On Feb. 4, Senators John McCain and Byron Dorgan introduced the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (DSSA), that if passed, will restrict Americans’ access to nutritional supplements. Hotze Enterprises, a world leader in the alternative health care industry, is strongly opposed to this legislation being passed, and encourages consumers to take action.
“This kind of discretionary authority gives the FDA tyrannical power to ban supplements, a power they have not hesitated to use when they’ve had it.”
In particular, if the legislation is passed, it will revoke key sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which was put into effect in 1994 to protect consumers’ rights to access low-cost nutritional supplements. The passing of the DSHEA bill immediately followed the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) attempt to remove supplements, such as CoQ10, selenium and chromium from the marketplace, claiming they were inherently dangerous. Presently, the DSHEA protects supplements if: they are food products that have been in the food supply and not chemically altered; or if they have been safely sold and used in the marketplace for several years.
Furthermore, the FDA currently has broad powers to remove dangerous products from the marketplace. This legislation would expand the FDA’s powers further, allowing them to use “reasonable probability” to ban products believed to have significant problems. According to William Faloon, director of Life Extension Foundation, “This kind of discretionary authority gives the FDA tyrannical power to ban supplements, a power they have not hesitated to use when they’ve had it.”
According to a published report by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, “The facts are that legitimate reports of death caused by dietary supplements this century are virtually non-existent.” On the contrary, aspirin, currently regulated by the FDA, is the cause of an estimated 10,000 deaths each year in the U.S. due to bleeding. The DSSA not only appears to have originated from the controversy involving professional athletes’ use of illegal steroids, but also appears to be supported by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which is funded by major league sports teams. Senator McCain cited that six NFL players recently suspended for testing positive for banned substances were purportedly exposed to these substances through dietary supplements. The proposed bill seeks to give the FDA additional power to regulate dietary supplements, although, the FDA already possesses the power to investigate and punish companies marketing and selling steroids falsely as dietary supplements. In addition, supplement companies are already required to provide ingredients and proof of quality under the Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Authentic supplement companies have been safely operating under these regulations since 1994.
“The proposed bill is a misguided attempt to protect consumers,” said Steven F. Hotze, M.D., founder and CEO of Hotze Enterprises. “It doesn’t even address the steroid problem, but it would severely hamper the American public from accessing high quality nutritional supplements.”
Passage of this legislation may ultimately lead to the United States resembling Europe, which as of now, largely looks to the U.S. to obtain nutritional supplements, due to the strict regulations imposed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In Europe, the EFSA is reducing potency to minimal levels and has severely decreased the number of available supplements.