Wednesday, December 01, 2010 – by Mike Adams, NaturalNews Editor
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 – by Mike Adams, NaturalNews Editor
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 – Unfortunately, today the Senate passed S. 510, The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. If signed into law it would significantly expand FDA authority, especially over small farms and local food producers. The result: elimination of competition for big Agribusiness and limitations on what you choose to eat and drink.
We intend to fight final passage of the bill in the House and every step of the way to the President. If signed into law, we will mobilize the public to oppose its implementation.
Meanwhile, here are the Senators who voted to pass S. 510, and let’s make it clear that we will not forget the way they voted when they come up for re-election:
Dear Citizens for Health Community,
We’re very excited to introduce Voice for HOPE (Healers Of Planet Earth), our partner in our newest initiative. This new initiative is an expansion of our Campaign for Better Health. Along with Voice for HOPE, we also want to introduce you to WisdomFilms™, a new resource that can support you both personally and in your efforts as an advocate for our world’s health and wellness.
Voice for HOPE was created to bring together consumers, practitioners and producers of complementary, alternative and integrative health and wellness modalities to advocate effectively for an expanded role for these approaches to improving personal, family and community health and well-being. As the recently passed “health reforms” go through the next several years of refinements, regulatory implementation, re-evaluation and beyond, the potential value of these approaches needs to be, and is ready to be, recognized.
Voice for HOPE is a pro-active companion to Citizens for Health’s rapid and effective defense of dietary supplements, organic food, and other natural health approaches, mobilized when we’re faced with threats from industry and government. With Voice for HOPE, we are calling on policy makers to pay attention to the value of natural healing modalities and approaches, and integrate them NOW into health policy at every level, rather than dismissing, rejecting or over-regulating them.
Millions of Americans are taking steps in their personal lives to improve their overall well-being, reduce stress and other risk factors, delay the onset of aging, and achieve better outcomes from conventional medical treatments. Including natural health approaches in national, state and local health care policy could significantly improve outcomes and reduce costs across the country. This presents opportunities our country can no longer afford to ignore.
You can support the Voice for HOPE initiative and at the same time enjoy a personal healing experience. WisdomFilms™ is a new genre of media, designed to evoke a contemplative, life-enhancing experience. It is a collection of 3-6 minute films explicitly created to reduce stress and restore balance to our minds, hearts, and souls. The films feature spoken wisdom from some of today’s most acclaimed voices in self-help and spirituality (including Campaign for Better Health advisor and bestselling author Deepak Chopra, success coach Bob Proctor, and Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh), blended with inspiring original music and breathtaking imagery.
Thoughtful and beautiful at the same time, the films are designed to provide “a sanctuary of serenity” and “a connection to what matters most.” Created by Emmy Award-winning composer Gary Malkin, these “media-tations” offer an antidote to fear and anxiety that can inspire, awaken, nourish and sustain. Leaders in healthcare and personal development, as well as research centers such as HeartMath, have found these films can provide a way to cultivate “coherence,” the integrative state that adds years to our lives.
Thomas Moore, admired author of Care of the Soul said, “These inspiring short films can help us connect our deepest selves to the vast world we live in. No service could be more important. A multi-sensory feast for the senses!”
A free WisdomFilms™ sample, narrated by Deepak Chopra, is available for your viewing at www.wisdomfilms.com/voiceforhope. You’ll also find information there about how to purchase the 2-DVD set of the nine Wisdom Films.
As a vital Citizen for Health, I hope you find comfort and inspiration in these WisdomFilms™ and optimism about the possibilities for natural healing to play a more prominent role in American life as you learn more about Voice for HOPE.
Jim Turner, and the Citizens for Health Team
Send your letter now, and urge your Senators to Save Safe Food – Stop S. 510!
It is time for Americans who want net neutrality to speak up and tell the FCC what it needs, which is to support President Obama’s vision of a truly free, not an almost free, internet.
Courtesy of NOW Foods
The September 2010 Consumer Reports article entitled “Dangerous Supplements” highlights 12 dietary supplements the authors claim are potentially dangerous. This article has led to numerous news stories that have aired on national TV programs. However, supplement maker NOW Foods believes these stories contain inaccurate and misleading information. This may well discourage consumers from availing themselves of the benefits that nutritional supplements convey, and needlessly raise the specter of danger.
Consumer Reports and the related media stories refer to the supplement industry as operating with little FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] oversight. The reality is that the supplement industry is regulated by the FDA, with manufacturers being audited by the FDA to ensure they meet cGMP requirements (Good Manufacturing Practices). The FDA also regulates labels: all claims must be truthful and not misleading, all ingredients must be listed on the labels, and companies must have documentation to prove claims that must be maintained. Any new supplement ingredient introduced must go through a vetting process with the FDA before it can be legally marketed, similar to the FDA drug approval process in terms of demonstrating safety.
Numerous FDA commissioners have stated that they do have ample authority to regulate the supplements industry – they just don’t have the resources. This is why the industry has long, and very loudly, supported legislation to give FDA more resources to crack down on the fringe companies that do not follow the laws regulating the industry. Also, the FDA has the legal authority to remove from the marketplace any dietary ingredient that they determine to be dangerous.
Supplements have a proven track record of safety, in fact a much better track record than pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and even common foods. For example, the most recent annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology reported zero accidental deaths from dietary supplements. Consumers should be more concerned about acetaminophen adverse events, which cause a large number of deaths (estimates vary widely, but usually range between 3,500 and 10,000), liver failures and ER visits annually.
Additionally, most of the herbs listed in the article are not widely available, and certainly not sold by the vast majority of the industry. To broadly characterize dietary supplements as dangerous on the basis of a handful of products that they claim may be potentially unsafe, is sensationalism that discredits the proven safety record of this product category and fails to recognize that millions of Americans choose to take supplements every day because they derive significant benefits from them.
In a related article, Michael McGuffin, the head of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) had this to say.
WASHINGTON—The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC) held a briefing on June 23 to inform our representatives about the important role of supplements in the shifting from reactive health care to a more preventive and wellness system. Held in conjunction with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the Natural Products Association (NPA), the luncheon briefing featured a presentation from David Grotto, RD, LDN, founder and president of Nutrition Housecall, and advisory board chair for the Produce for Kids® and PBS Kids™ health initiatives, who stressed dietary supplements are an important part of a well-rounded nutrition program, particularly for those who don’t get all their nutrients from food alone.
“We know that a healthy diet and lifestyle, along with appropriate dietary supplements, can really make a difference in helping to mitigate health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke” Grotto said, adding many people have “lost touch” with the purpose of food and are not meeting the Dietary Guidelines. “We don’t always necessarily eat the best every day of the week, so it does make sense to include some responsible dietary supplements along with that.”
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), DSC co-chair, also spoke to attendees about the role of supplements in health and wellness, noting education on healthier lifestyles and diet can ultimately lead to reduced health care costs. “Supplements used properly help prevent disease and promote good health as part of an overall healthy lifestyle,” he said, noting “scientific evidence strongly suggests that the use of daily dietary supplements would be an effective way to address nutritional gaps” in deficient populations.
original link: www.anh-europe.org
An important ruling was handed down by the European Court of Justice on 29th April 2010.
The ruling relates to a case brought by the vitamin company, Solgar, and a range of other food supplement interests challenging decisions by France to set highly restrictive maximum levels for vitamins and minerals prior to the European Commission’s planned EU-wide harmonisation of Maximum Permitted Levels (MPLs).
Read the full ruling.
In a nutshell, the European Court of Justice has further cemented a fundamentally flawed approach to risk management, which is in the process of being developed for EU-wide implementation by the European Commission. There is however, the glimmer of a silver lining, at least around parts of the Court’s judgement. Probably the brightest light comes from the Court’s decision to bar either national governments or, by inference, the European Commission, from implementing excessively low maximum levels without demonstrating any “genuine” or “real” risks to human health. We feel that this ‘supreme view’ from the highest court in Europe could pave the way for preventing disproportionate bans on particular molecular forms of nutrients that are known to be safe (and beneficial) at supplemental doses currently used.
Following is a more in depth response by ANH to the ruling.
The ruling is a mix of good and bad.
What’s bad about it?
Unsurprisingly, the ECJ ruling reinforces the principles for the establishment of maximum permitted levels (MPLs) that are written in to Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive (2002/46/EC).
However, these principles on which MPLs are to be set have not been established using proper scientific methods, nor have they been validated against real data on beneficial or harmful intakes. But of course the ECJ judges are not scientists and they are simply following the law, not appreciating its scientific weaknesses.
For more about the scientific weaknesses, please see:
Verkerk RH, Hickey S. A critique of prevailing approaches to nutrient risk analysis pertaining to food supplements with specific reference to the European Union. Toxicology. 2009 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]
The most disconcerting aspect of the ruling is that it sets the scene for highly restrictive MPLs, and even outright bans on nutrients if MPLs are computed at the zero level.
And what’s good about it?
The plus side of the ruling is that the ECJ has picked the plaintiffs’ question about the anomaly of fluoride and the French authorities decision to issue a zero level, based on the fact that it is not possible to predict intakes from other sources, and total intake from sources other than supplements might exceed the known upper safe level (UL). While this makes total sense for fluoride in supplements, which can cause significant harm particularly in children, it does not make sense for many other types, or molecular forms, of nutrients for which harm at supplemental levels has never been demonstrated.
Another useful element of the ruling (paragraph 55) is that it puts the onus on national authorities to prove that any restriction of dosages is based on an ability to demonstrate a “real risk” to public health. This is a reiteration of the point made by the ECJ in our own case of 2005 (paragraph 73). This principle will obviously also apply to the the Commission’s proposed harmonised imposition of MPLs and could set the scene for legal challenge if the levels are excessively restrictive for a given molecular form of a nutrient for which no risk at that level can be demonstrated.
In paragraph 61, the court paves the way for labelling to be used as a means of protecting specific, minority groups within the population, such as children, pregnant women, etc. While the ruling specifically applies to national rules implemented by Member States prior to the EU-wide harmonisation of MPLs, the ECJ’s ruling will likely have a legal impact on the approach to harmonisation as being considered presently by the European Commission.
We at Citizens for Health are working around the clock to alert you about threats to the health freedoms we currently enjoy; to provide opportunities to fight back against those threats; and to organize the natural health community into a force for expanding our rights as consumers. Some of the more recent threats to these rights have focused on limiting access to the supplements we rely on to maintain our health, expanding the FDA’s regulatory authority over food (including supplements), and the censorship of the truthful, science-based information we need to make informed decisions about our health.
Over the past few weeks you’ve received a number of action alerts about these, and other, issues. Thanks to the thousands of you who have responded to these alerts and participated in our grassroots efforts to preserve your health freedom rights, some of these threats have been held at bay. However, we must remain vigilant and organized – those opposed to your rights as a consumer will exploit any opportunity to advance their oppressive agenda. Citizens for Health is on the front lines of this fight and we won’t rest until we are all free to make our own informed decisions about maintaining our health and about what we eat and drink. Such diligence requires resources, and that is why we need to urge you to turn the same commitment and zeal you’ve shown in responding to our action alerts toward supporting our work in another way.
Today, more than ever, we need your financial support in order to continue our role as the watchdog on issues affecting the natural health consumer. It’s no secret that opponents of health freedom – from pharmaceutical companies seeking to discredit the science behind supplements to the enshrined medical establishment eager to increase its stranglehold on consumers nationwide – have vast resources to dedicate to maintaining the status quo. However, we have an important resource they don’t – you.
Currently, we are the only consumer-based grassroots advocacy organization representing the interests of the natural health consumer, and our ability to do what we do is directly related to the budget that is available to us. With the recent barrage of attacks aimed at the natural health community, it’s more important than ever to develop a war chest of resources that will help us protect these valuable rights.
The success we’ve enjoyed in defending your rights would not have been possible without the generous financial help from our supporters going back to 1993 and our campaign to pass DSHEA. Click here to help us ensure similar success for years to come by making a donation today, and please give as generously as you can. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for what you’ve already done to make our work possible,