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Recruiting Champions: Dietary Supplement Caucus Update

By John Shaw Comments
Posted in Blog, Legislation
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As the natural products industry grows, so does the importance of recruiting new industry champions in Congress and educating legislators to better understand the sector and how it contributes to improving health.

Established in 2006, the Dietary Supplement Caucus provides a forum for sharing information about dietary supplements. It serves as a bipartisan congressional group of legislators who promote discussions among lawmakers about the benefits of dietary supplements; provide tips and insights for better health and wellness; and promote research about the health care savings these products provide. The caucus works to raise congressional awareness about the role of dietary supplements in supporting health and addressing regulation of the dietary supplement industry.

Current members of the Dietary Supplement Caucus:

Senate

  • Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Co-Chair
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Co-Chair
  • Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.)
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)

House

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Co-Chair
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Co-Chair
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Co-Chair
  • Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.)
  • Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah)
  • Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)
  • Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.)
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)
  • Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)
  • Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.)
  • Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
  • Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.)
  • Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
  • Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.)
  • Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)
  • Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.)

Recently, the caucus gained two new Congressional Champions: Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Cardenas had been active in public service for more than 16 years before becoming the first Latino elected from the San Fernando Valley to Congress, where he sits on the National Resources & Budget and Oversight & Government Reform committees. Scott was elected to the Senate in 2013 and serves on several committees: Health, Education, Labor & Pensions; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Energy and Natural Resources; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; and the Special Committee on Aging.

The caucus has been fortunate to have seasoned Congressional leaders serve as industry champions. One leader, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), will be retiring at the end of the year—underscoring the need to recruit more Congressional Champions to support the industry.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) recently partnered with other industry associations to host a fundraiser for Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) during Expo West. A small group of industry leaders spoke candidly with Sen. Heinrich about top concerns to help build awareness while also showing support for his campaign.    

Suppliers, manufacturers and other natural products industry leaders can help educate members of Congress and invite them to join the caucus during Natural Products Day on April 8. Participants will visit Capitol Hill to meet with senators, representatives and their staff to discuss legislation and regulation affecting the industry.

Cultivating positive congressional relationships and educating legislators about the natural products sector and all the great things we do to support health are crucial activities for our industry. We invite you to join us in raising the voice of natural products on Capitol Hill and to bring these messages home to districts across the nation.

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