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Censoring Speech and Stealing Nature the FDA Way

Censoring Speech and Stealing Nature the FDA Way
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FDA is ignoring Congress and attacking an affordable supplement to protect Big Pharma profits. And we wonder why health care costs so much. Action Alert!

As we reported earlier this year, the Farm Bill approved by Congress legalized hemp, which is a major step towards ensuring consumer access to affordable CBD oil supplements. Unfortunately, the FDA is still throwing up roadblocks because CBD is now also available as an FDA-approved drug. It is a perfect case study for why healthcare is so expensive in this country.

Shortly after the passage of the Farm Bill, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reiterated the FDA’s position that, regardless of hemp’s legalization, it is still illegal to sell CBD in supplements or food. This is because CBD is the active ingredient in a recently-approved drug for a rare form of epilepsy. The only legal source of CBD, then, is this drug, which costs $32,500 a year. That’s right: an extremely beneficial, natural compound can now only be legally obtained at exorbitant cost. In typical FDA non-logical style, the agency adds that it won’t enforce this ruling for the time being, meaning that companies which wish to ignore it may do so for the time being, but for how long? This is playing cat and mouse games with a vital supplement and making a mockery of what is supposed to be healthcare law.

Recall that CBD is a natural alternative for pain management. We are in the midst of an opioid crisis that is decimating many communities across the country. CBD is a cheap, safe, and natural alternative to these dangerous drugs, but the FDA decides to let Big Pharma have a monopoly on it and jack up the price. It is scandalous.

Unfortunately, this is par for the course in our crony medical system. There are more examples. Natural treatments are often more effective, safer, and far cheaper than synthetic drugs. But the FDA either bars any discussion of them or kicks them out of the healthcare system, thereby creating more drug monopolies.

This is exactly what happened to cherry and walnut growers, who dared to cite some of the science supporting the health benefits of cherries and walnuts. The FDA said that citing this research made cherries and walnuts unapproved drugs and was therefore illegal. In some cases, the agency threatened jail time for these “crimes.”

Science tells us that food is medicine. But the FDA will put you in jail for mentioning any medical benefit from a particular food. How does this make sense for an agency that is supposed to be safeguarding public health?

To the crony medical establishment, healthcare is drug care. The FDA and Big Pharma don’t want us to stay healthy through the use of food and food supplements because those products don’t make money for the drug companies and, by extension, the FDA. It’s a well-constructed racket: the FDA blocks free speech about the benefits of natural foods and supplements so there’s no competition with drugs, but when a nutrient shows promise for treating disease, the FDA hands it over to Big Pharma and bans the supplement. The drug company profits, and the FDA gets their drug user fees. Everyone wins but the consumer.

Keep in mind that healthcare is bankrupting this country. The US healthcare costs are a third higher than other advanced economies relative to GDP. Medicare and Medicaid spending account for $1 out of every $4 in the federal budget. Much of this spending is on expensive drugs that are ineffective and make us sicker. Unleashing the power of natural medicine—that is, allowing companies to inform consumers of the proven benefits of natural products—could substantially lower healthcare costs, but doing so would upset the crony establishment.

There is still some hope for affordable CBD. In his statement, Commissioner Gottlieb said that the FDA has the authority to issue a regulation permitting the use of CBD in food and food supplements. We must encourage him to do so, while simultaneously telling the agency to go further by ending their censorship of the benefits of natural products.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and the FDA, urging them to grant an exemption to allow CBD in food and supplements. Also tell the agency to stop censoring free speech about the benefits of natural products. Please send your message immediately.

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