WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed legislation that would authorize the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down on so-called anabolic steroids that are marketed as dietary supplements. A companion bill is still pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would place 27 new designer anabolic steroids on DEA’s list of controlled substances and grant the agency authority to temporarily schedule new anabolic steroids on the same list. The legislation also would provide for enhanced civil and criminal penalties for distributing, importing or manufacturing anabolic steroids under false labels.
Earlier this summer, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) urged their colleagues to support a bill in the Senate. The anabolic steroids are made by reverse engineering illegal steroids and slightly changing their chemical composition, the senators said, avoiding placement on DEA's list of controlled substances.
“Designer anabolic steroids can cause serious harm to consumers, as well as young athletes, who may unknowingly be using these products," said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey), who introduced the House bill along with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania), in a statement Monday. “Ensuring that they are classified as controlled substances is vital to protecting the public health."
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a trade organization in Washington, D.C. representing the dietary supplement industry, said it has engaged in bipartisan discussions in the House and Senate in support of the legislation.
“CRN thanks Reps. Pitts and Pallone for their leadership in promoting DASCA among their House colleagues and congratulates the House of Representatives on passage of this important bill," said Mike Greene, CRN’s vice president of government relations, in a statement. “If DASCA is passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, DEA’s enhanced authority would help protect consumers from illegal products that could present safety concerns and will give them greater confidence that the products brought to market and sold as dietary supplements are legal. We urge the Senate to follow suit and expedite DASCA’s enactment."