WASHINGTON (March 9, 2006) – The National Nutritional Foods Association is pleased the House Government Reform Committee is addressing important issues pertaining to the health and safety of Americans who rely on dietary supplements as part of their daily health routines. The industry feels it is vitally important that Congress clarify recent reports about supplements and steroids.
Anabolic and “designer” steroids are not dietary supplements. Unfortunately, there have been companies that have operated outside the law by illicitly marketing drugs or steroids as dietary supplements. This has wrongly implicated a legitimate industry, and clouded the reality of these products. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency that regulates dietary supplements, acknowledges that just because a steroid – or any other product – is marketed as a dietary supplement doesn’t make it one.
NNFA hopes today’s hearing will underscore the value of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) as an effective framework for governing supplements, and also emphasize the need for adequate anabolic steroid enforcement. In addition, NNFA hopes that the hearing sheds light on the fact that the typical consumer of vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements is not regularly being exposed to anabolic steroids. Those products that have been called into question were marketed as sports supplements, a category that represents less than one percent of total dietary supplement sales.
Though limited in scope, manufacturers of anabolic or designer steroid products that masquerade as dietary supplements, some of whom have openly flouted the law, need to know they can no longer do so with impunity. The appropriate agency, whether it’s the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Federal Trade Commission, should swiftly and soundly send the message that those who break the law will face severe consequences.
The National Nutritional Foods Association (www.nnfa.org) is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NNFA represents more than 5,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.