Associations Report Successful Dietary Supplement Caucus on Capitol Hill

June 30, 2011

The most recent Capitol Hill-based luncheon briefing was filled to capacity with more than 125 people present.

Source: Council for Responsible Nutrition

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15, 2011-The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC), in cooperation with four supplement industry trade associations-the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA)- reached a milestone in hosting its tenth DSC Briefing on Capitol Hill since June 2008.   

The most recent Capitol Hill-based luncheon briefing was filled to capacity with more than 125 people present, and featured two speakers: former linebacker for the Chicago Bears and National Football League Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, and sports dietitian Dave Ellis, anti-doping chair and president, Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA).   

Mr. Ellis focused on the importance of proper nutrition for athletes and how supplements can play a valuable role in meeting the increased nutrient requirements due to depletions resulting from intense exercise and training.  He advised athletes to focus on four key areas-including properly managing their food supply; being aware of which  dietary supplements are “permissible;” getting consistent periods of rest; and making sure they get adequate amounts of quality foods.  Mr. Ellis said proper nutrition is a powerful tool that “can really help an athlete outwork the competition.”  

Mr. Butkus discussed his “I Play Clean” campaign, a national initiative geared at educating high school athletes about the impact and physical consequences of illegal anabolic steroid use. He also noted the difference between illegal steroids and dietary supplements, stating, “Dietary supplements are not steroids and steroids are not dietary supplements. There is a legitimate role for supplements in sports nutrition, with products like multivitamins, protein bars, powders, to name a couple.” Mr. Butkus continued, “There is no place [in sports] for products that are tainted with steroids or prescription drugs and are then illegally marketed as dietary supplements.”  He pointed to the need to educate parents, athletes and team leaders about nutrition and proper training as strategies to help discourage young athletes from using anabolic steroids.  More information, including a public service announcement, is available on the “I Play Clean” website.

The dietary supplement industry trade associations are also concerned that athletes may be unable to distinguish between legitimate dietary supplements, and products that are illegally marketed as dietary supplements but in fact contain anabolic steroids or other pharmaceutical ingredients; therefore, the industry joined forces with FDA last December to support strengthened education and enforcement efforts in this area.

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