Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dissent in the Health Freedom Movement

As a trustee of the Natural Solutions Foundation - - I am concerned about some recent criticism.

Some health freedom groups have expressed the view that the FDA Revitalization Act (now pending a conference between the two Houses of Congress) has nothing to do with Dietary Supplements and our concerns about this law are unfounded.

While there are a number of bad clauses in what we call the FDA "enabling act" because it rewards a failing agency with more power to abuse, the House version of the bill does not mention foods or dietary supplements. The Senate version has an additional section 6 (sponsored by Senator Durbin) which was originally inspired by recent bad food (including pet food) imports.

That section is about food safety and establishes an “adulterated food registry.” Even after assurances from Senator Kennedy, on the Senate record, that the law would not be used against food supplements, Senator Harkin and others demanded that language protecting dietary supplements be added to the law. They were supported in this by thousands of constituent messages to Congress through the NSF web site.

It is our view that the proposed statutory language was so vague as to allow FDA more room to attack supplements. Thus, while not supporting the bill, we do applaud section 608, protecting supplements from what bill supporters claim would be an unlikely attack on supplements. If the food safety section 6 remains in the final law, we are assured by our friends "on the Hill" the DSHEA product exemption will remain in place.

Those who criticize us apparently trust the FDA rather more than we do. We, on the other hand, agree with Dr. Ron Paul, who earlier this year called an FDA move against alternatives "an abuse of FDA power..."

We remain concerned that giving the agency more power will allow it to continue its stated policy of 'harmonizing' our health freedoms to international restrictions.

We reject that approach and will continue to be a strong voice for freedom of choice in healthcare. That is the Foundation's purpose: to educate Congress and decision makers about Natural Solutions that will enable people to control their own healthcare decisions. One way the Foundation does that is to make wholesome, organic, nonGM, non-irradiated foods and supplements available on its supporters' buyers club web site, .

Here is an outline of Title VI (Food Safety) of the Senate version of the new law (S 1082):

601 - Congressional findings relating to food safety

601 - ensuring the safety of pet food (18 months for FDA to make saftey regulations)

603 - ensuring efficient and effective communications during a recall (human and pet food)

604 - State and federal cooperation

605 - [After specifically citing DSHEA] an adulterated food registry is created

606 - Sense of the Senate that US should make food safety agreements with trading partners

607 - Annual report to Congress required

608 - Rule of construction: nothing in this title "shall be construed toaffect..." regulation under DSHEA or AER law

609 - authorization of appropriations "as may be necessary"

So, clearly, if the Senate version is adopted, we need section 608. This is not just a pet food issue; anyone who read Title VI that way misread it.

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