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Washington and the State of the Natural Products Industry … Continued

Washington & Natural Industry Washington & Natural Industry

Nutrition Industry Executive (NIE) magazine spoke with Julia Gustafson, vice president of government relations for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), in Washington, D.C., crnusa.org, and asked her the following question:

NIE: In New York state, Senate Bill 16 and Assembly Bill 431 would have banned the sale of safe and legal dietary supplements to consumers under the age of 18. Can you comment on the industry’s successful efforts regarding this bill?

Gustafson: CRN respectfully — but strongly — opposed New York State Assembly Bill 431-B and Senate Bill 16-D.

As it was written, the bill, if it had been enacted, would have restricted access to two broad categories of dietary supplements and functional food—sports nutrition and weight management products—because of unfounded concerns that these products are tied to eating disorders.

The bill also would have created a broad category of affected supplements based simply on ingredients, not the intended use by the manufacturer. It could have created a system where even a multivitamin or a supplement intended for cognitive function or pre-natal health would be subject to different access requirements if it contained a certain, legitimate ingredient like green tea extract or choline.

While we respect the sponsors’ intent […], there is no credible scientific data that the products/ingredients identified in this bill are linked to body dysmorphia, eating disorders or mental health issues.

[Fortunately], on June 11, the New York State legislature adjourned early without bringing the bill for discussion, effectively ending any prospect for passage in this legislative session.

CRN thanks the state assembly for recognizing the damage this bill would have done to consumers and retailers. Without any scientific or legal basis, this proposal would have needlessly restricted access to safe and beneficial products that may help consumers meet their fitness and weight goals.

The New York bill offered no reasonable solution to the problem the sponsors of the bill were seeking to solve. CRN remains committed to working with stakeholders across states to address legitimate concerns relating to eating disorders and nutrition deficiencies they cause, but these proposals, and others like it, are not the solution.