By Dr. Mercola | mercola
Imagine making a trip to your favorite nutrition store, and instead of finding a cornucopia of supplements of every possible kind, finding nothing but empty shelves.
Maybe a handwritten sign taped to the shelf saying, “Unavailable until further notice.”
There is one United States Senator spearheading legislation engineered to bring about such a nightmare. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin launched a “sneak attack” on supplements that would have slipped under the radar were it not for the watchful eye of organizations such as the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), who send out alerts whenever something like this occurs.
When it comes to your healthcare freedom, Senator Durbin may be the most dangerous politician in Washington, and I am sorry to say he is from my home state of Illinois.
On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, Durbin’s Amendment No. 2127 was piggybacked onto a bill that was set for a vote the next day (Wednesday, May 23, 2012). The bill was S 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Because the natural health community so quickly and effectively sprung into action, Durbin’s amendment was defeated—for now. (It was tabled for later discussion.)
Senate offices were flooded with nearly 90,000 emails and phone calls within 24 hours in response to the announcement of the proposed amendment, applying pressure to local representatives and successfully preventing the amendment’s passage. This is proof once again that when you make your voice heard, legislators listen. But we can’t stop fighting yet.
Senator Orrin Hatch Steps Up in Your Defense
The tabled amendment would have required supplement companies to register supplements with the U.S. FDA within 30 days, a nearly impossible task and one designed to put them out of business. Supplement companies are already required to register with the FDA under Title III of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 1 (aka “the Bioterrorism Act”), so this new piece of legislation is redundant, pointless, and nothing more than an underhanded blow to the natural health movement.
“The FDA already has a tremendous amount of regulatory oversight and enforcement tools when it comes to dietary supplements… Instead of urging FDA to use its current enforcement authority to find and punish those companies that are not following the law, Senator Durbin’s amendment serves to punish all responsible companies with its overreaching mandates.“
Hatch added that 150 million Americans use dietary supplements regularly, and that multiple previous FDA commissioners feel DSHEA (the dietary supplement law passed in 1994) provides the appropriate level of responsible oversight.
This is NOT the first time Senator Durbin has declared war on supplements or natural foods. In 2011, Durbin sponsored the S 1310 Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 20113, a bill that threatened the dietary supplement industry by giving FDA power to regulate vitamins and other supplement as if they were drugs. The act was his reaction to a scandal surrounding Lazy Cakes, cupcakes with added melatonin to help adults fight insomnia. Some adults who purchased the cakes fed them to toddlers, and the toddlers subsequently became ill4.