Natural Products Association Advocates Strength of Dietary Supplement Law

In response to misleading statements recently made regarding dietary supplement regulation, the Natural Products Association’s Executive Director and CEO, David Seckman, released this statement:

Increased scrutiny by professional sports leagues on steroid usage, which the Natural Products Association (NPA) commends, has unfortunately also led to increased and unsubstantiated allegations that a “tainted” or mislabeled dietary supplement is to blame when an athlete tests positive for a banned substance.

As the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) mandates, all ingredients must be listed on product labels and product claims must be substantiated. If this is not the case, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – have the authority under DSHEA to act promptly. These federal enforcement powers include, but are not limited to, removing any dietary supplements deemed adulterated from the marketplace and imposing substantial penalties on those who violate the law. Additional regulations authorized by DSHEA require that makers of dietary supplements have manufacturing practices in place that ensure their products meet high standards for quality and purity.

Finally, it is important to remember that substances that are banned by various sports leagues as performance enhancers are not necessarily dangerous or illegal and include caffeine, commonly used over-the-counter cold remedies and prescription medications. Athletes have the right and responsibility to avoid their use. However, the consuming public who benefits from legitimate medications or dietary supplements – as well as a trip to the local coffee house – should not be denied their use if an athlete is unwilling or unable to follow the rules established by their sport.

About the Natural Products Association

The Natural Products Association, founded in 1936 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the largest and oldest non-profit U.S. trade organization dedicated to the natural products industry. Currently, the association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of dietary supplements, food and health and beauty aids.

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