Yes, it's always nice when members of Congress respond to net-roots Push Back and introduce bills that would offer further protection for our Health and Food Freedom of Speech. And we are sure the latest such bill, H.R. 1364, entitled the Free Speech About Science Act, introduced in the House of Representatives April 2011 by Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Jared Polis (D-CO) is such a bill. We've been calling for further legal protection for years. HR. 1364 ought to be amended to truly protect health free speech.
The Natural Solutions Foundation's Health and Food Freedom proposals, linked through the Health and Food Freedom of Speech Action Item, at http://tinyurl.com/healthfreespeech are detailed and include more than the current bill. Nonetheless, we certainly urge you to use the above Action Item to support that bill and urge its improvement.
Our gripe is aimed not at all those good folk who turn to Congress for protection, but at the Congress-critters who vote to protect us (or not) only to do nothing when the FDA thumbs its collective nose at Congress and the People by ignoring the protective laws Congress has adopted.
Frankly, we thought we had won the battle over being allowed to communicate truthfully about health and food in Congress and in the Supreme Court.
We thought that's what DSHEA was supposed to have done in 1994 with its Third Party Literature Provisions. Those provisions were further supported by the 1997 Labeling Commission which stated,
"Historically, FDA has considered literature used directly in connection with the sale of a product to be "labeling" for the product. Section 5 of DSHEA exempts certain publications used in connection with the sale of dietary supplements from being defined as "labeling." The exemption applies to "a publication, including an article, a chapter in a book, or an official abstract of a peer-reviewed scientific publication..."
And again we thought this matter had been determined by the Supreme Court in the 2002 landmark Thompson v Western States case, wherein the Court opined:
"If the First Amendment means anything, it means that regulating speech must be a last - not first - resort. *** We have previously rejected the notion that the Government has an interest in preventing the dissemination of truthful commercial information in order to prevent members of the public from making [even] bad decisions with the information...."Finally even the FDA "enabling act" of 2007 specifically exempted DSHEA products from enhanced FDA oversight.
But repeatedly FDA has ignored these legal restrictions, prompting Dr Ron Paul to remark that, when the Congress gives more power to FDA, the agency always engages in an "abuse of power..." A couple years ago it ignored the 2007 restrictions to exceed its power and ban the interstate sale of certain vitamins. Just last year it sought to ban the entire Ear Candling industry and asked the Courts to recognize NO right of Americans to make their own dietary choices.
This is an agency run-amok. An agency that is so incompetent that about half of the dangerous drugs (including vaccines) it approves must be withdrawn from the market, or strictly curtailed, within 5 years of approval, thus proving that the Public has become the final stage in drug company research and development. All the while, supporting drug company exemptions from legal liability for the horrendous harm they cause the Public.
Meanwhile, what we call Sen. Leahy's Criminalization of Food and Speech bill, which claims to "increase criminal penalties for certain knowing and intentional violations relating to food..." but applies only to SPEECH, has reared its ugly head again, as S.216. While that dangerous bill slid through the Senate, we hope it will stall in the House. But the Senate may have more surprises in store for us, with Sen. Durbin planning on introducing a new Dietary Supplement labeling bill that would, for the first time, subject vitamins to registration with the federal government prior to sale.
While all this is happening, Dr. Ron Paul continues to urge "legalization of freedom" with his recent Raw Milk Freedom bill, HR. 1830. Read more about this Interstate Commerce Bill, see my interview with him, and use the Action Item to support it, here: http://tinyurl.com/rawmilkfreedom.
Yes, Congress, can pass new laws to protect us from its agents -- or subject us to even more harassment.
But better, DIVEST THE FDA OF FOOD AUTHORITY! Let it stick to messing up dangerous drugs and deadly vaccines... FREE US from this bureaucratic nightmare that leads to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths every year!
And that's our gripe about a bill that's been introduced with the best intent, but with hardly enough clout to do the job of restoring our Health and Food Freedoms. To do that, please go to to www.HealthFreedomUSA.org for more information and more Action Items!
Update: the Senate passed S.216 and sent it to the House.
The operative language of the bill is:
Any person who violates subsection (a), (b), (c), or (k) of section 301 with respect to any food--(A) knowingly and intentionally to defraud or mislead; and (B) with conscious or reckless disregard of a risk of death or serious bodily injury, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.'---------------
Update: This cogent comment by Attorney Diane M. Miller further suggests that HR.1364 needs to be amended to better protect health free speech:
NHFA opposes H. R. 1364 Science and Free Speech bill because it continually uses the term "legitimate scientific research” as the threshold for “permission to speak”. The better solution is to support 2010 HR 3394 which protects speech in the marketplace, as long as it is truthful and not misleading. “Legitimate scientific research” can be an extremely arguable term and will be abused and will be interpreted under conventional scientific rubrics. The bill will work to further entrench our freedom of speech prohibitions into the existing conventional science paradigm. It will once more insist that if you don't have "legitimate scientific research" (as interpreted by the FDA), then you will not be able to speak the truth about dietary supplements. Dietary supplements will continue to be construed to be legally considered “drugs” if a person says what they can do. This is a bill that could even more entrench the "evidenced based medicine model" that international forums are promoting.
Diane M. Miller J.D.