My Emergency Response

Here’s the post I sent to the FDA regarding the reclassification of supplements and alternative therapies as drugs:

Re: Docket No. 2006D-0480. Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. A resounding “NO!!!!” to the FDA’s idea of reclassifying nutritional supplements, herbs, essential oils, homeopathic medicine or any other “complementary” or “alternative” modality subject as drugs. A sizable percentage of the US population depends on vitamins and supplements to maintain health, especially in the cases where drugs have side effects that cannot be tolerated. Restricting our access to these supplements would only cause a huge drain on the health care system and the purchase of unnecessary drugs in cases where supplements do a better and safer job. As a user of these alternatives myself, I know my pain and suffering would increase as would a feeling of powerlessness and loss of options over controlling my disease. I hope this reclassification idea is not a ploy to make the pharmaceutical companies richer.

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6 Comments

Filed under Politics

6 responses to “My Emergency Response

  1. I’m split about supplements. On one hand, supplements can improve lives, but some can be harmful. We’ve been through much of this before. Cocaine and patent medicines were just supplements in the late 19th century, Freud prescribed the white to his patients. I agree with you that we should have the ability to take supplements for our health, even for our well being… Like I said, though, I’m split on this topic. Time for my ginseng tea 😉

  2. I am also on the fence. I have been advised, by well meaning friends as well as people in the nutritional know (by whatever degree, some as physicians, others as dieticians, etc). And I have had some pretty ugly things happen taking “all natural” herbs and/or vitamin supplements. The fact is, all drugs begin from something natural and are restructured by man for use. Ginger root is a major stimulant – works great on a sore throat, but too much can keep you awake for DAYS. And that is a far more innocent one of the culprits.

    That said, I would like to keep the government out of my life as much as possible, and this is too much like handing them the keys to the house – or at least the medicine cabinet…

    I feel that anything one can easily purchase that has a stimulant effect (or might cause one to fall asleep behind the wheel), needs to be labelled in LARGE BOLD RED print! They need to also ensure that children cannot buy them. I do not mind that I now have to ask my pharmacist for certain meds and show ID, but the fact that they write all of my personal info down makes me angry. They are covering their asses because the system says “trust no one”~ and that gets passed on to us, doesn’t it? They do not do this when we buy alcohol, so why meds?

    Ah, I am being my own devil’s advocate, can’t help it. I can see both sides, don’t like either… If the authorities that are supposed to know all about these sups were more thorough in their studies and honest with their patients/clients, this might have been avoided.

    That said, I once had a doc who is now totally into using steroids… to build muscle!

  3. Sonja (jackalope) says:

    I agree with what both of you said. I also believe that labeling should be up to date and accurate for the protection of consumers.

    However, I don’t want restrictions put on my selections of supplements. I admit, I am more than a casual user, I have educated myself on the use of supplements. I know which ones to avoid and which are miraculous (high quality fish oil fits in the miraculous category). I know which supplements might irritate my disease.

    What makes me really nervous is the time lag between “these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA” to “accepted”. After the Vioxx debacle, who could trust their evaluation anyway?

    The responsibility should be put on the individual before he/she puts anything in their mouth. In either case, I don’t want the government in my medicine cabinet either.

  4. I agree that some things are more harmful than beneficial – Laetrile, for one.

    But this Docket item seems to give them the power to regulate everything.

    People are not that dumb – well, most of us, anyway. We don’t need the great omniscient State telling us what’s good for us.

    We’re following right behind Europe in this respect – they have severe regulations on how much of a vitamin you can buy.

    And I get really tired of labels like the ones on hair dryers that say “don’t use this in the bathtub”.

    I saw a label on a jar of peanut butter in the store, with a warning label saying “this product may contain peanuts”. Good grief!

  5. Les

    gee!!! its a sad state of affairs that the peanut butter label said that it MAY contain peanuts! Otherwise is it peanut flavoring because thats cheaper to manufacture?

    Seriously though a high percentage of people don’t have the capacity to rationalize whats good or bad for them and what they should or shouldn’t take or mix. The peanut paste label is the way the world is headed I’m afraid. There is becoming major litigation issues relating to this area.

    On the positive side whenever I feel a cold coming on I start taking a mixture of fresh Garlic and ginger raw….cut up with the juice of an orange…morning and night. I find that it cuts off the cold and stops it from progressing ito a chesty thing. Suffering from asthma I find that handy.

  6. Totally unrelated, but I can’t find your email you send you your questions. Or would you prefer me to just put them in a post?

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