Thursday, May 27, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
(NaturalNews) The Alliance for Natural Health, a nonprofit organization committed to protecting access to natural and integrative medicine, has recently come up with a Congressional bill designed to stop government censorship of truthful, scientific health claims about natural foods and herbs, and restore free speech to natural health. The Free Speech About Science Act (FSAS), also known as HR 4913, will allow manufacturers and producers to reference peer-reviewed, scientific studies that highlight the health benefits of a particular food or herb that they grow or sell.
For too long, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have blatantly censored the truth about food, herbs and dietary supplements. These government agencies are supposed to be protecting public health and well-being, but they accomplish precisely the opposite by actively censoring the truth about natural products and working to keep the public ignorant about the health benefits of nutritional products. It’s all part of the plan to prop up the profits of Big Pharma by eliminating the competition.
Current law restricts health claims to drugs only
The FDA says, ridiculously, that only pharmaceutical drugs are capable of preventing or treating disease. Even though this is scientifically false, the agency has structured the rules to categorize anything that treats or prevents disease as a drug. So if you eat walnuts, and those walnuts lower high cholesterol (which they do), the FDA declares your walnuts to be “drugs.”
Existing law dictates that if anything is advertised as providing health benefits without the FDA’s approval, it’s automatically considered to be an “unapproved drug”, even if it’s a common, everyday food like walnuts, cherries, grapes or oranges.
Amazingly, references to peer-reviewed scientific studies are not allowed to be made by companies without permission from the FDA because the agency considers this to be an illegal health claim. So if you sell walnuts, and your website merely links to published scientific studies that describe the cholesterol-lowering benefits of walnuts, then you can be threatened, arrested, imprisoned and fined millions of dollars by the FDA for selling “unapproved drugs.”
If you flee the country, you can be then be listed on INTERPOL as an international fugitive wanted for “drug offenses.” This is exactly what happened to Greg Caton, who was recently kidnapped from Ecuador by U.S. agents working on behalf of the FDA (http://www.naturalnews.com/027750_G…), brought back to the USA against his will, and sentenced to federal prison where he remains to this day.
The FDA thinks walnuts are drugs
If you’re skeptical that what I’m saying here is true, take a look at the warning letter the FDA sent to Diamond Food, Inc. back in February concerning the health claims the company had been making about its walnuts.
Diamond Food, Inc., a large producer of nuts and nut products, had put some information on its website about the health benefits of walnuts (which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids). Some of this information included the following statements (all of which are verifiably true):
1) “Studies indicate that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts may help lower cholesterol; protect against heart disease, stroke and some cancers; ease arthritis and other inflammatory diseases; and even fight depression and other mental illnesses.”
2) “[O]mega-3 fatty acids inhibit tumor growth that is promoted by the acids found in other fats…”
3) “[I]n treating major depression, for example, omega-3s seem to work by making it easier for brain cell receptors to process mood-related signals from neighboring neurons.”
4) “The omega-3s found in fish oil are thought to be responsible for the significantly lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women as compared to women in the United States.”
All of these statements are true and have been demonstrated in various scientific studies about omega-3s. In fact, the University of Maryland has a complete reference page about the benefits of omega-3s that verifies the statements made by Diamond Food. Sixty-five different scientific studies are cited on that reference page alone!
But apparently the FDA has little concern with truth and science, because the agency wrote in its warning letter to Diamond that, “[b]ecause of these intended uses, your walnut products are drugs… they are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced conditions.” It goes on to say that, “they may not be legally marketed with the above claims in the United States without an approved new drug application.”
When all was said and done, Diamond was essentially coerced into removing virtually all the truthful information about the health benefits of walnuts from its website in order to stay in compliance with the FDA’s ridiculous demands.
So when science discovers the amazing health-promoting and healing abilities of natural, whole foods, you are not allowed to actually tell people about it. If you do, those foods automatically become unapproved drugs, according to the FDA, and they are subject to seizure. This is how the FDA enforces nutritional ignorance across America. The agency is actually an ANTI-EDUCATION group of knowledge destroyers who want the American people to remain ignorant of the health benefits of natural foods and supplements.
FDA flip-flop on the walnut issue
What’s interesting about this recent Diamond walnut case is that, back in 2004, the FDA (sort of) approved a request made on behalf of the California Walnut Commission to include information about the benefits of walnuts for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
The petition to the FDA included references to scientific information that backs these claims (which were largely rejected by the agency), but it did allow a modified version of the claim to be made that included the phrase “Supportive but not conclusive research shows…”. Some other details included a reference to eating a diet low in saturated fat.
But in the Diamond case, the FDA decided to launch an all-out attack on true health claims about walnuts, despite comprehensive evidence that they are extremely beneficial to your health in many scientifically-proven ways.
The FDA does not believe in nutrition, period!
It’s important to note here that the FDA believes there is no such thing as any food, vitamin, herb or supplement that has ANY beneficial effect on the human body. Sadly, this outrageously ridiculous and indefensible position has become the law of the land in the USA.
All foods are inert, the FDA claims. And the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in those foods have no effect on your body. This impossible belief is what the FDA continues to maintain as “scientific” fact.
But it’s obvious to anyone with a couple of brain neurons still firing that the FDA’s position is pure madness. Of course foods have beneficial health effects on the human body! Foods contain more than mere calories… they are storehouses of phytochemicals and nutrients that have medicinal effects on the body.
The FDA is good at giving lip service
It’s important to note that a new drug application is not the only way certain health claims can be made. Similar to how the California Walnut Commission issued its request, producers and manufacturers can request permission from the FDA to make certain health claims about products, and the agency makes it sound as if it is more than willing to approve such claims as long as proper evidence is given. But in reality, no matter how much evidence is provided to back a set of claims, it’s almost never enough for the FDA to actually approve them.
Omega-3s are one of the most studied nutrients in recent years, but the FDA apparently considers all this research useless. It hides behind all kinds of legal mumbo jumbo in defending its position to reject credible science about the health benefits of omega-3s. To anyone paying attention, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the agency is completely irrational in the way it approaches the regulation of health claims and the definition of a “drug.”
Based on its track record of how it handles truthful health claims, it’s also clear that the FDA doesn’t actually care about the truth. The agency has decided that only drugs prevent and treat disease, and that’s the end of it. So only those companies that complete its expensive drug application process will be granted permission to make health claims — and the only organizations with the funding to do this are drug companies!
It’s sort of like the old floating witch test: Throw the suspected witch in a pond. If she floats, she’s a witch and gets burned at the stake. If she sinks, she wasn’t a witch… may she rest in peace after drowning. The test is rigged for failure by the “authorities.” And yes, the FDA’s assault on dietary supplements is a metaphorical witch hunt.
FDA threatened cherry growers in 2006
Of course this isn’t the first time the FDA has gone on a witch hunt to stop health claims from being made about healing foods. Back in 2006, the FDA demanded that 29 companies cease making claims about the health benefits of cherries.
Of course all the claims were true and backed by scientific studies, but this didn’t matter to the FDA or the FTC, which acts as the enforcement arm of the FDA. The agencies threatened to take action against these companies if they didn’t comply with removing the health claims, indicating that they would even go so far as to seek a court order to seize the products that were in violation.
An interesting fact about this case is that many of the scientific studies that supported the health claims being made were funded by none other than the USDA, another arm of the U.S. federal government. Talk about a bureaucratic failure!
All of this seems almost too crazy to actually be true, but it’s all quite real, I assure you. It happens all the time. Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent trying to reclassify food as drugs, censor truthful health claims and rid the market of safe, healthy items like raw dairy products. Meanwhile, drug companies are fraudulently marketing dangerous chemical medications that injure and kill milliosn of people every year around the world. But these chemicals are, of course, “generally recognized as safe and effective” by the FDA.
Cherries and walnuts, in other words, are dangerous. But statin drugs, antidepressants and rat poison blood thinners are all backed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Frito-Lay snacks are ‘heart healthy’
Like almost everything else the FDA does, there’s a double standard in the enforcement of health claims. Over at the Frito-Lay website, there are a whole lot of ridiculous health claims being made about Frito-Lay snack foods that the FDA doesn’t seem too concerned about.
Statements include the following, which are in reference to “how much good stuff goes into your favorite snack”:
“Good stuff like potatoes, which naturally contain vitamin C and essential minerals. Or corn, one of the world’s most popular grains, packed with Thiamin, vitamin B6, and phosphorus – all necessary for healthy bones, teeth, nerves and muscles.”
Too bad all these ingredients are fried at really high temperatures and can’t be considered “healthy” by any stretch of the imagination. The page goes on to claim that its frying oils are filled with “good fats” that help to lower cholesterol (seriously, I’m not making this up).
Somehow Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, gets away with marketing its junk food snack products as healthy, making all kinds of ludicrous claims about them, but walnut and cherry growers are the target of FDA investigations about labeling fraud.
The message? Raw natural foods and non-processed fruits and nuts are bad for you, but fried snack foods, dead foods and processed foods are incredibly healthy. In opposition to all common sense, this is the position the FDA now maintains.
Things are seriously out of control.
The Life Extension Foundation has also written about the madness of this situation. Read “FDA Says Walnuts are Illegal Drugs” at: http://www.lef.org/featured-article…
The Free Speech About Science Act
There is some good news, though. My friends over at the Alliance for Natural Health have come up with a solution to take back our freedom to tell the truth about the health benefits of natural products. It’s called the Free Speech About Science Act, or HR 4913.
You can read the entire legislative text of the bill at the following link:
The bill is only seven pages long, and you can read it fairly quickly if you want to. Here’s a quick summary of its primary objectives with some added commentary:
1) Food producers and manufacturers, dietary supplement makers, and any others who sell or market natural health products will no longer be restricted from referencing and citing independent and respected scientific research that highlights the health benefits of natural products. (Current FDA guidelines are in violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits government restrictions on free speech, even those that relate to natural health.)
2) Referencing valid research will no longer convert food and dietary supplements into “unapproved drugs” in the eyes of the FDA.
3) Only legitimate research may be referenced, and guidelines for what is considered legitimate include studies that are conducted in accordance with sound scientific principles (because natural health is not in opposition to science; science actually supports the healing properties of foods and supplements).
4) The FDA and FTC will still be permitted to go after fraudulent claims, but they will no longer be able to censor the truth about healing foods and supplements.
Help end FDA tyranny against food and supplement companies
As it currently stands, most Americans are unable to make responsible, informed lifestyle decisions about foods and supplements because truthful information is restricted by agencies like the FDA and FTC. Mainstream society is flooded with drug advertising making all sorts of false claims, but true claims about natural products are routinely censored.
It’s time to put a stop to this FDA madness, and one way to go about that is to support the Free Speech About Science Act. Every American deserves access to the truth so that he or she can make informed lifestyle choices, and you can help make that happen by supporting this bill.
The Alliance for Natural Health has created a convenient legislative portal by which you can contact your Congressman and urge support for the bill.
Access the portal here:
To learn more about the bill itself, visit the following link:
In the mean time, keep on buying (and consuming) natural foods, medicinal herbs and truly natural supplements, because that’s where the real medicine in our world is found. The FDA can try to censor the claims about healing foods, but they cannot stop your body’s own innate healing process from being activated by those foods.
Eating healing foods, in other words, helps your body heal whether the FDA approves or not.