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This week we answer questions about drug company contributions to senate campaigns, and learn that sometimes congressional offices don’t even know what their own members voted on!

Karen writes:
“If only the pharmaceuticals industry were policed with anywhere near the zeal the FDA is showing for supplements, we would have hundreds of thousands of fewer deaths each year due to drugs. I wonder where Senator Kohl gets his campaign money: Big Pharma, I presume. I’d sure like to know.”
Senator Herb Kohl (D–WI) is one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He has self-financed 93% of his reelection campaign expenses since he was elected in 1988. The amount of money Sen. Kohl received from drug companies is so insignificant that we really cannot connect his recent Committee hearing actions to drug company contributions.
Thanks for your excellent question. You’ve inspired us to do further research on other senators and Congressional representatives, research that we will either put into a report or add to our Congressional Scorecard. This will be good to know before the fall elections.
Lance writes:
“Hi! I am a little confused. You say that the amendment by Rep. Waxman was not included in the Senate bill (S 3217), amendment (SA 3739). I called Sen. Casey on Friday May 21 to learn that it did pass on Thursday May 20, and Sen. Casey voted for it. I went to the U.S. Senate website to find out the vote was 60–40 with the Yays in the majority. Are you sure you have your facts straight? I did call twice and e-mailed Sen. Casey and Sen. Specter opposing this amendment.”
ANH-USA writes:

There was a large package of amendments (SA 3739) that were adopted into the Senate bill (S 3217). Although there were Federal Trade Commission-related amendments among them, Waxman’s now-controversial FTC expansion language was not included. Unfortunately, this bill was so large and so vast that many Senate offices are still getting up to speed on what they voted on
William writes about our article on supplement safety:
“You folks are the BEST!!! At last, some light on a subject that has seriously needed it. Keep up the great work!”
ANH-USA writes:

Thanks! That kind of message makes it all worthwhile.

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