Industry supporter Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ, urged natural products industry members to "keep the lobby effort going" despite the fact that there is no sign from the new Congress that there will be an effort to weaken the Dietary Supplements Health Education Act. Pallone made his remarks at a reception for the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance at Supplyside West in Las Vegas in December.
"There are always people out there who would like to weaken or change DSHEA," said Pallone, "and I think we all know who they are, but I don't see a tidal wave coming." He emphasized that now is an important time to renew contact with members of Congress and to educate new members about dietary supplement issues.
Pallone said that Food and Drug Administration's potential inaction on good manufacturing practices for the industry might be a more vexing issue as it leaves a negative impression about the industry. The long overdue GMPs were scheduled to be released by the end of the year. But Pallone said he couldn't predict when they would actually be issued. "To the extent that we can, we will continue to push FDA to put out GMPs. Why aren't GMPs a priority? I don't know. Could there be a bias? Yes."
The congressman also pledged to keep pushing on other industry issues such as tax fairness, licensing of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, and food stamp coverage of essential vitamins.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 1/p. 14