Today the U.S. Senate voted 57–42 to confirm Scott Gottlieb, MD, as FDA Commissioner. This confirmation comes less than two weeks after Gottlieb secured Senate subcommittee approval by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). His nomination is welcome news to the dietary supplements industry.
In a press release following Gottlieb’s confirmation, Steve Mister, president and CEO, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC), offered a statement of support for Gottlieb: “CRN welcomes Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s confirmation to the post of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner. His prior experience at the agency, combined with his medical background and his understanding of industry, all bolster our confidence that he is well-qualified to lead the FDA. Dr. Gottlieb will bring the right balance of concern for consumer safety, focus on product integrity, and protection of consumer access to a wide array of dietary supplement products.”
The Natural Products Association’s (NPA; Washington, DC) CEO and president Dan Fabricant also supported Gottlieb’s appointment: “Dr. Gottlieb will ensure consumers have access to products that support their health and that businesses have the right to sell those products and grow the economy.”
Both NPA and CRN expressed hope that Gottlieb would commit to enforcing the current laws governing the supplements industry. “We are hopeful that he will fully enforce the law as intended by Congress, and, on behalf of our member companies, CRN pledges our support to continue to educate and encourage our industry to comply with those regulations to help ensure consumers have access to a variety of safe and beneficial dietary supplement products,” said Mister. “We look forward to working with Dr. Gottlieb and his team at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs.”
As FDA Commissioner in charge of foods, cosmetics, and dietary supplements, Gottlieb will oversee industries that have been growing consistently year-over-year. During the Natural Products Expo West trade show in March, Nutrition Business Journal reported that U.S. natural product sales—including dietary supplements, natural and organic foods, functional foods, and natural and organic personal care—grew 7.7% to $195 billion in 2016.