The return of Sen. Dick Durbin

Yesterday, I warned you about Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) misguided attempt to derail the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) reform hearings held 10 years ago. He wrongly pointed his finger at supplement makers. And in doing so, he got the FDA off the hook for not doing its job.

And this month, hailing from the “Land of Lincoln,” Sen. Durbin is back like a bad penny. And he’s on the attack again against the supplement industry.

You see, Sen. Durbin doesn’t think you are responsible enough to make your own decisions about dietary supplements. And he’s still not satisfied with DSHEA.

So he introduced new legislation called the Dietary Supplemental Labeling Act. This “supplemental” law would give more power to the FDA to regulate dietary supplement ingredients. In effect, the FDA could begin to treat supplements as if they were drug medications. And it would require increased warning labels. And impose new restrictions on what manufacturers can produce.

Sen. Durbin originally put the bill in front of Congress last year. But it failed to make it out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Undeterred, Sen. Durbin recently put the bill in front of Congress again this August when most in Washington weren’t paying attention.

Regardless of my personal experience with Sen. Durbin, this new legislation is completely unnecessary. And dangerous to your health.

A free market encourages manufacturers to produce safe, high-quality dietary supplements. And in a free market, educated consumers remember when manufacturers put out dangerous products.

But Sen. Durbin believes today’s consumers can’t think for themselves.

I suppose, in a way, he’s right.

You see, too many people still don’t realize that there’s such a thing as high-quality versus low-quality supplements. And in recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in manufacturers that offer low-cost, low-quality products. These companies don’t pay for the superior scientific and technical research and manufacturing that it takes to make safe and effective supplements.

Meanwhile, John Q. Public thinks he can buy fish oil at a big box store and get good results. But he doesn’t know what to look for. And what he doesn’t know can hurt him.

These low-quality supplements don’t work the way their high-quality counterparts do. In fact, using poor-quality supplements ensures that you get poor results–whether in a scientific study. Or for your own personal health.

As a result, Sen. Durbin says we need protection against these “bad” supplement companies. And his solution is to hand over complete control of the entire industry to the government.

What are the chances that will work?

I’m not a gambling man. But I’d bet against that.

It is important that consumers speak up against this “government knows best” approach. Don’t give the FDA more to do. They are still struggling with what we asked them to do 20 years ago with DSHEA.

Write to your congressional representatives today. And tell them that you don’t want Sen. Durbin’s new law. And keep reading my Daily Dispatch. I’ll help you steer clear of all the low-quality supplements out there.