Statement by John Gay, Executive Director and CEO, Natural Products Association
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 2, 2009) – In response to a new campaign launched today by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to educate consumers and rid the marketplace of “rogue” marketers selling steroids as dietary supplements, the Natural Products Association, the oldest and largest trade association representing retailers and manufacturers of dietary supplements and other natural products, issued the following statement:
“The vast majority of the dietary supplement consuming public – those 150 million-plus Americans who regularly take vitamins, minerals herbal products and even sports supplements – can do so with confidence in their safety. The existing regulatory framework for dietary supplements already requires that new ingredients receive prior approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The law also requires that supplement manufacturers have good manufacturing practices in place at their facilities to ensure products meet standards for purity and quality and are free of contaminants. In other words, what’s on the label – nothing more and nothing less – is what’s in the product.
“But even though the vast majority of manufacturers are playing by the rules, there are bad actors who are endangering the public, and tarnishing the industry. We appreciate USADA and its partners for targeting this handful of ‘rogue’ companies that flout the law by marketing illegal steroids and other drugs as dietary supplements. There is much we can do together to help put them out of business.
“At the same time, we must be careful not to needlessly damage the good actors in the industry. Simply putting more laws on the books for the bad guys to continue to ignore is not the answer.
“When laws are being broken, as they are in this case, the solution is to put more cops on the street by increasing the resources available to federal regulators to allow them to fully – and effectively – enforce the existing laws. Boosting enforcement also proves a quicker way to get rogue companies out of the marketplace versus the much longer process of trying to pass new legislation and write new regulations that still may not be enforced.
“Whether it’s steroids masquerading as dietary supplements or any other consumer product, as long as unscrupulous marketers can operate with impunity, we can count on them to do just that.”
The Natural Products Association (NPA), founded in 1936, is the largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The Natural Products Association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. As the leading voice of the natural products industry, the Natural Products Association's mission is to advocate for the rights of consumers to have access to products that will maintain and improve their health, and for the rights of retailers and suppliers to sell these products.