Saturday, July 21, 2007

RE: FDA announces plan to eliminate vitamin companies

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FDA Announces Plan to Eliminate Vitamin Companies
In June, the FDA announced new standards for dietary supplements that are supposed to improve consumer safety. In reality, the 800-page rule will likely interfere with business while intentionally eliminating various dietary supplement companies from the market.

Gone Within Five Years

The rule will be phased in over the next three years, and within five years half of the supplement industry could be gone or selling their products at significantly higher prices.

Independent analysis of the rule found that compliance costs will be 10 times the FDA estimates. The ruling surrounds the dietary supplement industry with regulations and requirements in excess of those imposed on the drug industry, and up to 50 percent of small companies will simply not be able to afford to comply.

“Hard Pressed to Continue to Operate”

The FDA itself states in the rule that:

“Establishments with above average costs, and even establishments with average costs, could be hard pressed to continue to operate. Some of these may decide it is too costly and either change product lines or go out of business.”

The rule will also raise the price of dietary supplements to consumers. According to the FDA:

“We expect that the majority of these costs will be borne by consumers of dietary supplements, who will likely respond to the increase in prices by reducing consumption.”

News With Views June 27, 2007

Dr Mercola's comments:
Makers of dietary supplements, including vitamins, herbs, and others, are going to be hard-pressed to comply with these new standards. They are already operating at an unfair disadvantage, compared to the big drug companies that have enough cash to bend any legislation in their favor.

Even before this new ruling, they were limited from making health claims (this is reserved only for drugs). Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But consider that it’s still illegal even in cases where the claims have been clearly proven -- cherry growers cannot legally say that tart cherries may do more good than aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs when it comes to pain relief, even though studies back them up.

The drug companies financially support the FDA in the form of user fees for drug approval, so naturally the FDA tends to protect the hand that feeds it. In addition, from 1998 to 2005, drug and chemical corporations spent $758 million on lobbying politicians, in efforts to influence what food and drug products can be marketed and how they are labeled.

In the 2004 elections alone, nearly $1 million was contributed to President Bush, $500,000 to his opponent John Kerry, and over $100,000 was contributed to approximately 18 members of Congress. The drug and chemical industries employ over 1,200 full-time lobbyists, including 40 former members of Congress.

The drug and chemical corporate lobbyists are extremely successful at what they do, which puts the FDA at the mercy of the very same chemical industry that they aim to regulate. The inevitable result is that the FDA puts drug company profits ahead of your health.

Although the FDA and government are loaded with people trying to eliminate all competition for the drug companies, there are still some who are seeking justice. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, for instance, has introduced much-needed legislation that would limit the FDA’s authority over supplements.

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