Scott Gottlieb, M.D. — President Donald Trump’s nominee for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner — publicly confirmed his support and commitment to enforce the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) if he is confirmed as commissioner.
“As someone who uses dietary supplements every day, I believe they serve an important role in health promotion for millions of Americans and I support consumer access to these products. I believe the regulatory framework established under DSHEA is the right one, and if confirmed, I would commit to enforcing DSHEA, as intended by Congress.” Gottlieb said on the record in response to a question submitted by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) during Gottlieb’s Senate HELP (Health, Energy, Labor and Pensions) committee confirmation hearing. Hatch is a HELP member, along with a notable advocate of the natural products industry. He also crafted DSHEA — along with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa.)
“I like that he says he is committed to enforcing DSHEA as intended by Congress,” Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), told Natural Product Insider. “Generally, what we get back from FDA is its mission to promote and protect public health, but the emphasis is usually on ‘protect’; this time it’s also on ‘promote’. I hope that excites people in the industry to get active and push that message.”
But we shouldn’t get too excited just yet, Fabricant explains. “It’s not like this statement got rid of the people who are critical of us: the senators who don’t like us, the representatives who don’t like us, the people in the media who don’t like us, the people at the state level who don’t like us… This didn’t get rid of [New York Attorney General] Eric Schneiderman,” he added.
“It gives the industry a chance to really rally and get together and work hard to develop talking points,” Fabricant theorized. “Can the industry help with cost savings? Can industry help with people who are undernourished in this country? What are the roles that we can play? It seems like at least there is going to be some receptivity to those discussions at the commissioner level at FDA.”