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Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003

October 2003 - Print | Index

I am writing to alert you to a dangerous bill that is before the Senate, and to ask your support in taking action.

Senate Bill 722, the so-called "Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003", threatens to remove safe dietary supplements from the market, provide unnecessary additional regulatory authority to the FDA, and force supplements to a higher level of scrutiny than many over-the-counter medications and food additives. This legislation could result in higher health care costs and less personal control over your health care choices.

Since the passage of the landmark Dietary Supplement and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994, the FDA has failed to implement many of its key provisions. Now, they want a bill that stipulates that if any adverse effect occurs in a person taking a dietary supplement, without regard to whether the event is known to be causally related to the dietary supplement", the FDA can pull that supplement off the market.

I believe it's precisely because dietary supplements are so safe, that the FDA is asking for these unreasonable powers. There are no real reasons to control the sale of most supplements. The FDA has broad authority to remove dangerous products, including dietary supplements, from the market if they pose a hazard to public health. DSHEA did not hamper that power. However, S. 722 would give the FDA authority to pull products off the market based on hearsay. You can read the full text of this proposed law at http://thomas.loc.gov, by typing in "S. 722".

Please contact your Congresspersons and tell them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 722. Do not let it pass, and do not let it slip through as a rider on some other bill. To contact your Congresspersons, go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/, and enter your zip code. You can get email, phone and mail information for your Senators and your Representative there.

Thank you for your time and attention to this crucial health care and personal choice issue. Below is a sample letter. Call, or send a letter to your Senators. Keep Congress from taking away your choices for health improvement.

Yours in health,
Daniel Milosevich, Editor
Vitamin Express Newsletter

P.S. Please come to Washington, DC, on October 21, 2003, for a "Rally on Capitol Hill"! For more information or to register, see http://www.nnfa.org/services/government/RallyontheHill.htm.

If you agree with the sentiments expressed in the letter below, feel free to copy and paste it as a starting point for your own words. You may find email and mail addresses for your Congresspersons at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/.

Dear Senator (insert your Senator's name);

I respectfully urge you to do all in your power to kill S. 722, the "Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003," introduced March 26th, 2003 by Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL). The bill's intent is to overturn the main provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

S. 722 would give the FDA the potential power to remove thousands of herbs and other dietary supplements from the marketplace, as it has tried to do many times already. S. 722 would give the FDA complete discretion to make such a determination, without just cause or conforming to scientific standards. That is wrong. It was the will of the people and of Congress, as stated in DSHEA, that the availability of safe, dietary supplements in America does not need to be, and shall not be, restricted.

If you are concerned with the safety of your constituents, as I believe you are, you should know that supplements are relatively safe, especially compared to drugs. There are 120,000 deaths a year from prescription drugs versus less than one per year from dietary supplements, based on official records from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. DSHEA already provides the FDA with ample authority to remove any dangerous product at any time. S. 722 is simply a power grab that undermines DSHEA and the rights of your constituents.

I think S. 722 and its Congressional backers will be very unpopular with the American people. More citizen letters were sent to Congress in 1992-1994 in support of DSHEA than over any other issue in American history. DSHEA was enacted after years of debate in Congress. During the process, it became very clear that there was overwhelming public support for ensuring free access to dietary supplements. If you have a hand in overturning the freedoms that DSHEA provides, voters will strongly disapprove.

Please oppose S. 722. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this subject.

Sincerely,

Name__________________________________ Address________________________________ ______________________________________


The BEST of health to you!
Michael LeVesque, President

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products listed in this newsletter are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician before taking any of these products.