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Home Page Contents Congressional Record
11 March 1999
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, March 11, 1999
1999 Ron Paul 19:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce my Consumer Protection Package — consisting of two pieces of legislation which will benefit consumers by repealing federal regulations. The first piece of legislation, the Consumer Health Free Speech Act, stops the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from interfering with consumers access to truthful information about foods and dietary supplements in order to make informed choices about their health. The second bill, the Television Consumer Freedom Act, repeals federal regulations which interfere with a consumers ability to avail themselves of desired television programming.
1999 Ron Paul 19:2
The Consumer Health Free Speech Act accomplishes its goal by making two simple changes in the Food and Drug Act. First, it adds the six words other than foods, including dietary supplements to the statutory definition of drug, thus allowing food and dietary supplement producers to provide consumers with more information regarding the health benefits of their products, without having to go through the
1999 Ron Paul 19:3
Scientific research in nutrition over the past few years has demonstrated how various foods and other dietary supplements are safe and effective in preventing or mitigating many diseases. Currently, however, disclosure of these
1999 Ron Paul 19:4
The FDAs treatment of the manufacturers of Cholestin is not an isolated example of how current FDA policy harms consumers. Even though coronary heart disease is the nations
1999 Ron Paul 19:5
The bills second provision prevents the FDAs arbitrary removal of a product from the marketplace, absent finding a dietary supplement presents a significant and unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Current law allows the FDA to remove a supplement if it prevents a significant or unreasonable risk of disease. This standard has allowed the FDA to easily remove a targeted herb or dietary supplement since every food, herb, or dietary supplement contains some risk to at least a few sensitive or allergic persons. Under this bill, the FDA will maintain its ability to remove products from the marketplace under an expedited process if they determine the product causes an imminent danger.
1999 Ron Paul 19:6
Allowing American consumers access to information about the benefits of foods and dietary supplements will help Americas consumers improve their health. However, this bill is about more than physical health, it is about freedom. The first amendment forbids Congress from abridging freedom of all speech, including commercial speech.
1999 Ron Paul 19:7
My second bill, the Television Consumer Freedom Act, repeals federal regulations which interfere with a consumers ability to avail themselves of desired television programming. For the last several weeks, congressional offices have been flooded with calls from rural satellite TV customers who are upset because their satellite service providers have informed them that they will lose access to certain network television programs.
1999 Ron Paul 19:8
In an attempt to protect the rights of network program creators and affiliate local stations, a federal court in Florida properly granted an injunction to prevent the satellite service industry from making certain programming available to its customers. This is programming for which the satellite service providers had not secured from the program
1999 Ron Paul 19:9
It is, of course, within the constitutionally enumerated powers of Congress to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. However, operating a
1999 Ron Paul 19:10
Governments attempt to set the just price for satellite programming outside the market mechanism is inherently impossible. This has resulted in competition among service providers for government privilege rather than
1999 Ron Paul 19:11
Mr. Speaker, these two bills take a step toward restoring the right of free speech in the marketplace and restoring the American consumers control over the means by which they cast their dollar votes. In a free society, the federal government must not be allowed to prevent people from receiving information enabling them to make informed decisions about whether or not to use dietary supplements or eat certain foods. The federal government should also not interfere with a consumers ability to purchase services such as satellite or cable television on the free market. I, therefore, urge my colleagues to take a step toward restoring freedom by cosponsoring my Consumer Protection Package: the Consumer Health Free Speech Act and the Television Consumer Freedom Act.
1999 Ron Paul 19:6 The first amendment probably should be capitalized: The First Amendment.
1999 Ron Paul 19:7 a consumers ability probably should have an apostrophe: a consumers ability