Washington, D.C.—Each spring, industry members visit lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to help ensure our laws continue to guarantee access to natural products. The Natural Products Association (NPA, npainfo.org), based in D.C., coordinates these visits by making appointments for association members with their Congressmen and women. This year, nearly 150 members representing 33 states plus the District of Columbia came to Capitol Hill for more than 140 meetings on Tuesday, March 23rd.
The timing of the meetings allowed industry members to reinforce opposition to legislation recently introduced by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), S. 3002, The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010, which would badly damage the natural products industry. Members reminded legislators that current law—the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994—already gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority it needs to remove unsafe natural products, such as misbranded steroids, from the market, and that S. 3002 would add unnecessary costs and regulatory burdens.
Legislators and their staffs were receptive to industry’s view, thanks in large part to the efforts of NPA Executive Director, John Gay, VP of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Daniel Fabricant, and our lobbyists Jack Martin and Ed Long, who assisted our industry champion, Senator Orrin Hatch, (R-UT) in getting McCain to reconsider. As a result, meetings on The Hill were extremely positive and productive, continuing the natural product industry’s grass-roots advocacy efforts to educate lawmakers on the health and cost benefits of dietary supplements, healthy diet and natural lifestyle.
Tuesday evening, over hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, NPA and industry members awarded recognition to our champions in Congress, including Hatch and others. Contact www.npainfo.org for information on Natural Products Day 2011.
Jay Jacobowitz is president and founder of Retail Insights®, a professional consulting service for natural products retailers established in 1998, and creator of Natural Insights for Well Being®, a holistic consumer marketing service designed especially for independent natural products retailers. With 32 years of wholesale and retail industry experience, Jay has assisted in developing over 800 successful natural products retail stores in the U.S. and abroad. Jay is a popular author, educator, and speaker, and is the merchandising editor of WholeFoods Magazine, for which he writes Merchandising Insights and Tip of the Month. Jay also serves the Natural Products Association in several capacities. He can be reached at (800)328-0855 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2010