The herbal medicine and natural health communities mourn the passing of prominent figures Steven Foster and Jim Turner


The herbal medicine and natural health communities honor the passing of prominent figures Steven Foster and James S. Turner, Esq. Steven Foster was a leading herbal author and photographer and board member of the American Botanical Council. Lawyer James (Jim) Turner was the founder and chairman of Citizens for Health and a leading consumer health campaigner. Foster and Turner died suddenly in January.

Jim Turner

Jim Turner was best known as the longtime President and Chairman of the Board of Citizens for Health, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy organization that advocates for consumer access to natural health care and health care. Medicine. He co-founded the law firm Swankin & Turner, which represented businesses, individuals and consumer groups on regulatory issues relating to food, drugs, health, environment and product safety.

At the age of 30, Turner co-wrote the book The Chemical Feast: Ralph Nader’s Study Group Report on the Food and Drug Administration, a talk that drew attention to FDA regulations on food additives and was dubbed by TIME magazine as “what may well be the most devastating criticism of a US government agency ever published”.

Turner played a key role in passing the policies that defined the current regulatory framework for dietary supplements in the United States, including the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). He served as Special Advisor to the Senate Special Committee on Food, Nutrition, and Health and to the Senate Government Operations Subcommittee on Government Research. Turner has also advocated for the FDA to make changes to its proposed New Dietary Ingredient Guidelines for Dietary Supplements and has launched numerous citizen petitions to the FDA, including petitions regarding the agency’s position on the sucralose and high fructose corn syrup. Turner also played a key role in mainstreaming the practice of acupuncture, asking the FDA to classify acupuncture needles as medical devices.

Turner has served on advisory boards and committees such as the Food Safety Council, Americans for Homeopathy Choice, National Commission for Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), and Voice for HOPE.

“Jim has been one of the most powerful and articulate voices and leaders on health freedom and consumer choice. We look forward to honoring Jim’s vision by continuing the vital work that Citizens for Health does on behalf of all Americans,” said James Gormley, Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor at Citizens for Health, in a statement. hurry. The organization announced that Turner’s family would like donations to be made, in lieu of memorial flowers, to the Citizens Foundation for Health Education.

“Jim was a force to be reckoned with in the health freedom community for more than half a century,” AHPA President Michael McGuffin said in a press release. “He would often greet me and ask me, ‘Are we winning?’ and it is certain that anyone who cares about freedom of choice in health care has gained much over the years through Jim’s leadership and wisdom, as well as his advocacy for activism. and cooperation.

Steven Foster

Steven Foster was the author or co-author of 19 books and hundreds of articles on herbs. His acclaimed photography and editorial contributions have been regularly featured in the American Botanical Council (ABC) journal HerbalGram. In a tribute from Mark Blumenthal, founder and chief executive of ABC, Blumenthal said: “[Steven’s] a keen eye for plants and his ability to photograph them has produced a treasure trove of thousands of beautiful, high quality photos that have graced the pages of many books and magazine articles, including hundreds of his photos in the ABC newspaper HerbalGram, many of them cover photos. If you enjoyed the superb four-colour photographs of each issue of HerbalGram, you can generally thank Steven for the photos. A tribute page celebrating Foster’s memory was published on the HerbalGram website.

In addition to having been deputy editor of HerbalGram, Foster was also a member and former chairman of the board of ABC. Foster was a self-taught botanist, Blumenthal noting that he “knew as much or generally more about botany and the history of herbal medicine literature than many scholars with many advanced degrees”.

For example, Blumenthal said, “Steven was one of the first people to help popularize the herb echinacea, having written the first book on echinacea –Echinacea: Nature’s Immune Booster (Healing Arts Press, 1991) – since the treatise on echinacea by eclectic pharmacist and author John Uri Lloyd in 1917. At one point in his career, some colleagues even called him “Mr. Echinacea.’”

He added, “Steven’s knowledge, expertise, experience, and sound judgment have helped guide ABC since its inception. Steven was the primary source for many of ABC’s early publications, including four volumes of ABC’s “Classic Botanical Reprints” from 1989, just after ABC’s inception, and his information-filled “Botanical Booklets”, detailed profiles on over a dozen popular herbs. , of which ABC printed tens of thousands and distributed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when most Americans knew very little about the names of herbs, other than peppermint, garlic, ginger and some others.

The American Herbal Products Association also honored Foster in memoriam, highlighting his herbal activism. For example, the association stated, “In 1988, Steven advocated protecting lady’s slippers (lady’s-slipper) to disappear in nature. His close friend, Mark Blumenthal, took the matter to the AHPA Board of Directors, which led to the passage of the AHPA’s first-ever trade requirement, still in effect, which prohibits trade wild-harvested ladies’ slippers.

The AHPA said, “Steven has been a giant in the herbal medicine community for nearly half a century. To say he will be missed is both true and an understatement: he is irreplaceable.


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