CRN hails passage of bill as ‘welcome protection against criminal outliers’

DASCA heads to the White House for President’s signature

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

DASCA heads to the White House for President’s signature

Related tags Anabolic steroids United states congress Anabolic steroid Controlled substances act

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act has passed Congress and will now be sent to the President’s office to be signed into law. The result is being hailed by the industry.

“Passage of this bill was one of CRN’s top legislative priorities this year, as responsible member companies want to do all that they can to solve the problem of anabolic steroids illegally being sold as dietary supplements,” ​said Steve Mister, President & CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

“We are extremely grateful to Congress for passing this important piece of legislation and particularly want to acknowledge Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), sponsors of the bill respectively in the Senate and the House. We are thankful as well to other legislators and industry stakeholders who kept the serious issue of designer anabolic steroids in front of key colleagues in Congress.”

Tough penalties

As reported in February by NutraIngredients-USA​, DASCA ensures anabolic steroids are not misrepresented as legitimate dietary supplements by broadening the definition and imposing tougher penalties on firms making and selling them.

The Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to add more than 25 new substances to current lists of defined anabolic steroids, and revises the process whereby new substances can be added in future. It also calls for DEA to address products that are “substantially similar” to anabolic steroids and that have been illegally marketed to promote muscle growth. DASCA’s provisions include new DEA authority to place new anabolic steroids on the DEA Controlled Substance List and new criteria for placing additional anabolic steroids on the list going forward that will better enable DEA to identify and catalog new chemicals. DASCA will allow DEA to quickly crack down on criminals creating new anabolic substances that closely resemble red-flagged counterparts listed, but altered minimally with the intent of evading enforcement.

It also creates tougher penalties (up to $2.5m and up to 10 years in prison) for the manufacture, sale and/or distribution of substances that meet the definition.

“When criminal outliers are not stopped, not only does it put consumers at risk, but it unjustly blackens the reputation of responsible dietary supplement companies that manufacture and market legitimate, high-quality and beneficial supplements for sports nutrition and performance,” ​said CRN’s Mister. “The passage of DASCA brings a welcome protection against that.”

UNPA: 'A great example of Congress, regulators and leaders in the dietary supplement industry working together' 

Loren Israelsen, UNPA president, told NutraIngredients-USA that UNPA is very pleased that DASCA passed in the last hours of this congressional session.

"This bill, years in the making, addresses and should resolve the long-term problem of illegal steroid products masquerading as dietary supplements in the marketplace. As such, this law provides DEA with streamlined authority to identify and classify steroids and related substances as banned or otherwise illegal substances,"​ said Israelsen.  

“The passage of this law is a great example of Congress, regulators and leaders in the dietary supplement industry working together to solve this problem, and affirms the resolve of the responsible dietary supplement industry to strengthen DSHEA and provide consumers safe and beneficial products.

“It’s not lost on us that the passage of this bill, both in timing and procedure—at the end of a congressional session and by unanimous consent—was virtually identical to how DSHEA was passed 20 years ago. We note that the intense and late hour work of UNPA’s Senior Political Advisors Patricia Knight and Peter Reinecke was critical to passage of the bill. We extend our thanks to them and our colleagues at CRN, specifically Mike Green, who were crucial to the passage of this important legislation.”

Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), thanked Congress for passing the bill. "Just a handful of bad actors selling illegal products can tarnish the regulated supplement industry," ​he said. "When President Obama signs this legislation into law, it will help protect consumers and the supplement industry by providing federal law enforcement officials with additional authority to crack down on those who don't comply with current laws and regulations."

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