SAN FRANCISCO--Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved one bill from and vetoed a separate bill from Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, both of which focused on performance-enhancing dietary supplements. Speier was the primary author of the California legislation that banned ephedra prior to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) taking the action, and held a hearing in early 2004 regarding performance-enhancing supplements and teenagers.
SB 1444, which was signed into law on Sept. 30, amends the law banning sale of ephedra dietary supplements to people under age 18. The expanded law now covers both ephedrine group alkaloid products, as well as the steroid hormone precursors androstanediol, androstanedione, androstenedione, norandrostenediol, norandrostenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone. In approving the bill, Schwarzenegger noted the legislation will ensure young adults are protected from potentially harmful products. While the bill removes a reference in law to the undefined term "steroid hormone precursor," the governor requested Speier work with the California Department of Health Services to develop a mutually agreed upon definition of the term and introduce legislation next session to define it in statute.
The second bill, SB 1630, was much broader in scope. On or before Jan. 1, 2006, the State Department of Health Services would have developed a list of performance-enhancing dietary supplements; high school athletes would have to agree not to use any of the listed substances. In addition, starting July 1, 2006, schools would be prohibited from accepting sponsorships from manufacturers of such supplements, and school employees would be banned from selling, distributing or promoting those supplements.
In his veto, Schwarzenegger said the bill focused not on the greater problem of steroid use, but on performance-enhancing supplements, which are not well defined. He further noted "most dietary supplements are safe," acknowledged the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and suggested the development of any such list of "harmful" performance-enhancing supplements be left with the federal agency.
Further information on the California legislature is available online (www.leginfo.ca.gov).