Media, In League With Government, Begins Orchestrated Smear Campaign
Against Dietary Supplements
by Bill Sardi: What
Would You Do If You Were President?
government has launched a double assault against the dietary supplement
industry recently, which includes onerous
new labeling requirements (Durbin bill, proposed) and testing
requirements (New Dietary Ingredient guidelines, proposed) which
would literally demolish the supplement industry.
To pull off
these draconian measures the news media appears to be working in
concert with government in a brainwashing effort to gain public
support for these draconian measures. And that means dietary supplements,
which are safer than aspirin, tap water or table salt, must be made
to appear risky and unsafe.
The smear campaign
against dietary supplements began August 27 in The
New York Times with an article that reveals potential problems
with foreign-made supplements that creep past US Customs and FDA
inspectors. But these products do not represent the vast majority
of dietary supplements sold in the marketplace today.
Then the Wall
Street Journal followed with its version of yellow journalism
in an article published on August 30 about an unproven liquid dietary
supplement that is being touted for Alzheimer’s patients. But commonly-prescribed
drugs for this condition are no better and are far more expensive.
If neither drug or supplement are effective, why not help families
searching for a remedy that saves their money?
Then in the
early-online September 12 issue of Time magazine an article
In A Pill?" is featured where one of Time’s top reporters
is dispatched to record his six-month-long personal experience taking
supplements. But the report appears to be set up to mischaracterize
dietary supplements as a waste of money.
Here is a more
in-depth analysis of these scurrilous news reports:
The New York Times writer Natasha Singer writes a report
of Shady Origins, Posing As Supplements," which describes
foreign-made supplements that are hustled past US Customs and FDA
agents and are improperly labeled and in some instances contain
begins in a Chinatown where a supplement called Pai You Guo is sold
for weight loss. But Chinese medicine shops have sold unlabelled
bulk dried herbs stored in wooden drawers, of specious origin and
composition, for a long time now. FDA agents have not yet taken
their regulatory powers into ethnic areas where native herbs are
sold in foreign language-labeled containers. Spanish language TV
stations sell some of these products with impunity.
says "Federal authorities are struggling to identify and intercept
these black-market goods," but are they taking all steps necessary
to intercept these products before they enter the marketplace, or
are they allowing them to pass through to make the supplement industry
says: "The makers of legal dietary supplements…acknowledge
they are reluctant to raise too many alarms. Even though there is
little evidence that many dietary supplements provide real health
But if a dietary
supplement IS found to prevent, treat or cure a disease, the FDA
declares it a drug and says all marketing must cease for that product,
regardless of whether its label says it cures a disease or not.
York Times’ Singer goes on to say that "many companies
promote genuine dietary supplements with enthusiastic claims that
resemble those of adulterated products, making it hard for consumers
to distinguish between the legal and the illegal, the harmless and
the potentially dangerous."
supplements have been shown to be safer than aspirin tablets, tap
water and even table salt. There have been no deaths attributed
to dietary supplements in the past 8 years as recorded by the American
Association of Poison Control Centers. Should the entire law-abiding
dietary supplement industry pay a price for outlaw products that
the FDA and US Customs didn’t intercept at port of entry?
2011: In an article entitled "Fueling
the Brain With a Milkshake," consumer reporter Laura Johannes
of the Wall Street Journal says there is no good evidence
to show that a new liquid medical food on the market, which claims
to help Alzheimer’s patients, actually works. After 90 days the
product didn’t work any better than an inactive placebo tablet.
forgets to inform readers there are no proven drugs that work to
slow down or reverse Alzheimer’s dementia even though they are commonly
prescribed as FDA-approved drugs. The approved drugs, cholinesterase
inhbitors, also work no better than placebo. Cholinesterase is an
enzyme that breaks down acetycholine, a main brain chemical responsible
for transmission of nerve impulses).
But get this
– reporter Johannes quotes a doctor who says "the average Alzheimer's
patient is taking five prescription medications a day for the disease
and for other medical conditions, adding another item of ‘questionable
efficacy’ is an unnecessary burden for patients and caregivers."
What would be the harm of throwing another ineffective medicine
on top of the worthless drugs other than its $70-90 cost? Most prescription
drugs for Alzheimer’s are far costlier.
cherry pick supplements that make exaggerated health claims which
the FDA is remiss in regulating. Is the FDA not doing its job in
order to make the supplement industry look bad? One has to wonder
when the FDA’s main task is to protect America’s position as a leader
in pharmaceuticals, which is a conflict of interest. Furthermore,
many drugs could be replaced by dietary supplements at less cost
and with fewer side effects.
12, 2011: John Cloud, who writes Time
magazine’s Lab Rat column (he actually conducts personal trials
of various consumer products), fills out a survey on nutrient needs
provided by a multi-level dietary supplement company, even visits
their headquarters, and then in a stinging set-up job, claims the
22 vitamin pills he took every day at a total cost of $1200 for
few months didn’t favorably alter his blood-test numbers.
In the end
Mr. Cloud abandoned the dietary supplements and said he would proceed
to maintain his health by diet alone. But he reveals that while
taking supplements he felt "more robust," "woke up
in the morning feeling vigorous in a way I hadn’t in years,"
but said this was all due to a placebo effect.
We hate to
inform Mr. Cloud that the government’s 5-A-Day
Program to encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables did not
reduce mortality rates for cancer or heart disease. So much
for thinking that the diet will maintain health in an aging adult.
And it goes without saying, modern medicine considers most chronic
health problems a drug deficiency when they often have a nutrient
Oh, a recently
published study said otherwise, that five servings of fruits
and vegetables a day actually reduces all-cause mortality rates.
But researchers in this study presumed that a blood concentration
of vitamin C of 50-millimole/liter was indicative of fruit and vegetable
intake. Vitamin C pills were said to have no effect upon mortality,
but the dosage of most vitamin C pills consumed by the British population
under study would not be sufficient to raise blood levels to the
50-millimole point. Vitamin C pills didn’t work because the pills
were low dose and vitamin C is rapidly excreted from the body and
requires repeated dosing throughout the day to maintain blood levels.
Mr. Cloud admits
to a diet that includes late-night Rice Krispies and "enthusiastic"
alcohol intake. Mr. Cloud, at age 40, is still relatively healthy,
but he is a sugar-craver and may have yeast overgrowth in his digestive
tract and his avid alcohol intake would deplete zinc, magnesium
and vitamin B1 while inducing an overload of copper and iron. That
would spell for health problems down the line.
So Mr. Cloud
declares dietary supplements to be worthless. Cloud is apparently
in good health, so how could dietary supplement improve on his blood
test numbers which were already in the healthy range? Someone once
said "disease is felt, but health not at all." Mr. Cloud’s
methodology set up dietary supplements for a certain fall.
Mr. Cloud also
conceded that his vitamin D blood level did rise, and his HDL "good"
cholesterol inexplicably shot up, but attributed the improved vitamin
D level to spending more time outdoors getting some vitamin D-producing
Mr. Cloud says
he began his journey into taking dietary supplements at least five
to six months ago, which would be sometime in March or April, before
recent legislation in Congress and newly proposed FDA testing guidelines
mean Mr. Cloud received his assignment from Time magazine
in advance of the FDA’s campaign against dietary supplements which
began on the July 4th weekend with the announcement the
FDA proposes new testing guidelines that would raise the retail
price of supplements three to four times and likely wipe out more
than half of existing supplements off store shelves, as well as
force an estimated 100,000 workers in the supplement industry out
of a job.
quotes Dr. Glenn Braunstein, chairman of the department of medicine
at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, an expert on nutraceuticals,
to say that the state of research on nutriceuticals is, in general,
"lousy." But who is responsible for that? The National Institutes
of Health issues funds for animal and human clinical studies and
approves their protocols. There is a dearth of human studies on
in a recent report published in Current
Atherosclerosis Reports, Dr. Frank W. Selke at Brown University
expounds on the promise of resveratrol, a red wine molecule sold
as a dietary supplement, to prevent avoidable deaths due to coronary
heart disease. But says "to date, there have been no clinical
trials investigating the effect of resveratrol on cardiovascular
risk or co-morbidities."
Mr. Cloud goes
on to say: "Whether nutraceuticals improve health – and how
– is a matter of enormous scientific inquiry." Really now –
vitamin D remedies rickets and the amount of recommended amount
of vitamin D isn’t enough to eradicate bone-softening rickets in
young African-American children. So how could vitamin D supplements
possibly work when the Recommended Daily Allowance is outdated,
even after being updated just recently? Vitamin
D is about to revolutionize modern medicine. It could quell
mortality rates for heart disease and cancer, and this fact misses
Mr. Cloud’s radar screen.
a lowly B vitamin, not only prevents birth defects but is required
for DNA repair and Dr. Bruce Ames of the University of California
just recently showed that marginal
shortages of this vitamin over a long period of time can induce
gene mutations and pre-cancerous changes in living tissues.
But to Mr. Cloud, there is no need to supplement the diet with a
vitamin like this. Dr. Ames recommends a multivitamin for every
human on the planet.
to fight back against the FDA is mounting. Numerous groups are forming
opposition. One newly posted website, Operation
Pushback, invites volunteers to print out protest letters and
deliver, mail or e-mail them to their elected representatives in
pushed back in 1994 with the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health
& Education Act. It was the most letters received by Congress
on any other issue.
Now the American
public is faced with another challenge. More than half of Americans
take dietary supplements on a regular basis. In Germany, France
and Italy, common herbal supplements like Ginkbo biloba, bilberry
and lutein are designated as drugs.
It has been
said there are three things Americans won’t tolerate: taking away
their right to bear arms, invasion of their privacy and cutting
off the availability of affordable dietary supplements. If Americans
want to maintain their freedom to purchase dietary supplements directly,
without the need for a doctor’s prescription and at an affordable
price, they had better start lodging their protests to Congress
him mail] is a frequent writer on health and political
topics. His health writings can be found at www.naturalhealthlibrarian.com.
latest book is Downsizing
© 2011 Bill Sardi Word of Knowledge Agency, San Dimas, California.
This article has been written exclusively for www.LewRockwell.com
and other parties who wish to refer to it should link rather than
post at other URLs.
Best of Bill Sardi