As a medical investigative reporter for 28 years, I’ve seen the public interest in health freedom come and go. Right now, in 2010, it is at a low point. In the early 1990s, there was a tremendous fervor in America. Millions of people, perceiving a threat from the federal government, realized they could be cut off from the right to improve their health according to their own wishes, judgments, and decisions. In practical terms, health freedom has come to mean: the right to access the widest possible range of nutritional supplements, health practitioners, and treatments with no government obstruction.
Back in 1993, millions of Americans believed in that principle and sent letters to Congress. Rallies were held. Celebrities appeared and supported traditional American liberty. The final blow was struck with the Dietary Supplement Health Act of 1994 (DSHEA). It appeared to promise the results citizens were looking for. The FDA would not be permitted to limit access to the full range of nutritional supplements. Then the furor died down, and people went back to their lives. The internet grew into a giant. Millions of pages discussing health issues appeared. More freedom. More access.
But there has been an overall dampening of that spirit of the early 90s. Many people believe the major battle has been won. To examine whether this is the case and whether the DSHEA Law is actually keeping Americans safe, I interviewed a widely revered lawyer, Jonathan Emord. Emory is one of the nation’s leading free speech attorneys. He has defeated the Food and Drug Administration a remarkable seven times in federal court, more times than any other attorney in American history, earning him the title, “FDA Dragon Slayer.” He is the 2007 recipient of the Cancer Control Society’s Humanitarian Award for “winning and preserving our great civil rights to life, to liberty, and to health freedoms.”
Mr. Emord has practiced constitutional and administrative law in Washington, D.C., for the past twenty-five years. He is routinely consulted by industry, Congress, and the media on regulatory issues that affect health freedom. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books: Freedom, Technology and the First Amendment (1991); The Ultimate Price (2007); The Rise of Tyranny (2008); and Global Censorship of Health Information (2010).
I hoped Mr. Emord would give us real and detailed information on substantive issues facing Americans today. He responded in kind and went the extra mile. He cleared up some popular confusions and offered several predictions based on his long experience as an attorney in the field of health freedom. One of the most critical points Mr. Emord makes:
The laws Congress passes can be twisted by the federal agencies responsible for overseeing those laws. For example, the FDA has reinterpreted health law to suit its own slanted purposes. This is an extreme violation of the Constitution, and it endangers the American Republic. Federal agencies can, in effect, illegally become legislators and enforcers. This is not a brush-off interview. Mr. Emord provides a compelling and extensive case that should be read, studied, and acted on by other attorneys, health-freedom advocates, nutritional-company executives, and all citizens who value their freedom.
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