The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) violated the First Amendment rights of a nutritional supplement company when it censored truthful, scientifically-backed claims about how selenium can help reduce the risk of cancer.
In this case, the FDA tried to censor a company’s selenium supplements saying that the claims about the health benefits of the dietary supplements could not be justified.
In this court case, Alliance for Natural Health, the plaintiffs—including Durk Pearson, Sandy Shaw and the Coalition to End FDA and FTC Censorship sued FDA, based on precedent cases, over the denial of a petition for several qualified health claims for selenium and the risk of certain cancers., the judge ruled that the FDA violated the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs by restricting their free speech about the anti-cancer benefits of their selenium supplements.
The FDA harasses legitimate nutritional supplement companies by
- sending letters threatening to arrest the owners
- imprisoning them
- destroying their business
- seizing their customer records
- confiscating their inventory for non compliance. To learn more
These terror tactics have been extremely effective, because most U.S. companies lack the financial resources to battle the FDA in court.
This victory by the Alliance for Natural Health is landmark: It provides a legal wedge by which other companies can now begin to stand up for their own First Amendment rights. there were better and more appropriately designed studies assessing the effects of nutrients on chronic disease risk reduction, the need to extensively qualify claims would be lessened. NIH seems to be moving in this direction, with both ODS and NCCAM focusing future research dollars on smaller, more rigorous Phase-2 trials that will invest heavily in the use of biomarkers of exposure and surrogates for disease. However, any results are years away.
Both the FDA and FTC have been attempting to suppress the truth about cherries and walnuts for many years, intimidating cherry and walnut product companies with all sorts of threats to try to force them to remove any links to scientific information about the health benefits of cherries and walnuts. To learn more, click here.
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