New Bill Seeks to Ban Consumer Access to Dietary Supplements
Friday, February 26th, 2010
Senator John McCain has introduced a bill that if passed, will drive up the cost of dietary supplements and restrict your access to them. The bill being spearheaded by Senators John McCain and Byron Dorgan supposedly originates from the controversy surrounding the use of steroids by Major League Baseball players. Since some unethical companies illegally sold steroid drugs as “dietary supplements,” certain members of Senate appear to have been deceived into believing that the FDA needs to be given additional power to ban dietary supplements across the board.
In order to mislead the public about the true nature of this bill, it has been named the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010(DSSA). Despite nutritional supplements’ safety record, McCain’s bill would give the FDA authority to draw up a list of allowed and disallowed supplements (and supplement potencies). This bill would cause any dietary supplement to be classified as “adulterated” if it is “manufactured, packaged, held, distributed, labeled or licensed by a dietary supplement company not registered with the Secretary.” The “Secretary” in this case is the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the department of the federal government that oversees the FDA.
The FDA already requires manufacturers to maintain records of serious adverse reaction reports. This bill would require that all “non-serious adverse events” be submitted to the federal government. The problem is that when a large group of people take any product, there are always coincidental “adverse reactions”. This means that for any given product, the FDA can arbitrarily take the list of adverse reports submitted to it and use it as a basis to remove the product, even if there was not a single valid adverse reaction! Pharmaceutical companies would be able, under the Freedom of Information Act, to gain access to these reports, and petition the FDA to remove the supplement from the market. If McCain’s bill is passed, it will make it far easier for pharmaceutical companies to file use patents on what are now inexpensive dietary supplements and convert them into outrageously priced “drugs.”
Please alert your two Senators and Representatives about this oppressive legislation that should not be co-sponsored and should instead be vigorously opposed.
Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has introduced a new bill called The Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) of 2010 (S. 3002), that, if enacted, would severely curtail free access to dietary supplements. Cosponsored by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the bill would essentially give the FDA full control over the supplement industry.
Most of the industrialized world has incredibly restrictive laws governing supplements. People worldwide often purchase supplements from the U.S. because they are freely available at low costs.
All of this could change, however, if DSSA passes. DSSA would change key sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), undoing protections in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, effectively eliminating free access to supplements.
The importance of DSHEA
The passage of DSHEA resulted from millions of Americans who worked hard to reinforce their freedom to buy and sell supplements. At the time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was alleging that nutrients like CoQ10 and selenium were dangerous and should be pulled from the market.
Though weak in some areas, DSHEA established a foundation upon which free access to dietary supplements would be protected from attacks by drug companies and the FDA.