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The New Jersey 1995 DHEA Cases Story

How DHEA was kept legal...

September 2007 - DHEA legality threatened again: see Here.

How I kept DHEA Legal

Link to Copy of Final Order

In 1995 the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) was a new and untried law. Many elements in the federal and state governments were still operating under the old assumption that alternative healing modalities, including nutrient supplementation, were tantamount to fraud and needed to be suppressed in the public interest. This was never really true in the first place, but rather the result of several generations of propaganda by certain groups in the medical industry. Today, with the changes that have been made in the AMA's Code of Ethics (Opinion 3.04, permitting cooperation between licensed physicians and alternative practitioners) in response to successful anti-trust lawsuits, such views have been fully discredited.

But, just a half a decade ago, such ideas were all too prevalent in some government circles. Thus, sometime in early '95 a rumor started, that the DEA was about to schedule DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone) as a controlled substance. No matter that DHEA, as a dietary substance, was protected by the new law; no matter that it did not meet the criteria for scheduling; no matter that no required hearings were held and that no notice had been published in the Federal Register -- just the rumor was enough for someone in the US Postal Service to send out a circular to local post offices that DHEA had been scheduled by the DEA.

Two Post Masters in New Jersey (the towns, counties and victims will remain unnamed to protect the defendants' privacy) realized that a 72 year old man in County B and a 30 year old woman in County M had ordered DHEA from Germany. The federal employees decided to act against the perceived public menace of private importation for personal use; they independently contacted their local Narcotics Strike Forces. The narcs in each county set up a sting operation, waiting at the post offices until the offenders came to claim the "contraband."

While it now sounds funny in a Keystone Cop sort of way, to the victims it was not so funny. The elderly gentleman was handcuffed and forced to sit on the post office steps, where all his town neighbors could see him. The young woman was held while her home was searched and her library of health and exercise books seized.

Both victims, though, were members of the Life Extension Foundation, http://www.lef.org/ and asked for help. LEF retained me and provided the research that showed that DHEA was not a controlled substance and had never been so named in the Federal Register. Since the substance was not contraband, one would think that the charges would be quickly dropped. Well, the prosecutors were willing to "reduce" the charges, but admit they were prosecuting innocent people... Look, it's Drug War out there and when millions of users are being jailed...

At that moment Dr. Julian Whitaker stepped in and publicized the cases in his newsletter. Ten thousand letters to Governor Whitman later and both county prosecutors wanted to drop the cases. They did so, and returned the defendants' DHEA and books!

The judge in County M signed an Order which stated that DHEA was neither a controlled substance nor a prescription drug, but rather a dietary substance. That Order was not appealed. It was copied and passed around the country, becoming the precedent for DHEA's availability as a dietary substance. - 11/10/2000

Article in Life Extension Magazine about the cases, http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag96/may96_report.html?GO.X=13\&GO.Y=9

Link to Copy of Final Order

2000, 2001, 2003 v 06/30/03
All rights reserved -- UCC 1-207


2007 Update:
DHEA Threatened Again

------ Original Message ------
Received: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 02:53:47 PM EDT
From: news@naturesbotanicals.com
Subject: Action Alert--Stop Congress from Restricting Access to DHEA

Action Alert--Stop Congress from Restricting Access to DHEA

Your access to DHEA is in jeopardy! The Senate is considering a bill, S.
762, to classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, adding it to the list of
controlled substances and removing it from the market. H.R. 1249 is the
companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Your immediate help is
needed to keep this safe and effective dietary supplement legal and

DHEA is not an anabolic steroid. It is a naturally occurring hormone that has
a wide range of benefits, including maintaining muscle strength and strong
bones, boosting immunity, and improving mood and sleep patterns. Further
studies suggest that DHEA may be helpful for such conditions as obesity,
cancer and Alzheimers disease. DHEA dietary supplements, which have been on
the market for over 20 years, are derived from a plant in the wild yam family; for more
information. - http://www.capwiz.com/nnfa/issues/bills/?bill=9492216

We need your help to keep DHEA legal. Send a message to Congress asking your
Senators and Representative to oppose S. 762 and H.R. 1249 and any amendment
to restrict access to DHEA to minors. Congress should not restrict access to
a dietary supplement that has given health to millions of Americans. Take
action now!


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 Ralph Fucetola JD

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