This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Personal story" segment tonight, do you take vitamins, supplements, other stuff you hear advertised on radio and TV? It's a billion-dollar industry. And now Senator John McCain has introduced a bill whereby the Food and Drug Administration could recall some vitamins and supplements the Feds deem not safe.
With us now is a woman who does not like that at all. Actress Suzanne Somers is the author of the book "Knockout". She has written 19 books in total. That's more than I have written. You are an industry in yourself.
SUZANNE SOMERS, ENTREPRENEUR/AUTHOR: You know we Irish. We either drink or write. I chose to write.
O'REILLY: Right. Me, too.
OK, look, I want the feds to regulate supplements and I'll tell you why, and this is personal for me, OK? For high cholesterol, somebody said, "Why don't you take red yeast, O'Reilly. Red yeast is a vitamin. It's OK."
SOMERS: Which is a statin. A natural statin.
O'REILLY: Right. And it can lower high cholesterol. All right? So I said, "OK, all right." And I started to take red yeast.
Well, I go to the doctor two months later, and my liver enzymes are through the roof because my body couldn't take red yeast. And all I wanted on the red yeast bottle -- I didn't want it banned. I wanted a thing that said, "Look, this could impact your liver." And I want McCain and these people to start to put labels on these supplements. What say you?
SOMERS: Yes, but, you know, in 2007, the FDA did an internal investigation of itself. And you can read it. It's out there for everyone to read. They declared themselves incompetent.
O'REILLY: OK, that's always a problem, I know.
SOMERS: Unable to keep up with the science. And so here we are adding more bureaucracy, which will be tens of millions of dollars, which will make supplements more and more expensive.
I'm one of these people who's chosen to live a non-drug life. Unless -- I'm not anti-pharmaceutical -- unless I absolutely need them. Which I write about in "Knockout" in November. I was saved. My life was saved by pharmaceutical drugs.
But as a regular vitamin user, I stay very healthy. I don't require any drugs. Why -- why do we want to give government more control over choices that we can make for ourselves?
O'REILLY: Because there are so many -- look...
SOMERS: So your liver. And I know -- I mean, a statin.
O'REILLY: I'm not a federal Big Brother guy, as anybody who watches this program knows. But any charlatan can come out with a pill and say it cures baldness. It doesn't, all right?
SOMERS: But they can't. They have an oversight. They're not allowed to make...
O'REILLY: There's no oversight right now.
SOMERS: They are not allowed to make claims that...
O'REILLY: Look, look at all these drugs that have been wildly sold. Ephedra, comfrey, kava, all of these things, and you don't even know what's in these supplements half the time. You don't even know. You pick up a focus factor that says, "Oh, your memory is going to be better. You'll be smarter."
SOMERS: Yes, but how about -- how about...
O'REILLY: The only thing that will make you smarter is reading a book.
SOMERS: How about 100,000 people die every year -- and this is in "JAMA" 2000 -- every year of pharmaceutical mistakes. You know, and we don't even know the extent of that.
O'REILLY: There's going to be mistakes.
SOMERS: Same thing with vitamins. Vitamins are food elements.
O'REILLY: I like vitamins. I take vitamins.
SOMERS: So do you want to not be able to go to the health-food store and go, "I need vitamin B3. I need vitamin B6. I need -- I need fish oil"?
O'REILLY: Why would that happen? All this bill would do -- all this bill...
SOMERS: Because they're going to decide...
O'REILLY: Let me read you the bill.
SOMERS: ... dietary -- OK.
O'REILLY: The bill would require manufacturers of dietary supplements to register with the Food and Drug Administration so they'd know who they were and what they were selling, and to disclose the ingredients. I want that.
SOMERS: It will make -- it will make vitamins prohibitive. It will put -- it will make them stay in the same standard...
O'REILLY: What, to register and put on your label what's in it? That's going to make them prohibitive?
SOMERS: You're going to let the FDA decide what are approved ingredients?
O'REILLY: They do that with food.
SOMERS: They do that in food. We're eating poison. I mean, if you - - if you...
O'REILLY: Are you just a total libertarian, so anybody could throw anything they want on the shelf?
SOMERS: Not at all. Not at all. It's just that...
O'REILLY: Who's going to be the arbiter?
SOMERS: Who is the -- we're looking at the FDA right now, who's just not doing a very good job.
O'REILLY: Who is (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SOMERS: And dietary supplements compete directly with pharmaceutical products.
O'REILLY: Ms. Somers, who is going to make the call?
SOMERS: I think that we, as human beings, can decide if we want vitamin 3. So you have...
O'REILLY: You don't know what's in it. You don't know what's in it.
SOMERS: So had indigestion or you had liver -- you had liver something with your red yeast rice. But all the statins are made from the ingredient that is in red yeast white.
O'REILLY: I'm disagreeing with you this.
SOMERS: I know, but really -- there's a lot of us.
O'REILLY: Here's what I want the people to see. Ms. Somers is actually older than I am. So look at Ms. Somers right now, OK, and then look at me. Now, I'm disagreeing. This is fair and balanced. OK. You can believe her or you can believe me. And here we are together.
And I have a cold. I can't even talk.
SOMERS: How much older am I than you?
O'REILLY: I would never. I'm a gentleman. I would never.
SOMERS: You can ask me. You don't know?
O'REILLY: You don't know how old I am.
SOMERS: I don't.
O'REILLY: There you go.
SOMERS: Now you left them all hanging.
O'REILLY: That's OK.
SOMERS: Really I believe in vitamins and...
O'REILLY: We've got to go.
O'REILLY: Make a last statement.
SOMERS: I -- I believe in vitamins. I believe that we need to have the choice to be able to buy them over the counter, because if they come under the same restrictions as pharmaceuticals we'll never be able to afford them. To get a patent off of the molecular structure. It won't be the same any more, Bill.
O'REILLY: There you go.
SOMERS: They do this in Europe, and it's not working. They're all coming over here to buy their vitamins here.
O'REILLY: Suzanne Somers, everyone.
Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.