On Oct. 25, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Assembly Bill A5610-D/Senate Bill S5823-C, banning the sale of weight-loss and sports nutrition supplements to minors.
New York has become the first state to pass such legislation. A5610-D/S5823-C will take effect in April 2024. Hochul previously vetoed Assembly Bill A431-C, which advocated for the same legislation.
The new law requires companies to employ age verification measures. It can be applied to any dietary supplement that is “labeled, marketed or otherwise represented for the purpose of achieving weight loss or muscle building.”
The law states that ingredients, such as creatine, green tea extract, raspberry ketone, Garcinia cambogia and green coffee bean extract, may be considered weight loss or muscle building products. Protein shakes and powders are excluded unless they contain an ingredient that would constitute muscle building or weight loss.
Companies found in violation could face court injunctions and fines of up to $500 per offense, according to the bill.
The Natural Products Association (NPA) said it will seek to overturn the ban in court.
“It’s disingenuous and flat-out wrong to suggest the use of dietary supplements causes eating disorders, and FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) data proves it,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, NPA president and CEO. “The dietary supplement industry has an extensive history of providing consumers with well-researched, trusted products as evidenced by the 80 percent of Americans who use at least one dietary supplement as a safe and affordable way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Governor Hochul’s decision to prohibit access to safe and reliable dietary supplements like amino acids, creatine and other essential nutrients is fundamentally flawed and only hurts consumers.”
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) expressed disappointment over the passing of the bill.
“This will impact a huge swath of products sitting on grocery store, pharmacy and natural retailer shelves throughout New York State,” said CRN President and CEO Steve Mister. “Because of this blatant, alarmist misinformation pushed by STRIPED, Empire State consumers of all ages will have their ability to purchase dietary supplement products limited.”
The Strategic Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders (STRIPED) is an organization based at Harvard’s T.H Chan School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital.
STRIPED Director Sydney Bryn Austin, a professor of social and behavioral sciences, praised the bill.
“From social media influencers promoting unattainable body ideals to the corner pharmacy selling snake oil diet pills and muscle supplements, there is no shortage of predatory companies trying to make a buck off of teens’ mental health struggles and body insecurities,” Austin said.
Similar legislation is appearing in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and New Jersey.
The full bill can be read here.