Wednesday, July 06, 2011

NYT Hatchet Job on Senator Hatch

Re: “Support Is Mutual for Senator and Utah Industry” (The Champions, June 20, New York Times)

The article presented an inaccurate impression regarding the nutritional supplement industry. Despite heavy costs, manufacturers supported federal regulations creating more rules/enforcement to enhance accountability and public safety. A 1994 law (DSHEA) regulating the dietary supplement industry allows only FDA-approved ingredients and scientifically-supported claims relating to healthy body structures and functions; besides FDA-approved claims.

Additional regulations supported by industry: DSHEA’s mandatory Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requiring safety and identity testing, steroids and their precursors are banned; manufacturers must promptly disclose adverse events requiring medical attention; mandatory safety recall authority.  

Senator McCain’s proposed dietary supplement regulation would have subjected each new product introduction to prior FDA approval, expanding the federal bureaucracy with a government takeover of the industry. Importing this Canadian-style regulatory scheme would duplicate that system’s failures: half as many products available; some considered safe in the USA are banned; long waits for variations of existing products; higher prices.

Fortunately, the American people rejected giving government bureaucrats veto authority over all new nutritional products, which already must use preapproved ingredients. We view this as anti-capitalism and un-American.

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA

Clinical Nutritionist