Earlier this week, Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch announced his plan to retire from the U.S. Senate at the end of his term, stating that he will not be running for re-election in 2018. His retirement marks the end of a 40-year-long tenure, during which he was a champion for the dietary supplements industry. Senator Hatch is the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history.
In a statement released by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC), following Senator Hatch’s announcement, the organization recognized his dedication to protecting supplement consumers and promoting industry responsibility. The organization stated that “responsible companies in this industry will do their part to honor Senator Hatch’s legacy by continuing to bring safe, quality dietary supplement products to the market.”
Senator Hatch, formed and led the Dietary Supplement Caucus in the Senate, co-authored the landmark legislation that established a rational framework for regulating dietary supplements, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, and was instrumental in its passing. In addition, CRN noted, he played a key role in passing the Nonprescription Drug & Dietary Supplement Consumer Protection Act of 2006, which established a mandatory post-market surveillance program for dietary supplements. Further, Senator Hatch shaped the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011, adding additional safety manufacturing precautions. He also facilitated the passage of the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014, in an effort to protect consumers from illegal drugs masquerading as dietary supplements. Finally, the organization noted, “he used his considerable influence to prod FDA to issue final Current Good Manufacturing Practices regulations in 2007 and to elevate FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs to Office status in 2016, both of which strengthened FDA’s oversight of dietary supplements that nearly 76% of Americans turn to for better health and wellness.”
Steve Mister, president, CEO, CRN, commented on Senator Hatch’s enduring support for the industry in the organization’s statement: “Of all of Senator Hatch’s achievements, his commitment to the dietary supplement consumer will be celebrated most by this industry. Senator Hatch has been a champion of dietary supplements to be sure, but his insistence on a common-sense approach to legislation and regulation has always managed to strike the important balance between safety and access in pursuit of promoting public health.”