California bill restricting access to weight management supplements passes state assembly, and awaits Governor’s signature

California Assembly Bill 1341 passes Assembly Floor. The bill would restrict sale of weight management supplements to minors.

California Assembly Bill 1341, which restricts the sale of dietary supplements marketed for weight management to minors, has passed the Assembly Floor, according to an announcement by one of the bill’s authors, Assembly member Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens). The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

"We need to do more to protect our youth from the harmful effects that weight loss supplements and over-the-counter diet pills have on our youth. With easy access, our youth are subject to eating disorders and many other health implications. We need to stand up to an industry that puts profit over people,” said Garcia, in a press release.

Opponents of the bill, such as the Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, D.C.) have disputed this rationale, stating that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between dietary supplements and eating disorders. “This is a slap in the face to public health and consumer choice,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of NPA, in a statement. “The FDA does not have a single data point that connects eating disorders to supplement use and 80% of Americans take at least one dietary supplement as a safe, effective, and affordable way to maintain good health and augment inadequate diets. Yet, California lawmakers do not believe Californians are capable of making health choices for themselves. We are urging Governor Newsom to follow the science and data provided by the FDA and veto this draconian piece of legislation.”

While the bill’s language has been softened from this initial draft, NPA remains concerned about the potential to broadly restrict access to dietary supplements, as well as the undue burden the legislation places on retailers who would have to comply with the new law, and the manufacturers selling products at risk of being targeted.