Congress Considers Nutrition Makeover

Per usual, priorities in Washington are too numerous to count. But major legislation affecting the dietary supplement, food, and beverage industries has been waiting its turn. Here are some of the could-be laws awaiting votes in the Capitol. (As of July 2010)

Per usual, priorities in Washington are too numerous to count. But major legislation affecting the dietary supplement, food, and beverage industries has been waiting its turn. Here are some of the could-be laws awaiting votes in the Capitol. (As of July 2010)

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510)

Introduction: Dick Durbin (D–IL) on March 3, 2009

Cosponsors: 9 Democrats, 8 Republicans

The scoop: The bill would give FDA mandatory-recall authority on all adulterated or misbranded foods. Industry insiders, including the Council for Responsible Nutrition, expect the bill to get a vote before the end of summer.

 

Dietary Supplement Full Implementation and Enforcement Act (S. 3414)

Introduction: Tom Harkin (D–IA) on May 25, 2010 Cosponsors: Orrin Hatch (R–UT) and Bob Corker (R–TN). Endorsed by the Major League Baseball Players Association and the National Football League Players Association.

The scoop: The bill calls for full enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and increased FDA funding. FDA would be required to issue guidance on New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs) and keep track of and produce annual reports on all current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) inspections and NDI notifications.

 

Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act (H.R. 5504)

Introduction: George Miller (D–CA) on June 10, 2010

Cosponsors: 66 Democrats, 1 Republican

The scoop: With a massive spending increase, the bill would up the reimbursement cost of every school meal by six cents. Highlights of the bill include requiring most school foods to meet current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, increasing nutrition education in schools, and improving access to free school meal programs. The bill comes alongside the Senate's own version, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307).

 

The Free Speech About Science Act (H.R. 4913)

Introduction: Jason Chaffetz (R–UT) on March 23, 2010

Cosponsors: Dan Burton (R–IN), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R–FL), Sue Myrick (R–NC), and Jared Polis (D–CO)

The scoop: Anchored by the support of Dietary Supplement Caucus co-chairs Chaffetz and Polis, the bill would allow for the citation of research on dietary supplement and food labels. Cited research would require a study citation, full disclosure of who funded the study, and notification to the Health and Human Services Secretary.