The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement and natural products industry. NPA CEO and Executive Director Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., former director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), comments on New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s request for information from four dietary supplement manufacturers:
“All of the information the attorney general is requesting from these manufacturers can be accessed by the Food and Drug Administration. The federal government is fully equipped to regulate dietary supplements, and goes to great lengths to ensure consumer and public health is protected. If the FDA finds issues with manufacturers, it swiftly and resolutely takes action against those firms. In my time at the agency, we were not shy about going after those who put consumers are risk.
“It is perplexing as to why Attorney General Schneiderman continues to use resources to address dietary supplement matters, which do not fall within his authority and are already handled by the regulators within the federal government. The attorney general seems more motivated by generating headlines and plaintiff’s cases than by protecting the public health.
“It’s been three weeks since the attorney general asked retailers to remove products from their shelves without sharing the study data that served as the scientific basis for this request. The Natural Products Association has serious concerns over the scientific basis for that recall. It has been more than a week since the winds of change from the attorney general focused attention away from DNA in botanical extracts and toward structure/function claims for ingredients with established science behind them. These actions set a dangerous precedent not just for dietary supplement retailers but for the entire retail market, including manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. If actions such as this are permitted, they will surely branch out to other commodities and industries. As the attorney general’s actions evolve, it’s imperative that we continue demanding transparency and requesting his office release the study data. NPA continues with our efforts to hold the attorney general accountable via our grassroots outreach, and we encourage all retailers and manufacturers in all industries to speak up with resolve on this issue.
“NPA is committed to quality, and when that quality comes into question, we take that very seriously. That is why the organization boasts former FDA personnel on staff and partners with trusted brands such as UL to ensure industry members are fully educated on Good Manufacturing Practices and other quality control measures to make sure only the best products are reaching consumers. If Attorney General Schneiderman has questions on quality and what the industry is doing to guarantee safe and effective supplements, we welcome the opportunity to discuss this with him.”