Association involves all member and allied groups for “virtual” march on Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2008) – More than 175 natural products industry stakeholders from 35 states and the District of Columbia gathered on Capitol Hill for the Natural Products Association’s 11th annual lobbying event, Natural Products Day. Natural Products Association members representing every component of the natural products industry educated members of Congress and their aides about the association’s legislative priorities, all of which promote consumer access and awareness of natural products.
“Nothing is more important that face-to-face meetings to establish relationships and a dialogue about the importance of natural products to the health of all Americans,” said Debra Short, president of the Natural Products Association. “I’m pleased to report that we once again had a series of productive meetings with legislators and staff and a capacity crowd on hand at our Congressional Champions Awards Reception.”
Short was referring to a packed evening reception where nearly 500 legislators and staff were able to sample a wide variety of natural products including health and beauty aids, dietary supplements, natural pet products and natural snacks and beverages, all donated by industry members (complete list of sponsors follows). The highlight of the reception was the presentation of the Natural Products Association’s Congressional Champion Awards. On hand to receive their awards were Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Reps. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Edolphus Towns were also honored.
As in past years, the event consisted of an early morning briefing session and breakfast before participants adjourned to attend pre-arranged meetings with various congressional leaders. Attendees then spent the afternoon in meetings with lawmakers and key staff members from their districts and states.
During their meetings with House members, the constituents asked legislators to support Rep. Edolphus Town’s Dietary Supplement and Healthy Meal Replacement Tax Parity Act, H.R. 1107, which would ensure that natural products are given the same tax treatment as drugs and over-the-counter medications. Attendees also asked legislators to support H.R. 1363, introduced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, which would raise the standards for school lunch programs. In addition, participants also asked lawmakers to oppose H.R. 1249, a bill to ban the safe, effective supplement DHEA.
In their meetings with senators, Natural Products Association members asked lawmakers to support S. 771, a companion bill to H.R. 1363 proposed by Sen. Tom Harkin, which would raise the standards for school lunch programs, and S. 770, a bill that would allow disadvantaged individuals to purchase dietary supplements with their food stamps. The members also emphasized the importance of defeating S. 762 and S. 2470, bills that would restrict or prohibit the use of DHEA.
Also this year, the association offered a “virtual march on Washington” for members and allied groups. Participants who could not come to Washington were encouraged to contact their members of Congress by phone, by mail, or by e-mail, and to create and post videos on YouTube. Allied organization Seniors Coalition collaborated with the association on H.R. 1249, encouraging their members to join association members in contacting their representatives and senators.
List of Sponsors:
Kyolic Nature’s Way
Tree of LIfe
Natural Products Association (www.naturalproductsassoc.org) is the nation's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. Natural Products Association represents almost 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products including foods, dietary supplements, and health and beauty aids.
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