Fabricant responds after New York AG subpoenas retailers

"The attorney general appears to be more focused on making headlines than actually protecting consumers," says NPA CEO.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement and natural products industry. NPA CEO and Executive Director Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., former director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), comments on New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s subpoenas to four major retailers ordering evidence to support label claims:

“There are already federal laws and statutes in place to require dietary supplement firms to only make claims that are truthful and not misleading; obtain competent and reliable scientific evidence for claim substantiation; and file a 30-day structure/function notification for each claim that they make for dietary supplement products. The New York attorney general should be inquiring about this information with the Food and Drug Administration, as the agency should already have this information at hand.

Moreover, the products being investigated by the attorney general contain some of the most widely researched ingredients in the industry. Ingredients such as St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng and Echinacea have droves of scientific research behind them, which is readily available on ClinicalTrials.gov. The multiple clinical studies on these types of products support and substantiate the physical benefits of these ingredients made in structure/function claims.

If Attorney General Schneiderman were properly informed in this area, he would have pursued action against products making egregious weight-loss claims or those with ingredients with little science behind them, as that is exactly what the Federal Trade Commission does and with much success. Since the attorney general appears to be more focused on making headlines than actually protecting consumers, he foolishly went after ingredients with hundreds of clinical studies behind them, substantiating the claims, an illogical and irresponsible tactic for law enforcement.

The Natural Products Association views this latest action from Attorney General Schneiderman as yet another form of harassment against an industry that serves hundreds of millions of Americans safely and effectively each day. The attorney general is using these subpoenas as a misdirection, removing focus from the fact that he still has yet to release the data from the DNA study he used as the basis for his original cease-and-desist.

We thank all industry members and consumers who have participated in our call for transparency by emailing, tweeting and calling the attorney general, requesting he release his study data. The NPA grassroots campaign appears to be working and we must keep the pressure on. Every individual who takes, sells or manufactures these products must speak up and let the attorney general know that we will not stand for these actions. It is imperative that Attorney General Schneiderman provide the details of his data, including the reference material library, before this issue morphs into yet a different angle and moving target in his attempt to castigate the entire industry.”

For more information on NPA, including how to join in its campaign calling for transparency from the New York attorney general, visit NPAinfo.org.

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