Dick Durbin Attacks Again
The senator’s Dietary Supplement Labeling Act threatens our health freedom.
Do you take fish oil? How about vitamin C or a daily multivitamin? If you do, you should know that a Congressional bill—S.1425, the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act (DSLA)—holds the potential to limit your access to these safe, natural nutritional supplements. If you feel you should have the freedom to take dietary supplements as you choose, be warned that the elected officials behind S.1425 appear to disagree.
Bills like DSLA seem to be custom-designed to dictate to the American people how we may pursue our own health and happiness. The philosophy behind DSLA, in one incarnation or another, has been doggedly advanced by the enemies of health freedom for years. Now it is time for us to resoundingly reject S.1425 and everything it stands for—to ensure dietary freedom for all Americans, for all time.
Durbin and DSLA
DSLA was conceived and introduced by Senators Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal. For the past decade, Durbin has advocated nearly every single destructive attack on our health freedom—Adverse Event Reporting, New Dietary Ingredient Guidelines, Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations and more. DSLA is simply the latest in a volley of attacks that all appear to be designed to do the same thing: To take away our God-given right to take the nutritional supplements of our choice.
Durbin’s DSLA proposes massive new undertakings for supplement manufacturers, including complex registration processes that may cripple their ability to bring health-promoting products to market. For manufacturers with large product catalogs, the burden is multiplied—potentially amounting to thousands of different nutritional supplement product registrations, requiring an unreasonable amount of time, energy and money to complete. To meet these potential resource-draining demands of DSLA, supplement manufacturers may be forced to raise prices of their products.
DSLA may hit Americans’ wallets with another blow, too—through a proposed contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In what appears to be a taxpayer-funded initiative, the IOM would determine which supplement ingredients and blends might potentially cause serious adverse events, adverse interactions with drugs or present risks to certain populations.
There are thousands of dietary supplement ingredients on the market. There are also thousands of pharmaceutical drugs. Can you imagine the time, resources and money that might be expended to cross-reference all of these compounds?
If nutritional supplements presented a “clear and present danger,” then Durbin’s proposed initiatives under DSLA might actually make sense. But bottom-line evidence suggests supplements are overwhelmingly safe. Between 2008 and 2011, according to information mined by the GAO and FDA, approximately one out of every 100,000 people taking a supplement reported an adverse event. For frame of reference, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that in 2008 alone, adverse drug events (ADEs) were recorded in nearly 2 million patients being treated in hospitals and over 800,000 who were treated in emergency rooms.
Dick Durbin is up for re-election later this year. Voting him out of office would finally put an end to his DSLA bill, along with his other relentless efforts to restrict our access to nutritional supplements.
Voting Durbin out would also send a strong message to the forces that are working to take away our health freedom—asserting that we the people will not allow anyone to dictate how we choose to pursue health and well-being.
Please visit www.nha2014.com for updates on S.1425, along with action plans we can take to keep health-enhancing nutritional supplements in our lives forever!
*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).