With Elections on the Horizon, Who Are Congress’s Natural Health Champions?

September 18, 2012
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championPart one of a two-part article looking at how senators and representatives fare on important health issues. Action Alert!

With campaigns in full swing and a critical election just around the corner (we’ve indicated with an asterisk those legislators who are up for reelection), it’s a good time to review who in Congress have been the real leaders on our issues. This week we assess our elected officials according to their activity in three important issue areas: your right to access natural health options; your right to choose a toxic-free environment; and your right to the healthy food of your choice.

Action Alert! If your senator or representative is listed below as a champion, click the link in their name to send them a quick thank-you message, and tell them how much their support of natural health issues means to you! (Don’t know who your representative is? Click here to find out!)

Your Right to Access Natural Health Options

For example, have they supported the Free Speech About Science Act, opposed the FDA’s Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients (NDI), and opposed Sen. Durbin’s anti-supplement amendment?

Senate Champions: Senators Orrin Hatch* (R-UT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Both Hatch and Harkin helped get FDA to withdraw its NDI draft guidance, and both stood up to Sen. Durbin’s amendment that would have drastically reduced your access to nutritional supplements through a litany of unnecessary new regulations.

Paul introduced an amendment that would curb FDA’s overreach and abuse of power, put an end to raids on natural food stores and Amish farmers, and stop FDA censorship of truthful claims of dietary supplements, while Enzi spoke out on the Senate floor against Sen. Durbin’s attempt to pass his supplement labeling act.

House Champions: Representatives Jason Chaffetz* (R-UT), Rob Bishop* (R-UT), Jared Polis* (D-CO), Jack Kingston* (R-GA), and Sam Farr* (D-CA)

Chaffetz, Bishop, and Polis voiced serious concern over FDA’s NDI draft guidance, and all three are members of the Dietary Supplement Caucus. In addition, Chaffetz and Polis introduced the Free Speech About Science bill.

Kingston and Farr, as House Appropriations Committee chair and ranking member, respectively, were instrumental in inserting our language into an important congressional report that urged FDA to withdraw the July 2011 NDI draft guidance. While Kingston doesn’t support us on all of our issues, we very much appreciate his support on this one.

We’d also like to recognize Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Dan Burton (R-IN), both longtime supporters of natural health and health freedom, who are retiring this year.

Your Right to Choose a Toxic-Free Environment

For example, did they oppose GMOs and GE salmon, support GMO labeling, try to limit our exposure to BPA, limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed, and support public disclosures on hydraulic fracking?

Senate Champions: Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein* (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders* (I-VT) have all been outspoken supporters of GMO labeling. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Don Young (R-AK) have been terrific on GMO issues, especially “Frankenfish.”

House Champions: Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Sam Farr (D-CA) have been outstanding on all GMO, BPA, and fracking issues. Rep. Louise Slaughter* (D-NY) has led the fight to limit antibiotics in animal feed.

Your Right to the Healthy Food of Your Choice

For example, did they support a farmer’s market exemption from the Food Safety Modernization Act, support your access to raw milk, and fight the school lunch program from classifying frozen pizza as a vegetable?

Senate Champions: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sponsored several raw milk amendments, while Sen. Jon Tester* (D-MT), a small farmer himself, fought to get farmer’s markets and small farms exempted from many of the controversial Food Safety Modernization Act requirements.

House Champions: Rep. Chellie Pingree* (D-ME) co-sponsored a raw milk bill, and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) sponsored the Slice Act, a bill that would remove frozen pizza from being classified as a vegetable for school lunches.

33 Responses to “With Elections on the Horizon, Who Are Congress’s Natural Health Champions?”

  1. Willis says:

    I am new and prob naive about the details of ANH activities. Not letting that hinder, My thoughts are:
    1. There is little likelihood of reversing the onslaught of the food and chemical and government efforts to block our ability to get accurate labeling and to continue to obtain natural foods and remedies, unless much greater leverage can be applied. ( for example we are nearly dead meat when just two senators retire, hows that for a bleak future). IMHO we need big bold efforts like..
    2. Since Europe does not accept GMO on much of there farms, Lobby Europe to NOT import GMO.
    Also, Get much larger funding from all sources to Lobby and to get Media support. And get super qualified lab tests of all supplements to fight the FDA charges of non-conforming suppliments….

       0 likes

  2. Lauren says:

    Kudos to those elected officials of BOTH parties who fought to protect American’s health.

    I find it very ironic that First Lady Michelle Obama runs around saying what should and shouldn’t be in kid’s school lunches (which I support theoretically, but as a conservative it makes me cringe that the federal gov’t can tell school systems what the school systems can and cannot feed kids! Enough of the nanny state). I digress.

    I work as a cashier in a large grocery chain. All these people that come in on food stamps or the politically correct term, the “SNAP” program, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program are abusing the crap out of our tax dollars and I’m fed up with it, especially since it is HER husband, Pres. Obama who just one plus month ago, allowed more “freedoms” on the EBT food stamp card under the “cash balance” portion. These people buy sushi, shrimp (all fresh, of course, not frozen), $50. special order cakes from our bakery, junk food out the ying yang, you name it — and we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill. If First Lady Obama is so concerned about the people living in poverty, shouldn’t she be “working” to only allow healthier foods on the food stamp program?!?
    I think most of us know why that isn’t the case. The hypocrisy is mind boggling.

    And just approximately one plus month ago, Pres. Obama changed the food stamp program to allow people to buy ALCOHOL and anything else they apparently want. I had a couple come in who barely spoke English, but were very well dressed, bought nice cuts of steaks, asparagus, an $11. bottle of wine (on sale!), a 6 pack of Bud Light Lime $6.99), and my favorite, a $17.00 bottle of L’Oreal facial cream — all on the EBT card’s “cash portion.” Your tax dollars at work people. Think of that when you vote. Is this what we as Americans want?!? NO!

       16 likes

  3. Brandon says:

    No mention of Congressman Dr. Ron Paul’s support of health freedom?

       1 likes

  4. Rebeccah says:

    Shameful, not one Missouri Senator or Congressman stands up for our rights to health. Small government indeed.

       1 likes

  5. Brigid says:

    I’m donating today to ANH-USA because they are looking out for us!! Thank you, and thanks to the very few Senators who care about We the People….

       0 likes

  6. Gary Mickel says:

    I am ritired but have become bery aware of what GMO’s do to use I have lived with them without knowing for knowing for mant years please continue to fight for anytring that will help prevent ant manufacturer from continuing to harm our food it is getting Very Hard to find good food without thouroughly reading each label before buying it. I just hane learned and bevome aware of all GMO or altered or even overly processed foods and I am feeling better now that I eat far less of them and stopping buying them it means change for me and my wife but we are working at getting rid of anything that is any of these listed. Thank You for your every effort. Gary Mickel.

       1 likes

  7. Emily says:

    Senator Mikulski (D-MD) is also solid! She’s not only one of our strongest allies on GMO issues (supporting labeling and opposing the recent GMO riders), but she broke with her party and opposed the Durbin amendment, writing in response to my petition letter: “I voted against this amendment because I know that many people rely on dietary supplements…to live healthier and happier lives.” She is a champion of consumer access AND consumer protection!

       6 likes

  8. NANCY says:

    KUDOS TO ALL THESE CHAMPIONS AND PROTECTORS OF PUBLIC HEALTH

       8 likes

  9. Health Care reform: promote health
    To decrease the huge expenditures through Medicare, reform needs to feature strategies to really improve health. The government could take a radical step that holds promise.
    In 1980 lead was removed from gasoline with the expectation that this would save billions of dollars in health care costs. It reduced blood lead levels dramatically but health care costs have increased due to Alzheimers, obesity, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, auto-immune disorders, autism, mental health disorders etc. These are all expensive diseases. They all share a tendency to be associated with low 25-OH vit D3 levels. They are generally adversely affected by stress and inflammation.
    When lead was removed form gasoline, no attention was given to the fact that crude oil contains 32ng/gm cadmium. Cadmium is not a household word. Reporters generally pay more attention to lead or mercury. But cadmium causes 25-OH vit D3 levels to drop in experimental situations. It also causes stress and inflammation. It dissolves bone where lead is stored and was probably responsible for low level lead toxicity that led the EPA to make lead, not cadmium, the number one pollutant. It is another case of correlation being confused with causation.
    worsening health in the last 30 years is at least partly attributable to this mistake. However, cadmium is also in passive and active smoke, well known to have adverse effects on health. Because there are so many components in cigarette smoke and in air pollution in general, toxicologists have been reluctant to attribute adverse effects to cadmium. Yet, in the presence of cadmium the other chemicals are far more toxic and co-exposure can double the blood level of the chemicals. Some substances like BPA that are correlated with adverse effects may well exert their harm by preventing the liver from producing metallothionein, a protein that detoxifies cadmium but also binds mercury, zinc, and copper .
    Cadmium is also present in molds and bacteria. Certain bacterial flora in the gastrointestinal tract can produce weight gain and inflammation. It would be easy to check the bacteria found in persons with metabolic syndrome that are associated with weight gain and inflammation to see if they trap cadmium in inclusions or pump cadmium out increasing the host’s exposure to cadmium and damaging the lining of the GI tract.

    So why does the EPA pay so little attention to cadmium air pollution? The simple answer is that…

       12 likes

    • Marietta Jones says:

      where is the rest of the essay about Cadmium?

         3 likes

    • JEROD JEWELL, RPh says:

      More info “Doc”………….it is not often i read statements from physicians…………………………More info “Doc”………….Thank You

         1 likes

  10. nick says:

    feinstein voted for the durbin amendment i don’t like that.

       2 likes

  11. Betty Owen says:

    There are enough toxins in the air, in our water, and probably many that we’re not even aware of. We don’t need to have chemicals/modified foods that we don’t even know what the long-term impact could be on our health without our knowledge. I would like to have access to all NATURAL foods–like what I got from my grandparent’s farm as a young child–chemical-free fruits and vegetables, raw milk, hormone/antibiotic-free meets, eggs from chickens that roamed freely and ate grasses and insects, etc. We have gone far astray from raising foods that are natural and hence more healthful.

       5 likes

    • Pat Ryan says:

      In a world so sped up to achieve more and more for those who have too much already, all others must sacrafice:

      Not enough time to examine as completely as ‘necessary’ health issues and so weigh the lies against the truth and thereby rightfully make appropriate/beneficial demands of our leaders. The FDA so understaffed and its members compelled to ignore (or not even explore) significant evidence of what should never reach the public for consumption.

      Misrepresented/geared-to-confuse information about food choices designed to line the pockets of the wealthy

      Lack of choices for the poor (and those who do not appear poor but must make sacrifices to keep up appearances) who must select inferior food products (and lifestyles) that eventually impair their thinking/reasoning abilities so that many other choices in their life are inadequate (a viscious cycle throughout their lifes)

      And even the wealthy in their haste and greed overlook what is best for them; what good is all the wealth in the world if you haven’t considered your own health first — you’ll not live long to enjoy it all.

      I am grateful to the very many experts (which I am not, but I do try to keep up and at 61 am a shining example of what good care and proper nutrition can achieve [after overcoming so many bad choices brought about by my youthful ignorance]) who dedicate so much time and energy to the cause for optimal health. I deplore those who ‘purposely’ thwart these experts with the misinformation and lies they spew to the public just to keep the average person in such a state of confusion as to continually make wrong choices that line the pocket of the wealthy.

      And all this has apparently been going on since the beginning of time. EGO, POWER, GREED — but indulged in today ever so vehemently. Is there a supplement on the market to reduce the ill effects of these three evils?

      I do my best to educate those around me with information about which I AM QUITE CERTAIN (I do not venture into areas beyond what I have proven to myself and after great thought feel could benefit others). Just to look at me would be to know I not only talk the talk but walk the walk — yet so many just do not get it; they are so otherwise conditioned to continue in their impoverished ways.

      You advocates for our health have still many a rough row to hoe. You have my admiration for your ongoing efforts.

      Keep up the good work. As long as God Himself will continue to try so must we (and…

         2 likes

  12. The elephants and donkeys deserve the bird! Obama and Romney have forsaken the American Dream. They hardly disagree at all on the important issues. What will they debate?

    A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called The Declaration of Independence, The Affirmation of Self-Government!

    Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray are the only choice to Save the American Dream: Self-Government, freedom from big government tyranny and oppression…. and to Restore Justice, the guardian of Liberty! The people believe in self-government and self-medication.

    The FDA reeks of corruption. It has not approved any herbs or vitamins for the treatment of illnesses. They are owned by big pharma. Read: “Tyranny in the USA: The true history of FDA raids on healers, vitamin shops and supplement companies.”You can learn more about the true history of the FDA and Big Pharma in Mike Adams tell-all book, Natural Health Solutions and the Conspiracy to Keep You From Knowing About Them.

    Our DEA overseers have harassed the sick and dying, shamed and destroyed families, locked up and killed many (including enforcement) over one of the safest therapeutically active plants known to man. While FDA”overseers”allowed more pharmaceutical killers on the market, suppressed the truth about cannabis and failed to grant the terminally ill access to investigational drugs and treatments. Both agencies exacerbate problems instead of solving them. They should be disbanded.

    Put natural health champions Johnson/Gray in the White House!

       2 likes

  13. Camille M. Norman says:

    Sen Rand Paul is a champion because he doesn’t like government telling people what to do. That means he opposes other things this organization supports like protection from chemicals and GMO labeling.

       1 likes

  14. Jo Vaccarino says:

    Did you know that Gary Johnson is the only Presidential candidate with enough ballot access to actually win, who has openly stated that he supports GMO labeling?

    Johnson is a triathlete who has learned the importance of a gluten free diet and recognizes that GMO’s are a big part of the health problem in our country.

    Gary Johnson has officially gotten on the ballot in 48 states now – the hard way, and is fighting challenges to remain on the last two (OK and MI), but he will not be invited onto the national debate stage so organizations like ANH need to at least let him speak to your audience.

    The two parties essentially took over the debates from the LWV in 1988, the debates are now merely another stop along the campaign trail for the 2 major parties and will likely never include any 3rd party candidates. (There are several youtube videos and articles that explain the details of this online).

    Is the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson electable? YES HE IS.

    I think ANH should send a survey or interview Gary Johnson on Natural Health topics (and Jill Stein too as she might get on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance) – otherwise, people may never know that there are viable choices other than the D and the R candidates.

       3 likes

    • Brandon says:

      Just to remind you, Obama publicly campaigned on his willingness to label GMOs and now he remains silent on the issue.

      I like Gary Johnson and the Libertarian positions, but I’m just sayin…….

         1 likes

  15. Mary Ingram says:

    I do not live in a state which has a representative listed on the article that have supported the natural health move, but I would still like to thank them for the support! Can ANH set up a page to do that as well? :)

       0 likes

    • ANH-USA says:

      Hi Mary–Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately, the system we use does not allow non-constituents to send letters to elected officials. This is to prevent spam (although we know you are not spam!).

      Thanks for your readership and support, it is very much appreciated!

         0 likes

  16. Finngal says says:

    I would ask that ALL our congress men and women come to understand that there are many people, such as myself, that absolutely need to know every ingredient in an food item, if it has been genetically modified, and we need to be able to have natural foods available to us without pesticides. Our bodies are not made to assimilate GMOs, which is mainly why there is such an increase in gluten intolerance.

       1 likes

  17. I want to express my thanks to all in government who constantly stand up for clean, healthy food and supplements. This is a war we should not have to fight !!! Get those GMO’s labeled and no one will buy them. God bless your efforts.

       1 likes

  18. Laurie Raymond says:

    I’m very proud of our Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, but as a Democrat I am concerned about the big biz bias Democrats have displayed in various regulatory arenas. Libertarians support consumer choice for the wrong reasons — ie, they oppose all regulatory projects. I support strong, well-funded protective regulation of industries that deceive consumers, pollute the environment, distort science and endanger our financial system for their own gain. But as a party we have to support consumers’ rights to choose unconventional products, treatments and procedures when science does not conclusively prove them to be hazardous. And I favor regulations that insist on environmental protections assured before permits are granted to any industries with significant potential or actual impacts. Those of us who value unadulterated and organic food, supplements, and “alternative” health modalities must do better in communicating our values, and the supporting science, to our elected representatives.

       2 likes

    • Jo Vaccarino says:

      Libertarians do not oppose all regulatory projects. As a matter of fact, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson just openly stated in his Town Hall that he absolutely believes GMOs MUST BE LABELED for the safety of Americans.

      Libertarians oppose the type of regulations that the FDA uses to raid raw milk farms. Libertarians believe the regulations must be PROVEN to keep Americans safe in order to be enacted and must be subject to re-evaluation if the regulation is not working. Most importantly, regulations must not be used for crony capitalism, ie: giving one company or industry an advantage over others (the way the FDA favors BigPharma over natural supplements).

         1 likes

  19. Richard Pawley says:

    Eating GMO food is similar to smoking. It is politically or socially acceptable suicide. However, the diseases caused can be quite painful and forcing this on the population for money is something that is beyond understanding. I hope we can stop it but I also know that one of founding principle of the Universe (like the law of gravity and E=MC squared), is the Law of Reciprocity. None of these laws require belief. They simply are. Oh, the Law of Reciprocity, it’s more easily expressed in “What you sow you will reap” It’s why Jesus said to not even hate your enemies. All the pain and suffering that these people cause with their DNA destroying GMO corn and soy and sugar will be experienced by them. All will (eventually) experience all that they have inflicted upon others. That is not much consolation if one is dying of cancer, but it is better than nothing.

    Elsewhere I have read that some of the scientists at Monsanto only eat organic, and one bought his own cow so he wouldn’t have to use milk tainted with artificial bovine hormones.

       2 likes

  20. Frances in California says:

    If Hatch and Paul are our only champions for Natural Food Choices . . . we are toast.

       1 likes

  21. Don’t forget Bill Chatfield. If Romney wins, he’ll be the head of the VA.

    He has already been a lobbyist for ACAM.org and IAOMT.org.

    Great guy!

       0 likes

  22. Diane Harms says:

    I don’t know why the FDA wants to punish people who want to take their health into their own hands when they allow the sale of cigarettes!

       0 likes

  23. Michael Hocevar says:

    Common sense please!

       0 likes

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