Many of our readers may already be aware of the amendment in the United States House of Representatives’ version of the recently passed Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173). This amendment was introduced by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
It would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to require nutritional supplement companies to perform at least two human studies before making any claims for their products, according to the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH). Currently, supplements are regulated under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).
These trials are time-consuming and beyond the financial means of most supplement companies, according to the ANH. And even if the companies could find the money, the FTC could require more and more costly versions of these studies, or more of those studies. At each stage, fewer supplements would be available, and those available would cost more and more, until they became as costly as drugs.
The decisions about supplements would then be placed in the hands of five unelected FTC commissioners who could issue binding regulations in a wide range of areas. And companies that don’t comply with the new rules could be put out of business.
The ANH posted this information regarding the practices of the FTC on their website:
“According to renowned constitutional attorney Jonathan Emord, ‘The provision removing the ban on FTC rulemaking without Congressional preapproval contained in H.R. 4173 invites the very same irresponsible over-regulation of the commercial marketplace that led Congress to enact the ban in the 1980s. FTC has no shortage of power to regulate deceptive advertising; this bill gives it far more discretionary power than it needs, inviting greater abuse and mischief from an agency that suffers virtually no check on its discretion.’” (www.anh-usa.org)
Similar financial legislation was passed by the Senate on May 20, but the Financial Services Reform Bill (S. 3217) did not include a provision regarding the FTC. Now a House and Senate conference committee is forming to discuss the differences between the two bills. We urge you to call your Congressman and/or Senator now to make sure no provisions restricting the use of supplements get included in the joint legislation.
Those seeking to contact their members of Congress should go to www.NPAinfo.org.