UNPA’s Israelsen on AB 2098, FDA reorg and more

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supplyside west UNPA

We’ve seen a number of state bills prop up, especially out of California. In fact, at this time last year we were talking about AB 2098, a contentious bill that would have disciplined physicians for spreading misinformation about COVID. That bill was described by some as well-intentioned, but poorly worded. In the end, the California legislature later moved to repeal that bill.

But is this the end of the story?

“No, it's not,” said Loren Israelsen, president, United Natural Products Association (UNPA). “Yes, the bill was repealed​, but the way it was repealed is quite unusual. The California state had a major overhaul of their occupational practices legislation. It was a very long section, and there is one line that repealed 2098, and it is very hard to find. It indicated that the bill very quietly went away, but the issue has not gone away. That there is continued interest on the part of the medical profession and its organizations to determine or dictate what physicians can say to patients. So 2098 will manifest in other ways, and the language we're looking at will be a little bit different next time, and it will probably be in another state, or it will come in some form, other form of action. But I'm convinced that what we saw California do didn't start with California. You back up and see who is really behind this. They're not done. They'll be back.”

Israelsen also highlighted Jim Jones, who was recently named the first deputy commissioner for the Human Foods Program, a new unified program within the agency that will be tasked with addressing food safety, chemical safety, food product innovations and agtech.

Jones has already mentioned that he plans to take a hard look at food safety, not from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) angle, but from the side of toxins, contaminants, pesticides, herbicides in foods.

“That's a whole different subject–and if he really decides to dig in, it's going to get really interesting,” said Isrealsen.

To hear more on the reorganization at FDA, California’s ‘Skittles ban’ and titanium dioxide, watch the full interview.

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