Monday, May 24, 2010

FDA pours salt in the Constitution’s wounds

It's bad enough when Congress exercises unconstitutional powers. It's even worse when unelected bureaucrats do it. The FDA has decided, all on its own, that it has the power to reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

Depending on your genetic predisposition and health history, this move could be life threatening to YOU.

The FDA wants you to forget that . . .

* the Constitution gives the federal government no jurisdiction over your nutritional choices

* every person is unique -- many people might benefit from less sodium, while others could be harmed by it (see the sample letter below for examples)'s Write the Laws Act (WTLA) would prevent bureaucratic schemes like this. It would . . .

* Restore the Constitution's separation of powers by requiring Congress to approve all regulation

* Restrict executive branch agencies like the FDA to implementation and enforcement

* Prohibit unaccountable bureaucrats from imposing their social engineering projects on your life

Please send a letter telling your Representative and your Senators to introduce and pass the WTLA. You may borrow from, modify, or copy this letter . . . .
You should be as angry as I am that the FDA is bypassing Congress and imposing a costly salt-reduction program on its own supposed authority.

As a policy, the proposal is dubious at best. Morton Satin of the Salt Institute raised the following issues in USA Today:

* Salt is an essential nutrient.

* When salt is significantly reduced the results are mixed: 30% experience a minor drop in blood pressure, about 20% experience a slight increase, and the rest experience no change at all.

* Women consume much less sodium per day than men do. Mandatory reductions may put women at greater risk of hyponatremia.

* Pregnant women on low-salt diets give birth to low weight babies, who then have a lifelong increased salt appetite.

* Several peer-reviewed publications indicate that congestive heart failure patients placed on low-salt diets die, or are readmitted to hospitals, far more frequently than those not placed on low-salt diets.

* Italians eat much more salt than we do, yet their cardiovascular numbers are nearly the best in the world.

* There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for salt consumption, because all of us are unique.

But the fundamental issue is this:

The FDA has no Constitutional authority to create new laws. Only you people in Congress have this power. As this ridiculous salt-reduction plan proves, transferring lawmaking power to unelected bureaucrats is even more dangerous than giving politicians that power. Congress should . . .

* stop the FDA from implementing this program

* and prevent unelected bureaucracies from imposing rules on me and my neighbors

The best way to accomplish this is to pass the Write the Laws Act. Please introduce this bill.


Doctor behind MMR vaccine scare set to be struck off

This guy has killed or disabled maybe hundreds of kids. He should be burnt at the stake

Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who triggered the MMR vaccine scare, is likely to be struck off today as the longest medical misconduct hearing in British history draws to a close. After nearly three years of formal investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC), Dr Wakefield and two other doctors are expected to be found guilty of serious professional misconduct and removed from the medical register.

A fitness to practise panel has already found Dr Wakefield and two former colleagues, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, guilty of a series of charges over “unethical” research that sparked unfounded fears that the vaccine was linked to bowel disease and autism.

But parents were today advised that it was “never too late” to give their children the triple vaccine — to protect against measles, mumps and rubella — as the panel was due to give its final verdicts and possible sanctions.

The doctors, formerly employed at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North London, first raised concerns over the combined MMR vaccine in 1998, when they published a study of 12 children in The Lancet medical journal.

The fallout from the study — including Tony Blair’s refusal to say whether his infant son had been vaccinated — caused hundreds of thousands of parents to boycott the jab. Immunisation rates fell, leading to a resurgence of potentially deadly measles cases in recent years.

The GMC looked only at how the doctors’ acted during the research, not whether the findings were right or wrong — although they have been rejected by medical experts since publication.

In a preliminary verdict in January, the GMC’s fitness to practise panel said that most of the 149 charges against Dr Wakefield, Dr Walker-Smith and Dr Murch had been found proved and were “sufficient to amount to serious professional misconduct”.

Dr Wakefield, 53, had acted irresponsibly and “showed a callous disregard” for the suffering of children in conducting unnecessary, invasive tests in some cases, the GMC ruled.

His former colleagues also failed in their duties as responsible consultants in carrying out the research that was against the childrens’ best interests and without official permission, the panel said.

After the hearing, Dr Wakefield, who moved to Texas in 2001, said that the findings were “unjust and unfounded”. But weeks later he resigned as executive director at the Thoughtful House Centre for Children in Austin, a clinic that he helped to found in 2005.

The Lancet — which had withdrawn contested parts of the paper in 2004, subsequently retracted the article in full. Dr Wakefield and his colleagues have denied any wrongdoing.

Uptake of the MMR vaccine was 91 per cent before 1998, but by 2003 this had fallen to 79 per cent. Although vaccination rates have improved with 85 per cent of British children now receiving both recommended doses of MMR, in 2008 there were nearly 1,400 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales, compared with 57 in 1997.

A spokesperson for the Health Protection Agency said: “We again are reminding parents to remain vigilant against measles and that it’s never too late to get your child immunised with the MMR vaccine. “Although MMR coverage is starting to improve, we cannot stress enough that measles is serious and in some cases it can be fatal. Delaying immunisation puts children at risk.”

The GMC’s fitness to practise panel sat for a total of 216 days since the hearing began in July 2007 — the longest hearing in the regulator’s 150-year history. It was initially expected to conclude within three months.

The costs of the proceedings — involving a panel of three doctors and two lay members, and legal representation for the GMC and the accused — have not been revealed disclosed but are likely to be considerable for the watchdog, which is funded by doctors who pay an annual retention fee of £410.

Later this month, Dr Wakefield is set to publish his book on the hearing, with a forword by Jenny McCarthy, the former Playboy model, who has an autistic son.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “The GMC has given its conclusions on Dr Wakefield’s fitness to practice. The safety of MMR has been endorsed through numerous studies in many countries. Thankfully, more parents are having their children vaccinated with MMR and they see it as being as safe as other childhood vaccines.”


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