NNFA will focus on bills on lobbying day

Related tags Dietary supplements United states congress Food and drug administration Congress

The National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) will hold its
eighth Natural Foods Day lobbying event in April to inform members
of Congress about supplement bills in the offing.

The day was originally designed to broaden the natural products industry's base of political support. Next year's event will take place on 12 April in Washington, DC.

"With a new Congress in January, the natural products industry will face freshman congressional members who may not be familiar with the benefits natural products offer, particularly dietary supplements, in creating a healthier America,"​ said the NNFA​ in a statement.

David Seckman, the CEO of the NNFA, told NutraIngredientsUSA.com​ that this year's event will focus on educating new and returning legislators about bills impacting the industry.

"A new Congress presents a great opportunity for industry to increase its base of support among lawmakers,"​ said Seckman. "Legislators want to know what their constituents' value and with a solid turnout at this year's event we'll be able to make a strong and lasting impression."

He noted that attention will be focused primarily on bills 722, the dietary safety act, and 3377, the dietary supplement awareness act.

Seckman said that these bills are aiming at introducing pre-market approval for dietary supplements and that his orgnaisation needs to explain to the member of Congress that the FDA considers dietary supplements as foods, not drugs for approval purposes.

The day is not supposed to be one-sided though.

"The new members of Congress usually ask a few question and are amazed at how safe dietary supplements are compared to drugs,"​ said Seckman.

Whether the congressmen/women are already well briefed about supplements depends on their age, according to Seckman. He noted that those who were around when DSHEA was implemented in 1994 tend to be more aware of the ins and out of the industry.

Last year, more than 120 industry stakeholders from 30 states gathered for the event.

Participation in Natural Foods Day is free and all congressional meetings are prearranged in advance for attendees by NNFA. The event consists of a morning briefing session and breakfast, afternoon meetings on Capitol Hill, and an evening reception celebrating 2005's Congressional Champions.

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