First, we much thank Mel Gibson for appearing an a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to help to save our freedom to choose to use vitamins and other dietary supplements.
In 1992 FDA announced in the Federal Register that they “could not allow the availability of dietary supplements to act as a disincentive for the development of new drugs.” The unbelievable gall of this statement from an agency that is supposed to serve the American people is unfathomable! But FDA is not interested in your health freedom.
FDA then proceeded to announce that were going to make vitamins and other dietary supplements into prescription drugs. This means that your doctor would have to give you a prescription for vitamin C and it would cost $100+ at the pharmacy. Their drug company masters, then spent millions of dollars on fraudulent PR campaigns to try to trick the American public into believing that dietary supplements are dangerous, like drugs can be, and that they needed to protect us from them.
The big-money dietary supplement companies came up with some bland, ineffective attempts at ways to counter these attacks on dietary supplements. It was clear to us that their ideas would lose and FDA would have its way.
My father and I had one of our late night talks where we considered that if we wanted to be able to keep taking the dietary supplements that had changed our lives, we needed to do something radically different. We knew that we must find a dynamic way to publicize and ridicule FDA’s plan to make vitamins into prescription items.
Dad and I surmised that having the “kings and queens” of American (the movie stars) tell Americans that FDA was actually going to take everyone’s vitamins away was a far better strategy.
Our family business was tiny, making about $32,000 a year then. We had no way to fund PR to tell Americans the story. We devised a plan to invite health-seeking celebrities and other Hollywood people to donate their efforts to show Americans what FDA was trying to slip through. Thus we would work for a “people’s attack” on FDA by creating a PSA. (Public Service Announcement) with Hollywood stars in it. Brilliant Director/Producer idealist Charles Ashira came on board quickly and worked with my father to create the PSA. We used our tiny money to put an ad in Hollywood Reporter asking for donations to help this effort. As if by fate, our Hollywood Reporter ad and the word getting around Hollywood circles about this issue brought a flood of support.
On the next Sunday, a friend of Dad’s, Dr. James Privatera ran into Mel Gibson at Catholic Church. He told Mel about the FDA problem and the idea of doing a PSA, and we had our first star on board. Mel, like most stars, uses vitamins and he knew that he didn’t want to lose his access to them.
Several things were critical to this being successful. Since we had little money, except donations from Sandy Gooch, John Mackey, and a few others, how would we get the press to pay attention to our message with so little money? Well, good fortune shined on us when and opponent, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), paid to put a national press release out that said basically – “Don’t pay attention to the Mel Gibson video. It’s just Hollywood doing the bidding of the vitamin companies to stop the FDA from protecting the public.”
CSPI’s ad backfired on them by bringing attention to the video. Perfect! Then major national media anchor, Peter Jennings (NBC) Nightly News and Connie Chung (CBS) Nightly News found the Mel Gibson video so interesting that they ran it in its entirety on national TV news. Millions of Americans saw it and were so upset by it that they wrote more than a million letters to Congress, which was more than any issue in history, including Watergate and Vietnam.
The PSAs became the way to get Americans, by the millions, to tell their Congressperson that they would be voted out of office if they didn’t protect our right to use dietary supplements. Hit ’em in the voting box. The threat of losing their job was more potent than the donations they received from special pharmaceutical interests that “influence” them.
By the way, the US Centers for Poison Control Yearly reports that since they started about 30 years ago, there have been NO deaths from the use of vitamins or ANY dietary supplements. http://orthomolecular.activehosted.com/index.php…
Over 3,000 children a year die from food poisoning and 88,000 of us die from drunk driving. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
Contrast this with deaths caused by doctor-prescribed drugs at over 128,000 a year. Thus, doctor-prescribed drugs kill thousands if not millions more people than vitamins. https://health.usnews.com/…/the-danger-in-taking-prescribed…
So we can see that vitamins are at least 100,000 times, perhaps millions of times safer than drugs, even those prescribed by well-meaning doctors. Being a doctor doesn’t make them safety experts and many doctor-prescribed drugs that have been approved by FDA were rushed through the approval process without doing enough human testing. But FDA is mandated to run a fast assembly line for their drug company masters and so we have a constant stream of new drugs, (dangerous or not – remember all the deaths from Vioxx?).
The lie that vitamins are ineffective and “possibly dangerous” is promoted by big pharma because vitamins can help you become so healthy that maybe you won’t need drugs. So in the United States’ profit-driven medical system, relatively little research money is spent on researching things that make you healthier.
It’s disease that the profit-driven disease-care medical system thrives on, not our well-being. (Single payer healthcare for all!)
I fired my doctor this year after finding that he had written in my chart, “I hope he doesn’t poison himself with herbals.” This happened after my cholesterol and LDL increased modestly and he tried to prescribe a statin drug to me. I refused, saying statins permanently damage mitochondria. I quickly reduced the grains, even whole grains (carbs) in my diet and my next blood test was so perfect that it baffled this doctor and two other doctors. That asked, “How did you do that?”
Simple. I relied on low carbs, healthy high fat food, quality protein with nuts and fresh vegetables and fruits. No statin drugs for me EVER! Permanently damaging mitochondria results in a shorter lifespan. I guarantee you that you will never find an elite long-distance athlete that is taking a statin. Statins destroy cellular mitochondria (the cell’s energy factories) which destroys endurance, while it likely causes a shorter lifespan. But I digress.
The cherry here is the one minute PSA with Mel Gibson that went on national TV and made Congress save our vitamins. And after Mel’s video you can watch more PSAs that were done with Whoopi Goldberg, Randy Travis, James Coburn, Laura Dern, Jenny Jones and other health-seeking stars. God bless ‘em all!