WASHINGTON UPDATE*

Grassroots Rules

Senator John McCain backs off a destructive bill—thanks to you.

April 2010


In an encouraging reversal, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has abandoned his Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010. In last month’s Washington Update, we reported that McCain’s bill appeared to be threatening to dismantle the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the ground-breaking 1994 law that protects Americans’ health freedom. At that time, we urged our readers to voice their concerns to McCain.

According to some reports, a meeting with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a longtime supporter of the natural products industry, may have helped with McCain’s decision to withdraw his support from the damaging bill. In a letter made public, Hatch thanks McCain for understanding the bill’s flaws, and proposes a collaborative effort with an emphasis on enforcing DSHEA. Hatch closes the letter by suggesting that together, “we will ensure safe supplements are always available to consumers and the dietary supplement industry will be able to continue to innovate and grow.”

For the People, By the People

The Nutritional Health Alliance applauds Senator Hatch’s efforts in persuading McCain to drop this bill. But we give an even louder standing ovation to the thousands upon thousands of health-conscious American consumers who heeded our call to action and faxed McCain (along with bill cosponsor Senator Byron Dorgan, D-ND) as a way to denounce the bill and make their voices heard. It is thanks to you—the natural health food consumers—that we were able to collectively repel this attack on health freedom.

This victory speaks volumes to the power of grassroots movements. By rising up to fight health tyranny, we the people wield a mighty sword that protects our God-given right to pursue health on a path of our own choosing. Grassroots victories like these are a valuable reminder that our elected officials must work for our interests—and not the other way around.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that a grassroots movement has created change in the natural health industry. In fact, the very same DSHEA that McCain’s bill was attacking was only successfully passed because of a grassroots movement.

Back in 1994 DSHEA—which preserves the public’s access to safe, natural nutritional supplements—was supported by the largest letter-writing campaign in American political history. The public sent over 2.5 million letters to Congress, all in support of health freedom. With this incredible groundswell of support, the American public forced legislators’ hands and DSHEA was implemented. DSHEA has been protecting our right to pursue well-being through dietary supplementation ever since. We would like to keep it that way.

Stay Strong

We must recognize that despite this small victory over McCain’s misguided bill, we must be more vigilant than ever. This is no time to rest on our laurels. The enemies of health freedom have a history of stealthy tactics and sneak attacks, and their next assault on supplements may come quietly and soon. Return to Washington Update every issue to learn about new developments in this crucial fight, and keep your eyes and ears open for insidious threats to health freedom.

Remember: It is up to us to protect DSHEA, just as DSHEA protects our right to take dietary supplements. If we maintain a grassroots movement, as we did in propeling DSHEA to success, we will protect our right to pursue natural health. If we are silent and passive, our enemies’ relentless efforts will ultimately revoke our right to take nutritional supplements.

Visit www.nha2010.com to join the Nutritional Health Alliance. Use its resources to contact your local elected officials. Let our government know that DSHEA must be preserved for all time!

*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).

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