Target: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Goal: Stop wasting time in the Senate and threatening consumer access to supplements
Senator Durbin is attempting for a third time to force his Dietary Supplement Labeling Act through the Senate, which would expand on the Food and Drug Administration’s powers to regulate nutritional supplements with vague language that allows the FDA to pursue arbitrary standards for supplements (without inclusion of an oversight or appeal process) despite the fact that they belong in a category of their own and thus do not fall under FDA purview. The FDA is also notoriously funded by Big Pharma, and holds a long-standing bias against supplements and natural remedies as they compete with the success of pharmaceuticals. However, supplements have been shown to be much safer than pharmaceuticals, resulting in zero deaths while “FDA-approved drugs cause 80 percent of poison control fatalities each year.”
Rather than passing a new bill that would give the FDA unprecedented power to restrict access to dietary supplements, Senator Durbin should call on the FDA to enforce the existing legislation that already takes care of the issues he says his bill will solve, including putting an end to “mislabeling products and making health claims that have no scientific basis” and “marketing supplements with impure or incorrectly identified ingredients.” The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DHSEA) provides the authority for the FDA to regulate issues of mislabeling and dishonest marketing in food products containing supplements. Essentially Senator Durbin’s bill reflects a desire to force supplements to undergo the same approval process as drugs, which makes little sense as supplements are safer, and which would only cut off consumer access to these natural health solutions as they cannot be patented and therefore manufacturers do not collect enough revenue to pursue the costly approval process.
By signing this petition you will show Senator Durbin and his senatorial colleagues that the American consumer will not stand for this shameless power grab, or for the waste of congressional time and taxpayer dollars which these continued endeavors eat up. You will demonstrate to your senators that legislation which clearly panders to huge corporations rather than protecting the rights and safety of American citizens is unacceptable.
Dear Senator Durbin,
Your Dietary Supplement Labeling Act is an insult to the American citizen and consumer. By insisting on reintroducing this bill each year without support, you are wasting time in the Senate as well as taxpayer money on proposed legislation that contributes nothing to the health and safety of your constituency and the country at large, but instead aims to curtail consumer access to dietary supplements which have been shown to be safe and effective alternatives to pharmaceuticals.
I am urging you to stop pandering to Big Pharma and to return to the concerns of your constituents, devoting your time to issues and legislation that truly protect them rather than attempting to sell them out to pharmaceutical corporations. I am calling on you to encourage the FDA to enforce the existing regulations set forth in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DHSEA) instead of attempting to expand the FDA’s power over supplements unnecessarily. The FDA already has more than enough work to do under its given mission of regulating food and drugs for the safety of the American consumer.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund via Flickr