Tags: McCain | abandons | dietary supplement bill | regulation | increase regulations

McCain Abandons Dietary Supplement Regulation Bill

Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010 08:16 AM


Arizona Sen. John McCain has abandoned his own bill that would have increased federal regulations on dietary supplements.

Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, who has long been a champion of supplements, urged his fellow senator to withdraw his support from bill S. 3002 that would have required all manufacturers of dietary supplements to register with the Food and Drug Administration and provide a list of their products and ingredients.

In addition, the bill would have made it much easier for the FDA to recall dietary supplements. Experts believed it would also drastically limit their availability to consumers.

McCain introduced the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 with Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. only one month ago. The bill was in response to concerns that dietary products contain hidden, harmful ingredients, especially steroids. Anti-doping officials promoted it as an effort to protect consumers.

"All Americans should know the exact ingredients of any dietary supplement they use, and the FDA must have the tools necessary to ensure the safety of dietary supplements," McCain said on the Senate floor, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Hatch, who helped create the current rules on supplements, believes new rules aren't necessary. He is working on a bill that would help the FDA enforce the 1994 supplement law that already exists.

McCain faced criticism from tens of thousands of supplement users as well as from Hatch who believed the bill would harm one of Utah's largest industries.

On his Web site, McCain posted a letter from Hatch thanking him for his reversal. "I am pleased that you understand my serious concerns with your bill," Hatch wrote. "Also, I want to thank you for agreeing to withdraw your support for the provisions of S. 3002 that I believe would do great harm to the dietary supplement industry and work with me on solutions that will truly help dietary supplement consumers without injuring this important industry."

A spokeswoman with the Anti-Doping Agency said: "We are confident any legislation ultimately supported by Senator McCain would go a long way in providing better protection from the potentially dangerous dietary supplements that all consumers, including our athletes, are concerned about."

Shares of nutritional supplement makers climbed on Wall Street after McCain's announcement became known. "It looks like it will be an easier world to be in the dietary supplement business," Avondale analyst Bret Jordan told The Wall Street Journal. "The bill would have significantly tightened regulatory requirements."








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