Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Freedom for Supplements

Save Our Supplements is a good resource for finding out the latest news about the government's attempts to take away our right to nutritional supplements. Below is a copy of the email I sent to my US Senators and Congressman. Feel free to copy it and use it yourself.

I am a thirty-four year old bodybuilder. I came to the sport at the age of thirty, while I was in graduate school. I have continued bodybuilding throughout law school and graduate school (now for PhD).

Supplements are an integral part of my quest to build my perfect body. I take (or have taken) creatine, pro-hormones, ephedrine and many other products. I have not, however, taken anabolic steroids.

Unfortunately, in today's media climate misinformation is the norm, not the exception. As a result, safe and legal supplements get caught up in discussions of steroids, all under the headline of "performance enhancing drugs." Anabolic steroids and nutritional supplements are distinctly different. Not only are the former illegal, they are intended solely for the elevation of testosterone levels and lean muscle gains. The latter, though including some products intended to boost testosterone levels, are primarily naturally occurring substances (including many that are produced by our own bodies) that bodybuilders and others ingest in order to make up for deficiencies related to hard training.

Further, the media highlights the few cases or supplement misuse that result in tragedy. Both professional players that suffered supplement related deaths were not taking the products (ephedrine) as directed. As someone who has used ephedrine products in the past, I can tell you that the vast majority of users follow supplement directions and limit other stimulants and keep adequately hydrated. The same can be said of any other supplement.

There will always be some fools who fail to follow directions. Prohibition is not fair to the vast majority of responsible supplement users. Each day in this country millions of Americans smoke, drink alcohol and consume unhealthy amounts of trans fatty acids. These behaviors individually account for exponentially more death, illness and consumption of public health dollars than do nutritional supplements. Yet, the federal government has done nothing to prohibit their ingestion.

At a time when the US faces growing federal deficits, ever-increasing poverty levels, and a poorly planned foreign invasion Congress and the federal government surely have more pressing concerns than taking away our rights to nutritional supplements.


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