Why are the attacks on supplements becoming so loud? By now anyone not living in a cave has heard the message from the mainstream media and Big Pharma loud and clear: don’t use supplements. Either they are a harmless waste of money, or they’re a harmful threat to your health (note that these points are contradictory). This message has been repeated over and over both in journals and in conventional media outlets. It is, with very few exceptions, junk science. Even in the few instances when it is right, it is wrong. AMA-helmed medical journals twist nutritional science and the mainstream media gobbles it up. Both are financially supported by Big Pharma. It’s not surprising that “leading” medical journals and doctors continue to argue against natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs—they’re even more drug and drug money-dependent than even the average American.
Pro-pharmaceutical spokesmen have been repeatedly quoted as saying that dietary supplements are unregulated and need stricter oversight due to the hazards they pose to your health. This is patently false, and you only have to look at the very first sentence on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Website to settle that dispute. There, it plainly states: “FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering ‘conventional’ foods and drug products. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA): FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.” Dr. Paul Offit and others want supplements to be regulated like drugs, ostensibly to ensure their safety and effectiveness. But are drugs really safer? Prescription medications kill over 100,000 people each year when properly prescribed, while vitamins have not caused a single death in 27 years.
An estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. The health consequences of deficiency can be quite significant, and can be aggravated by many, if not most, drug treatments. Magnesium performs a wide array of biological functions, including activating muscles and nerves and creating energy in your body by attaching adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Magnesium is very important for heart health. Excessive amounts of calcium without the counterbalance of magnesium can lead to a heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death. An ideal ratio between calcium and magnesium is thought to be 1:1. The recommended daily dose is around 700 milligrams of each. Anytime you're taking any of the following: magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3, or vitamin K2, you need to take all the others into consideration as well, as these nutrients work synergistically with one another.
In just under five minutes, Senator Durbin reveals his plan, which would effectively eliminate supplements from the shelves. Durbin says that supplement producers should be legally liable for identifying anything about the supplement that “might” interact with a drug or cause some vague and ill-defined additional difficulty. Even drug companies are not required to report how a drug might interact with all other drugs, because they could never do so. The senator also said: "I want at least to be sure, as a consumer, of what I’m consuming and what my family would be consuming." We agree, but this is already required by law for supplements and foods with one glaring exception: genetically modified organisms.
Some 92% of back pain sufferers were relieved by this natural treatment, and gout sufferers too, but now it’s banned to make way for an expensive new copycat FDA approved drug. Colchicine, the active compound in the herb Colchium autumnale, is a powerful healer. It should only be used with qualified professional supervision, but can be very effective. Now this powerfully effective natural medicine is gone, thanks to the FDA.
The FDA can count on mainstream media to mislead the public. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)’s bill, S.1424, is meant to “improve the safety of dietary supplements by [requiring] manufacturers of dietary supplements to register dietary supplements with the Food and Drug Administration and to amend labeling requirements with respect to dietary supplements.” Sounds innocuous, doesn't it? But this is nothing but a smokescreen—a naked power grab for the FDA and an attempt to regulate safe dietary supplements as if they were dangerous FDA-approved prescription drugs.
Report Reveals American Healthcare System Could Save BILLIONS Each Year Through Appropriate Use of Dietary Supplements
A new report reveals that proper use of certain nutritional supplements in protective doses could save the American healthcare system BILLIONS of dollars each year in avoided hospitalizations. However, researchers failed to evaluate the full impact of vitamin D on chronic disease. If they had, the annual savings in the US alone would have been in the trillions. Use of omega-3 supplements among adults aged 55 and over diagnosed with coronary heart disease could reduce annual hospital costs by more than $2 billion annually, on average. If every person over the age of 55 with age-related eye disease were to take lutein and zeaxanthin at preventive dosage levels, medical savings would average $57.4 million per year. According to the 2013 GAO Dietary Supplements report, there were 488 times as many adverse reactions reported for prescription drugs as from supplements. Data from the EU indicate that pharmaceutical drugs are 62,000 times more likely to kill you as dietary supplements, but the average underreporting rate of drug ADRs is 94 percent, which means that risk may be even greater.
Supplements have long been the objects of attack by Big Pharma, as most of them are natural and cannot be patented, threatening the huge profits made from much more toxic pharmaceutical products. The medical industry has long desired to bring supplements under government control, so they could either ban them outright or further refine them into patent-able products from which they could then profit from. But with strong consumer action preventing legal action (so far) to ban supplements or regulate them, it would appear the medical system is now taking matters into their own hands and banning them outright. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia became the first hospital in the country to ban supplements from being dispensed to patients. So patients at this hospital will no longer have access to such supplements as probiotics, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, herbs, etc.
In new trade talks between the US and the European Union, we need to make sure “harmonization” doesn't make our supplement laws like theirs. Last March, the Obama Administration announced its intention to enter into Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the European Union (EU) to increase trade and investment between the two regions. According to the White House fact sheet, the goal of the negotiations is to boost economic growth in the US and EU, and increase jobs supported by transatlantic trade and investment. One of their stated aims is to reduce costly “behind the border” non-tariff barriers that impede the flow of goods, including agricultural goods. What we do not want to see a threat develop to our access to a wide range of higher-dose supplements or to legitimate health claims on products. With increasing harmonization of laws worldwide, it is important for us to fight back against inappropriate regulation of natural products among our trading partners. Inevitably, our regulatory agencies will come under pressure to conform, when trading partners adopt more restrictive policies.
Just as Congress is preparing to recess until the second week in September, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced legislation that would deal a deadly blow to nutritional supplements. This bill is a naked new FDA power grab—an attempt to move us one step closer to a full FDA pre-approval system for supplements. That, of course, would just make supplements insanely expensive, like drugs—if you could get them at all.