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Last Monday the Archives
of Internal Medicine, published by the American Medical Association, released
a study claiming that vitamin use might lead to an earlier death. This set off
a major media feeding frenzy, wave after wave of scary stories. Fox’s headline
was typical: “Are Your Supplements Killing You?”
The study was “junk science” at its worst. The methodology
was badly flawed, the data were manipulated to create a predetermined outcome,
and the data—adjusted as it was—did not fully support the authors’ wildly
overstated conclusions. Worst of all, the media have skewed and misreported the study with devastating results.
Because we expect this study to be used to support the FDA’s
new supplement guidance and Sen. Durbin’s bill that could greatly restrict
supplement availability, it is critical that we do not let this study go by
unanswered. If you are a doctor or a scientist, please write to the editor of
the Archives of Internal Medicine and
ask for the study to be reviewed and retracted, to allow a rebuttal to be
published, or at the very least to reveal the authors’ methodology.
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]