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Press Release: FDA Protects Supplement Consumers From Drug-Spiked Tainted Products

Citizens for Health Supporters Urged to Visit KeepSupplementsClean.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: James Turner, 202-462-8800
James Gormley, 202-695-2027

Washington, D.C., November 1, 2012 – Citizens for Health (CFH) believes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should provide, and avoid blocking, useful information that consumers can use to make their own health choices.

In this spirit, Citizen for Health calls attention to an effort by the FDA that we support wholeheartedly. When it comes to protecting consumers from products that masquerade as dietary supplements, but that actually contain undeclared drugs, drug analogs, or steroids, by informing consumers FDA is serving as the safety agency that we as consumers urge it to be.

Under U.S. law, dietary supplements may contain a wide variety of ingredients, from nutritional substances such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, to botanical ingredients and a range of other ingredients that are used to supplement the diet. Although we do not always see eye-to-eye with FDA on where the exact boundary for allowable dietary ingredients lies, we agree with the agency that neither pharmaceutical drugs nor steroids are allowed in lawfully marketed supplement products.

Unfortunately, there are marketers who have placed their own profits before the health of those who use their products, and FDA has identified over 400 products since 2008 that were found through the agency’s analysis to be spiked with an undeclared drug or steroid ingredient. Most of these products have been marketed either for weight loss, body building, or sexual enhancement. FDA’s enforcement actions have included consumer advisories, product recalls, and in a few cases criminal indictments, and regulatory agencies in many other countries are also confronting these same illegal products.

In its efforts to combat this problem, FDA has also reached out to the trade associations that represent responsible marketers of dietary supplements to ask for their assistance to educate the industry about this problem and to develop strategies to combat it. One of these organizations, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), has developed a website that can keep you informed on this issue.

This site, KeepSupplementsClean.org, links to FDA’s consumer advice on how to avoid these products, and is updated every time FDA, or any international regulator, announces any action against a marketer of an illicit, tainted product.

If you are a consumer of health-promoting dietary supplements, especially those in the product areas most likely to be contaminated with undeclared ingredients (e.g., weight loss, body-building or sexual enhancement) you can protect yourself from inadvertently consuming a hidden drug or steroid by staying informed through the AHPA’s KeepSupplementsClean.org.

From that site you can find the specific names of tainted and drug-spiked products identified by regulators around the world, sign up for an FDA RSS feed for future updates, and learn how to report suspicious products to FDA.

Stay informed and stay healthy! Dietary supplement users can have confidence in the quality of the vast majority of dietary supplement products, but should also be wary when they encounter products with claims that sound too good to be true.

About Citizens for Health

Founded in 1992 Citizens for Health (or CFH), The Consumer Voice of the Natural Health Community,  is one of the nation’s most respected and powerful non-profit consumer action groups dedicated to providing a voice and a platform for informed and effective health activism. CFH provides nearly 100,000 supporters with credible and well-researched consumer news, action alerts, and opportunities to protect and expand access to innovative dietary supplements, healthy food, non-toxic products and integrative healthcare.

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Marissa Mayer, Jim Breyer: Support Labeling Walmart’s Insecticide Sweet Corn and Prop 37

For Immediate Release: October 31, 2012

Sunnyvale, CA – More than 50 people rallied in front of Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, California yesterday to call on Marissa Mayer and Jim Breyer, both Silicon Valley-based members of Walmart’s Board of Directors, to support Proposition 37 and to ensure that Walmart respects consumers’ right to know about genetically engineered foods.

Walmart is selling Monsanto’s genetically engineered sweet corn which contains the insecticide Bt toxin inside the corn. Proposition 37 would require the genetically engineered corn to be labeled so consumers can have a choice about whether to eat it.

“We’re asking Marissa Mayer and Jim Breyer to do the right thing for California consumers – to label Walmart’s genetically engineered sweet corn and to endorse Prop 37 because we have a right to know what is in our food,” said Joyce M Eden, San Jose Area Volunteer Coordinator with the Yes on Prop 37 California Right to Know campaign.

The effort is supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Western States Council, which has endorsed Proposition 37. “As a UFCW member and grocery worker, I support prop 37.  I want to know what I am feeding my family. I’m appalled that a company like Walmart would sell Californians corn with insecticide built-in and refuse to tell us,” said Glen Raad, a grocery worker and UFCW member.

The two groups have bought advertisements online and in newspapers asking Ms. Mayer and Mr. Breyer to support Proposition 37, and they launched a website and an online petition at: www.MarissaAndJimTakeAStand.com

“Companies like Yahoo! and Facebook pride themselves on making it easier to share information. At the same time, Walmart refuses to give consumers basic information about what they’re buying,” said Eden.

Walmart, which sells roughly 25% of all groceries in the United States, announced this summer that they would begin to sell unlabeled genetically engineered sweet corn produced by Monsanto.

Monsanto claims the Bt toxins inside the corn will break down before the corn is eaten. Many have questioned the company’s safety claims and a number of major groceries have said they won’t sell the corn. Despite these concerns, Walmart is selling the product without a label indicating that it has been genetically engineered.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.MarissaAndJimTakeAStand.com.

Contact: Tom Fendley, 415-622-7843, tom@carighttoknow.org

Dr. Bronner’s Donates $250,000 More to Yes on 37; Time to Get Out And Vote!

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a California-based and family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, announced today that they have donated another $250,000 to Proposition 37, The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

According to a press release announcing this from Dr. Bronner’s, “Prop. 37 has been losing support in voter polls due to the impact of relentless and deceptive TV attack ads funded by pesticide and junk food manufacturers. At the rate of at least a $1 million dollars a day the ads mislead voters into thinking that a simple labeling law is somehow a plot by trial lawyers to get rich while food prices sky rocket.”

“These same arguments against consumers’ right to know have been made against every previous labeling regulation such as calorie and allergen disclosure,” noted the release. “Despite being vastly outspent, the Yes on 37 campaign has demonstrated through internal polling that their simple ad reminding voters of their fundamental right to know what’s in their food cuts through the flak.”

“Chemical corporations are outspending consumer groups 10 to 1 in California, so we felt we had to step up with another major donation to ‘Yes on 37’,” said David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “It’s wrong that American democracy is hijacked by pesticide manufacturers who spend vast sums of money to keep consumers in the dark. The opposition’s lies on TV will be answered this final crucial week before Election Day, while a huge grassroots surge reaches voters directly. If enough voters are reminded of their own rights and power, Prop. 37 can win.”

“Genetically engineered foods should have been labeled from the get-go in the 1990’s,” noted Bronner. “Pesticide companies genetically engineer DNA from bacteria into food crops to either produce or tolerate the pesticides they sell. Their business model is rapidly failing in the face of superweeds and superbugs resistant to their poisons. Pesticide companies like Monsanto and Dow are now doubling down and engineering resistance in food crops to much more toxic weed killers such as Dicamba and 2,4 D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange.”

Bronner added: “These pesticide companies have demonstrated they will spend any amount needed to keep the public in the dark about the secret changes they have made to our food. We have a right to know if our food has been genetically engineered, just as citizens in over 61 other countries do, including in Europe, Japan, even China. Prop 37 is just the beginning.”

Bronner said: “The writing is on the wall, win or lose we have sparked a movement. We will have the right to know in this country sooner versus later.”

Vote YES on Prop 37—today (early voting is on in California). Exercise your right to know about what you choose to buy and choose to eat. Here is information on how to vote early.

Proposition 37: “The Future of Food is In Your Hands”

We all have a right to know if the food we’re eating comes from nature or whether it was genetically engineered in a lab by companies like Monsanto and Dow. That’s why Proposition 37 is so important – it’s a label that gives us the right to know.

As my film The Future of Food describes, there are many reasons why people want and deserve the right to know about genetic engineering. That’s why I’m making my film available for free for public screenings from now until the election.

You can view the film for free, invite your friends to watch it, and read more about what you can do to pass Prop 37 here.

I encourage you to send this link to people you know who are on the fence about Prop 37, who don’t understand the incredibly high stakes in this battle to give consumers a choice about genetically engineered food.

I also encourage you to contribute to Yes on 37 in every way you can. Every dollar raised today will expand the television ad buy to get our message to voters. Donate to the ad fund here – and help us win the right to know what’s in our food!

Deborah Koons Garcia
Director/Producer/Writer
Lily Films, Inc.

http://www.lilyfilms.com
http://www.thefutureofthefood.com
http://www.symphonyofthesoil.com

What Is Proposition 37? The Top 5 Reasons You Should Care!

From Maria Rodale, via The Huffington Post Blog

You have probably seen something about “Proposition 37” or “Prop. 37”–whether it’s been on Facebook or Twitter or in The New York Times. Or perhaps you haven’t seen anything about it and, like me, you glaze over anytime there is some political something or other that seems too hard to figure out. Well, this one is easy…or let’s put it this way, I’m going to make it easy for you to understand.

Read the whole post here.

Some Valley Growers Back Prop 37

By Robert Rodriguez – The Fresno Bee
 

Supporters like Fresno County organic dairy operator Mark McAfee said opponents [of Prop 37] are using scare tactics to frighten consumers.

“The truth is that this is pro-farmer and pro-consumer,” McAfee said. “And while it may be a little anti-Monsanto and anti-processor, that is OK because they don’t feed the world, we do.”

California’s Vote on Prop 37 Will Send a Message to the FDA: Can We Trust Our Food System?

From Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blogger, Peter Lehner
 

Consumers have a right to know what’s in their food. And in much of the world, they do, because of government labeling laws. For example, China, Russia, and India are among the 50-odd nations that require labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMOs. Here in America, however, we can’t get information on GMO foods. That’s because chemical companies and food manufacturers have a stranglehold on the system of government oversight that is supposed to ensure the safety of our food supply.

Read more here.

Proposition 37, GMO Labeling Mandate, Wins Support Of 100 Celebrity Chefs

From the Huffington Post Food Blog, 10/22/12

California’s GMO labeling ballot initiative Proposition 37 has already attracted lots of emphatic support and dissent from a host of voices, from Michael Pollan to Danny DeVito. But on Monday, a large contingent of people with a lot of credibility on food issues threw their weight behind the proposal: celebrity chefs.

Read more here.

Op-Ed: CA Right To Know Calls For Criminal Investigation Of ‘No on 37’

By Anne Sewell
Oct 18, 2012 in Food at DigitalJournal.com

 

Washington – In the latest in a line of misrepresentations and possible fraud, California Right to Know is calling for a criminal investigation of “No on 37? for misuse of the FDA Seal and a fabricated FDA quote, all in opposition to the labeling of GMOs.

Proposition 37 would require labeling of genetically engineered food in California. The opposition to Prop 37 is spending a whopping $35 million to discredit it. And they are doing this using misrepresentations and possibly even fraud.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/335080#ixzz29s1lpFBD