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Senate Hearing Headlines: The Media Gets It Wrong Again. Here Is Some Of What You Need To Know About Supplement Safety.

Senate Hearing Headlines: The Media Gets It Wrong Again. Here Is Some Of What You Need To Know About Supplement Safety.

Critics NewspaperIn last week’s newsletter, we reported that the staff of the Senate Committee on Aging, led by Senator Kohl (D-WI), was preparing a surprise ambush of dietary supplements in a Senate hearing held last Wednesday. We were right. But we didn’t anticipate how seriously distorted the major media news stories would be.

The centerpiece of the hearing was a report by the GAO (Government Accounting Office) of the testing they had done on 40 herbal supplement bottles at the Committee’s request. An incomplete account of the GAO report was leaked to major media, probably by committee staff, the night before the hearing and produced dramatic headlines. The trouble is that all these headlines were seriously misleading. Here are a few examples:
New York Times: “Study Finds Supplements Contain Contaminants”
CBS News: “Many Supplements Contain Lead, Arsenic”
AOL News: “Herbal Supplements May Pose Health Risk”

At least AOL told the reader that this wasn’t about vitamins or minerals, just herbs. But, contrary to the AOL headline, the GAO found that the herbal supplements did not pose health risks. The GAO reported that “FDA and EPA officials did not express concern regarding any immediate negative health consequences from consuming these supplements.”
To understand why this is so, you have to know that the GAO found only “trace” amounts of the metals, in many cases barely above the level of detectability, far below the levels that the FDA or EPA worries about. And you also have to know that these metals naturally occur in air, water, soil, and food, so they are to be expected at some level in herbal supplements. The critical question is not whether they are there, but rather at what level. The human body has evolved with these metals in our food. Consequently we have the ability to metabolize and excrete them and we do so every day. A problem arises when we ingest or absorb too much for our bodies to handle.
AOL also claimed in the first sentence of its story that the supplements were “laced” with heavy metals. Laced? This suggests large amounts and that someone had put them there intentionally. (We thank AOL News for subsequently deleting the word “laced” at our request.)
Here is an example of what would have been a truthful headline: Trace Amounts Of Lead, Arsenic, And Other Metals, Naturally Found In Air, Water, Soil, And Consequently Food, Were Found In A Limited Sample of Herbal Supplements Derived From Plants, But At Levels Generally Considered Safe. That headline would not of course have run. It would have made it clear that there wasn’t much of a story.

Why did the major media get their reporting so wrong? In some cases, the stories directly contradicted their headlines. Of course the New York Times, CBS News, and similar mainstream media have a long history of attacking natural health approaches in general, and supplements in particular. They are also on the financial ropes these days and would probably go bankrupt without the major drug company advertising they get.
Please don’t misunderstand. ANH-USA is not in favor of heavy metals. In fact we often have defended the right of integrative doctors to treat for heavy metal contamination. And we are not shills for the supplement industry. One of our supporters (Charles) recently sent us the following message: “The way you are spinning this [story] sounds like you are speaking for the supplements industry. I am not interested in taking contaminated supplements. I want clean, uncontaminated supplements that I don’t have to worry about. I’d rather pay more and know that there are some standards for evaluating supplements. I don’t want to be ingesting lead!”
We couldn’t agree more about not wanting to ingest lead. But there is much more to know about it. For example, we need to understand that each time we take a bite of spinach we are ingesting lead. FDA testing suggests that there is 7.0 mcg of lead in an average serving of four ounces of boiled spinach. Shrimp is higher: 23.8mcg. Peaches are lower: 3.4 mcg. Whole wheat bread is lower still at 2.8 mcg and milk is 1.2 mcg. We do not, however, stop eating spinach. Even with the small amount of lead (equivalent to about 7 parts per million), nutritional scientists agree that spinach does us much more good than harm. Overall the FDA says that we should try not to ingest more than 75 mcg of lead per day. The World Health Organization says we can ingest (and safely excrete) up to 243 mcg per day (this assumes we weigh 150 pounds). The amount of lead we know is too much to excrete safely is higher still.
How much lead was in the 40 bottles tested by the GAO? Of the 37 bottles with trace amounts of lead, the echinacea had the most (.043 mcg to 1.290 mcg). The peppermint had the least (.007 mcg to .023 mcg). Note that .007 is barely detectable; the lowest lead that can be detected is .005 mcg. Is this what the media were terrifying us about?
This leads to an important point. Some supplements will be more lead free than others. The highest end supplement companies test each batch of supplement material to be sure it is what it is supposed to be, for potency, for heavy metals, and for pesticides. These tests are very important, especially since so much supplement material comes from China. Not surprisingly, supplements that have been put through more tests may cost more. Of course many consumers cannot afford any supplements at all, much less high end products, and if the FDA has its way, supplements would cost as much as drugs.
You may be able to consume less lead by choosing carefully among supplements. But keep in mind that there is a paradox here. The more “natural” a supplement, the more it is based on plants, the more likely it is to contain lead. Even the highest end supplement companies cannot remove every bit of the lead in a product that is based on spinach and other similar greens.
By the way, the GAO report covered four heavy metals and a number of pesticides as well. Some of the stories spoke of “illegal” pesticide levels. One or more trace pesticide was found in fewer than half the herbal samples and, like the metals, was in an amount lower than what you might get in food. The reason any amount of pesticide may be illegal is that in many cases the EPA has not gotten around to stating an allowable level, something it is supposed to do, and absent a guideline any amount is technically illegal, even though the pesticide may be common in food. To reduce the risk of pesticides, supplement buyers might try, in addition to choosing brands carefully, to buy organic supplements, but even these may have tiny trace amounts of pesticides from rain water and other sources.
Lastly, let’s not imagine, as Charles may or may not have meant to suggest, that increasing the FDA’s budget will lead to safer, higher quality supplements. The 1994 law governing supplements (DSHEA) ordered the FDA to establish good manufacturing practices (GMP’s) for supplement makers. The FDA dragged its heals for years. GMP’s for supplement makers will only finally come into force for all supplement companies next month, sixteen years after passage of the bill!
There always have been and, we have to assume, still are some bad actors among supplement companies. The FDA should move against them, but does not. It has plenty of regulatory authority to do so. The testimony of the Deputy Director of the FDA at the Kohl Senate hearing acknowledged this authority. So why does the Agency hold back? There is evidence that, at least in the past, the Agency had a conscious policy of not regulating supplements in the hope that this would lead to a crisis; the crisis would then lead to a requirement for full drug approval for supplements. Currently the Agency claims it lacks the money to do its job although it’s budget has been sharply increased.
There is a lot more we could tell you about the Senate hearing. But this is plenty for this week’s report. The bottom line: although designed to “ambush” supplements, the facts presented were hardly an indictment. They could just as easily be taken as a validation of the general safety even of herbal supplements, the supplements most likely to contain heavy metals or pesticides.
All of us at ANH-USA are consumers of supplements. We care about supplement safety for the same reasons you do. We will have more to say about this important subject in future newsletters.
By the way, supplements have recently been under steady attack in Congress, so naturally our newsletter has focused on them. But we cover all of natural health and health freedom and have lots of non-supplement news to share with you as soon as space permits.

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49 thoughts on “Senate Hearing Headlines: The Media Gets It Wrong Again. Here Is Some Of What You Need To Know About Supplement Safety.

  • Any chance I could reprint parts of this article for the natural health magazine I edit, Sound Outlook? Our readers would really appreciate learning more about this. Please let me know, thanks.

  • freeme

    Perhaps if USA STOPPED AERIAL SPRAYING in ‘WEATHER WARFARE’ containing heavy metals, we would not find ‘contaniments’ in our supplements?

    • dajad terlemezian

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! C O R E C T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peter Stellas

    Please avoid wording such as “the human body has evolved”. While many people have swallowed that totally unproven and increasingly contested and doubted point of view,
    an increasing number of top scientists are signing a document that flatly contradicts evolution as a possible way for the appearance of life on this planet. Even the late Dr. Steven Gould,
    evolutionist professor of biology at Harvard stated “That spontaneous generation of life is impossible has alrealdy been proven in the last century”. I uhderstand that some people cannot possibly fathom or accept the idea that some Creator brought the Universe into existence, lest they be ridiculed by their circle of family and friends, but to make totally unfounded statements in print, as if they were true, simply undermines your credibility on matters where you want it to count. Right?

    • Peter,
      Thanks for your comment. Our wording was not intended to imply a position on the first origins of life. “Evolved” in this sense does not refer to all the nuances of the “Theory of Evolution” but is simply a synonym for “adapted”: Because humans have lived with these trace levels of minerals in our food over a long period of time, our bodies have adapted to metabolize them.
      Thanks for reading!

    • beamer

      To Alliance for Natural Health writers: Please feel free to use science-based terms like ‘evolved’ whenever it is relevant. ‘Adaptation’ is another word used to describe one of the observed mechanisms of evolution, Dr. Gould was a passionate defender of evolution, Mr. Stellas. I hope you read some of his books. I do thank you for your response, for in my research for the source of your Gould quote, I found several great articles of/ about Steohen Gould I had not yet read, including a court transcript of Dr. Gould’s testimony in a ‘creationism’ trial (McLean v. Arkansas).

  • Lauren

    Been watching this with interest for a long time. I, too, take supplements, as I can’t imagine getting all the nutrients I need from my diet. I believe the drug companies are just trying to get their mitts on the supplement industry in hopes of adding another layer of costs to something that even people with limited means can afford. Keep telling us what’s going on, including the way the media can distort and sensationalize information. Most people who take supplements are informed and intelligent consumers; we probably know more about them than most doctors.

  • Linda

    I listened to the Senate Hearings on the Internet, live. The hearing went as you depict. There was an attempt by some testifying to make it appear that supplements were full of poisons etc. and therefore unregulated. Senator Harkin (I believe that is who it was), however, always got the testifiers to admit that levels of lead and other heavy metals were well within allowable limits when there were limits. Also he got the FDA to admit that they have done nothing to lower limits. Anyone listening to the hearings could not help to see what was being attempted and how it failed when they were cross examined.
    Those who testified that illegal claims were being made about supplements were subjected to the facts that there was already laws on the books regulating what could and could not be said. I had to giggle when the industry rep reminded us that there were plenty of studies showing that supplements could indeed prevent and even treat diseases, but that since such statements were presently illegal, they could not be made on a supplement bottle etc.
    Of course one of the anti-supplement testifiers made the ridiculous statement that there was scant evidence that supplements could help prevent or treat disease, but again I had to giggle. Those of us into natural medicine (and like me have it has saved our lives), know this to be false,

    • Scott Brown

      “…scant evidence that supplements could help prevent or treat disease…”
      Someone really said that? (I know they want us to think it, but, sheesh.)
      In science class in grade school, I learned that scurvy, rickets, and beriberi were diseases. We were told that vitamins C, D, and B1 would prevent and/or cure these diseases. We even had written tests on it.
      Of course, that was back in the superstitious stone age when people actually thought they could learn this sort of thing from books on their own, without the kindly intervention of a licensed medical practitioner.. Nowadays I suppose teaching such witch doctor mumbo jumbo would result in jail time for all involved, and of course a public book burning.
      And to think, once upon a time manufacturers of these dangerous and untested products were allowed to print such claims right on the labels! “Vitamin C–Prevents and Cures the Disease Scurvy.” Good thing they put a stop to such medieval practices, before some white bread manufacturer started assuring our kids that their product builds bodies twelve ways or some such dangerous nonsense.
      And thank heavens for wise legislators, who’ve gifted us all with the FDA, the USDA, and the DEA. Imagine if we had to figure all this out for ourselves!

  • Diana

    This is incredible yet not surprising. The media never seems to do their homework and report on the real McCoy. Supplements are proven to safe and all of this is just hype so the medical community continues to profit. Get educated and get the facts for yourself, don’t rely on others who do not have your welfare in mind.

  • Thanks for providing this detailed and enlightening feedback, not only to help us put the controversy in perspective, but also to illustrate how the media’s appetite for sensational headlines and how the FDA and Big Pharma’s collude to sabotage natural suppliments.

  • Why not tell your readers and supporters who these “bad actors’ are. Give us the benefit of knowing which suppliment companies are the bad ones you refer to.

  • Tom

    Keep up the good work! As long as congress is bought and paid for by the drug companies, we will have our work cut out for us. But it’s great to win!

  • jack eich

    the big pharma is waiting to ambush herbs and supplements just like they do cannabis. tell them to bend over and give them a boot.

  • Barbara Williams

    Thank you so much for this informative report. I am one of those people who wrote my congress-persons to let them know my concern regarding the FDA regulating the supplement industry. I am 77 and try to stay informed about supplements including herbal ones and I take quite a few which I believe keep me in better health. I have refused a couple of prescriptions by my doctor like Zocor and Fosamax, although I was on both for a time until I learned the dangers. My muscles ached constantly on Zorcor and since the heart is also a muscle I chose to quit taking it in favor of alternatives (like supplements/vitamins/minerals). My dental oral surgeon was the reason I quit Fosamax. He had seen enormous numbers of patients with “dead jaw disease” as a result of that medication. The FDA would make vitamins and minerals a prescription if they thought they could get away with it. That’s way too much government intervention for me. Plus, prescription medicine and prescription vitamins are not cheap. Keep up the good work alerting us supplement users with the latest. Thank you again.

  • My website was attacked for my lack of intelliegence…my statement,’ Dr.’s do not study nutrition or how food supplements benefit health, therefore, they cannot have an educated opinion.” Sparked a controversary about my own intelligence and my ability to help someone get well. The misconception has always been for the traditonal medical schools vs naturalpathic and holistic schools is this: when you feed the body organic micronutrients, the body will do what it needs to do to heal and protect itself, naturally. Healthy cells which are the building blocks and will sustain life without surgery or synthetic drugs. Cleansing toxins to keep the body’s immune system in top shape is a major reason to take food supplements. Organic growers carefully choose soils rich in nutrients and not substandard soil. What the attackers missed on my website is the reference studies,”On our over toxic environment and what danger we are in regarding the accumulation of heavy metals.” THE WHITE HOUSE GARDEN WAS JUST IN QUESTION REGARDING HEAVY METALS FOUND IN THE EARTH AND THE GARDEN WAS PLANTED JUST THE SAME.
    There seems to be no equality with this “committe on aging” who does not consider the accumulative effects of toxic medication. Health Departments have been granting certifications to farmers spraying agricultural grassing acres, and producing fertilizers
    with nuclear waste, and since the 1970’s, Mother’s breast milk has been high in toxins, salmon farms are producing toxic fish as a solution to our seas are filled with mercury. The unforgiveable blunder by our highly intellegent medical and pharmacuetical professionals injesting infants and little children with vaccines filled with heavy metals…..why is it that food supplements are such a big deal? Has anyone checked the local Pharmacy drugs for toxic heavy metels? Hmmmm?

  • It is not surprising that some supplements may contain some level of lead. Trace amounts cannot even be a major concern since most medicines carry even more dangerous toxins–like Nexium’s shellac, which can cause more problems than help. It is obvious that the agenda of the FDA is not about health or helping any citizen see the truth about medicines versus the truth about supplements that can produce very positive results. It is not surprising that not all companies who make supplements meet FDA standards but do not meet the standard of a quality product. Here is hoping that citizens will understand the dangers of anything in any pill they take can have the potential to do good or harm based on the ingredients and those that are put in small print so no one can read it. Keep pushing back those who only cater to their greed and be more exposed as to the true ingredients that are dangerous to everyone. Especially the vaccinations that contain so many dangerous ingredients no one talks about how it will affect all children sooner or later because these toxins are stored in the body.

  • Why doesn’t the FDA and EPA worry about cleaning up the act of the pharmaceutical companies that are presenting (and having been getting approved by the FDA) drugs that are dangerous to the point of killing thousands ???? The FDA’s tactics of persecuting vitamin, mineral and supplement producers is going to backfire and North America is going to lose faith in pharmaceuticals and turn to Naturopathy/Homeopathy and other natural means to fight thier ills, like the rest of the world. Personally, I’ve given up on Big Pharma. I used to take 12 prescription drugs a day, and now am on only two. I quit all on my own by researching other methods of dealing with my issues, and have never felt better. I also take vitamins, minerals and other natural treatments (massage therapy) to treat my problems…..WITH NO SIDE EFFECTS!!!!! I also do not deal with M.D.’s if I can help it because they are restricted to using only three methods of treating any problem, chronic or accute; surgery, pharmaceuticals, or radiation. Why do so many intelligent and trained people allow themselves to be restricted to only those three methods?? For the life of me, I can’t understand that, especially when they take an oath “to do no harm”. By ignoring the multitude of natural “cures” available don’t they know that they are “doing harm”.

  • Karen-Lynette Bauer

    If only 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 who Senator Kohl gets his campaign money: Big Pharma, I presume. I’d sure like to know.

  • dajad terlemezian

    i forgot to say who . it was the drug c ompany’s & the so called the caring out for people’s health bull s the ”F D A ” GAVE IDON’T REMEMBER EXACTLY HOW MUCH MONEY THEY PAID MACAIN !

  • those in positive, God loving caring supplement biz, take care get rid of the bad players, basically police3 themselves, with blogs, info tech, all is possible
    get off dope TV and cell phones, text mess ,violent vid games, and read to enlighten oneself

  • Don Barshay

    My question is, what are we doing about this seriously misguided media dis-information, and what steps are being taken to call media sources to account?

    • wandawanda

      That’s the trillion + dollar question there. I think that anyone who has an opportunity to get on any live feed for television or radio needs to beg the media to TELL THE TRUTH.
      Our battle is uphill until we get equal voice.

  • Sue Moxley

    I’m wondering why the FDA doesn’t concern itself with things such as HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP–things that have that have been proven to have a detrimental effect if ingested. Could it be that the effect on the health of America’s citizens has no bearing on whether or not a particular “ingredient” should be given the FDA’s blessing? I’m also wondering if there is any way at all that the public could persuade our government to dismantled the FDA and something that doesn’t belong to the drug companies put in its place.

  • Caroline

    Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss when people read headlines or hear such on radio or TV that the food they eat may be even more toxic than herbal supplements or vitamins and minerals, which is why I take Shaklee supplements. As a Traditional Chinese student Intern, herbs also do wonderful things and they are from plant and mineral substances. It would be better if people started thinking and not reacting to media clueless and inform themselves properly. I had a teacher tell the class that taking large quantities of vitamin C was toxic and dangerous. I had to raise my hand and tell the class that I have been taking between 5,000 to 10,000 grams of vitamin C for 40 years and I am not sick nor dead (I am 72 years old and take no drugs now that I have recouped my health). We need to supplement with vitamins and minerals, and we need certain herbs that will move our qi (energy force). If we rely on the government and if it gains control, we will be an even sicker people! Act and don’t just react!



  • William

    You folks are the BEST!!! At last, some light on a subject that has seriously needed it. Keep up the great work!

  • Debbie

    Who is going to expose the FDA’s cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical companies? Who is going to “correct” the widespread misinformation reported by the major news networks so that all understand what is really going on? Finally, what can be done to limit the amount of time Congress is in session, so that some of us can rest easier and enjoy a better quality of life?

  • Charles Seip

    I wonder what the lead and pesticide level in our fruits and vegetables in the produce dept of the grocery store are?

  • Debbie K

    Thanks for staying on top of this situation. I have MS and rely heavily on supplements to boost my immune function and stave off symptoms. Supplements work, whereas I have found few “drugs” that help. This is such an important issue. My neurologist, after more than 10 years of office visits, is now finally recommending certain vitamins that have been proven to help MS symptoms.

  • Roger

    You can bet Big Pharma was behind the “slamming” of the supplement industry. They know that many supplements are at least as good and in many cases better than any of the high-priced, toxic synthetic versions (drugs) they perpetrate on the unsuspecting public. Also, supplements for the most part pose little risk of dangerous side effects or addictions as opposed to most all of their pharmaceutical counterparts. That said, I am all for some form of regulation of the supplement industry. In the meantime, there has been plenty of independent testing over the years indicating the viability and effectiveness of many of the herbal supplements we use today. The somewhat amusing paradox is that the Fraud and Drug Administration (FDA) will not approve or give their blessing to “natural substances” but they can approve toxic synthetic versions of same all day long. Go figure?

  • I’ve taken supplements for forty years. Let me assure you that violent and allergic reactions have occurred only when I took chemical meds at a dr.’s prescription. When I happen to go to a doctor, he/she gets a list of the supplements I take, the medications to which I’ve had a reaction or allergy to and then we talk about any treatment necessary. I get so tired of medical personnel either laughing at my list or sighing and saying that I need to stop taking various supplements because they’ve “never heard” of them and therefore could not recommend them. Needless to say, I rarely see doctors.

  • Robaire Viloria

    Aloha! First of all I agree with – Martin Wolff – and also with many of the other respondents. I was introduced to supplements in the early 70’s with Great Earth Vitamins a business started by Dr. Earl Mindell. -Read his book the Vitamin Bible. – I mainly buy from Great Earth or Trader Joe’s, and products from Nature Made and Sundown Companies. Here’s something I want to share. One of the first Drs. that I went to was not very positive about me take Vitamin C (one of the first supplement I began using). When he was about to retire and the last time I saw him he turned to me as he was leaving the patient room and said, “Your right ” Keep taking the Vitamin C”



  • Ref:
    “Lastly, let’s not imagine, as Charles may or may not have meant to suggest, that increasing the FDA’s budget will lead to safer, higher quality supplements. The 1994 law governing supplements (DSHEA) ordered the FDA to establish good manufacturing practices (GMP’s) for supplement makers. The FDA dragged its heals for years. GMP’s for supplement makers will only finally come into force for all supplement companies next month, sixteen years after passage of the bill!”
    “The FDA dragged its heals for years?”
    “dragged its heals”?

  • Drina Brooke

    Dear Friends at Alliance for Natural Health:
    I agree whole-heartedly with the purpose and point of your article, and really want to thank you for bravely speaking up and defending free speech in our country, and freedom of health choices for all. This is the only moral way to go, and you are doing it. Thank you!!
    That said, I am not sure I agree with every detail in your article, and want to point something out.
    You state the our bodies have evolved to deal with trace amounts of metals. I question that. Not knowing for sure, but wondering about this, why are the cancer rates as high as 40% of the population, according to Dr. Mercola? What about Alzheimers, MS and other nervous system matters attributable to heavy metals? Lowered IQ in children and our nation over-all? I don’t think that the metals in foods/supplements/herbs are the sole cause by a long stretch of the imagination, but do question their cumulative contribution to these phenomena. Also…
    While some levels of metals may not set some people off symptomatically, others (such as chemically sensitive people), may indeed experience symptoms. The reference manual, Alternative Medicine: A Definitive Guide, (I believe correctly) states:
    “Metals that have no safe amount in the human system, may accumulate within the body (fat cells, central nervous system, bones, brain, glands and hair) and may have negative health effects. Any level of these toxic metals is not normal. the levels usually need to rise above th eestablished safety ranges to actually manifest in health problems. However, there is individual variation, and high normal levels may aggravate one person and not another”.
    Surely though, it is preferable to have trace amounts of lead in foods/herbs than it is to have fluoride in our waters, banned by eight countries and reported by the EPA to have no health benefits, and known to be more toxic than lead. And what about “Medications” approved by our “First Do No Harm” FDA, which punch holes in the esophagus (an osteoporosis drug by Eli LIlly), cause leukemia as “side effect” (radioactive iodine used to calm down hyper thyroids), and more? Hmmmm…..no harm done? What about aerial pesticide spraying, chemtrails (mentioned in Dennis Kucinich’s bill HR 2977, no conspiracy theory here, just fact). What about brain tumor-causing aspartame (according to Italian and many other studies), cell phones ditto, carcinogenic preservatives, etc etc….can we conclude that the FDA is actively campaigning to actually, deliberately undermine American health, in favor of big drug sales? I will let the reader decide. My own mind is made up.
    And what about the FDA campaign against freedom of health choice, by cracking down on the health food industry and attempting to make vitamins and herbs illegal, or very difficult to represent, and certainly not accurately? Well that being the case, I agree with you (as do we all) that this is a biased attempt to squelch our birthright, the freedom to choose the health therapies of our own choice. This is a criminal act, if you ask me. Thank you for helping, Friends, you are doing the right thing and we appreciate and applaud you.
    Drina Brooke, musician, herbalist

  • patrick

    i love supplements but many pills have too many unnecessary fillers in them. magnesium stearate is one example of a filler that doesn’t need to be there.

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