NPA Leads Charge Against California’s Attack on Small Business Owners and Access to Nutritional Supplements

NPA Leads Charge Against California’s Attack on Small Business Owners and Access to Nutritional Supplements

Kyle Turk, NPA Director of Government Affairs Testifies in California State Legislature Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Director of Government Affairs for the Natural Products Association (NPA) Kyle Turk will serve as the chief witness testifying against a California bill that will place a costly burden on small businesses who have already been hard hit by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.  The hearing will take place on Tuesday April 27 at 12 EST.  A live feed of the hearing can be viewed here.  The Natural Products Association (NPA) has launched a grassroots campaign to counter the proposal.

The bill (AB 1341) would prohibit retailers from selling dietary supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills to any person under 18 years of age.  The bill would also require a retail establishment to limit access to those products and require the department to determine which products will be subject to those access limitations.  Similar bills have been reintroduced in Massachusetts and New York.

“This bill will do more harm to small businesses already hard hit by the pandemic, while doing nothing to protect public health,” said Turk.  “The idea that these politicians are wasting time on a proposal that would restrict access to nutritional supplements during a pandemic is absurd.  Unfortunately, California isn’t the only state that is considering this kind of misguided proposal.  NPA will continue to stand up for access to nutritional supplements in California and across the country.”

According to a 2017 study on the risk of deficiency in children and adults in the United States, thirty-one percent of the U.S. population is at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia, including, a significantly higher risk for women (37%), non-Hispanic blacks (55%), and obese individuals (39%).

This year, NPA launched a new effort to expand access to nutritional supplements for all communities through the tax code and assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

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.

The bill also targets natural ingredients called thermogenics, which are found in foods and beverages we use every day, like caffeine in coffee, catechins found in green tea or beans.  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.