Leahy Bill Passes in Senate—Help Us Stop It in the House!

April 19, 2011
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Last week we reported on the botched language in the new Leahy bill, and how it was on a fast track. Last Thursday, unfortunately, the Senate passed the bill. But there’s still time to get the House of Representatives to listen to us! Take action now to ensure the House doesn’t introduce and pass a similar bill!

The Senate’s Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 contains language that is open to interpretation. While intended to protect the public from food manufacturers who would harm the public with their negligence, the vague language may also be used by the FDA to attack innocent natural health food and dietary supplement producers.

A bill must, of course, be passed in both the Senate and the House, and often their versions of the same basic bill may be quite different from one another. This bill has not yet been introduced in the House, so we need to seize the opportunity and contact our representatives to tell them what needs to be fixed in the bill’s language before it is introduced, or else oppose the bill altogether. The fact that it passed in the Senate so easily shows just how much education is needed on this issue on Capitol Hill.

A House version of the The Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 must address the vagueness in the language and carve out certain exemptions in the definition of misbranding and adulteration—or better yet, define them anew instead of referring to the extremely broad Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

We would prefer, of course, that a similar bill is not introduced in the House at all, because we can’t be certain that even a much better House bill won’t be amended by the Senate during the conference process. Please contact your representative immediately and ask him or her to fight this bill’s introduction, or work to ensure that its language doesn’t target the wrong people!

For more on the substance of the Senate bill, please see this.

Take action now!

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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.

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53 Responses to “Leahy Bill Passes in Senate—Help Us Stop It in the House!”

  1. lone voice says:

    TEN YEAR jail sentences for those whose products are conveniently *dubbed* “misbranded” for the sake of some competitor’s Bottom Line…for any naturopathic practitioners claiming health benefits and actually helping their people…

    This is a crime, and nothing less.

    It’s called Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

    Betrayal on the legal level is called treason, and it is a serious crime.

       0 likes

  2. lone voice says:

    I am one of those people who can’t tolerate almost any mainstream medication under the sun. My body rejects them and I become very ill from them.

    Not everybody fits the same mold, and not all can take the same things for medical intervention.

    Herbs have helped my current illness so much and medications made me ill, not just sick. I couldn’t get well without my herbs. Taking them away, or trying to, is a criminal act which will result in lawsuits.

    If you want to talk about safety, just have one look at handouts from pharmacies and log on to the CDC’s website to see how many people die each year just from ibuprofen. Look up any drug side effects from medications that you are taking. See the cancer, coma, seizures, death rates as drug “side effects”.

    Then talk to us about safety! Big PHarma is the real culprit here, not supplements and herbs .If you go to the Poison Control Center’s website, you will see exactly zero deaths per year from herbs. Check it out for yourself and see. (Essential oils could pose a risk, that is true, keep out of reach of children).

    Denial is the most dangerous thing there is in life. Perhaps when looking into safety and criminal acts, we are investigating all the wrong people. Big Pharma is the one that is using “deliberately false and misleading claims” while also “misbranding” with their so-claimed “cures”.

       0 likes

  3. Michael Davidson says:

    If They do not Listen this Time They will All be Gone in 2012 And Tea Party will take Control

       0 likes

  4. Phyllis Smith says:

    Leave my choice of supplements to me! Anything can kill you if not taken properly,but these guidelines are too vague! Do Not Pass This, it is just another form of taking our rights! We need less government,not more!! I know myself much better than the FDA!

       0 likes

  5. Roger Fuller says:

    4-21-11
    Dear ANH-USA:
    I think that if we simply get this bill voted down, it might send a wrong message to Congress that we don’t care about food safety. Actually, I see a stroke of good in Leahy in trying to bring justice to our food system. I like the bill’s penalty. The best approach is to put a rider on the bill that says, first the bill should apply to Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, DuPont-Pioneer, etc. who are already breaking this law of deliberately and knowingly adulterating and misbranding ( in this case unlabeling ) food, especially for interstate commerce, with reckless disregard of causing injury or death, ( we don’t know how many people got sick or died because of no Genetically Engineered Food labeling, also willful and deliberate! ). And we should make these charges retroactive for the whole 18 year history of unlabeled GE food from Coast to Coast. Since Monsanto (also known as Monstersanto ) is clearly guilty of this crime, 10 years is fine with me; it should be 100 years for that company especially. Then, if at this point, Congress changes its mind and wants to protect Monsanto, as it has been doing all along, then our rider will stipulate that there is no basis for this law applying to anyone else, including vitamin and supplement companies.

       0 likes

  6. Guest says:

    This article is misinformed. The bill would only make it a crime to poison someone on purpose. Anyone who opposes that must be worried about the supplements they are selling…

       0 likes

  7. Irena Franchi says:

    I demand freedom of choice.

       0 likes

  8. Pete Mare says:

    The Food & Drug Administration is in the business of protecting drug and chemical manufacturers.
    They are not in business to protect.us. If they were looking out for our own good, then why do they have a “Black Box Warning” This appears on every drug that is so bad that it causes injury and possible death after taking it. If you take any drug that has this warning in large black type with a black line boarder around the paragraph. Levequin tore a tendon in my wife’s left hip in August 2001. Black box warning came out around same time. The drug is still being sold. The FDA approves any pesticide with test results from the manufacturer of the pesticide. We must have Congress investigate the FDA. If our elected representatives won’t do it, lets elect ones who will.

       0 likes

  9. anonymous says:

    PS Class action lawsuits have power! It’s time! This immoral, criminal control of our health and our freedom on our dime, has to stop!

       0 likes

  10. anonymous says:

    1o years in jail for the crime of talking about the proven health benefits in natural supplements?
    10 years jail for the crime of growing organic food that is *said* to be “misbranded” ?
    10 years jail for a paperwork mistake?
    The profiteering motives here are all too clear.

    Dear friends, let us unite please and do the following:

    A) On the Internet, Expose the voting records of bad apples in Congress who voted for this, helping to get them unseated from public office by public awareness and popular vote.

    B) Dial in to radio and TV talk shows, ask them for publicity to stop this

    C) Post virally to the Internet

    D) When you post, include a note that reprint permission is freely granted (is this okay, Alliance for Natural Health?) and ask that it be spread widely on the web. People will if you ask them to.

    E) Consider running for public office, yourself. Unseat the bad apples!

    It’s time to end this dictatorship in the Land of the Free!

    Thank you all!!

       0 likes

  11. Steven Peter Yevchak, Sr. says:

    I sent the email and I’ve posted the “Alert” to my FB page. I urge everyone else to do the same on YOUR social-networking page.

       0 likes

  12. Karen says:

    Please stop the Leahy Bill! If it passes, we won’t know what is in our food! It’s the people’s right to know!

       0 likes

  13. GB says:

    Unfortunately, all of my representatives are hard core Republicans who share the same beliefs with each other and which are in contradiction with mine. They have never been helpful. When I send them something that explains my beliefs and/or position, they only send me emails stating their own positions. . . In other words, it seems to be a complete waste of time.

       0 likes

  14. [email protected] says:

    They need to get rid of FDA. Why can’t they leave us alone to take care of our own health. We can do a much better job than they do. Too much BIG BROTHER watching.

       0 likes

  15. Patricia Chang says:

    Please leave my supplements alone! Green Tea has helped me lose 50 pounds. Cherry Extract helps with my severe, degenerative arthritis. Cranberry extract helps my kidneys. Millions of us depend on these supplements to keep going. Senator Leahy’s bill must be amended.

       0 likes

  16. Virginia Eagan says:

    Stop supporting the special, corporate interests, such as Monsanto, and support the rights of the American people to have clean, organic and natural food. The kind only GOD can make. I don’t need Monsanto to grow their inferior food and monoplollize the food and water resources of this planet. They do not own the EARTH. This continued government assault on our food rights is insane.

       0 likes

  17. HEALTH FREEDOM. KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MOUTH AND MY STOMACH.

       0 likes

  18. I have been appalled at how the Natural Food Stores have ducked their responsibility for defending their turf. Many a time I have tried to rouse small store owners, to get them to put printed information in the grocery bags to get their customers in the loop, to get them protesting and signing petitions. After all, it is their living that is being railroaded.

    Can you figure out a way to get this done? Like I said, I have been unsuccessful.

       0 likes

  19. Lourdes Arguelles says:

    Please do not continue to empower the FDA in its battle against effective natural health care by passing the Leahy bill.

       0 likes

  20. Marjorie Strickland says:

    I feel that the government has no business telling us we are too stupid to know what is good for us and what we should be allowed to take for our health. We are in our early seventies and want to keep taking silver products, vitamins, and organic food to stay healthy.

    That is my right but the gov. wants to control us and one of the best ways to do that is to control our food and supplements. So please keep us informed about what is happening as it is hard at our age to keep up with all the bills that they keep throwing at us. We will be more than happy to sign any petitions that are needed to help you in your work.

    Thank you for your care and concern for our health and well being.

       0 likes

  21. Renee Peterson says:

    I want the truth about products and I want healthy sustainable food not garbage.

       0 likes

  22. I am 68 years old and I have taken vitamins and supplements for several years. Th e vitamins I take some have been prescribed by a medical doctor after running blood test. There would be a big injustice to the health and welfare of millions of americans to interfere with alternative health care. Alots of these supplements and vitamins are being used in our perscribed medications by under different names and at much higher prices. Its high time the government got out of the health care business other than to monotor drug companies and protect the interest of the people.

       0 likes

  23. robert rosenfield says:

    I undersand the “Leahy” food bill has passed in the Senate and contains vague language open to liberal interpretation that might subject people/businesses to draconian penalties and even jail time. Such a bill is not in keeping with the human,democratic and ehtical standards of the United States. I urge you to not support this bill in its present form.

       0 likes

  24. sandy draus says:

    food safety is VERY important…but the bill should not attack innocent natural health food and dietary supplement producers. That just puts more money in the pockets of big drug companies. Protect the natural health foods and dietary supplements…people have been using them for centuries before drugs ever came about.

       0 likes

  25. Jane Wilson says:

    Enough already! Who is Leahy working for?

       0 likes

  26. Elissa White says:

    The language is much too vague.

       0 likes

  27. Mercedes Barnek says:

    Please change the language in this Bill so that it is not open to interpretation and instead of protecting consumers against dangerous and unhealthy practices will be used against natural health food and dietary supplements.

       0 likes

  28. john cothes says:

    Please respect the rights of americans to have the right to choose which herbs and vitamins they consume. God knows you already allow them to consume the 8-10 commonly used deadly big pharma/hospital drugs..not to mention the nuerotoxic artificial sweetners on the open market..and wait how about the drug voted the number one most dangerous drug of all..alcohol..thanks for your 10 seconds of time.

       0 likes

  29. Elena Marcus says:

    I urge you to pass on this Food Safety Accountability Act 2011. Its language is open to misrepresentation and the rule will be used by the FDA to crack down on food/nutrient manufacturers. This bill is unwarranted, and will anihilate de facto the supplement act and its protections. The FDA will use this law to threaten and gut businesses who manufacture food/nutrients whose products cure illness better than drugs without adverse effects.
    Please undersand that the American people prefers to use supplements rather than drugs – and doesn’t want to see supplement manufacturers fined and jailed by the FDA. The American people wants to retain that freedom of choice.
    There are enough safeguards against food toxicity and there is no need for more laws.
    Thank you for consideration,

    The USDA and the FDA have enough law to protect the consumers.

       0 likes

  30. alfiya says:

    can you stop then to make any morelaws please, it is endless, continuesly they come closer and closer to the freedom of chioce and action for majority. how we can allow them to step on million year before proven simple and natural approach to health , what kind of law? written for themselves to kill us, to benefit from our health to destroy our health. the us government so much corrupted and much worse than any italian or African’s. The most dangerous thing is the monsters who have the world’s richest shareholders spit into public eyes and do all they want to do. Let right law for ourselves and try to get through with it, but instead of donating money for your brainless government we should unite and go altogether to get approved all what we know is good for health.

       0 likes

  31. Archie Burke says:

    Another insult to those who put their lives on the line for this country! Big Corp OWES PLENTY to the Vets; who defended our country from various would be invaders, there IS an OBLIGATION to HONOR their service with appropriate FREEDOM type legislation,NOT the dollar minded SELL OUT proposed here!

       0 likes

  32. GERALDINE HALL says:

    FIRST OF ALL AS A CITIZEN OF THE USA I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE HERBAL, HOMEOPATHICS, NATURAL VITAMINS, OR ANY NATURAL AND ORGANIC SUPPLEMENT THAT I WANT. SECONDLY I AM THAT TYPE OF PERSON WHO HAS AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO MOST CHEMICAL MEDICATIONS THAT ARE PRESCRIBED BY THE AMA, SO I DEPEND ON NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS TO KEEP ME ALIVE.
    IF THE GOVERNMENT BELIEVES THAT IT HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE CHEMICAL MEDICATIONS THE ONLY WAY A CITIZEN CAN USE AS A CURE FOR ALL AND EVERY DISEASE AND HEALTH PROBLEM, THEN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A FIGHT ON YOUR HANDS. IF YOU HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF MEDICINE, YOU WILL REALIZE THAT ALL MEDICATIONS ARE DERIVED FROM A NATURAL SUBSTANCE, THEN THE PHARMACUDICAL SYNTHESIS IT FROM CHEMICALS. THE CHEMICALS USED IN THESE MEDICATIONS ARE USUALLY TOXIC TO THE HUMAN BODIES, BUT DO THEY CARE…NO. PROFIT AND GREED ARE THEIR ONLY CONCERN, NOT OUR HEALTH.
    THIS IS WHY WE HAVE THE FDA AND OTHER AGENCIES TO PROTECT US FROM FALSE ADVERTISING, PRODUCTS THAT DO US HARM. NOW YOU, THE GOVERNMENT WANT TO TELL US WHAT WE MUST USE IN OUR FOODS, MEDICATIONS, COSMETICS, AND OTHER PRODUCTS WE NEED IN OUR LIVES….AND WHAT YOU WANT IS TO KILL US WITH ASPARTANE, MSG, FLORIDE, AND OTHER TOXIC MATERIALS THAT DON’T BELONG IN OUR BODIES.

       0 likes

    • D. J. Sadler says:

      Geraldine!!! Well spoken. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I just got enlightened on the dangers of aspartame and MSG., and read the book MILK, the Deadly Poison, by Robert Cohen. What an eye opener! Read it if you can. It proves my stand that the FDA and AMA are not our friends. They’re only in it for the money.

      Regards,
      D. J.

         0 likes

  33. Jerry says:

    Safari couldn’t follow the link to the Action Alert Page.

       0 likes

  34. As someone with the chronic illness MS, I am being treated by someone who is helping me feel and function better with the illness; by using certain supplements that are helping very much. The known injectable medicines that the allopathic doctor had me taking for years did not help me at all, and my level of functioning was very low; I have, for many years used good nutrition as well as supplements to aid in my health. To interrupt anyone’s daily protocol of natural supplements would be wrong, and it isn’t the governments business that citizens make choices for themselves to use supplements.

    Please correct the language of the Leahy bill, and make sure that you do not halt our freedom as citizens of this country; in making the supplement choices that we do. Please leave the choices in our hands and don’t disrupt our protocols. Thank you

       0 likes

  35. Robert Ross says:

    On most issues, I think Patrick Leahy is a very fine and progressive minded Senator for the state of Vermont, and one of my personal favorites. However, I can not fathom his neo-conservative views on the issue of food safety and nutritional supplements. Every American should have the right to buy any vitamin, mineral, herb, and other dietary supplements over the counter as they wish. The foods these natural micro nutrients come from have been consumed by humans for hundreds if not many thousands of years. Many have been used medicinally for just as long. The nutrients themselves have been scientifically tested and proven safe and effective against numerous medical conditions all over the world. In fact they are far more safe and effective then the vast majority of the synthetic drugs approved by our incompetent FDA which is a revolving door that is regulated by a who’s who of the pharmaceutical industry. In the USA we pride ourselves on the the right of every citizen to worship any religion but when it comes to nutritional choices Mr. Leahy would restrict our access to natural and time tested cures which modern science is only just beginning to comprehend.

       0 likes

  36. Kathy Ridge says:

    Please listen to your conscience. This bill will give all power to big pharma and take away our right to our own food choices.

       0 likes

  37. Make it right!

       0 likes

  38. Julie Morrison says:

    Don’t do this

       0 likes

  39. Robert Haverlock says:

    The Senate’s Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 contains language that is open to interpretation. While intended to protect the public from food manufacturers who would harm the public with their negligence, the vague language may also be used by the FDA to attack innocent natural health food and dietary supplement producers.

    A House version of the The Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 must address the vagueness in the language and carve out certain exemptions in the definition of misbranding and adulteration—or better yet, define them anew instead of referring to the extremely broad Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act

       0 likes

  40. janet Skjonsby says:

    Oppose the Food Safety Bill . It is too vague and subject to interpretation.

       0 likes

  41. Laura Legere says:

    The vague language and ten-year jail term in the bill will be misused by the FDA to threaten innocent natural health food and dietary supplement producers. The FDA has proven over and over again that it does not have the public’s best interest at heart and quite the opposite. The FDA supports the dangerous highly processed foodless food manufacturers and this bill will protect them and leave honest and ethical health food and natural supplement companies at great risk of being legally (really it’s illegally) harmed.

       0 likes

  42. Wondering Woman says:

    I hope you are right but fear you may not be. I believe that the bill was sent back to the House for some rewording or corrections. After the alleged corrections it was returned to the Senate, at which time a few Republicans were supposed to raise an objection to it being hidden inside a “must pass” bill and demand that it be voted on alone – which as you know didn’t happen – looks
    like all the republican senators are “RINOS”, doesn’t it? Passed it without being named as voting
    for it, by remaining silent when it came back through.

       0 likes

  43. Denise Korfhage says:

    Stop and leave the natural products alone. Please focus on the synthetic drugs with multiple harmful side effects that are on the market.
    Denise Korfhage RN

       0 likes

    • Eselpee says:

      Natural products also can have “multiple harmful side effects”. We need to be smart about this.

         0 likes

  44. Warren Settlemire says:

    When I learned that Senator Leahy’s bill, S.216, had passed in the Senate, I wanted to contact you immediately, before a similar bill was introduced in the House.

    While I was pleased that the language was an improvement over last year’s bill, I am concerned that while the ten-year jail term specified in the bill now applies only to food violations and not supplements, the FDA (based on their past behavior) may not interpret the bill the same way. Explicit language to clarify the situation would be helpful.

    I’m also concerned that the bill still refers back to the FD&C Act for its definitions of the terms “adulterated” and “misbranded.” For example, in section 403 of the Act, “misbranding” can mean that the producer makes a completely true statement about the health properties of a food or food product but without FDA permission.

    I would much prefer it if the House never introduced its version of the bill! But if one is introduced, it must address the Senate bill’s vagueness in terminology and carve out certain exemptions in the definition of misbranding and adulteration — or better yet, define them anew instead of referring to the extremely broad and vague FD&C Act.

    If such a bill is introduced, and its current language is not changed, such a law could hurt a lot of innocent people, and I would ask you to strongly oppose it.

       0 likes

  45. Susan Stubblefield says:

    The Senate’s Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 contains language that is vague and open to broad interpretation. While intended to protect the public from negligent food manufacturers who could harm the public, the language in the Leahy Bill could also be used by the FDA to attack innocent natural health food and dietary supplement producers.

    Please oppose this bill’s introduction into the House or else refine its language to ensure that the legislation cannot be used to harm the wrong people.

       0 likes

  46. Michael Antus says:

    To Whom it may concern;

    You talk about less Government, than stay out of my kitchen !!!

       0 likes

  47. carole hagen says:

    YES—WE NEED TO HAVE THIS ISSUE STOPPED IN THE HOUSE!

       0 likes

    • Eselpee says:

      Instead of stopping an otherwise good bill (the public does need to be protected from big manufacturers and government is our only hope), why dont you offer suggestions to make the language more precise? Why not print the language that you oppose so that we can offer suggestions to make it better.

      Big corporations do not care who they hurt or what the outcome is for the environment if they can make a buck.

      I know Patrick Leahy to be a good person who does care about those he serves – one of the few in the legislature who would protect us – and he is not in dept to big corporations (the “anonymous” or more accurately “ominous” donors) the way so many legislators who purport to represent us are.

         0 likes

  48. carole hagen says:

    YES—WE ALL NEED TO ACT ON THIS ISSUE!

       0 likes

  49. June Flowers says:

    STOP THE LEAHY BILL IN THE HOUSE.

       0 likes

  50. Dr. Richard Edlich says:

    I strongly oppose the legislation. Congress should not pass it.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Edlich

       0 likes

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