Friday, November 4, 2011

Free Speech for Dietary Supplements


Many savvy consumers these days ignore the slick and expensive advertising campaigns that routinely misrepresent or stretch the truth about products or services touted on TV, radio, and the Internet. More often, it’s an anecdote or testimonial from a family member or friend about a particular product, service, or experience that influences a consumer’s choice.

There is certainly nothing wrong ethically and morally with relating stories about one’s experiences with foods and dietary supplements. Currently the government prohibits sellers and supplement producers from publicizing individual consumer testimonials about health improvements resulting from the use of certain foods or dietary supplements.

Example: In April 2011, federal agents raided Maxam Nutraceutics, a company that produces and sells nutritional supplements, even though Maxam complied with the FDA’s demands to a T. The FDA first issued a warning letter months earlier about certain posted testimonials, giving the company 15 days to delete the info. That was done, and every effort made under a hired attorney’s advice to satisfy the government agency.

Still the FDA conducted a full-scale raid with almost 80 armed agents at the company’s headquarters, and the owner’s daughter’s home, confiscating everything in sight, from computers to paperwork, products to personal items including the owner’s private invention.

To counter such blatant tyrannical actions, the Testimonial Free Speech Act (H.R. 2908) was recently introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). ... read the entire article.

Read about the bill on the OpenCongress.org website. Send a note to your congressman to co-sponsor this bill.  This website looks up your representatives by your zip code.

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