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The Latest McCain Bill Update

There is a great deal of confusion on Capitol Hill and on the internet about the status of Senator McCain’s mis-named Dietary Supplement Safety Act, the anti-supplements bill. Some of this confusion has been deliberately created by Senator McCain.
Hundreds of thousands of messages pouring into Senate offices in support of supplements have convinced Senator McCain that his bill is dead. He is backing away from it. This is your victory. All of you who sent messages to the Senate should be very proud of what you have accomplished. Democracy is working.
stopBut why do we say that Senator McCain is backing away from his bill? Where is the evidence? First we know that Senator McCain met with Senator Hatch, a staunch defender of supplements, and said that he was giving up on his bill. Senator Hatch wrote a letter to McCain confirming this and Senator McCain posted the letter on his website. Senator Dorgan’s office (Dorgan co-sponsored the bill) also confirmed to ANH-USA that he and Senator McCain would not pursue their bill further.
Neither Senator McCain nor Senator Dorgan confirmed any of this publicly. In what we believe is a face-saving gesture, McCain has also written his own letter to Senators Harkin (another defender of supplements), Hatch, and Enzi. This letter states that the four senators have agreed to strengthen supplement regulation through the pending FDA Food Modernization Act (S. 510), commonly referred to as “Food Safety”. This letter has led some voices on the internet to attack Senators Harkin and Hatch as traitors to supplements. But please do not be taken in. Senators Harkin and Hatch have not gone over to the anti-supplement side. Far from it. They remain staunch defenders of supplements and natural health. Here are the facts.
1) The very worst provisions of the McCain-Dorgan bill are not in the Food Safety bill. Nor have Harkin or Hatch agreed to put them in. As you will recall, these provisions included:

  • Wiping out the current protected list of supplements (those supplements sold before 1994)
  • Wiping out the supplement industry’s current right to create new supplements if the ingredient has been in the food supply and has not been chemically altered.
  • Mandatory reporting of even minor or incidental adverse events (reporting of serious adverse events is already required)
  • Requiring retailers to confirm that supplements and ingredients have been registered with the FDA (which would put a tremendous legal liability on retailers and push them away from dealing with small supplement companies)

2) None of the provisions of the McCain bill are likely to be added to the Food Safety Bill. Senator McCain has been able to obscure this important point because two of his bad provisions are already in the Food Safety Bill! In other words, this is not a compromise in which McCain gets his provisions into Food Safety in exchange for dropping his own bill. McCain is simply taking credit for what is already in Food Safety.
3) What are the bad provisions already in Food Safety that are also in the McCain bill? Two big ones. First, the Food Safety bill requires the registration of supplements with the FDA. This is bureaucratic make-work but won’t destroy the supplement industry. The McCain version of it is worse and there is no reason to think that it will get into Food Safety.
Second, there is a supplement recall provision. The Food Safety bill says that supplements may be recalled if there is a reasonable probability that the supplement could cause serious health consequences and is adulterated or fails to follow labeling laws for food allergens, one part of the definition of “misbranded” under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. We don’t like the words “reasonable probability” because the FDA is biased against supplements and it gives the FDA too much scope.
The McCain bill version of this is much worse. It says the FDA can recall a product if there is a reasonable probability of harm or the supplement is adulterated or misbranded. This substitution of “or” for “and” is very important. Why? Because the FDA may deem a supplement “adulterated” if there is a minor paperwork violation, and the general term “misbranded” is referenced, as opposed to the discreet sub-part pertaining to food allergen labeling. This means a product could be recalled even if the seller is making entirely truthful statements about the science behind the product.
Here is the interesting point: in his letter, McCain suggests that the senators together have agreed on the “or” language that is in the McCain bill, and further, that they have agreed to include the general term “misbranding”. This is quite false. The senators have not agreed to change the Food Safety bill to pick up McCain’s language. Is this just sloppiness on the part of the McCain staff? Have they not noticed that their version of the recall provision is quite different from the provision currently in Food Safety? Or is this an effort to sneak McCain’s version of the recall provision into Food Safety without Harkin and Hatch noticing the difference? If it is the latter, rest assured that it won’t work. We are in contact with both Senator Harkin and Hatch.
Where do we go from here? We will be following every move in this game. We think the worst features of the McCain bill are now dead. But if they come back in any form, we will immediately alert you and ask you to help.
We will also of course keep a very close watch on the Food Safety bill. Although ANH-USA succeeded in changing some critical language in that bill, we are still opposed to it for reasons that go beyond supplements. We will continue to oppose it and send you more information about it whenever it seems likely to be brought up for a vote. We will also be especially watchful about what is added to it from this point forward and report back on that.
With your help, we will keep our access to supplements. We will not allow the FDA to impose a European style regime with a short approved list of supplements and doses in this country. Real healthcare is preventive in focus and relies on diet, supplements, and lifestyle. Government approved disease-care, provided in alliance with the drug and surgical equipment manufacturers, will not keep us well.

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58 thoughts on “The Latest McCain Bill Update

  • Anne Peterson

    Thank you for protecting those of us who depend on supplements for personal health and for income as we share with others the great benefits we have experienced!

        • ellen holmes

          I am opposed to many of his policies (especially escalating the war in Afghanistan) but if you think he’s a communist, then you are ignorant as to the meaning of the word. That is complete BS and/or a deliberately dishonest statement.

          • Susan E Roth

            To Charles, I am so sick of misinformation and deliberate lies from those who disagree with the MAJORITY (YEAH, THAT IS US, NOT YOU!!), about what our President is doing. If you could actually come up with a point of truth that was worth an honest discourse, it would be different. Please, do yourself a favor, and actually open your mind with to the idea that truth matters. I am sick to my stomach because of people like you, who are trying to drive our country into more violence and hatred. I bet you believe in the Anti-Christ too! Get a mind and a life!

        • Diane Diggs

          Mr. Bancroft
          Who might this communist be? If you are speaking of President Obama, you don’t need to be on the internet criticizing people. Look in the mirror and straighten out that guy first.

        • Guy Masterson

          Hey Charles, how about keeping your imbecillic comments to yourself?. Oh, I might have used to big of a word for you. You sir are a moron!

        • Political Sky

          You really need to look up the definition of Communist. Don’t be stupid! Besides.. if your under 50 the “commies” don’t scare us anymore.

        • Bonnie Rosen

          Unfortunately, there are still ohters in the Congress, like McCain out there, that agree with his thinking. I suspect if it weren’t him, it would be someone else’s voice.
          We must continue to push back against such thinking.

        • Cleat

          I couldn’t agree more about McCain he’s got to go.But Obama a communist?Where do you herbals come from.

  • Matthew Polson

    What is it going to take to keep our system open to choice, or will we be left with no options and eventually fade away into oblivion. The voice of one caring citizen is worth more than all the politicians that voice is carried at the expense of all that we work for in our lives.
    I and many others have been helped tremendously by reading and deciding for ourselves what works for us. The system is designed to provide for those who already have and leave the rest of us with no choice.
    Oppose this man and his poor choice of legislation that intended to crush an industry and leave many of us without the supplements that provide us with a healthy life.

    • Teo Senni

      The Fraud and Death Administration seems to feel that it’s all right for alcohol to be consumed, while they and we all know what it can do to our health, lives and families…illnesses, death and abuse. I have been researching and taking supplements for forty five years without any resulting problems, or any beneficent guidance from the Fraud and Death Administration. Let them deal with the aforementioned problems….and perhaps allow the purveyors of alcohol to pay for half the damage they cause: lives lost to drunken driving, lives lost because of over consumption, health problems that raise the cost of health care for everyone, abuse…and need I go on? Once they have addressed the above issues, I may be willing to believe that when they address supplements they may actually care about my health more than about who’s lining their pockets.

    • Ann Overholser

      I wanted to mention that many diseases that have no cure or effective treatment in traditional medicine respond well to management with carefully selected supplements. Monolaurin which replaces the need for antibiotics is truly a miracle for chronic disease sufferers with weakened immune systems….literally the difference between life and death! It is effective against aids and difficult infective endocardial disease, for example, along with intractible dental infections and has a pricetag that anyone could purchase comfortably. Turmeric is keeping blood vessels open and blood flowing in amyloid disease and diabetes, so that thousands of persons could avoid devastating amputations. Traditional medicine is not embracing these supplement tools for chronic disease management except under limited research conditions. In these and other cases our very lives depend on patient access to supplements. Thanks so much for your ongoing efforts!!

  • Jo

    Do you think there is any form of laws written up in the health bill theyare trying to pass that will stop all alternative products from being sold?

  • Lynda

    I believe McCain is getting senile, perhaps a touch of Alzheimer’s going on. He simply is NOT all there.
    Either that, OR Big Pharma has made an offer in the form of $$$$$ that he couldn’t not say NO to.
    KARMA: It WILL Get You.

  • Rita Becker

    Just a note to thank you for your oversight, clarification and communication on these topics of interest. I am particularly interested and concerned about the Codex Alimentarious issues and hope that you will provide opportunities for us to join in opposition to “harmonizing” with this wave. I try to understand this issue and remain informed but I still have confusion at times. Thank you again for keeping us informed.


    • Tony

      Thanks to supplements, (and exercise, and healthy eating!) I don’t need doctors. I’m 63, play 4 hours of tennis a day, and ride my bike 6 miles to the courts. I also have essential tremor, but it hasn’t gotten worse for the past 15 years or so (since I first noticed it). Nothing I can find yet to get rid of it. Thanks to the new digital cameras (with anti-shake technology (or a tripod works too) – I can still do my photography.

    • Mary, obviously you’ve misunderstood this whole discussion. Maybe you had better go back and read it again.
      John McCain is being dishonest with us although he isn’t admitting it publicly.

  • Cynthia Jabre

    Senator McCain’s bill goes against the right to chose your own path of health. If supplements are taken away, and if vegetables will be grown in the absence of enough nutrients people need, then the rate of medical bills will increase dramatically. All humans have a right to make choices regarding their personal health and McCain does not support this. I am strongly opposed to this bill.

  • doc skidmore

    i see it is time to launch.
    1) strike one make a list of those working at FDA.
    2) make another list of leadership of all drug manufacturers.
    3) compare the names. If any one on the board or leadership in manufacturers is also working at FDA that is a federal violation of fair trades act and is felony conflict of interest. those parties and their lobbists should be in federal jail under hard labor. Better yet I need some exercise, tell me who and where. Those elected dummies need also to be in the light and fired.
    If you or I tried any of that kind of crap, we would be spending a long time behind bars.

  • Joan Jacobs

    Thank you very much for this update and for providing a forum from which our voices can be heard. I deeply appreciate your leading this fight, and am very happy that it has turned out in our favor!

  • brian bigelow


  • We have to stand up and fight for what is right and not let the Government run our lifes. They need to clean house in Washington and bring in all new people and start over. We have our rights and we all need to use the Bill of Rights.
    Nancy R. Seatib

  • Virginia Stringfellow

    I use a supplement “Sweet Ease” from Banyon Botanicals – Organic Ayurvedic Herbs for diabetes. I am 65 years old and feeling good for the first itme in over 5 years. After these 5 years on a diabetes prescription drug Metformin, after consulting with an herbalist, I switched to Sweet Ease and for the past 9 months have received low non-diabetic results on my A1C blood tests. Metformin is a horrible prescribed medicine and I am so glad to be off of it now. I take other supplements and am trying to get off 2 other prescribed medicines with my doctors OK. Keep up the good work for all of us. Thank you.

  • Terah Rutledge

    Senator McCain has been in the military. I have relatives that have a small factory that do business with and for the military. I sometimes wonder if this is the reason that I and my Husband have been harrassed in our home. The caller ID, censorship over the internet,
    Corruptness with our cell phones. Besides I myself losing my job in a factory of no-fault of
    my own and being used as a scapegoat from the pseudo Docters and being lied too. I am not perfect and I have made mistakes but at the same time I have never been the one in the Docters shoes that is suppose to care for the patient but instead they do more damage and can make matters worse! It’s taking a long time and a lot of expenses to reverse what has been done by these Docters! Guess maybe I was drugged so I would’nt talk! Well, now I am talking! And could say a lot more. For instance the article today with the Dallas paper on The U.S. Censor Bureau!
    Why would I want to work for the U.S. Censor Bureau when in 2005 a women employed with them came and said she was conducting a Two-Year special survey. The questions she asked;
    well our 4th Amendant Rights were violated! I can be a person who has a healthy sense of humor and caring. Maybe thats why I am responding to this article. I am glad for the victory and appreciate like others that it has passed and will not harm people so that they may have choices.
    And also as for as having non-surgical equipment in the US for citizen to have healthier lives it would certainly show some integrity and morals for us to have more of these Hyperbaric Oxygen
    Therapys. Also, for the Media to expose the public more on these alternative health methods so It will become more accepted here in the US. As my research I did come across that this therapy would help people that has served in the military that have brain injury. Surely, Senator McCain is aware of this!

  • Thank you for keeping close tabs on the information of the McCain bill and the Food and Safety bill. The tricky tactics will hopefully, not be successful. Please keep me informed and thank you for the update.

  • Maybe some people are not content with their quality of life but no matter the amount, you the corrupted, may receive from special interests or loobyists it is obvious it has failed to raise your life’s quality to a level of contentment. Seek help for your discomfort before you write or support another bill designed to take away our right to enjoy a life of quality. UMSIH Dalon Jones – [email protected]

  • Keep up the good fight. This is a war we must fight for our health freedom. Glad you’re leading this along with John Hammell and Health Crusader. Those senators are such dorks! Big Pharma minions!

  • Thank you so much for all your hard work, I was just trying to find out where it would be good to move to. But because of all of the efforts, this proves that sometimes things work out for us common people. Thank you over and over again.

  • Lila Olson

    Dont let the FDA near our Supplements … they cant even handle the drug industry .
    they are currupt . We have enough protection on supplements the FDA will ruin the supplement
    industry . No on McCain bill.

  • Ronnie Plant

    I am 83 years young, with huge energy, working 12 hours daily. I live by my maxim ‘WE ARE AS WE EAT, DRINK, SLEEP AND EXERCISE. Only pure natural additive free foods and drinks are taken. Vitamins, Minerals , Homeopathic remedies and food supplements are also used. I have many friends who do likewise. None of us use chemical drugs or medicines.

  • Naaman Dye

    One yeay ago our son started haveng pain in his chest and stomach then developed ringing in his ears and became neer sighted. We were pushed from Dr. to Dr. many test were ran for 10 months. The last specialist was a Neurologist, who said it was all in my sons head. This Dr. did not have to hold my sons hand at night trying to confort him till he could fall asleep. After that my wife took all of the test results and started our on resurch. The closest we came to a diagnosis was eather a autoimmune or a hard to find infection. We started our son on colostrum, and in 4 days his eye sight returned and in 2 weaks he was pain free. The big drug companies and the FDA that protects them should be ashamed of themselves. We are so thankful for you, keep up the good fight.

  • I just sent a lengthy reply and reget that I did not enter my website so it looks like , despite the time I put in writing it it was deleted..so I will try again..hopefully THIS time it will go through. First I want to thank you for your help in bringing this matter before the public…As I said previously so many drugs are insufficiently tested before they get onto the market..look at Avanida..sooo many people have suffered serious heart damage who are one it. Even the FDA wanted to take it off the market and were going to do so and guess what they were talked out of it and it is on the market still with many future victims just ahead. Ditto for the drug Vioxxx..many victims there too..But show me where there have been any SERIOUS problems of health due to taking supplements..If they are so dangerous how come the pharmaceutical companies want to put supplements under THEIR jurisdiction..WHY? because the public has gotten smarter and learned about the benefits of supplements and that hits the pharmaeuticals where it hurts..in their bottom line. The Pharmaceutical companies have tried to make life hell for so many more than qualified Doctors l.e Mr. Anderew Weil, Dr. J. Rowen, Dr. Jonathan Wright, Dr. West, Dr. Williams ALL of whom have done extensive research before recommending supplements..
    In the past the FDA used to require three different tests which took a great deal of time before they would pass medications.;..but the pharmaceutical companies shorten the time and the tests needed before they were released..which of course cost the Pharmaceutical companies a good deal of profits..
    I have been a nutritional consultant for many years and have yet to see ANYONE suffer any serious side effects from a supplement.. Too bad we cannot say the same about RX’s which have been prescribed like the ones mentioned previously which have cause SERIOUS problems to diabetics and other patients who took them.
    Thanks again for protecting us..Let’s all united to see that people are treated SAFELY as well as fairly..;.even if it does reduce the bottom line of the pharmaceutical companies.. Perhaps an idea would be to have the results of the tests done made public as well as the time that was given for these tests before they were offered to the people. That would mean the FDA would once again be held responsible…so they would hole the pharmaceutical companies responsible and guess what the PEOPLE would be safeguarded..
    Keep us posted on how we can continue to make this public so it will become a matter of safety not how much money is int it for the Pharmaceutical companies…Again thank YOU.

  • Carol Ounanian

    What will happen to alternate therapies and nutritionists if “Health Care ” bill is passed? My nutritionist has done alot for my hysband and me

    • Will someone please tell me why Natural, God given supplements are called “alternative”? They are THE ORIGINAL, NATURAL forms of medicines used years before the FDA was established and toxic chemicals, that are not easily assimlated by the human body, and cause so many side effects, that the body is dying because of the toxicity of them, became the so-called “NORM” or “conventional”. I am Bi-Polar and was put of these “synthetic” drugs. I ended up being put on other drugs to take care of the “side-effects” from the first drug, then more drugs for the side effects to both drugs, etc., etc. I was sleeping 14-16 hours a day (night?), and non-productive when awake (?), if you can call it that. My mind got so dulled and confused I could not read anymore. I managed to get myself off these drugs and now use supplements. I no longer have IBS, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, thyroid problems, cholesterol problems, weight-gain,Tardive-Disconesia, and a myriad of other side effects that caused more problems than I originally had. Obviously, I can read again. I feel much healthier using “REAL” “NATURAL” supplements. FDA, toxic chemical drugs are the “alternative” drugs. Natural, real supplements are made for the human body, just like organic food, grown without toxic chemicals. I wish the FDA would stop calling the real stuff “alternative”. Their poison is “alternative”.

  • William Babb

    I’m glad you have a good handle on this situation with the McCain bill. I’ve always supported McCain to the point of forgiving his occasional transgressions but this time he cannot be forgiven. I cannot believe the nerve of a know-nothing politician to try to screw up the one freedom we still have for the sake of some contrived excuse. McCain needs to be reminded that “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.” His stupid action has cost him my vote in this year’s election and I intend to tell him just that.
    Bill Babb
    IBM Retiree
    Twitter: Oldbill70

  • Sue

    I cannot think of words to express my freight concerning losing our freedom to choose our supplements. When our freedom to choose our supplements is taken away guess who will benefit… Doctors and Drug companies. .. We will have to go to a doctor to get a scrip for them. It is already difficult enough to get info about treating ourselves with herbal supplements. Even when I go to an MD and get a “proper” diagnosis I have trouble getting correct info about treatment because Herb companies are not allowed to tell you which are best for what. Grrr

  • Lynne G.

    Ronnie, I think we old people who are taking supplements and staying away from our doctors and their prescriptions as much as we can are living too long!! That’s the reason for this bill. They want us dead!

  • Jan J

    I use supplements, homeopathic, chiropractic, massage, all have helped me. I do not take drugs. I believe the drugs should be regulated more than they are. They are dangerous and cause many health problems. We need to be in charge of our own health and not be forced to do what the government wants us to do.
    We need to have term limits and those voting in our health care should be on the same plan they expect us to use.
    We need to eat right, drink good water and exercise and we would then eliminate obesity which is causing many of the health problems in our country.

  • Joanne Smith

    Thanks for your watchful ways. Why does everyone think having the FDA overseeing things is protective? Look at how many things they’ve approved that have ended up being harmful to others. Thanks but I’ll trust reputable supplement makers over the FDA. If big business was making money off of supplements, there would be no controversy.

  • Joseph

    McClain’s bill is just another example of someone using his authority in an attempt to dictate to the people against their best interest. McClain seems to be an FDA toady. He should resign.

  • Adriana Lewis

    I believe that you are being lulled into thinking that things are better.
    The purpose of the food safety act is to destroy small farmers.
    the FDA has shown itself to be incredibly corrupt and in treason to its mission.

  • and aren’t you glad he did not make it to be President
    and were we not fools to let him get that close
    anyone with a problem with his temper need not be in public office
    it is past time for him to go

  • and I agree ….. the FDA is not reliable and I suspect has been bought by special interests
    aspertane is still listed as okay by them when it has been proven outside of special interest investigators to be a serious contributer to brain disorders.

  • .
    NEVER, repeat NEVER trust any of these creeps that introduce or go after a certain thing and then say they won’t do it or are changing it or whatever.
    That is one of the oldest tactics…they assume attention will disapear and then they go right back to doing what they had planned.
    That is a plain fact and we will always have to stay aware and active to keep our rights, our health and our country from being destroyed by politicians that are puppets for the corporations.

  • Robert

    While I’m happy that McCain is backing off, I don’t think it’s enough just to let him walk away. If we can hurt him politically, future members of congress will be less likely to pull similar shenanigans.
    I propose that someone create a poster stating what McCain did (and how it fits with the history of the FDA/pharmaceutical industry’s campaign against supplements). These posters can be prominently displayed in all the health food stores in Arizona.

  • Thank you for the updates on this important legislation, and for all the work you’ve put into helping keep supplements available!
    Nutrients heal – much better than lab chemicals!
    Duane Sherry, M.S., CRC-R

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