Rhode Island is Latest State to Target Dietary Supplements with Excessive Regulation

Rhode Island is Latest State to Target Dietary Supplements with Excessive Regulation

NPA Testifies in Opposition to New Rules for Hearing Scheduled for March 24th

WASHINGTON – Rhode Island’s state legislature is considering legislation that is similar to approaches new rules passed in California and New York that would require all retailers to move safe sand legal nutritional supplements behind the counter, prohibit their sales to people under the age of 18, and levy fines of up to $2,000 for those who do not adhere to the law.  The steep financial penalty is far higher than the $250 fine for providing alcohol or tobacco to minors, and represents a growing wave of state governments that are pressing for excessive regulation on the sale of products that are regulated at the federal level.

NPA submitted testimony in opposition to the legislation and has led efforts in Massachusetts and elsewhere to block copycat proposals.  The Rhode Island State Senate Health and Human Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the proposal on March 24th at 5 pm.  The bill was introduced on March 10th, 2022.

“So Rhode Island lawmakers want all health and wellness products under lock and key when we’ve seen their benefits over the last two years? At a time when millions of young people face malnutrition with serious long-term health consequences, this is the exact opposite of what lawmakers should be doing.  Consumers need more access to vitamins and nutrition because most of them do not eat a balanced and healthy diet.  This approach also defies common sense, as teenagers can buy calcium fortified orange juice but not vitamin C and calcium supplements,” said Daniel Fabricant, President and CEO of the Natural Products Association.

“What’s more concerning is that this may drive teenagers to buy products online, where we find the worst abuses of product manipulation and mislabeling.  It only hurts young people, Rhode Island’s economy and hardworking store owners who now face a costly new mandate that is completely unnecessary,” said Fabricant.