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From the book Stop the FDA: Save Your Health Freedom. Copyright (c) 1992, 1997. All rights reserved.

Introduction to Stop the FDA: Save Your Health Freedom

by John Morgenthaler and Steven Wm. Fowkes

Over the last few years, American citizens have been bombarded with news stories from around the world about political revolutions against authoritarian governmental institutions. In a graphic visual testament, the prototypical symbol of the “cold war,” the Berlin Wall, was literally torn down in front of billions of TV viewers. In a development that surprised even conservatives, the Soviet Union has dissolved into its component states. On a worldwide basis, it appears that freedom is undergoing a rebirth.

Juxtaposed to this trend, the Food and Drug Administration, under the inspired leadership of the “enforcement Commissioner” David Kessler, MD, has carried out an unprecedented and systematic campaign to control the food, vitamin, nutrient, and medical decisions of United States citizens. To some readers — those on the receiving end of FDA enforcement actions — the previous sentence is an understatement. Picture instead: black leather boots kicking down doors; automatic weapons drawn and aimed at doctors, nurses, patients, business owners, employees, and customers; repeated raids intended to discourage cooperation with the press; self-serving press conferences with career-minded bureaucrats congratulating their own actions — all this smacks of totalitarian political tactics. To many Americans, these scenes are completely unbelievable. This isn’t the “freedom and opportunity” that we were taught about America in school. This isn’t what we read in the Constitution. This isn’t what our forefathers envisioned when they created the government for which we vote. To such readers, we apologize. The political content of this book may be ugly and upsetting. The behind-the-scenes maneuvering of some lawmakers reek of political favoritism. The special interests aligned on the sidelines have multi-billions of dollars in profits at stake. And the bottom line, for us, is no less than our freedom to choose the kinds of foods, supplements and health products we want. Our health, our lives, our welfare, our pursuit of happiness, have all become chips on some political poker table.

This book is intended as a partial solution. It contains information from widely different points of view on health, medicine and nutrient supplements. It also contains information on pending legislation that will either make the situation worse (the FDA Enforcement Bill) or make it better (the Health Freedom Acts). We hope that readers will become empowered to take action, action involving letters to legislators, phone calls, and votes — action that will clearly establish health freedom as the wish of the American people, in the courts, and in the minds of our politicians.

There have been many changes over the last half-century. The nutrient supplement industry has grown from a fledgling enterprise into a multi-billion dollar industry. During the same time, the health food industry has established increasing scientific respectability. Nutrients are now clearly recognized as significant protectors against heart disease and cancer. Nutrients are now considered the treatments-of-choice for several diseases.

Twenty years ago, scientists who engaged in nutrient-based pharmaceutical research were risking their grants and their careers. Today, scientists can choose to base their life-work on nutrients. Twenty years ago, the FDA wanted to censor Psychology Today and Scientific American to stop stories about the superior sleep-inducing properties of L-tryptophan. Last year, the FDA kept tryptophan off the US market without any scientific justification — and next year (1993), they plan to make “third party” claims about nutrients illegal (the NLEA regulations). Twenty years ago, claims that nutrients could prevent disease were considered quackery. Today, they are actually being made by federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Today, the FDA is alone among federal institutions in its anti-vitamin, anti-nutrient, anti-health agenda. Frankly, the American public deserves better.

Each of the following chapters has been collected or submitted by people in many different walks of life. Some are PhDs and MDs, some are lay people; some are famous, some are not; some are politically active, others are therapists. Each contribution offers a unique opinion and insight into a part of the American health system currently under siege.