Natural Foods Merchandiser

Harkin, Hatch Fight For Industry

An amendment affecting dietary supplements, added to the agriculture appropriations bill (HR 2330), provides $1 million for enforcing laws against false or misleading labeling and $3 million for modernizing the FDA's current adverse-effect reporting system. Sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the amendment directs the additional money to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. HR 2330 became law last November.

A second Harkin-Hatch amendment to another piece of legislation—the Labor-Health and Human Services bill (HR 3061)—designates $500,000 for legal activities associated with enforcing product labeling mandates in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. "The vast majority of dietary supplements are marketed safely and legally," Harkin said. "For the few bad actors, I say it's time to get tough. [Our amendment] helps the FDA make enforcement of DSHEA a top priority." Labor-HHS also earmarks $110 million for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The bill further recommends that the federal government publish guidelines for safe and sanitary manufacturing procedures for dietary supplements. At press time, HR 3061 was in a conference committee.

All five of the industry's major trade associations applauded the two senators' handiwork, according to a statement by the National Nutritional Foods Association. In addition to the NNFA, the other approving trade groups were the American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Utah Natural Products Alliance.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 1/p. 7

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