Amazing—the little “Like” button has the power to magically turn supplements into drugs. You will recall how the FDA threatened cherry growers and walnut producers with jail if they opened their mouths about the curative powers of these foods. Now the FDA has issued a warning letter to the Utah nutritional supplement company Zarbee’s, Inc. The most troubling part of the letter concerns Zarbee’s participation on Twitter and Facebook. The agency says that when the company “likes” their customer’s Facebook comments, they are essentially endorsing the customer’s statement. In other words, when customers say a product has helped their children stop coughing or has relieved their bronchitis, and Zarbee’s “likes” that post, the FDA believes they are essentially saying, “We certify that everything you have written is scientifically accurate,” and therefore are promoting their supplements as drugs not approved by the FDA.
The current dearth of treatment options for Ebola is not from a lack of options, but from a zealous protection of current medical monopolies together with an overabundance of red tape. In a related article, we discussed government hostility to natural remedies that are both cheap, effective, and more readily available. In this article, we’ll look at the FDA roadblocks to more conventional treatments. The FDA is paid by drug companies and is generally friendly to them. Even so, getting a new drug or device approved is a torturous and insanely expensive process. The minimum cost these days is several hundred million dollars spent over many years. The average cost is in the billions. Technology like Nanobiosym’s “iPhone-sized device,” which can be used to detect Ebola and other diseases in less than an hour, is being delayed by needless FDA red tape. The Dallas hospital that treated three patients with Ebola had a similar device, one that could detect Ebola with high degree of confidence within a few minutes, but were prevented from using it because of FDA regulations.
The FDA issued warning letters this week to the two largest distributors of essentials oils in the United Sates, Young Living and dōTERRA. The FDA is claiming that their products are being marketed as unapproved drugs. The companies have to remove all health claims and take corrective actions, or face very serious legal action, which can include armed federal marshals coming to their warehouses and seizing all of their inventory. This is of course not the first time that the FDA has gone after companies selling natural products, products that could never be patented, for making health claims about those products. They have a history of issuing warning letters against the producers and marketers of such things as walnuts, cranberries, elderberry juice, coconut oil, and many more. The FDA requires that companies selling natural products and making health claims get their permission first, by going through a lengthy and costly drug approval process. These two companies have been around for many years, and the independent distributors have been making health claims for the essential oils for a very long time. So why is the FDA acting now?
US consumers are in dark about mercury in dental products—and they are kept there deliberately by the government. This is documented in a new report being released this week by Consumers for Dental Choice called “Measurably Misleading: Evidence the FDA and Dental Industry are Deliberately Deceiving American Families about Mercury Dental Fillings and Why That Now Has International Consequences.” Mercury is a known neurotoxin, yet mercury fillings presents one of the largest consumer consumption of mercury worldwide, and dental amalgam represents the largest use of mercury in consumer products in the US. We’ve also been kept in in the dark about mercury in other consumer products because of the FDA. Thimerosal, a mercury compound often found in flu vaccines, is being ignored as a danger.
Fresh off recent news that more than 1,000 people have filed lawsuits for damages due to cholesterol-lowering drugs since April this year, comes the remarkable story reported in the Wall Street Journal that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi SA are spending $67.5 million to purchase a voucher that will allow them to get the FDA to fast-track approval of a new class of cholesterol drugs. By purchasing this voucher, they hope to beat rival drug company Amgen, Inc. in being first to market with these new cholesterol-lowering drugs. Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that this is a first-of-its-kind deal offered by the FDA to fast track a drug through the purchase of a voucher. However, the original voucher issued by the FDA was not even for a cholesterol lowering drug. It was originally issued to BioMarin Pharmaceutical under a 2012 law designed to reward companies for investing in drugs for rare childhood diseases. This law, which the FDA says was "intended to encourage the development of treatments for rare pediatric diseases," also allowed those awarded such vouchers to sell them to other drug companies for the development of other drugs. This has effectively created a type of legal "black market" where drug companies can sell these vouchers to the highest bidder, even though they were intended by the FDA to approve new drugs specifically for the "development of treatments for rare pediatric diseases." Since this apparently does not raise any ethical questions in the mainstream media, I will raise them here.
If you are one of the 40 million Americans who take an aspirin every day, you may want to heed the latest warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After many decades of promoting aspirin, the FDA now says that if you have not experienced a heart problem, you should not be taking a daily aspirin—even if you have a family history of heart disease. This represents a significant departure from FDA's prior position on aspirin for the prevention of heart attacks.
Phthalates are synthetic chemicals used in plastics, lubricants, insect repellants, nail polish, perfumes, and, yes, even in prescription drugs. Phthalates have a number of well known health risks and it’s been well established that patients who take drugs containing phthalates absorb that chemical into their body. In 2012, the FDA politely asked drug companies not to use phthalates in their drugs. This is despite the fact that the FDA has full power to ban phthalates. Why would the FDA issue a voluntary guidance, when they have the power to ban harmful substances outright? The answer, as always, can be reduced to three little words: “Follow the money.” Drug companies today pay a large proportion of the FDA’s budget, and FDA career personnel may hope to work for drug companies later in their career.
No medical drug in the US can be released for public use unless and until the FDA says it is safe and effective. That’s the rule. The FDA is spitting out drug approvals month after month and year after year, and the drugs are routinely killing 100,000 people a year and maiming two million more, which adds up to a million deaths per decade and 20 million maimings per decade. The FDA and the federal government are doing nothing about it, even though they know what’s going on. This is mass murder. Not accidental death.
What does the FDA know about farming? “Jack Manure,” apparently. In January 2011, after one of the most underhanded legislative maneuvers we’ve ever seen, the disastrous Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law. The FSMA gave the FDA unprecedented power over American farms. And as we pointed out at the time, the FDA knows absolutely nothing about farming. In January 2013, the FDA issued draft rules for produce, decreeing that farmers would have to wait nine months between applying manure and harvesting. This will take many organic fields out of production for an entire growing season, economically crippling small farmers.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect two million Americans every year, causing at least 23,000 deaths. Nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to US livestock every year for purposes other than treating disease, such as making the animals grow bigger faster. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) ruled that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics. Denmark stopped the widespread use of antibiotics in their pork industry 14 years ago. The European Union has also banned the routine use of antibiotics in animal feed over concerns of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. What’s standing in the way of curbing antibiotic use in the U.S.? In a word, industry. For instance, the American Pork Industry doesn’t want to curb antibiotic use, as this would mean raising the cost of producing pork by an estimated $5 for every 100 pounds of pork brought to market. The pharmaceutical industry is obviously against it as well.