Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of the Natural Products Association, spoke with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas. He said one of the major issues facing the industry is whether to step into line with the US Food and Drug Administration’s stated desire to have a mandatory product listing be part of price of entry into the dietary supplement market.
As matters stand, much of the information that such a listing would contain is already required one way or another, Fabricant said. And, considering that dietary supplements are regulated as a subcategory of foods, it would add a burden that other foods don’t have.
“FDA doesn’t know how many different chocolate chip cookies are on the market,” Fabricant said.
And Fabricant maintained it’s wise to consider the potential pitfalls that driving whole hog into discussions around ‘DSHEA 2.0’ could engender. Dietary supplements haven’t been in the crosshairs on Capitol Hill in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that some lawmakers aren’t still harboring strong opinions about the industry.
And in the case of a mandatory product listing, Fabricant said the benefits, as well as the costs, should be clearly defined.
“What’s the purpose? As any of these things go the devil is in the details. People who think they can control the dialogue with members of the Senate, members of the House who are not really friends of the industry, you are going to end up with some things in that conversation you don’t really like,” Fabricant said.
“What does the industry get for it? Is this going to be used against us in the states? One of the issues we’re dealing with is state lawsuits. Are we going to be in a position in which, OK, FDA didn’t update the database and now we’re being sued in California?” he added.