May 12, 2007
1082: What Really Happened?
The shameful Big Pharma giveaway called S. 1082, the FDA Revitalization Act of 2007, was passed by a bought-and-paid for Senate by a vote of 93-1. Other than Independent Bernard Sanders (Vermont), every member of the Senate voted to weaken the few protections left to the American people from dangerous drugs and corrupt regulators so focused on their own conflicted interests that they regularly allow the people of the United States (and, through the "Trilateral Cooperation Charter, of Mexico and Canada, too) to literally die while they make a killing.
Follow the Money
It is interesting to look at the Statistics presented by USA Today on May 11, 2007 in an article entitled "Senators who weakened drug bill received millions from industry".
I am, quite frankly, absolutely astonished that buying a Senator is so cheap. All in all, even the "big bucks" of their purchase prices are really not that much. Perhaps the non-monetized "favors" and "friends" that come with Big Pharma's pleasure are worth much more. As reported, between 2001 and 2007 the campaign donations from Big Pharma to the Senators that did the most to pass this dangerous, corrupt and corrupting bill came to:
* Richard Burr (R-NC) $520,694 (Burr was the sponsor of Bioshield III, a the
biggest Big Pharma give away every until 1082)
* John Kerry (d-MA) 304,888
* Joe Lieberman (I-CT) 281,040
* Arlan Specter (R-PA) $259,699
* Orin Hatch (R-UT) $241,850
* Chuck Grassley (R-IA) $216,599
* Max Bacus (D-MT) $199,000
* Chris Dodd (D-CT) $192,025
* Tom Carper (D-DE) $183,749
* Mike Enzi (R-WY) $174,338
* Ted Kennedy $71,000
For shame that the Senate took no steps to protect food and dietary supplements, the single greatest economic competitor to pharmaceutical profits from a marauding FDA which already seeks to put the competition, natural medicine, out of business.
For shame that this Senate could not protect the American people from the same FDA that issued their malignant FDA "Guidance on the Regulation of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)" which Representative Ron Paul, MD (R, TX) calls "an abuse of the power of the FDA."
The Fog of War
After the US Senate all (save one) abandoned the American people in favor of their big $ugar daddy (that's not sugar as in sugar pill, you understand), there was great confusion about whether Senator Durban's amendment protecting DSHEA covered supplements had, or had not, been included in the final bill. The Federal Register reported that it had been tabled. Our legal researcher, an attorney, called various Congressional offices and was told that the Durban Amendment
- had not
- perhaps had and
- perhaps had not been passed as part of S. 1082.
Based on the information in the Congressional Record (at the end of this email) the Natural Solutions Foundation feared that SA 1022 might have been tabled and not included in the bill as sent to the House. After the passage of S. 1082 on May 9, 2007, the Natural Solutions Foundation made several inquiries to the offices of Senators Hatch, Kennedy, & Durbin as to whether amendment Durban's Amendment 1022 had been incorporated into the final version of S. 1082 passed by the Senate. Unfortunately, we got several contradictory answers. We have made a request to have a copy of the final version of the bill that passed the Senate, but have not yet been able to get a copy of the final bill.
Echoing this information, Nicky Bassford of Senator Durban's office wrote,
"The Durbin-Enzi-Kennedy Amendment #1022 you inquired about was agreed upon and is part of the FDARA bill that passed the Senate last Wed [May 9, 2007 - REL]. If enacted, it would establish a rule of construction that states that nothing in this title should be construed to effect the regulation of dietary supplements under DSHEA or the reporting system under the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act."
In fact, as I reported on May 3, that same day Senator Durban's amendment to S. 1082 (Enhancing Drug Safety and Innovation Act of 2007, S. Amendment 1022) was offered and passed by 94 of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate with six who failed to vote. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?r110:./temp/~r110XsZN34) This amendment includes the following language:
"SEC. X08. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this title (or an amendment made by this title) shall be construed to affect-- (1) the regulation of dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act; or (2) the adverse event reporting system for dietary supplements created under the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act. "
Now that is good news but you will notice that the Durban Amendment does nothing whatsoever to protect foods and products not covered by DSHEA. This is a significant loophole and one which the House MUST correct if we are to have meaningful health freedom in this country.Being Heard in the Halls of Congress
The Congressional Record report of the proceedings are at the end of this email. When you read the discussion on the floor of the Senate you will notice that several senators make reference to the fact that their offices have been besieged with calls from concerned citizens. The Senators were highly tuned to the fact that the people that give them their jobs and their astonishingly generous health care plans and pensions are not happy. If more people living in America had called and emailed (yes, your emails DO reach Congress: we use a special service which assures that your emails reach your Congressmen and women) perhaps we would not now be working so hard to make sure that the House of Representatives protects us from the marauding, and possibly illegal outrages of S. 1082.Congressional Switch Board Number
When you call, give the operator your zip code or address and say that you
want to speak to your Representative. You will be connected to the appropriate
When you reach his/her office say something like,
"I am deeply concerned about the dangerous expansion of the authority of the FDA in Senate Bill 1082. I know that it permits even higher Users Fees, allows the FDA to collude with drug companies to hide the dangers of drugs, sets the FDA us as both a licenser and a marketer of drugs and does little to protect both foods and dietary supplements since only DSHEA products. I urge Representative XXX (insert name) to defeat the companion legislation soon to be introduced in the house or to amend it to exempt all foods and supplements and reign in the lethal excesses allowed to the FDA in this bill."
Then click here (http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/healthfreedomusa/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=11344) and send your email to your Representatives.Hacked and Hacked Again
Although the Natural Solutions Foundation website has been repeatedly hacked (our domain name actually totally disappeared from the domain registry system yesterday!) and our links have been broken over and over again, I believe that you emails are so important that I have created another way for you to get them to your Representatives reliably.
I call it "Plan B".
Here is how Plan B works: if the links above not work for you, send an email to me with "Submit" as the subject and your full name and address in the body of the email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the staff whom I have hired specifically for this purpose will submit the comments at that link for you. You can expect our links and our site to be hacked and hit from now on. We are just too effective for the other side to leave the site up. Think what that says about their weaknesses! Think what it says about our strengths.
I have said it before and I will say it again, "We ARE the ones we have been waiting for!" and when enough of us take our power into our collective hands, with our phone calls and our emails, we become unstoppable.
S. 1082 is a horrible piece of legislation. Of that there can be little doubt. Our Senate betrayed us (save for Bernard Sanders, of course). Of that there is no doubt whatsoever. And our hope now lies with the men and women of the House of Representatives. Let them know, in our vast numbers, how we feel and that we are watching what they do.
Involve your entire circle of influence. Every one of them is touched in some way by an out of control, corrupt, biased and blatantly lethal FDA. The American Public has really caught on to the dangers and deceit of the FDA. When you give your contacts the opportunity to express that understanding and disgust, they will. Forward this email and ask them to become part of the forward movement to take control of our health back from dangerous, corrupt and heedless bureaucrats who stifle science in favor of their own interests, approve deadly drugs and simultaneously attack natural health options.
I am counting on you. Every child in the country who will be diagnosed with another dangerous drug to kill them with premature heart attacks, or kill themselves because they were heedlessly and needlessly given psychoactive medications, every elderly person who is demented and lost because of the brain damaged caused by drugs in the old and dehydrated, every autistic child needlessly crippled by poisonous vaccines, every person addicted to Oxycontin after the FDA allowed its addictive profile to remain hidden, they are counting on you, too.
By the way, if you have sent letters through our action pages before, you will
note that you can send the link to up to 5 people. Many of you have written to
say that you would like to forward the page to more people. To prevent being a
spam site the system we use allows only a small number of forwards. My
suggestion, however, is this:
Copy the link to the page to an email. Write a short description of the issue in your own words and then send your email to your entire list. If you do not want them to see each other's names and addresses (often a prudent choice) simply put their email addresses in the "blind copy" area and your own name in the visible part of the "Send To" address area. That way all of the people you want to send the information to get it and, better yet, they get your own way of stating the message, too. Nothing is more persuasive!
Speak for health freedom and spread the word. Tell your Representative that you want your health freedom protected and the corrupt and dangerous FDA brought under control now, at the 11th hour and 59th minute. Please remember that the Natural Solutions Foundation has no support other than yours.
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Natural Solutions Foundation
On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, S.1082 passed the senate with several amendments
and an amendment to the title by Yea-Nay Vote. 93 - 1. Record Vote Number:
157. (text: CR S5773-5822) On May 10, 2007 it was still unclear whether the
final version of S.1082 include Amendment 1022 when passed. To answer this
question the Natural Solutions Foundation searched the congressional record
for answers. Here is the text of Congressional Record, S5482 verbatim: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S5482&position=all
From Senate Recorded Vote 149 (S.1082) you find, in part:
Mr. DURBIN. "...pursuant to the unanimous consent request, I ask that the roll be called on amendment No. 1022.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is on agreeing to amendment No. 1022, as modified, offered by the Senator from Illinois. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll. The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
The result was announced?yeas 94, nays 0, ...[Rollcall Vote No. 149 Leg.]
The amendment (No. 1022), as modified, was agreed to.
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote and to lay that motion on the table. The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
Mr. VITTER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be set aside and that I may call up amendment No. 983.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to setting aside the pending amendment?
Mr. VITTER. Madam President, I renew my unanimous consent request that any pending amendment be set aside and that amendment No. 983 be called up.
The PRESIDPRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, the amendment is set aside, and the clerk will report.
Then on page 5491 we find:
Mr. HATCH. My office has been inundated by calls from people throughout the country who believe that this legislation, specifically the provision establishing a Reagan-Udall Institute, will overturn the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. That has not been my reading of the bill, but I wonder if other Senators have heard similar concerns?
Mr. HARKIN. Yes, I have received a good many calls as well. And, I have to say that I would be very concerned, as I know the Senator from Utah good many calls as well. And, I have to say that I would be very concerned, as I know the Senator from Utah is, if anything in the bill we are considering, S. 1082, would overturn DSHEA, a law we fought side-by-side to see enacted.
Mr. ENZI. It might be helpful if I explained the provision you are discussing, as my office has received many calls as well and I believe the callers are not informed about this matter. Subtitle B of title II of S. 1028 establishes the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration. That simple purpose of that nonprofit Foundation is to lead collaborations among the FDA, academic research institutions and industry designed to bolster research and development productivity, provide new tools for improving safety in regulated product evaluation, and in the long term make the development of those products more predictable and manageable.
Mr. KENNEDY. That is exactly the purpose of the Foundation, which was included in the drug safety legislation Senator ENZI and I introduced last year. The Foundation will be financially supported by industry and philanthropic donated funds. A chief scientist t FDA will promote intramural research and coordinate it with efforts at the Foundation.
Mr. HATCH. That explanation is very helpful. What, specifically, would the role of the Foundation be with respect to dietary supplements?
Mr. KENNEDY. Let me make absolutely clear that the Reagan-Udall Foundation will in no way override, overturn or conflict with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Nothing in this bill would have that effect.
Mr. ENZI. Yes, we took great pains to make certain there would be no conflict with DSHEA. Regarding foods, and dietary supplements are generally regulated as foods, the general directive of the Foundation is to identify holes in the evaluation of food safety and identify ways to address those deficiencies through collaborative research with industry.
Mr. HARKIN. So to make this absolutely clear, what you are saying is that the bill we are debating would in o way interfere with consumers' access to dietary supplements?
Mr. HATCH. To add to that point, it seems that the language could, in fact, help dietary supplement consumers, because it would allow collaboration between government and industry to conduct research on issues that might be helpful to supplement consumers?
Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, that is the case.
Mr. ENZI. I agree with Chairman KENNEDY's assessment.
Mr. HATCH. I thank you for those assurances and that clarification.
Mr. HARKIN. This has been a very helpful discussion, because Senator HATCH and I could never support legislation that would interfere with DSHEA and we are glad to receive the assurances of the chairman and the ranking Republican on the committee."