We reported yesterday on the introduction of the bill by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), which he said would improve the information available to consumers.
According to a release from Durbin’s office, the bill would direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to define ‘conventional foods’, require manufacturers to register dietary supplement products to the FDA, require labels to disclose the known risks of ingredients and display a mandatory warning if the product contains a dietary ingredient that may cause potentially serious adverse events.
CRN moved beyond the release and has reviewed a copy of the bill. “Senator Durbin identifies areas of concern, but FDA already has the authority to address these issues,” said Mister.
“Senator Durbin is trying to fix FDA’s lack of enforcement by giving them more work.”
Mister added that there were aspects of the bill that CRN found troubling: The bill allows for the production of a list of dietary supplement ingredients and proprietary blends of ingredients that could potentially cause adverse events, and contract the Institute of Medicine to determine the potential of these to cause adverse events, which would then lead to mandatory warning labels on products that contain these ingredients.
“Senator Durbin talks in very narrow categories like energy drinks, but that provision affects the entire supplement category,” said Mister. “We could see omega-3s, calcium, or multivitamins with warning labels based on a case study and an over abundance of caution.
“This would inflict serious damage on the marketplace.
“We have to oppose this legislation.”
Chance of success?
Mister pointed to the impending Fourth of July shut down on Capital Hill followed by a month long closure in August will slow passage of the bill, and added that there are far bigger concerns for the nation’s political leaders than Senator Durbin’s bill.
“This country is facing serious problems right now and I cannot see the Senate spending much attention of this bill”
The issue, he said, was “how do we fund FDA and make it a more effective agency?”
When quizzed on how CRN would go about opposing the bill, Mister said that his team would explain to Congress what the implications of this bill are.
“What we will not do is vilify Senator Durbin,” said Mister. “We will deal with this bill alone. We’ve worked with Senator Durbin previously on issues such as the adverse events reporting, but we believe this legislation is misinformed and misguided.”