Sec 105 of SOPA threatens freedom of health speech, aligns with FDA Trilateral Cooperation Charter to potentially eliminate access to dietary supplements
by: Ethan A. Huff
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Identifying threats to health freedom and freedom of health speech often requires connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated verbiage in one piece of legislation and a trade agreement, for instance, or reading between the lines to identify the full intent or scope of a provision or phrase added to an unrelated bill. And this is the case with the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), which contains language that could one day target websites that sell, promote, or otherwise talk about the benefits of dietary supplements.
Section 105 of SOPA, entitled Immunity for Taking Voluntary Action Against Sites that Endanger Public Health, provisions that service providers, network providers, advertising services, search engines, domain name registry services, and other parties that handle internet content will be immune from prosecution should they decide to arbitrarily pull sites that “endanger the public health.”
What is considered an endangerment of public health in SOPA? Websites that offer, sell, dispense, or distribute prescription medications without valid prescriptions, or sites that do the same with prescription medications that have been “adulterated or misbranded,” according to the section. The definitions of “misbranded,” “prescription medication,” “drug,” and “valid prescription,” are also notated with references in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Controlled Substances Act.