The Threat to Dietary Supplements We Couldn’t Tell You About Last Year

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capitolANH-USA is always working behind the scenes in Washington on your behalf. But sometimes we can’t shout it from the rooftops.

Last year we campaigned against Senator Leahy’s “food safety” bill that increased criminal penalties for “misbranding” or “adulterating” foods to a maximum of ten years in jail. It passed in the Senate but not the House. In April, we reported that the Leahy bill has been reintroduced in the current session of Congress, and we issued a new Action Alert.

What we couldn’t tell you last year was that under the original Leahy bill, nutritional supplement manufacturers and distributers were explicitly threatened with “misbranding” or “adulterating” jail terms if they failed to follow to the letter the FDA’s New Dietary Ingredient (in reality, new supplement) provisions.

Why couldn’t we tell you about it? Because we knew the FDA was busy crafting its NDI draft guidance at the time, and we didn’t want to say anything that might make the new guidance worse. For this reason, we worked behind the scenes, alongside other interested groups including the Natural Products Association, to get the explicit linkage to NDI removed from last year’s Leahy bill. If the NDI provision had remained and the law had been passed, then once the FDA’s draft guidance came out, FDA would have had even more power to seek ten-year jail sentences.

Risks are already high enough for new supplement producers without making them explicitly subject to a ten-year jail term for so-called “misbranding,” which in practice can mean a minor paperwork violation. If the government makes new supplement production too risky, then the inevitable result will be that we won’t have new supplements, and the drug companies will be cheering.

Because we collectively removed the explicit NDI provision from Leahy bill last year, the language wasn’t in the bill that was reintroduced this year. However, the Leahy bill is still a bad bill, one that is ripe for misuse. If passed, it is possible that someone might still try to apply the ten-year jail terms to the new supplement rules.

And supplements are not the only food in danger from the Leahy bill. For example, according to the FDA, raw milk producers are guilty of adulteration because raw milk is considered inherently unsafe—despite clear scientific evidence to the contrary! The Leahy bill would give the FDA a bigger hammer to go after raw milk providers. Speaking of raw milk, be sure to see our article in this issue on Wisconsin residents being denied the right to consume raw milk from their own cow!

The Leahy bill passed in the Senate and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. We will keep you posted.

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  • Lucy H

    After 18 years of anti-depressants, I successfully weaned myself from the drugs and substituted natural supplements. The Leahy bill would be personally devastating. Perhaps that is the reason that the bill exists – to stop others from exchanging pharmaceuticals for natural medicine?

  • Heinz Hoeke

    The FDA is the enforcer of Monsanto’s dictates!

    • Frances in California

      Especially with Elena Kagan on the US Supreme Court.

  • Dr. Norman Murphy

    Since most farmers are Republicans they might look at switching parties.

    • Clifford Burdeaux

      Not sure what the good Dr. is trying to say. The FDA , if anything, is party free. The majority of the FDA are beholden to big pharma, from where comes most of their operating funds. As for Dr. Murphy, most doctors think they are some kind of god, not open to rebuke, and certainly not ambitious enough to keep up with the latest in medical information. There are cures for just about every disease that exists; they are just covered up by the FDA so bis pharma can reap in their obscene profits.

  • So the bureaucrats get to say what I can put in my mouth, whether or not said rule is lawful, violates the Constitution or no? The Federal Death Administration, the FDA has no clue how real people live in this nation as is, but they are trying to have a say in how you as a free American manage your health. Freedom? You think?

  • Mary Jo

    Oh my goodness. Congress has NOTHING better to do that mess with NUTRITIONAL supplements. Why don’t you work on bringing our troops home, lowering taxes so that small business owners can expand and hire more employees. The list goes on and on and on and on…..

  • margaret beresford

    This is a move to give exclusivity to drug companies. They never do tolerate competition.

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I don’t feel we need more of the FDA goings on. they should leave our vitamins and supplements we take alone. If they want to do anything they should take a look at their own prescription medicines and take everything of the market that has killed or maimed anyone in any way and I believe it would be most of the prescription medicine they let go by. Let a person take a vitamin or herb and have a bad effect it is taken of the market immediately so why shouldn’t they do that with there own products?

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I don’t feel we need more of the FDA goings on. they should leave our vitamins and supplements we take alone. If they want to do anything they should take a look at their own prescription medicines and take everything of the market that has killed or maimed anyone in any way and I believe it would be most of the prescription medicine they let go by. Let a person take a vitamin or herb and have a bad effect it is taken of the market immediately so why shouldn’t they do that with there own products?

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I don’t feel we need more of the FDA goings on. they should leave our vitamins and supplements we take alone. If they want to do anything they should take a look at their own prescription medicines and take everything of the market that has killed or maimed anyone in any way and I believe it would be most of the prescription medicine they let go by. Let a person take a vitamin or herb and have a bad effect it is taken of the market immediately so why shouldn’t they do that with there own products?

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I don’t feel we need more of the FDA goings on. they should leave our vitamins and supplements we take alone. If they want to do anything they should take a look at their own prescription medicines and take everything of the market that has killed or maimed anyone in any way and I believe it would be most of the prescription medicine they let go by. Let a person take a vitamin or herb and have a bad effect it is taken of the market immediately so why shouldn’t they do that with there own products?

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I don’t feel we need more of the FDA goings on. they should leave our vitamins and supplements we take alone. If they want to do anything they should take a look at their own prescription medicines and take everything of the market that has killed or maimed anyone in any way and I believe it would be most of the prescription medicine they let go by. Let a person take a vitamin or herb and have a bad effect it is taken of the market immediately so why shouldn’t they do that with there own products?

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I don’t feel we need more of the FDA goings on. they should leave our vitamins and supplements we take alone. If they want to do anything they should take a look at their own prescription medicines and take everything of the market that has killed or maimed anyone in any way and I believe it would be most of the prescription medicine they let go by. Let a person take a vitamin or herb and have a bad effect it is taken of the market immediately so why shouldn’t they do that with there own products?

  • Stephen Levin

    These govt. regulations are strangling the American business community and
    aspiring entreprenuers. Who are these people. I guess it is logical that people whose primary job is to pass bills will do whatever they can to pass
    bills. God help us.
    Steve

  • I was brought up to believe that America was the Land of the FREE! meaning that Americans would never be subjected to the dictatorships that other countries were under. Who decided that this was not so? Many dictators have been abolished and so can more! I resent being told what I can and cannot do as long as I am not hurting anyone.

    • birgit

      “none are so enslaved as those who THINK they are free.”
      USA has been receivership since 1933 and its citizens tax slaves since 1913..
      WAKE UP !!

  • Robert C. Herzfeld

    In my opinion no agency of the federal government is more dangerous and out-of-control than the FDA, and deserves maximum attention from. Cong. Darrel Issa, Chairman of the Cong. Oversight Committee.

  • Nancy Stephens

    I have been following all this myself and thank you anh-usa for doing all you can to get this bill changed or hopefully dumped!! I for one was on 8 prescriptions drugs. I was sick and all kinds of side effects because most of the RX had similiar side effects. SO, I after reading about them closely, I myself, started weaning off 6 of them. After all that and most all symptoms cleared, I started in with supplements. Those supplements been saving me, not only the medical problem, but NO side effects, no more cramps in legs, no more falling, dizziness etc. It was most scary to even think that the day could come that I couldn’t get them from where I choose. I know that BIG PHARMA wants these supplements gone, so they can have them to sell as prescriptions and charge at the minimum probably 5 times more. FDA will joyfully let that happen. Yes, I am aware also that a private member food co-op nearby was raided with Drawn guns, fda, state and local police because they sold to its private member raw milk and cheese etc. These members chose to buy this product for years and never sick. We all should have personal freedom of choice as to what we eat. No GM foods unlabeled. FDA should spend their money & time checking at our ports all imported foods instead which account for millions of corrupted foods and poisons.

  • buck

    Why would anyone even consider passing a bill this useless individual would submit , He has never in his life done anything of benefit for the country . Of course this can be said of all democrats but applys to some “like Leahy ” more so than others . Keep him away from our food . To balance out his bill we need to label maple syrup as a contributor to diabetes .

  • Arlene Foreman

    I am 72 years old and look 62 because I take supplements bioidentical hormones and drink raw goats milk. Please preserve my freedom to make my owen choices on how to stay healthy

  • Vern

    The FDA is a corrupt bunch of Obama lovers. Congress should close down the FDA it is not good
    for America.

  • lone voice

    Is there a petition we can sign to stop this bill from passing?
    If no, then why not?
    Also, did Leahy himself put those bad clauses into the bill, or was it the work of other interests which adulterated his own original version of the bill? I would be interested to know about this. It’s hard to believe that Leahy would be behind this, given his voting record. I suspect other influences adulterated it, later.
    Info for us, ANH?
    Thanks.

    • Lone voice, We are hopeful that with bigger legislative priorities, this bill will die in its House committee. If it does move out of its committee, we will launch an action alert so you can ask your House representatives to vote against it.

      • lone voice

        Thank you, ANH Friends.

  • Jim

    With this Leahy bill passing the Senate, but not the House, is it a party line issue? i.e. Dem’s for and gop against or what? How do the parties actually vote on this issue. Could you publish a list from time to time on the roll call votes on issues vital to Natural Heath?

    Thanks, Jim

  • Robert

    I live in San Diego and I’ve been drinking raw milk for 30 years. Why is this even controversial? It’s a total no-brainer. With all the attention paid lately to “Class Warfare” I revert once again to the viewpoint of “Shared Sacrifice.” God have mercy, can’t we all just get along?

  • vote out the republicans in everywhere.

  • Margo

    Can you say REVOLUTION?

  • Kathy Marston

    Please continue your good work protecting our rights.

  • Ruth Lanton

    I still fail to understand why raw milk is singled out, when raw fish, meat, and eggs are readily available with a printed disclaimer to cook before consuming.

  • The “representatives” kill me. Just who do they represent? We the People…..doesn’t look like it to me. We the wealthy corporations who shamelessly lobby “our” reps……kinda hard to refute.

    What really gets my goat is that these reps can’t solve any of our “real” problems (global warming, peak oil, national debt, health care, etc…) but they have no qualms about “addressing” non-problems and then trying to make it seem like it’s really important….what frauds they are.

    Ed

  • lone voice

    According to Dr Mercola, there are 125,000 deaths each year from properly prescribed medication drugs. Yet the FDA goes after raw milk? Oh by the way, Sen. Diane Feinstein just emailed a response that she is after the raw milk issue “because there were 15 cases of food-related illness outbreaks”. Out of 300+ million American people? Oh my.
    It’s time for us to laugh, and time to publicly expose their obvious designs!
    I think the more of us who write letters to the editors, post to blogs et al, the better.
    We need to stress all the solutions, because depression governs the masses. Hope spawns proactivity.
    Ahoy! Let’s go. Thanks everybody.

  • The Mannatech Corp oration for all natural supplements gave Sentor Leahy several thousand dollars. So, if you are an Associate then you have to take ACTION and call every Congressman personally to undo the “stupidity” of the Corporation. Really when it comes to politics
    “supplement manufacturers” get taken in easily.

    This Food Supplement Safety is the result of the Censorship that exits.

    No to Senator Durbin and Bill Leahy!

  • For thousands of years milk intolerant babies have thrived on goats milk…..and now it is illegal?
    Common sense and freedom of choice is missing here once again.