HBO report links Orrin Hatch’s dietary supplement legislation to military fatalities

14 Jun

HBO report links Orrin Hatch’s dietary supplement legislation to military fatalities
Scott D. Pierce
First Published May 19 2015 02:09PM • Last Updated May 19 2015 05:33 pm

Share This Article
ARTICLE PHOTO GALLERY (1)

In a segment that airs in Tuesday’s episode of “Real Sports” (11 p.m., HBO), Soledad O’Brien reports on the deaths of several members of the U.S. military tied to dietary supplements sold at their bases — and ties those deaths to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and his ongoing efforts to limit the supplement industry from being regulated.

The first half of the 16-minute segment recounts the death of a young soldier at Fort Bliss in Texas, who died of a heart attack during training. That death was linked to a supplement called Jack3d, which the soldier bought at an on-base GNC outlet.

Several more military deaths have been linked to that supplement and others. Because, O’Brien reports, “Unlike medical drugs, medical supplements don’t have to be tested on humans or approved for safety by regulators before they’re sold.”

And that, she reports, is because of the Hatch-sponsored Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

“It’s kind of unusual,” says Anne Weismann, chief counsel for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “Usually we’re talking about a drug and food law that’s designed to protect the public. And here was one that fundamentally seemed designed to protect the industry against regulation.”

Weismann makes no bones about what she believes happened.

“If you look at money, that’s usually what talks,” she says. “Who was the No. 1 recipient of campaign contributions from the dietary supplement industry? Orrin Hatch.”

That was true in 2010 when Hatch “wasn’t even up for re-election,” Weismann says. “They’re rewarding him for being a staunch supporter. Even when he doesn’t need the money, he still gets it.”

Since the law was passed in 1994, the supplement industry has expanded from $9 billion a year to an estimated $30 billion. And Utah has benefitted greatly — it’s home to nearly a fifth of the supplement industry.

The “Real Sports” report also ties the senator to a lobbying firm that works on behalf of the supplement industry — Walker, Martin & Hatch. The partners included the senator’s son, Scott Hatch, and one of the senator’s former aides, Jack Martin.

O’Brien reports Scott Hatch left the firm in 2011 and has insisted he “never personally lobbied for the supplement industry. And both Hatches have publicly denied that Scott Hatch ever lobbied his father.”

Hatch does not defend himself in the report — because he refused repeated interview requests from “Real Sports.” O’Brien goes so far as to show up at Hatch’s senate office unannounced and is told the senator is not in.

Hatch’s press secretary, Matt Whitlock, does go on camera and states that the senator won’t appear because O’Brien is using “a piece of legislation that he sponsored over 20 years ago … to kind of try and connect him” to the soldiers’ deaths.

“You don’t think there’s any connection?” O’Brien asks.

“I think that you could try … to do some logical gymnastics to make a connection there,” Whitlock says, “but I think that that’s not something we’re going to have, you know, Sen. Hatch come speak to you about.”

O’Brien goes on to report, “In the two decades since the law passed, Hatch has never stopped fighting to limit regulation over the supplement industry.” That includes his opposition to an amendment that would have required supplement makers to register their ingredients with the government.

And she questions whether any other politician is truly supporting the troops if they oppose efforts to ensure the safety of supplements.

“Well, they’re not supporting the troops if they’re fighting against greater regulation of the dietary supplement industry. It’s that simple,” Weismann said.

Share This Article

by TaboolaSponsored LinksFrom the Web
Making Under $80,000 A Year Can Get You A Grant* For School
*Qualified Students – ClassesUSA
14 Hot Celebrities Who Are Rocking Real Breasts
TomorroWoman
7 Outrageous Credit Cards If You Have Excellent Credit
NextAdvisor
This TV “Shark” Star Investor Reveals Brilliant Mortgage Payoff Tip
Bills.com
How This Razor is Disrupting a $13 Billion Industry
Dollar Shave Club
The 8 Most Common Signs of Pancreatic Cancer
ActiveBeat.com
Someone Stumled Across Something Deep In The Woods – Beneath It Was One of History’s Darkest Secrets
ViralNova
What Does Your Last Name Say About You
Ancestry

Disqus seems to be taking longer than usual. Reload?

News
All Local News
Search
Last 36 hours
Nation + World
RSS
Twitter
Politics
Justice
Polygamy
Education
Weather
Utah’s Right
Elevate
Empower Utah
Cool Stuff
I Love videos
Whatever Happened To…
Special Reports
TribTalk
Videos
Photo Galleries
Utah Bucket List
Mormon Rivals
Preparing to play
Sports
All Sports
TribPreps
Utah Jazz
Utah Utes
BYU Cougars
USU Aggies
WSU Wildcats
College
RSL
Grizzlies
Bees
Winter Sports
Outdoors
Gordon Monson
Kurt Kragthorpe
Live Matchups
Game Odds
All-time BYU football stats
All-time Utes football stats
Money
All Money
Top Workplaces
Home Prices
Blogs
All Blogs
The Utah Effect
Politics
The Cricket
TV
Jazz Notes
U of U Sports
BYU Sports
Prep Sports
RSL
Hiking
Opinion
All Opinion
Editorials
Commentary
Letters
Bagley Cartoons
Rolly
Cannon
Kirby
Submit a Letter
Faith
All Faith
LDS Church
Religion news
Faith Blog
Entertainment
All Entertainment
Calendar
Film-Finder
Movies
Restaurants
Lifestyle
Arts
Food
Music
TV
Shopping
Puzzles & Games
Comics
Horoscopes
Obituaries
Search Obituaries
Place an Obituary
Marketplace
Search Cars
Search Homes
Search Jobs
Search Marketplace
Legal Notices
Other Services
Advertise With Us
Subscribe to the Newspaper
Access your e-Edition
Frequently Asked Questions
Submit a breaking news tip
E-mail the Tribune web staff
Contact a newsroom staff member
Submit Arts and Entertainment tips
Access the Trib Archives
Privacy Policy
Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: