The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

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Senator McCain – Please Read Your Own Bill

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On Monday, Senator McCain released a Senate Floor Statement defending his Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010. He lashed out at “opponents of the bill and their well-paid Washington lobbyists” who have “spread false statements and rumors about the legislation”.

OK. So what are these alleged “false statements and rumors”?

McCain again:

“Opponents have stated that the legislation would seek to limit consumers’ ability to purchase dietary supplements, vitamins, or prescription drugs. That is completely false…. If you take a vitamin now, this bill will in no way restrict your ability to take that vitamin.”

McCain clearly hasn’t read his own bill. Perhaps he needs a plain English version. Under current law, the FDA cannot arbitrarily ban a supplement that was sold prior to October 15, 1994, the date that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed. McCain’s bill wipes out that protection. What supplements would be legal to sell if this bill passes? Only those supplements “included on [a]list…prepared, published, and maintained by the [FDA]”. In other words, traditional (pre 1994) supplements would no longer be protected. The FDA would have arbitrary power to choose permitted supplements and (importantly) supplement doses.

Senator McCain is engaging in patent falsehoods here, not the critics. And let’s not forget: the FDA has repeatedly shown its hostility to supplements and favoritism toward drugs (perhaps because drugs pay the FDA’s bills). An FDA with arbitrary power over supplements could very well be expected to institute a European style regulatory regime, one that restricts the amount of beta carotene in a supplement to what is available from half a carrot. Sound ridiculous? It is happening right now in Europe, and the FDA is in close touch with the European regulators.

McCain touches on just this point. He says that “Opponents also claim the bill establishes a new regulatory structure for dietary supplements. That is completely false.” But it’s not false; it’s true. The broad regulatory framework for supplements at the moment is provided by DSHEA. McCain’s bill guts the protections provided by DSHEA and gives the FDA complete and arbitrary authority. If that isn’t a new regulatory structure, what is?

Until now, supplement producers have also been allowed to market a “new dietary ingredient”, that is, one not sold as a supplement prior to 1994, if it has been “in the food supply as an article used for food in a form not chemically altered.” McCain’s bill also wipes this out. If passed, supplement producers would have to prove the safety of the ingredient to the satisfaction of the FDA even if the item has been in food for millennia. This is a big change. But McCain still insists that it isn’t a new regulatory structure. Need we add that the FDA almost never agrees that a supplement has been proven safe? The Agency wants full drug trials, but who can afford to pay for full drug trials on a non-patentable substance? Are we going to end up paying $100 for a supplement tablet?

McCain also tells us that “people have died from taking dietary supplements… and thousands have had to be hospitalized….” He should provide his sources. No one died from dietary supplements in 2008, the last year reported, according to the Association of Poison Control Centers. Supplements have a truly remarkable record of safety, in sharp contrast to FDA approved drugs, which are a leading cause of death.

There is much, much else that is wrong with the McCain bill. But we have covered that in our earlier alert and won’t repeat. We will close with a few more whoppers from Senator McCain. He tells us that his “legislation is about truth in labeling” but he can’t even label his bill truthfully. He also says that it “is about giving consumers choice”. Taking away consumers’ existing rights to choose supplements and giving arbitrary authority to the FDA is not about “giving consumers choice”. This could be Orwellian double speak. More likely McCain does not understand his own bill.

Have you contacted your senator to ask them not to co-sponsor and to oppose Senator McCain’s bill? If not, please do so now!  Take Action

If you have already contacted your senators, please send a letter protesting Senator McCain’s gross distortions.  Take Action

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  • William Berry

    Senator McCain, while a true and valiant patriot, has lost touch with reality just as all members of congress (Ron Paul and a small number of others excepted) and is trying in his own way to ram something we don’t want and is not needed down our throats. He is no better than Obama/Reid/Pelosi in that regard.
    He has an opponent in the primary in AZ this fall. Hopefully, he will find out about retirement and spend all of the money we so generously provide for him through legislation he supported.
    We need to clean house of all members of both legislative branches who have served 2 terms or more. Let’s get to it!

  • Don Dobesh

    Supplments are a recognized means of adding to a haelthy regiment. Keep the government ouit out of our lives.

    • Hey don don’t worry nothing will happen with you because supplements gives the protein witch are not in our body its beneficial but in required quantity but if you take it in more than your body want then its not beneficial for your body

  • Ken

    Please do not co-sponsor Senator McCain’s bill, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010. Please oppose this dangerous attack on health care freedom.

  • Ann Curtis

    I agree totally that this new McCain bill is an attempt to regulate supplements and the entire alternative medicine industry. They are probably very angry and upset that citizen involvement has pushed back the Codex Alimentarius implementation in the United States (was to begin Dec 31, 2009), and this is their way of going around that problem. Make no mistake–they really want to medically control and enslave us.

    Is everyone involved? Well, I have a suspicion that there are many lackeys (to include government employees/elected officials) who truly don’t know or understand what the FDA and the medical community/Pharmaceutical/chemical/agriculture/big business corporations are really after. That is to reduce the world’s population and keep the citizens dumb, stupid, and doped up. Really, they do it to our children in school already. Children who have ADD or ADHD or any of a number of similar problems are put on meds so they are quiet and complacent so the teachers “don’t have to deal with them.” Isn’t it better to run or rule a country or its people–and do exactly what YOU want to do–if the vast majority of the citizens are so complacent, they could care less WHAT you do as long as you “take care of them?” It’s sad, sad, sad, anyway you cut it.

    I for one will be VERY vocal in making sure this action/bill or anything having to do with taking away our rights to natural and organic food and medicines is roundly defeated. I have been dealing now for two years trying to heal my body after pharmaceuticals left my body severely malabsorbed, with severe heavy metal toxicity and numerous food allergies and intolerances. Organic food and naturopathic medicine is what is making me well again. I don’t need the government to tell me what I can or cannot do to my own body. I also don’t need them shoving a universal healthcare plan down my throat that will only make things a whole lot worse in our country. If that happens, I think my family will have to seriously think about moving overseas someplace where there are still freedoms.

    If you want a say in your life and how you live it, then there’s only one thing you can do: become an advocate and send every letter, fax, and phone call you can to your elected officials telling them to LEAVE OUR NATURAL FOODS AND MEDICINES ALONE!

    • Nicole

      (Sorry, I’m responding to your posting because I didn’t see a place to comment but only respond.) Is there a way we can get petitions mailed to healthfood stores across America for their customers to sign? Or, maybe we should make a plea to people everywhere to print out the petition on the internet and carry it to their local healthfood stores. Many, across America are locally owned and would probably be happy to leave a petition on their counter for customers to sign. I would think this might be very affective. It’s so disturbing that even the conservatives on Fox are not addressing this issue. I know many people would be upset about this if they knew what was happening.

  • Beverly Stone

    This bill would take away the one method that those of us who are not millionaires have to maintain our health–supplements. It completely revamps laws concerning supplements (which are safe and food-based) and puts them in the hands of the FDA which has a horrible track record for safety with big pharma drugs.

    Regulation of supplements which have been in use for years wlth no ill effects is unnecessary.

    I do not want to have to take ten pills to get 1000 mg of Vitamin C, and I do not want to spend twenty dollars per pill, either.

    This is a ridiculous bill with horrendous consequences for the poplulation which keeps itself healthy with supplements, which are basically just food.

    So, then, we will have no healthcare, no supplements, no access to doctors or hospitals.

    Maybe the poor should just roll over and die right now. That seems to be where we are headed.

  • Bill Dovel RN

    Here is the e-mail I wrote to Senator Crapo from Idaho after his reply back from my first e-mail . Senator Risch did not reply. There are very few people in power who are not promoting the complete take over of our lives by a dozen or so corporations and their subservient government politicians and bureaucrats. While John McCain may have been a war hero decades ago he has not shown that he is now a protector of basic human rights and our freedom. No one in Washington can be so ignorant of what the FDA does unless they are asleep at the wheel. For the senator to lie outrageously as to what his bill will do reminds me of Senator Dodd who was caught on camera saying he was going to find out who O.K.’d the bonuses given at AIG. It turned out that the guarantee of these bonuses was in an amendment called “The Dodd Amendment.” As long as we continue to vote for people who lie to us, we deserve what we get. Adherence to a political PR line should never be a consideration for our vote. Lie to me once, shame on you, lie to me twice, shame on me.

    Senator Crapo,

    Thank you for your reply.  I whole heartedly agree that safety and more importantly honesty in the labeling of ingredients is the essential job of protection that the constitution allots the Federal Government via the FDA.   This legislation empowers the FDA which has proven to be outrageously unfair and biased against non patentable procedures and supplements.  The problem is that instead of using valid scientific studies as a basis for the claims of a researcher the FDA requires a series of hoops that cost millions of dollars for a drug to be approved.  If they are granted the power to designate any substance they choose a drug they will destroy holistic medicine by bureaucratic fiat.    Not all valid research costs millions of dollars.  What this does is have all the competing research by smaller entities being thrown out by the FDA.  This is how a Dr. like Andrew Weil can have all of his assets threatened without due process for both selling a supplement and publishing valid peer reviewed studies of it’s effectiveness.  Meanwhile the FDA can approve a drug like Vioxx after discovering that Merck withheld studies that it causes heart attacks and strokes.  Later the FDA allowed the company to voluntarily withdraw the drug, after 60,000 people died from the side effects.  No one was ever prosecuted.   Another dishonest supplement company can give out toxic doses of ingredients and no one is checking what is in their product.  It is time for us to refound our country and demand honesty and integrity from our government as well as the companies we do business with.  I applaud every effort you are making to bring this about.  I would be very interested in hearing from you what steps you are taking to this end.  

     I am a nurse who has not only survived Myasthenia Gravis but have obtained a high level of health despite this illness.  It would not have been possible had I not become a holistic health practitioner.  Many very good conventional allopathic MDs were unable to stop the progression of the illness at all.  Conventional medicine is almost completely about dispensing new patented drugs for outrageously high prices.  Some of these drugs are beneficial, many are not.  There are thousands of researchers that are highly educated and are publishing well controlled peer reviewed work that can heal and mitigate much of the suffering of illness.  This research is being vilified not just but the competing multinational drug companies but by the FDA and CDC themselves who are largely populated with people from the major drug companies in management positions.  I urge you to fight for the rights of honest research and the advancement of healing in this next century.  

    The bill as it stands is not protecting Idaho’s citizens. It is a thinly veiled attempt to eliminate competition and impose a tyranny on the American people. Your only ethical options are to gut the bill and rewrite so that it protects honest healthcare practitioners and companies or to oppose it.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Dovel RN

    On Feb 22, 2010, at 2:55 PM, wrote:
     
     
     
     
    February 22, 2010
     
     
    Mr. Bill Dovel
    8067 W Drake Ln
    Garden City, Idaho 83714
     
     
     
    Dear Bill:
     
    Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns with S. 3002, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act. I understand your opposition to this bill and welcome the opportunity to respond.

    Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) introduced S. 3002 on February 4, 2010. As you know, this bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to further regulate dietary supplements that may have harmful safety risks to consumers. Specifically, S. 3002 would require that manufacturers register dietary supplements with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and fully disclose their ingredients.
     
    Currently, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements before they are made available to consumers. This bill would also grant the FDA mandatory recall authority over any product that is deemed unsafe for consumption. S. 3002 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where it awaits further consideration.
     
    I understand your concerns with this legislation – particularly with regard to limiting individuals’ access to dietary supplements. I support consumer choice and access to dietary supplements that are safe and labeled in a truthful manner. Should the Senate further consider this bill, please rest assured that I will continue to advocate for both consumer protection and the health care needs of Idahoans.
     
    Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me in the future on this or other matters of interest to you. For more information about the issues before the U.S. Senate as well as news releases, photos, and other items of interest, please visit my Senate website,http://crapo.senate.gov.
     
    Sincerely,

    Mike Crapo
    United States Senator
     
    MDC:mg

     
    Sign up for Senator Crapo’s monthly e-newletter at http://crapo.senate.gov

  • Ken Marx

    I think poor John McCain suffered more than just physical damage at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Let us hope that he doesn’t win another election to the Senate.

  • John A Ebert

    McCain is losing it. He keeps getting caught in lie after lie and keeps reversing his position on too many things. Time for us to stop listening to anything he says and retire him.

  • Barbara Nelson

    It seems wrong on so many levels, that someone as unhealthy looking as John McCain should have even one gnarled finger into America’s healthcare. Don’t get me wrong. I deeply appreciate his contribution to the country during the Vietnam War and understand that irreparable harm was done to his body as a result. But seriously, he does not look like he tries to make the best of what he has left. He is pasty and probably nutrient deficient, cannot rais his arms above shoulder height, so i presume yoga and or pilates is not his bag, and walks like his hips are screaming for Glucosamine. If Arnold the Governator wants to opine- he has earned it. Go for it. But McCain? Seriously? That’s like having a 500 pound personal trainer advising you on the elliptical. Sorry, John. Sit down and be quiet. We don’t need more rights taken away. After Swami Obama is finished with us, our supplements may be all we can afford for healthcare!

  • I side with the fundamental idea behind the “truth in advertising” and in that sense, the dietary supplement industry is mis-leading, at best.

    Deano

  • Jack Harrington

    This is what happens when a lobbyist writes a bill for you. you don’t know what is in it. Typical of today’s Republicans.

  • Judith

    Senator McCain certainly does need to read his own bill that is destructive to every American that believes in taking charge of their health. Sometimes we need to question who is writing these “Bills” that is so many cases the Senators and Congress people do not read some aide reads them. Who is in charge?

  • GLEN MOWREY

    Keep the FDA away from supplements-PLEASE

  • topogiego

    I sure hope that this bill DIES on the floor of the senate! McCain should find more important things to deal with, like helping with the Health Care bill, helping get the troops home and so forth. He should leave ‘LIVING’ up to the living, and STOP trying to regulate what we take. He’s obviously being HIGHLY PAID by activists on the floor, for MONSANTO, to get rid of our healthy way of living.

    I would also very much, like to see a petitioned action AGAINST Monsanto, and get our government to close their doors…permanently! We need to gather enough research regarding what they’ve done and continue to do, and label it ‘MASS MURDER’ against America and Americans. They poison the food, poison the earth and are obstructing our choices for ‘real food.’..by constantly defying science and destroying the plant DNA to match a poisonous chemical.

  • Michael Quinn

    Please read your own bill on suppliements, this is needed by older Americans and Veterens. We need these to stay healthy!

  • Senator McCain is trying to take away my rights to choose my own supplements and give arbitrary contro to the FDA. I heartily protest this!!!! He is lying about many things in this bill and I will not stand for this!! I take supplements on a daily basis, I read my labels and know what I am doing. I will not have this right taken away from me and controlled by the government.

    Please stop this bill in its tracks and show Senator McCain that the American people will not submit to this harassment!

  • Aaron Polan

    I am thankful that this man is not our President.

  • Karin Edgett

    Please no more FDA regulation on vitamins and supplements – this is one of our (the non-rich) extremely valuable attempts at being healthy and staying out of the hospitals and doctors offices! His regulation is anti progress, anti small business, anti health. If he wants to have the FDA regulate something known to be dangerous, that is a-ok, but this will regulate EVERYTHING which will stifle a growing industry, and cause many of us to go underground in our pursuit of affordable wellness!

  • Taryn Braband

    This will cause terrible destruction to those of us who prefer to take natural supplements and don’t want to be under the thumb of the FDA and the government. I thought you were a Republican — not for huge governmental control, where they don’t belong????? Do we have a disconnect here?

  • Dorothy L. Snell

    why Cannot my Husband also fill out the same form sent to me from your website. We both vote, but, your form will not come up again a second time for him to send in his name? Why not! We are two different people who use the same Computer. Thank You, Mrs. Paul A. Snell Jr.

    • tyrone

      We apologize for any inconvenience. The form may be blocked do to cookies being stored on your computer or if you and your husband are using the same email address. If you are using different email addresses try clearing your web browser cache and cookies.

  • Patricia Ross

    Please do not pass this bill. Government is out of control!!! You guys have not clue about people anymore. Please get back in touch or get voted out!

  • Stop the McCain bill !

  • Jessica Deahl

    John McCain’s senate health bill would take away your access to vitamin/herbal supplements.They would become regulated by the FDA and the FDA is primarily supported by the pharmaceutical industry. Supplements and herbs compete with big pharma’s drug sales. This is the true reason for this bill. I strongly oppose this bill!

  • Joyce

    How did the FDA legally remove the Armour thyroid supplement from the market because it has been on the market since long before the DSHEA went into effect? They just declared it an untested drug & squashed it before anyone knew what was going on.

  • John I have supported you on many issues but on this one you are wrong please do not get government agencies involved in natural supplements and health issues. We have enough government as it is, thank you and please discontinue this action, Larry

  • jennifer dedrick

    Please leave our supplements alone. Once the government sticks their hands in and gets involved in something, it always gets screwed up. Take this energy and focus on getting healthcare done

  • warren simon

    sen. mcCain, vitamin supplements are essential to my health & are reccomended by my dr. I reccomend u consider the poor health of so many Americans because of the foods loaded with sugar,chemicals, & artificial ingredients. Why don’t u promote a bill limiting the use of the health depleting products? WS

  • John Kraske

    Why do we have these senile old cranks running our country down? It’s obvious to me, as I’m sure it is to most Americans with any ability to reason that McCain is a whore for the pharmecuetical companies. First of all we need term limits, then we need to get corporate interests out of the lobby and where they belong, creating jobs not controlling the government. we are no longer a democracy but a corporate fascist state. Officials like McCain are corrupt and should be marched off to jail. Whatever happened to ethics in America? Any politician receiving funds from special interests needs to go, just as the majority of those whores on the supreme court.

  • Andrew Jacboson

    It is clear that American Health Care is in desperate trouble. Countries that use herbs such as China have health care costs that are only a tiny fraction of the cost in the US. There they have much less chronic disease, the people are healthier and more productive for far longer than most Americans. Not only is our health care system debilitating our citizens, it is also causing our economy to colapse from lack of productive workers. If the polititions in this country do not wake up soon and realize what is happening they will find themselves out of jobs because we will not have a country left for them to run.

  • M Brown

    I want access to dietary supplements at a reasonable price.
    John McCain’s bill would end this. We would, in time, be
    paying as much for dietary supplements as prescription
    drugs and we could not afford them.

    Please forward to Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.

  • marilyn walls

    Hello

    This quarter I’ve tried to teach my (university) nutrition students the effects of DSHEA and show them the McCain bill. While agreeing that the FDA needs more enforcement of the regulations in place in DSHEA & that clarification of the existing law is required, the McCain Bill only confuses these issues. Before DSHEA was passed in 1994, the public response was the largest ever seen at the time. People believe in their right to choose their supplements, and their right to have safe, unadulterated supplements. The McCain bill is not an answer to these concerns. it would be easy to disparage Senator McCain on these issues; hopefully more intelligent minds will make decisions on this important piece of legislation. Besides, why doesn’t anyone talk about the huge number of deaths from pharmaceutical drugs? The inequity in the system is startling.

    Please do not support the McCain DS Act of 2010. thank you, Marilyn Walls

  • Janice Angier

    I protest the bill that Senator McCain is promoting about our food supplements. I have been very ill with Fibromyalgia and the only thing that helped me was food supplements and a good Chiropractor. The medical field had nothing to offer me except narcotics and pain management. I have been on food supplements for 2 months now and I am painfree without narcotics. I would have led a very painful, limited life but I now enjoy life again. In this day and age of people not being able to afford health care you must let us make our own decisions about our health care.

  • Beverly Weeks

    The Honorable Senator McCain,

    I don’t believe that you are mis-informed about your bill. I do have to wonder though, just why you would try to foist it on the citizens of this country. There is nothing sinister about supplements unless you are beholden to the big drug (poison) companies.

    I have to ask — why would you take away my choice? I believe you really are not a voice of those who elected you. And, that will be reflected in this years vote.

    Sincerely,
    Beverly Weeks

  • Beverly Weeks

    I am very upset that this bill has gotten this far —- I have to wonder just what you have against personal choice.

  • Teri LeBlanc

    Leave the vitamin supplement industry alone. We don’t need Congress deciding what we choose to use for our own health. It’s time to put Big Brother back in the closet. We don’t need Congress deciding how we live our lives. What you are trying to do is put the vitamin industry out ot business and drive up the cost of vitamins. Let the FDA make decisions on prescription drugs. That is there function, not telling us what we can do.

  • phillip haynie

    we the people need our dietary supplements.dont past this bill.it is our right to live free if not we might as well live overseas.

  • Dale Bonderson

    please leave the vitamin thing alone

    Most people cann’t afford prescription medication now !!!!

  • Dale Moss

    If McCain hasn’t read his own bill it is probablyl because his staff didn’t draft it. Anyone want to bet that the pharma lobby drafted it for him?

  • There are many things about this attack on DSHEA that concern me. Above all, as an editor at a natural-health magazine, I worry that Natural Solutions’ readers won’t be able to access the effective therapies we write about every month. Plus, what about the years and expense of processsing items for FDA approval? Anyone who doesn’t think this would significantly affect the availability of dietary supplements, and indeed the entire natural-health industry, needs to read the fine print.

  • Angie K.

    Please do not vote for vitamin supplement bill, I do not approve of anything stopping us to purchase what we need.

    Thank You

  • The Federal Government is killin’ me. Can’t the entire nation notice that this health care reform absolutely will drive up taxes for everyone and even create brand new ones for everyone?

  • Very nice and helpful information has been given in this article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. Thanks. . .

  • Tom Beattie

    It is now Nov 24th and McCain was reelected by the sheople of Arizona. The Incumbents should have ALL been removed as they are all elitists (save Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMeint,
    and a few others, but not many more). Americans were fooled again and voter fraud occured in several races, esp Harry Reid’s reelection. He lost that race but do to voter fraud and a constituency of sheople, he is still in the Senate instead of working at McDonalds. Shame. He would be fired from any private in a matter of a day or two.
    Thanks to the patriots who fight for our rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.