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A Trial Down In Texas May Be Vital To Us All

Dec 18, 2007
Events appear to be marching slowly but surely towards a trial in Texas which may have major implication for all of us regarding our freedom of access to dietary natural health supplements. The conflict began as result of an FDA complaint five years ago that seeks to set a precedent for how much control the FDA has over all natural supplement companies. It pits Utopia Silver, a small natural supplement company and maker of colloidal silver which I consult to, against the Goliath of the FDA and the World Pharma lords the FDA serves.

Much like the Alamo defenders in days gone by, this small company and it's supporters of health freedom are pitted against a corrupt giant determined to impose it's will and stifle freedom - and, just like the Alamo and the struggles that followed, the outcome may effect the freedom and future of millions.

Five years ago, about the same time that the FDA began renewed targeting of colloidal silver because of it's effectiveness as a natural anti-biotic and rising popularity - and not coincidentally as a threat to the profits of Big Pharma and mainstream medicine - the FDA sent an email to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS ) essentially complaining that Utopia Silver was making medical claims which, in the eyes of the FDA turned their supplements into drugs. The TDSHS then brought the complaint to the OfficerTexas Attorney General (TAG).

It has since been determined that among the targeted objections are: having medical terms such as cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, etc., posted anywhere on the website; having any medical terms in a search engine, and the posting of testimonials from customers who had taken any company products and defeated or improved any medical condition.

Such restrictions appear to be clear violation of the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) of the Constitution of the United States of America, especially the prohibition against posting testimonials and speaking the truth about how people believe that dietary supplements have helped them.

If the FDA is to have their way, a person seeking a natural dietary supplement for any medical condition would not be able to go to any website which offered vitamins, minerals, natural supplements or any other alternatives to mainstream medicine and be able to find that term in a search of the site or mentioned anywhere in the site. Neither would they be able to find testimonials from anyone who had used an alternative to FDA approved drugs and medical procedures.

Next Wednesday there is a meeting between the parties in a Judges chambers in Austin, Texas as they attempt to comply with a judges request to work out an agreement. So far the Texas Attorney General's Office (TAG), which are commissioned officers of the FDA (which is likely a violation of both the Texas and US Constitutions), appear to be obviously acting on behalf of the FDA, have not given any indication of making a fair or reasonable settlement.

Last spring, the Assistant Texas Attorney General in charge of the case, Raul Noriega, first agreed and then reneged on an oral agreement that would have settled the case. When asked why Noriega's only response was that he was told by higher ups to proceed to trial despite the prior agreement to settle.

Last summer, TDSHS employees paid three visits to the Utopia Silver offices and lab locations, and asked to make inspections. The first time, two TDSHS officers paid a visit. One identified himself as an "inspector" and the other as an "investigator". The owner of Utopia Silver, Ben Taylor, asked to see credentials so he could make a copy. When they refused he turned them away.

The next day they returned, accompanied by two Texas State Troopers, and said they had a warrant. When Taylor demanded to see it, they again refused, saying he could go to Austin if he wanted to see it and threatening to arrest Taylor if he did not comply. At that point, Taylor began placing a phone call to the local sheriff, and the TDSHS employees and State Troopers beat a hasty retreat. It was later determined that no properly executed affidavit ever existed.

Two days later the TDSHS empoyees returned for a third time, just ahead of a Sheriff's Deputy. Taylor told them that since he was expecting the deputy to be there that morning to take statements about their activities day before, he would talk to them after he spoke to the deputy. He told the two TDSHS men to wait outside until the deputy took statements from four employees who had witnessed what had transpired the previous day.

"In the middle of the first statement," said Taylor, "the investigator came in asked to speak to the deputy. The deputy followed him to the lobby and I followed right behind. The TDSHS man asked if I was going to comply with the warrant for an inspection. I again told him that I would talk to him when I finished with the deputy"

"He then proceeded to say that since I was refusing his inspection," Taylor continued, "would I sign a document stating that I refused inspection, and I said no and they left. After that, we finished giving our statements to the Sheriff deputy and so far they have not been back."

Most recently, they have continued to stonewall and refuse to answer questions or otherwise attempt to make clarifications requested by Ben Taylor in accordance with the presiding judge's request for both sides to work together to try to work out an agreement. When Utopia Silver asked why they were being singled out for such actions and nothing was happening to similar companies, Assistant Attorney General Noriega said that "someone" had decided to make Utopia Silver a test case. After he made the statement, he was interrupted by the TDSHS officer, who, according to Taylor "proceeded to hem and haw on that point, obviously not comfortable with that statement having been made by the Assistant Attorney General."

While the Texas Attorney General's office may try to contend that this is merely a state action "to insure the safety of the citizens of the State of Texas", the truth is that in Texas the state attorney generals are commissioned as officers of the FDA and there is no denying that the investigation into Utopia Silver began as a result of an FDA complaint.

The outcome of the trial could have huge implications for thousands of similar companies as well as for the many millions of U.S. citizens who choose to use natural dietary supplements. Although not publicized until today, already many individuals and organizations are aware of this FDA led outrage and are anxiously waiting to see how it unfolds. Among them is an associate of Aaron Russo's who has indicated that they want to include the case in an upcoming documentary.

Before all is said and done, there are likely to be many more interested parties join the fray in support of Utopia Silver and the issues at stake in the case. It could well be that the Texas Attorney General and those who are really behind the lawsuit may find that Utopia Silver has more friends and supporters than they have imagined possible.

(Note: After the hearing next week and as this case moves forward I intend to update The Best Years In Life and the world about what is happening down here in the Hill Country of Texas that may affect us all. Should the FDA persist in trying to usurp the US Constitution and our rights to access to safe and effective alternatives to dangerous mainstream drugs and managed illness I promise that I will do my best to raise a hue and cry far and wide. And I will be calling upon my friends here to help raise it.)

The Texas Constitution

Article 1 - BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 8 - FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS; LIBEL

"Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases."

"The FDA 'protects' the big drug companies and are subsequently rewarded, and using the government's police powers they attack those who threaten the big drug companies. People think that the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it is doing are as different as night and day." Dr. Herbert Ley, Former U.S. FDA Commissioner
About the Author
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health researcher and author of books and articles about natural health, as well as song lyrics and humorous anecdotal stories. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life http://tbyil.com website for baby boomer's and others wishing to live longer, healthier, and happier.
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