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Is Your Ability to Buy Dietary Supplements, Herbal Preparations, and Tonics in Jeopardy in the USA?
When the DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health Education Act) was passed by the USA Congress in 1994 it was a boon to all of us consumers. Finally, we all could buy herbals that had long histories of safe and effective use throughout the world. Before the DSHEA we were unable to get them, much less even educate ourselves about them. This was because the FDA was stopping education on them, and their actual manufacture supposedly for "Our" protection.
Certainly, there are slime in every business who prey on unsuspecting consumers who have not really educated themselves. We as consumers have to understand that there is no "Magic bullet" that will instantly reverse years and years of abuse of our systems.
There is no magic pill that will instantly cure cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, the common cold, etc. Some companies hype products as miraculous cures. It kind of reminds me of some of the shall we call them less than upstanding martial arts teachers who claim that they were taught a secret style by some hermit monk from the mountains. Yeah. Right.
That being said, it makes no sense to not allow good products on to the market.
The idea is to have supplements that can help you to live a better life. Can keep you healthy, prevent illness. And when you are feeling sick (dis-eased) can help make you feel better. They can be used to regulate your blood pressure, help you to relax, help you to sleep when you have to much on your mind. Something you can take to help fight off the beginnings of a cold, etc. Basically, help keep your body in perfect balance and health so you do not have to worry about ever getting sick.
Before the passage of the DSHEA some of the wonderful products being blocked included, Traditional Chinese herbal medicines, Ayurvedic medicines, and traditional folk medicines. So, rather than being able to easily get herbal remedies, we were forced to buy less effective drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. We were forced to buy synthetic vitamins. We could not get the education on vitamins and herbs as to what they could do for us. It was Prohibition all over again. Only instead of alcohol, the "Evil" was natural products.
With the passage of the DSHEA in the USA, the FDA is still regulating supplements. Contrary to what is reported in mainstream press, and by the FDA. There really are safety rules in place. Supplements are regulated. So are the foods you eat. Drugs are more regulated than dietary supplements. Supposedly, they are proven safe before being distributed to consumers. If that is the case, why is it that almost every month there is another recall of some drug due to unforeseen side effects and dangers? Why is it that once a drug is approved for use, many doctors start to prescribe it for uses it was not approved for? Yes this really happens.
If you could get an all natural product made specifically to treat your condition by a qualified, highly trained herbalist, would you prefer that, or would you prefer taking a laboratory produced drug that is synthesized from who knows what?
What if the herbal product was the same price? What if the herbal product was 10 times cheaper?
The drug companies certainly do not like consumers to be educated on products that would take away their profits.
Do you know that even though certain herbs have been proven to fight off cancers and destroy them, you will never learn about them? This is because even with the passage of the DSHEA, the FDA is suppressing this type information claiming that there "are not enough safety studies" even if it has been studied in most other modern countries around the world. Is that "Protecting" you? Or is it protecting the profits of drug manufacturers?
Do you know that as recently as a few years ago, no manufacturer of calcium products could claim that taking calcium would help fight off osteoporosis? Thanks to the DSHEA you can learn that calcium can help.
So now you have a small understanding of what benefits you get from the DSHEA. Here is the problem.
Now there are some Senators and Representatives who want to take away the rights of consumers like you and me to use the products of our choice. They want to limit the choices we have in how we are treated. They want us to be forced to use high priced poisonous pharmaceuticals rather than herbs. They do not want us educated as to what herbs do, how they can benefit us and keep us healthy.
This attack is being launched by Big Dick (Richard) Durbin (democrat of Illinois). The question is why. Is he really that well versed in every treatment so that he can tell you what is good for you and what is not? Is he really that educated in how all of the supplements, vitamins, herbs, and preparations really work? Or is it the usual. Politics and high level big money political contributions to his campaign at work.
While his idea is commendable - insuring that supplements are safe. Wouldn't it be a better idea to force a supplement manufacturer to prove that the supplement does what they claim it does?
Wouldn't it be better to allow...no in fact force the supplement manufacturer to have a lot of educational material available to consumers so they can educate themselves. Material including possible adverse reactions. Known and reported incompatible products (i.e. don't take this with aspirin, etc.) Safe dosages, and unsafe dosages, as well as how much is to much..How much can you safely take during a 24 hour period. Information like that. I'm sure that this type of information would be more helpful than some bureaucrat deciding what you can and can not know about a particular product. Even if that bureaucrat has the best of intentions.
Imagine not being able to buy the herbal product of your choice because some politician and bureaucrat want to "Protect" you. Imagine not being able to find information on adverse effects and beneficial effects of a particular herb, or herbal combination, or dietary supplement? It is about to happen here in the USA.
If you really want to keep the ability to educate yourself on alternative medicine, the proper use of vitamins, herbs, etc, and have the choice to use them, then get in touch with your Senator and ask them to defeat Big Dick Durbin's "Dietary Supplement Safety Act" (Senate Bill 722).
It's for your own good.
About The Author
By Allen Weber Copyright June 10, 2003 JAJA Group, Inc.- newsletter Emperor's Herbologist
Live Healthy! bi-weekly guide to living healthy in modern times. Featuring articles on alternative medicine, diet, herbs, supplements, foods, traditional cures and techniques you can use to give you more control over your health and well being. Subscribe today at: http://www.emperorsherbologist.com/newsletter.shtml
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