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'It's only vitamins,' says Mel Gibson

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Mel Gibson reminds us to put vitamins in perspective in this pre-DSHEA public service announcement.

Stumbled across this video recently. It's good for a chuckle.

For those in the know in 1993 (I was not), this video may drum up some nostalgia for the halcyon days of the pre-DSHEA supplement world. But I think it's pertinent today as well, with many supplement manufacturers and trade groups up in arms about FDA's potentially apocalypse-inducing NDI guidance and trying to iron out that message for consumers.

But while retail blackouts and publicized raids were effective in galvanizing constituent fervor and speedy Congressional action leading up to the passage of DSHEA, the NDI guidance is a far more technical issue lorded over by an agency of non-elected officials. Besides, "FDA is trying to make your supplements unreasonably safe" is a tough argument to run with. Though, as Mel says: "It's only vitamins."

But the argument seems to turn into more of a partisan, limited-government defense at the consumer level.

However, I believe consensus is that citizen involvement was instrumental to the passage of DSHEA in 1994. Were industry to synthesize the NDI issue into palatable public information, it could be good for building concord and transparency.

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

on Nov 17, 2011

How fun to see this commercial again. Thanks, Connor!

The message there is pretty timeless. The industry and our consumers rallied to the call in 1993 to protect our access to vitamins.

I hope that we are paying attention and acting accordingly today.

on Nov 17, 2011

Dear Connor,
Thanks for posting this.
Citizens for Health worked with the director of this PSA, Charles Abehsera, and he was able to get Mel Gibson to do this as a freebie. There was actually nothing halyconic about those days, but plenty that was martial and combative, and Gibson's PSA was an important way to galvanize America to the threats posed to supplements then. We have no less of a threat now, it is merely couched in the robes of a "Guidance."
Thanks for making the connection Connor; you are right on.
James

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