Food for Thought

Here’s some food for thought. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, doesn’t want you to hear about the benefits of certain nutritional supplements. So they’re violating the seller’s right to free speech or trying to, anyhow.

Monday, December 11, 2000

Much as I love to bash Congress, this is one area where they’ve tried to help out. In 1991 and 1994 the Congress passed a couple acts having to do with Nutrition Labeling and Dietary Supplements. One provision said the FDA could not block truthful health claims. And a 1999 court decision, Pearson v. Shalala, ruled that the FDA’s current approval process for health claims continues to violate the First Amendment. The FDA never appealed this decision.

Perhaps it’s a mistake to have a powerful government agency deciding what people can say even before they say it. But how much worse is it that the FDA refuses even to obey the law? Life extension experts Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, who’ve been fighting the FDA, say the agency continues to stall in approving health claims as a way to evade the law.

Thank goodness that with today’s explosion of easy-to-get information on health and nutrition, the FDA is fighting a losing battle to keep consumers uninformed. But lawlessness at the FDA must be addressed. This is the responsibility of our representatives in Congress. Congress must oversee the federal agencies they’ve created to make certain they obey these laws.

Yep, there’s more to the job than just fundraising receptions.

This is Common Sense.  I’m Paul Jacob.

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