You may have noticed that I keep politics out of my books and newsletters. Health overrides politics for me. Now I’m making an exception because there’s a political situation brewing that affects health care. Yours, mine, and everyone else’s in this country. It concerns a threat to your freedom. Your freedom to buy vitamins, herbs, and other nutritional products. So I’m asking you to read this alert and join me in taking action to preserve this freedom.
Today, you can go to your local drugstore or health food store and buy a bottle of 1,000 IU of vitamin D or the latest science-backed supplement to protect you from heart disease or osteoporosis. Tomorrow, this may be impossible.
In fact, if a bill before the Senate becomes law, most of your supplements could disappear. You might be able to find some, with low potency. But the higher-potency and more effective supplements are more likely to become drugs and cost you more.
If you don’t think this is about to happen, you’re wrong. It’s already happened in Europe.
The bill that threatens our freedom to have continued access to supplements is bill S.3002, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (DSSA). Senator John McCain is the primary sponsor. And it would give the FDA more powers to limit your access to nutritional supplements.
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Here’s some of what the McCain bill would do:
Require everyone associated with supplements to register with the FDA and provide validation for every ingredient they sell. This includes manufacturers, distributors, labelers, licensors, stores, and even people selling products through MLMs (multi-level marketing). Penalties for failing to keep these documents could put companies and stores out of business. Current regulations already require that supplement companies provide proof of ingredients and quality.
Give the FDA the power to decide which supplements would remain on the market and in what strengths.
Give the FDA the authority to ban all other supplements and turn them over to drug companies so they can be developed into drugs and sold for much higher prices.
Give the FDA the authority to immediately recall any supplement that has even minor adverse effects, like an allergic reaction, while at the same time permitting the sale of aspirin and other “safe” drugs with known side effects. About 10,000 people in the U.S. alone die each year from bleeding caused by aspirin or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Yet, the FDA is not taking aspirin off the market or turning it into a prescription drug.
There’s much more, and I suggest you read more about this bill on the Internet. The FDA already regulates many aspects of nutritional supplement safety. We don’t want them telling us which nutrients we can buy or in what quantities. We want the ability to choose for ourselves like we have.
Its creators designed bill S.3002 to prevent athletes from using steroids and other illegal substances. Let’s see a bill that says that, plain and simple. Not one that robs us of our freedoms.
I urge you to join me in telling your senators not to co-sponsor or vote for this bill, and to do everything possible to defeat it. Phone calls carry more weight than e-mails. Hand-written letters are more powerful than phone calls. But do something. Anything. You can find your senators’ contact information at www.senate.gov. Click on the tab at the top that says “Senators.”
Please send this health alert to everyone you know today and ask them to do the same. Your health — and life — depends on it.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand