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March 11, 2022
The New York State Senate on Thursday voted to restrict the sale to minors of OTC diet pills and dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building.
S16D was passed by a vote of 48 to 12 and will be delivered to Gov. Kathy Hochul for her consideration, according to Emily Lavin, a spokeswoman for state Sen. Shelley Mayer, who sponsored the legislation. A version of the bill in the New York State Assembly, which Assembywoman Nily Rozic sponsored, was passed in January.
The bill would prohibit minors from purchasing weight loss or muscle building supplements unless they had a prescription from a healthcare provider. And retailers who violated the limitation could be subject to a civil penalty of $500.
New York is not the only state eying limitations on weight loss supplements to minors. In January, the California State Assembly passed a similar bill, which is scheduled to be heard in June by the state Senate.
“Our teens are heavily influenced by social media and are seeking ways to achieve unrealistic standards of beauty, including taking poorly regulated weight loss and muscle building supplements that can have serious health consequences, ranging from exacerbation of eating disorders to liver damage, to deadly heart attacks,” Mayer said in an emailed statement.
She said she was pleased the bill passed in both houses and looked forward to Hochul signing it.
The bill did face industry opposition—with one trade association describing it as “toothless.”
“Limiting access to safe and well-regulated dietary supplements isn't the answer to preventing eating disorders,” Kyle Turk, director of government affairs with the Natural Products Association (NPA), said in an email. “The bill passed by New York's legislature is grasping at straws to make it seem as if they're passing meaningful legislation while punishing brick-and-mortar retailers. NPA respectfully calls on Gov. Kathy Hochul to veto this toothless legislation."
Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition
Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.
Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.
Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).
Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.
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