This is one of my letters to Obama about the FDA having increased powers over dietary supplements.
Message sent to the following recipients:
April 28, 2007
[recipient address was inserted here]
Dear [recipient name was inserted here],
All Americans know that the FDA is in need of an overhaul. However, I
adamantly oppose S.1082, the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization
Act of 2007, which is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Monday
afternoon, April 30, as well as any House companion bill.
I am outraged that this legislation creates a business relationship
between the FDA and private industry for the purpose of designing and
marketing drugs (pages 105-125 of the bill). We do not need an "FDA, Inc."
The lack of transparency between FDA management and the pharmaceutical
industry is one of my greatest concerns-how could the Senate possibly
consider legislation that places the FDA in charge of licensing
arrangements with private industry?
As one of the 150 million consumers of dietary supplements, I also find it
appalling that S.1082 gives the FDA new powers to attack dietary
supplements (pages 106-107). We do not need more legislation that will
allow the FDA, at its whim, to suppress access to safe, natural health
options and dietary supplements.
This entire package of pharmaceutical industry-friendly FDA reform does
nothing to protect myself or my family from another Vioxx catastrophe.
1) I oppose the pharmaceutical industry funding the FDA for new drug
approvals, which S.1082 not only allows but increases. This is a conflict
of interest. 2) I demand that an independent office within the FDA be set
up to monitor the safety of drugs already on the market. The Institute of
Medicine has already told us that the FDA's current management is
dysfunctional; I want real reform at the FDA. 3) I want full disclosure of
all clinical trials, not the watered-down pharmaceutical industry-friendly
version in S.1082 that allows drug companies to hide their problems. 4) I
want all conflicts of interest removed from FDA advisory panels. There is
no need to have industry-sponsored "experts" voting on drugs which they
receive money to promote. S.1082 supports the status quo; it is time for
S.1082 tries to do too much at once and does nothing properly. Under the
pretense of drug safety, the real agenda of the legislation is to turn the
FDA into a drug company and increase FDA regulatory power that can be used
to attack dietary supplements. This 262- page bill was passed out of
committee without a hearing, and there is no report on it so members of
Congress do not even know what it contains. Please vote no on S1082 and on
the House companion bill.
And the response From Obama.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the impact of the FDA Revitalization Act (S.1082) on dietary supplements. I appreciate hearing from you.
Research continues to demonstrate the necessity of a nutrient-rich diet for good health. At the same time, we are finding that society as a whole is consuming more processed, less nutritious foods. Often, individuals rely on supplements to ensure the proper intake of necessary nutrients.
Through the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, Congress established supplement definitions, created a supplement commission, and established an Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institute of Health (NIH). This was a positive step in both recognizing the benefits of supplements, as well as the need for proper regulation.
I share your distaste for unnecessary federal regulation. While I understand your concern with protecting access to dietary supplements, S.1082 should not unduly hinder such access and, indeed, is intended to provide consumer protection. It seems to me that we are doing a disservice to the public at large by not examining all possible risks and adverse health consequences associated with the use of dietary supplements. I do not see this as an attack on access to dietary supplements, and I hope that the information with which I have provided you will alleviate your concern.
On May 10th, S.1082 passed in the Senate and is now being considered by my colleagues in the House of Representatives. Although this is considered a "must pass" bill because the user fees that pharmaceutical companies pay the FDA for the drug review process are due to expire on September 20, 2007, I expect passage will face several obstacles. I will continue to work with my colleagues to take timely action on legislation, and you may be certain your priorities and concerns are on my mind.
. Again, MyName, thank you for writing. Please stay in touch in the days to come.
United States Senator
His response was wrong and ridiculous, like I've said in the past, Obama is too self serving and tries to sugar coat his statements.