House, Senate Panel Rejects Expanded FTC Powers

In another victory for Natural Products Association (NPA) members and the industry, conferees on the Wall Street Reform bill (S. 3217) decided not to include in the final legislation sweeping new powers for the Federal Trade Commission. Such additional authority very likely would have led to advertising rules on the industry that would have undercut the protections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

“This has been one of the top legislative priorities for the NPA for the last six months,” said John Gay, NPA’s executive director and CEO. “I am proud of the way our members responded to our calls to write their senators and representatives, and to urge their customers to do the same. I am also proud of the hard work put in by our staff and lobby team. Good grassroots and good lobbying are a powerful combination.”

In the last two months, over 28,000 messages were sent to Capitol Hill through the association’s web site,

Since identifying this issue as a potential threat to the industry in December, NPA joined together with what eventually became a coalition of over fifty national trade associations. Through the coalition, NPA lobbied members of Congress, and ran ads in Capitol Hill publications. In addition, NPA was by far the leading organization in producing grassroots contacts with senators and representatives. “Some of our members might have gotten tired of hearing from us on this issue, but sometimes in Washington persistence pays off,” said Gay.

“Like any legislative victory involving a broad coalition, this battle was won thanks to a number of factors,” said Gay, “but NPA members can and should claim a large share of the credit. Their response was tremendous.”

Gay urged the industry not to grow complacent. “This is a great victory, but the war isn’t over. Those forces on Capitol Hill that want to over regulate us are still out there, planning their next move. We need to remain vigilant.”
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