Taxpayer-Funded War Against Ranchers

A Taxpayer-Funded War Against Ranchers (PJM Exclusive)

Posted By Callie Gnatkowski On April 27, 2010 @ 12:03 am In . Feature 01, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

There is a war going on in the West. It has nothing to do with guns and bullets. It’s an environmental war, declared by eco-activists against farmers and ranchers who work the land.

It’s not covered by the mainstream media. But environmental groups boast that their aim is to run ranchers off their land, put them out of business, and bar beef and other food from our tables. And the environmentalists get taxpayers to pay them for their attempts at destruction.

The tools they use are the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other acts, along with a small army of lawyers who find bureaucratic loopholes to bankrupt farmers and ranchers.

While ranchers struggle to pay attorneys to represent their interests in these lawsuits, environmental groups are getting paid by taxpayers. Even though the activists don’t win all of these cases, they are reimbursed for their attorneys’ fees through the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). The abuse of EAJA, where environmental groups collect up to $650 per hour for frivolous lawsuits, was covered recently [1] by Pajamas Media.

“Essentially, these environmental groups are being paid to sue the federal government,” said Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen. “They file hundreds of lawsuits, and rather than fight the suits, the government often settles the case, agreeing to pay attorneys fees in the settlement.”

Here are some of their cases.

Wyoming sheepman Carl Larson and his family continue the operation founded by his grandfather 100 years ago. The operation is made up of private and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, which the family pays to use and maintain. Because of the land ownership in their area, the BLM land is critical to the operation. When the activist group the Western Watersheds Projec [2]t (WWP) filed a lawsuit that would have stopped grazing on the grazing allotment, based not on proof of damage to the land but on procedural issues with the permit, the family was forced to intervene.

“Losing this permit would have been devastating to our family and our livelihood,” Larson said. “We intervened because WWP had requested a stay of any grazing on the allotment until all litigation was completed, which would have effectively put our family ranch out of business.”

The WWP could not show any proof that the Larsons’ use of their land was causing any damage, so after several months the request for a stay on grazing was denied. The litigation is ongoing, and some problems were found with the BLM’s permit renewal procedures. “We have absolutely no control over the BLM’s processes, but have to live with the consequences and had to spend $35,000 to keep our ranch,” Larson said. “There is no way to get that money back from the WWP, even though for the short term, we beat them.”

In addition to the cost of the litigation, the Larsons have invested a lot of money over the years in improvements to the allotment including fences, water developments, and bridges. “If the allotment were closed, it would be a major taking of private property rights and my family would lose its business,” Larson said.

Jordan Valley, Oregon, rancher Rand Collins was also forced to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the WWP that would have eliminated the family business that has been in the family for 46 years. In 1997, the group sued the BLM to eliminate grazing on 68 grazing allotments, including Collins’ allotment. “All of these allotments, like mine, have been grazed by livestock for over 100 years. Like the Louse Canyon Community allotment for me, the use of these allotments is necessary for the continued existence of our ranchers and way of life,” Collins said.

The WWP lawsuit claimed that the BLM had not completed the necessary paperwork under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for permit renewal, and requested that livestock be removed until that paperwork was complete. While the court agreed that the BLM had violated NEPA, livestock were not removed, but the case is ongoing.

“WWP’s website boasts that it wants to eliminate my livelihood and family, but because it cannot challenge me directly, WWP and other groups find errors in the bureaucratic process as a backdoor way to harm my legitimate use of the land I have loved for 46 years,” Collins said.

“So many times, these cases are not filed on anything substantive, but on paperwork and missed deadlines,” Budd-Falen explained. “It’s all on paper — nothing in the lawsuit even impacts the environment.”

Ranchers like Tim Lequerica, based in Oregon’s Owyhee River valley, were assured that their historic operations would be protected when Congress gave the river near Lequerica’s home its Wild and Scenic designation in 1984. That was put to the test, however, by litigation filed in 1998 by the WWP and the activist Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), which joined WWP challenging the BLM’s management plan for the wild and scenic river.

The litigation claimed that cattle should not be able to get water from the river and requested that grazing be stayed or eliminated pending the outcome of the litigation. The river was the ranchers’ only source of water. Ranchers intervened, arguing that they would keep cattle from drinking from the river if they were provided alternative water locations. “Our issue was not whether we had to use the Owyhee River, we just wanted a source of water for our thirsty livestock,” Lequerica said. “Our argument was that if the court would allow us to install water pipelines and tanks on dry BLM lands, we would be happy to keep cattle from drinking in the river as the environmentalists wanted. The environmentalists wanted no water at all, which would mean our cattle would go thirsty.”

The ranchers spent $42,000 to participate in the litigation, and in the end, the court granted the ranchers’ requests. The ranchers were able to put in new pipelines and tanks to provide water for both livestock and wildlife. “However, because the BLM failed to jump through some procedural hoops with regard to the written wild and scenic river management plan, the federal government voluntarily agreed to pay ONDA and WWP $128,000 in attorney fees and costs. Thus, my money paid for every part of the litigation,” Lequerica said. “I paid my personal attorneys to represent me; my tax dollars paid the federal government and their attorneys who failed to do all the paperwork correctly; and my tax dollars paid the ONDA and WWP to sue the federal government.”

Millions have been spent on the reintroduction of Mexican grey wolves into southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, which started in 1998 as the result of environmental activist groups suing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). Today, very few wolves have survived in the wild, area wildlife is sparse, and livestock depredation is putting ranchers out of business. Since 2000, Gene and Ginger Whetten, of the Adobe Ranch in far southwestern New Mexico, have been living with dead and missing livestock, lost profits, and litigation caused by the wolves, and there’s no end in sight.

In 2007, the Whettens had nine wolves living right below the house, killing cattle every night. They estimate that they lost $100,000. “This year, we’ve found nine or ten dead calves, and pieces of 14 more. That doesn’t include those that you never see, that you just know are gone because a cow comes in with a tight bag,” Ginger Whetten said. “It’s been a big financial hit for us and an even bigger one for some of our neighbors who only run 50-100 head of cattle. When the wolves get in on them, it just wipes them out. It is heartbreaking to watch as they lose their livelihoods and way of life.”

Working and spending time together as a family brought the Whettens to the remote ranch, but much of that has been lost to the constant stress of the wolves. “The wolves are on our minds and on our property all the time. It’s not what we wanted for our family.”

To protect citizens like the Whettens, and others who feared for the safety of their families, Catron County, New Mexico, adopted an ordinance designed to give its citizens relief from wolves living in their front yards. “The federal government did not take any legal action against the county for the ordinance, and we felt we had a sworn duty to protect the health and safety of our citizens,” said Catron County Commission Chairman Ed Wehrheim. “The ordinance stated that if a wolf was harassing a person, the county would protect that person as allowed by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).”

In 2007, the radical activist group WildEarth Guardians (WEG) sued Catron County in federal district court claiming that the county ordinance violated the ESA. In the end, the court ruled in the county’s favor on all counts, and specifically held that the ordinance as written was lawful. Catron County spent over $100,000 in attorneys’ fees defending its ordinance. “Even though the suit was brought under the ESA, we cannot recover that money from the WildEarth Guardians,” Wehrheim said. “In contrast, they and other groups have filed countless suits against the government about the wolves, and are able to get their attorneys’ fees repaid.”

In another suit, the Western Watersheds Project (WWP) sued the FWS in 2001 to list slickspot peppergrass under the ESA. The FWS ultimately decided against listing the species as threatened or endangered, but agreed to pay the WWP $26,663 to reimburse their attorneys’ fees.

After this decision, a number of ranchers in the Mountain Home, Idaho, area, including Charlie Lyons and Ted Hoffman, came together with the state of Idaho to create a Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA), which was approved by the FWS under the ESA. The agreement, which was signed by many ranchers, included specific, on-the-ground actions ranchers and landowners agreed to take to protect the species. According to a 2009 report, the slickspot peppergrass had the highest recorded population numbers. “We believe these population counts show the actions in the CCA were working and making a difference,” Lyons and Hoffman said.

In 2004, the WWP sued again to force a listing under the ESA, the court agreed, and the species was listed. In 2007, the FWS withdrew that decision, based on the protection given by the CCA. The WWP sued again, and won. Following that decision, the governor of Idaho filed a suit contesting the latest listing, and that litigation is ongoing.

Due to the litigation, the CCA is useless and the faith and hard work that the landowners and permittees put into management for the plant is down the drain. No one can show that this plant is any better protected by some legal federal paper designation than it was by true on-the-ground management, Lyons and Hoffman said.

Ranchers have spent $30,000 in litigation, plus time and effort developing the CCA, on this issue. The environmental group WWP has received a total of $238,163 in taxpayer money in settlement agreements on this species. “WWP’s objective is to run ranchers off the land in the spring,” Lyons and Hoffman said. “If they are successful in their efforts, it would mean a death sentence to the slickspot peppergrass and ruination of our ranches.”

Southwestern New Mexico rancher, farmer, and Catron County Commissioner Hugh B. McKeen has been battling environmental activist groups and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for years, just to keep the family operation, established by his grandfather in 1904, in business. Today, the family’s farmland is at risk of being washed away because of a lack of forest health work, and the family is ten years into a lawsuit against the USFS regarding punitive cuts to his grazing allotment.

Because the endangered loach minnow has been found in the San Francisco River, the McKeens are no longer allowed to use equipment to maintain the river and its channel. The river is now aimed directly at the McKeens’ private land irrigated field, and the USFS is requiring a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and Corps of Engineers permit before work can be done in the river. “They just don’t care,” McKeen said. “Part of my land has been destroyed — the floodplain is gone, so now the river is aimed right at my field.”

The problems with their grazing permit also involve the loach minnow. The activist groups the Center for Biological Diversity and the Forest Guardians (now known as WildEarth Guardians) filed a suit claiming that the USFS had not considered the impacts of grazing on two fish and a bird species and requesting that all livestock be removed from 42 allotments until the consultation process was completed. Ranchers intervened, spending about $100,000.

In the end, the court ruled that extra work would only be required on allotments where the fish are actually found. “Even though our attorneys stopped the groups from eliminating all grazing and then won most of the case on the merits, the federal agreement voluntarily agreed to pay the two groups $300,000 in tax dollars,” McKeen said.

The fish species were found on the McKeen’s allotment and private land, so the USFS built a fence to keep his cattle out of the river. Maintaining a fence along the river is difficult, and when the fence is down the cattle get in the river. In punishment, the USFS has cut the family’s grazing permit for 25 percent.

The McKeens suit against the agency has been ongoing for ten years. “Even if we win the suit, all I get are my cattle numbers back, no restitution, no compensation for lost income, nothing,” McKeen said. “They cut my numbers by 25 percent, reducing our income by 25 percent. No business can sustain that.”

Tell Senator McCain to kill the Dodd Bill,

With Congress spending TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars and the Federal Reserve literally creating money out of thin air, it’s never been more important you and I force Senator John McCain to support Audit the Fed and oppose Senator Chris Dodd’s “Fed Empowerment” Bill.

      You see, Senator McCain is trying to play the Washington game.

      He tries to tell folks like you at home that he is a conservative by signing up as a co-sponsor of S. 604, the Senate Audit the Fed Bill.

      But actions speak louder than words.

      Demand Senator McCain prove to you he will walk the walk by killing the Dodd “Fed Empowerment” Bill and truly supporting an Audit of the Fed.

      Senator Dodd’s “Fed Empowerment” Bill eliminates Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed legislation and expands the Fed policies that wrecked our economy.

      Demand Senator McCain stand for sound money and against empowering an already out of control Federal Reserve by supporting Audit the Fed and by opposing Senator Dodd’s “Fed Empowerment” Bill.

      Call Senator McCain at (202) 224-2235 and insist he support Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill and demand he oppose empowering the Fed.

      Tell Senator McCain to kill the Dodd Bill, not make “insider” fixes.

      Sign our petition below and send a message to Senator McCain that you will not tolerate empowering the Fed to plunder our dollar and loot our Treasury by being allowed to operate in secret and continuing the bailouts forever.

      Campaign for Liberty will collect all signed petitions and fax them directly to Senator McCain’s office so he can hear your voice demanding he kill the Dodd Bill and support Audit the Fed.

To sign petition see blow

http://www.chooseliberty.org/auditfed_az.aspx?pid=az01

, it is time to tell you the truth about the real John McCain.

After a week of twisting truths and manipulating his record on the Fox News Channel, it is time to tell you the truth about the real John McCain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbbqMjN1nI8&feature=player_embedded
He somehow believes that by continually flip-flopping on issues and concealing whole truths he can somehow trick voters into thinking he is the right person for the job.

Let me set the record straight so that come November the right person is elected to the United States Senate from the great state of Arizona. I will stand up firmly to protect their borders and ensure their prosperity, not in the future, but right now!

Thank you for your support!
J.D. Hayworth for Senate 2010

P.S. Your continued support will go a long way for television advertising. Whether you have donated in the past, or are contributing for the first time please donate TODAY. This campaign needs your support to get the message out to Arizonans statewide. Your help will make all the difference!

National Review: McCain, The Disappearing Maverick

National Review: McCain, The Disappearing Maverick
By: Michelle Malkin
Date: April 23, 2010

I need a Dramamine to cover Sen. John McCain’s reelection bid. With his desperate lurch to the right, he’s inducing more motion sickness than a Disneyland teacup. McCain’s campaign represents the same self-serving political cynicism that American voters have grown tired of stomaching from the current White House. We need choices, not carbon copies.

After decades of embracing the liberal-media moniker “maverick,” for his frequent derision of the conservative wing of the Republican party, McCain has now abandoned the label. He told Newsweek magazine earlier this month: “I never considered myself a maverick.” But countless YouTube videos show McCain and vice-presidential running mate Sarah Palin invoking the “M” word. Here’s a typical bit of self-puffery from a McCain stump speech on Oct.14, 2008:

It’s well known that I have not been elected Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate, nor with the administration. I have opposed the president on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoners, on . . . on Guantanamo Bay. On a . . . on the way that the Iraq War was conducted. I have a long record, and the American people know me very well, and that is independent and a maverick of the Senate, and I’m happy to say that I’ve got a partner that’s a good maverick along with me now.


With veteran tough-on-illegal-immigration primary challenger J. D. Hayworth (whom I support) just five points behind McCain in the latest Rasmussen poll, Not-Maverick has now abandoned (or rather re-abandoned) his notoriously long-held open-borders stance. Just a few short years ago, Not-Maverick was attacking Rush Limbaugh as a “nativist” for opposing the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty plan. When Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) introduced an amendment to bar illegal aliens from receiving the earned income tax credit, McCain likened it to Jim Crow laws.

Sessions: “I do not believe we should award people who have entered our country illegally, submitted a false Social Security number, worked illegally. . . . I do not believe we should reward them with $29 billion of the taxpayers’ money. That is a lot of money.”

McCain: “What’s next — are we going to say work-authorized immigrants are going to have to ride in the back of the bus?”

When Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.) called for a cap on the number of visas for legal permanent residents at 650,000, McCain called it un-American and accused Bingaman of “discriminating” against poor foreigners (never mind that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill itself had a visa cap of 290,000). Like the true progressive he is, McCain never lets the facts get in the way of his playing the race card. Unless it’s an election year, that is.

When McCain’s friend Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) put forth an amendment to “require the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws and congressional approval before amnesty can be granted,” McCain refused to take a position and sat out the vote. The amendment failed 42-54.

Just how beholden and deferential were McCain and his illegal-alien-shamnesty Republican twin Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to Teddy Kennedy? During floor debate on an amendment that would have required illegal aliens who get legal status to have a minimum level of health insurance, the Washington Times reported, the pair scurried over to check with Kennedy before voting, to ensure their votes all matched. The amendment went down.

Actions speak louder than the pro-enforcement, strong-borders rhetoric McCain adopted for his failed 2008 presidential run — and which he has now resurrected to save his seat in his border-violence-plagued state of Arizona.

More words you can’t believe in: In a fundraising e-mail sent out this week, McCain pledged that he’s “determined to return to the Senate to continue fighting against the massive expansion of government under President Obama.” Yet, to this day, McCain refuses to admit his own individual responsibility for supporting the presocialization of the economy started under George W. Bush and continued under Obama. McCain has never admitted he was wrong about his support of the $700 billion all-purpose, earmark-stuffed TARP bailout; the $25 billion auto bailout; the first $85 billion AIG bailout; and his proposed $300 billion mortgage-entitlement bailout (which dwarfed Obama’s plan).

His latest, McLame-est excuse for supporting TARP? He was “misled.” But all the warning signs and red flags about Bush Treasury secretary Henry Paulson’s incompetence and untrustworthiness were there before McCain joined the Chicken Little crowd. McCain is trying to have it all ways — refusing to admit he was wrong, blaming Paulson for duping him, and creating the illusion that he’ll be competent enough to resist the next inevitable bailout temptation when the feds hit the panic button.

Asked by a conservative constituent at a recent town-hall meeting why the four-term senator deserved to be elected, McCain stammered before giving his best argument: He had more “standing” than anyone else. Entrenched incumbency is not an argument for more entrenched incumbency. Stop this ride. It’s time for McCain to get off.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126214004

– 30 –

 

For more information, please visit http://www.JDforSenate.com or contact the campaign at info@jdforsenate.com

John S. McCain, Will You Please Go Now?

Lead Story

John S. McCain, Will You Please Go Now?

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 23, 2010 03:24 AM

My friends. It’s time for some real straight talk. It’s time to take a good, hard look at the entrenched Beltway Republicans who call you their “friends” — and then repeatedly vote against you, trash you, and mock you in between elections until it’s time to pander again. Look at John McCain’s record, not his latest, desperate campaign fund-raising e-mails.

***

John S. McCain, Will You Please Go Now?
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

I need a Dramamine to cover GOP Sen. John McCain’s re-election bid. With his desperate lurch to the right, he’s inducing more motion sickness than a Disney Land teacup. McCain’s campaign represents the same self-serving political cynicism that American voters have grown tired of stomaching from the current White House. We need choices, not carbon copies.

After decades of embracing the liberal media moniker “maverick” for his frequent derision of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, McCain has now abandoned the label. He told Newsweek magazine earlier this month: “I never considered myself a maverick.” But countless YouTube videos show McCain and vice-presidential running mate Sarah Palin invoking the “m” word. Here’s a typical bit of self-puffery from a McCain stump speech on Oct.14, 2008:

“It’s well known that I have not been elected Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate, nor with the administration. I have opposed the president on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoner, on … on Guantanamo Bay. On a … on the way that the Iraq War was conducted. I have a long record, and the American people know me very well, and that is independent and a maverick of the Senate, and I’m happy to say that I’ve got a partner that’s a good maverick along with me now.”

With veteran tough-on-illegal-immigration GOP challenger J.D. Hayworth (whom I support) just five points behind McCain in the latest Rasmussen poll, Not-Maverick has now abandoned (or rather re-abandoned) his notoriously long-held open borders stance. Just a few short years ago, Not-Maverick was attacking Rush Limbaugh as a “nativist” for opposing the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty plan. When GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions introduced an amendment to bar illegal aliens from receiving the earned income tax credit, McCain likened it to Jim Crow laws.

Sessions: “…I do not believe we should award people who have entered our country illegally, submitted a false Social Security number, worked illegally… I do not believe we should reward them with $29 billion of the taxpayers’ money. That is a lot of money.”

McCain: “What’s next — are we going to say work-authorized immigrants are going to have to ride in the back of the bus?”

When Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico called for a cap on the number of visas for legal permanent residents at 650,000, McCain called it un-American and accused Bingaman of “discriminating” against poor foreigners (never mind that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill itself had a visa cap of 290,000). Like the true progressive he is, McCain never lets the facts get in the way of playing the race card. Unless it’s an election year, that is.

When McCain’s friend GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma put forth an amendment to “require the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws and congressional approval before amnesty can be granted,” McCain refused to take a position and sat out the vote. The amendment failed 42-54.

Just how beholden and deferential were McCain and his illegal alien shamnesty Republican twin Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to Teddy Kennedy? During floor debate on an amendment that would have required illegal aliens who get legal status to have a minimum level of health insurance, the Washington Times reported, the pair scurried over to check with Kennedy before voting to ensure their votes all matched. The amendment went down.

Actions speak louder than the pro-enforcement, strong-borders rhetoric McCain adopted for his failed 2008 presidential run — and which he has now resurrected to save his seat in his border violence-plagued state of Arizona.

More words you can’t believe in: In a fundraising e-mail sent out this week, McCain pledged that he’s “determined to return to the Senate to continue fighting against the massive expansion of government under President Obama.” Yet, to this day, McCain refuses to admit his own individual responsibility for supporting the pre-socialization of the economy started under George W. Bush and continued under Obama. McCain has never admitted he was wrong about his support of the $700 billion all-purpose, earmark-stuffed TARP bailout; the $25 billion auto bailout; the first $85 billion AIG bailout; and his proposed $300 billion mortgage entitlement bailout (which dwarfed Obama’s plan).

His latest McLame-est excuse for supporting TARP? He was “misled.” But all the warning signs and red flags about Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s incompetence and untrustworthiness were there before McCain joined the Chicken Little crowd. McCain is trying to have it all ways — refusing to admit he was wrong, blaming Paulson for duping him, and creating the illusion that he’ll be competent enough to resist the next inevitable bailout temptation when the feds hit the panic button.

Asked by a conservative constituent at a recent town hall meeting why the four-term senator deserved to be elected, McCain stammered before giving his best argument: He had more “standing” than anyone else. Entrenched incumbency is not an argument for more entrenched incumbency. Stop this ride. It’s time for McCain to get off.

RHINO Senator McCain Files New Bill That Attacks Your Access to Supplements and Repeals Key Sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

Senator McCain Files New Bill That Attacks Your Access to Supplements and Repeals Key Sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

Posted By ANH-USA On February 24, 2010 @ 2:10 pm In The Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) | 74 Comments

TAKE ACTION AND TELL YOUR SENATOR NOT TO CO-SPONSOR THIS BILL [1]

Donate to our campaign to STOP this bill! [2]

McCain’s bill is called The Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA). It would repeal key sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). DSHEA protects supplements if 1) they are food products that have been in the food supply and not chemically altered or 2) if they were sold as supplements prior to 1994, the year that DSHEA was passed. If a supplement fits one of these two descriptions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot arbitrarily ban it or reclassify it as a drug.

These protections are far from perfect. They discourage companies from developing new forms of supplements. New supplements may be arbitrarily banned by the FDA or adopted by drug companies in a way that precludes their further sale as supplements.

McCain’s bill would wipe out even the minimal protections contained in DSHEA. It would give the FDA full discretion and power to compile a discreet list of supplements allowed to remain on the market while banning all others.

Everyone knows that the FDA is friendly to drug companies (which pay its bills and provide good revolving door jobs) and hostile to supplement companies. Under this bill, this same Agency could quite arbitrarily ban any supplement it wished or turn it over to drug companies to be stop [3]developed as a drug and sold for multiples of its price as a supplement.

We must prevent this bill from gaining traction! Protect your access to supplements by contacting your senators today and asking them NOT to co-sponsor the Dietary Supplement Safety Act but rather to oppose it.

TAKE ACTION [1]

McCain’s Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) appears to be supported by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) which is funded by major league sports teams including baseball, football and others. The recent suspensions of NFL and other professional sports figures is much in the news, and the goal of the sports industry appears to be to shift the spotlight from their players to the supplements industry. In his comments, Senator McCain cited six NFL players recently suspended for testing positive for banned substances and purportedly exposed to these substances through dietary supplements.

The problem here of course is one of illegal sale and use of steroids. So why dismantle the supplement industry in order to control already illegal substances?

The FDA currently has complete and total authority to stop illegal steroids and, more broadly, to regulate dietary supplements. If the agency were doing its job, it could and would have prevented the sale of illegal steroids. The answer to this problem is not to give FDA more power. The Agency simply needs to do it’s job.

TAKE ACTION [1]

Why would a bill be offered to solve an illegal steroid problem that does not really address the steroid problem but instead gives the FDA complete and arbitrary control over all supplements? The answer is simple.

There are a lot of vested interests which are threatened by supplements. Drug companies do not like them because they represent a low cost, safer, and often more effective alternative to drugs. The FDA does not like them because supplements do not come through the FDA approval process and therefore do not support the FDA budget.

Why not simply require that supplements be brought through the FDA’s drug approval process? Wouldn’t that create a level playing field?

That is probably the argument that Senator McCain has been sold. But it is a completely false argument. The FDA drug approval process costs as much as a billion dollars. It is not economically feasible to spend such vast sums on substances that are not protected by patent, and natural substances cannot legally be patented.

This is the great “Catch 22” of American medicine. The FDA, which is supposed to guard and promote our health, is hostile to the kind of natural medicine—based on diet, supplements, and exercise—that represents the real future of healthcare. The Agency has either been captured by drug interests or is trapped in a catastrophically expensive, toxic, and ineffective patented-drug model.

Senator McCain has no doubt offered this bill in good faith. But he has been sold a bill of goods by special interests. And he has been naïve enough not to know that he is being used.

TAKE ACTION [1]

This exceptionally bad bill also requires the reporting of all minor adverse events related to supplements. This is in addition to the already existing requirement to report adverse events. This will further stack the deck against small supplement companies by creating new, unnecessary, even more cumbersome, and of course very expensive administrative hurdles. The result: the consolidation of the supplement industry into a few big companies.If passed, this bill will likely result in the disappearance from store shelves of many supplements currently on the market. In addition to fewer supplements, there would likely be much lower doses available. Unbridled authority would be handed to the FDA, an agency that needs a top to bottom overhaul, not ever more power over our lives.

The FDA will like this because it believes that it can more easily control a few industry giants. But isn’t it more likely that the industry giants will eventually gain control over the FDA?

The FDA is already misusing the adverse event reporting process that exists. Drugs rack up thousands of adverse event reports without any action. Just recently, the FDA yanked from the market a supplement product based on just a couple of alleged adverse event reports without even allowing the company (an old and respected firm) to provide any counter-evidence or counter-argument.

The bill also allows the FDA to yank a product (at the company’s expense) if there is a “reasonable probability” that it is “adulterated” or “misbranded”. Let’s remember that “adulterated” could mean there is a minor record keeping error on the producer’s part and “misbranded” can mean that the producer simply tells the truth about the product. An “adulterated” and “misbranded” supplement in Orwellian FDA speak may actually be both completely safe and effective.

If passed, this bill will likely result in the disappearance from store shelves of many supplements currently on the market. In addition to fewer supplements, there would likely be much lower doses available. Unbridled authority would be handed to the FDA, an agency that needs a top to bottom overhaul, not ever more power over our lives.

If McCain’s bill passes, we can look to Europe for a snapshot of what we may be in for: EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, has sharply reduced the list of available supplements and is in process of reducing potencies to ridiculous levels, such as less beta carotene than can be found in half of a large carrot. Europeans already look to the US to obtain their dietary supplements. If this bill passes, where will we obtain ours?

Please take action immediately. TAKE ACTION [1]Tell your senators NOT to co- sponsor this legislation and to do everything in their power to defeat it. Then forward this to your friends and family and ask then to do the same

RHINO ALERT McCain bill threatens access to vitamins and supplements–Cosponsored by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), FDA would decide which supplements are legal

McCain bill threatens access to vitamins and supplements

by Ethan Huff, citizen journalist
See all articles by this author
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(NaturalNews) Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has introduced a new bill called The Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) of 2010 (S. 3002), that, if enacted, would severely curtail free access to dietary supplements. Cosponsored by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the bill would essentially give the FDA full control over the supplement industry.

Most of the industrialized world has incredibly restrictive laws governing supplements. People worldwide often purchase supplements from the U.S. because they are freely available at low costs.

All of this could change, however, if DSSA passes. DSSA would change key sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), undoing protections in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, effectively eliminating free access to supplements.

The importance of DSHEA
The passage of DSHEA resulted from millions of Americans who worked hard to reinforce their freedom to buy and sell supplements. At the time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was alleging that nutrients like CoQ10 and selenium were dangerous and should be pulled from the market.

Though weak in some areas, DSHEA established a foundation upon which free access to dietary supplements would be protected from attacks by drug companies and the FDA.

What prompted DSSA?
McCain’s DSSA bill emerged in response to illegal steroid use among Major League Baseball players. Likely instigated by pharmaceutical interests, the bill is being posited as necessary to prevent supplement adulteration.

The FDA already has the power to pull supplements from the market that are contaminated but it has not been doing its job. DSSA is not only unnecessary, but it would actually reward the FDA for its failures. DSSA would also strip DSHEA and give full control of the supplement industry to the FDA.

Registration requirements
DSSA would mandate that all supplement companies register with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the FDA. Any company that refuses to register and comply with HHS would be subject to hefty fines, the classification of its products as “adulterated”, and their removal from the market. The new system would burden manufacturers with significant new costs that would cause supplement prices to increase. A new taxpayer-funded bureaucracy would also be created to conduct inspections and oversee compliance.

Reporting requirements
DSSA would require all “non-serious adverse events” received by supplement companies to be reported to the government, regardless of whether or not the events are related to the supplements for which they are submitted. Pharmaceutical companies would have access to these reports which they could use to petition the FDA to have supplements removed from the market. The FDA could also arbitrarily pull supplements from the market if it believes it has “reasonable probability” that there may be a problem.

FDA would decide which supplements are legal
Perhaps the most chilling aspect of DSSA is that it would allow the HHS Secretary to establish a list of permitted supplements. Reversing common law, which assumes all is legal unless restricted, DSSA would allow only what is permitted to be legal.

In a nutshell, DSSA would increase supplement costs for consumers, grant incredible new power over the supplement industry to the FDA, and drastically limit the availability of supplements. Drug companies could also use the bill to remove supplements from the market, patent them, and sell them as drugs!

It is absolutely critical to contact your Congressmen and oppose this bill. Please visit the LifeExtension Magazine Legislative Action Center and click on the “take action” button to express opposition.

The Alliance for Natural Health also has a convenient Contact Tool with which you can urge your Congressmen not to sponsor the bill.

Sources:

Senator McCain Files New Bill That Attacks Your Access to Supplements and Repeals Key Sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act – Alliance for Natural Health

The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 – Senator John McCain

New Bill Seeks to Ban Consumer Access to Dietary Supplements – Life Extension Foundation

Hayworth defines Ariz. race as tea party vs. DC

Hayworth defines Ariz. race as tea party vs. DC

By JONATHAN J. COOPER (AP) – Apr 5, 2010

PHOENIX — Former congressman J.D. Hayworth hopes the tea party movement can help him topple one of the Republican Party’s best-known politicians.

Hayworth has launched a GOP primary challenge to John McCain less than two years after the Arizona senator lost his bid for the presidency.

The race has quickly become one of the most-watched Senate contests in the country, in part because Hayworth has tried to define himself as a tea party candidate taking on the establishment.

“I think that I’m the candidate of a majority of tea partiers,” Hayworth said. “In Arizona, I feel very comfortable with the level of support we’ve received from the tea party movement.”

Hayworth has been traveling the tea party circuit, speaking at rallies and neighborhood meetings around the state and arguing that he’s the best candidate to champion tea party values of smaller government, free markets and fiscal responsibility.

McCain’s campaign disputes the claim, saying Hayworth supported government expansion as a congressman. The former television sportscaster represented some of Phoenix’s eastern suburbs for 12 years.

Still, Hayworth, who hosted a conservative talk-radio program after losing his seat to Democrat Harry Mitchell in 2006, has motivated a corps of conservatives who have been frustrated with McCain’s history of working with Democrats to pass legislation.

McCain worked with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., on campaign-finance reform and with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts on a bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

“McCain’s served us well for 28 years, but government continues to grow,” said Prescott Tea Party leader Michael Patrick Hendricks.

At a tea party meeting in Mesa last month, supporter Linda Pennis wore a button depicting McCain as a rhinoceros with a horn in place of his nose under the caption “RINO Hunters.”

RINO stands for “Republican in name only” and is a popular phrase that some conservatives use to criticize GOP members they believe have betrayed the right wing.

“John McCain’s got to go,” Pennis said.

McCain’s campaign argues that, as a congressman, Hayworth wasn’t fiscally conservative and supported earmarks, which send taxpayer dollars to projects in lawmakers’ home districts. McCain has long opposed the practice, saying it can breed corruption and often directs tax money to projects that shouldn’t get it.

McCain has campaigned with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and newly elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, two of the most popular figures among tea party activists. Hayworth has dismissed their support for McCain as political payback after he helped launch their national political careers.

Hayworth has also hit some snags in his efforts to be seen as the race’s tea party candidate. Many Arizona tea party groups have refused to endorse candidates for public office, including Hayworth.

Some say tea party leaders shouldn’t be telling supporters how to vote. Others say tea parties would be too much like traditional political parties if they start picking winners and losers by endorsing candidates.

Some even say that neither McCain nor Hayworth has a record of supporting tea party causes.

Shortly after Hayworth entered the race, four of Arizona’s largest tea party groups issued a news release announcing they wouldn’t endorse in the Senate primary. The tea party should be about ideas instead of candidates, leaders said.

And on the issues most important to tea partiers, “Both McCain and Hayworth’s records during their many years in Washington leave much to be desired,” Tucson Tea Party co-founder Robert Mayer said in the statement.

Hayworth dismisses the significance of the news release, saying many tea party groups are registered nonprofits and are prohibited by law from endorsing political candidates.

John Mccain RHINO Many lobbyists say they are watching Obama’s former presidential rival — perhaps the most unusual of the unusual suspects — because he’s engaged in a heated Arizona Republican primary with former Rep. J. D. Hayworth. Financial observers have concluded that McCain’s vote will depend entirely on his analysis of how it plays among Arizona primary voters.

John McCain

Many lobbyists say they are watching Obama’s former presidential rival — perhaps the most unusual of the unusual suspects — because he’s engaged in a heated Arizona Republican primary with former Rep. J. D. Hayworth. Financial observers have concluded that McCain’s vote will depend entirely on his analysis of how it plays among Arizona primary voters.

“If McCain decides that doing this will help him beat J.D. Hayworth, he’ll do it,” says one.

McCain formed an unlikely alliance with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to propose reinstating the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banking from investment banking. That law was repealed in the late 1990s, and many critics say it allowed for the growth of mammoth and risky investment banks. Fully reinstating the law would be further than the Obama administration has proposed.

But for now, Wall Street can breathe easy. Asked if he or other Republicans might vote for the bill, McCain offered a terse “no” and stepped quickly into an elevator.