Dietary Supplements Under Attack Again: New York’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, (NYAG) launched what the Council for Responsible Nutrition has termed a sting operation and publicity stunt on dietary supplement major retail outlets – Target, GNC, Walgreens and Walmart. The NYAG claims to have conducted independent DNA barcode testing on top selling products purchased at these outlets and further claims that the herbs listed on the labels were not found in the products. Subpoenas and cease and desist letters were issued after he publicized his findings. What the NYAG has not done is release the findings for independent evaluation.
Numerous botanical experts have stated that the testing method the NYAG states was used is in fact invalid for using on finished botanical products. Many industry officials are concerned because this state legal activity, which of course got national media attention, is short on facts. There was a failure on the NYAG’s part to release information confirming whether the amounts of supposed contaminants such as gluten, beans, rice, were trace, minute, or in amounts that exceeded the federal limits. The New York Times has published the cease and desist letters sent to companies at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/02/health/herbal_supplement_letters.html
Quality Assurance is required under federal FDA cGMP guidelines as stipulated in federal law. If companies are marketing adulterated products including products that do not contain the herbs on the label, then the NYAG is well within his purview to request these products not be sold in his state. Until and unless there is sunlight in the process, and the data is released for review, we cannot be sure whether the NYAG’s actions are justified, or simply a publicity stunt, setting the stage for legislators to attempt a challenge to the existing federal laws on dietary supplements.
If you have questions about the type of testing used by the companies you buy your dietary supplement products from, reach out and ask the company to explain how they meet federal quality control guidelines. There are validated testing methods used by industry.
Update on CDC Whistleblower: One member of Congress, Representative Bill Posey, is in discussion with the whistleblower and hopes to get a hearing in Congress to bring these issues into the public forum and on the record this spring. In the meantime, families are continuing to engage in educating the public in social media and advocating to their legislators to seek the truth and make it public. More to follow.
Health Freedom Under Attack in 2015: Public health officials seem to be attacking health freedom at both state and federal levels.
Medical Kidnapping Anyone who spends time on social media is likely seeing an increase in the number of stories of parents who are having their children taken from them by state governments for issues such as seeking second opinions, a desire to use or incorporate complementary therapies, or seeking to move a child from one hospital to another. In Missouri, at least one state legislator is concerned about this and has introduced to put an end to medical kidnapping. http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/02/16/missouri-lawmaker-says-medical-kidnapping-is-real/
Vaccination Policies: The recommended schedule for both children and adults is set by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the Clinton Administration, federal policies require that all families receiving welfare and all other federal assistance except housing assistance must prove their children’s vaccines are up to date. State legislative bodies determine what vaccines will be mandatory for children to attend school. All states provide medical exemptions, most provide religious exemptions and a handful also provide for philosophical exemptions. The public health is capitalizing upon the Disney World measles outbreak to call for the elimination of philosophical exemptions, and vaccine industry representative, Dr. Paul Offit has a soon to be released book he is promoting calling for the end of religious exemptions as well. He bases his opinion on a single incidence in his medical career almost a quarter century ago. This is the same doctor who collaborated with the infamous Quackbusters to produce a book attacking alternative therapies.
TV Storyline Manipulation: The CDC and numerous other federal agencies utilize taxpayer dollars to stimulate interest in story lines in Hollywood for television shows. The CDC may be the most involved in this Hollywood liaison (http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/ToolsTemplates/EntertainmentEd/). What this means is that television shows are working in collaboration with the federal government to ‘change the hearts and minds’ of the American public through subtle messaging and at times outright misinformation on issues such as the autism-vaccine connection, and lately complementary therapies. We have observed in the span of one week, two popular TV shows had story lines what included a negative focus on alternative therapies. Additionally, news shows and talk show hosts take their talking points directly from federal authorities. CDC provides press kits for media at http://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html. The NIH does the same thing.
About the JLH Project: The JLH Project is a watchdog for issues affecting the intersections of justice, liberty, and health. We aim to educate the public and policy makers about current events and policies that undermine the preservation and promotion of justice, liberty, and health.