One of the distinguishing features of autocrats is that in their frenzy to eliminate enemies, they never finish their work. There are always more enemies lurking in this corner or that.
Old-fashioned dictators like Josef Stalin or Saddam Hussein used to go after people enemies, always finding new plots and traitors.
Our U.S. Food and Drug Administration goes after food and herbs and minerals and vitamins. One by one, or group by group, it seeks to eradicate those it consider threats, ostensibly because of “safety” concerns, even when no such real-life problem exists.
When it isn’t conducting undercover investigations of Amish farmers or private food clubs, as part of its effort to stamp out raw dairy products, it is diligently making lists of nutritional supplements to ban from the marketplace.
The FDA had compiled a long initial list of herbs, minerals, and vitamins it began targeting ten years ago-I counted 155. Among them, D-Ribose, SAMe, and a variety of internal cleanses.
Its main problem? They have been introduced since October 16, 1994, when the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed. That legislation sought to protect nutritional supplements from the Big Pharma hacks at FDA by classifying the items as foods, but in a perverse interpretation of the law, the FDA is now suggesting it only recognizes as legal those supplements in existence when the legislation was passed. Anything introduced since then is “new,” and subject to extensive FDA analysis and assessment–in other words, costly and endless delays beyond the ability of small supplement makers to handle. Essentially, it is proposing banning the listed supplements, plus many others that didn’t make that ten-year-old list.
As I indicated, the list of 155 from 2001 is only an initial list. It says in its new Guidance Documents for dietary supplements posted two months ago that the list isn’t complete, and other supplements introduced since 1994 are targets. This means that nutrients many of us have been safely using over the course of three decades, including higher-potency versions of vitamins available before 1994, will be subject to the FDA’s oppressive policies that may mandate costly animal testing, which translates into forced withdrawal from the market, and higher prices IF the supplement is ever allowed to be sold again. As one example of what may well be prohibited: high-potency Vitamin D3 tablets commonly recommended by physicians to counter widespread vitamin D deficiencies that are now known to lead to various cancers and other serious health problems. Moreover, even pre-1994 supplements are subject to review, as supplement makers will need to document their production and sale.
This isn’t a new push by the FDA. I first wrote about it six years ago, explaining how it is related to conforming with rules of the United Nation’s Codex Alimentarius rule-making. Codex is about taking control of nutritional supplements out of the hands of small producers and consumers, and putting control into the hands of Big Pharma and Big Healthcare. Some of the health-giving supplements would continue to be available, but only under prescription from your friendly primary care physician, and available from Big Pharma at exorbitant prices.
Consumer outrage has slowed the FDA’s push on behalf of Codex, but not stopped it. The bureaucracy moves slowly, but it moves, inexorably, to achieve its key strategic goals. It seems undeniable, conspiratorial and demented as it sounds, that one of the FDA’s key goals is to gradually diminish the health of Americans by depiriving them of important nutrients, making them more pliable, and increasing revenues of Big Pharma and Big Healthcare.
Unfortunately, our legislature and judges seem intent on giving the FDA ever more power. The Food Safety Modernization Act is one primary example. The federal judge’s initial decision in the Allgyer case, dismissing a challenge to the FDA’s campaign against private food clubs is another.
Give an autocrat more power, and he’ll grab it. The FDA is currently drunk with power. As Michael Schmidt said following my previous post, “It will get much worse my friends, you have not seen the real deal yet. “ (Thanks to Steve Bemis, a Michigan lawyer who has investigated the FDA’s initiative on nutritional supplements, for information for this post.)
It looks as if the pseudonym issue has come up again. I can appreciate the concerns of those who are candid enough to post under their real names. As Mark McAfee suggests, I’ve accepted the pseudonyms because some people fear posting under their real names–regulators and farmers alike. Some of the recent court decisions and enforcement actions illustrate the potential problems. Once the regulators gain additional authority, they can use names accumulated from this site and others to hunt down farmers.
Longer term, though, as the food rights movement grows, I believe it will become ever more important for supporters to stand up under their real names and declare their beliefs and intentions. There are fewer and fewer places to hide.