Sen. Tom Harkin Speaks in Support of Herbal Supplements
If you attended the Herbalife Extravaganza, you had the opportunity to hear Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) speak on the status of preventive healthcare in the U.S. One of the principal authors of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, which gave Americans the freedom and choice they enjoy in buying our products, and a long-time friend of Herbalife and Mark Hughes, Sen. Harkin recently spoke to Herbalife regarding his beliefs about the need for continued access to products like those made by Herbalife.
Q: Senator, our Distributors were very excited by your appearance in New Orleans. Why do you feel such a strong connection to Herbalife?
A: I strongly believe in helping people help themselves, and that’s what Herbalife’s all about. I’m also a long-time champion of preventive healthcare and good nutrition. I believe that by helping people take charge of their health, we’ll save lives and cut costs. Nearly half of the almost trillion dollars spent treating sickness annually goes toward helping people recover from illnesses that could have been prevented! We can all play a role in turning that around.
Q: As one of the chief architects of DSHEA, what do you see as the major challenges and threats facing our industry?
A: DSHEA, which passed both the Senate and House unanimously in 1994, has been crucial to protecting our access to healthful vitamins and nutritional supplements. It prevents the government from requiring Americans to get a prescription before purchasing the products they want and requires that all claims made on supplements be truthful. Unfortunately, there are people and organizations actively working to undermine support for DSHEA and supplements.
Q: DSHEA has come under attack at recent Congressional hearings. Doesn’t Congress understand the benefits of supplements and the safeguards DSHEA provides?
A: This points out how much work we have cut out for us in educating our elected officials. Supporters of natural healthcare and supplements must get involved in the process. Did you know that there are more highly paid lobbyists for the big drug companies than there are members of Congress? That’s more than 535! Clearly we need a grassroots effort on behalf of natural products. Without one, we’ll see a return to more paternalistic government policies that limit our freedom of choice.
Q: Do you have any words of advice for our Distributors as they pursue their dreams of building their businesses and improving their health?
A: Let me tell you something about my background because it has a lot to do with why I support who you are and what you do. My father was a coal miner, and my mother was an immigrant. She died when I was young. My family never had much money, but we were rich in values. The values my parents taught me helped me get ahead so I know the importance of opportunity–the kind of opportunity that Herbalife provides. I want to get rid of any obstacles in your path that keep you from climbing that ladder and reaching the American dream.