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Feds On Vitamins and COVID: Shut Up or Pay Up!

Feds On Vitamins and COVID: Shut Up or Pay Up!
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More lunacy from the federal government threatens doctors with $10,000 fines if they tell you the science about how vitamins and minerals can help with COVID. Action Alert!

The Department of Justice (DoJ) recently announced the first enforcement action against “deceptive marketing” of COVID treatments. The case involves a Missouri chiropractor who is alleged to have advertised that a vitamin D and zinc supplement could prevent or treat COVID—claims that are well-supported in the scientific literature. This is a disturbing and outrageous escalation in the federal government’s actions against doctors and health professionals that inform the public about natural ways of staying healthy during the pandemic, underscoring the need to change the law to allow the free flow of information about foods and supplements.

Previously, the FDA and FTC sent hundreds of warning letters to doctors and clinics discussing the role of natural medicines promoting public health during the pandemic. Then a strategy was put in place to enable the FTC to go after these health professionals with more force. The COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act was introduced on December 20th in the House and Senate, then added to an appropriations bill on December 21. On December 27th it was signed into law.

That’s right: right before the Christmas holiday, when the government knew focus would be elsewhere, this law was introduced, buried in a spending bill to further conceal it, and signed into law—all within seven days.

The law “prohibits deceptive acts or practices associated with the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation or diagnosis of COVID-19,” violation of which can result in civil penalties. Statute allows the FTC to assess $10,000 for each violation; multiple fines can be doled out based on a single claim. State consumer protection laws could also come into effect, allowing potential class actions.

This is a clear warning to those in the natural health profession: either push vaccines and drugs for COVID-19, or keep your mouth shut.

The DoJ’s actions are astounding. For one, we are in the midst of a pandemic and don’t have time to wait for the ongoing RCTs—which can take years—when strong clinical evidence shows that supplements that pose little risk can be helpful. And the evidence we have for things like vitamin D and zinc is strong. We recently reviewed the evidence for vitamin D’s role in COVID, noting the dozens of studies that show COVID patients with higher vitamin D have better outcomes, not to mention vitamin D’s key role in immune function. There are also clinical trials confirming vitamin D’s ability to prevent upper respiratory infections.

Zinc is also incredibly important for immune function. Although more common in the developing world, 12 percent of Americans are estimated to be at risk for zinc deficiency. We know that immune function is compromised with zinc deficiency; indeed, those with low levels of zinc are at much greater risk of being hospitalized and experiencing severe COVID disease. There is increasing evidence for the role of zinc in reducing the severity of COVID-19 disease and also in COVID prevention.

It is incredibly irresponsible for the federal government to target healthcare professionals who disseminate information about these vital nutrients. We can help right this wrong with our legislation that allows the free flow of information about supplements.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and urge them to support legislation that allows the free flow of information about supplements. Please send your message immediately.

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