Stay calm, she says: Lobbyist leaves bottles of herbs in congressional offices

Bottle of nutritional supplements causes scare at Sen. Charles Schwertner’s office – The Eagle: Local News.

A natural medicine lobbyist dropped off a bottle of nutritional capsules labeled “Calm” to the office of state Sen. Charles Schwertner.

They had the opposite effect.

Staffers in Schwertner’s office called the Texas Department of Public Safety after the supplements were dropped off Tuesday by a representative of the Texas Health Freedom Coalition, an advocacy group for natural health and alternative medicine.

They didn’t know what it was. The lobbyist:

gave all members of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services the capsules, a health book and a one-page summary of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Texans to choose their health care from alternative or natural providers. She said the group had many natural supplements to chose from, but went with “calm” variety in a somewhat joking manner.

She was unapologetic, it seemed, and berated Schwertner, an orthopedic surgeon, for not knowing about the herbs.

The capsules reported contained magnesium and the ashwagandha. It was labeled.

I found this story somewhat ironic. Dietary supplements are far less regulated than any over the counter or prescription drugs but they ARE drugs. We have had MANY stories here about herbal products that either do not have evidence showing that they work or products that are inconsistent in ingredients. In worst cases, the products contain potentially HARMFUL ingredients. The lobbyist who left the pills was advocating for a bill that allows this sort of non-science-based health care in Texas.

There does not appear to be significant research on the pros and cons of this Ayurvedic herb. So, I guess no news is good news, just hand it out like candy? Epic fail.

I would like to see Schwertner speak out about how irresponsible this was and why loosely regulated herbals are a BAD idea.

  1 comment for “Stay calm, she says: Lobbyist leaves bottles of herbs in congressional offices

  1. eddi
    April 13, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    WE will never learn if these medicines are effective unless they are rigorously tested. I volunteer the Congress of the United States of America to test random batches of OTC and prescription alternative substances. Since marijuana is the only one I know that must be prescribed, we could start with a few pounds to loosen everyone up.

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