Below is a blog that I wrote over the weekend regarding the supplement Bill proposed by Senators McCain and Dorgan that I am pleased to say that Bill has now been withdrawn. It should serve as a reminder to all of us that we should never take our freedoms for granted or get complacent about the simple right to enjoy our vitamins. I am convinced it was public pressure from ordinary citizens that convinced the Senators to withdraw their Bill and we must remain vigilant, since this will not be the last threat to our freedom to take and enjoy vitamin supplements.
Our supplements are once again safe! Apparently Democracy has its moments!
I have received dozens and dozens of questions pertaining to the new Supplement Bill proposed by Senators John McCain (R, AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D, ND). Its terms are still unclear, but its intent is obviously to limit and prevent your access to supplements. Sadly, it singles out supplements for needless treatment that no other food, drug or consumer item receives. The Bill’s title states that its goal is safety, but why are supplements singled out when they have been proven safe and when food, OTC drugs and prescription drugs have thousands of times more adverse incidents than supplements? Sadly, once again supplements are the target of politicians with mysterious motives.
The most bizarre and outrageous thing is that these good Senators state that the basis for this new law are the issues surrounding drug testing of elite athletes. Each year a handful of elite athletes fail drug tests and they never fail to wrongfully blame it on vitamins. We are talking about a tiny number of elite athletes and I am not aware of instances where supplements were proven to be at fault in the failed drug tests, but nevertheless, the good Senators have made this their new crusade. In any event, to see the concerns of a few elite athletes determine the access of 300 million Americans to vitamins is absurd! This is not a question of the tail wagging the dog, but the flea on the tail of the dog wagging the dog. There are more than 100 million regular supplement consumers in America and just a handful of elite athletes, yet those few elite athletes may now determine your freedom and access to vitamins. Supplements already have far fewer adverse instances than OTC drugs, prescription drugs or even food. This law will not change the safety of supplements at all, but will most assuredly increase the cost of vitamins to consumers and more importantly, limit your access to those supplements as well. Is this an example of McCain doing some Winter Olympics political grandstanding? And how will our government pay for this? Will they raise taxes? As the political and financial events of last year showed us, in the end, it will be the consumer/taxpayer who is left paying for the misdeeds of politicians. You can rest assured that these Senators are not serving the interests of 300 million Americans with this Bill.
In short, purportedly to protect the interests of a few elite athletes who love to make supplements the innocent scapegoats for their failed drug tests, now all vitamin consumers will be forced to pay more for their supplements – if they can even get them at all. Moreover, this is clearly only the first step in the government regulating away our access to vitamins entirely, since the bill appears to seek to repeal certain longstanding rules that provide you guaranteed access to certain ingredients. It is just the latest attempt by certain interest groups to limit your access to vitamins and limit your ability to make independent health choices. It is ironic that I have always lobbied in favor of the regulation of supplements, since it improves the quality of all products; however, in this case, these regulations are foolish and meaningless. It will serve the interests of no consumers and only grow our government by requiring they monitor, manage and maintain meaningless data on supplements in a manner that is not required for any other food, OTC drug, prescription drug, etc. In the end, our government will now place a barrier between you and the vitamins that have already been proven safe for decades…and all this to supposedly serve the interests of a few elite athletes.
Fortunately, we still live in a Democracy and if you enjoy your freedom to make your own health decisions, then I strongly recommend you urgently contact your Congresspersons or Senators in some fashion (letters, emails, phone calls, etc.) before this foolishness becomes a depressing reality. This is our only chance to make our feelings known to those in power in Washington, DC. The following link to SaveOurSupplements.org will provide more information and help you send an email, letter or note directly to your Senators: http://www.saveoursupplements.org
Our supplements are once again safe! The Bill has been withdrawn.
Apparently Democracy has its moments!
Best of health. Andrew