June 17, 2009

Conflicts of interest and ethics taint dietetic group's integrity

June 17, 2009


Many news outlets and reporters look to the American Dietetics Association for trustworthy and accurate information on diet and nutrition.


I would have done the same until I learned that the ADA favors industrially processed ingredients over organic food, even though their own Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group has repeatedly found that plants cultivated in organic systems contain higher levels of nutrients and an organic diet avoids the many serious health risks associated with pesticide exposure.


The ADA refuses to endorse organic, but it has given its stamp of approval to aspartame and genetic engineering.


Could this be because they receive industry funding from companies such as ARAMARK, Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Corowise, Ecolab, Ensure, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg, Kraft, Mars, Pepsi, and Unilever, as well as the industrial dairy and beef industries?

Matt Auerbach

Palo Alto


MARCH 13, 2009


We predicted late last year before, during and after the election that 2009 would begin a time of change and challenge for dietary supplements.  It looks like the first shoe has dropped:  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) presented a report to Congress last week, titled Dietary Supplements: FDA Should Take Further Action to Improve Oversight and Consumer Understanding.

A link to the full 70+ page report appears at the end of this article.  Here are a few highlights:

1.     The Players

The GAO is known as "the investigative arm of Congress."  It's self-described mission is to improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government.  Typically, its work is performed at the direction of Congressional Committees.  Its work "leads to laws and acts that improve government operations."  

With regard to this particular report, the GAO's work was done at the request of Congressional Representatives Henry Waxman, John Dingell and Bart Stupak, and Senator Richard Durbin.  Rep. Stupak has been one of the FDA's most vocal critics, as we reported some weeks ago.   As we have also reported in the past, Reps. Waxman and Dingell, and Sen. Durbin have been skeptics - if not outright critics - of DSHEA and the dietary supplement industry for years.

2.    The Issues

The GAO organized its comments according to four themes:

•    The FDA has insufficient information from the industry about dietary supplements and manufacturing operations to be effective.

•    The FDA has applied insufficient resources to properly oversee dietary supplements.

•    The FDA has insufficient authority to remove products from the market.

•    The FDA needs to do more to educate the public about dietary supplements.
3.    GAO Comments of Concern

Within the GAO Report, we find these comments:

"According to several experts we spoke with, [the FDA's] regulatory approach [to supplements under DSHEA] has fallen short in protecting U.S. consumers in the past."

Among other things about this statement, we would like to know who these purported experts are, and the methods they used to arrive at their conclusion.  We would also like clarification:  is it the FDA or the law itself that has failed the public?

"[Even though reported adverse events average about 500 per year], the FDA recently estimated that the actual number of total adverse events . . . related to dietary supplements per year is over 50,000 . . ."

We would very much like to know how the FDA arrived at this estimate, including how the FDA evaluates whether an adverse event was actually caused by supplements as opposed to other potential causes. We also point out that the average adverse events reported for pharmaceuticals each year for the past 5 years is over 300,000.

4.     GAO Recommendations

The GAO made four recommendations

•    Dietary supplement companies should be required to identify themselves as a dietary supplement company as part of the existing registration requirements, and they should be required to update this information annually; they should be required to provide a list of the products they sell and a copy of the labels, updated annually; and they should be required to report all adverse events related to dietary supplements, not just major events.

•    The FDA should issue guidance to clarify when an ingredient is considered a new dietary ingredient, the evidence needed to document the safety of new dietary ingredients, and appropriate methods for establishing ingredient identity.

•    The FDA should provide guidance to industry to clarify when products should be marketed as either dietary supplements or conventional foods formulated with added dietary ingredients.

•    The FDA should work better to educate consumers about the safety, efficacy, and labeling of dietary supplements.

Note that the GAO made no specific recommendations about changing outright the regulation of dietary supplements under DSHEA.  But you can bet this report isn't the last shoe to land.

We'll have more in the coming days about the GAO report and the recommendations.  In the meantime, you can read the report for yourself here.

Thanks for your support.




From Natural News (www.naturalnews.com)

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Chrysalis Nutritionist Stephen Heuer Arrested by Federal Marshalls in FDA Raid

by Mike Adams, NaturalNews Editor
Originally published January 16 2009

(NaturalNews) Both the FTC and FDA are turning up the heat on nutrition-oriented companies and websites, resorting to arrests at gunpoint to enforce "nutritional illiteracy" across America by imprisoning those who accurately describe the health benefits of nutritional products they sell.

It was only days ago that the FTC attacked a church over its dietary supplements. NaturalNews covered the legal battle in a feature article (http://www.naturalnews.com/025303.html) and an exclusive audio interview with health freedom attorney Jim Turner (http://www.naturalnews.com/Index-Podcas...).

The latest victim of this state-sponsored oppression and censorship agenda is Stephen Heuer of Cocoon Nutrition (www.CocoonNutrition.org) who advertised natural health products as treatments for depression and other health conditions. It remains the position of the FDA that there is no such thing as an herb, vitamin or superfood that has any ability to prevent, treat or cure any disease or health condition whatsoever. (In other words, the FDA ridiculously believes foods and herbs are chemically inert.)

Anyone who accurately describes the biochemical effects of their herbal or nutritional products is immediately branded a criminal by the FDA and subject to arrest at gunpoint. Read the history of FDA raids on vitamin companies here: http://www.naturalnews.com/021791.html

NaturalNews contacted Cocoon Nutrition offices and was told that Stephen Heuer had been arrested and detained by U.S. Federal Marshalls. No further comment was available, but we hope to be able to speak with Heuer's attorneys soon to determine the nature of the charges being brought against Heuer.

The truth about health is outlawed in the "land of the free"

Effectively, it is illegal in America to tell the truth about nutritional products that you sell. The statements made by Heuer on the Cocoon Nutrition website are technically factual and accurate. But they are not LEGAL to make in America because Free Speech is routinely oppressed by the FDA and FTC. Telling the truth in America is enough to get you locked up in federal prison; especially if you dare to inform people about natural cures that might take revenues away from the drug companies.

Both the FDA and FTC are now acting as the racket enforcement thugs of Big Pharma. And like any other mob, they use armed personnel to protect their revenue territories. Who will they raid next? Take your pick: It will be a small, family-run health supplement company that lacks the financial resources to fight back. Notice how the FDA won't dare attack the Life Extension Foundation anymore? That's because LEF has the financial resources to stand up for itself. Small, family-run nutritional businesses do not, so they're routinely targeted by FDA thugs for business termination.

A letter sent to customers by Cocoon Nutrition asks for donations to support Heuer's legal defense fund. Here is the full text of that letter:

I regret to inform our customers and close friends that Stephen is being held by the FDA and their goal is to permanently discontinue Chrysalis. He has not committed a single crime and is only guilty of helping thousands of people across the country live healthier happier lives. The government unfortunately will do whatever it takes to protect the pharmaceutical companies and its investors from a product that genuinely threatens their profit margins.

Stephen will be waging war against Federal Agencies because his rights are at stake as well as your freedom to purchase these supplements. He is going to need all the help and encouragement he can get. If any of you are willing and capable to support or donate towards his legal battle, please do so by mail or by calling us at 888-988-3325. Our mailing address is 160 Dewey Road, Greer, SC 29651. Checks or money orders need to be made out to Stephen Heuer. Thank you so much for helping Stephen in his time of need. He hopes to return home soon so he can continue helping each and every one of you to better health.

What will happen next?

I personally have never met Stephen Heuer, and I'm not yet aware of what charges are being brought against him by the FDA, but this raid and arrest are consistent with the secret police-style oppression tactics the FDA has relied on for nearly two decades to eliminate competitors of Big Pharma.

We are witnessing a nutritional knowledge cleansing of America. This has nothing to do with protecting the public, or good science, or product safety. It is 100% based on eliminating the competition for Big Pharma while keeping the public in the dark about natural cures.

Through their actions, FDA officials have revealed themselves to be little more than common thugs hiding behind a federal badge. Even the FDA's own scientists accuse the agency's top decision makers of being outright criminals who place the safety of Americans' lives at risk (http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000655_...).

U.S. Federal Marshalls, of course, are so clueless about law and justice that they're arresting all the wrong people! They should turn around and arrest the FDA criminals who are running this illegal monopoly enforcement racket instead of harassing the small family business owners who are trying to offer healing herbs to informed consumers.


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