To: IAHF LIST
From: John Hammell firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Controlled Opposition Rears Its Ugly Head Again in the Dietary Supplement Industry: D.S.E.A??? "Led" by Hill and Knowlton?
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 00:24:53 -0400
IAHF List: The pharmaceutically dominated dietary supplement industry has just formed another controlled opposition group to give the appearance that the supplement industry is "fighting back" against the recent media onslaught thats been slamming the industry with such bogus articles as the recent one claiming vitamin C causes cancer.
The latest controlled opposition group is called "Dietary Supplement Education Alliance" Its being "led" by notorious PR Firm Hill and Knowlton, who just last year generated a white paper for the European Commission which "manufactured consent" for the draconian European Union Vitamin Directive which threatens to force all 15 EU nations to goose step alongside Germany. Hill and Knowlton were the spin doctors for the CIA who manufactured consent to get the USA into the Gulf War. Complete documentation on these truthful allegations is provided below in a letter to the editor of the Natural Products Industry Center.
See my letter to the Editor in response to their Editorial below. Their Editorial urges the supplement industry to get behind the so called "D.S.E.A" IAHF takes the view that a PR effort to oppose the pharmaceutically driven media onslaught against the natural products industry is INDEED NECESSARY, but it is a gross conflict of interest for Hill and Knowlton to spearhead such an "effort" and as long as they are running things, IAHF advises the industry NOT to get behind this campaign, but to find a DIFFERENT PR firm to handle things, and to strongly question how the decision to hire H&K was made... and by whom. To do anything less would merely be to follow the galloping herd, straight over the cliff.
To Natural Products Industry Center Public Forum
c/o Nichole Hastings
"N Hastings" nhastings@NPIcenter.com
Publication in http://www.npicenter.com/forum/default.asp?b=5
To the Editor:
In light of your urgent editorial below, wanting to learn more about the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, I called the number you give out below only to learn that it is for the PR firm Hill and Knowlton.
While I agree that the industry could indeed benefit from a good PR campaign to help counteract all the negative press we've been getting in recent years, the industry should find a better choice of PR firms because there is a gross conflict of interest if we use Hill and Knowlton. H&K was hired by the pharmaceutically dominated EU to generate the White Paper titled "Study on Nutritional, Health, and Ethical Claims in the European Union" http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/policy/developments/envi_clai/envi_clai03_en.pdf that served as the "basis" for the highly draconian EU Vitamin Directive, which threatens to force all 15 EU Nations to goose step along with GERMANY and their horribly restrictive vitamin regulations.
On May 30, the EU Council of Ministers held a vote, but were deadlocked on the issue of the Vitamin Directive, and it was not passed, but not for any of OUR reasons, the reason it did not pass was only because several countries felt that it was not RESTRICTIVE ENOUGH!! The measure will be voted on again in September, and a lot of negotiating is going on to try to push it through, in advance of the next meeting of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use at the end of November...
The Italian health freedom organization La Leva di Archimede ("The Lever of Archimedes") http://www.laleva.cc has an on-line petition signed by thousands of people all over the world against this EU Vitamin directive, and against Codex, and right now, all the American vitamin companies and health food stores should be assisting with the European health freedom movements efforts to OPPOSE the EU Directive, but this is NOT happening, due to the fact that pharmaceutical interests are dominating CRN, NNFA, IADSA (which isn't involved at ALL in the anti EU Vitamin Directive struggle) and EHPM, which is going through the MOTIONS of opposing the EU Vitamin Directive, (while doing NOTHING to encourage grass roots involvement in the struggle.)
PR firms such as H&K always profess to merely be neutral--- they'll work for anyone who pays them, but who do you think is paying them more here??? And who do you think will ultimately win this "info war" the side that pays H&K the most, right? Or, to look at it ANOTHER way, who made the decision to HIRE H&K on this side of the Atlantic for this purpose? By chance was it an individual affiliated with a multinational pharmaceutical firm? Since our industry is caught in so many conflicts of interest, this is well worth examining more closely... don't you think?
Hill and Knowlton are a PR firm that frequently work for the Central Intelligence Agency. Hill and Knowlton are the PR firm that got the USA into the Gulf War by fabricating an untrue story about Iraqi troops allegedly storming a Kuwaiti Hospital to pull babies out of incubators, but this story, (which then President George Bush repeated and which was splashed all over the front page) was a total fabrication intended to "manufacture consent" with the American people to sent troops over to the middle east. (See http://www.io.com/~patrik/gulfwar1.htm and http://www.io.com/~patrik/gulfwar2.htm
To successfully take over the dietary supplement industry, pharmaceutical interests must first dominate the supplement industries legal firms, and PR firms. By putting the PR firm that manufactured consent for the draconian EU Vitamin Directive in charge of a media campaign to counter mainstream media attacks on the industry, we're just being slickly set up for Codex harmonization.
On March 20, Karl Riedel, co chair of NNFA's International Committee made several highly questionable statements in a dietary supplement hearing in which in my opinion the truth did NOT come out about the Codex vitamin issue. Riedel stated that Codex is a "non issue" that it "won't impact US domestic law." In saying this, he is echoing the FDA, but the FDA is lying through their teeth..... while on the one hand they claim that Codex will only impact American supplement companies ability to sell products abroad, their statements in this regard totally contradict statements made by past Acting FDA Commissioner Friedman in a speech he made in 1997 about the FDA's intention to harmonize its regs to Codex standards, a speech which is still on the FDA's web site... his comments were echoed to me, in writing, by an FDA attorney who responded to several legal questions I sent to the FDA via my Senator who helped me get them to respond.
Consider this speech by Michael A. Freedman, acting FDA Director, made before the Senate Labor Committee on March 17, 1997 http://www.fda.gov/ola/1997/319.html
In this speech, Freedman announces FDA's intention to harmonize their regs to international standards...... Here is what he says, see what I have highlighted in red:
6. FDA and the Global Marketplace: International Harmonization
The regulatory framework administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide public health and safety protection to American consumers is a model that many countries strive to emulate. At the same time, FDA recognizes that we operate in an increasingly more global, more interdependent market environment, and that American consumers can realize significant public health and economic benefits from efforts by FDA to share information, explore opportunities to collaborate on assessments and product reviews, and harmonize standards with its foreign counterparts. Growing demands on FDA's resources to assure the safety and efficacy of greater numbers of increasingly more complex products produced both here and abroad, absolutely mandate that FDA seek ways in which it can share its regulatory workload while maintaining public health protection for American consumers. Science driven harmonization can curtail duplication and thereby significantly reduce the cost of new drug development, in terms of the risks to which patients are exposed, the experimentation with animals, the regulatory costs to government and the cost to industry.
For many years, FDA has actively engaged in the kinds of information exchange that lay the foundation for the development and maintenance of high international standards, and pave the way for harmonization activities. We have entered into numerous Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with other governments to ensure that their products intended for export to the United States adhere to our strict standards of health and safety protection. We also participate in limited and focused education and training initiatives that instruct others in how to conduct their activities so that products shipped to the U.S. will be in accord with U.S. requirements. We exert leadership in a number of international standard-setting organizations.
FDA has been a strong supporter of, and participant in, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). Codex is an international standards-setting organization for food safety composed of national governments from more than 150 countries. The work of Codex is increasingly important with the recognition of Codex as the relevant international standards-setting body for food safety in the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) resulting from the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
Since its inception, Codex has developed in excess of 200 Commodity Standards, more than 40 codes and guidelines, about 2,500 pesticide/commodity maximum limits, and has reviewed the safety of over 500 food additives and contaminants. FDA, through its participation on most Codex Committees, provides scientific and regulatory expertise and forcefully presents U.S. views at the committee meetings.
FDA plans to amend its regulations and procedures for consideration of standards adopted by Codex. This action is being taken to provide for the systematic review of the Codex Standards in order to enhance consumer protection, promote international harmonization and fulfill obligations of the United States under international agreements.
In recent years, we have put considerable effort into the work of the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH), working closely with our regulatory counterparts in Japan and the European Union, as well as the three areas' organizations representing the major research and development pharmaceutical companies (e.g., the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer's Association (PhRMA)). The goal of ICH is to harmonize across all three regions the requirements for data submitted to support safety, efficacy and quality determinations in new drug applications, and to develop guidelines for the industry based on the harmonized requirements. The past six years of effort have produced over 40 new harmonized guidelines, and another 20 are in various stages of development and review. The ICH effort is one of the best examples of a forward-thinking Agency that is willing to work not only with its regulatory counterparts, but with the regulated industry as well, to develop guidelines harmonized to the highest standards while also eliminating costly duplication of effort. Similar efforts are underway in the areas of medical devices and veterinary drugs.
Additionally, for the past three years we have been involved in negotiations to give limited recognition to inspections of drug and device facilities by European Union authorities and to expand the third party device review to include European Union notified bodies. A successful agreement has the potential to save resources for both sides, however, FDA must be satisfied that such an agreement would not compromise our responsibility for protecting American consumers.
I began this presentation outlining the Agency's accomplishments for two reasons: first, to demonstrate through concrete example that this Agency understands the importance of change. We have tried to be as responsive as possible to concerns expressed by Congress, consumers, and the industry and have undertaken reforms in response to these external criticisms. But change also has been driven by the Agency's own commitment to efficiently and effectively accomplish its mission. Five years ago few believed that we would be approving drugs in twelve months or less. Not only have we reached that goal, but we are now working cooperatively with industry to develop more open, cooperative and productive inspection procedures, and to restructure the regulation of tissue-based therapies to match regulation to risk. In each of these areas, and many others, we listen to the criticisms, engaged all of the stakeholders in defining the problem and worked with them on devising solutions that preserved and enhanced critical public health protections.
The second reason I began with our accomplishments is to illustrate that we in FDA are doing things very differently now than we have in the past. It is now time to focus on what remains to be improved. I will now turn to what we are doing to address such areas and to what we see as the challenges facing the Agency in the coming years.
More on the Whitewashed Codex Vitamin Oversight Hearing March 20, 2001
On March 20, Karl Riedel stated that an amendment in the FDA Modernization Act of 1997 exempted dietary supplements from harmonization to international standards. I know all about this amendment, because I led the lobbying campaign on Capital Hill that got it through. Attorney Suzanne Harris worked with me. I just about killed myself to get this amendment through. The American Preventive Medical Association awarded me their President's Award for my effort, but you know what?? FDA is ignoring the amendment, and I have that in writing from one of their attorney's because I sent a lot of legal questions to the FDA through my Senator who helped me get them to answer them. FDA found a loophole in my amendment, and they're exploiting that loophole, I have their entire legal interpretation of the amendment, which Congressman Ron Paul helped me to draft, and his staff feel sick about this. They know we are being set up. They see it more than any member of congress except De Fazio who also sees it.
Prior to the Oversight hearing, at my urging, Paul and De Fazio issued a statement to Burton on Congressional letterhead that says it all.... it TOTALLY VERIFIES that we are being set up to lose in a WTO trade dispute over Codex, and the WTO can force us under threat of trade sanctions to harmonize our law to a grossly restrictive international standard, that will be finalized in a few years, (in my opinion with help from Hill and Knowlton, who are being strategically positioned in a very slick, very subtle way, which most people in the American supplement industry would never realize, because they're not focused on what Hill and Knowlton have already done to help the European Commission by drafting that bogus white paper, on which the bogus EU vitamin directive is based.... (See a gif file of Paul and De Fazio's letter to Burton at http://www.iahf.com by clicking on the spinning green disk on the front of my web site.... Please take a moment to read the text of Congressman Paul and De Fazio's letter wherein they flat out state that the Congressional Research Service has already stated to Congressman Paul that the WTO can force us to harmonize our domestic laws to international standards... It was on the basis of CRS's legal interpretation that Congressman Paul introduced House Joint Resolution 90 in the last Congress which would have gotten us out of the WTO, due to the unequivocal FACT that our involvement in this trade organization directly threatens our sovereignty. As the only member of Congress who refuses to accept PAC donations, Congressman Paul is one of the very few members of Congress with any real integrity and this situation is threatening the future of our nation.
Burton whitewashed the Codex oversight hearing. Why? Largely due to pharmaceutical influence coming through NNFA's PR firm Parry, Romani, DeConcini and Symms which includes among its clients several huge multinational pharmaceutical firms as you can easily see from their web site at http://www.lobbycongress.com Is this a conflict of interest? Some might say its not, because P,R,D, and S also lobby for Herbalife and a couple other vitamin companies, but who do you think is paying them the most money?
Our industry is being destroyed by this conflict of interest, but this Dietary Supplement Education Alliance "led" by Hill and Knowlton, spin doctors for the CIA and the pharmaceutically dominated European Union is the last straw..... American health food stores, consumers and small manufacturers are being led to the cliff as a growing number of companies in our industry seem to be tripping over themselves in their zeal to sell out.
Just two weeks after Riedel issued his questionable statement before Congress, his co chair on NNFA's International Committee, Randy Dennin, employee of Pfizer, spoke in Capetown South Africa at an IADSA meeting intended to assist the UN Codex Commission in undermining our sovereign dietary supplement laws by crafting a "Global Regulatory Model". The Hegelian Dialectic works like this: First the entity desiring control makes a naked power grab such as this media assault on vitamins. THEN, they create a controlled opposition group that PRETENDS to fight back. Problem, Reaction, "Solution". Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis. Please THINK about what I am saying. Hill and Knowlton as "leaders" of this "Dietary Supplement Education Alliance"? Small to mid sized vitamin companies, consumers, and health food stores can't afford to ignore how Hill and Knowlton helped the EU by "manufacturing consent" for the incredibly dangerous EU Vitamin Directive.... People can't afford to not examine how H&K lied to manufacture consent for the Gulf War on behalf of the CIA. Take a look at the Anti EU Vitamin Directive Petition thats been signed by vitamin consumers all over the world http://www.laleva.cc Why aren't American dietary supplement companies and health food stores helping the fledgling health freedom movement in Europe to fight the EU Vitamin directive by sending donations across the Atlantic? Simple, we've been set up, and if we don't wake up, this industry is done for.
John Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 625 Floyd, VA 24091 USA
A CROSS ROAD- Editorial by Nichole Hastings, Editor
Natural Products Industry Center Report http://www.npicenter.com
As an industry we are at a critical crossroad. Virtually everything about our industry, the quality of our products and the validity of our research is being attacked, aggressively. Consumer confidence is down and sales with it.
We've been here before, in the pre DSHEA days. Then though, we faced bigger challenges. In those days, we did not have the amount nor the quality of research we now have. We also did not have many manufacturing plants that meet and/or exceed FDA regulations for OTC drugs. Clean, safe places to have our products developed, packaged and prepared for market. In those days we were similarly at a crossroad. We assessed the situation, created coalitions, pulled together and did something we were told could not be done.
Now, almost a decade after the landmark Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed, we are at a new crossroad. We sought the right to properly educate consumers about nutritional products, but have failed to do what we fought for the right to do. We have allowed the media to do the educating for us, to our detriment. We now have major universities conducting research. We have the Office of Alternative Medicine as a division of the National Institutes of Health conducting research. We now need to step up and take on the responsibility we asked for in our landmark legislation, educating the media, the government agencies who regulate our industry and the consumers who use our products.
The media continues to report the absurd accusation that DSHEA took away the FDA's ability to regulate the dietary supplement industry. The notion is so absurd that many of us assumed statements like that would soon stop. Instead, they have become believable by virtue of repetition. The more the FDA says it, and the longer we wait to correct it, the more ingrained in the media and minds of consumers it becomes. It becomes true by default.
We have also made a few serious errors. Yet, here we are, at a crossroad. Do we assume the responsibility of educating the media, government and consumers? Or do we continue to plod ahead, hoping it will all go away? State governments are making it more difficult to sell certain products in their states. The FDA is asking for more regulatory power. The international CODEX laws are now an issue we have to think carefully about because they could adversely affect our industry.
At the NNFA Trade Show in early June, the industry was called on to step up and put the 'E' (education) back in DSHEA. A coalition was formed and companies and individuals stepped up and made major commitments of time, services and money. However, to make this really work, we all have to pull together. We have to reach down to our grassroots, stand together and stand strong. Regardless of our motivation, whether it be saving our business or our humanitarianism, we really have no choice. The question is, will we act, or continue to be quiet by-standers? For all who wish to act, to be pro-active, we at NPI encourage you to contact the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (Erin Mills, 202-944-5175).
You can also contact any of us here at NPI. This is one of the most important things you will ever be involved in. We can choose to make a big difference for our companies, the industry and the health of consumers here and throughout the world. It is not often that we have an opportunity to do a little and impact a lot. This is one of those rare opportunities and the sooner we act, the better for all of everyone.
V.P. Industry Relations and Content Development
Editor, NPI Watch
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