New York State Debating Legislation With Dietary Supplement Implications

The state of New York is debating two bills which could have implications for dietary supplements manufactured or sold in that state.


This Assembly bill would make it a "deceptive trade practice to sell or offer for sale dietary supplements which are represented to accomplish certain improvements, unless such representations are substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence."

Among its specific provisions, it requires that anyone selling dietary supplements that make health or appearance claims possess scientific evidence substantiating those claims and then defines competent and reliable scientific evidence. This bill would require a warning statement on the label or marketing piece if the product claim is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the label or piece must contain contact information for the FDA. The bill also provides for civil penalties for violations.

According to the wording of the bill, its justification includes the fact that while "Marketers are careful to avoid claims that would define their products as drugs but claims sometimes imply disease prevention or treatment.....Consumers may believe that the claims for dietary supplements are backed by the same type of research as drugs and that the FDA has investigated them"...which "could lead to health risks if a person chose an ineffective supplement over an effective medical treatment or waste money if a consumer chose a product that had no chance of successfully fulfilling its claims."

The wording also notes the 'absence of adequate federal oversight and regulation'.


This state Senate bill, introduced late last year and presently stalled, reads that "no person shall manufacture, sell or expose for sale any product which shall be termed as a dietary supplement or nutritional supplement without branding or labeling such product with a statement that the product has or has not been tested by the United States food and drug administration; provides that the commissioner of agriculture and markets shall promulgate rules and regulations defining the terms dietary supplement and nutritional supplement."

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