Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dietary Supplement Industry Threatened By Anti-Consumer Legislation


United States Senator Dick Durbin has introduced legislation that could essentially slaughter the entire dietary supplement industry.

Durbin presented S. 1310, “The Dietary Supplement Labeling Act,” under the pretenses of improving the “safety of dietary supplements.”

However, the bill actually grants the FDA overreaching authority over the approval and disapproval of dietary supplements and supplement ingredients.

If passed, the legislation will require manufacturers to register dietary supplement products with the FDA and change the labels on the supplements to meet federal requirements.

In the meantime, the FDA would decide, without rule or reason and in correlation with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which dietary supplements and dietary supplements ingredients are “safe,” and would make a self-defined list of “dietary supplements” or “supplement ingredients” that need to be regulated by the FDA.

Dr. Tammera J. Karr says that duo has an agenda beyond protecting consumer safety:
“Given the FDA’s profound bias against supplements, and the skewed, anti-science recommendations of the IOM’s recent vitamin D report, these are hardly trustworthy sources.”
A petition letter against the act shares Karr’s belief that “consumer safety” is not the motivation behind the act and is, frankly, an excuse. It reads:
“Dietary supplements are already among the safest consumer products around. In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control have reported zero deaths from consumption of dietary supplements and during the last 25 years, more deaths have been reported from bee stings, lightning strikes, or horse-riding accidents than from supplements. This compares extremely favorably to FDA-approved drugs, licensed hospitals, and licensed medical doctors that account for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year! Clearly, there is no need for this legislation.”
In her article, Karr quotes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the national Poison Data System (NPS) which also state that “botanicals and dietary supplements are the safest products we can use for our health.”

So, not surprisingly, this is merely another example of government not being transparent with the people and pursuing its own agenda.

This legislation, Karr says, will significantly damage the dietary supplement industry and stifle consumers’ access to supplements, all while increasing prices and health care costs:
“If allowed to stand, over time this will drastically reduce the number of supplements and supplement potencies, raise prices substantially, injure our ability to take care of our health, raise health care costs, stifle supplement innovation, nutrition research, and cost millions of jobs….If the bill is passed, both the FDA and the IOM can make it all up as they go. Their judgments can be completely arbitrary.”
The legislation has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for further overview.

Hopefully that committee will not continue Senator Durbin and the FDA’s anti-consumer campaign.

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