WASHINGTON UPDATE*

Call to Action: Stop Dick Durbin

The Senator’s latest bill—S.1425—may take away your vitamins forever.

September 2013

Dick Durbin is back. And as usual, he is hell-bent on revoking your health freedom. Durbin’s latest attack may be his most destructive yet. If you want to keep supplements available and affordable, contact your elected officials immediately to repel Durbin’s war on good nutrition. Once and for all, we must reject Durbin’s efforts to overthrow the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and take away our vitamins.

Here is the update: In early August, Durbin, along with his cohort, Senator Richard Blumenthal, introduced S.1425, the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act. S.1425 would require nutritional supplement manufacturers to register new products with the FDA—providing their ingredients and label—within 30 days of being marketed. Registration would also be required for existing supplements that had changed their formulations in any way. Crazier still, supplements that had been discontinued would require registration, too! S.1425 would also require manufacturers to put warning labels on certain supplements deemed to be “dangerous.”

Supplements Are Not Cigarettes

Can you imagine a warning label on your multivitamin or vitamin C? Warning labels work for cigarettes, which are proven to be dangerous. Durbin, however, proposes that the Secretary of the US Senate decide if a supplement gets a warning label based on its potential to cause serious adverse events. In truth, adverse events are rare with supplements. Serious adverse events are practically nonexistent. Warning labels on supplements are unnecessary, and appear to be just another senseless attack from Durbin.

All Durbin’s attacks seem to have the same intent: To drain supplement manufacturers’ resources until the entire industry crumbles. Warning labels won’t discourage smart consumers from buying supplements, but manufacturers will have to spend millions to change out all of the labels on their products.

Similarly, FDA supplement registration sounds innocent, but the act of submitting paperwork for thousands of supplements—including discontinued products—would place a crippling burden on the supplement industry. Instead of developing new and improved products, manufacturers would be struggling to stay afloat, dragged down by FDA’s unreasonable registration and labeling demands.

Durbin’s Dogged Determination

S.1425 is Durbin déjà vu. In 2011, Durbin introduced S.1310, also a “Supplement Labeling Act,” that was nearly identical to S.1425. It was killed in the Senate. Then in May 2012, Durbin proposed a bill that would have required supplement makers to provide descriptions, labels and ingredient lists for every product they had ever made. This bill was also quashed.

Our elected officials have rejected Durbin’s supplement industry proposals again and again. That’s because we don’t agree with Durbin or his proposed changes. We know supplements are overwhelmingly safe. We also know the vast majority of supplement manufacturers make pure products that promote health. Plus, we already have a system that has worked incredibly well since 1994: DSHEA gives the FDA plenty of power to ensure supplement safety.

Despite repeated rejection, Durbin continues to defy the American public’s wishes, wasting Congress’s time on a matter that has been resolved to our satisfaction with DSHEA. Unless we crush Durbin’s S.1425 in spectacular fashion, he will continue trying to take away the supplements that support your healthy lifestyle. And if by chance Durbin finally succeeds with S.1425, those supplements will skyrocket in price and vanish from store shelves until they fade into oblivion.

It’s time to tell Durbin that enough is enough! Contact your local Congress­person today and demand an end to Dick Durbin’s Dietary Supplement Labeling Act S.1425!
Visit www.nha2013.com for more information.

*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).

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