Lawsuit threatens natural health advocates once again

SupplementBottle&LabelThe Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)  has filed a class action lawsuit that is definitely NOT in the public interest. Not in a country that once had one of the most healthy general populations in the world, and has now fallen to 26th in overall health of 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

BayerAG and its one-a-day vitamin is the target of CSPI, who says Bayer’s claims that its vitamin “supports heart health,” supports immunity” and “supports physical energy,” are false and misleading claims, as “most Americans are not vitamin-deficient and don’t benefit from supplements.”

Talk about ‘false claims.’ But then, what can you expect from a ‘public interest’ group that supports the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed foods and GMOs?

On the surface it seems odd that CSPI has chosen to go after one of the big players of industrial food. But maybe not, considering the deep pockets. After all, what would the group gain by flattening a mom and pop supplement company?

Or perhaps there’s another, more devious reason. Maybe they hope to set a precedent that would harm all people and small businesses interested in and dedicated to assisting the complex human body function the way nature intended. Let me explain.

Mineral and vitamin and probiotic companies are not allowed to make direct health claims about their products. However, the landmark Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 created special protections for structure/function claims, statements that describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient  as it affects normal structure and function in the human body. For example, “calcium builds strong bones and teeth,” or “vitamin D boosts immune system function.”

By law, those kind of claims do not require approval from the FDA.

It’s important to keep in mind that in the 1990s soil and other scientists, as well as the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), had conducted many tests and were aware that our crops had suffered a substantial loss of macro and microminerals over the decades, due to soil depletion caused by overuse and exploding chemical applications.

Today, as industrial agriculture reigns supreme, it appears that little or no recent information on soil health and comparative nutrient content of commercial crops is available from government agencies.

But more and more consumers have become aware of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and interested in improving health and well-being–naturally. They know that something is wrong when so many of us are obese and ailing.

Yet the CSPI lawsuit states: “State and federal dietary guidelines and nutritional science experts ALL agree that  nutrients should be met primarily by consuming foods…” (A very deceptive statement. Numerous physicians and nutritional science experts advocate supplements, along with good food as the ONLY way to obtain complete nutrients.)

CSPI’s next statement is really over the top: “Most Americans are not vitamin deficient, and they consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals in their food.” This, at a time when many physicians and even the World Health Organization (WHO) have published a littany of deficiency epidemics.

CSPI apparently believes that the Standard American Diet has it all.

Structure/function information is important in order for natural health/supplement makers to inform people of nutrients the body needs for normal functioning and to address specific needs. Simple structure/function claims about the body’s essential requirements is critical as a guide to consumers and helps them in their own research as well as assisting them to ask knowledgeable questions when consulting with their physicians.

That said, it must be understood that we have no sympathy for Bayer, a monumental global entity that has routinely absorbed dozens of lawsuits for various reasons. Furthermore, we who are dedicated to providing supplements derived only by natural processes from whole food substances—unlike Bayer’s synthetic one-a-day vitamin—know that chemical synthetics are an insult to natural health.

Many gullible people fall for the magic of advertising, but it is an impossibility to obtain the full range of daily nutrients the body requires from one pill—synthetic or not. As Dr. Joe Mercola says, “synthetics are far less than optimal, as the body is unable to absorb most of them.”

The point is, if this treacherous lawsuit is confirmed by some influenced  judge and sets a precedent, Bayer and others like it would smile and continue making $billions.

It’s the rest of us, supplier and consumer alike, who would suffer from this infringement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, passed in an era when politicians and agencies openly acknowledged their worry over diminishing nutrients in our food.

Source: Alliance for Natural Health (www.anh-usa.org)

 

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