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McCain withdraws support for his own bill

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has rescinded his support for the Dietary Supplement Safety Act. According to the American Herbal Products Association, in a March 4 letter to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) noted that Senator McCain intends to withdraw his support for certain elements of S. 3002, "The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010," introduced in February by McCain and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND). "I'm counting on you to work with me to make sure this important industry does not fall prey to over-regulatory regimes and mounds of costly government bureaucracy," Hatch writes, according to reports from the Tan Sheet.

"We don't know yet if any of the concepts included in this legislation will survive," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin, "but this is certainly good news and a testament to the continuing leadership role that Senator Hatch plays in protecting consumer access to a broad range of health-promoting dietary supplements."

In his letter, Senator Hatch expresses his appreciation for the latter's "agreeing to withdraw your support for the provisions of S. 3002 that I believe would do great harm to the dietary supplement industry and work with me on solutions that will truly help dietary supplement consumers without injuring this important industry." The letter also states Hatch's intention to work with McCain "on calling for the full enforcement of existing laws … so Americans will have uninterrupted access to safe dietary supplements and bad actor companies are removed from the market immediately."

Since its introduction last month, S. 3002 has been widely opposed by industry and many consumers. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and others have specifically expressed concern that the bill would negatively affect the dietary supplement industry and American consumers' access to a broad range of supplements. (See AHPA Updates of Feb. 3, 2010 and March 3, 2010 for more information.)

Other industry experts and associations found the bill redundant and above all it would not have stopped criminally minded companies from selling illegal drugs masquerading as supplements nor would it stop athletes from using illegal sports performance supplements, as McCain and various sports associations hoped. (See McCain's bill redundant, FI).

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