Senate Bill endangering our right to supplements

jace

Off the fence
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Some time ago, if I remember right, there was a similar bill proposed in the UK, which aroused a big negative response here, we signed petitions and such. It did not pass into law, I believe. Certainly, nothing much has changed.

What I am trying to say is go guys, democracy in action, facilitated by the web. Yay!
 

JanisB

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From what I've read, the McCain bill died but there is talk that it may be attached to another bill as an amendment.

I do think dannybex is correct -- lots of Big Pharma companies are in the supplement market. The argument is that the big companies will be able to afford the regulations and the small companies will be squeezed out.

So if you write to a Republican senator, stress not only small government but also support of small business. And add in a plug for Health Freedom since that is what we ultimately want -- more competition, the freedom to choose the kind of care we want, not being forced to take vaccinations, etc. And if they really want to protect consumers, they could support a zero tolerance policy for pesticide & herbicide residues on food, clothing, and household goods, and similar restrictions on air, water, and medicine pollution by heavy metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, solvents, and similar things to which all of us are sensitive and which make many of us too sick to function in the world.
 

JanisB

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Here's the update I just got on this issue:
There is much confusion and debate swirling around the pending, or near-pending, demise of Senator McCains so-called Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (S.3002). After Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) issued their letter of March 10th, what is clear about the bills status is the following:

S.3002 will wither on the vine in the Senate.

Instead, when the so-called Food Safety Act (S.510) is brought up again in the Senate, there may be a McCain-Dorgan amendment offered to it, which Senators Hatch and Harkin will have to review first.

This amendment could be accepted and added by unanimous consent before S.510 is voted upon.

If it passes the Senate, then the House and Senate leadership would work out any differences and pass it on to Mr. Obama. The best estimates are that this would not happen until after Congress returns in mid-April 2010.

As of today, S.510 is still on the Senate calendar and not scheduled for a vote.
On the issues, the following are the important new points:

In S.510 as written, registration applies only to food companies, not to supplement manufacturers. So, biennial registration for supplement manufacturing, processing, and holding (technically including MLM marketers) would be added, which would overlap with AER requirements.

FDA authority to recall supplements would be granted if found to be adulterated or misbranded for serious adverse event (although the McCain/Dorgan letter says mandatory recall would apply if supplements are either adulterated, misbranded, or cause serious injury or death). This authority already exists under AER law, but the issue here is standards as the current death clause requirement limits its range and impact. Issued regulations would clarify this point. As is often the case, getting approval on regulations will take some time. In the bill, the simple change of one connector word could extend this recall power dramatically, so it must be watched carefully.

For New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs), the FDA has dragged its feet for ten years in issuing an Industry Guidance on what is and what is not needed when filing. This is hardly a new issue, but the McCain/Dorgan letter wants the Senate to hold the FDAs feet to the fire until it does issue guidance.

McCain and Dorgan would also want to amend S.510 to require mandatory notification by the FDA to the Drug Enforcement Agency on any supplements found to contain synthetic anabolic steroid ingredients.

In essence, the compromise substance of the coming McCain/Dorgan/Hatch/Harkin amendment to S.510 is that all of the bad, over-the-top control aspects of Senator Dick Durbins S.510 remain, with the compromise heaping upon it even more reasons for us to oppose this bad bill. The Federation has opposed S.510 from the beginning, and this compromise gives us absolutely no reason to change our position. To the contrary, we will have more reasons to oppose this bill if it is amended.
 
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Are they concerned with restricting access to the supplement themselves or "modifying/controlling and setting up a standard for ingredients used along with the minerals and supplements." In Example: Quality Control. There are some pretty cheap vitamins out there thats ingredients include some toxic stuff....on the flip side....look at our packaged food! This is a general health care issue that is being addressed this weekend and Monday.......Socialized Medical Care in the U.s. or not? They are 4 votes away from passing this.......
 

JanisB

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Hi Julia, I don't know the answers to your questions. For me, the issue is consumer education so people know to look for companies that comply with FDA Dietary Supplement cGMP (good manufacturing processes) the way many of us look to see if something is certified organic. One will pay more for this kind of quality control.
Some companies test rigorously for toxic residues of both the raw materials coming in and the products going out. The company where I buy (Emerson Ecologics) now has a program that is publicizing and evaluating these practices so that practitioners can be assured of the quality and toxic-free status of products they buy. https://emersonecologics.com/Quality/QualitySummaries.aspx Consumers need to demand similar disclosure at the health food stores where they buy. Some of the brands, such as Allergy Research, have a direct retail label, e.g. Nutricology.

Govt regulations haven't made food safe. In fact, they've made it less healthy -- e.g. all OJ now pasteurized, same with raw almonds despite the fact that pasteurization oxidizes the healthy fats. Controls cost the small businesses lots of money to demonstrate compliance and lead to higher consumer prices.