DownsizeDC.org
April 8, 2010
Your vitamins are still in danger
By James Wilson

Do you remember John McCain's bill that would have controlled your use of vitamins?

That bill appears to be dead, but it's provisions may rise from the grave.

It seems that McCain only agreed to abandon his legislation if key provisions were included in the so-called Food Safety bill.

The Food Safety bill was already bad, but it may now get worse.

Please send Congress a letter opposing both the so-called Food Safety bill, and John McCain's provisions to control your use of vitamins.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

I'm angered that portions of John McCain's dietary supplement legislation may be inserted in S.510, the Senate's Food Safety bill. McCain's draconian bill would have damaged an entire industry, and punished the 150 million Americans who take supplements, just to benefit a few pro athletes!

Overwhelming public pressure forced McCain to abandon this effort. Do you think we now want its key provisions included in another bill?

THIS IS NOT WHAT WE ASKED FOR!

We do not want one bill to die, just to see parts of it resurrected in another bill. I demand you oppose the insertion of dietary supplement regulation into the so-called Food Safety bill.

* There is no evidence that nutritional supplements are unsafe
* The FDA already has authority to control any substance containing anabolic steroids
* Products are already required to list all of their ingredients, so mislabeling is fraudulent and already illegal

Please kill the McCain vitamin control provisions, and vote against the so-called Food Safety bill too. As this op-ed in the Billings Gazette shows . . . http://tinyurl.com/ydy9zwd

* regulations that may be reasonable for large industrial processors are excessive for small growers who sell locally
* the fees and compliance costs imposed on small, local growers will run many of them out of business

Also, the bill is unnecessary. Each state has an economic interest to make sure the food it grows has a reputation for being safe. Just a few examples . . .

* Montana has licensing requirements and health standards that small producers and processors must meet to do business http://tinyurl.com/ydy9zwd
* Georgia, where the peanut salmonella scandal originated, toughened its food safety laws shortly after the outbreak http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/sum/sb80.htm
* and in Florida, where tomato growers were hurt by false rumors two years ago, a tomato safety bill is expected to become law shortly  http://tinyurl.com/ydp2hn6  

Finally, I notice that the House didn't pass a Food Safety bill until July. The Senate put it on the back-burner until this Spring. This tells me that not even Congress believes federal legislation is really needed to protect us from food-borne illnesses. If a bill really was urgently needed, you would have passed it a year ago.

All of this makes me think that what politicians really care about is power and control, not health and safety.

END LETTER

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Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org

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