"Good morning everyone. I am pleased to offer a few comments at the beginning of this important seminar on the recently published FDA draft NDI Guidance. Special thanks goes out to the United Natural Products Alliance for their work in gathering the industry and experts to analyze this guidance, and educate you about the serious impact this could have on your ability to provide consumers with safe products at affordable prices.
"I am particularly concerned about the economic impact that this policy will have on your industry. You have an ambitious agenda and you have a lot to go over. It is an unfortunate fact of congressional life that I have to be in Washington today. I would prefer to be there in person, but I am stuck here dealing with a little issue you all might have heard of -- the debt ceiling.
"I have always stressed to your industry that you must remain vigilant and proactive in what goes on in Washington. If our analysis of the FDA proposal ends up where I fear it might, your involvement will be more important now than any time in the last 17 years.
"I encourage you all to take a very active role as the FDA moves this guidance forward. Inaction from your industry could result in federal bureaucrats dictating every last detail of how your businesses should be run. That is not what I want, and it is not what you or your consumers need.
"I am conscious that FDA has devoted significant resources to this guidance, but a policy needs to be more than manageable for the FDA. It also must enjoy the support of the industry.
"All of us share the common goal of consumer safety, and the present task is to do so as efficiently, and in as market-friendly a way, as possible. I worry that this guidance misses the mark. You are starting the serious work of analyzing the print — large and small — of this 85-page beast. I urge you to keep me and my staff advised about your discussions and conclusions, so we may work together to make sure that the right balance of safety and a light government hand are found.
"I also want you to know that to complement this seminar and the work that UNPA is doing, I am holding a dietary supplement town hall meeting next month on the afternoon of August 17th down at Utah Valley University. I am inviting all the major trade associations to participate, as well as industry leaders in Utah and any of your employees who can attend. I plan to focus on this NDI Guidance as well as pressing legislative issues.
"I strongly encourage those of you from Utah to attend and to pass this invitation along to others in the industry – Loren can give you the details. We promise to have a great dialog.
"So, let me end my remarks here and send along my wishes for a great and productive two days. Thank you for attending, for your interest, and for your help. Your friends on Capitol Hill cherish the support and guidance that your industry provides."