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The battle between Big Pharma and herbal supplements

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(NaturalNews) Dr. Mehmet Oz appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection on Tuesday. He was charged with making false weight-loss claims and was there to testify. Chairwoman of the subcommittee Senator Claire McCaskill stated, "You are being made an example of today because of the power you have in this space." Specifically, McCaskill scolded Dr. Oz for featuring green coffee beans for weight loss.

While this hearing was part of the Federal Trade Commission's crackdown against fake and potentially dangerous diet products, Dr. Oz didn't endorse any particular product. On his show, he spoke about green coffee bean extract and its proven benefits in aiding weight loss. Additionally, Dr. Oz doesn't receive compensation for endorsing products, because he simply doesn't endorse products.

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection is supposed to ensure the safety of products purchased by consumers. Have you ever heard of 100,000 people dying from a particular supplement? Do you know what has lead to 100,000 deaths? The answer is Baycol, a cholesterol-lowering drug produced by Bayer. Why aren't pharmaceutical companies brought before the government in the same manner Dr. Oz was?

Rarely do we hear about pharmaceutical companies brought before the government for putting potentially lethal medications on the market. When we do hear about it, it's only after hordes have experienced complications and/or died. Sometimes, pharmaceutical drug-related deaths happen to catch the media's attention. When this is the case, the pharmaceutical company in question is forced to pay a fine and the drug is typically recalled.

These are multi-billion-dollar companies that boast senators and other government officials as members of their committees. Senators like McCaskill receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies. Many senators receive large sums of money from pharmaceutical companies. Barack Obama received nearly $45,000 in campaign contributions in 2012 from Procter & Gamble alone.

Senator Chris Dodd was in charge of writing the Senate's bill on healthcare reform in 2009. At the time, Dodd's wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, was on the boards of four pharmaceutical companies, including Cardiome Pharma Corp, Jevelin Pharmaceuticals Inc, Brookdale Senior Living and Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals. While serving as a senator in 2009, Judd Gregg, who also worked on the healthcare bill, disclosed $250,001 to $500,000 of stock in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., a drug maker. Gregg also disclosed $1,000-$15,000 in stock from each of the following pharmaceutical companies: Merck and Co., Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Agilent Technologies.

Senate members working on the same healthcare reform bill with ties to the pharmaceutical industry also included Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Tom Harkin, and Republicans Tom Coburn, Judd Gregg, John Kyl and Orrin Hatch. The government-run FDA shares equally vast conflicts of interest, which helps explain how potentially deadly drugs with little to no research are approved and put on the market. As long as these conflicts of interest persist, the general public will continue to pay the price; for some, that price could be their life.

In 2010, there were 22,134 pharmaceutical drug overdose deaths reported in the U.S. Of those deaths, 74.3% were unintentional. From 2006 to 2010, there have been 270,827 deaths from FDA-approved drugs. In reports between 2006 and 2010, there have been a total of 1,702,973 cases documented as serious. Serious means that one or more of these outcomes were stated in the report: death, hospitalization, life-threatening, disability, congenital anomaly and/or other serious outcome. How does it make sense for senators to put so much attention on controlling supplements when pharmaceutical drugs are responsible for so much death?

Click here for more facts on this topic by the author, Jeanette Padilla.

Sources for this article include:










About the author:
Jeanette Padilla is an experienced herbalist, writer, and co-creator of Sunshine Natural Healing. Read more of her work at Sunshine Natural Healing, or follow her on Facebook

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