By Michael A. Smith, MDWe Americans take our freedom seriously. We don’t like it when people, groups or even nations attempt to take our freedom from us — especially our freedom of speech.
But today the problem seems to be our own government. Federal agencies like the FTC and the FDA are making it increasingly difficult to share scientific information promoting the safe and effective use of supplements.
This attempt to limit our freedom of speech is a direct insult to all Americans. Limiting what legitimate scientists and doctors would like to say about supplements creates an information gap that is both wrong and dangerous.
Let us ask you this: Have you ever wondered why some people continue to take dangerous drugs required to carry black labels warning of deadly side effects? Because they don’t know what else they can take. Why? Because the FTC and FDA spend a lot of tax payer money limiting discussion of potential alternative treatments.
Now, it’s true that we can write protocols highlighting the treatment effects of nutrients. We can tell you that olive leaf extract lowers blood pressure. But when it comes time to purchase the product, all we can say is it will help maintain healthy blood pressure. The consumer says, “But my blood pressure is high. This won’t help me. I guess I’ll just keep taking my prescription medication and deal with the side effects.”
Sad, but true.
Federal Court Judge AgreesHere’s an example of what we are talking about. The FDA is getting in the way of effective communication between the supplement companies and their customers. A federal judge recently ruled the FDA violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it tried to censor a health claim about the anti-cancer effects of a dietary supplement.
In this case, a company selling green tea leaves wanted to state on its product’s label that “green tea may prevent prostate and breast cancer.” The FDA insisted that the following statement be included:
“The FDA does not agree that green tea may reduce the risk because there is very little scientific evidence for the claim.”1
A U.S. District Court ruled that by forcing the company to put this negative statement on its label, the FDA effectively negated the company’s ability to communicate this health information. The average person would read the negative disclaimer and basically opt out of purchasing what could be a lifesaving supplement for them.
Was the FDA correct in making this negative disclaimer? Absolutely not! When reviewing green tea studies and cancer, they overlooked one very important study.
Well-designed and tightly controlled, this study was completed in men with pre-malignant prostate disease. They were given either 600 mg/day of green tea extract or a placebo. Compared to those who received the placebo, men with the pre-malignant condition who received the green tea extract were less likely to develop prostate cancer.2
Free Speech about Science ActWe need your help. We want to freely share scientific information with you. We want our freedom of speech to be protected and absent of government interference. How can this become a reality? The Free Speech about Science Act, that’s how.
Our own Bill Faloon wrote, “The number of Americans needlessly dying because of FDA censorship is staggering! The federal court ruling against the FDA as it relates to green tea and cancer prevention is a battle victory, but the war against governmental censorship continues.”3
The Free Speech about Science Act is labeled HR1364. If this bill passes in the U.S. Congress, it has the potential to transform the health care field by allowing the public to be educated about the science behind natural health. Please send the letter below to your representatives. You can just send it as is or use it as a template to write your own:
To the Honorable ________________:
FDA regulations prohibit reference to a scientific study by producers of food relating to the health benefits. Violation of this ban can result in the FDA declaring common food to be unapproved drugs — this is censorship!
The Free Speech about Science Act provides a limited and carefully targeted change to FDA regulations so that legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific studies can be referenced by manufacturers and producers without converting a healthy food into an unapproved drug.
The bill amends the appropriate sections of current law to allow the flow of legitimate scientific and educational information while still giving the FDA and FTC the right to take action against misleading information and against false and unsubstantiated claims.
The Free Speech about Science Act ensures the free flow of legitimate scientific research for consumers to make informed decisions based on all scientific information — not just on limited pieces endorsed by the government.
I ask that you co-sponsor HR1364, the Free Speech about Science Act.
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