The Alliance For Natural Health

New Government Report Says FDA Should Ask Congress for More Authority over Health Claims

52

GAOWho should worry about this? And will consumers learn even less about what they are eating?

On January 14, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report called “Food Labeling: FDA Needs to Reassess Its Approach to Protecting Consumers from False or Misleading Claims.” The request for the study came from the same appropriations subcommittee in both chambers of Congress: the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Herb Kohl (D-WI) in the Senate and Rose DeLauro (D-CT) in the House were the respective subcommittee chairs.

The GAO report is concerned with certain health-related claims called structure/function claims. S/F claims describe how a food or supplement affects the body’s structure (i.e., the skeleton) or its function (i.e., digestion).

The reports says that to make sure such claims on food labels are not false or misleading, the FDA should do three things:

  • Ask Congress for the authority to access food company evidence, to help the agency decide if there is scientific support for claims or if the claims are false or misleading;
  • Give the food industry specific guidance on the type and strength of scientific evidence needed to prevent false or misleading information in a claim; and
  • Have FDA inspectors also review food labels during their inspections to help identify potentially misleading claims.

Some food products have claimed health benefits for unhealthy, sugary products, so this is a legitimate area of concern. But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) already has the regulatory authority to hold these companies accountable—that’s one of its primary functions—and similar authority does not need to be given to the FDA.

The report also criticized another category of health claims called qualified health claims (QHC), claiming that consumers may be confused by them, and noting that European Union and Canadian food labeling laws do not allow their use on food labels for that reason.

This is typical of the FDA’s and FTC’s own attitude: better to leave consumers totally in the dark unless the health claim has “significant scientific agreement,” a standard that is almost never met in science, or unless the underlying product has been taken through the full FDA approval process, which costs $1billion on average and is generally not feasible for non-patented substances. As we’ve reported previously, QHCs are extremely important because they allow food and supplement manufacturers to discuss what scientists have so far discovered about the healthfulness of their product.

We would not be surprised to discover that the FDA itself had gotten the appropriations committees to ask for the report, since it is FDA bureaucrats who would like to receive expanded regulatory authority. In fact, the report’s concern over QHCs may be because the FDA is still smarting over the lawsuit we won against them allowing QHCs for supplements.

ANH-USA will, of course, continue to monitor all related developments, and if legislation ensues, we will let you know immediately.

Share.
  • Alice Moriarty

    The Pharmaceutical companies do all of FDA’s testing. Does anyone think Big Pharma is going to give a favorable review of supplements? The fox is truly guarding the henhouse! How many bad drugs have FDA approved and then recalled because people are dying from them? Can’t they concentrate on the job they already have without grabbing for more? Remember the FDA doctor who refused to approve Thalidomide? Does FDA have a single doctor with her courage today? I don’t think so!

    • Lou

      The FDA and its parent HHS are TOTALLY failed institutions. They have been captured by the eugenic Rockefeller clan.

      In an honest government they would have been rooted out LONG ago.

    • Mike in MI

      No, Alice, they can’t – or won’t –
      The business of the drug companies and, therefore, the FDA dependent on us being sick at least once, or hurt badly enough so that we take the problem to an M.D.
      Once they get us there they have a fairly good chance to find something, do something or prescribe something that has a fairly good chance of initiating a chronic problem. Having done that there are often ways to keep us coming back or taking their toxins.
      So, if the drug companies’ busines goes down the FDA’s emminence is diminished. Besides, about two years ago the FDA reported on itself that they culd not carry out their assigned tasks in regards to doing thework that needs to be done to properly monitor that the mega-drug and monolithic food producers are acting responsibly – but they can harrass vitamin and supplement makers any day, any time any where.
      So, take any necessary precautions to take care of yourself – like tell your Congressmen and women to strip the vitamin and supplement duties away from the FDA and put it under USDA (never the FTC).

    • Ann Myers

      Just want to say thank you for keeping abreast of these issues and passing on the info so we can take action when needed.

  • Adrian

    This is ridiculous! FDA works for Pharmaceutical companies. It’s never about people’s health issues. It’s always about power, control and money.

  • Marina duBridge

    I agree w/ you. The FDA should not be given so much authority

  • Marina duBridge

    The FDA should not get that much authority

  • Barbara Talbert

    My thinking is that the FDA is not doing its job and their funding needs to be cut rather than expanded until they get it together and decide to label GMO foods. Many people are suffering due to their effects on the digestion, the skin and mucosal surfaces all over and in the body. Birds are falling our of the sky, bats are mysteriously starving, and bees are dying. They all have something in common–they are all pollinators dealing with poison pollen.

  • Richard Boes

    The FTC and FDA do not know what is good or bad for the American public until the pharmecuetical companies tell them. The greed and coruption in both agencies are so bad that it makes them useless,even dangerous to us, the public.

  • Michael Nissen

    Congress is supose to make laws. Giving beauracratic agencies this power should be unconstantutional. Too many agencies are making the rules today and it seems to be the way to get past the constitution. Lets put a stop to it.

  • Dorothy

    The FDA is the last group I would trust to tell me what is healthy. Oh, wait, I forgot the liars at the Pharmaceutical companies.

  • Protonius

    Apropos this GAO Report, can ANH institute a petition, the outcome of which should be emailed to every Member of Congress, specifying why the GAO is wrong in its view that Qualified Health Claims would “confuse” — rather than help educate and more fully inform — people?

  • EUGENE J MARTIN

    when PRESIDENT OBAMA appoints C E O of companies like g-e i worry that their allegence is to the corporation not theAmerican people

  • Gerald Burge

    As of this moment I bveleive that all medical protection agenicies, ie. FDA, AMA,and the like should be disbanded and all authoritty to act or protend to act, for our benfit bewithdrawned. A federal agency that is conrolled be common people with term limits, required to review all data required to get sufficeint info to determine the safety, proper usage. advertisement, an action necessary to protect our people from the abuses of industry, schools, docotors, hospitals, and anyone invloved with heath care for our nation. We cannot afford to continue go go on the path we are presently on.

    • rtfdc

      The AMA is not a protective agency for the public. It is a protective agency for the medical industry. Big, big difference.

  • Tamara R. Pearlman

    I do feel that as a taxpayer (40 yrs.) that “we the people” should have a right to the same health care that our legislators get. We’re paying for it!
    And, I think the FDA has let Americans down and now I read why. The GOP Congress doesn’t care about their constituents and you’ve made that real clear these past two years. Americans don’t forget.

  • Larry Hawkins

    Thanks for your continued observation of the questionable procedures of the FDA and the FTC. The costs of good food will continue to go up if these regulators have their way. I want to be a part of any protest, though my financial situation may not allow me to participate materially. Keep up the good work.

  • So, the FDA has proven itself inept and just another ascribe-for-hire mouthpiece for the BACKWARD thinking, profit=is-all food industry.

    A truly independent NON-government organization should be the arbiter of labeling, food claims, purity and food standards.

    FDA business as usual is bad business for America’s health.

  • Carol Robinson

    The FDA cannot be trusted with the health and well-being of our children. They are too involved with maintaining the well-being of corporate interests.

  • The FDA has had way too much authority to do its job, and guess what! They didn’t do it. They are so in bed with drug companies they promote over supplement companies, so in bed with GMO mega-corporations and mega-farms who promote GMO we will probably never get real food to eat in the US until somebody has the guts to bag the FDA and replace it with an agency who actually earns its money and perhaps even the respect of those of us who value our health and wish the FDA would quit messing with it and us and just get out of the way! If corporations didn’t rule our government we wouldn’t be having to have this discussion. And when our government is no longer by law allowed to collect massive money outside their salaries from these corporations who pay for getting their harmful products accepted, maybe the people of this country can catch up on their lives and health without having to worry about whether government or corporations will be deviously working to damage us with their outrageous plans.

  • Please, contact your representatives (house and senate) and demand that the funding for the FDA be cut and not to allow the FDA to have more power. Tell them that you insist they focus on reducing the size and scope of the federal government.

  • diana

    First of all, let’s get rid of the FDA – it is no more than a corporate arm. Second, who cares if someone makes a claim about a product if the claim does no harm? Perhaps the claim has a placebo effect – that alone may help improve health.

    What the FDA should look out for is the damage caused by products – and pull those from the market (unfortunately, that means that the corporations that control the FDA would lose profits).

    When the FDA interferes with a company that produces products which don’t harm people, it is intentionally, and with no scientific basis, interfering with that company’s profits – this means the FDA is overstepping. If the FDA causes companies to lose business, with no scientific proof, then the FDA should be liable to the company for its lost profits. Further, if the FDA removes a product from the market which benefits the general public, and the general public suffers as a result, the public should have recourse against the FDA and be compensated for the loss of health it has suffered as a result of the FDA’s arbitrary actions. . .

    All I can say is, get rid of the FDA.

  • Robert Morrow

    To me the FDA should be lose all their funding and be disbanded to save more citizen from death by approve poison drugs just to make the Pharmaceuticals more Profit. Let me insert a Quote by Herbert Ley, M.D.. Quote: “THE THING THAT BUGS ME IS THAT PEOPLE THINK THE FDA IS PROTECTING THEM. IT ISN’T. THE FDA IS PROTECTING THE PROFITS OF THE CORPORATIONS THAT PAY US AND THE POLITICIANS!” End of quote. The truth comes out that the FDA in order to increase the PROFITS of the approve poison drugs that kill/murder over 200,000 citizens per year, plus the fact that your own Politician sold their souls for 30 pieces of dirty Silver.

    • Mike in MI

      Robert –
      According to a eport put out by Gary Null, PhD a few years ago that “200,000” number is more like 873,000 or more (probably now above 1,000,000). This could be why our population didn’t grow very much between 2000 and 2010 – except for illegals.

  • Bill

    If consumers research the supplements or foods before going to buy them any claim is unnecessary. Companies who produce supplements should have their products assayed on a periodic basis by an independent lab. I try not to buy any supplement coming from China. I basically buy Japanese or western Europe.

    • rtfdc

      Bill, you would be surprised to find out that many Japanese and European countries also source thier products from Chinese raw materials.

  • Charlotte Hawkins

    You’re good at putting together petitions that we may all sign and send to the appropriate people. Would you kindly construct one to give us natural health minded people the chance to take massive action on this issue. This should cause a public outcry. Thanks.

  • Michelle Ognjanovic

    FDA should create/enforce regulations for the benefit of the health of the citizenry– it is the very reason the FDA exists. They should ask Congress for more authority over health claims, which will cut down on bogus and exaggerated statements by profiteers and make sure that health claims are not patently false and misleading.

  • MonteK

    The FDA is in the back pocket of the Big Corps so giving them more power is like giving the key to the mice to the cheese factory.

    The FDA is so slow, dumb, bought off etc. does it really matter? Look how long it takes them to approve medication that they have been using in Europe for 20-30 or more years. Then they let products that Europe won’t allow on their markets to be bought by millions over here in the good old USA, because the Big Corps control this Country. How many products has the FDA allowed on the market that have either killed people or gave them tremendous health problems? Making them bigger isn’t going to make them better. Until the American public wakes up and stops letting the Big Corporations do whatever they want we will continue the downfall.

  • Nick McNaughton

    Does Michael Taylor from Monsanto still have a role in the FDA’s food oversight?

  • Jorge Arenas

    Food safety is of utmost importance to national security. The poor food choices by the population at large is directly responsible for unending medical bills for obesity, heart disease, hypertension, etc. Granting the FDA appropriate investigasional and regulatory authority is important for national security.

  • Raleigh

    The FDA wants to take over natural health products and eliminate them in harmony with Codex Alimintarius, the UN recommended standards. The FDA works for the corrupt pharmaceutical corporations.

  • Angie

    We all have to keep fighting their requests for more authority over our vitamins and supplements. They will never be truly happy until all vitamins and supplements are required to have a prescription or are so expensive that they are unattainable for most people.

  • Mike in MI

    Well now, why should this be a concern to any astute health concerned consumer?
    Do you know how long the fights have been going on about, say for instance, what fats are healthful, unhealthful or just downright dangerous? How about…since the 1940’s and 50’s?
    Not only which ones, like, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated or saturated, long-chain or medium-chain or short chain carbos or trans-fats, O-3’s or O-6’s or O-xxx’s and does it make any difference what substances the organism that produced the fat naturally includes in the food complex in which they occur? Well, it’s turning out that it makes a whole lot of difference (all the above).
    Did you know that recent research shows there is a naturally occuring substance in butterfat that aids in its utilization to utilize it in the body? Ya, the butterfat they allow to separate to the top of skimmed milk and then get rid of it. Then they boil it and sell it to you as skim-,1%- or 2%- “milk” (which is false advertising) after they add sugar and God only knows what else.
    That’s the crux of the problem with anything government regulates or controls. They go by the “health” recommendation of an outfit like the AMA or some other self-interested group and make a regulaion that doesn’t change until millions of people are harmed or die. Essentially, science’s advances in tools and research methods keep changing the face of knowledge and, therefore, what the recommendations should be. But, government sets a rule or law and it may be there for decades after we know better. It all depends on whose hand is in whose pockets.

    The most perplexing difficulty is knowing whom to trust. In the old days science was an endeavor reliably carried out by honest searchers interested only in prying out the truth about a matter as best it could be analysed with the tools and state of knowledge at hand. Today “facts and truth” are often for auction to the highest bidder. That’s part of the reason why today we have such a terrible health crisis. Money and politics run the universities where a lot of research is conducted, doctors are indoctrinated and policies are politicized.
    Health is big business and YOU and I are the commodity. Like autos, our bodies are what the mechanics work on for fun and profit. Once something breaks or gets smashed they can keep you, the ignorant object of their afflictions, coming back by what they put in or take out. Either way, they’ve got braggin’ rights on you. And, they’ll keep you comin’ back to test, put in and take out or try new “stuff” until you or somebody begs them to pull “the plug”.
    It’s so perverse. But it doesn’t say that evil men are going to wax better and better. The best Doctor is God . So, for the rest of time my experience says to forge the strongest bond you can to Him. You can avoid a lot of the problems I endured by starting with making Jesus Christ your boss and acknowledge that God raised him from the dead. That’s a start on the most exhilarating chain of events you’ll ever experience. Now, just get your head enmeshed in the things of the New Testament for awhile and expect God to be faithful to what He had those guys write.

    I honestly don’t know anything else to look to anymore. It’s been around for a long time and It’s challengers and detractors come and go, for eons. Yet It still offers and delivers the Works when people work It. I’ve watched for 50 years of studying man’s “stuff” as we have corrupted everything we have that’s good…or could be. Everything men have tried to set-up as a substitute has failed. Study history…the same. Study philosophy…the same. Study science…man turns it rotten, because they have learned enough to know how to set up the protocols, cohorts and data analysis so as to be able to control the outcome before they conduct the first phase of the experiment. That totally nullifies the scientific method and corrupts the knowledge base.
    How do you know who has done honest scientific work?

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gabriel ONWUKEME,

    We do not need more regulation from the the Food and Drug Administration.

  • Stan K Alderson

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Leave alternative medicine to those of us who choose it. Big Pharma has it’s share of
    business whether they deserve it or not. Americans are intelligent enough, witrh enormous information archives available for making a wise and educated decision, we deserve a right to choose, to not have the government intervene into our personal freedoms.

    Regards

    Stan K Alderson

    • Mike in MI

      Stan –
      Why else are they taking steps to control or shut down the internet?

  • By those of us who are really paying attention understand that our Government cannot be trusted. On every opportunity they will side with industry. As for we the people well we will have to deal with the dictates of which ever industry wants to have it’s way.

  • When the FDA starts monitoring big pharma and their fake studies and conflict of interests and does a good job, then expand them. until then, keep them on a short chain.

  • Pat Litterini

    I am new to your website. Thank you for the links to Take Action. When there is a new Take Action issue do it go to the top of the list? Should we send these out just once, or should we send these out repeatedly?
    Deborah, I’m in the Pittsburgh area and had listened to you and Dr. Donald for years. Also attended a health seminar, where you spoke. You are both truly missed. And, Congratulations of your new marriage and I wish you much happiness.
    After listening to Dr. Courtney’s show, I know he has the utmost respect for you knowledge. He endorses your “Fruit of the Spirit” drink, but I’m wondering if you have a line of supplementation and any books on natural healing? I had a stage 1 malignant melanoma removed this fall. I am looking for reasonalbly priced things I can do at home to enhance my immune system and lessen any free radicals in the form of cancer. Vitamin C at $7000 for doing IV drip at home is out of reach. Do you have any suggestions for a protocol?
    Sincerlely,
    Pat Litterini
    P

  • Steve Thomas

    The FDA needs to loose power…not gain!!!!

  • The FDA is a waist of our money down with the FDA . “By those of us who are really paying attention understand that our Government cannot be trusted. On every opportunity they will side with industry. As for we the people well we will have to deal with the dictates of which ever industry wants to have it’s way”. I agree with Standing Bear.

  • Kelli

    What does the Federal Disease Association know about health?
    There the same profit group that allows chemicals in food and dangerous drugs, yet they harass supplement companies as if their the ones killing 200,000 people a year with drugs.

  • Suzanne

    We need Ron Paul in the White House and we need to get all the reps out of Congress and put new people who agree with us to run the country.

  • Here is a simple fact about how the FDA works. Do you know that ketchup has to called IMITATION if it is sweetened with honey? To them, ketchup is only ketchup because of the sugar. Duct tape moment.

  • i read sight after sight on how everyone is upset as i am over the f.d.a. and their doings. i did not read anything on this sight about our gmo foods they have added to us. or about the childrens fillings that kill. it needs to stop and we all need to sue the f.d.a. so we can be heard loud and clear. because … just look at dr. aaron vinik who found a cure in the 1970’s don’t remember the exact date but the f.d.a. did not allow the use. and now dr. s. burzynski found a cure for all types of cancer with out (any)side effects what so ever.the f.d.a. stop it dead in the tracks… why we all know because they get most of their income from pharmaceutical companies… we all see on t.v. daily where attornies ask you to call if you or a family member were injuried from the use of many drugs allowed by the f.d.a. even down to the denture cream used by the elderly and some young people have killed or cause serious side effect that will never go away.right down to our pet ‘s food all dangerous. we need to demand this garbage to stop. we need our children our self and our pets to be safe.they all need to be fired they want more control … ha! the f.d.a. wants to band vitamin b-6 only if a doctor says you can have then the doctor will write out the ole (p) for you to take to your drug store and they also want to band vitamin c…. but allow the drugs that kill to remain on the market for our use.they want to band all supplement compaines and do away with our right to buy natural herbs and supplements.we as americans while we still have a few rights left need to stand together and demand our rights to be healthy and get rid of all unsafe foods small example bpa in can foods and all plastic bottles that cause cancer and other bad things. no more gmo foods safe seeds they even want to take the right to grow a small garden only w/ gmo seeds… that kills and never leaves the body and builds.we need to take a stand now before it is too late we need to write again and again to our government that we demand this to be stopped… the f.d.a. is not doing their job so why do we need them… they need to be replaced with other who we can trust we need to sue and we need to stand together to be heard and wake others who do not seem to know what is going on with our safety.that is one sure fired way to have a wake up call before others die by bad medications dangerous foods and bad fillings that poison our childrens system and kill them… our pets dye from bad food and by liver and kidney failure very painful. now we have the gmo food that they don’t label… why … they don’t have to… they have control. when too much control is given bad things happen. it need to be stopped now… the more people that stands up the better chance to be heard… but if all we do is write nothing but getting our fears off our chest… still it goes on but now… f.d.a. might get more control… the end! hope no one gets upset over my bluntness… we need to do something before it is too late.