I thought that would get your attention.
There are staunch and stalwart dietary supplement champions on the “D” side of the aisle, such as Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and one of the greatest supplement industry gladiators of all time, Democratic Sen. William Proxmire (Wisconsin), whose name is attached to one of the most important pro-supplement bills ever passed in the last 100 years, what is often referred to as the Proxmire Vitamin Bill of 1975, or Senate Bill 548, which was signed into law in 1976.
What the Experts in Washington Tell Us
Assuming blue states lean Democratic, red states lean Republican, and purple states are up-for-grabs, 13 out of the 20 Senators (or 65%) who voted in favor of Durbin’s amendment (or more technically, voted for it to stay attached to Senate Bill 3187) were from blue states, four were from purple states (20%) and three were Democrats from red states (15%). Here was how the voting went.
Also, Democrats have received (and continue to receive) a great deal of criticism from constituents and stakeholders for their weak (or non-) response to the FDA's outrageous NDI Draft Guidance that was proposed last year.
Of course not all anti-supplement legislation originates on the “donkey” side of the aisle. In 2010, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced the widely vilified Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010, or S. 3002, which the Senator was forced to withdraw after massive grassroots opposition.
Of the two much-despised House bills from 2009 (Rosa DeLauro’s HR 875 and Jim Costa’s HR 1332), the former was a 100% Democrat-sponsored bill (with 41 co-sponsors) and the latter was largely (approximately 66%) backed by Democrats.
And for clarity’s sake, it is important to remember that although almost all (if not all) anti-supplement bills are couched in names that carry the word “safety” in their titles, they do not advance safety at all but, instead, reduce consumer access to high-quality, innovative supplements; they are, therefore, anti-safety bills or, at a minimum, anti-health!
Gormley Take-Away: The point of this commentary is not to point any fingers at any one party, as all American patriots are presumably both democratic and republican (lower-case intentional). It is merely to recommend that you do your homework before the November presidential and Congressional elections so that you know which candidates seem most likely to be supportive of health freedom and supplements . . . and which do not. You may also be able to educate your U.S. legislator on the issues if he or she is not familiar with the science, benefits and safety of nutritional supplements. Ask your legislator to join the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, which is currently co-chaired by 2 Democratic Congressmen (Frank Pallone and Jared Polis) and 2 Republican Congressmen (Dan Burton and Jason Chaffetz); Sens. Orrin Hatch (R) and Tom Harkin (D) have previously served as co-chairs. Your U.S. legislators can reach the Caucus at 202-225-2161 (Cannon House Office Bldg., Room 501).