California Assembly Votes to Restrict Access to Supplements

California Assembly Votes to Restrict Access to Supplements

NPA Activates Grassroots, Thousands of Californians Write State Lawmakers in Opposition to Supplement Ban


WASHINGTON, DC – The California Assembly today passed legislation by a vote of 44-12 that would place age restrictions on nutritional supplements and impose costly burdens on small businesses.  The bill will now go through the committee process in the California Senate.  The Natural Products Association (NPA) warns that the bill will lead to unintended consequences that include driving people under the age of 18 away from responsible retailers and toward shady online sellers.

The bill’s sponsors claim the legislation is necessary because of an association between dietary supplements and eating disorders.  NPA filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine if any such association existed and found no adverse events or reporting associated with dietary supplements and eating disorders.  Similar legislation is being considered in New York, New Jersey, Missouri, and Massachusetts.

“We share the concern for teenagers with eating disorders, but banning ingredients found in vitamin water, fruit smoothies and other common products in the grocery store is an overreach,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA.  “More Americans are turning to natural products during the pandemic than ever before because they want to stay healthy.  Obesity and poor nutrition are a significant problem in the U.S., and that is why we are focused on expanding access to nutritional supplements through government programs including WIC, SNAP, and through private health savings accounts.”

NPA has been fighting against this proposal for several years in California and other states.  Last year director of Government Affairs for the Natural Products Association (NPA) Kyle Turk testified against the bill.  NPA is also engaging its grassroots network and urging the industry to join the thousands of health and wellness advocates to contact their elected officials and warn them of the unintended consequences of this legislation.  The campaign has generated 4,000 letters and 3,000 calls to elected officials in California.  NPA’s grassroots campaign can be viewed here.

“We need people to make their voices heard and tell elected officials to reject this misguided proposal.  The federal government has in place vast enforcement powers and a long track record of punishing criminals who break the law.  We support vigorous enforcement of the law to protect consumers, but this proposal is unnecessary and will not only do nothing to protect public health,” said Fabricant.