Legislation proposed by the US state of Illinois would put nutritional supplements “under lock and key” and hurt responsible retailers, the Natural Products Association (NPA) has warned.
The Bill, known as the The Over the Counter Diet Pills Act , would restrict the sale of some classes of supplements – principally, weight loss and muscle building products – to minors. The Bill specifically targets lipotropics (compounds that break down fat in the body during metabolism), thermogenics (commonly known as ‘fat burners’) and muscle building supplements.
As well as preventing the sale of these supplements to minors, it would also require this class of supplements to be displayed in a locked case.
The Bill’ sponsors have argued that legislation is necessary due to an association between dietary supplements and eating disorders. But the NPA says that a review of the most authoritative publicly-available data failed to find an association.
In a press release, the NPA says its professional staff was so interested in the claim that it filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine if any such association existed and said found no adverse events or reporting associated with dietary supplements and eating disorders. There was “no linkage whatsoever,” the group says.
Burden on small businesses
The NPA warns that the Bill would restrict consumers’ access to popular nutritional supplements and “likely drive customers under the age of 18 to shop on the internet instead”. The press release statement adds: “The proposal would require businesses to put nutritional supplements under lock and key, only be accessible by a store manager. This requirement would place a burden on small businesses who would have to retrofit stores to comply with the law. NPA has led successful efforts to block a similar proposal in Massachusetts in recent years.”
Kyle Turk, deputy director for government affairs for NPA, said: “Nutritional supplements are simply natural ingredients found in foods. Restricting access to them is unfair to Illinois consumers, hurts responsible retailers and drains the state budget through lost sales taxes. Nobody wins.”