NPA urges pushback on California supplement sales restrictions that are likely to become law

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - rschlie
©Getty Images - rschlie

Related tags Dietary supplements industry

The National Products Association is urging members to ask California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a bill that would place restrictions on the sale of some dietary supplements.

The bill, designated as AB 1341, is currently undergoing a final ratification in the California House after some minor revisions. NPA president and CEO Daniel Fabricant, PhD, said that’s expected to be a pro forma exercise and the bill will land on Gov. Newsom’s desk within the week.

The bill restricts access to dietary supplements and in certain situations requires a prescription to access these health products. It would require brick and mortar retailers to post warning signs saying that dietary supplements are known to cause serious adverse events, including stroke, organ failure, and even death.

The bill has nothing to say about online sales of the same supplements, Fabricant noted.

He also said that the legislative analysis provided to state senators as part of the debate on the bill highlighted ingredients including vitamin D and calcium as potentially harmful.

“We view this as a category killer,” ​Fabricant told NutraIngredients-USA.  “People in the industry should have been paying attention to the list of ingredients mentioned here. We think this is ripe for abuse.”

Continued pushback could halt spread of idea

Fabricant said NPA is urging members and other industry stakeholders to put pressure on Newsom to veto the bill.  He admitted that there is little hope that he will do so.  But he said continued pushback could be helpful to forestall similar measures that are being considered in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Rhode Island, to avoid giving lawmakers in these other states the impression that some portions of the industry don’t oppose the sales restrictions.

The underlying motivation for all of these measures is a belief by some healthcare professionals that bodybuilding and weight management supplements somehow exacerbate eating disorders.  Fabricant said there is no study that supports this point of view.

“This is a slap in the face to public health and consumer choice,”​ Fabricant said. “The FDA does not have a single data point that connects eating disorders to supplement use and 80% of Americans take at least one dietary supplement as a safe, effective, and affordable way to maintain good health and augment inadequate diets.”

NPA’s grassroots portal can be accessed here​.

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