Legislation is getting legs to further curtail your use of nutritional supplements. Not too long ago, prior to passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) which was accomplished by millions of letters to legislators by people like you the FDA acted like a Gestapo against supplements, manufacturers and professional advocates. They would raid at gunpoint the medical offices of doctors advocating the merits of nutritional supplements, shut down manufacturers, harass stores, confiscate products and prevent education of the public on nutritional labels. You know, because so many people were dying of supplements like Coenzyme Q-10 and herbs like the natural sweetener stevia.
Not really. Actually, not at all. While they were busy making sure natural and safe substances were tightly controlled, millions of people were becoming ill and dying from their “approved” pharmaceuticals. It’s like a policeman arresting jaywalkers while letting rape occur in the alley.
I’m all for regulation that makes sense. The tight control over nutritional substances, however, is nonsense. Yes, there can be found evidence somewhere that some natural substances have caused harm. But so can water and oxygen cause harm if not used properly. Everything has a risk, but many things have great benefit, too. That is why full and honest disclosure is important and should not be impeded. This is actually a free speech issue that we should insist upon.
The FDA is basically an arm of the conventional medical establishment. Supplements and self-care are a threat to that establishment, and the resultant paranoia is what underlies onerous and picayune regulatory intrusion.
On to pet food regulation. Here it gets even more ridiculous. The freedoms extended by DSHEA to humans are not given to animals. Why? Because legislators forgot to write it in. So pet food regulators approve “dehydrated garbage” (actual listing in the pet food regulators’ handbook) and “dried poultry waste,” but ban beneficial substances like Coenzyme Q-10, most amino acids, pollen, chondroitin, glucosamine, quercitin, ginkgo, certain omega-3 fatty acids and many others. Regulators busy themselves editing pet food labels to make sure the lethal “100% complete and balanced” claim is stated carefully and placed in the right label spot, and issue “stop sale” orders on products with labels not perfectly complicit. (To review these issues in detail, see Chapter 21 in The Truth About Pet Foods.) Each state (count ’em 50!) has its own regulatory body, which can have its own rules. Plus there are regulations from The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) as well as the FDA and USDA. The cost to manufacturers for scrapping and revising labels adds huge costs to the end consumer … and not only brings no benefit but creates immeasurable harm by distracting from the central issue of pet health, namely, pets should be fed in variety and enjoy fresh foods offered, not force fed so-called 100% complete processed foods at every meal.
How do regulators justify not at least extending the freedoms of DSHEA to animals? Well, they say what is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) in humans may not be in animals. They can then cite the potential toxicity of chocolate or aspirin in cats. These are the same people who justify millions of animals tortured in laboratories to prove the safety of drugs in humans. In other words, GRAS substances should not be used in animals because human physiology is different than animals, but pharmaceutical substances and biocides can be used in humans if they are deemed safe in animals. You figure the logic in that.
I’m sure there are many well meaning, hard working, honest folks in regulatory agencies. They are just doing what law mandates. On the other hand, there are some budding little Hitlers amongst the groups as well.
But this is America and in America the government is supposed to be servant to the people, not vice versa. Your voice is important and does have incredible power. Legislators want votes and that is the currency you can use to swing the system to your favor.
Tell regulators and legislators you want at least the rights afforded under DSHEA maintained.
E-mail your senators today.
Ask them to vote to preserve your rights to free access to dietary supplements and that you would like your pets to have these rights as well. Fax also is effective, but mail will be too slow and may not even be opened for fear of terrorist bugs. Forward this to your friends and encourage them to take action also.