Supplements are still under attack by the FDA, despite thousands of signatures on petitions and intervention by members of the US Senate. As I mentioned in a blog post last year, the FDA has drafted an approval process for New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs) that would virtually wipe out our access to all supplements currently on the market . Thanks in part to people who wrote to their senators and representatives (in my office, we printed and mailed over 50 letters from our concerned patients), Senators Orrin Hatch from Utah and Tom Harkin from Iowa arranged a meeting with the FDA in January. You can read their letter to the FDA commissioner here.
Senators Hatch and Harkin were the original authors of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which was designed to ensure “access to safe, affordable, dietary supplement products.” During their meeting they recommended that the FDA go back to the drawing board on NDI approval and write new guidelines that do not “undermine the balance Congress struck with DSHEA.” The FDA’s response was a resounding “no.”
Fortunately others in Congress are acting to stop the FDA. Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah is urging the FDA to draft new guidelines for NDI approval, and Representative Randy Hultgren of Illinois recently made a one-minute speech on the floor of the House that stated his opposition to the FDA’s supplement guidelines. You can ask your senator or representative to make a similar one-minute floor speech by sending this online letter via the Alliance for Natural Health. They also have a form you can fill out to ask your congresspeople to add their signatures to Rep. Chaffetz’s letter.
Please act now and let your voice be heard! Now that we have Congress listening, it’s time for all of us to work together to stop the FDA from barring our access to the supplements we depend on for our health.