Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
I am a very loud critic of the US Health Care system. It sucks, and the American public is suffering from it. There is, right now, an ongoing dialogue in the US about how to resolve the healthcare crisis. But, for many of us the fact exists that the points under national discussion do not even come close to the reality of the problem, for, it is obvious, the dialogue only seems to be between the different factors of the very problem.
There is an old adage “identifying the problem is half way to solution.” At the moment in the official US healthcare dialogue the real problems are not being addressed – and, of course, because of that there is virtually no movement towards solution.
There is a second area in the US Health Care system I criticize – but I’ve been doing it quietly – a phone call here, and a phone call there. I’ve been criticizing the groups in the North American Health Freedom Movement for not doing more, not working together, being reactive with too little and too late, not being proactive – identifying problems ahead of time and taking action to head them off, and a lot more.
My mother always told me “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” As you know, I’ve modified Mom’s suggestion, for, as the quackbuster operation has found out, I’ll call a dirtbag a dirtbag, and get those comments published around the world. But, I have not applied that tactic to those I’m in alliance with – and I do not intend to start here. What I am going to comment on is the fact that one of those organizations recently did something that shows immense good thinking, planning, and simple common sense. I am impressed – and I do not impress easily.
I am talking about the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) and their recent activities – including the fact that they recently merged with the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH). In a minute I’ll send you to their site, and you can peruse their activities for yourself. But first I’m going to describe in detail why I’m giving them such high marks.
They filed three incredibly good lawsuits against the FDA, using our friend Jonathan Emord as the attorney. Each of these cases deals with an issue of UTMOST IMPORTANCE to the US healthcare dialogue. As you read further you will find I have provided links to each of the cases.
Although the case arguments in each example are specific the underlying problem being addressed is that the FDA is not acting on behalf of the American people what-so-ever, but is acting on behalf of the foreign owned and operated drug industry it is supposed to regulate in this country.
The REAL argument:
“The FDA has an historic bias against dietary supplement products and dietary supplement health claims. According to Senator Orrin Hatch:
For more than three decades, FDA has tried to restrict severely the ability of the dietary supplement industry to sell and market its products and, consequently, the ability of consumers to buy them. The agency has repeatedly attempted to impose unnecessary and stringent standards that would leave many if not most supplement companies with no practical choice but to close their doors. The institutional animosity never made sense, but it is even less logical today in light of the growing body of scientific evidence regarding the disease prevention powers of nutrients. Unfortunately, the effect of the FDA’s heavyhanded policy is that consumers are left uninformed and the Nation pays millions of dollars for health care that could have been saved through disease prevention. … In sum, over the last 30 years, FDA has tried to prevent consumer education regarding the disease prevention properties of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and other dietary supplements and, at times, has attempted to assert that many of these products were unsafe.”
The Individual lawsuits:
Jonathan Emord, in his book “The Rise of Tyranny – how federal Agencies Abuse Power and Pose Risks to Your Life and Liberty” , explains how Congress has given the nation’s governing power to a corrupt, industry controlled bureaucracy. But Emord does more than that here – on behalf of the Plaintiffs in these cases he punches the FDA right in the face.
(1) In short, the FDA refuses to allow legitimate scientific claims for supplements. The case here is about selenium, but the argument is good for all supplements. You can read the first case in its entirety by clicking here.
(2) In short, the FDA made rules about the manufacturing of supplements violating US law. The FDA is trying to make rules under the Good Manufacturing Practices Act (GMP) to crush the industry. You can read the second case in its entirety by clicking here.
(3) The third case is the one I like the best It says: “This complaint arises from FDA’s Order, which bans in perpetuity use of seventeen qualified health claims concerning the effect of antioxidant vitamins C and E on reduction in the risk certain site specific cancers, including the six qualified health claims
Vitamin C may reduce the risk of lung cancer. The scientific evidence supporting this claim is convincing, but not conclusive (hereinafter “Claim I”);
Vitamin C may reduce the risk of colon cancer. The scientific evidence supporting this claim is persuasive, but not conclusive (hereinafter “Claim II);
Vitamin C may reduce the risk of gastric cancer. The scientific evidence supporting this claim is persuasive, but not conclusive (hereinafter “Claim III);
Vitamin E may reduce the risk of bladder cancer. The scientific evidence for this claim is convincing, but not conclusive (hereinafter “Claim IV”);
Vitamin E may reduce the risk of gastric cancer. The scientific evidence for this claim is persuasive, but not conclusive (hereinafter “Claim V”);
Vitamin E may reduce the risk of lung cancer. The scientific evidence for this claim is convincing, but not conclusive (hereinafter “Claim VI”).
You can read the third case in its entirety by clicking here.
Why Am I so Enthusiastic?
It takes a lot of thought to see the big picture in US health care. It takes a lot of effort to get a large organization to agree on an issue. And, it takes a lot more than that to move towards an action that will have such a far reaching effect.
I don’t know all of you at AAHF/ANH pulled this together, but I absolutely applaud you.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate