March 05, 2010

OverTheCounterToday: McCain Withdraws Support For Dietary Supplement Safety Act

McCain Withdraws Support For Dietary Supplement Safety Act

A Senate staffer confirmed that Sen. John McCain no longer supports a bill he introduced to significantly tighten regulatory requirements for dietary supplements.

McCain offered the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010, S. 3002, in February. The Arizona Republican will now collaborate with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on revised legislation that allegedly provides for transparency and safety within the supplement industry but without the intensive regulatory intervention proposed in S. 3002. No timeline is set for introduction of a new bill.

Hatch thanks McCain for withdrawing his support of the original legislation in a March 4 letter.

"I'm counting on you to work with me to make sure this important industry does not fall prey to over-regulatory regimes and mounds of costly government bureaucracy," Hatch writes.

It seemed only a matter of time before Hatch, an author of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act and a vocal industry booster, would speak out against McCain's bill. S. 3002 targeted products containing steroids and other illegal substances, but was viewed as having potentially devastating effects on the supplement industry as a whole.
S. 3002 would have authorized FDA to create a list of "accepted" supplement ingredients, essentially eliminating the new dietary ingredient notification regime established by DSHEA. Other provisions would have required supplement firms to report all adverse events to FDA and would have mandated annual facility and product registration with the agency.