Durbin seeks to add MPL provisions back into funding resolution

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Image Source
©Getty Images - Image Source

Related tags mandatory product listing Dietary supplement industry Food and drug administration

Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL, has called upon his colleagues to support the inclusion of Mandatory Product Listing language for dietary supplements into an omnibus funding bill that must be passed before mid December.

Durbin, who is the Senate Majority Whip, delivered a speech on Wednesday calling for the MPL provisions from his Dietary Supplement Listing Act (DSLA), which he introduced in April with Sen. Mike Braun, R-IN, as cosponsor, to be included in the continuing resolution to fund the government.  The current funding authorization expires on Dec. 16.

MPL would require dietary supplement manufacturers to notify the US Food and Drug Administration before bring a product to market and to upload label information to a central database.  

Durbin views MPL idea as ‘basic’

Durbin tried to get the MPL provisions attached to the current resolution, but they were stripped out of the funding bill in September.

“More than 75% of people living in America, myself included, my family too, use a dietary supplement, such as a vitamin or mineral.  However, many assume when reaching for that supplement bottle in the medicine cabinet, that the Food and Drug Administration of the United States government knows what’s in that bottle and knows that  it’s for sale,” ​Durbin said in his brief speech.

“How can the FDA really regulate this market for the safety of US consumers when it doesn’t know what’s on the market?” ​ he added.  Durbin said his and Braun’s proposed addition to the funding resolution “would require supplement companies to tell the FDA what products they put on the shelf and what’s in them.  It’s just that basic.”

MPL is an idea that has garnered some support with the industry.  One of its chief champions has been the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which views the requirement as something that would give the impression that the industry is a responsible player.  The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is also onboard.  The United Natural Products Alliance has also voiced its cautious support, after certain sticking points in the original language of the requirement were ironed out.

AHPA:  Changes deserve to have full debate

But the measure has been consistently opposed by the American Herbal Products Association and the Natural Products Association.  

In a letter sent to Senate and House leadership, AHPA requested that no MPL language be added to any must-pass appropriations legislation to be considered during the lame duck session.

AHPA noted that it is not opposed to considering changes to the way in which dietary supplements are regulated.  But it believes that such a changes shouldn’t be shoehorned into the funding resolution.

“AHPA also understands that there is at this time some interest in the dietary supplement industry in reviewing and considering amendments to several provisions of the FD&CA that affect dietary supplements. However, we strongly believe that these should be addressed collectively in the new 118th Congress through a process that fully engages all stakeholders,”​ AHPA’s letter said.

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