Originally published April 13 2011
Tell Congress to support the Free Speech about Science Act of 2011
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Last year, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), a nonprofit organization that works very hard to promote and protect freedom of health speech, came up with a very important piece of legislation called the Free Speech about Science Act (FSAS) that is designed to lift the restrictions on health speech that muzzle natural food and supplement producers from telling the scientific truth about their products (http://www.naturalnews.com/028879_censorship_healing_foods.html). This year, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) have introduced the bill, also known as HR 1364, before the 112th Congress, and they need your help to get it passed.
As many NaturalNews readers probably already know, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has severely limited the free speech of practically everyone besides drug companies. Supplement manufacturers, natural food companies, and even produce growers are prohibited from making honest, scientifically-proven health claims about their products, even when such claims are supported by peer-reviewed studies. As a result, millions of Americans are left in the dark about how natural foods, herbs, and supplements can help them prevent and cure disease.
This is where FSAS comes in. If passed, the bill will amend current law to allow growers and manufacturers to freely share honest information about food and supplements with their customers. While the bill will still allow the FDA and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to go after companies that are truly making false claims, the agencies will no longer be able to tyrannize those companies that simply share the truth with the public.
On numerous occasions, the FDA has aggressively pursued companies for making legitimate health claims. In 2010, for example, the FDA went after Diamond Nuts for making honest health claims about its walnuts. The agency claimed that because Diamond was making health claims about walnuts, those walnuts automatically became "unapproved drugs" -- even though such claims were based entirely on results from legitimate scientific studies (http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm202825....).
The FDA did the same thing to cherry growers in 2005 when it sent cease and desist letters to 29 cherry growers that were including scientific studies about the health benefits of cherries on their product packaging. Such claims included the truthful statement that cherries help reduce inflammation, which they absolutely do (http://www.naturalnews.com/019366.html). These examples and more clearly illustrate the need to pass FSAS as soon as possible in order to help restore freedom of health speech.
The good news is that, according to ANH, the FSAS bill has a much better chance of passing this year than it did last year. However, in order to make its provisions a reality, concerned citizens will need to bombard their Congressmen and urge support for the bill right away. And ANH has created a convenient Action Alert page through which you can do so here:
You can also read the complete text of HR 1364 here:
Sources for this story include:
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