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Hands Up! Back Slowly Away From the Vitamins!
By Bob Unruh World Net Daily
August 30, 2008
The Goliath-sized Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have launched an attack on a small radio program and its accompanying website for recommending natural remedies to health problems, but in this case, David is fighting back.
Daniel Chapter One, a national Christian radio program and natural healing ministry, told WND today it may end up going to court against the FTC and FDA over the agencies' attempts to censor the information the ministry releases regarding "natural alternatives" to chemical and drug medications.
"If the FTC is successful in silencing Daniel Chapter One, individual consumers seeking to improve their health and the health of American society as a whole will suffer important losses," said Attorney James S. Turner, lead counsel for the organization, which has set up a separate website to track its battle with the federal government over the issue of vitamins, herbs and other natural supplements.
Jim Feijo, who with his wife set up the Rhode Island-based service that operates as a Christian ministry, told WND the dispute arose after officials in the Canadian health service contacted him and ordered him to shut down his operations. After he declined to cooperate, Canadian officials apparently contacted the FTC and FDA to insist on their demands.
But the issue isn't so simple as someone offering to sell illegal drugs; the products the program offers are natural substances and information about the treatments comes from those who experienced different levels of help, not a flam-flam artist.
According to a letter from Turner, his clients turned down the FTC's "offer to settle its claims" by shutting down operations and paying a substantial fine.
"We have stated your strong belief that you have done nothing that you are not entitled to do and that you have complied with any and all just and constitutional laws that govern your conduct," Turner wrote.
"We said that because of your strong belief about the propriety of your behavior and that of Daniel Chapter One you are willing, and intend with our assistance, to present your case for a public hearing before the FTC, and if necessary in court.
"Your deeply held convictions raise serious legal questions for the FTC and the courts. First, what is the nature and intent of the law the FTC seeks to enforce and how does the Constitution restrain government power in enforcing that law? The courts are making it increasingly clear that government must clearly identify health claim wrongs and use the least intrusive power to correct them," he continued.
Regarding FDA intrusion into the situation, Turner said, "regulators must prove that the statements are in fact claims, that they are false claims that are impossible to be true for anyone, and that the defendants knew them to be false at the time they made them."
"Should this action move to court, we will raise the issues surrounding your constitutional rights to make a truthful statements supported by the material you have accumulated in your efforts to help people lead better lives," the lawyer wrote.
"We've lived in communist Berlin, Poland, China, and we've never seen anything like this," Feijo told WND. "They're threatening to come in and confiscated our legal products."
The FDA did not return a WND message today requesting comment, and the FTC could not be reached to leave a message.
Feijo, who's been involved with natural remedies and natural foods for decades, said he focuses on traditional folk remedies – except the federal government wants to ban that phrase – and he describes the government's goals as "mind-blowing."
"This is an absurd attempt to prevent the sharing of knowledge," he said.
He said if the government is successful in its current maneuver, there would be no limit to the dangers ordinary people could face. Grandmother's cold remedy could be called a medical treatment and regulated and taxed, and anyone administering "treatments" such as water for dehydration could be determined to be practicing medicine, he suggested.
One of the website's top promotions today included a fluoride reduction system that is described as the most "advanced cartridge system in the world" and says it can remove 91 percent of the fluoride in the water.
Interestingly, WND reported only a few weeks ago that the National Kidney Foundation has withdrawn its support for the chemical water additive and the American Water Works Association has been notified it must not eliminate or tamper with documents concerning fluoridation of water as they could be needed in potential lawsuits.
Feijo told WND the federal agencies had demanded customer lists and purchase records of all customers. The agencies also had demanded that a letter go to all customers from Daniel Chapter One warning everyone that its products didn't work.
But that doesn't make any sense, Turner insisted.
"Some products can be proven safe and effective for everyone, and some can be proven unsafe and/or ineffective for everyone. There are also some claims that can be proven as always true and some that can be proven as always false," he said.
But in the case of the natural remedies, the statements "are either in the area where they are always true or in the gray area [where results of treatment vary by individual.]"
The FTC, however, "mandates that consumers may only receive health information from producers and sellers that the FTC has determined is proven by the 'science' it selects. No historical knowledge, consumer experience, or traditional practice satisfies FTC demands," the protest website said.
Therein lies the dispute.
"By depriving consumer choice and the right to hear sellers' knowledge about health aspects of their products, the one-size-fits-all FTC health information standard deprives consumer access to alternative health approaches. If the FTC had enforced this standard against Daniel Chapter One over the past 30 years, hundreds of people who provide testimony that Daniel Chapter One products improved or even saved their lives may not have survived," the organization said.
"The Constitution allows individuals to make potentially risky choices for themselves. The FTC does not. Instead, the FTC makes highly risky choices for consumers who have no way to object," the organization said. "Daniel Chapter One's goal is to help people honestly and the help of consumers will be crucial to take this historic stand."
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
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