Rhode Island bill restricting access to weight management and sports nutrition supplements may come to vote as early as May 31, 2022

A Rhode Island bill (S.2613) is on the agenda to be place for a vote before the full Senate on May 31, 2022.

A Rhode Island bill (S.2613) is on the agenda to be place for a vote before the full Senate on May 31, 2022. The bill restricts consumers under the age of 18 from access to dietary supplements in the weight management and sports nutrition category containing an ephedrine group alkaloid, and any supplement containing: androstanedoil, androstenedione, androstenedione, noradrostenediol, noradrostenediol, and dehydroepiandrosterone.

If the bill is signed into law, Rhode Island retailers will have to move products containing this ingredients behind the counter. Non-compliance would result in a fine of up to $2,000. It would also require retail establishments to conspicuously post notices at each purchase counter communications that certain dietary supplements “are known to cause gastrointestinal impairment, tachycardia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, severe liver injury sometimes requiring transplant or leading to death, organ failure, other serious injury, and death.”

The Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, D.C.) has advocated on behalf of the industry in opposition to the bill, which would be burdensome to retailers and restrict consumer access to health-supporting products.

“The natural products industry has been completely shut out of the conversation, which has been the antithesis of a democratic process. It’s incredibly disingenuous to say in one breath we need to study this issue more and then a month later bull-rush legislation through because the legislative session ends a month from now,” said Daniel Fabricant, president and CEO of NPA, in a press release. “If the Rhode Island legislative body has an ounce of integrity left, they would delay this vote to hear from the natural products industry. The FDA does not have a single datapoint 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. The industry is under attack at the state and federal levels. We cannot afford to sit silent if we want to ensure consumer access to natural products remains vibrant.”

Similar bills are being considered in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachussets, and Missouri.