California Bills Affecting Industry Signed Into Law

October 21, 2002

2 Min Read
California Bills Affecting Industry Signed Into Law


California Bills Affecting Industry Signed Into Law

SACRAMENTO--On Sept. 27, Gov. Grey Davis signedinto law three bills impacting the dietary supplement industry in California.

Davis signed two bills concerning warning statements appearingon ephedra and hormone precursor supplements, as well as one on supplements ingeneral; the third legalized alternative health care practitioners to practicein the state.

Senate Bill (SB) 1884, introduced in February by Sen. JackieSpeier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), requires warning statements to appear onsupplements containing ephedrine alkaloids or steroid hormone precursors, suchas androstenedione. The legislation also prohibits the sale of such supplementsto minors and requires products carry a toll-free number, such as 800-MEDWATCH,for consumers to inform health authorities about adverse event reports (AERs).

This is Speier's second time trying to get a bill passed thatwould require warning labels on ephedra products; the first bill, which wasintroduced in February 2001 was a no-go. Davis acknowledged in a statement thathe vetoed the first bill because he felt the issue should have been a federalconcern and not a state one. "While regulation of dietary supplements andinterstate commerce is the responsibility of the federal government,Californians can't wait for federal action that is too long overdue," hesaid.

SB 1948, authored by Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) andintroduced in February, requires that warning labels on dietary supplements beclear and conspicuous. In addition, those who fail to place such labels on theirproducts will be fined $1,000 for the first violation, $2,000 for the secondviolation and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

The third bill, SB 577, was introduced by Sen. John Burton(D-San Francisco) in February 2001. The bill set out to change existing law thathad prohibited persons who were not licensed physicians and surgeons fromengaging in activities classified as the practice of medicine.

Now that the bill has been passed, complementary and alternativemedicine (CAM) practitioners can offer their services. However, they stillcannot: 1) conduct surgery on a patient; 2) administer or prescribe X-rays; 3)prescribe drugs or controlled substances; 4) recommend discontinuing medicationprescribed by a physician; 5) willfully diagnose or treat a person with a mentalor physical condition that may worsen the condition; 6) set fractures; 7) treatlacerations or abrasions through electrotherapy; or 8) indicate, advertise orimply that he or she is a physician or surgeon.

In addition, a California-based CAM practitioner must discloseto his or her client in a written statement the following: that he or she is nota licensed physician; that the therapy is an alternative to those licensed bythe state; and that CAM therapies are not licensed by the state. Also, theclient must state in writing that he or she has been provided with the aboveinformation prior to treatment.

SB 577 was partially based on the fact that, according to astudy published by the New England Journal of Medicine, up to 5 millionCalifornians go to CAM practitioners.

The laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2003.

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