ANH-USA: Making A Real Difference
ANH-USA effects change and protects the integrative medical community. We are dedicated to promoting integrative medicine and sustainable health and work to ensure that practitioners have the right to practice and consumers have the right to choose. The impact of our commitment is very real. Throughout our history we have played an important role in filing precedent-setting lawsuits and passing significant legislation that directly benefit the natural health community. We were instrumental in passing the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act of 1994, widely considered to be the single most important piece of legislation for the industry. We have filed seven lawsuits establishing qualified health claims for saw palmetto, folic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, Vitamin E, Vitamin B and Selenium, and we successfully sued the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for violating the First Amendment as well as the Administrative Procedure Act by not allowing the dissemination of truthful, scientific information on dietary supplement labels.
Some of our most notable accomplishments include:
- Mobilized activists to send more than 300,000 messages and make more than 20,000 phone calls to Congress and the FDA opposing the FDA’s draft guidance affecting New Dietary Ingredients.
- In response, Senators Kyl, Kirk, and Lugar and Representatives Visclosky and Wolf wrote their own letters to the FDA expressing their constituents’ opposition to the guidance. In addition, Senators Hatch and Harkin (two of the original authors of DSHEA) wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking her to withdraw the guidance on the grounds that it goes against the Congressional intent of DSHEA.
- Defeated anti-competitive legislation pushed by the ADA in California that would have restricted the practice of nutrition to Registered Dieticians alone.
- Pressured the FDA to reverse their initial stance and allow compounding pharmacies to continue providing 17P to pregnant women, despite the efforts of KV Pharmaceutical to ban it as a competitor to their drug Makena.
- Ensured that the ten-year jail sentences for food and supplement manufacturers who violate complicated FDA rules contained in Senator Leahy’s original Food Safety Accountability Act would not be part of the Senate Food Safety bill.
- Sent more than 60,000 messages opposing Senator Leahy’s Food Safety Accountability Act which would have established ten-year prison terms for violating FDA regulations (including paperwork errors).
- In response, Senator Leahy’s office reached out to ANH-USA to develop compromise language requiring proof of actual harm for prosecution, and the bill became so politically unpopular that it died without receiving a vote.
- Filed three lawsuits against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in support of the natural products industry’s right to speak freely to consumers about the science behind their products, and have so far won our suits on selenium and antioxidant health claims in federal court.
- Defeated Congressman Waxman’s attempts to slip a sneak amendment into the Wall Street Finance Reform bill that would have greatly expanded the FTC’s power to target supplement companies.
- Took out a full-page ad in Roll Call, a popular Capitol Hill newspaper, opposing Senator McCain’s 2010 anti-supplement bill (Dietary Supplement Safety Act), and mobilized our grassroots activists to send more than 200,000 messages opposing the bill.
- As a result, Senator McCain withdrew support for his own bill and it died without receiving a vote.
- Included an exemption for dietary supplements from dangerous Codex language in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that would have created a slippery slope toward US harmonization with Codex Alimentarius.
- Modified regulations in Delaware and Michigan that would have limited the practice of nutrition to Registered Dieticians to include Certified Nutrition Specialists.
- Passed legislation in North Carolina that provides due process protection for practitioners targeted by the State Medical Board.
- Modified the senate healthcare bill to ensure that the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) program (now called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute) includes integrative medicine practitioners on the board and advisory panel.
- Worked with Congressmen Chaffetz and Polis to introduce the Free Speech about Science Act in the House of Representatives, which will permit supplement companies to cite peer-reviewed scientific research in support of product health benefits.
- At the request of U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Tom Harkin, co-drafted the National Plan to Advance Integrated Health Care.
- Led the effort to pass the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which became law in October 1998.
- Obtained language in the Congressional Conference Committee report in 1996 on the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA) stating expressly that the practice of alternative medicine is not fraud.
- Successfully sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Pearson vs. Shalala) for violating the First Amendment by not allowing the dissemination of truthful, scientific information on dietary supplement labels.
- Instrumental in passing the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994, guaranteeing access in the United States to safe, effective and affordable dietary supplements.