After the 2018 midterm elections, the dietary supplements industry will lose some of its allies in the House, but also one of its biggest critics.
“We’ve been preparing ourselves for years for the final retirement of our key senatorial champions,” McGuffin told us at the recent SupplySide West Expo earlier this month.
He was referring to Tom Harkin, previously a Democratic senator from Iowa who retired a few years ago, and Senator Orrin Hatch, who is serving his last term as the Republican senator from Utah until his retirement in January.
“We’ll have to make some kind of new plan for expanding the scope of the supporters in Congress,” he added. “But we’ve been working on that for some time.”
In terms of the midterm election results this year, supplements industry critic Claire McCaskill did not win re-election, losing to Republican Josh Hawley for one of Missouri’s seats in the senate. Meanwhile in Montana, Democrat Jon Tester, an organic farmer, won re-election. “He’s been really important to supporting small farms, and farms are the place where we get a lot of our herbs,” McGuffin said.
“One of the key factors that we look at is that the Democrats will now be in charge of the house. Historically, the Democrats are much more likely to push for new regulation than the Republicans,” he added.
“We think that the regulation that’s in place now is so strong and so balanced in terms of ensuring first and foremost consumer safety, product quality, informed consumers—so in our view, nothing needs to change.”
CBD and Hemp
As for the hot but technically still illegal ingredient CBD, AHPA hopes that the Food and Drug Administration will create an exception to allow these products to be sold, despite an Investigational New Drug number for CBD granted to GW Pharmaceutical.
McGuffin explained that there is a clause in the provision that prohibits the use of CBD as a dietary ingredient which allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services “to simply declare an exception.”
“AHPA formed a Cannabis committee in 2010, eight years ago. And the industry response at that time was kind of like, ‘What? You’re representing pot?’” he recalled.
“And we knew then [that we] weren’t—our interest was in medical marijuana, our interest was in supporting that emerging trade and being responsible and complying with some kind of regulatory structure that would make sense to support and protect consumers.”