(NaturalNews) A considerable legal victory has been achieved for the natural health community in defending freedom of health speech. A recent lawsuit filed by the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) and several other plaintiffs against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has successfully stopped the FDA from censoring the truth about the health benefits of both vitamin C and vitamin E. The case sets an important precedent for freedom of health speech as the court ruled that censorship of qualified health claims is unconstitutional.
Qualified health claims represent statements that make a connection between a particular substance and its ability to lower disease risk. Such statements can be found on juice containers, cereal boxes, and supplement bottles. One example of a qualified health claim is, "A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases."
The landmark 1999 case "Pearson vs. Shalala" established that food and supplement manufacturers are freely permitted to include qualified health claims on their products, so long as there is scientific evidence to back it up. And yet the FDA has fought tooth and nail to restrict the use of qualified health claims in almost every case, which is why ANH and others have repeatedly had to sue the FDA on the grounds that such restrictions are a violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
In the recent case, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the FDA's restriction of two specific claims concerning vitamin C and vitamin E, and their role in reducing the risk of cancer, was unconstitutional. The court ruled that the following two claims were permitted for use:
"Vitamin C may reduce the risk of gastric cancer."
"Vitamin E may reduce the risk of bladder cancer."
The FDA had tried to amend the two statements to basically assert that both vitamins play no significant role in cancer prevention. This assessment, of course, is ludicrous when considering that numerous studies have identified a clear link between vitamins C and E, and a reduced risk of cancer (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/11/1/35.full).
Having to individually fight the FDA on each and every health claim for a vitamin, mineral, or nutrient, is not only a huge waste of time and money, but it is also unnecessary. After all, the Constitution already guarantees freedom of speech, which includes freedom of health speech. Nevertheless, ANH is urging the public to garner support for the "Free Speech About Science Act," which will finally put an end to all FDA tyranny against freedom of health speech (http://www.naturalnews.com/032062_free_speech_science.html).
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