The Senate recently approved a bill that includes a section that would strengthen the regulations on food supplements.
New rules for supplements are important because untold numbers of American young people-and adults-think these substances are safe because they can be bought off the shelves of health food stores, in gyms and from supermarkets across the nation.Â However, they are horribly mistaken.
The current law actually hinders the Federal government from adequately regulating these products.Â As a result a number of independent studies have found that at least 20 percent of supplements sold on selves are illegally spiked with steroids.
Under the leadership of Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA), a coalition, Supplement Safety Now (SSN), has sought to improve the safety of overseas supplements.Â
As a result of their efforts, a series of provisions addressing the threat from spiked overseas supplements has been included in The Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510.Â The bill will improve the quality of supplements by ensuring that they do not contain steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs, as well as allowing the FDA to recall unsafe supplements. Senate 510 passed the Senate last Tuesday, which is a major milestone.Â
Nevertheless, the Senate passage may prove to be a hollow victory.Â The bill is expected to be "blue slipped" in the House due to a Constitutional technicality.Â Under the Constitution all revenue raising measures must originate in the House. Â Â With the bill sent back to the Senate, and with the time in the Congress' current lame duck session ticking swiftly away, the likelihood is that the measure will not become law.
While the supplement provisions have been watered down through the legislative process, these new measures would be an important step forward.Â Â The Taylor Hooton Foundation believes even more stringent and sweeping supplement rules are needed, but we are strongly in support of the current proposal.Â As a result, we are asking you to please call or e-mail your Congressional Representative to ask them to support the passage of this legislation, ideally now but if not in the next Congress.Â Thanks for your help.