NPA Takes Action Against Bills to Age-Restrict Supplements in NY, NJ

assorted dietary supplements

Washington, D.C.—In the latest efforts in the fight to ensure access to dietary supplements, the Natural Products Association (NPA) wrote a letter to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, urging for New York bill S16/A431 to be vetoed. The legislation “relates to establishing restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter diet pills and dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building; prohibits the sale of over-the-counter diet pills or dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building to people under 18 unless properly prescribed by a health care provider; exempts certain protein powders, protein drinks and foods.”

NPA calls the bill “a slap in the face to public health and anti-consumer choice.”

NPA said the NY legislation is similar to legislation put forth in California that was vetoed by California Gavin Newsom. Failure to comply with the NY legislation would result in a fine of up to $500 for each infraction, NPA reported, adding that the “flawed legislative analysis provided to senators even went so far as to suggest that certain nutrients, including vitamin D and calcium, are potentially harmful.”

“It’s disingenuous and flat-out wrong to suggest the use of dietary supplements causes eating disorders,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., NPA President and CEO. “There is not a single data point that reflects these absurd claims. The dietary supplement industry has an extensive history of providing consumers with well-researched, trusted products as evidenced by the 80% of Americans who use at least one dietary supplement as a safe and affordable way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are urging Governor Hochul to follow the science and data provided by the FDA and veto this irrational legislation.”

NPA Testifies Against Age-Restriction Bill in NJ

NPA has opposed similar age-restriction legislation in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, where efforts are ramping up on NJ legislation Bill A3512. The NJ bill seeks to prohibit sale of certain diet pills and dietary supplements for muscle building to persons under 18 years of age under certain circumstances. Kyle Turk, NPA Vice President of Government Affairs, testified at New Jersey Assembly meetings on A3512 on November 14, 2022 and again on December 15 (hear his testimony at the 2:25:00 mark).

“The truth is, prohibiting the sale of healthy, safe, and legal products to minors will do nothing to promote public health and will do more to undermine it,” Turk testified in November. “One must also consider that this would be the first time in America’s history banning a food product for use by a specific category of people. As written, the bill would ban ingredients found in commonly found foods. For example, lipotropics may sound unnatural to some, but it is located in the healthy and recommended foods we want our children to eat. This includes lean cuts of beef, chicken, turkey, bison, dairy, eggs, milk, and even some chocolate as a treat. Creatine, found in red meat, has a long history of safe use and is the most researched dietary supplement, with more than 1,612 clinical trials currently being conducted, which would be prohibited from sale. Branch Chain Amino Acids and Essential Amino Acids, which also have an extensive history of safe use, would be banned.”

NPA is Engaging its Grassroots Network

NPA is urging the industry to contact their state legislators to warn them of the consequences of age-restriction legislation in NJ and beyond. Access the action center here. 

Evidence that such grassroots efforts can have an impact can be seen in NPA’s efforts to protect access to supplements in California, where Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 1341, which called for restricting access to dietary supplements. Read full coverage here.