In Memoriam: Jim Turner

January 28, 2022

We are deeply saddened to announce that attorney, author, and health activist James S. (Jim) Turner passed away in his Washington, D.C. home this week.

James S. Turner (1940–2022)

Jim's activities and accomplishments as a longtime health and health freedom advocate are legendary. An original “Nader's Raider,” Jim at the age of 30 authored The Chemical Feast – an exposé that called attention to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulation of food additives, in what TIME magazine described as “what may well be the most devastating critique of a U.S. government agency ever issued.”

But that turned out to be just the beginning of Jim's illustrious career.

Jim served for many years as the Chairman of Citizens for Health, an organization that has advocated for the health interests of its thousands of citizen supporters since 1992. From 1994 to 1996, Jim was the lead attorney in a successful petition to FDA to have acupuncture needles reclassified to allow their importation and use by acupuncturists.

For the last decade and more, Jim has focused much of his attention on communicating a message of unity to counter political and social differences. In 2008, he co-authored Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life, and continued to call attention to bold ideas that we can apply to address the shared interests of American citizens.

“Jim was a force to be reckoned with in the health freedom community for over half a century,” recalled AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “He would commonly greet me by asking, ‘Are we winning?' and it is certain that all who care about freedom of choice in healthcare have won a lot over the years through Jim's leadership and wisdom, and his advocacy for activism and cooperation.”

Jim is survived by his partner in life and law Betsy Lehrfeld, his son Christopher, and by many, many friends in the natural products and complementary medicine communities.

A memorial to celebrate Jim's life will be scheduled later this year.

In lieu of flowers, the Turner family requests donations be made to Citizens for Health Education Foundation.




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