharmaceuticals are considerably more dangerous to users than any supplement has ever been found to be.

       0 likes

  20. Mary E, Johnson says:

    Good luck. I’m on your side.

       0 likes

  21. Michael Kirkby says:

    This is just another move by the drug; insurance and medical businesses to keep us sick so they can continue to cut; medicate us with drugs we don’t need and charge us exorbitant rates for insurance that will employ any loophole to get out of paying. Leave my vitamin and minerals; my herb and root supplements alone bud!

       0 likes

  22. Jesse macias says:

    We need to fight the FTC and the FDA!! there only interest is to protect the pharmaceutical and the food industry.

       0 likes

  23. I am constantly amazed that with the current status of health and healthcare in this country that the powers that be are continually trying to squash any information about how people can lead healthier, drug free lives.

    My grandmother had household remedies for almost anything. Every day science finds a new link between nutrition deficiencies and disease. Yet the powers that be don’t want you to know that you don’t need drugs, you just need real food. It seems they will do anything to bury the truth.

       0 likes

  24. Robert Morrow says:

    The FTC is just as corrupt as the FDA in the murdering of the citizens of what is left of the Republic. The FDA alone murders 200,000 people per year with poison drugs and toxin laced processed foods and all for the PROFIT of the Corporation, Which pay our Politician with their 30 pieces of blood stained Silver. Let face it it is all about the money or Profit and who cares if thousand die in the process. In New Mexico we have the worse Senators in this respect as they have sold their Souls and their children for blood stained money.

       0 likes

  25. Dennis Oberholtzer says:

    This is exactly the problems that can happen when there is no accountability. Federal regulations are NOT designed to be single entities. They must and are required to be governed by interconnection with other regulations. A single agency like the Federal Trade Commission may NOT be allowed to run gun-shot over other agencies. If this is allowed, our government will fall apart, with each agency taking control of what ever they can. FUTURE ANARCHY! Please do not allow this single agency to try to rule the world.

       0 likes

  26. Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw says:

    We note that the FTC wasted tax payers’ money by constructing their headquarters to resemble a fake Greek temple.

    In spite of this misleading appearance, the FTC does not have God-like powers to suppress truthful non-misleading speech about dietary supplements or anything else. The First Amendment expressly precludes such abuses of delegated power with the words, “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    What part of “no” do the fascists at the FTC fail to understand? “No” means no! We and the ANH have filed a Citizens’ Petition in an attempt to persuade the FTC bureaucrats to correct their egregious usurpations. If the FTC continues to ignore the clear meaning of the First Amendment, they will leave us with no alternative but to take them to court to flush their fascist policy down the Constitutional toilet. That would be good riddance to a load of regulatory BS.

       0 likes

  27. mike says:

    I shouldn’t have to take time out of my day to defend basic rights from corrupt organizations, and I’m fed up with it. I can’t wait to rise up with the people to and take this country back to the hands of the people.

       0 likes

  28. mike kelly says:

    Leave my vitamins and supplements alone

       0 likes

  29. mike kelly says:

    Why do you lawmakers have your noses in my vitamins and supplements. Pay attention to the criminals in the pharmaceutical industry who make a pill for twenty fives cents and then sell it for a hundred dollars. Pay attention to the republicans who are licking their chops while ogling the Social Security insurance trust fund, so they can steal it and hand it over to their Wall St. buddies who will then create a bubble out of it which will burst while they walk away with billions and seniors will be left in the soup lines. Pay attention to the republican criminals that voted to abolish Medicare. Pay attention to the republicans who stuff ballot boxes three days after they lose elections. Pay attention to the republican Supreme Court who now elect presidents if they don’t like who the People elected. Pay attention to the corporate welfare recipients who pay nothing in taxes. Pay attention to the corporate Supreme Court which has declared that corporations are people and deserve First Amendment rights against 100 years of precedent and settled case law. Throw Dick Cheney in prison along with Karl Rove and Jay Bybee for war crimes and torture.

    Pay attention to important matters and stop hiding by sticking your nose in my vitamins and supplements.

       0 likes

    • Kim says:

      Absolutely Mike!!

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    • Pam says:

      agree with leaving the vitamens and supplements alone, but am disgusted by your generalization about Republicans. Republicans have been fighting for years for LESS government. It’s been the democrats that have wanted more government. The whole health care fiasco was democrat supported and would pose more of a threat to our freedoms than anything we are hearing about today. Get educated, and please stop catagorizing people like that.
      There are criminals in every political party and one is not better than the other as far as that goes.

         0 likes

    • Lori Duboys says:

      Wow, Mike! You really laid it all out.

      Natural health and supplements helped me when I lost the use of my legs 40 years ago, due to mercury toxicity.

      They’ve kept me healthy for a long time. I don’t want gov’t sticking it’s nose in my business, especially when it’s not really about my business, but about theirs – money!

         0 likes

    • Truth and Light says:

      This is not a republican issue! Notice it is both democrats and republicans who are in bed with Big Pharma. Read http://www.naturalhealth.com by Mike Adams. Get better informed. There are congress people from both parties who support freedom of speech with regard to supplements. Some use supplements themselves. Get away from the pereception that its political parties. Its’ driven by greed and the almighty dollar.

         0 likes

  30. Norman McElvy says:

    You are violating our rights

       0 likes

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