December 20, 2022
The $1.7 trillion spending bill unveiled Tuesday by Congress does not include a legislative proposal that would require listing of dietary supplement products with FDA, industry sources said.
The development was a welcome one for industry stakeholders who oppose mandatory product listing (MPL), including the Natural Products Association (NPA).
“This is a big win for consumers, for innovation and for access to the healthy products that millions of Americans rely on and turned to during the height of the pandemic,” NPA President and CEO Dan Fabricant said in a news release.
Those supporting MPL include the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and FDA.
In September, the director of FDA’s Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, Cara Welch, said her agency often faces “an information gap about the marketplace.”
“And to be clear, FDA believes we have a data gap in understanding the extent of the dietary supplement marketplace,” Welch said during a conference hosted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). “We don’t know all the products that are out there.”
MPL, she added, “would go a long way to address that data gap.”
Earlier this month, Durbin urged his colleagues to include reform of the dietary supplement industry in an end-of-year omnibus bill.
“The legislation I have with Republican Senator Braun would require supplement companies to tell the FDA what products they’ve put on the shelf and what’s in them. Just that basic,” Durbin said in a speech on the Senate floor. “It’s a simple fix that would improve the safety of the supplement market.”
Ultimately, MPL didn’t make it into a bill that will fund the government through September of 2023, according to industry sources. CNN reported the Senate is expected to vote to approve the spending bill this week and then send it to the House of Representatives for approval before government funding runs out on Dec. 23.
MPL has been a contentious issue within the industry. Critics maintain a listing requirement is unnecessary and burdensome. They also have argued FDA could use a public database of product labels to unduly restrict access to dietary supplement products, including when FDA and industry stakeholders disagree over the legality of an ingredient.
Gretchen DuBeau is executive and legal director of the Alliance for Natural Health USA, one of the groups opposed to MPL.
“U.S. consumers appreciate access to a broad range of affordable dietary supplements,” DuBeau said in a statement last week. “They do not want unnecessary additional regulation that will increase costs and decrease access to this overwhelmingly safe option to support their health naturally."
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