News Clips: August 13, 2019

August 13, 2019

Organic GMOs?
Under Secretary of Agriculture Greg Ibach recently told a House Agricultural Subcommittee that it may be time to start having a conversation about whether technologies such as gene editing can be used to enhance organic production. It’s no surprise, really: we’ve been saying for years now that special interests are watering down organic standards. We know that many organic fruits and vegetables from big companies are grown hydroponically, for example, and that a huge proportion of organic eggs and milk come from factory farms. This is a perversion of the organic standard that undermines small farmers who actually take the principles of organic agriculture seriously. Allowing gene editing in organic production would completely undermine consumer trust in the organic seal and expose the USDA’s program for the sham it has become.

 

2019 Flu Shot: Another Dud
The post-mortem on the most recent flu season is in, and it doesn’t look too good for the flu vaccine. Overall, the shot was just 29 percent effective. Part of the reason the effectiveness was so abysmal was that a wave of a certain strain of the flu popped up against which the vaccine provided almost no protection. This is part of the problem with the flu shot: the makers pick three or four strains of the virus to protect against based on a best guess on what strains will be active. Perhaps that is why the flu vaccine over the last fifteen years has been, on average, only 40% effective.

Read our coverage of the role vitamin D can help play in preventing the flu.

 

FDA’s Conflicting Messages On Health Claims
The FDA recently approved qualified health claims for omega-3 fatty acids related to their effect on blood pressure. The scientific backing for the claims comes from, among other studies, a meta-analysis concluding that “provision of EPA+DHA may lower [blood pressure] and ultimately reduce the risk of associated chronic diseases.” Despite this strong evidence, the FDA still adds the following disclaimer to all qualified health claims: “FDA has concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive.” This intentional muddying of the waters is standard at a crony agency more concerned with protecting Big Pharma profits than with educating Americans about cheap, safe, and effective natural medicines that can keep them healthy.

About 1/3 of Americans have high blood pressure, and 60% of those patients take a drug for it. This means that the market for blood pressure medication is enormous. Drug companies don’t want competition from supplements, so we have a regulatory regime that stacks the deck in favor of drugs. Remember, the FDA gets billions from the drug industry through user fees. It’s crony capitalism through and through, and if we want to address the epidemic of chronic disease in this country, it has to stop.

 

Will CBD Be Classified As A New Drug?
In a recent editorial in the Washington Post, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote that a near-term solution to address the many regulatory issues surrounding access to CBD oil would be for the FDA to require new dietary ingredient (NDI) notifications for CBD. NDI notifications are generally required for “new supplements,” that is, supplements that have been introduced to the market after 1994 (see our previous coverage for more on what’s wrong with the NDI process). Those in the market before 1994 are known as “old dietary ingredients” and do not need to adhere to NDI requirements.

As we’ve argued previously, treating CBD oil as an NDI does not make any sense. There are many examples from across the world of hemp and hemp extracts being used in medicines and home remedies—but apparently these precedents don’t matter to the FDA. According to the law, CBD would have to be marketed in or as a supplement in the United States before 1994. If it was used in food, extracts, and remedies in every other country in the world before 1994, but not in the US, then the FDA can treat CBD as an NDI.

As always, ANH-USA will closely monitor developments that affect consumer access to CBD oil.

3 responses to “News Clips: August 13, 2019”

  1. Cheryl Fontaine says:

    I went vegan over three years ago. At the time I was on high blood pressure meds, high cholesterol meds, acid reflux meds, restless leg syndrome meds. Within six months of going vegan I was off all of them. I buy only organic produce or grow my own. People tend to trade in doing a little labor for the ease of buying stuff that slick ads guarantee them is the goose that laid the golden egg. It’s not. It’s big pharma that puts millions into advertising, millions MORE than they put into research and facts.Our earth is being destroyed by animal agriculture for a product that is killing people far earlier than they should be. Obesity, fat in our arteries, destruction of our natural defenses… all aided by big pharma, USDA, big ag and of course the ever hungry slick media that sells ads they KNOW are lies. Stop buying the media hype. Stop eating animals, no human requires meat, dairy or eggs…the three major contributors to ill health/death/destruction of the planet.

  2. Frank Selig says:

    I have learned from experience that doctors who prescribe a lot of drugs are wrong because heavily advertised drugs are deadly. Drugs make people sicker or kill them. People doing drug advertising are liars. They only care about getting paid and don’t want anyone to recover. That is why I shut off all drug commercials. Government agencies such as the FDA are in serious need of fixing because their only concern is helping drug companies make loads of money and want us to die. The FDA wishes to create higher unemployment by shutting down vitamin specialty stores and take away completely our freedom to choose.

  3. Elizabeth Davis says:

    More research needs to be done for medicinal cannabis, to address CBD and THC proportions for specific diseases and persons, and to address the dosages that vary between people and conditions. How can this research be facilitated and done?

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