This powerful Congressman, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which includes health as a subcommittee), would appear to want supplements regulated like drugs, a step that would effectively eliminate them. He is determined and has stated: “One enduring truth about Washington is that no issue is ever settled for good.”
ANH-USA has been on alert to see how Waxman would use his committee chairmanship to strike at DSHEA. He is very clever and we knew a covert attack was a possibility.
A direct attack on supplements would take the form of an amendment to DSHEA, since that legislation governs FDA regulation of supplements. In this case, Waxman has left DSHEA alone, and has instead inserted language in the Wall St. “reform” bill that gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) important new powers that could be used to circumvent key supplement protections in DSHEA.
To see how this would work, let’s see how the FTC operates today. Its chief mission is to combat commercial fraud. It has full authority to pursue companies making fraudulent claims. But the FTC can’t go beyond that, can’t set other regulatory requirements, without advance approval of Congress. The FTC once had this regulatory “rule-making” authority. It lost it in the 1980’s because Congress thought the Agency was abusing it.
At the present time, if the FTC moves against a dietary supplement company for false or misleading advertising, the FTC typically requires the company, as part of a consent decree agreed to by both parties, to back up its claims by undertaking at least two random controlled human trials. This is done on a case-by-case basis and is legal because the targeted company has agreed to it.
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