National Update Part 2 – June 19, 2013

Is the American Medical Association Attempting to Undermine DSHEA?

Is this an intended or unintended consequence of their proposal?

June 20, 2013:  The American Medical Association (AMA), the trade association that represents about 30% of US physicians is holding its annual meeting in Chicago this week.  During this meeting, the House of Delegates, their elected officers vote on resolutions regarding medical practice and sometimes even government regulations and practices.

At the 2013 event, the AMA  is considering several resolutions that have broad national implications.

Banning  the Sale of Energy Drinks to Minors:  In an expected move, the AMA backs Senator Richard Durbin’s desire to ban the marketing of energy drinks to minors.  If Senators Durbin and Blumenthal could, they would ban energy drinks altogether.  Since they cannot, they want to stop them from being marketed to minors.   Will we see regulations implemented that require consumers to show a drivers license and to sign a form at the pharmacy or check-out counter to purchase Monster or Red Bull the way we do for Sudafed and other ephedrine containing OTC cold tablets?

Opposing GMO Food Labeling:   The AMA stands ready to adopt a resolution which opposes even voluntary labeling of genetically engineered foods, and opposes a moratorium of planting genetically engineered crops. The organization’s resolution states, “consumers wishing to avoid bioengineered foods can purchase foods that are certified USDA Organic. This labeling term indicates that no bioengineered ingredients were used in the food.”

Declaring Obesity a Disease The AMA has a resolution that would redefine obesity as a disease.  Obesity is defined as being more than 20 percent above recommended weight, and contributes to a number of medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  It is not however in and of itself a disease and should not be designated as such.

Why This Matters:  There are likely many consequences to the insurance industry and even the workplace if such a designation is adopted.  One area of particular concern is the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) response to such a designation.  As you may recall, the FDA once attempted to declare that being pregnant was a disease, and getting older was a disease.

A big question is whether declaring obesity a disease would lead to an attempt to change the regulation on foods and supplements that are marketing for aiding weight loss.    Would the FDA begin declaring dietary supplements marketing to aid weight loss as ‘unapproved drugs’ because they are making a claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent the disease of obesity?

Did the AMA  decide to make this declaration by themselves or was their collaboration with anyone at the FDA or other Health and Human Service agencies?

Sunshine Health Freedom Foundation will be exploring and keeping you informed.