Fleecing The Public

Your account of Sen. William Proxmire’s “Golden Fleece” awards (The Scientist, December 12, 1988, page 17) may be supplemented with the history of his success in obstructing regulation of vitamin products in 1974. The Food and Drug Administration proposed to set an upper limit of 150% of Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) per tablet for the over-the-counter vitamin products. There was no restriction on taking several tablets per day, which actu ally is a more efficient way of assimilating vitamins than is a single dose. The best way to inhibit interference by the executive branch is in the halls of Congress, where many health-minded statesmen were deeply impressed by the volume of pro-vitamin mail from their voting constituents. The leader of megavitamin therapy in the upper house was Proxmire, who wrote to me on November 18, 1974: “Let’s face it. The orthodox nutritional community is off...

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