California weight management supplement bill advances past committee

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

The bill will next be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and should it pass that committe, the full California Senate will then vote on the bill.  Pictured: The California State capitol building in Sacramento.  Image © PictureLake / Getty Images
The bill will next be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and should it pass that committe, the full California Senate will then vote on the bill. Pictured: The California State capitol building in Sacramento. Image © PictureLake / Getty Images

Related tags: weight loss products, Dietary supplements, weight management products, California

A California bill that seeks to place restrictions on the sale of some weight management supplements to minors has passed the State’s Judiciary Committee, and now moves forward to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill, AB-1341​ was introduced by Assemblywoman Christina Garcia early last year, and recently amended in the State Senate (it had previously been amended twice in the State Assembly). 

While there was widespread resistance from the industry when the bill was first introduced, some trade associations have softened their stance after working with Garcia on those recent amendments.

Notably, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) recently withdrew its opposition to the bill​.

“The amendments to CA AB 1341 on June 8th are the product of extensive negotiations with Assemblymember Garcia by AHPA and several partner trade associations,” ​said Robert Marriott, AHPA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.

“While the bill still restricts individuals under 18 from purchasing covered products, the scope of covered products is more clearly and narrowly defined, and the bill no longer imposes onerous physical access restrictions on retailers and consumers.

“In addition, commonsense exceptions for prescriptions and dietary fiber products are now a part of the legislation. As a result of these improvements, AHPA has withdrawn its opposition to AB 1341.”

Similar measures in other States

This is not the first bill of its type.  Similar legislation​ has been introduced in multiple states, including Massachusetts, Illinois, and most recently Rhode Island​ where a version recently passed that State’s Senate.

NPA: Zero signals from the FDA indicate a correlation between dietary supplements and eating disorders

Kyle Turk, director of governmental affairs at the Natural Products Association (NPA), said the dietary supplement industry should be concerned that AB 1341 continues to advance through the California state legislature, “despite the facts being on our side”.

“Assemblywoman Garcia and her counterparts in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Rhode Island continue to ignore their constituents, who have sent thousands of emails and the science of dietary supplements while peddling a disinformation campaign against the industry,” ​said Turk.

There is not a single data point or signal from the FDA, the chief regulator of dietary supplements, indicating a correlation between the use of dietary supplements and eating disorders.

“NPA will continue advocating for public policy approaches in state legislatures across the country that will allow health and wellness consumers to access products that will maintain and improve their overall health.”

If AB-1341 passes the California Senate Appropriations Committee it will advance to the full Senate for a vote. Turk said that NPA has already reached out to the California Governor’s office to request a meeting.                                                                                                                                      

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