Our Natural Health Champions in Congress

October 5, 2012
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Report Card With campaigns in full swing and a critical election just around the corner (we’ve indicated with an asterisk those legislators who are up for reelection), it’s a good time to review who in Congress have been the real leaders on our issues.

If you don’t know your member of Congress, look them up here.

Our Champions

Your Right to Access Natural Health Options

For example, have they supported the Free Speech About Science Act, opposed the FDA’s Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients (NDI), and opposed Sen.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

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

Both Hatch and Harkin helped get FDA to withdraw its NDI draft guidance, and both stood up to Sen.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

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

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

Chaffetz, Bishop, and Polis voiced serious concern over FDA’s NDI draft guidance, and all three are members of the Dietary Supplement Caucus.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

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in inserting our language into an important congressional report that urged FDA to withdraw the July 2011 NDI draft guidance.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

We’d also like to thank the members that signed on to important Congressional letters to the FDA expressing concern about the agency’s NDI guidance which threatens our access to supplements. Please send your thanks to:

Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Joe Barton (R-TX), John Shimkus (R-IL), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Lee Terry (R-NE), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Charles Bass (R-NH), Bob Latta (R-OH), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Dan Burton (R-IN), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Joe Walsh (R-IL), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (R-MD), Ted Poe (R-TX), Rob Woodall (R-GA), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Tom Latham (R-IA).

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

Your Right to Choose a Toxic-Free Environment

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

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

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

Your Right to the Healthy Food of Your Choice

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

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

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

Need Improvement

Your Right to Access Natural Health Options

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

Senate: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the disastrous Dietary Supplement Labeling Act, and Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Jeff Bingaman* (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin* (D-MD), Kent Conrad (DNL-ND), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirstin Gillibrand* (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar* (D-MN), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), John McCain (R-AZ), Claire McCaskill* (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Jim Webb (D-VA) all supported it. Even some senators whom we praised last week for their stance on toxic-free food and drink supported this dreadful bill: Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein* (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders* (I-VT).

When the bill didn’t go anywhere, Sen. Durbin tried to sneak some of the bill’s provisions into an FDA bill as an amendment, which was defeated through an outpouring of grassroots activism from people like you.

Sen. Leahy tried to revive his own bill from last year by attaching an amendment to the Farm Bill. It too was defeated.

House: We’d like to draw special attention to Representatives Henry Waxman* (D-CA) and John Dingell* (D-MI), who have always been especially antagonistic toward nutritional supplements. Rep. Waxman tried to oppose DSHEA when it was introduced in 1994, and slipped an obscure anti-supplement measure into a Wall Street Reform bill in 2010.

Your Right to Choose Toxic-Free Food and Drink

For example, did they support GMOs and GE salmon, oppose (or fail to support) GMO labeling, do nothing to limit our exposure to BPA, and allow the use of antibiotics in animal feed?

House: Rep. Frank Lucas* (R-OK), head of the House Committee on Agriculture, allowed the insertion of two pro-GMO riders into the 2012 Farm Bill. And Rep. Fred Upton* (R-MI), chair of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, should have brought up several important bills for hearings and consideration—particularly bills concerning BPA exposure and the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed—but failed to do so. The bills languished in his committee.

One of our champions from last week, Rep. Jack Kingston* (R-GA), who was so instrumental in our work on the NDI draft guidance, unfortunately also allowed the terrible GMO riders into the Appropriations bill.

Your Right to the Healthy Food of Your Choice

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

Senate: Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Udall (D-CO), both from big potato-producing states, joined with the National Potato Council to fight the limits on potatoes and other starchy vegetables in school lunches. Sen. Amy Klobuchar* (D-MN) wrote a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack extolling the nutritional value of tomato paste; Schwan’s Food Service, which supplies frozen pizzas to 75% of US schools, is based in Minnesota.

House Opponents: Joe Pitts* (R-PA), chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, has not held hearings on bills concerning citizens’ access to raw milk and other health freedom bills.

Don’t see your member of Congress listed above?

Click here to send them a message: “Take a stand and promote natural health!”

5 Responses to “Our Natural Health Champions in Congress”

  1. Robert O'Leary says:

    What about Representative Dennis Kucinich? I understand he has done alot supporting labeling of GMO’s and other things that this website has favored. I believe he lost his seat to redistricting in part because of being such an outspoken advocate on these and other issues that are right and righteous, rather than ripe for making a profit at the expense of truth or the People’s true health safety and welfare.

       4 likes

    • ANH-USA says:

      Hi Robert–Thank you for your comment! Rep. Kucinich was very supportive in the fight to label GMOs, but was mostly silent on other natural health issues. Thanks again for reading!

         1 likes

  2. Patricia Gula says:

    This article provided a most welcome chance to turn a negative into a positive .. if only shaming our senators would work .. imagine senators from a state with a national college of naturopathy not being one of the “natural health champions”. I have tried as an individual and retired USPHS director, but it will take an organization like ANH to move the mountains.

    Now, how can we get Medicare to cover naturopathic or even integrative medicine?

       15 likes

    • Louise Esther Rothstein says:

      We have to organize on a far larger scale than the very small splinter groups that we have here.
      Remember that we are really out to move mountains.

      Such entities command stupendous inertia.

      That much inertia stymies anything short of massive and effectively organized effort.

         1 likes

    • Lorraine says:

      IMO the corporate sponsors of Obamacare are trying their worst to shut down the competition–alternative medicine–just like oil companies shut down independents and big grocery chains shut down mom & pop corner stores. It’s Big Pharma, Big Ag and Big AMA against money draining into anyone else’s pockets. They want it ALL. . .

         0 likes

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