Lift Ban on Consumers' Right to Know

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is keeping Americans in the dark about the health benefits of foods, vitamins and supplements.

This is because the FDA’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits manufacturers from disclosing or distributing the results of scientific studies that show the health benefits of the foods, vitamins and dietary supplements they produce.

To lift the ban and give the power back to consumers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), has introduced the Free Speech about Science Act, H.R. 1364 that will give producers and manufacturers the right to share the health benefits of their products with consumers.

“It is important for individuals and families to take charge of their personal health by making the right decisions to get and stay healthy,” Rep. Chaffetz said. “This includes accessing information so that individuals can adjust habits, eat healthy, and take appropriate dietary supplements to prevent and even treat health conditions. The Free Speech About Science Act helps insure their access to legitimate scientific research to make the necessary decisions to improve their personal health and the health of their families.”

This is why it’s time for the government to stop preventing consumers from having the ability to make fully informed decisions about the benefits of the vitamin and food options that are available to them in the marketplace.

As it now stands, any violation of this ban can result in the FDA declaring common dietary supplements and foods to be unapproved drugs. This is because these studies are seen as extensions of the product label, even if the study is referenced on the manufacturer’s website, and not the product’s packaging.

According to FDA regulations, producers and manufacturers cannot say that their products can “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” a disease or ailment; and if they proceed to make such claims, then the FDA can say that their action is an effort to sell a drug, which is illegal.

If Rep. Chaffetz’s bill passes, the suppression of information about the health benefits of foods, vitamins and supplements will finally end. 

Benefits of HR 1364:

  • Allows manufacturers of dietary supplements and foods to cite legitimate scientific research that shows a product’s health benefits. In so doing, manufacturers must prove that a statement or claim is truthful and is not misleading. The claim must also include a summary of the research, along with a disclaimer that it has not been evaluated by the FDA.
  • The public must be able to understand the information provided in the claim and the significance of the information in the context of a total daily diet. The claim must also include a citation to the research supporting the statement, and identify each party that funded the research.
  • Permits a label on a dietary supplement that claims to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a specific disease or class of diseases.
  • Ensures that referencing research does not convert a food or dietary supplement into an “unapproved [and therefore illegal] new drug.”
  • Retains the authority of FDA and FTC to pursue any fraudulent and misleading statements or claims.

Thus, this legislation will permit food and supplement labels to explain the relationship between the food, nutrient or supplement, and how it might benefit consumers’ health.

In doing so, it will also prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), from restricting the distribution of information that is not false or misleading, and that is based on scientific research. And, it will place the burden of proof on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish that the literature being disseminated is not legitimate scientific research.

If Americans demand that Congress stand up for and defend their right to have unrestricted access to information about the health benefits of these products, then passage of the Free Speech About Science Act will mean that federal agencies will be prohibited from squandering Americans’ tax dollars in an effort to censor health information about foods, vitamins and supplements.

“I know these products provide so much benefit for consumers. I’m a product of it,” said Chaffetz, who is the co-chair of the Dietary Supplement Caucus for the 112th Congress.

But as long as Americans are barred from learning about the peer-reviewed, scientific studies that highlight the health benefits of natural products, they will continue to be unable to make fully informed, personal health care decisions for themselves and their families.

Consumers must take a stand and end the federal government’s censorship!

Food producers and manufactures of vitamins and supplements should have the right to release information to the public that reveals the benefits of their products that are available in the marketplace.

The playing field must be leveled. Consumers should never be barred from learning about the health benefits of foods, vitamins and supplements. And consumers should always have the right to access scientific research that enables them to make better and more beneficial decisions.

Members of Congress need to hear from you… TODAY!
Respectfully,

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