Misguided Drug Hunt
The FDA makes the nutritional supplement industry its scapegoat for failure.
In December 2010, the Food and Drug Administration sent out letters to supplement manufacturers expressing concern over drugs or drug-like ingredients finding their way into nutritional supplements. Once again, it appears as if the natural product industry is being used as a scapegoat.
The “drug-tainted supplement” notion has been popularized by professional athletes who, caught testing positive for steroids, deny the drug charge and claim they were “taking a supplement” instead. When these athletes blame safe, natural supplements to save their multi-million-dollar contracts, they taint the supplement industry’s reputation—and give the FDA leverage to take away your health freedom forever.
How many supplements have definitively been found to contain drugs or drug-like substances? The FDA’s press release should have the answer—right? The release reads: “In recent years, FDA has alerted consumers to nearly 300 tainted products marketed as dietary supplements and received numerous complaints of injury associated with these products.”
This vague statement seems to suggest very few tainted supplements, and even fewer injuries—or else the FDA would have been counting! “In recent years” might mean 10, 15 or 20 years. At 15 years that would mean 20 tainted products per year—a miniscule number considering the size of the natural products industry. “Numerous complaints of injury” is an even fuzzier statement. How many is “numerous”?
By following its accusation with misleading language that fails to provide any actual evidence, the FDA appears as if it may be fabricating a supplement crisis. But the true crisis that the FDA is ignoring has an all-too-real number associated with it: 106,000. That’s how many people are killed by prescription drugs (not erroneously prescribed) each year, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2000. Today, that number may be even higher.
Many of America’s health problems may be traced back to the same backwards philosophy: treating the symptom without addressing the root cause. Pharmaceutical drugs take the same stance—as does the FDA. By focusing on drugs or drug-like substances that may allegedly be found in a scant handful of supplements, the FDA is treating a symptom. The real root cause is drug makers who produce dangerous compounds that maim and kill.
Dangerous drugs do the same damage whether they are prescribed by a doctor, sold on the street or find their way into our supplements, water supply or foods. Unless such drugs are eradicated at their root, they will continue to spread like weeds. Considering that nearly half of all Americans are taking drugs prescribed by a doctor, it would seem that the FDA could do the greatest good by focusing on eliminating dangerous drugs at their origin—within the pharmaceutical industry.
There may be a positive side to the latest FDA smear campaign: It reinforces the importance of using health freedom to make wise supplement choices. This means purchasing supplements from well-established, credible manufacturers that supply independent, third-party laboratory assays.
These assays provide objective proof that the product only contains what it’s supposed to—eliminating the phantom threat of “drug-tainted” supplements entirely.
For more information on how to preserve your health freedom and your natural right to make intelligent nutritional choices, visit the Nutritional Health Alliance at www.nha2011.com. Here you can also find tools to contact your local officials to voice your support of health freedom and your opinion on the FDA’s apparent targeting of safe, natural nutritional supplements.
*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).