Letter from US Representatives asks that supplement provisions be dropped from fees bill

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Hulyi Lee
©Getty Images - Hulyi Lee

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A bipartisan group of US Representatives have sent a letter to House leadership requesting that the dietary supplement provisions be removed from a bill reauthorizing FDA user fees.

The letter, the writing of which was led by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), came out of the House House Energy and Commerce committee yesterday.  It was signed by a total of 15 lawmakers.

The letter, which was sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, asking that the conference version of the FDA user fee reauthorization agreement not include dietary supplement provisions.  The H0use version of this bill never contained those provisions.

Sen. Burr also suggests provisions be dropped

In the Senate, HELP Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced FDA user fee legislation that also dietary supplement provisions, which include a Mandatory Product Listing requirement and which specify a new so-called Prohibited Act, which would make it a violation of the law to introduce a new supplement that contains a substance that does not meet the definition of a dietary ingredient.  Burr’s move has been seen as primarily a negotiating tactic and not necessarily that the Senator was taking on the role as a champion of the industry.

Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), told NutraIngredients-USA​ that progress is being made on the language of the Senate version of the fees bill—known as FDA Safety and Landmark Advancements (FDASLA) Act—to alter it a way that industry can support. CRN has advocated for the MPL idea in the past. In addition, he said that the alarm bells that some observers have sounded about the new prohibited act are uncalled for, as this merely specifies an authority which FDA already had anyway.

Lawmakers: Provisions have no place in final bill

However, the Duncan letter had this to say about the new prohibited act, which the lawmakers say has no place in the fees reauthorization bill:

“This provision has nothing to do with the ostensible purposes of the bill. What it would do is give FDA an administrative excuse to reject ingredients like CBD (cannabidiol) and NAC (N-acetyl-L-cysteine) from being marketed as dietary supplements, regardless of the science or history involved.” 

Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of the Natural Products Alliance, had this to say about the lawmakers’ letter:

“We are pleased with the growing bipartisan opposition to this sneak attack on the dietary supplement industry and that Members of Congress want these costly and controversial add-ons to be shelved.”

NPA has opposed the MPL idea from the beginning.  Fabricant asserted that the lawmakers’ letter is a sign the emails sent to office of Members of Congress from members of his organization and from the Alliance for Natural Health have had an effect.

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