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FDA/FTC Wants More Control Over What You Are Allowed to Learn

Chilling Effect on Innovation:

Headquartered in Stockton, California, Diamonds Foods is a processor and marketer of nuts, with distribution in over 80% of US supermarets. Most of Diamonds 1,700 walnut growers are family farmers with orchards in the heartland of California’s Central Valley. Their association with Diamond guarantees a market for their crops and provides the company with high-quality walnuts.

In response to independent scientific studies validation the health benefits of walnuts, Diamond Foods made financial investments to educate the public and supply them with walnuts. With one misguided letter issued by the FDA, all of Diamonds Foods good work was undone.

This kind of bureaucratic tyranny sends a strong signal to the food industry not to innovate in a way that informs the public about foods that protect against disease. While consumer increasingly reach for healthier dietary choices, the federal government wants to deny food companies the ability to convey findings from scientific studies about their products.

FDA/FTC Wants More Control Over What You Are Allowed to Learn:

The FDA and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) are proposing new regulations that will stifle the ability of natural food companies to disseminate scientific research findings.

One proposal being discussed within the FTC would require that supplement companies conduct studies analogous to what the FDA requires to approve new drugs. In a perfect world, Life Extension would agree with some the FTC’s objectives. As far as we are concerned, the more scientific research to validate a health claim,the better.

The reality is that natural foods do not carry high prescription drug price markups, so it would be economically impossible to conduct the same kinds of voluminous clinical studies as pharmaceutical companies do. As readers of this column know, many of the clinical studies the FDA relies on to approve new drugs are fraudulent to begin with. So even if it were feasible to conduct more clinical research on foods and supplements, that still does not guarantee the precise accuracy the FTC is seeking.

If these agency proposals are enacted, consumers will be barred from learning about new ways to protect their health until a food or nutrient meets stringent new requirements. A look at the warning letter the FDA sent to Diamond Foods is a frightening example of how scientific information can be harshly censored by unelected bureaucrats.

If anyone still thinks that federal agencies like the FDA protect the public, this proclamation that healthy foods are illegal drugs exposes the government’s sordid charade.

Companies That Sell Healthy Foods Try to Fight Back:

The combined sales of the companies attacked by the FDA are only a Frito-Lay. Yet some of these companies are fighting back against the FDA’s absurd position that it is illegal to disseminate scientific research showing the favorable effects these foods produce in the body. The makers of pomegranate juice, for example, have sued the FTC for censoring their First Amendment right to communicate scientific information to the public.

As a consumer, you should be outraged that disease-promoting foods are protected by the federal government, while nutritious foods are censored. There is no scientific rational for the FDA to do this. On the contrary, the dangerous foods ubiquitously advertised in the media are replacing cigarettes as the leading killers in modern society.

The federal government is heavily lobbied by companies selling processed foods. As Life Extension revealed long ago, an insidious activity of lobbyists is to incite federal agencies and prosecutors to eliminate free competition in the marketplace.

The simple fact is that walnuts are healthy to eat, while carbohydrates fried in fat are not. The FDA permits companies selling disease-promoting foods to deceive the public, while it suppresses the dissemination of peer-reviewed scientific information about healthy foods.

Now The Good News:

On April 5, 2011, a bipartisan bill was introduced into the House of Representatives called the Free Speech About Science Act (H.R. 1364). This landmark legislation protects basic free speech rights enables the natural health products community to share peer-reviewed scientific findings with the public.

The Free Speech About Science bill has the potential to transform medical practice by educating the public about the real science behind natural health.

For this very reason, the bill be opposed by the FDA since it restricts their ability to censor the dissemination of published scientific data. It will be opposed by drug companies fearing competition from natural health approaches based on diet, dietary supplements, and lifestyle.

The public, on the other hand, wants access to credible information they can use to make wise dietary choices. Please don’t let special interests stop this bill.

I ask that each of you log on to our Legislative Action Website (www.lef.org/lac) that enables you to conveniently email and ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Free Speech About Science Act (H.R. 1364).

Passage of the Free Speech About Science Act will stop federal agencies from squandering tax dollars censoring what you are allowed to learn about health-promoting foods.

Passage of the Free Speech About Science Act will stop federal agencies from squandering tax dollars censoring what you are allowed to learn about health-promoting foods.

Our Legislative Action Website provides you direct contact with your Representative to let them know that you want H.R. 1364 (Free Speech About Science Act) enacted into law.

“When the people fear their government went, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty” – Thomas Jefferson