FDA Attacks Alternative Web Sites

From: Matthew Gaylor (freematt@coil.com)
Date: Fri Jan 07 2000 - 12:45:07 MST

[Note from Matthew Gaylor: This was sent to me from The Life
Extension Foundation. You can access the Foundation's Website at
http://www.lef.org to obtain additional information about the US Food
and Drug Administrations's [FDA] track record of unlawfully
suppressing life saving information.]

Date: 6 Jan 2000 01:03:20 -0000
Subject: FDA Attacks The Internet


By William Faloon

           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 web sites. 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

            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 today.

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 information.

An Alternative Proposal

        The FDA has its own Web site (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

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

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 communist

          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.gov>http://www.house.gov>

<Note: the House Directory at 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
ýMember Offices.ţ >

           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

You can access the Foundation's Website at http://www.lef.org to obtain
additional information about the FDA's track record of unlawfully
suppressing life saving information. AOL users can click here:
<a href="http://www.lef.org>http://www.lef.org>

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 ____________________
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 law 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

                 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

          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 drugs. 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.






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