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False Rumors about the McCain Bill

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There may be one silver lining around the increasingly serious threats to the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. This Group of human hands showing unityis the increasing amount of collaboration and cooperation we’re seeing among key players in the natural health or health freedom movement (our recent merger with ANH to form ANH-International being a good example of this) as well as growing activism among consumers, practitioners and of course industry—much of which has been comparatively inactive following the hard-won success of DSHEA in 1994. While ANH-USA has been leading the collaborative campaign against the McCain bill, there are statements on the internet suggesting that McCain’s bill would bring into US law restrictions associated with the international ‘food code’, Codex Alimentarius.
We urge anyone who is communicating with senators or congressman on this issue to avoid making mention of Codex in relation to McCain’s bill. There is actually no relationship whatsoever between McCain’s bill and anything to do with Codex. Giving Codex as the reason to block McCain’s bill will simply cause any informed elected representative to discount your communication. This is just one example of how inaccurate information can be counter-productive to our cause.
What we can say, as we have, is that McCain’s provisions would likely lead to European style restrictions on supplements, including the development of a white or positive list of permitted ingredients, and eventually, a limitation of their dosages. But let’s not charge McCain with introducing Codex. Most likely, he has not even heard of Codex.
By the way, there was language in an earlier version of the Food Safety bill committing the US to harmonize with other countries under Codex. That was a clear and present threat to natural health in the US and we (ANH-USA) succeeded in getting that language changed. This was a very important change and one that we are proud to have accomplished. There is still a reference to Codex in the Food Safety bill that we would like to remove, but it no longer commits the US to harmonization under Codex.
We have also seen some harsh criticism of Senator Harkin (D-Iowa) on the internet. While Senator Harkin supports elements of the Obama healthcare bill and the Food Safety bill that we at ANH-USA do not support, it is worth recognizing that he is also a real friend of natural health and of supplements. As chairman of the powerful Senate Health Committee, he has great power over natural health and supplements and we are very glad to count him as a friend. Our view, born out of years of experience, is that it is always better to try to work with friends. Sharing a common purpose is the key—and, by definition, although many views will be shared, it doesn’t mean that we have to agree on everything.
As all this should suggest, ANH-USA is determinedly bi-partisan in our approach. We have criticized President Obama but also Senator McCain. We have also thanked many legislators, both Democrat and Republican, who have worked to help all of us preserve natural health options and in the process truly reform US healthcare.

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