Washington, D.C.—On June 3rd, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) added three dietary supplement amendments to what is considered a must-pass Department of Defense spending bill. The first amendment restricts supplements sold on military bases. Dietary supplements would now need to be verified by an independent third party for recognized public standards of identity, purity, strength, composition and adherence to related process standards or already comply with Defense Commissary Agency policy on inventory. The second amendment would call for modification of the electronic health record system for the military to include data on dietary supplement use in the armed forces. This modified record system would generate standard reports using this data, and issue automated alerts in the event of a sudden shift of supplement use. The third amendment builds off of this, requiring the recording of adverse effects or events related to dietary supplements in the record system.
These amendments also put additional responsibility on the Secretary of Defense, who would now need to establish a minimum requirement for each member of the Armed Forces to report use by of dietary supplements, as well as perform outreach to military health care providers on the importance of reporting adverse events stemming from dietary supplement use. In a statement, the American Herbal Products Association(AHPA) noted that it was in communication with other industry associations and key Congressional offices to ensure that these amendments do not lead to military personnel dealing with “unnecessary restrictions that limit their personal and informed choices to use safe dietary supplements.”