News, Policy & Economics

Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana: What’s in a Name?

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Amid the current rage for all things cannabis, there is a lot of confusion about the terminology used to describe this plant and compounds extracted from it.

Part of that confusion arises from the Farm Bill of 2018, which changes some federal definitions. These changes have major implications for legal and regulatory policy.  Here’s a guide to common cannabis-related terms and their current definitions.

Migrants at the Border: US Citizens Head South for Cheap Medical Care

By Erik Goldman

There are a lot of anxious, needy people eager to cross the line that separates the US from Mexico. Go to the border towns of Southern California and Arizona, and you’ll see them— US citizens heading south to Mexican clinics and farmacias, seeking lower cost surgeries and cheap meds.

Medical and pharmacy “tourism” to Mexico is a large and growing phenomenon, one that has received little attention amid the bitter political rancor over immigration policy and border control.

FDA Revamps It’s Field Guide to Food Additives

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

There are well over 10,000 chemical additives–flavorings, colorings, preservatives–that the federal government permits for use in food products sold in the US. While a few occasionally grab headlines–think monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrite, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame–the vast majority garner very little public attention.

Is the Time Right to Revise DSHEA?

By Erik Goldman, Editor

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) has certainly had its share of critics over the 25 years since it was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton.Some contend the regulation is weak, and that it gives the supplement industry too much latitude, while providing too little consumer protection. On the other side, many argue that the law puts a stranglehold on truthful communication about supplements. Is the time right to revisit–and revise–this landmark law?

American Botanical Council Leads Initiative to End Adulteration of Herbs

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Call it the Eleventh Commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulteration!”

Though it may not quite be a divine decree, the elimination of contaminants and adulterants is an imperative that conscientious herbal supplement companies are taking very seriously these days, as the American Botanical Council spearheads a major drive to tackle the problem.

War, Inflammation, and One Doctor’s Medical Path for Peace

By Erik Goldman, Editor

War is chronic inflammation writ large, says Dr. Decker Weiss reflecting on his last 4 years of work in refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Weiss believes the principles of natural medicine have much to offer not only the victims of war and strife but to the larger policy dialogs aimed at engendering peace.