On Feb. 12, your paper printed an inaccurate and misleading article. In ityou implied that to benefit a company in which I have a financial interest, I sponsored an amendment--approved in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 1--that prevented the Food and Drug Administration from imposing additional labeling regulations on dietary supplements (substances like vitamins, minerals and herbs) for one year.
Let me set the record straight about my investment. First, I am a limited partner in a partnership and own less than 2% of the stock of Pharmics Inc., which is primarily a real estate company but also is a pharmaceutical wholesaler. As a limited partner, I have no say in the management or investment decisions of Pharmics.
Second, Pharmics Inc. sells only two products that would be potentially affected by the legislation--an iron supplement and a Vitamin C supplement. The gross sales of these two vitamin products have never exceeded $42,000. My share of the company's 1992 sales was $48.18. Third, the pharmaceutical division of the company, where the vitamin products are sold, has suffered net losses in each of the last four years.
Finally, according to the independent accountants who audit the company, my personal share of the book value of the pharmaceutical division of Pharmics is only $670. I hardly think these facts would justify your implication in any reasonable mind that I pushed the legislation to further my own financial interest.
On the contrary, I sponsored the legislation on behalf of the thousands of Utah residents and the millions of Americans who, like me, use dietary supplements and are concerned with the FDA's regulatory tactics. Furthermore, the dietary supplements industry contributes almost $1 billion to the gross product of my state.
As a result of your erroneous allegations, many newspapers across the country--relying on your integrity--have reprinted the article as though it were true. In this case, your inaccurate condemnation is like littering. It is so easy to do, but it is so hard to clean up.
SEN. ORRIN G. HATCH