Chaffetz and Polis introduce the Free Speech About Science Act

Apr 5, 2011
Helping consumers make informed choices related to their personal health and well being
Washington, DC—Today Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced HR 1364 the Free Speech About Science Act.  The bill allows the producers of healthy foods and dietary supplements to cite legitimate scientific studies on the health benefits of their products.
Current FDA laws and regulations prohibit any reference to a scientific study by manufacturers of a dietary supplement or producers of healthy foods if the information documents any health benefits.  Violation of this ban can result in FDA declaring common dietary supplements and foods to be unapproved drugs.  This is because these studies are seen as extensions of the product label, even if the study is referenced on the website and not just the packaging.
The provisions of HR 1364 do the following:
  • Allow dietary supplements and healthy foods to cite legitimate scientific research.
  • Provide a clear definition of the types of research that may be referenced by growers and manufacturers.
  • Ensure that referencing such research does not convert a food or dietary supplement into an “unapproved [and therefore illegal] new drug.”
  • Retain the authority of FDA and FTC to pursue any fraudulent and misleading statements.     
“It is important for individuals and families to take charge of their personal health by making the right decisions to get and stay healthy,” said Chaffetz.  “This includes accessing information so that individuals can adjust habits, eat healthy, and take appropriate dietary supplements to prevent and even treat health conditions.  The Free Speech About Science Act helps insure their access to legitimate scientific research to make the necessary decisions to improve their personal health and the health of their families.” 
“Today’s science has shown that vitamins and nutritional supplements can offer successful, natural alternatives to drugs,” said Polis.  “As we begin to reform our nation’s healthcare system, supplements are an innovative way to help reduce costs.  The Free Speech About Science Act is a common sense act that will make it easier for doctors and consumers to learn about the cheaper, healthier alternatives to costly medicines that food and nutritional supplements provide.”