If the FDA has their way, absolutely it is a possibility.
Imagine for a moment that the bills they keep trying to approve through the U.S. House and Senate have passed. Vitamins, once freely displayed on shelves of health food and grocery stores everywhere, are now behind the cold hard wall of the pharmacy under lock and key and have been made prescription only.
Now picture a visit to your Doctor’s office. Although well-meaning, he or she does not believe wholeheartedly in the value of vitamins and supplements and has not been well educated on their uses. They refuse to write you a prescription even though you already know and are perfectly able to tell them what it is that you need as you have been taking it for years. You leave the office having paid a hefty visit fee and without anything that will really help you heal. This is the possible future we all face if these types of bills are allowed to pass.
They keep trying to sneak bills through with the guise of it as a Dietary Supplement Labeling Act such as in S. 1310 back in 2011. Though it did not pass, this could be just a precursor of things to come.
This bill would have given the FDA power to compile a list of all dietary ingredients believed to have the potential for adverse health effects and require manufacturers to add warning labels to any supplements. Now, this alone might not seem too bad, but the situation worsens when combined with the passage back in 1994 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, where supplements have been exempted from the time-consuming and expensive drug approval process that pharmaceutical drugs undergo. This exemption was deemed necessary to preserve the vibrancy and variety of the market for supplements.
Because supplements generally cannot be patented, manufacturers would never see a return on the investment of proving scientifically what is already known about their safety and effectiveness. Yet, these new proposed guidelines seek to find a way around that exemption by giving the FDA power to pull all dietary supplements created after 1994 off the market and require them to submit all of their ingredients to an assessment process that could keep products off the shelves for months or longer while they are “tested”. This would have left the consumer with no access to products they depend upon.
Because of this, if products made before 1994 change their ingredients or manufacturing process in any way, the FDA would have the power to force them through the re-evaluation process, too.
This means that virtually all supplements will need to submit to the approval process. Together, these proposals could decimate the vitamin market, as we know it.
These proposals, though well disguised at times, do nothing to improve the safety of the supplements and likely will eliminate many products currently on the market. If the proposals are implemented, the increased cost and decreased variety will mean that many consumers, especially low-income, will have to stop taking the vitamins and nutrients that can benefit their long-term health. This unnecessary power grab would benefit FDA regulators and pharmaceutical companies by taking their competitors off the market, but it would harm the American public.
The bill would have required that the FDA, together with the Institute of Medicine, compile a list of dietary ingredients that could lead to adverse events or are otherwise deemed risky – based on completely arbitrary if not non-existent standards. Once an ingredient or supplement is on the list, there is no clear process to challenge the FDA determination, not even if new or contradictory evidence comes to light.
How can we combat this type of potentially devastating legislation? By staying informed.
When an act or a bill is proposed, call your representatives and vehemently oppose it. Let them know you do not support that proposal – make your voice heard.
Chiropractor & Nutritionist in Fort Myers, FL.
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent them before they start?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.