Sacramento, CA—The California state legislature has introduced Bill AB 1341, which would restrict access to supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills, a move which the Natural Products Association (NPA) is calling “misguided.” NPA is organizing a grassroots movement to prevent the bill from moving forward.
Specifically, products would include thermogens, lipotropics, hormones, and appetite suppressants, whether in dietary supplements or in over-the-counter diet pills.
The bill would prohibit a retail establishment from selling weight loss and diet pills to any person under 18 years of age. The State Department of Public Health would be required to determine which products would be subject to these limitations, and would be responsible for developing a health-related notice regarding these products that retail establishments would have to conspicuously post at each purchase counter.
Violation of the bill, which would commence July 1, 2022, would incur a penalty of no more than $1,000, and retailers would be subject to the Unfair Practices Act, which prohibits certain acts of unfair competition; the penalty for violating that act is “specified fines and penalties.”
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In a press release, Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA, stated: “The notion that this is even a priority during a pandemic and while California is facing its largest budget deficit in history is absurd. While this proposal is misguided, it is unfortunately becoming an alarming trend across the country as more states consider policies that would restrict access to nutritional supplements.”
NPA points out that thermogenics and lipotropics are found in foods and beverages consumed daily, ranging from coffee to lean cuts of meat.
“Nutritional supplements are simply natural ingredients found in foods and restricting access to them is unfair to California consumers, hurts responsible retailers, and drains the state budget through lost sales taxes,” Dr. Fabricant said. “Nobody wins.”
NPA’s press release pointed to a 2017 study showing that 31% of the U.S. population is at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia.
Bill AB 1341 does not restrict access to vitamin or mineral supplements.