NPA Asks Officials to Follow DHS Guidance, Health-First Policies in Fight Against COVID-19
WASHINGTON – The Natural Products Association (NPA) today in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom said it is imperative for essential businesses including health food stores to remain open as California mandates new COVID-19 restrictions. 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.
NPA also stressed that California public health officials should follow guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security in August regarding essential businesses. DHS guidance relevant to health food stores and the nutritional supplement supply chain includes:
Manufacturer workers for health manufacturing (including biotechnology companies), materials and parts suppliers, logistics and warehouse operators, distributors of medical equipment (including those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.
“Our businesses are going to stay open to serve local communities just as they did in the spring. Public health officials must take a health-first approach to fighting this virus that includes ensuring Americans have access to nutritional supplements to support their health. Over the past eight months, our businesses have done a tremendous job complying with state, local and federal guidance to keep their employees and customers safe. Our businesses will continue to provide essential services to millions of Americans as we enter the next stage of this pandemic,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA.
Nutritional supplements play a critical role in supporting the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world, especially those who are from areas without adequate access to nutritious foods:
- Zinc deficiency can compromise immune function and increase the risk of infection, affecting an estimated 30% of the global population.
- A World Health Organization (WHO) report specifically showed benefits of zinc supplementation and immunity respiratory viruses in children.
- According to available data, 95 percent of adults and 98 percent of teens have an inadequate vitamin D intake and 61 percent of adults and 90 percent of teens do not get enough magnesium.
More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.