Ready To Drop on Supplement Industry After Presidential Election
by Bill Sardi: Bend
- Major Food
& Drug Companies Begin Buying Up Supplement Companies As Drug
- New FDA
Safety Requirements Do Bidding For Pharma Companies Who Want To
Consolidate Industry, Eliminate Competition
After the Presidential
election anticipate what amounts to terrorist attacks upon the dietary
supplement industry as regulatory agencies and the news media do
the bidding for big business in a predictable industry takeover
now that vitamin pills are yielding greater profitability and unit
sales growth than the American economy as a whole and drug patent
expirations force pharmaceutical companies to search for replacements
for their blockbuster drugs.
& Gamble and Pfizer,
two food and drug giants, announced acquisition of two dietary supplement
companies, making it clear the vitamin pill business is up for grabs
now that it is growing
faster than the rest of the economy. One source predicts the
industry will grow at the clip of 9% per year during 2011-15.
For comparison, the entire US economy is in the doldrums with less
than a 2% annual growth rate. This growth is attracting pariahs
and predictable pressure from regulatory agencies to rid the industry
The first part
of the strategy has been underway for some time Ė attack the industry,
make false claims products are unsafe, and head off public demand.
As big business buys up these supplement companies so they donít
have to pay millions or even billions of dollars for them if sales
are hindered by negative publicity. So negative news is generated,
unfairly claiming dietary supplements are risky for consumers.
a recent NBC
Dateline report, where NBC reporters dug up a 4-year-old case
involving a lone derelict company that made a faulty product, was
depicted as what is characteristic in the industry. Itís all part
of the mud that the news media has been lobbing at the supplement
companies for years now.
business will swallow the vitamin pill business
It should not
be a surprise that big business can get news agencies to do its
bidding for them. For example, Proctor & Gamble spends $1 billion
a year on advertising. Pfizer spends ~$19 billion a year on marketing
and promotion. Ditto for Johnson & Johnson.
have clout and can rub out competition in various ways, including
paying off politicians to write legislation that will just make
it too difficult for small competitors to survive in the supplement
The New Dietary
Ingredient regulations, which the FDA plans to impose, are an example.
These regulations require new and existing brands of dietary supplements
to undergo costly testing to prove they are safe, even if they have
been safely used in the market place for years. Thousands
of dietary supplements are likely to disappear from store shelves
in the near future due to this requirement.
example is Rite-Aid
drugs stores which hired wellness ambassadors and placed them
in white coats to promote the sales of dietary supplements. Apparently
drug companies caught wind of this successful strategy that was
resulting in consumers purchasing more supplements and fewer drugs.
So two US Senators wrote a strong letter to Rite-Aid alleging these
wellness ambassadors were wearing white coats, making it appear
they are pharmacists. Itís a bogus claim and a clear interference
with free trade, but nonetheless any successful strategy to sell
dietary supplements instead of drugs is a target for sanctions.
against the industry are more direct. Some retail
dietary supplement outlets are being raided without justifiable
cause and their products confiscated.
As the US becomes
less and less of a free market and more of a fascist nation as big
business buys off government overseers, the supplement industry
can anticipate more pressure from unseen directions.
exerting its will
As a FoxNews
report says: "The worldís largest producers of new drugs
and medicines are facing an unprecedented time in their history
as a record number of patents expire and generic drugs swoop in
as more affordable alternatives." A so-called "patent
cliff" has been reached where more and more drug patents are
expiring, billions of dollars of blockbuster drugs.
realize the freedoms they have when it comes to dietary supplements.
In Europe, dietary supplements are prescription drugs. Once the
supplement industry is captured by big business, anticipate legislation
that will force vitamin and herbal remedies to be acquired by prescription
under the false guise doctors need to monitor use. Many overseas
tourists visiting America purchase thousands of dollars of dietary
supplements to bring home with them. Foreigners know what it is
like for dietary supplements to be restricted.
Why the public
continues to take dangerous prescription drugs cannot be easily
explained. The Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more people
die from such overdoses than from all illegal drugs combined. Furthermore,
accidental prescription drug deaths in the United States each year
now outnumber roadway fatalities.
with the fact there was not
a single death associated with a dietary supplement in 2010.
industry sometimes lives up to its reputation
This is not
to say the dietary supplement industry hasnít gone off in the wrong
direction from time to time. The industry has a penchant for selling
what is popular, not what works.
Silver, a supplement that was avidly purchased by naïve consumers
who were desperately searching for natural remedies for a wide array
of maladies 650 of them in all that Sea Silverís makers said
its products cured. The Federal Trade Commission put that company
out of business.
supplement was Coral
Calcium, which was no better than a plain calcium carbonate
supplement yet it was advertised as a cure-all for many maladies
and widely embraced and sold within the dietary supplement industry.
Many a health food store posted sidewalk signs outside their establishments
saying "Coral Calcium here." It was an embarrassing moment
for the retail supplement industry. For unknown reasons, consumers
are susceptible to the most bogus of health claims attached to dietary
of hand against supplements
the supplement industry is unfairly accused of selling ineffective
products. One of the common sleights of hand is to generate studies
that are inherently slanted against supplements. For example, a
recent review of the effectiveness of B vitamins and vitamin E showed
that randomized clinical trials do not reveal a beneficial effect
in reducing cardiovascular disease in humans. But the review
also showed that these studies failed to consider confounding factors,
that drugs like aspirin and statin drugs reduced or abolished any
possibility of observed differences in the number of heart attacks
between vitamin pill users and non-users.
believe supplements are good for you or not, a continued barrage
of publicity leads people to believe that supplements are not controlled
by the Food and Drug Administration and have the potential to do
more harm than good.
FDA does in fact control the manufacture, labeling, and distribution
of supplements. Manufacturers of dietary supplements are subject
to legal liability if their products are impure, improperly labeled,
result in side effects when properly used or when false or unsubstantiated
advertising claims are made. And why is it that the unregulated
supplements have a better safety record than the FDA-approved drugs?
fool the people only some of the time
You can only
fool some of the people some of the time. There is scientific evidence
that substantiates the widespread use of supplements that cannot
be easily refuted.
The most remarkable
is vitamin D, a long overlooked sun-produced hormone/vitamin that
is producing striking health benefits, including declines in the
risk for cancer and diabetes, as well as a reduction in overall
mortality. Vitamin D pills are a 10-cent cure for what ails most
people, from the winter blues to osteoporosis and the common cold.
New York Times health reporter Jane E Brody gives
vitamin D her blessing (sheís penned a number of negative reports
about vitamin supplements in the past), you have really convinced
look like anything can hide the plethora of positive scientific
reports now being published about vitamin D. As the public adopts
vitamin D pills into their daily health regimens anticipate a measurable
improvement in health parameters, a decline in overall mortality
that cannot be easily hidden and a revelation that modern medicine
has for a long time now been gaming a certain rate of disease into
the population by limiting intake of essential nutrients.
used by big business are not new. A similar consolidation effort
was made in the retail gasoline market when California required
small independent filling stations to dig out their old underground
storage tanks and replace them with double-lined tanks. This was
too costly for the independent stations and they folded. Gasoline
prices then rose dramatically in California without the price competition.
Consumers are surely to lose as the supplement industry is taken
over by big business.
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
© 2012 Bill Sardi Word of Knowledge Agency, San Dimas, California.
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