Citizens for Health Launches Campaign to Protect
Consumer Access to Supplement Information


Citizens for Health has launched the Consumer "Write to Know" Campaign
opposing FDA's recently proposed labeling regulations for dietary
supplements. These regulations would limit consumers' access to
information regarding the uses of supplements at a time when interest in
them is more far-reaching than ever before.

The proposed regulations attempt to define acceptable structure/function
statements allowed on dietary supplement labels by the Dietary
Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). With consumer
interest in supplements, herbs and other related products crossing age,
racial, economic and educational divisions, what consumers have made
clear is what they want most is access to more information, not less.

Citizens is working to inform consumers of their opportunity to insist
that their right to product information be maintained. Government
agencies do respond to consumer pressure, as evidenced by the recent
organic issue with the USDA.

The goal with the "Write to Know" Campaign was to generate 100,000
consumer comments opposing these regulations by the end of the public
comment period on August 27, 1998. This campaign followed on the heels
of a successful "Keep 'Organic' Organic" Campaign which helped generate
300,000 comments to the USDA demanding the agency rewrite its proposed
organic regulations.

FDA's proposed labeling regulations, in an effort to narrow what can be
said about supplements versus what can be said about drugs, have
redefined disease to say that any deviation of the body from a "natural"
state would be considered a "disease".

"We have launched the "Write to Know" Campaign because FDA's regulations
do not support access to information about dietary supplements and
health as called for in DSHEA," says Susan Haeger, President/CEO of
Citizens for Health. "If these proposed regulations are finalized,
producers of dietary supplements will not be able to tell consumers how
new scientific research has been linked to supplements that address
"natural" states ‹ or how their products can be used to address them."

Already involved in this campaign are: the National Nutritional Foods
Association (NNFA), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Utah
Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition
(CRN), national retail chains GNC, Wild Oats, Whole Foods, along with
NNFA retailer members, independent health food stores and health
practitioners nationwide.

For more information, contact Citizens for Health at (800) 357-2211 or
visit their website .

Comments to FDA must be mailed or faxed by September 27, 1998. Comments should be mailed to Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food & Drug Administration, Attn: Michael Friedman, M.D., Lead Deputy Commissioner, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20857, or faxed to (301) 827-6870. E-mail all three of these addresses: mf28c@nih.-gov , , and . You can also e-mail through Citizens' website at .


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