This is certainly heavy-handed. Negotiation about what health effects can be asserted on the label would have been more reasonable
Big Government no longer has to pass the laugh test before expanding its power, which means any bureaucracy can regulate most anything that catches its attention. For example, the FDA is now cracking down on the “drug” we know as walnuts:
Because Diamond Foods made truthful claims about the health benefits of consuming walnuts that the FDA didn’t approve, it sent the company a letter declaring, “Your walnut products are drugs” — and “new drugs” at that — and, therefore, “they may not legally be marketed … in the United States without an approved new drug application.” The agency even threatened Diamond with “seizure” if it failed to comply.
Diamond’s transgression was to make “financial investments to educate the public and supply them with walnuts,” as William Faloon of Life Extension magazine put it. On its website and packaging, the company stated that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts have been shown to have certain health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. These claims, Faloon notes, are well supported by scientific research: “Life Extension has published 57 articles that describe the health benefits of walnuts”; and “The US National Library of Medicine database contains no fewer than 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack risk.”
This evidence was apparently not good enough for the FDA, which told Diamond that its walnuts were “misbranded” because the “product bears health claims that are not authorized by the FDA.”
The FDA’s letter continues: “We have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease.” Furthermore, the products are also “misbranded” because they “are offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners; therefore, adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes.” Who knew you had to have directions to eat walnuts?
There are actually people who want to live in a country where officious petty tyrants regulate every aspect of our lives. But the rest of us are Americans.
Australian Professor thinks he can create skin cancer vaccine
CANCER expert Prof Ian Frazer is on the verge of a major breakthrough in skin cancer - he hopes to develop a vaccine within a year.
The former Australian of the Year and creator of the world's first cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, has developed a world-first strategy to combat the insidious disease that affects two out of three Australians.
"In my lifetime we should be able to remove the threat of skin cancer from the next generation," the 57-year-old immunology professor said. "The smoking gun evidence is there is a virus or viruses that cause it."
Prof Frazer believes people can "catch" cancer from a virus. He proved his theory by identifying the human papilloma virus (HPV) as the cause of cervical cancer and then developing a vaccine against the virus to rid the female population of the cancer.
Now he is using a similar tactic to try to combat skin cancer, including malignant melanomas. "This group of cancers caused by virus infection present a great opportunity because the idea of vaccinating to prevent a cancer is enormously appealing," he said.
Prof Frazer said the problem was two-fold. "Genetics and variations in people's immune systems may expose some people to greater risk of skin cancer after sun exposure," he said. "If you take away the body's defence systems, skin cancer becomes more common."
His theory is that some viruses - particularly the wart virus or HPV - are embedded in the layers of the skin, which then pose a skin cancer risk for people with damaged immune systems.
"The technology now exists for me to test my theory," Prof Frazer said. "It is very powerful but also very expensive. "Using this tool, we will go hunting for the fingerprints of the virus or viruses present."
Prof Frazer's team will input all the sequenced genetic information on skin cancer - which will take six months - and then get an answer. "We will know if a virus causes skin cancer and what virus it is," he said.