Natural Foods Merchandiser

California bill bans supplements from H.S. sports

A supplements bill making its way through the California legislature strikes the wrong target, critics say.

Senate Bill 37, introduced last December by Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, aims to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from high school sports. The bill would require high school coaches to complete an education program about the dangers of such substances. More contentiously, it would also ?prohibit specified dietary supplements? and require student athletes to sign a pledge not to use any banned supplements.

The bill does not address ?the most troubling performance-enhancing substances—like steroids or growth hormones,? according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Two of the three supplements it would ban—ephedra and DHEA—are already illegal for minors in California. The bill would also ban bitter orange.

A version of the same bill was vetoed last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. CRN said the bill ?potentially restricted a whole host of mainstream sports nutrition products including multivitamins, electrolyte replacement drinks and energy bars.? The organization would like to see the current bill further amended to ban ?performance-enhancing substances? rather than ?dietary supplements.?

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 10/p. 12

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