New Battle for Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA)

Senators McCain and Dorgan Let Down Dietary Supplement Consumers

On Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced The Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) of 2010. This bill would amend DSHEA, undermining, if not entirely eliminating, consumer access to valuable dietary supplements, according to Jim Turner, Citizens for Health Board Chair.

Over the next week, Citizens for Health will report in detail on specific sections of the bill, which would reverse supplements’ 100 year long status as foods, create onerous requirements for supplements not applied to other foods or even to prescription drugs, and wipe out significant numbers of small supplement manufacturers and sellers.

“This bill, typical of Washington’s ‘destroy the economy, wipe out consumer rights, and undermine individual health’ mentality,” says Turner, “thoughtlessly reinforces the costly, unresponsive, dangerous policies that have created an unsafe and depleted food supply and a bankrupt health care system.”

This bill takes power, choice, and self-determination from consumers and gives it to government. Urge your Senators to avoid co-sponsoring it. The people of Arizona and North Dakota, who believe in consumer rights, safe and healthy food, and responsible government, deserve better Senators. McCain is up for re-election in 2010 and Dorgan has announced he is not running for re-election. Let’s make sure health freedom and dietary supplement advocates win these seats.

James S. Turner is a partner in the Washington, DC, law firm of Swankin and Turner, formed in 1973, and Board Chair of Citizens for Health, the consumer voice of the natural health community. From 1968 to 1971, Mr. Turner worked with Ralph Nader, and wrote The Chemical Feast: The Nader Report on Food Protection at the FDA (Grossman 1970).

In 1975, he successfully opposed the Federal Trade Commission proposal to ban the words “natural,” “organic” and “health food” from all commerce. In 1990, he lobbied successfully—with many others—for passage of the “Organic Food Production Act of 1990”. In 1994, he worked with the newly created Citizens for Health to pass DSHEA. Congress received one and a half million communications supporting DSHEA.

Turner also led the team that persuaded FDA to approve acupuncture needles (1996); campaigned successfully against the 1976 Swine Flu program, which the government stopped for being dangerous; lobbied to legalize health claims for food; and wrote Making Your Own Baby Food (Workman 1974, Bantam 1975, 2nd expanded edition Workman 1976).

He recently co-authored, with A. Lawrence Chickering, Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life (da Vinci Press, 2008)

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Comments (17)

Please leave our choice to dietary supplements alone. The government never makes a situation better only worse, more expensive and wound up in red tape for many years. If you need to have some regulations on supplements get input from nutrition experts, physicians, reputable supplement companies and the public. I do not take any prescriptions and almost never have to go to the doctor; there are a number of us who want to be “responsible” for our own health not the government telling us what to eat, what medications to take and what supplements we have access to. Go out to the streets instead of to the closed door meetings and boardrooms.

The FDA was also granted authority to approve any health claims about a particular product before it could go to market. Nutritional Supplement

I can’t find the bill. Do you have a bill number? Because a search of found nothing matching “The Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) of 2010”, either with or without the year.

Here we go again…
Back in the late 80’s, early 90’s many of us fought for the DSHEA, and the right to decide what supplements we needed to take, wanted to buy, etc…
Does this attempt to do away with DSHEA have to do with McCain’s and Dorgan’s attempt to make our supplement laws compatible with international laws?
If so, what is the point?
So we as a nation can make some money in the international markets, while simultaneously taking away from US citizens their right to choose freely their means to maintain their health and well being…??

What are mcCain and Dorgan thinking? Are they thinking??
…Or responding to a political need!!!

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why doesnt send us petitions to sign and the address of our senators and congressmen in order to send their petitions to these bums?

Citizens For Health

we are planning on putting together an action for this upcoming week.

Dear Amy,
Hi. The bill is up on now.
It is bill no.: S. 3002:
“Title: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to more effectively regulate dietary supplements that may pose safety risks unknown to consumers.
Sponsor: Sen McCain, John [AZ] (introduced 2/4/2010) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 2/4/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.”

I sent McCain an emal.I told him some of the problems I have had using prescription drugs.I also told him about the supplements that I had to research for myself because I couldn’t get any suggestions from the doctor I had.

I suggested that McCain and Dorgan zero in on prescription drugs that kill more people than supplements.

I also told him that most people in Congress are in the dark about issues that effect the American people.

Please leave DSHEA alone. It is because we have the ability to choose how we want to supplement our diets that we are able to maintain our health. My husband and I are well into our 70’s and have never needed to take any medication, and we visit the doctor only for eye and other routine examinations at 3 to 5 year intervals. We believe this is because we pay attention to wellness rather than sickcare. When the FDA is allowed to suppress scientifically supported suppliments for maintaining healthy bodies, we will be at the mercy of the Pharmaseudical industry. Every drug has its side effects, some of them very disabling and even fatal. If you want to do something helpful, stop genetically modifying our food, and allow farmers to raise livestock in a healthy manner. Now livestock are stuffed with antibiotics and raised in pens where they live in filthy conditions, and are fed GMO grains rather than being allowed to graze freely and naturally. Please do not take away our freedom to suppliment as we see fit. We personally study everything we can put our hands on to see if it is what we want to use in our bodies. I know there are some companies out there that just put together ingredients based on hype and advertising and they may be the ones that need to be dealt with. But there are good companies that do their own scientific investigation and operate with good manufacturing processes and their products are NSF approved. These folks are truly helping many people globally to maintain good healthy bodies. They also help people to improve their health when they have been health challenged because good food-based technology has produced suppliments that help us improve our immune systems. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. To McCain and Dorgan, I beg you STOP THIS INJUSTICE! Do not amend DSHEA in any way. In is a very good law.
Junia Twelker

McCain led the charge against the massive healthcare reform legislation, for which the majority of Americans are grateful. If enough of us respond, I’m confident he will do the right thing and scrap this bill. We need a massive effort with many people calling and writing Washington. Senator McCain’s email address is

Let Senator McCain know that this is a very BAD piece of legislation as it is currently written. Tell him to follow the example that he set for the healthcare reform legislation. Tell him to scrap this piece of legislation and START OVER! Most of all, BE RESPECTFUL!

Thank you for alerting us to this latest threat to our health and freedom. I am 66 years old, rarely see a doctor except for routine tests. I take no prescription drugs. I look, feel, and function as if I were a decade or more younger than my age. I attribute this to keeping fit, healthful nutritional habits, and especially to the use of nutritional supplements to maintain optimal health and wellness.

Prescription drugs and their side effects are a leading cause of illness, diability, and death and this is well documented. Yet, if American citizens are denied access to nutritional supplements, we will be forced to resort to costly doctor visits and prescription drugs in an attempt to treat the disorders and diseases nutritional supplements could have prevented. I believe in a citizens’ freedom to take control of his/her own health and well being. I do not believe we should be forced by a Big Brother Government to use the products of the pharmaceutical industry. Our so called health care system is in reality a sickcare system, and one that is broken at this point. Why? I believe we are up against the powerful pharmaceutical industry, factory farms,chemical industry, etc. Obviously, nutritional supplements and organic foods, pose a threat to their bottom line. They characterize nutritional supplements as a threat to the health of unsuspecting citizens, when in truth it is their own products and practices that threaten our health. Nutritional supplements have been used successfully for thousands of years worldwide to prevent illness and to mitigate symptoms before serious illness can develop.

Ordinary citizens are not so ignorant or incompetent as to need the government to tell us how to take care of ourselves.

I would appreciate the opportunity to petition Senators McCain and Dorgan for the right as a citizen of a supposedly free society, to respect our freedom. Their rhetoric supports the concepts of personal responsibility and limited government but this proposed legislation undermines both those principles and increases the risks to our health. Prevention is always much more effective and less costly than attempts to cure. An ounce of prevention, as the old adage goes, really is worth a pound of cure.

I would like the opportunity to call upon Senators McCain and Dorgan and their colleagues in the Senate, the House, and the Executive Branch, to act as statesmen; to not only withdraw their support from this proposed legislation, but also to acively oppose this latest threat to our individual freedom. I would like the opportunity to call upon them to refuse to support the powerful lobbies that are again trying to expand the scope of government and to deny us our fundamental rights by taking away our freedom to control our lives, our health, and our well being.

I look forward to learning more about this legislation. How can we start now to bombard them with our message? I think it would be far better to stop their effort now before it gains any further momentum. I hate to think we will find ourselves denied access to nutritional supplements with our only recourse to work to defeat these two senators at the polls. It is so much harder to undo the damage than to prevent it in the first place. Isn’t that what we are talking about here — prevention?

DSHEA is sound legislation and does not need “improvement.” The proposed legislation is a very BAD piece of legislation. It is the antithesis of sound public policy; the opposite of individual freedom and limited government. We the People elected these two men to office and we expect them to protect our individual rights and freedoms.


Telephone Senators McCain’s and Dorgan’s offices to tell them in no uncertain terms how strongly you are opposed to their ridiculous, power-grabbing bill. Then, send them an e-mail saying the same. Then write them a letter telling them exactly what you think of them and where they can shove this bill. Be polite, but be persistent and vocal. Be sure to write and telephone both of your Senators to register the same complaint. Citizens for Health say they will have more suggestions this week.

Senator McCain
Office phone number: (202) 224-2235
E-mail Senator McCain:

Senator Dorgan
Office phone: (202) 224-2551
E-mail address:

Please do not take away our choice. If you truly care about people, please allow supplements to be our choice, not the government’s. I know people who have been dramatically helped by taking supplements. I also know people who have much diminished health because of taking medicine. However, I believe there is a time and place for both. How wonderful it would be if the medical professional would work with the nutritutionists and work (like the dental profession) on prevention NOT CURE. If you prevent an illness, there is no need for a cure. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE AWAY THIS RIGHT.

Health supplements can be obtained from the general pharmacy shop or from the many online stores available on the internet. All you have to do is to decide the health supplement that fulfills your vitamin and mineral needs.People suffering from different kinds of sickness need health supplements to enhance their natural immunity and resistance to the illness.

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