California bill restricting access to weight management products amended to be less burdensome

The American Herbal Products Association has withdrawn its opposition for California Assembly Bill 1341 after being amended to resolve concerns of affected industry.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) has withdrawn its opposition for California Assembly Bill 1341 after being amended to resolve concerns of affected industry. The amended bill has removed restrictions from physical access to minors, and more narrowly defines the class of dietary supplements subject to age restrictions in the bill.

Previously, the bill defined “dietary supplements for weight loss” as follows:

“(1) ‘Dietary supplements for weight loss’ means a class of dietary supplements sold for or used with the intent to achieve weight loss that are lawfully sold, transferred, or furnished over the counter, with or without a prescription, under the regulation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Sec. 301 et seq.), and regulations adopted thereunder. ‘Dietary supplements for weight loss’ may include, but are not limited to, thermogens, lipotropics, hormones, including hormone modulators and hormone mimetics, appetite suppressants, and ingredients deemed adulterated under Section 342 of Title 21 of the United States Code.”

The new language restricts the definition to products labeled and marketed for weight loss, removes specific classes of ingredients such as thermogens, lipotropics, hormones, and appetite suppressants, and excludes dietary fiber products from the definition of weight loss products. The bill now defined “dietary supplement for weight loss” as:

“(1) ‘Dietary supplements for weight loss’ means a class of dietary supplements that are labeled, marketed, or otherwise represented for the purpose of achieving weight loss and that are under the regulation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Sec. 301 et seq.), and regulations adopted thereunder. ‘Dietary supplements for weight loss’ includes products marketed with a Supplement Facts panel, pursuant to federal regulations, that contain either lawful dietary ingredients or ingredients deemed adulterated under Section 342 of Title 21 of the United States Code, or both. ‘Dietary supplements for weight loss’ does not include dietary fiber products.”

On the subject of physical access to weight loss products, the bill previously would have required retailers to prevent direct access of products by consumers, forcing retailers to reorganize their stores. The bill read:

“c) A retail establishment shall do all of the following with respect to the dietary supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills determined by the State Department of Public Health to be subject to this subdivision if the retail establishment sells, transfers, or otherwise furnishes dietary supplements for weight loss or over-the-counter diet pills to customers who are physically present at the retail establishment:

“…(2) Prohibit direct access to those products by customers, and limit direct access only to managers, assistant managers, acting managers, or any other supervisory personnel at the retail establishment.

“(3) Require a customer to request a purchase, transfer, or furnishing of those products directly to the manager, assistant manager, acting manager, or other supervisory personnel at the retail establishment.”

The revised bill simply states that the products may not be sold to minors without prescriptions and that retailers must request valid identification prior to selling said products. These revisions make the bill much less burdensome on the retailer.

A similar bill passed by the Rhode Island State Senate would still impose restrictions on physical access to weight loss products. That bill must still be taken up by the state’s House of Representatives.