Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anti-Supplement “Perfect” Storm Building in Washington

By James J. Gormley

As if Senate Bill 3002 (S. 3002) were not more than enough to deal with, according to The Hill Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is criticizing the Senate for not moving on Senate Bill 510 (S. 510).

Unfortunately, The Pew Charitable Trust has been assisting with a coordinated lobbying effort to press Senate leaders to bring the bill to the floor. Sandra Eskin, director of Pew’s food safety campaign, told The Hill that she is “cautiously optimistic” that a vote can occur in the first half of March, before the Senate’s next recess week starts on March 29.

Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), told The Hill that the majority leader hopes to bring the bill to the floor either during the current work period or the next, which runs from April 12 to May 28. “It’s on our list of legislative priorities,” she said. “It could be in March or the next work period. Obviously we have many issues to address.”

House Republicans were split on H.R. 2749, with 54 supporting it and 122 opposed. GOP members who backed it include Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Joe Barton (Texas), Dave Camp (Mich.) and Greg Walden (Ore.).

After the House bill passed, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) told The Washington Post: “The federal government will tell our farmers and ranchers how to do something they’ve been doing since the dawn of mankind. It goes too far in the direction of trying to produce food from a bureaucrat’s chair in Washington, D.C.”

Twenty House Democrats opposed the bill.

Now moreso than in recent memory, it is critical that we all stay tuned to these issues, keeping an eye out for our continuing posts and opportunities for action on S. 3002 and S. 510 — and whatever else floats down the Potomac that threatens DSHEA, our supplements and our health-food stores.

Monday, February 22, 2010

NPA Alerts Health-Food Stores to Dangers of S. 3002

According to the Natural Products Association (NPA) in an e-mail alert issued today, here is how S. 3002 would affect health-food stores:
  • All dietary supplements, whether vitamins, minerals, herbal products and others that were previously allowed under DSHEA, could be removed from the market under S. 3002. This legislation would mandate that every dietary supplement would have to go through a brand new process of government review (yet to be defined) in order to remain on store shelves.
  • For the first time in the history of food or drug law, retail establishments would need to register with the FDA. Failing to register could result in severe monetary penalties, up to two times your gross profit. Not complying with even minimal technical requirements, such as minor errors in registration, recordkeeping or reporting could be considered a criminal offense.
  • Retailers would also be required to obtain “adequate written evidence” from suppliers that each dietary supplement product meets all regulatory requirements. Again, failure to do so could result in severe monetary penalties.
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