NPA Advocates Strength of DSHEA

January 8, 2009

Responding to recent statements regarding dietary supplement regulation, the Natural Products Association’s (NPA; Washington, DC) CEO, David Seckman, released this statement on January 8:“Increased scrutiny by professional sports leagues on steroid usage, which the NPA commends, has unfortunately also led to increased and unsubstantiated allegations that a "tainted" or mislabeled dietary supplement is to blame when an athlete tests positive for a banned substance.

Responding to recent statements regarding dietary supplement regulation, the Natural Products Association’s (NPA; Washington, DC) CEO, David Seckman, released this statement on January 8:

“Increased scrutiny by professional sports leagues on steroid usage, which the NPA commends, has unfortunately also led to increased and unsubstantiated allegations that a "tainted" or mislabeled dietary supplement is to blame when an athlete tests positive for a banned substance.

As (DSHEA) mandates, all ingredients must be listed on product labels and product claims must be substantiated. If this is not the case, the FDA (Silver Spring, MD)-- along with the FTC (Washington DC)-- have the authority under DSHEA to act promptly. These federal enforcement powers include, but are not limited to, removing any dietary supplements deemed adulterated from the marketplace and imposing substantial penalties on those who violate the law. Additional regulations authorized by DSHEA require that makers of dietary supplements have manufacturing practices in place that ensure their products meet high standards for quality and purity.

Finally, it is important to remember that substances that are banned by various sports leagues as performance enhancers are not necessarily dangerous or illegal and include caffeine, commonly used over-the-counter cold remedies and prescription medications. Athletes have the right and responsibility to avoid their use. However, the consuming public who benefits from legitimate medications or dietary supplements -- as well as a trip to the local coffee house -- should not be denied their use if an athlete is unwilling or unable to follow the rules established by their sport.”