Several consumer advocacy groups, key industry players, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are in favor of mandatory listing of dietary supplement products.
The FDA proposed the idea via “two consecutive budget requests by the Trump administration and reiterated its support for a mandatory product listing during public events.”
An FDA spokesperson said by email, “A mandatory listing would allow FDA to know when new products are introduced, quickly identify and act against dangerous or otherwise illegal products, improve transparency and promote risk-based regulation.”
“We look forward to working with Congress and other stakeholders to advance this goal, as it would significantly enhance the agency’s ability to efficiently and effectively protect the public health,” the spokesperson added.
Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), and United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) have supported the proposal, while the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the Natural Products Association (NPA) were against the proposal.
UNPA President Loren Israelsen said, “Under the current administration, [I] don’t believe Congress has an appetite for this.” He predicts that the FDA would “ramp up” its efforts on Capitol Hill if Joe Biden is elected the next president.
Steven Tave, Director, FDA’s Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, has suggested that a mandatory supplemental listing would not undermine the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).
“We believe it’s possible to construct a narrowly tailored plan that respects and preserves DSHEA’s original vision, does not impose any significant burdens on responsible industry and still facilitates our ability to act swiftly to protect consumers, better allocate resources and remove illegal products from the market,” Tave said.
Israelsen said, “We appreciate that FDA feels that they have a blind spot and that mandatory registration would give them visibility on … what’s in the market,” adding that UNPA supports FDA’s proposal with a caveat, “Naturally, everything is in the details.”
Chuck Bell, program director for the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said, the FDA’s proposal seems to be “picking up some new steam” because of the large number of dietary supplement products in the market and support from some key players of the industry. The industry contains more than 80,000 products, according to the FDA.
Bell said, “We continue to have a large number of products with illegal or unsafe ingredients, and the FDA and public health authorities do not have an adequate ability to track and trace products that have been recalled or have safety problems.” The article originally appeared on Natural Products Insider.