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Rep. Dan Burton Introduces Bill to Give Tax Breaks on Supplement Purchases

January 14, 2002

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Rep. Dan Burton Introduces Bill to Give Tax Breaks on Supplement Purchases


Rep. Dan Burton Introduces Bill to Give Tax Breaks on Supplement Purchases

WASHINGTON--A bill that would give tax breaks to employees thatpurchase dietary supplements and medicinal foods has been referred to theCommittee on Ways and Means in the House of Representatives. Introduced Dec. 12by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), the "Dietary Supplement Tax Fairness Act of2001" would make health insurance plans cover dietary supplements, medicalfoods and foods for special dietary needs as medical expenses. The bill, HR3475, is co-sponsored by Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Chris Cannon (R-Utah),Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Stephen Horn (R-Calif.).

An identical bill (SB 1330), also by the same name, was introduced to theSenate by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in fall 2001. Bothbills propose that alternative health care options would be tax deductible foremployers and should be excluded from employees' taxable income. In addition,parents would be financially covered to pay for dietary needs for childrenexperiencing such maladies as AIDS and autism.

Both bills, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, stipulatethat such foods and supplements must comply with the Food and DrugAdministration's (FDA) applicable good manufacturing practices (GMPs). WhenHarkin and Hatch introduced SB 1330, they also sent an accompanying letter thatpressed FDA to approve the long-stalled federal GMPs.

Having two identical bills in the House and Senate increases the probabilityof at least one passing, according to an industry insider. This bill can befound at http://thomas.loc.gov by typing in"HR 3475."

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