Saturday, March 1, 2008

Defending DSHEA

The editorial below is by Robert Watson, the President of the industry-esteemed company, Vitamin Research Products. VRP manufactures the formulations Biosyntrx designs.

" I was dismayed that baseball officials are blaming the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) for the alleged steroid abuse by athletes. Donald Fehr, Major League Baseball’s union chief, recently testified to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that Congress has played a role in the steroid abuse scandal by passing DSHEA in 1994.

In an interview with The New York Daily News, UCLA professor Don Catlin, who runs the Olympic lab in Los Angeles, jumped on the anti-DSHEA bandwagon, saying, “It was very clear to me that DSHEA was created in order to give the supplement manufacturers a huge shield so they could distribute steroids.”

As the President/CEO of a company that prides itself on producing well-researched, high-quality nutritional supplements that contain exactly what is listed on the label, I’m appalled at these ridiculous statements.

First, DSHEA was passed to protect the rights of consumers. Prior to DSHEA, FDA was arbitrarily treating supplements as either unapproved food additives or drugs, which they are not, restricting consumers’ access to nutritional supplements.

Second, the anabolic steroid drugs athletes are abusing cannot scientifically or ethically be compared to nutritional supplements. Hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone and progesterone are all found naturally in the human body, do not produce the same potent effects associated with prescription anabolic steroid drugs and have been shown to enhance many aspects of health.

Fehr’s testimony has unearthed the first stirrings of DSHEA unrest in Congress. House Oversight Committee’s chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), agrees with Fehr that DSHEA is ripe for review.

Fehr and the baseball industry clearly are trying to find a scapegoat to distract Congress and pull attention away from the true problem. This misguided approach is endangering DSHEA, one of the most important and beneficial laws Congress has passed. I urge you to contact your representatives and senators and ask them to continue to support DSHEA and your right to have access to nutritional supplements."


Anonymous said...

By definition, we finally became a police state last month since the government now has the ability to spy on all of us whenever it wants without having to get a warrant.

The President deemed torture legal; our soldiers are still dying in Iraq; more dirty dealings between the FDA and BIG PHARMA came to light in the NYT; and the Dow dropped 315 points yesterday. Still our elected officials found time to devote a week of hearings to listen to a baseball player claim "dietary supplements made me use steroids."

We can only hope the folks running for office in November recognize that the citizens of this country are in NO MOOD to have the government take away their right to buy dietary supplements.

Ellen Troyer, MT MA said...

Scientific data clearly suggests that dietary supplements have an amazing safety record. They are necessary to address nutrient deficiencies associated with most all degenerative disease, and they are affordable.

Hopefully, concerned voting citizens will not put people in positions of power, and will remove all politicans from power who would vote to let the FDA and Congress repeal DSHEA.

MWG said...

Repealing DSHEA could be the tipping point responsible for a thinking citizens revolution!

Doc Sarvis said...

Intelligent thinking posits that Big Pharma saboteurs have their dirty finger prints all over this Congressional Farce.

E Abbey said...

Kudos to Rob Watson!

A true patriot is willing to defend his country against his government, when necessary.

Jeff Anshel OD said...

Remember- we don't have a healthcare system in this country; we have "disease management" and it isn't working. They'll look ANYWHERE for a scapegoat...

Spencer Thornton, MD said...

Remember the rule (as used by those blaming DSHEA for steroid abuse) "Always blame someone else for what you get caught at."

Steroid use has nothing to do with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (allowing access to legitimate nutritional supplements) and everything to do with abuse of prescription medications.

Steroids formed naturally in the body (as DHEA, pregnenolone and progesterone) do not cause the dramatic physical changes desired by those abusing prescription steroids. The abusers use anabolic (metabolism enhancing) steroids as a shortcut to muscle development, in the long run damaging their body.

Nutritional supplements are a boon to health, but can be misused, just like everything else. To blame them for ones poor judgment is irresponsible at best, and certainly dishonest.

Larry Alexander said...

Well I sure enough smell something bad here and it isn't Valerian. Government controlled by the pharmaceutical industry is messing with the rights of individuals to pursue good health. The pharmaceutical industry would love for all of us to be using 3-6 Rx agents. Why would they be interested in us modifying our lifestyle and supplementing our government-controlled high fat, high sugar, processed food diets. This behavior is what keeps the economics of our country going. Well of course add in the economics of pork barrel politics.

Come on!! We are already over governmentized (made up word) and under represented. Let's not blame health seeking individuals for the blight of baseball in America. Heck baseball, just step up to the plate and admit that illegal steroids are being used and either accept it as a part of sports or stop it. We have wasted too much time on this while our babies are getting killed or maimed in the Mid East. If the athletes want to compromise their lives let them but don't stop us from wanting to maximize our lives.

Get on with something important and realize we are not nearly as stupid as you think we are. We do, in fact try to stay healthy. Just read the medical literature.

Larry Alexander, O.D.