Mandatory Product Listing not included in omnibus spending bill
On December 7, Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL, called on his colleagues to support the inclusion of MPL language for dietary supplements in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (H.R. 2617).
MPL would require dietary supplement manufacturers to notify the US Food and Drug Administration before bringing a product to market and to upload label information to a central database.
The measure has split the dietary supplements industry, with some trade associations supporting MPL, and other opposing it, notably the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the Natural Products Association (NPA).
Just last month, AHPA sent a letter to Senate and House leadership requesting that no MPL language be added to any must-pass appropriations legislation to be considered during the lame duck session.
Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. president and CEO of the Natural Products Association, called this week’s news, “a big win for consumers, for innovation, and for access to the healthy products that millions of Americans rely on and turned to during the height of the pandemic.
“We expected that industry critics would try to use the lame duck as another backdoor opportunity to jam this through and that’s exactly what happened,” said Dr Fabricant. “But thanks to NPA’s advocacy and the tens of thousands of individuals who took part in our grassroots campaign, that effort was rejected.”
Bipartisan support for an MPL?
On the other side, the Council for Responsible Nutrition has been a key champion for a mandatory listing, along with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for CRN told NutraIngredients-USA: “It is CRN’s understanding that the dietary supplement listing acct language will not be in the omnibus, however, there will be language in the report that accompanies the bill that reads, ‘The agreement supports FDA's proposal to require that all products marketed as dietary supplements be listed with FDA. The agreement believes that FDA's authorities over products marketed as dietary supplements should be clarified to facilitate enforcement against unlawfully marketed products.’
“While not establishing a product listing or even mandatory on Congress, it does express bi-partisan support for the concept of mandatory dietary supplement listing and sets up the proposal for consideration in the next Congress.”
Durbin: “How can the FDA really regulate this market … when it doesn’t know what’s on the market?”
This is not the first time this year that Sen Durbin had tried to get Congress to pass MPL provisions, having previously seen attempts 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.”