Washington, DC- October 23,2003--
Industry's latest Lobby Day (Tuesday October 21st) was attended by approximately 140 industry stakeholders, almost double the typical number of participants. Attendees reprsented the entire scope of the industry, including raw material suppliers, manfuacturers and contract manufacturers, direct marketers, as well as independent and chain retail and natural health store operators.
The event itself, was sponsored by virgo Publishing and organized, co-sponsored, and hosted by a group which included NNFA (National Nutritional Foods Association), AHPA (American Herbal Products Asosciation), UNPA (Utah Natural Products Alliance), Citizens for Health, New Hope Naural Media, Cognis Nutrition & Health, Draco Herbs, GNC, Natrol, Now Foods and Reliance Vitamin Co.
Prior to actual lobbying ativity on Capitol Hill, attendees were briefed on relevent issues and legislation by representatives from industry trade associations and professional lobbying organizations, as well as a 'how to' instructional in delivering messages through the lobby process.
The event featured pre-arranged meetings on the Hill in both Senate and House offices. Thirty-six states were represented and most attendees had between two and four meetings with their representatives (or staffers) in both the Senate and in Congress.
The specific objectives of the lobby effort were to emphasize the existence and coverage of DSHEA ('It's a good law if enforced') and that SB 1538 (introduced by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (D-Utah) which among other things provides funding for FDA to properly enforce DSHEA, should be supported. At the same time, SB 722, introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), which has the potential to single out dietary supplements from food and OTC products for scrutiny far more severe than for these products, should be opposed.
Organizers were pleased with the turnout, the response to lobby efforts and are working to ensure follow up both on Capitol Hill as well as in state offices.