Consumer Access to Safe, Legal, Natural Products Under Attack
NPA Submits Comments for the Record
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill under consideration in the Massachusetts State Legislature today would place a costly burden on small businesses who have already been hard hit by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. The proposal would require businesses in the state to place natural, safe nutritional supplements under lock and key and make them only accessible by a store manager, and force small businesses to retrofit their stores to comply. The bill, H. 4783, the “Protecting Children from Diet Pills and Muscle-Building Supplements,” has been filed as an amendment to H. 4888 by Rep. Kay Kahn. NPA’s comments submitted for the record can be viewed here.
The proposal also restricts online purchases of supplements to individuals over the age of 18, which would mean that young people in Massachusetts would be banned from shopping at one of their hero’s stores. Mr. Brady sells his own brand of protein supplements at TB12store.com, and also sells supplements at his performance and recovery centers located in Boston, MA.
According to recent reports, Brady’s TB12 Performance and Recovery Centers received between $350,000 and $1 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. Small businesses in Massachusetts received a total of $10.4 billion in Payment Protection Program loans.
“Now is not the time to be placing a burden on small businesses, especially those that are responsible for providing products that support people’s health. Millions of American workers and small businesses are managing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and people are looking for more ways to stay healthy,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA).
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declared health food stores and supplement manufacturers to be essential during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Health food stores provide a wide range of essential products, including, water, electrolytes, nutritional supplements, healthy food options, and other health-related products such as hand sanitizer.
The bill’s sponsors claim that the legislation is necessary because of an association between dietary supplements and eating disorders, yet no such association has been proven by a review of the most authoritative publicly-available data. NPA recently 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.
“Nutritional supplements are simply natural ingredients found in foods, and restricting access to them is unfair to Massachusetts consumers, hurts responsible retailers and drains the state budget through lost sales taxes. Nobody wins. We are pleased that a bipartisan majority of members in the state house and the Baker Administration agree with this and with consumers and have so far rejected this unnecessary and costly approach.”
The bill also targets natural ingredients called thermogenics, which are found in foods and beverages we use every day, like caffeine in a Dunkin Donuts cup of coffee, catechins found in green tea or beans in Boston Bean soup. “Should young people in Massachusetts need to get the consent of a parent or guardian or prove they are 18 to buy these products?” asked Dr. Fabricant.
This legislation also targets lipotropics, which are found in healthy and recommended foods, including lean cuts of beef, chicken, turkey and in fish like salmon and Massachusetts own world-famous cod. “If eating cod is a health threat to minors it might be time to remove the Sacred Cod from the State Capitol, because cod is chock full of lipotropics, an ingredient targeted by this bill,” said Dr. Fabricant.
The bill has already sparked a public outcry and has led to thousands of letters in opposition.
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Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. The Natural Products Association promotes good manufacturing practices as part of the growth and success of the industry. Founded in 1936, NPA represents approximately 700 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements and health/beauty aids. Visit www.npanational.org.