Senator Durbin’s Stealth Move against Supplements


congressSince he’s having trouble getting his own bill passed, he’s trying a different approach to get the same results. New Action Alert!

For weeks we have been telling you about Sen. Dick Durbin’s disastrous Dietary Supplement Labeling Act, which attempts to impose harsh limits on supplement availability by giving the FDA major new powers to make arbitrary standards and rules that will curtail supplement sales.

Initially it orders the FDA to compile, with help from the Institute of Medicine, a list of dietary ingredients (read: supplements) that could lead to adverse events or are otherwise deemed risky in some way. But creating lists of “bad” ingredients or “bad” doses based on completely arbitrary or non-existent standards is a slippery slope.

Now Sen. Durbin has proposed an amendment to an appropriations (budget) bill, which is a sneaky way of getting controversial laws passed without too much attention. The amendment would have the Government Accountability Office (GAO) assess the effectiveness and utility of the FDA’s adverse event reporting (AER) system, and report to Congress on what actions FDA is taking to ensure that dietary supplement manufacturers are reporting adverse events; how the AER system “informs the public” of FDA’s efforts to protect consumers; and, most especially, whether FDA has implemented the recommendations GAO made in its 2009 report on dietary supplements.

Buried in the GAO’s recommendations in its 2009 report are some of the same provisions that are also in Durbin’s unpopular Dietary Supplement Labeling Act. In our article on the report, we noted that the GAO recommended:

  • increased supplement labeling regulations—one of the Durbin bill’s main goals;
  • a clear delineation to be made between food and supplements—a first step toward treating supplements as drugs—this is also in the Durbin bill, and it’s the particular clause we feared he would slip into the appropriations bill; and
  • an increase in AER requirements: currently only severe adverse events must be reported, but this would force AERs to be filed even for the most minor events.

The GAO undermined its own recommendation in the report by acknowledging that “FDA officials told us that the current regulatory framework is sufficient to identify and act on safety concerns regarding foods with added dietary ingredients.” This supports ANH-USA’s assertion that the FDA is already well equipped and needs no additional authority to do its job.

Furthermore, the number of supplement AERs is quite low—only 1,080 in 2008. And keep in mind that over half the US population (at least 154 million individuals) take nutritional supplements, according to data from 2007 National Health Interview Survey. The supplement AER figure is even lower when compared to the 526,527 prescription drug AERs in 2008. In other words, for every adverse event from supplements, there are 488 adverse events from prescription drugs!

Remember that it took the deaths of 55,000 Americans before FDA considered pulling Vioxx off the shelves.

The fact that Sen. Durbin has suggested this appropriations amendment indicates that he no longer has high hopes for the Durbin bill. Thanks to all the messages you’ve been sending Congress, he is having a difficult time gaining support for it—he has only been able to find one senator so far who is willing to co-sponsor his bill—and so he’s trying to pressure FDA into implementing the bill’s goals via the regulatory system. We believe it is also an attempt to lay stronger groundwork to push his bill through legislatively, once he gets the ball rolling and FDA starts to treat supplements more like drugs.

We should also note that Sen. Durbin was the architect of the current AER system, but he was unhappy with the political compromise that was struck when the law was passed originally—Sens. Hatch and Harkin agreed to a reporting system so long as it was only for severe events. Now we see Durbin pushing a requirement to have all adverse events be reported, no matter how minor.

What Sen. Durbin clearly wants is for every supplement to be approved by the FDA before it is sold. Everything he does is intended to move things in that direction.

There are fundamental objections to this. First, the FDA is biased in favor of drugs, probably because drugs pay the FDA’s bills. Since the agency sees supplements as competition for drugs, not many will be approved. Second, the agency will demand supplement trials just like drug trials—which is not appropriate for supplements. Supplements are like food: it is the combination and balance of what you take that matters, not just the effect of one pill. Third, the cost of complying with the pre-approval process will make supplements, already beyond many people’s budget, too expensive for all but the rich.

If this powerful senator can’t win using the direct approach, he’ll try an end-run. It may be politics as usual, but when it affects your family’s health, it’s time to fight back. We’ll keep you posted on the maneuvering around appropriations bills.

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet sent a message to Congress about the Durbin bill, please do it now! But just as important, the appropriations bill is scheduled to be voted on by next Monday, October 31, at which time Sen. Durbin will try to add his amendment. Please write your senators today and stop this language dead in its tracks!


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.

  • Joel Whitehurst

    With the dollar about to tank, the national debt beyond belief, and three or four idiotic wars being lost, why in the hell is Durbin doing this? Do you think someone might be paying him? Who?

    • Dee Berkley

      Durbin is our senator from IL, and he’s corrupt. Who’s paying him you ask? BIG PHARMA is. That’s why
      he’s so hell bent on getting this bill passed. ANH and other organizations need to only follow the money
      trail, and you’ll see BIG PHARMA is behind this bill. ANH needs to expose Durbin for the shill he really is.
      I’d like to know exactly HOW MUCH $$$$$ BIG PHARMA is giving Durbin??? He’s disgusting.

  • John E. Stevens

    Please leave our vitamin and mineral supplements alone. At my advanced age of 70 years, these supplements are very important to me – and to many others. Pharmaceutical drugs alone kill over 100,000 people a year. Vitamins and minerals have not killed anyone. Your attention should be leveled at the FDA and their passing of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, not at vitamins and minerals that harm no one.

  • Diana Gostling

    Senator Durbin is clearly in a conflict of interest with the pharmaceutical companies and it seems the extent of their greed knows no boundaries. Supplements are safe, whereas pharmaceuticals are extremely dangerous. They should not be treated the same. Holistic, nutritional based healthcare using foods and supplements is an extremely effective preventative and curative approach that should be available to everyone. If it was it could save the system millions of dollars a year in healthcare costs. It’s time to get real and embrace real healthcare solutions, not the “disease-care” based system that is failing so miserably.

  • Carol Lemieux

    Please find ways to get these issues covered in the public. What about on the Rachel Maddow show?

  • Pamela Powers

    Durbin is a democrat, he’s suppose to be on our side. These attempts to try and keep our supplements from us HAS TO STOP! We have a right in a democratic society to do whatever we feel is best for our health. Herbs, vitamins, supplements and wholistic health is our right. I had endocarditis, a staph infection that goes to the heart and makes swiss cheese out of it. I was suppose to have 3 valves repaired or replaced. With holistic methods, massage, supplements, I didn’t have to have open heart surgery, be on dozens of pills that would have kept me an invalid and wiped out my savings. I know that’s exactly why you’re trying to get rid of them, but someone has to wake up and support us instead of the psychopathic corporations who have no soul .

  • Dr Ryan McMichael

    let’s focus on. along drugs safer, seeing as how they easily account for thousands of deaths per year. let Americans decide which supplements thy Choose to take.

  • Nancy

    I have written so many times, I just can’t believe it. My approach has been to point out how such a law would increase health care costs by making it mandatory for patients to see a physician in order to purchase vitamins and minerals, while allowing pharmaceuticals to make even more money (forcing seniors into the stupid donut hole) and that it would increase, not decrease, the size of government, by adding the authority to the FDA.

  • Johan van Zyl

    Please do not allow Senator Durbin’s appropriations amendment to classify supplements as drugs. Drugs are created by pharmaceutical companies, supplements come from nature. Senator Durbin’s idea is very unpopular with the people of America. The FDA has enough work, Government is big enough, don’t mess with something that is good. For your own reference….Please view 2 online documentaries on Netflix regarding supplements. The first program by the name “Food Matters” discuss in detail the research that has been done in this field. The second program “Forks over Knives” discusses the astronomical health cost of eating animal products.

    God Bless, Keep up the good work,
    Johan van Zyl
    Dallas TX

    • Georgiana

      Senator Durbin,

      I have three questions to you. From your perspective:

      When are we going to be allowed to say (on vitamin labels) common sense things that the world has know for hundreds of years and science has tested over and over again, such as the fact that Vitamin C helps you get over a cold and boost your immune system?

      When will natural medicine (i.e., herbal, homeopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.) take its rightful place, out of the shadow of big-bucks pharmaceutical and breakdown-and-repair medicine?

      When will cancer-healing institutions such as the Gerson Institute (uses fresh fruit juices and other similar natural means to cure cancer) be allowed to practice in the US and to publish in reputable medical journals?

      Thank you,
      A 33-year old female that healed her cancer in less than a year through the use of natural medicine

  • Dr. Richard Edlich

    I strongly oppose this bill, which would limit the sale of supplements to the consumer in our country.
    It also may lead to the closure of company’s that supply these superb products.
    Dr. Edlich

  • Christina Marti

    Leave my vitamins alone!!!!if you want me to vote for you again!

  • Christina Marti

    Leave my vitamins alone!!!!if you want me to vote for you again!

  • Christina Marti

    Leave my vitamins alone!!!!if you want me to vote for you again!

  • Christina Marti

    Leave my vitamins alone!!!!if you want me to vote for you again!

  • Christina Marti

    Leave my vitamins alone!!!!if you want me to vote for you again!

  • Christina Marti

    Leave my vitamins alone!!!!if you want me to vote for you again!

  • Diane

    Our government doesn’t care about us out here and it’s even more BS if they say they do – it’s all about the money – the statistics prove that (as per above, thank you). Big money is running our country and ALL of the administration should be ousted for fresh new blood so we can take back our lives and country. They’re trying to make us sick, chem trails are a perfect example of that. Now this again . . . they see an opportunity for more money in their pockets and they’re going for it…they’re desperate. Ugh, I don’t have time for this and yet if I don’t take the time, I’ll be paying for it later. Thanks for all you do – really appreciate it all. Great article! You rock!

  • http://google loyalsoxfan

    Somewhere in time about 5 years ago, I went to the doctor to get bio identical hormones due to menopause…my first time….the results of my saliva test had come in and so the office had me come in to receive my first script…..My progesterone was low (normal for age 54) , however, the cortisol levels DID NOT MAKE SENSE as they were normal and my DHEA was low….(also normal for age 54)…Both cortisol and DHEA come from one source..the adrenal gland… is not likely that cortisol would be normal but DHEA production would be abnormal….both should reflect the SAME STATE OF HEALTH…..and not one UP and the other down…..Doctor asked me if I was taking suppliments of any kind….I was taking high doses of PURE buffered vitamin C from Beyond……It was then determined that I had HEALED my (blown-out) adrenal gland with the high doses of PURE buffered C……evidenced by the healthy cortisol levels with regard to the (low) DHEA which both come from the same source…adrenals……The doctor was startled but recommended that whatever I was doing ( C ) it was his advice that I should continue on the same path as I was healing the organs inside my body…. (always combine C with NATURAL E and never take C alone or it will turn into a free radical.)…….xoxoxo Bless you all……

  • Frank Muniz

    We must STOP this action, supplements are the way I keep myself and family healthy. If the food we ate wasn’t garbage we would not have a need for supplements. If Monsanto wasn’t allowed to sell their Roundup Ready Seeds, this country would be a lot better off. I can go on forever, but do not take my supplements away. I will spread the word on this Senator, and he will get less votes the next time he runs.

  • Steve

    We need to get rid of Dick Durbin. He is another big government insider that has all but esurpt the constitution every chance he gets. These so called “do-gooder” polititions need to leave the people with their freedoms & liberty intact & stop trying to do our thinking for us. Mr. Durbin, do us all a favor & leave the American people to our choices, as it is non of your bussiness…

  • Jim Santagata

    Durbin’s sneaky legislating is just another example of an elected official catering not to the best interests of his/her constituents, but rather to the best interests of special interest groups who line their pockets with the campaign donations that enable them to turn public service into a life-long career. This is a disgrace!!! Should we have to pay trumped-up premiums just to buy our multivitamins?!? Where is the logic or fairness in this? People like Durbin have to be stopped, or we will all be in the poorhouse while people like him enjoy a wonderful life paid for by our taxes!!!!!

  • Richard Smith

    The FDA does not have the manpower to thoroughly test prescription drugs. so how can we expect this organization to be able to test supplements? Prescription drugs are far more toxic than supplements. Many of the FDA staff formerly worked for or will work for pharmaceutical companies. Applying the same methods to test and review supplements will greatly reduce the availability of these beneficial products to the general public. Our goal is to preserve the nation’s health. This bill seems to favor the pharmaceutical industry and reduce choice for the consumer.
    The closeness of supervision should be related to the danger of the product. There are many incidents of drug abuse and fatalities from prescription drugs, but very few deaths or illnesses from supplements. Therefore, I believe the negative effects of restricting healthful products

  • Carolyn

    Does anyone have the figures on what percentage of the AERs reported for supplements are done so by people that are only taking supplements and no prescription drugs? How reliable are any of the supplement AERs?

    With so many people on prescription drugs, isn’t it likely that many of the supplement AERs are really due to a prescription drug adverse reaction or from a multitude of other reasons having nothing to do with supplements?

    I think the actual adverse reactions to prescription drugs is much greater than is reported. My mother had adverse reactions to prescription drugs and I never thought to report it to anyone but her doctor. Did he submit a report every time? No. It took me telling one doctor 3 times that she had an adverse reaction to a drug he kept wanting to put her on. They kept forgetting to ‘note it in her file’.

  • Helen Peterson

    Dear Congressmen and Statesmen,

    I wish to thank those of you who have had the discernment to oppose Senator Dick Durbin’s bill – the Dietary Supplement Labelling Act. As a reknowned-physician’s daughter, my late father also in spirit, thanks you. He prescribed 15 minutes of sunshine (front & back) all year long, to achieve the 5,000 units daily of Vitamin D3, needed to supply and aid the 2,000 markers that affects processes and health, in the human body. Now, we have small, modern gel capsules to meet this need.
    As most Americans are severely Vitamin D deficient and need this for prostrate, breast and heart health, to name a few, it is imperative to keep the American people’s access to this and keep it affordable. In a democracy or a republic, people should have the freedom to decide on their health options and can consult their doctor and have their blood monitored, to ensure there is no overdosage of vitamins.
    As a health technology kiosk owner, I work with people from all walks of life, some with MS, who also consult with a doctor. One of these, is a young woman, who receives 25,000 units of Vitamin D intravenously, every month from her doctor. He also does blood work to monitor her vitamin levels. She is high-functioning and doing very well. I also assist with keeping her body alkaline and oxygenated. There are other supplements and wonder-herbs that are amazingly successful and to compare these with say, some of the toxic drugs that have caused deaths before being taken off the market, is illogical. The effects from overuse of supplements are miniscule compared to the half-million people who have died from one ‘wonder drug that was rushed to market, too soon”

    Please continue to oppose this un-American bill, with our thanks.

    Helen Peterson and the American People.

    Thanks you and may God bless you and your families with good health.

  • David Martin

    Please stop the Sen. Dick Durbins disasterous dietary supplement labeling act, a proposed amendment to an appropriations (budget) bill

  • roseann berlenbach

    Thank you for the great information that I otherwise might not be aware of. I take for granted the full access I have to nutritional supplements and it would be quite a calamity if this access was denied. I will gladly add my name and comments to support this cause.

  • Dave Kisor

    We deserve whatever supplements we need or want. Our soils are depleted and if some member of congress doesn’t like it, he she or it can stuff their bill up their wazoo and whistle Dixie! It’s only dangerous to the pharmaceutical corporations because they do not control them and therefore make no money off of them. After an adverse reaction to an unmarked pharmaceutical, I trust neither the FDA or their corporate partners. I used to like Dick Durbin, but this maneuver has changed that.

  • crusty gizzardhump

    Quite obviously Sen. Durbin has forgotten who he represents while he holds the trusted position he does. He serves the [special interest] groups far better than his constituents. Durbin has been pushing anti-supplement language for what seems years. Durbin by all indications has his hand in Big Pharma’s pockets. Someone must be greasing his palm quite generously to keep him on their agenda.
    WHY would he be so gung-ho on regulating natural supplements in favor of prescription drugs? Why is only too obvious. Durbin, what does it cost to buy your support these days (and for the past several years)? Don’t feed me the oft chanted hogwash about the effectiveness of drugs over supplements. All you need do is watch a night of TV and drug advertisements to know that drugs are “poison”; with some obvious but, few exceptions. The side effects of most advertised prescription drugs are more often than not worse than the malady being treated; far worse. And yet statistically complaints of problems with natural supplements average about 1 to every 500 with prescriptions. My guess is even that 1 is from some addle brain who couldn’t folloow directions. And, even if not; it’s safe to conclude that natural supplements are far, far safer and often times much more effective. Do the research people. It’s out there.
    It’s long past time for Sen. Durbin (Turbin) to lose his coveted position and deal with life on the same level as the rest of us.

  • Clark Mumaw

    I rely on special b vitamins to off set a genetic disorder which inhibits my b vit complex absorption
    There are many others like me my doctor says maybe 50% have same problem just don’t know

  • Jenifer Parker

    Here’s how I ADDED my 2¢ worth to this.

    Senator Durbin (IS AT IT AGAIN) and has proposed an amendment to the above appropriations bill which would have the GAO assess the effectiveness and utility of the FDA’s adverse event reporting (AER) system, and report to Congress on three things: what actions FDA is taking to ensure that dietary supplement manufacturers are reporting adverse events; how the AER system “informs the public” of FDA’s efforts to protect consumers; and, most especially, whether FDA has implemented the recommendations GAO made in its 2009 report on dietary supplements.

    The adverse event reporting system works just fine; in 2008, it showed that there are 488 adverse events from prescription drugs for every one adverse event from supplements. PLEASE DON’T TRY TO PEE ON OUR LEG AND TELL US IT IS RAINING. THE ADVERSE EVENTS RECORDING IS FINE THE WAY IT IS.

    It seems clear that Sen. Durbin is proposing the amendment because buried in the GAO’s recommendations from its 2009 report are some of the same provisions that are also in Durbin’s VERY unpopular Dietary Supplement Labeling Act. The GAO recommended increased supplement labeling regulations — one of the Durbin bill’s main goals; a clear delineation to be made between food and supplements — another feature of the UNPOPULAR Durbin bill; and an increase in AER requirements: currently only severe adverse events must be reported, but this would force AERs to be filed even the most minor events. LET’S TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ALL THE ADVERSE EVENTS ON HPV VACCINE THEN, HOW ABOUT THAT??? WHAT? YOU DON’T BELIEVE THE PEOPLE WHOSE CHILDREN HAVE DIED OR BEEN CRIPPLED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER BEING INJECTED WITH IT? THEN I DON’T BELIEVE YOU WHEN YOU SAY ANY VACCINE IS SAFE.

    In other words, these recommendations would create onerous new labeling requirements and adverse event reports for trivial incidents, and would also define supplements separately from food, a first step toward treating nutritional supplements as if they were dangerous prescriptions drugs.

    The GAO undermined its own recommendation in the report by acknowledging that “FDA officials told us that the current regulatory framework is sufficient to identify and act on safety concerns regarding foods with added dietary ingredients.” The FDA is already well equipped and needs no additional authority to do its job.
    PLEASE block Sen. Durbin’s amendment, as well as ANY OTHER vehicle containing similar language. Nutritional supplements are health-supporting, effective, extremely popular with YOUR SUPPORTERS, and (as the AER system clearly proves) safe.

  • Nathan Doyle

    In most incidences you are wrong and need to educate yourself on the supplement use culture. People like myself have tested our bodies on the supplements out there and have found what has worked and what has not. You have no right to tell us what to tell us what we can put into our bodies an what we can not. You have proven this with tobacco products. Please stay out of our nutrition as we see fit. If you would like to see a better future limit tobacco and alcohol, but honestly it is our bodies and it is none of our right.

    best regards,
    Nate doyle

    Ps. if you would like an intelligent discussion please feel free to contact me at the email above.

  • Marilyn

    Did Senator Durbin eat one of the laced brownies? That seems to be what started this whole mess. Once he involved FDA, the door was wide open to get control of all Supplements. It’s too bad that FDA doesn’t go after Halal foods, actual pet foods found in grocery stores for human consumption.

  • Betty Finney

    I greatly favor the aims of your letter,
    but the letter writing is dull, wandering, not to the point.

    Call for Winston Churchill: brief, hard-hitting, few words.

    On to the kill !

  • Catherine Gentile

    If Senator Durbin was sincerely interested in regulating pills that cause side effects, he should concentrate on the pharmaceutical drug industry. Never have I witnessed such irreversible physical damage as that suffered by patients who believed blindly in the curative power of pharmaceutical medications. Not that the meds are all bad; they have their place in the continuum of available interventions and can be especially effective in acute care situations. But, given the everyday chronic medical issue, why use a sledge hammer when a nudge with a Q-Tip will do? Senator Durbin’s motives are suspect and his legislation deserves a whole-hearted thumbs down. I urge everyone to contact Congress about this hideous bill. Tell them to leave my vitamin-C alone!!!

  • aelbert aehegma

    Corruption at the top of government in collusion with pharmaceutical Corporate interests & profits is amoral, and affects the health, welfare, and freedom of choice of millions of Americans i n the name of Profit, when it is known that healthy over the counter supplements and vitamins have been proven to work without as many harmful & deadly side affects as pharmaceuticals. Aelbert Aehegma, Editorial Review, Pacifica News, Hawaii

  • R. Haley

    Don’t mess with our supplements. They are better than the high priced drugs, and cheaper too.

  • Arthur E. Scholz

    I hate sleezy politics to accomplish personal political self-interesst.

  • http://AOL Harlan Cuthbertson

    Isn’t it strange that Mr Durbin wants to refer to the side effects of supplements subjected by the FDA and other brilliant organizations, but does not request an investigation into the side effects of prescription “DRUGS”. When watching big pharma peddling their wares,, one is subjected to more warnings than benefits. It would be nice if Dicky boy would tend to logical state bussiness than to get into the holistic cures now available which include many supplements or otherwise known as vitamins.

    Yours truly,

  • nami jackman

    Please do not let the drug companies’ lobbying powers interfere with citizens’ right to choose what vitamins and supplements they wish to in order to be in charge of their own health regimens.
    This Durbin attempt to keep Americans from having access to health aids or making them impossibly expensive and/or hard or impossible to obtain is a cruel and hideously un-American action.
    We Americans have a right to our own health freedom. We don’t need policing by the FDA when it comes to harmless and indeed, healthful products which should be part of the American way – access without roadblocks to healthful items desired or needed by citizens willing to pay for them.

    What links does Durbin have to drug companies? His records should be investigated.


  • madge nicolas

    No. It is NOT ok to control our right to choose to take supplements of any kind. Period. I do not wish to get into any conspiracy truths at this time. Thank you so much my brother and sister. Let LOVE find a way.

  • Concetta Newman

    Please leave our supplements alone

  • Elizabeth Siegle

    I am sure this has been mentioned before; Does Sen Durbin receive some form of reimbursement from the FDA? Why else would he push to remove natural supplements from the market.

  • La Vonne and Don Smith

    My husband and I have taken and continue to take a considerable amount of vitamins and supplements. We are 77 years of age and have absolutely no health problems. Please understand that the availability of these supplements is extremely important to us. Our doctors have always known what supplements we take and they agree that “we must be doing something right”. Danger to patients often comes from the over prescribing and mixing of various drugs. This is what we believe needs immediate attention.

  • Michael Schneider

    You relentless money grabbing thieves. We know you are taking kickbacks.

  • Dennis Sweatt

    Which big Pharma is paying him to do this?

  • william haegele


  • Gregg

    I wonder how much money Durbin gets from the Parmacutical comapnies?

  • gary schnakenberg

    gray hair’s unite….there at it again… left right same old assault on vitamins….

  • Anna

    I don’t understand the need to undermine anything natural that is good for us and promote pharma drugs that kill and poison us. Since when is anyones health and well being a comodity? Millions of people suffer from aflictions unnessarily because some gready company ceo wants to make a dollar. I know there’s cures for diseases that specifically attack the diseaase and not the whole body system and won’t have adverse side effects, unlike these drugs that pharma companies say do this or that but hide the truth from the public and the FDA about the true dangers their drugs can cause including death. What’s more immportant making a dollar killing and causing ireversable damage to millions of people or curing the world of some of these diseases naturally without adverse side effects? Enough with the lies and deception.

  • Vanda

    It will be a pleasure to vote all these corrupt Bstds out of office. Most of them have become millionaires…representing us……NOT. I for one do NOT want to get on the endless cycle of prescription meds that MOST are created to keep you sick or dependant on more and more of them. Isn’t it incredible…THEY do not want healthy people !!! “WE THE PEOPLE

  • barbara schofield

    leave our supplements alone !!!!!!!!!!

  • Charles Sullivan

    It is common practice in Medicine to put patients on combinations of drugs. The vast majority of these combinations of drugs (especially where 3 or more drugs are involved) have never been studied at all, let alone in double-blind trials ( with the exception of Oncology/AIDS treatment, where the toxicity of the drugs demands study); yet it is frequent practice to prescribe these multiple-drug combinations.
    It is well accepted in Pharmacology that it is scientifically impossible to accurately predict the side effects or clinical effects of a combination of drugs without studying that particular combination of drugs in test subjects. Knowledge of the pharmacologic profiles of the individual drugs in question does not in any way
    assure accurate prediction of the side effects of combinations of those drugs, especially when they have different mechanisms of action, which is very common because polypharmacy is most often prescribed to patients with “multiple illnesses”. More than 100,000 patients in this country die from identified adverse drug reactions (perhaps the 4th to 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.)The number who die as a consequence of polypharmacy is, to my knowledge, unknown.
    The argument that the prescribing of drugs is the “Art” of Medicine is not valid in defending polypharmacy, because drugs are developed (indications, dose and administration, etc.) and approved through a “scientific” process (double-blind, placebo-controlled studies). The fact that the medicines are often prescribed for “different conditions” is irrelevant (especially to the patient’s physiology). The idea that ” we are doing the best we can “, a frequent defense of Polypharmacy, does not in any way uphold a scientific argument in favor of it. (We are, indeed, trying the best we can, with tools which do not improve at the rate we would wish!) The fact that “there is a limit to how much research can be done” in no way makes the research unnecessary in order to predict the side effects of specific combinations of drugs.
    It has been said in the past that <30% of medical practice was backed by controlled studies. Is this true? Has this changed? How do we know? Are we looking closely enough at our way of practicing Medicine? Can the use of unstudied polypharmacy really be considered evidence-based, "scientific" Medicine? Can the Internet community help initiate meaningful debate regarding this subject at a level that will produce more widespread awareness?
    And Durbin wants to protect us from supplements?!!!

  • Ricia Reynolds

    No, Mr. Durbin, we still can not outlaw stupid. Your job is safe.

    P.S.: What ever happened to reducing government spending and the ever-popular
    keeping big brother government out of our lives?

  • http://Google Don Kennedy

    If the Congress knuckles under to Big Pharma and requires combinations of vitamins, herbs and minerals to be treated as drugs there will probabky be bkood flowiing in Big Pharma boardrooms and attacks on Big Pharma exeds where they live as well as a demand that Congress be done away with. What the devil good is a federal legislature that makes stuff that our bodies make illegal just to please an industry that makes things that have side effects that kill people. Natural medicine uses stuff that God created and if one uses common sense food supplements will not kill you. However, you can use common sense taking patent medicines like Vioxx and still die. And what do we need a drug review protocol at the FDA for? We don’t need the FDA? NIH does a better job of reviewing patented drugs and I am sure they would have never approved Vioxx and most other Big Pharma crap knowing that the side effects of these poisons will kill alot of people and make millions more sicker that they were before they took the junk. I am 80. I just opted out of Part B and Part D Medicare because I don’t use MDs who are drug pushers and I don’t use patent drugs with the exception of Aspirin to kill the flu virus. However, I seldom get sick because I take high dosages of Vitamin C and aged garlic. I am waiting for the FDA to say that Garlic is a drug and that Vit C and garlic taken together is illegal unless a new drug app has been approved. Dick Durbin must be afraid of Big Pharma or they contribute big time to his kitty. Frankly, I don’t see a need for a Congress that is so corrupt that it has leaders who want to make food supplements that are made up of natural vitamins, herbs and minerals subject to new drug regulations. I know one thing I am going to do and that is start up a lobby that will fill up the galleries of the Senate and House with people who will disrupt Congress whenever they attempt to pass laws that are anti-people. Ghandi brought down the British Empire in India with peaceful pollitical action. Dr. King destroyed racial discrimination with peaceful political action. It is time to destroy a corrupt and fascist federal system that has no respect of individual liberty and religious freedom. The ‘Occupier Movement is just the beginning of the end of a corrupt, ineffective, inefficient and unreprresentative federal government. The proof is evident by the fact that the federal representatives in Congress want to regulate as new drugs vitamins, herbs and minerals[food supplements] which are really natural medicines. I just spent about $600. and 11 months curing a basal cell carcinoma on my nose that my dermatologist failed to properlly treat with Mohs surgical procedure some 2 years ago. What I used was a topical cream whose killer chemical was synthesized from Egg Plant. It is purely greed and ignorance to allow the FDA to require this medicine that cured my skin cancer to be treated as a new drug, The chemical that killed the cancer cells on my nose comes from a food that people eat every day in America. By the way I had to order it from a South Pacific Island nation off the coast of Australia because the FDA goon squad had destroyed the lab in Seattle that made it at first. We must get rid of the FDA. It is run by MD’s who are anti-food supps. Most all of them hate vitamins and herbs and they hate anyone who uses food supps. or attacks Big Pharma. Most of the FDA MD’s are former employees of Big Pharma companies. I personallly saw what the Big Pharma FDA MD’s did to Dr. Frances Kelsey MD when she blew the whistle on Thalidamide. She was given an office in Temporary Bldg. on the Mall without a secretary or phone. She had no duties. She had a desk and a chair and that was it. This female MD saved millions of children from being born with no arms or legs by exposing Thalidamide as the cause of this dreadful calamity. Conventional MD’s still prescribe patent medicines that mame and kill. I had a bad right hip and several MD’s tried to get me to rake Vioxx. They knew or should have that it was not a medicine that was good for me. I refused to accept free Vioxx from them and I am glad I did.

  • USA4ever

    I for one do not want to jump on the never ending loop of prescription drugs. The health care system in this country is designed to get you on that poisonous loop and keep you there.
    With the advent of the internet there is an enormous amount of information in regards to natural ways to address health concerns. One is a healthy diet staying away from processed foods filled with chemicals and preservatives.
    There are successful treatments that have been around for several thousand years. As the Ayurvedic practitioners say “Believe in the leaf”
    Hey Feds — leave my supplements alone!!

  • Sheri

    People, letters are good but they are not enough! Meet with any group that will listen. Go to your senators’ and congressman’s office and talk to whoever you can. Get signatures on petitions at festivals and farmers markets and health food stores. DO SOMETHING BESIDES JUST E-MAILING!! Call every day. Call more than once if they don’t ask for your name. Do email all of your friends to do all of the above!
    I noticed that no one mentioned that there are 2 house bills that will help us keep our supplements as well as another that allows producers to list the benefits on the package–HR2044 , HR 2045 & HR2908!! Go to and see for yourself! Then you will have something positive to support when you call or write to stop the other bill.

  • Tom Bradley

    sadly both of my responding congressional representatives, Chuck Schumer and Tim Bishop, seem to be wildly in favor of the Durbin bill and or further supplement regulation. They see nothing wrong with it despite my repeated messages to the contrary. Not surprisingly both are democrats and both voted for Obamacare. K. Gillibrand, my other congressional rep., has not even bothered to respond. That’s typical of her though. I can readily guess where she stands on most issues.

  • http://NA William Bramhall

    Your not being paid enough to kill us or your own family with the drug companies wanting Natural Healing herbs in our vitamins taken out. Do what is right. Look up Alma 46:40 Book of Mormon. Read what the Lord wants us to do. then decide who your going to vote for…


    TO ANH
    Thanks for your efforts in stopping this Dietary Supplement Labelling Act.
    Could you implement a program that would cause Sen. Dick Durbin to be voted out of office by Illinois supplement users in the next election he runs in? This would also put other members of Congress on notice that they could also be voted out of office, if they support Sen. Durbin’s efforts.
    Mike Green

    • Barbara Baldwin

      This is a great idea. It’s creative.

  • Francie Georges

    People have negative reactions to many foods. Does that mean that those foods should not be offered to the public at large, that all foods should be tested and regulated? We know that genetically modified foods harm both nature and the health of individuals, yet they are not regulated. Nothing makes sense anymore!

  • asheville event calendar

    Hi, this is one of the best site for the readers and the tips are really very innovative one,Thank you.