Watchdog Group Confuses Our Consumer Activists With “Well-Connected Lobbyists”!

A few weeks ago, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a report representing ANH-USA (and many other organizations’ efforts to protect natural health consumer rights) as “another disturbing example of pay-to-play in Washington.” Huh? Come again?

The CREW report, which you can read in full online, calls ANH-USA a “trade group.” This is completely false: our funding from the dietary industry is less than 5%. The Natural Products Association and Council for Responsible Nutrition are the two main trade groups that work in this area, and they are supported financially by natural products companies. We, on the other hand, are a nonprofit organization of grassroots supporters who advocate for natural health and the freedom to practice natural health. That’s a huge difference.
And as for having lots and lots of “well-connected lobbyists”—well, that’s you, actually. All the successes they attribute to us on page 3 of their report were the result of your phone calls, your letter-writing campaigns, your persistent knocking on the doors of Congress. Apparently CREW has mistaken grassroots activism and the democratic process for highly paid professional lobbyists.
As for the supplement industry spending millions of dollars in campaign contributions, it should come as no surprise that the top contributors to federal election campaigns are members of the pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer, Amgen, Abbot Labs, Merck, AstraZenica, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Novartis, and Bayer headline the top 20. Supplement company contributions are gnat size by comparison,
The report implies that the McCain bill, which all of you helped to block, would have increased supplement safety. It further indicates that the FTC’s powers needed to be expanded with Congressman Waxman’s provision. Thank goodness those pieces of legislation failed to pass! Waxman’s provision would have allowed the FTC to circumvent key supplement protections in the DSHEA. And the McCain bill would have repealed key sections of the DSHEA and would have given the FDA full discretion and power to compile a discreet list of supplements allowed to remain on the market while banning all others. As we noted last year:

Why not simply require that supplements be brought through the FDA’s drug approval process? Wouldn’t that create a level playing field?

That is probably the argument that Senator McCain has been sold. But it is a completely false argument. The FDA drug approval process costs as much as a billion dollars. It is not economically feasible to spend such vast sums on substances that are not protected by patent, and natural substances cannot legally be patented.

This is the great “Catch-22” of American medicine. The FDA, which is supposed to guard and promote our health, is hostile to the kind of natural medicine—based on diet, supplements, and exercise—that represents the real future of healthcare. The Agency has either been captured by drug interests or is trapped in a catastrophically expensive, toxic, and ineffective patented-drug model.

And as we reported last May, taking products through the FDA approval process hardly guarantees safety. In 2008, there were more than 530,000 reports of adverse effects from FDA-approved drugs, with 320,000 of the adverse events declared “serious” and nearly 50,000 deaths reported. A report in 2007 by the FDA, CDC, and US Consumer Product Safety Commission found that common drug dangers are so bad that “harmful reactions to some of the most widely used medicines—from insulin to a common antibiotic—send more than 700,000 Americans to emergency rooms each year.”
How can anyone be so blind as to suggest that subjecting supplements to that system, and raising their cost by a factor of ten or more, would make sense?


  1. We should not give up our rights to fight for transparence related to food and drug safety b/c we are the customers!

  2. I am now 71 and have NO health issues. I have had terrible side effects in the past from the few drugs I have taken. As of now I take only supplements to maintain my health. It is unbelievable how far the greed goes!! The system makes it very difficult to have medical assistance yet it wants to close off the ability for uncovered people to handle their health issues themselves.
    When you think of it the lack of medical coverage drove folks to examine other alternatives when those alternatives worked the greedheads took another look and saw that even some of their customers were going the natural route and decided to destroy that path. We are living in a terrible time now and I fear for this country & our future.

  3. The big difference is that most of the herbal medicines are also foods, minerals and vitiums or flowers, for example, garlic, cayenne pepper, cinnamon. These herbs many work slower than regular medicines but do not carry the serious or unexpected side effects that modern medicine cause. The reason why big Phama has to go through such an expensive process is that their medicines are often made synthetic or are synthetic creation from already natural substance. and they often do have serious side effects, the only way that would happen with an herb or vitamin would be if someone took excessive amounts of it. The people who sit on the board of the FDA are often getting payed by the very companies wanting to have their drugs approved, can you say conflict of interest. Until someone in congress gets the backbone to reject huge sums of cash and do something to fix it we will be at the mercy of those greedy corporations that do not care if their drug kills a few hundred people as long as they made a few million or even billion before it can be taken off the market. For now i guess it’s buyer be ware. Just because you’re doctor has an expensive education doesn’t mean every thing he tells you or demands you do is necessarily right.

  4. I just want to say that I love you…what you at ANH are doing, what you are all about, the whole enchilada. I really mean it. When you people showed up, it was like an answer to a prayer. Finally, a truly commonsense and effective mechanism for citizens to respond to the looming bureaucratic overkill in Washington that has been threatening health freedom at every opportunity, especially in recent decades. Or at least I have been paying attention in recent decades. As a consumer and citizen, I awakened to this threat in the ’90s, but back then the struggle to protect DSHEA and to fend off Congressman Waxman and his ilk in the Pharma/FDA cartel was not as well organized as you are now. Thank you for continuing to get this done right with eloquent and passionate advocacy for the truth and for facilitating an effective grassroots response! You are to be commended for a magnificent job and for having the integrity and foresight to understand how to do it!

  5. This behavior of blaming others for exactly what THEY are doing is characteristic of a typical psychopathic, power hungry, guilt ridden person or entity. Follow the money and you’ll see the evidence clearly.

  6. The Federal Disease Association only works for its corporate buddies called Big Pharma.
    But really how could any health freedom organization be confused with a “lobbying” organization? When has real health ever had power over Big government? Even in Europe they don’t get much of a voice though we all know natural health is superior to the cut/slash/burn paradigm of CONventional medicine.

  7. I believe ANH cannot let that assertion pass. A letter to the editor or some other means must get thru to assert the depth of the grass roots support for freedom to our supplements and alternative practices. Thanks for all you continue to do.

  8. At least one of the Pharmaceutical companies mentioned in your piece is also a supplement manufacturer. Nature’s Way products are manufactured by Bayer.

    1. Very interesting about Nature’s Way supplements and their connection to the drug co. Bayer. How about NatureMade vitamins? Are they also produced by Big Pharma?!

  9. Between Big Pharma and Big Farma, us little peons trying to eat right and supplement the vitamins/minerals that are missing from our depleted soils don’t stand a chance unless we unite! Monsanto is crippling all the honest, hard-working organic farmers and making it harder and harder in this country for any farmers to find non-GMO, organic corn to feed their animals, the well cared for, free range animals that are the ones we should be eating. We need to make our REVOLUTION even bigger. Wake up america before it’s too late(if it;s not already!)

    1. Hi Camille, You just hit the bullseye. Our present government don’t give a dam about us the people. It pisses them off when we die. So, they hiot us with a death tax because they can,t suck any more money fron you. Another big one is that this government is anti-family because they pentilize you for being married and tax you for ir. And today two spouses can’t afford to raise a family. You’ll need a third party tp help make ends meet. The other problem are those that say “the government owes me” They are the biggest losers because the think this dam government is helping them, but instead they are suppressing and slowly killing them . You see what happened overseas? Well, if things don’t chang quickly, the same thing going to happen here!

  10. If I am a lobbyist, I would like to get paid what lobbyists get paid. I get nothing. The idea that I am a lobbyist isn’t an idea. It’s a lie. I could tell you how tired I am of listening to lies, but it would bore me to tell you.
    I can see no reason to trust the FDA to do anything except what it’s people are paid to do. I don’t mean paid as in what the federal government actually pays them to do. I mean what their real jobs are – the ones that keep revolving back out into – the ones in the highpaying world of the drug companies. The FDA is a bunch of lobbyists – only they get paid and I don’t and they get to force people to do stuff and I don’t.
    Makes me wonder why I am not a lobbyist. Oh, yes, now I remember. I am tired of lies.

  11. Thank you, ANH! I was a devoted follower of Dr. Carrow’s radio program until he was replaced on “talk radio” by right wing political hacks in the Washington DC market.
    I am 74 years of age and take only one pharmaceutical drug (for HBP) but in order to support the pharmaceutical industry Medicare Part D forces me to pay for coverage in order to protect myself from some unknown, future catastrophic illness that may never occur.
    The Pharmaceutical industry controls what is taught in medical schools. An issue very BASIC to optimum health is proper function of the thyroid gland. Dr. Broda Barnes in his book, ” Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness” recounts the many and diverse ill health consequences of thyroid function even slightly below par (from depression and other psychiatric disorders to attention deficit disorder and asthma to severe skin conditions (an infant of 7 months with such SEVERE bleeding eczema that he had to be kept in a straight jacket from birth to prevent his scratching himself to death). The approach to “Healthcare” in this country is to TREAT THE SYMPTOMS of these many and varied conditions without regard for the underlying cause. This approach works well for the profits of the drug industry. Over a lifetime, the result of this seemingly minor deficiency of thyroid hormone reaps ASTRONOMICAL rewards, as these individuals will go on throughout life to develop almost any degenerative disease one can name. The bogus diagnosis of “chronic fatigue syndrome” is simply a refusal to diagnose and treat the OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS of low thyroid function.
    Dr. Barnes practiced medicine for more than 35 years. Prior to medical school his PHD was in pharmacology where he did research on the thyroid gland for his doctoral dissertation and taught Endocrinology at the University of Chicago. As he states on the cover of his book: “Of all the problems that can affect physical or mental health, none is more common than thyroid gland disturbance. None is more readily and inexpensively corrected. And none is more often untreated, and even unsuspected.”

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