Big Pharma Loses One Battle on the War to Outlaw Vitamins

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Sen. John McCain is introducing a bill to the Senate that would drive up the cost of dietary supplements and restrict your access to them. The bill is designed to end access to high potency supplements. This bill seeks to give the FDA arbitrary control over what supplements you are allowed to have. The bill is called the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (DSSA) and has lost a battle this week in court.

A US court has ruled that a manufacturer can make general health claims about its product. This is a decision that threatens the harsh new laws that will be introduced across Europe next year.

A US district court has overturned a FDA bar on a manufacturer of selenium supplements from stating that the mineral helps reduce the risk of cancer.

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Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health and is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidant properties of selenoproteins help prevent cellular damage from free radicals. This antioxidant also helps prevent cellular damage from free radicals, a by-product of oxygen metabolism that contributes to the development of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle upheld complaints from the Alliance for Natural Health USA and others that the FDA ban went against the First Amendment that allows free speech. Huvelle said there was enough credible scientific evidence to demonstrate that selenium does indeed help protect against cancer, and so the manufacturer should be allowed to include the fact in promoting the product.

The surprise decision appears to disrupt European laws that will impose similar restrictions on the sale of vitamins in Europe. Under the Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation, manufacturers will not be allowed to make general health claims about their vitamin and dietary supplements.

Rob Verkerk, executive director of ANH International, said: “The verdict in our case against the FDA should be sending shock waves across the Atlantic. If European authorities implement the regulation, it is the European consumer that will be the main loser. Disease prevention using good diets and nutrients will effectively be thrown out of the window.”

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