- The FDA's history is one of incompetence, fraud, deceit
and the continuous striving for more power. Over the past 25 years, the
Food and Drug Administration has sought to gain authoritarian control that
Congress never intended it to have. In every attempt to seize this kind
of power, the FDA has been beaten back by a swell of public protest.
- The FDA has just launched a disinformation campaign to
deceive Congress into believing that the agency needs to "protect"
the public from health information on the Internet. The FDA is seeking
ten million tax dollars a year to attack alternative health and pharmacy
- If the FDA convinces Congress to give it the power and
money to do this, American consumers will be denied access to innovative
therapies, and will be forced to pay a good deal more for the nutrient
and drug therapies the FDA allows them to buy over the Internet.
- One of the FDA's proposals is to be able to fine Internet
pharmacies $500,000 every time they dispense a drug without a prescription
authorized by the agency. With this kind of excessive fining power, the
FDA will be able to bankrupt any online pharmacy it targets. To make it
easy for them to shut down large numbers of web sites, the FDA wants the
power to issue subpoenas without first obtaining a court order, a totalitarian
tactic the American public revolted against when the agency proposed it
in 1990. Finally, the FDA says it wants to set up "a rapid response
team" to identify, investigate, and prosecute web sites. In other
words, the FDA is seeking to establish an army of cyberspace storm-troopers
to enable it to shut down large numbers of web sites quickly.
- The alleged purpose of these new powers is to "target
and punish those who engage in illegal drug sales over the Internet."
- This may sound reasonable to the average person, but
as members of The Life Extension Foundation well know, the FDA's history
is one of ineptitude and corruption that has caused millions of Americans
to suffer and die needlessly. In 1994, the FDA Museum was established to
document FDA malfeasance, and show that the agency hasn't the scientific
legitimacy to be allowed to police the healthcare of the American people.
- A flagrant example of FDA deception can be found in their
current attempt to control the Internet. The FDA has identified one person
who died after obtaining Viagra from a Web pharmacy without a prescription.
The FDA is using this one death as an example of why the FDA needs to impose
dictatorial power over all health Web sites. One problem with this position
is that, as of November 1998, at least 130 Americans died from taking Viagra
legally prescribed by their doctors. (The total number of Viagra-related
deaths for 1999 has not yet been calculated.) The FDA approved Viagra as
being safe, even though many Americans have died when the drug has been
legally prescribed. The FDA failed to detect this lethal side effect of
Viagra, yet it is now seeking gestapo-like power to attack any Internet
health company it wishes to, without due process. It's time for the public
to speak up again to let Congress know that this kind of FDA tyranny will
not be tolerated by tax payers.
- WHY INTERNET REGULATION IS DOOMED TO FAIL:
- The powers the FDA is seeking are unconstitutional, and
the agency has neither the competence nor the integrity to police the Internet;
but even if it did, it would be impractical for the agency to do so. There
are currently an estimated 8,000 health sites on the Internet. If Congress
gives the FDA $10 million a year, the best the agency could do is shut
down a couple of hundred sites a year. Within a few years, the FDA would
create a litigation monster whose appetite would far exceed their $10 million
annual budget. The FDA would be bogged down in a quagmire of judicial proceedings,
while thousands of new health Web sites would be springing up that the
agency would be at an utter loss to control.
- The end result of the FDA's war against the free flow
of information on the Internet would be tens of millions of tax dollars
wasted, with less so-called consumer "protection" than exists
- THE FDA ALREADY HAS THE LEGAL POWER IT NEEDS:
- The charade the FDA is parading before Congress is that
they need more money and stricter laws to regulate e-commerce. The facts
are that the FDA already has the regulatory structure to "protect"
the consumer on the Internet. Much of what the FDA wants is already covered
by existing Federal and State law, but the agency is seeking to add another
bureaucratic layer of law and money to suppress the dissemination of health
- AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL
- The FDA has its own Web site (www.fda.gov <http://www.fda.gov
). For a fraction of the cost of becoming the health police of the Internet
police, the agency could post its own evaluation of alternative health
Web sites that it thought were promoting fraudulent or dangerous products.
Americans would then be free to make their own decisions about whether
to believe what the FDA says about health web sites.
- However, the FDA has no interest in trying to persuade
Americans with evidence. It wants (and has always wanted) authoritarian
powers and as much money as possible from Congress because it is a political
organization rather than a scientific one. As a result, FDA suppression
of information has been, historically, the leading cause of death in the
United States, while adverse reactions to FDA approved drugs is currently
the 4th-to-6th leading cause of death. Clearly, the FDA lacks the constitutional
authority, the competence, the integrity or the scientific credibility
to be given additional power and money to police the Internet.
- A HISTORY OF VICTORIES OVER THE FDA
- The Federal Courts, Congress and the public have dealt
the FDA severe losses over the past 25 years. The first citizens' victory
occurred in the 1970's when the FDA tried to turn vitamin supplements into
prescription drugs. An uproar from the public resulted in Congress unanimously
rejecting FDA's brazen arguments that vitamins are so "dangerous"
that they should only be prescribed by doctors. This blatant power grab
came at a time when the vast majority of doctors had little or no knowledge
of the health benefits of vitamins.
- In 1990, the FDA tried to have a law passed that would
have enabled the agency to make summary seizures of products from companies,
and institute wire taps without a court warrant. The public again defended
the Bill of Rights by inundating Congress with so much mail that the FDA's
proposed law was abandoned.
- In 1993, the FDA stated that it wanted to classify all
amino acids and many minerals as prescription drugs. The public expressed
such a high degree of outrage over the FDA's draconian proposition, that
Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (in 1994)
that significantly limited the FDA's authority to regulate dietary supplements.
- Since 1994, the FDA has circumvented the will of the
people and Congress by seeking to censor what the public is allowed to
hear about supplements and drugs. The FDA has been defeated repeatedly
in the counts, and has been forced to retreat because of an onslaught of
public opposition to all forms of censorship the agency has proposed.
- ORWELLIAN COMPUTER ROBOTS
- A nightmare scenario sometimes portrayed in science fiction
novels involves a totalitarian government using advanced computers to monitor
the activities of citizens. In these novels, people who don't behave according
to government standards are targeted for persecution or summary elimination.
- The Orwellian prophesy is becoming reality as the FDA
is proposing to spend a million dollars a year on artificial intelligence
computer robots that would scan the Internet for phrases such as "prevents
cancer" and "prescription drug" so the FDA could "swiftly
gather the information needed to prosecute."
- The new law the FDA is proposing would mandate that on-line
pharmacies first receive FDA-approval to operate. Pharmacies are currently
regulated by the States, but the FDA is seeking to impose a new Federal
bureaucratic layer that will greatly increase the cost of purchasing products
on the Internet.
- The FDA needs to convince Congress that American citizens
should be subjected to Orwellian investigative tactics and that tax payer
dollars should be appropriated to pay for these Web robots to assist the
FDA in detecting words it does not want Americans to read.
- American citizens who cherish their Constitutional rights
against undue government intrusion should contact their members of Congress
and demand that the FDA not be given the money, nor the legal authority
to control the Internet. This is more than just a health freedom issue.
The FDA's Orwellian proposals are unprecedented and would create lead to
a serious breakdown of our civil liberties if enacted into law.
- JUST TELL CONGRESS TO SAY "NO" TO THE FDA
- The FDA is using the free-flowing popularity of the Internet
in a ploy to deceive Congress into appropriating ten million tax dollars
a year to fund an unconstitutional witch hunt against free speech. The
new powers the FDA is seeking are blatantly un-American and resemble the
kinds of police- state tactics employed by totalitarian regimes such as
- The FDA's latest fabrication will fail if Americans tell
their Congressional representatives to say NO to any new proposal or law
that would give the FDA more power or money. Included in this message is
a letter that can be sent to Congress. To obtain the name, e-mail address,
voice phone number, and fax number of your member of Congress, check http://www.house.gov
or phone the Congressional switchboard at 1-202-224-3121. AOL users can
click here: <a href="http://www.house.govhttp://www.house.gov</a
- Note: the House Directory at www.house.gov <http://www.house.gov
was not working despite repeated attempts between 7:30 and 8:00 pm EST
1/5/00 but you can find both e-mail and mailing information for your Representative
by selecting Member Offices.
- We suggest that you also send a copy of this letter to:
- The President The White House Washington, DC 20500
- You can E-mail the President at this White House page
- We encourage Foundation members to defend the Constitution
against the FDA's latest attempt to gain repressive power over the individual's
right to choose. Please send the following letter (and/or your own letter)
to your Congressional representative:
- To the Honorable ____________________ Date:____________________
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
- The Fiscal Year 2001 budget to be submitted by the Executive
Branch of the government contains a provision whereby the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) is to be appropriated ten million dollars a year to
police the Internet. I am vehemently opposed to my tax dollars being used
to fund the FDA for this purpose. I believe that additional FDA power
and funding would be used to deprive the American people of valuable health
information and health products.
- In the FY 2001 budget proposal, the FDA is asking Congress
to pass new laws that would give the agency repressive powers that would
restrict the free flow of information on the Internet. I ask that you vote
against any proposed law that gives the FDA more control over what I am
allowed to read and put into my body. Some of the unconstitutional authority
the FDA is seeking includes:
- (1) Issuing subpoenas without a court order. Giving the
FDA this new power is unconstitutional, and would will create a litigation
monster whose annual appetite would rapidly exceed the ten million dollars
a year the agency is seeking.
- (2) Fining Internet pharmacies $500,000.00 every time
they sell a drug that does not meet the FDA's definition of a legal prescription.
This type of excessive fine would enable the FDA to bankrupt any online
pharmacy it decides to target in a capricious and arbitrary manner.
- (3) Setting up "a rapid response team" to identify,
investigate, and prosecute Web sites, i.e., the FDA is seeking to establish
an army of storm-troopers to summarily shut down any web site it chooses.
- Please do not be misled by the FDA's attempts to convince
you that they are trying to protect the health of the American people by
regulating the Internet. According to the April 15, 1998 issue of the Journal
of the American Medical Association, adverse reactions to legally prescribed
FDA-approved drugs are the fourth-to-sixth leading cause of death in the
United States. Since this article was published almost two years ago, the
FDA has done nothing to reduce the number of Americans dying from dangerous
drugs, yet the FDA now seeks ten million tax dollars a year to attack health
and pharmacy Web sites.
- If the FDA convinces Congress to grant it more power
and money to attack health web sites, American consumers will be denied
access to innovative therapies and pay a lot more for their prescription
- I therefore ask that you write to me with your position
on this issue so I will know how to cast my ballot when you up for election.