This is why these 1,700+ page pieces of legislation, and the people in Congress who are writing them, cannot be trusted.
Of all the sneaky tactics practiced in Washington D.C., this recent action by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is one of the most insidious: While no one was looking, he injected amendment language into the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) that would expand the powers of the Federal Trade Commission (not the Federal Drug Administration, but the FTC) to terrorize nutritional supplement companies by greatly expanding the power of the FTC to make its own laws that target dietary supplement companies.
This is a little-known secret about the FTC and the nutritional supplements business: The FTC routinely targets nutritional supplement companies that are merely telling the truth about their products. Some companies are threatened by merely linking to published scientific studies about their products.
They target a particular company that's having success in the natural products marketplace, then they accuse that company of "inferring" that their products have some health benefit. From there, the FTC demands that the company engage in paying a massive fine to the FTC, which the FTC calls "consumer redress" even though none of the money actually goes to the consumers.
If you try to fight the FTC, they haul you into their own special "FTC courts" which are not public courts where you have the benefit of a jury, but rather they are courts where the judges are actually FTC employees and you have no rights. You are essentially guilty until proven innocent, and virtually no one has been found innocent by the FTC.
The FTC also forces you to sign a "consent decree" which involves you admitting to committing crimes that you have actually never committed. These crimes include the "criminal misrepresentation of a product" by, for example, explaining that walnuts help support healthy cholesterol levels or that cherries ease symptoms of inflammation.
Using these methods, the FTC has extorted tens of millions of dollars out of nutritional supplement companies. More importantly, it has terrorized the industry and put several companies out of business, denying the American public access to products that could improve their health and prevent disease.
It's Legalized Extortion.
Read more here.
It is pretty despicable that these legislators use every conniving way to expand government control, while they complain bitterly about the way corporations do business. Looks like the government acts no differently then the folks they are trying to regulate when it comes to domination.
I hope that someone in Congress will strip this garbage out of this legislation.
This Congress is so utterly broken and corrupt.
Please, California - you are the land of granola and health foods - Please boot Waxman out next term.... please???!!!