COURT FINES COMPANY $500M — ORDERS 25 YEAR JAIL SENTENCE
This is an open letter to Lorraine Heller, a reporter for Decision News, who wrote a story about the recent sentencing of Berkeley Nutraceuticals, a dietary supplement company located in Ohio. Ms. Heller is also seeking comment on this story from readers, as you will note below.
Ms. Heller writes:
"At the end of last month, the founder of a US supplements company received the most severe punishment yet to be handed out for fraud in the industry: a 25-year jail sentence. NutraIngredients is calling for comments on this historic decision." You can see the article at Nutraingredients.com. You can write Ms. Heller at: email@example.com
Dear Ms. Heller:
As a documentary filmmaker who has followed and reported on the industry and various "medical freedom of choice" issues, I wholly disagree with the severity of the sentence against Berkeley. Good God. 25 years in jail. . .and the company was ordered to forfeit $500 million?"
Whether or not Berkeley "sullied" the name of the industry or not — which is questionable — my investigation revealed that the Company had indeed offered to pay a refund anyone who was displeased with the product, no questions asked.
Since the lofty days of DSHEA, which I featured in my film "Let Truth Be The Bias" in 1994, the FDA and FTC have ignored the will of Congress and refused to implement the protective measures written into the Bill itself. Rather, these two agencies have continued the dangerous and illegal pattern of creating two separate sets of rules for enforcement: allowing drug companies to knowingly inflict harm upon consumers, while penalizing dietary supplement companies with outrageous fines and now, ridiculously inappropriate jail terms for products that never harmed one person who took them.
My latest documentary film, called Generation RX, will be released in October. As the film clearly demonstrates, drug manufacturers and their regulatory watchdogs at the FDA colluded to hide the dark facts about both stimulant and antidepressant drugs — drugs that are routinely given to millions of children. The film also uncovers how FDA ignored stark warnings about Ritalin from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and provides incontrovertible evidence that FDA — years prior to the drug’s approval in 1989 — was aware of suicides, murder and other violent acts attributed to the antidepressant Prozac®. Despite this damning evidence to the contrary, FDA and medical doctors have continued to argue vehemently that “no scientific evidence of harm exists” from these powerful drugs, and have imposed no fines or proposed any legal remedies for families who lost loved ones to the horror of murders, suicides and horrible adverse reactions. In fact, they have done just the opposite, and have helped block efforts to protect consumers.
This latest, sad chapter in FDA/FTC regulatory bullying should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans that another fight is needed to preserve the hard-fought victories of DSHEA. Otherwise, medical freedom of choice will be lost forever — and the health of our nation will be poorer than ever.
Kevin P. Miller