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You thought this battle was only about PH/DS?

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  • You thought this battle was only about PH/DS?

    Well you were DEAD WRONG!

    Muscle and Fitness supplements Save Our Supplements

    Save Our Supplements

    July 30, 2009

    Special report from the nutrition and dietary supplement industry's most exclusive conference

    Unbeknownst to the millions of consumers who rely on nutritional supplements on a daily basis for optimal health and peak performance, a cadre of top-level executives and leaders in the health, nutrition and dietary supplement industry recently met to safeguard fair and legal access to vitamins, herbs and amino acids.

    Convened in a nondescript ballroom of a Southern California hotel, the subject of this year's Nutrition Business Journal Summit centered around the siege that the supplement industry has been experiencing of late, courtesy of Capitol Hill. A quote from long-time supplement industry adversary Rep. Henry Waxman's (D - CA) new book, The Waxman Report, set the tone for the type of adversity that industry insiders as well as consumers are facing.

    "As policy, DSHEA [Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act] has been every bit as harmful as we feared, demonstrating anew that any market lacking regulation or the need to ensure safety quickly sinks to the lowest common denominator."

    While none of Mr. Waxman's "lowest common denominator's" were in attendance, the biggest names in sports nutrition retail were representing: Joe Fortunato, CEO of General Nutrition Centers (GNC); Tom Tolworthy, CEO of Vitamin Shoppe; and Jeremy DeLuca, President of were all present and participating. They and the entire NBJ Summit assembly are well aware of what lies on the horizon: The right to take an active participatory role in one's health, and one of its guardian angel bills, DSHEA, may be in for the fight of its life.

    Addressing the assembly on the final day, and flying the flag of The Coalition to Preserve DSHEA (Coalition to Preserve DSHEA and Save Our Supplements - Protect Your Access to Safe, Effective & Affordable Dietary Supplements), was the CEO of GNC, Joe Fortunato. Most dramatically, Mr. Fortunato brought with him a video addressed to this year's Summit members from Rep. Waxman's bitter rival (on this subject) and co-sponsor of DHSEA, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R) who further echoed the severity of the issue:

    "The benefits that DSHEA brought to industry and consumers alike are on the verge of being rolled back to an era before its enactment in 1994."

    Senator Hatch is referring to a dark period when the possibility of long and expensive pre-market approval, similar to what pharmaceuticals go through, was proposed for even the simplest of supplements such as vitamin C and essential amino acids. Senator Hatch went on to say that he will continue his fight, but that he needs the support of other members of the House and Senate - members of whom you and I are constituents and need to contact repeatedly.

    In other words, it seems as an upcoming battle to preserve DHSEA is inevitable so arming yourself with the facts about dietary supplements is important if you want to preserve access to these products.

    For starters, the dietary supplement industry is in fact regulated, contrary to what some media outlets, doctors and politicians would have you believe. In fact, it's regulated by the FDA. Also overlooked by those critical of the industry is the recent enactment of new cGMPs (Current Good Manufacturing Practices) for most of the companies that manufacture your dietary supplements.

    This means more stringent testing, cleaning and documentation protocols - all to insure consumer safety and product purity through traceability and accountability. However, if you only paid attention to recent media smears and the very few good old fashioned royal screw-ups, you may think that the supplement industry is a den rife with charlatans, ne'er do-wells and Somali pirates. That simply isn't representative of the entire industry, regardless what folks such as Waxman and others would have you believe.

    To stay informed and join the fight, check out organizations like the Coalition to Preserve DSHEA and contact your Congressmen and state Senators. You can also visit your local nutrition retailer to find out how you can help preserve your access to safe and effective dietary supplements.
    Unless you are one of the few who thinks that everthing from caffeine to whey protein to creatine should cost you as much as a prescription medication, you ALL should be contacting your senators AND representatives about this issue. DON'T WAIT FOR IT TO COME UP IN CONGRESS. By then it is too late. You need to contact them early so that if a bill does come up, they will already have a clear idea of how to vote for or against it.

    U.S. Senate: Senators Home

    United States House of Representatives, 111th Congress, 1st Session

    You should use some points that are listed in the article such as:

    -The double standard that exists between pharmaceutical drug's adverse event warnings (think of Alli, in which users were told to continue use regardless of documented incidences of liver failure known to be caused by Alli see here) and the supplement industry's products (think Hydroxycut in which far fewer people had any problems in which the vast majority of the 23 cases were because of elevated liver enzymes possibly indicating liver problems but the FDA warned to discontinue use immediately see here).

    -The new cGMP standards should put to rest any fear of contamination, etc.

    -We as Americans wish to have a choice in the care of our bodies and believe that supplements can help lead a healthy lifestyle.

    -That DSHEA is perfectly fine, as long as it is enforced, as it has not been.

    -That the FDA already regulates the supplement industry, but have been either unable or unwilling to regulat it. The answer is NOT more regulation.

    -That media stories of people becoming sick after taking a supplement are exaggerated and that more people are hurt by alcohol, tobacco, and aspirin than they are by any type of supplement.

    For more information
    Coalition to Preserve DSHEA
    Council for Responsible Nutrition-The Science Behind the Supplements
    ::: UNPA - United Natural Products Alliance :::
    Natural Products Association:
    CFT - ISSA, SPN - ISSA, B.Sc. Exercise Science (Nutrition minor)
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