[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 75 (Friday, May 27, 2011)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E972]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                             HON. RON PAUL

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 26, 2011

  Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce two pieces of legislation 
restoring the First Amendment rights of consumers to receive truthful 
information regarding the benefits of foods and dietary supplements. 
The first bill, the Health Freedom Restoration Act, codifies the First 
Amendment by ending the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s efforts to 
censor truthful health claims. The second bill, the Freedom of Health 
Speech Act, codifies the First and Fifth Amendment by requiring the 
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prove that health claims are false 
before it takes action to stop manufacturers and marketers from making 
the claims.
  The American people have made it clear they do not want the federal 
government to interfere with their access to dietary supplements, yet 
the FDA and the FTC continue to engage in heavy-handed attempts to 
restrict such access. The FDA continues to frustrate consumers' efforts 
to learn how they can improve their health even after Congress, 
responding to a record number of constituents' comments, passed the 
Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). FDA 
bureaucrats are so determined to frustrate consumers' access to 
truthful information that they are even evading their duty to comply 
with four federal court decisions vindicating consumers' First 
Amendment rights to discover the health benefits of foods and dietary 
  FDA bureaucrats have even refused to abide by the DSHEA section 
allowing the public to have access to scientific articles and 
publications regarding the role of nutrients in treating diseases by 
claiming that every article concerning this topic is evidence of intent 
to sell an unapproved and unlawful drug.
  Because of the FDA's censorship of truthful health claims, millions 
of Americans may suffer with diseases and other health care problems 
they may have avoided by using dietary supplements. For example, the 
FDA prohibited consumers from learning how folic acid reduces the risk 
of neural tube defects for four years after the Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention recommended every woman of childbearing age take 
folic acid supplements to reduce neural tube defects. This FDA action 
contributed to an estimated 10,000 cases of preventable neural tube 
  The FDA also continues to prohibit consumers from learning about the 
scientific evidence that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are 
effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis; that omega-3 fatty acids 
may reduce the risk of sudden death heart attack; that calcium may 
reduce the risk of bone fractures; and that vitamin D may reduce the 
risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, and cancer.
  The Health Freedom Restoration Act will force the FDA to at last 
comply with the commands of Congress, the First Amendment, numerous 
federal courts, and the American people by codifying the First 
Amendment prohibition on prior restraint. Specifically, the Health 
Freedom Restoration Act stops the FDA from censoring truthful claims 
about the curative, mitigative, or preventative effects of dietary 
supplements. The Health Freedom Restoration Act also stops the FDA from 
prohibiting the distribution of scientific articles and publications 
regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against disease. The FDA 
has proven that it cannot be trusted to protect consumers' rights to 
make informed choices. It is time for Congress to stop the FDA from 
censoring truthful health information.
  The Freedom of Health Speech Act addresses the FTC's violations of 
the First Amendment. Under traditional constitutional standards, the 
federal government bears the burden of proving an advertising statement 
false before censoring that statement. However, the FTC shifted the 
burden of proof to industry. The FTC presumes health advertizing is 
false and compels private parties to prove the ads (and everything the 
regulators say the ads imply) to be true to a near conclusive degree. 
This violation of the First and Fifth Amendments is harming consumers 
by blocking innovation in the health foods and dietary supplement 
  The Freedom of Health Speech Act requires the government actually 
prove that speech is false before the FTC acts against the speaker. 
This is how it should be in a free society where information flows 
freely in order to foster the continuous improvement that benefits us 
all. The bill also requires that the FTC warn parties that their 
advertising is false and give them a chance to correct their mistakes 
before the FTC censors the claim and imposes other punishments.
  Mr. Speaker, if we are serious about putting people in charge of 
their health care, then shouldn't we stop federal bureaucrats from 
preventing Americans from learning about simple ways to improve their 
health. I therefore call on my colleagues to stand up for good health 
and the Constitution by cosponsoring the Health Freedom Restoration Act 
and the Freedom of Health Speech Act.