A member of the US Congress, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas totally agrees with my concerns regarding the threat posed to consumers of dietary supplements by the harmonization language in the FDA Reform Bill (S.830/HR 1411). Ron Paul discusses the frightening state of affairs in his current hotline message which you can hear by calling 888-322-1414. It was fast tracked right past us. Skip past Paul's statements to go straight to what we must do.
Last tuesday (Oct.7) the house companion bill was passed under suspension, with no debate.Congressman Paul wanted to try to introduce an amendment on behalf of a huge number of concerned Americans, but no one was given a chance to debate.We MUST get an amendment into this bill when it goes to the conference committee, otherwise our food and drug laws will be harmonized to the European Union's where dietary supplements are regulated as drugs. A form letter is provided at the end of this mssg. You MUST call and fax your congressmen.
In his recorded hotline message Congressman Paul reads from the statement he made in the October 7, 1997 Congressional Record- following is a key excerpt:
Mr.Paul: ..."When a 177 page bill comes to the floor under suspension with practically nothing more than an hours notice, one must always question what freedom-depriving regulation is about to be forced upon the citizens. Below is a sneak preview of the latest regulatory loss of individual liberty and State sovereignty.So called harmonization language contained in the bill requires the Secretary, through bilateral and multilateral agreements, to "harmonize regulation*** and seek appropriate reciprocal arrangements" with foreign regulatory agencies. Vocal opponents of this harmonization language CONVINCINGLY ARGUE this internationalizing of what is already a constitutional usurpation of States rights, is very likely to greatly limit the availability of food supplements by requiring prescriptions for dispensation as is the case in certain parts of Europe. Perhaps with such harmonization, we will not only have a federal war on drugs, but a Federal war on riboflavin, folic acid, and bee pollen. At last, an American alfalfa czar."
I have been working VERY HARD to get people focused on this problem. We ignore this threat to our peril. If we pull together, we might have a slim chance of getting the language amended in the conference committee. Congress reconvenes on the 21st, and the conference committee will be most likely be named shortly after they come back. I am conferring now with some people to try to guess who would most likely be on that conference committee so that we can most effectively request an amendment.
The only two countries holding out against setting extremely restrictive potency limits on vitamins in the European Union are the UK and Holland. In the UK the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods is pushing hard to impose a maximum potency level of just 10 mg on vitamin B-6. Consumers in England are protesting this, and Alan Gaby, MD of Seattle, WA has testified before the British Parliament that this move is not backed by good science and that imposing this restriction would cause great harm to many people. If the UK does restrict B-6 to 10 mg, there won't be anything to stop MAFF from similarly restricting the potency levels of ALL nutrients. In my website I have a link to the MAFF website where they have a press release about their intention to ban B-6 above 10 mg. Can any REASONABLE person deny the need to address the threat posed by the harmonization language in S.830/HR 1411? Do either Dr. William Campbell Douglass or Ken Murdock deny this need? If so, on what do they base their assertions? Would either care to comment?
I have quoted section 202 from S.830: Sense of the Committee Regarding Mutual Recognition Agreements and Global Harmonization Efforts. Please examine the language carefully. Following this I have a proposed amendment in order to protect our access to dietary supplements, along with commentary on what you must do (aside from network this message widely urging more people to act.) My proposed amendment language is in CAPS and in (PARENTHESES).
SECTION 202 of S.830: "Sense of the Committee Regarding Mutual Recognition Agreements and Global Harmonization Efforts."
It is the sense of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate that--
(1) the Secretary of Health and Human Services should support the Office of the United States Trade Representative, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, in efforts to move toward the acceptence of mutual recognition agreements relating to the regulation of drugs, biological products, devices, foods (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS), food additives, and color additives, and the regulation of good manufacturing practices, between the European Union and the United States.
(2) (EXCEPT FOR DISCUSSING THE REGULATIONS FOR DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS) the Secretary of Health and Human Services should regularly participate in meetings with representatives of other foreign governments to discuss and reach agreement on methods and approaches to harmonize regulatory requirements; and
(3) the Office of International Relations of the Department of Health and Human Services (as established under section 803 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 383) should have the responsibility of ensuring that the process of harmonizing international regulatory requirements is continuous, (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS WHICH WILL REMAIN REGULATED UNDER EXISTING U.S. LAW, CLASSIFIED AS FOOD.)
It is imperative that you both call and fax your senators and congressmen about this. They can all be reached via 800-972-3524. It is especially important that Congressmen Barton, Burr, Whitfield, Bilarakis, and Greenwood be contacted, as well as Senators Jeffords, Kennedy, Coats, and Mikulski. (We're guessing that they will be on the Conference committee, which should be announced soon. When it is announced, a message providing the names will be put on my answering machine, and in the IAHF and LEF websites.)
It is imperative that you take immedidate action, and also network this information. Congress reconvenes on the 21st. The conference committee could be held at any time after that.
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International Advocates for Health Freedom
John C. Hammell, Legislative Advocate
2411 Monroe St.#2 Hollywood, FL 33020 USA
800-333-2553, 954-929-2905, FAX 954-929-0507,
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