THE FDA AND PINHOLE GLASSES - 1992
Note that the FDA only conducts raids against SMALL business, not BIG businesses. Can you imagine a surprise, armed raid against the headquarters of General Mills, because they claimed on the back of a cereal box that their product could improve your health? It will never happpen, because the purpose of such raids is to PROTECT BIG BUSINESS FROM SMALL BUSINESSES! Raids against small farmers who want to sell raw milk that is healthier than the chemicalized, pasteurized, homogenized product of the big dairy industry is a perfect example.
In the past, people who attempted to sell pinholes have left themselves open to this kind of attack by claiming that pinholes can permanently eliminate all kinds of visual problems. Such claims could not be substantiated. In one case, 14 state attorneys got together to close down one such operation that was advertising that pinholes could improve vision. How often do you hear of that many state attorneys getting together to do anything? The recent case where a lawsuit was brought against the tobacco companies is one of the few instances. That might be understandable since tobacco is an extremely harmful product that was costing the states hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs. But pinhole glasses are a perfectly harmless device, even if exaggerated claims were being made. Exaggerated claims seem to be the rule in the marketing world. What would create such a massive coordinated attack against a small company selling such a harmless product? Do you smell the presence of the eye doctors and optical companies in the background as we do? Proof is difficult to find, but what other explanation is there? We are certain that if there was a way to make squinting illegal, they would try to do it. Isn't it strange that pinholes are not offered for sale in retail stores, where they could be made available without making any claims at all for them, just like off-the-rack reading glasses? The reason is that any attempt to mass distribute them has been deliberately and massively squashed.
Even the Federal Trade Commission has tried to stop pinhole sales. They were able to act because some vendors were so irresponsible that they claimed that pinholes can permanently improve your vision. See FTC Charges for the full story.
Does your local drug store get raided by armed federal agents for selling products that claim to grow hair on bald heads or for selling toothpaste that claims to prevent decayed teeth? Of course, it doesn't. On the other hand, the federal government spends millions of our dollars to force upon the American public the unbelievable fraud of compulsory fluoridation, SOLELY to benefit industrial interests.
Fortunately, the dictatorial powers of the FDA were considerably diminished by a recent landmark court decision. In the past, the FDA has made it a criminal act to place any information on the label of a dietary supplement that would claim any health benefits for the product, even when such claims could be backed up by research. Some supplement manufacturers took the FDA to court over this and ended the FDA's 20-year-old suppression of dietary supplements. Judge Laurence Silberman of The Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals wrote:
The First Amendment directs us to be especially skeptical of regulations that seek to keep people in the dark for what the government perceives to be their own good. The FDA's obvious motive was to protect pharmaceutical interests. If the truth about the power of certain nutrients were allowed, millions would give these items a try, and millions would find relief. Consequently, they would neither need nor desire expensive and far more dangerous prescription drugs. In fact, this is precisely the concern the FDA addressed in its Dietary Supplement Task Force Report, when it stated that "the agency should insure that the existence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive for drug development."
Similarly, the FDA's obvious motive in conducting armed raids against those who sell pinhole glasses is to protect optical interests. This ruling can and will be used against the FDA's bullies if they are foolish enough to initiate further attacks against pinhole glasses.