National Update Part 1 – June 19, 2013

Senator Richard Durbin Poised to Introduce Legislation That Will Impact Access to Dietary Supplements

There are reports today (June 19, 2013) that Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Assistant Majority Leader has plans to reintroduce his misguided legislation entitled the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act. This bill, if enacted into law, will drive the cost of supplements up and likely lead to reduced access to many supplements. The intent of this bill is to expand the powers of the Food and Drug Administration and to make it harder for supplement companies to stay in business.  The labels of dietary supplements are now available online from another government source, so the wind has been taken out of Senator Durbin’s  sails!  We do not expect this to stop him, but other legislators will be pleased that a label database exists, therefore eliminating any perceived need.

Labeling Information Is Now Available Online:  On June 17th, the National Institutes of Health launched the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).

This is a joint project of the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the National Library of Medicine with input from federal stakeholders who participate in a federal working group on dietary supplements. These include representatives from most NIH institutes and centers, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Administration for Community Living, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Trade Commission, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institute of Standards of Technology, and Department of Agriculture.

The database provides the actual data from dietary supplements by brand.  As stated on the website, the goals of the database program are to:

Include the full label information from all of the dietary supplement products marketed in the U.S. with a Web-based user interface that provides ready access to the data;

  1. Serve the broader research community that has expressed the need for a DSLD;
  2. Serve as an educational and research tool for students, academics, other professionals, and potentially, health care providers and the public.

 The NIH intends to expand the purpose of this database for research purposes, to be able to study the trends in dietary supplement product availability.

The ODS  has already made available the  My Dietary Supplements (MyDS) app available, at which allows consumers to  keep track of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other products  being taken, and has science-based information on dietary supplements.  This app is not in I-Tunes, so go straight to the website to download.  We have double-checked and confirmed the ODS is NOT collecting any information about what you input to the APP.  They do ask for your email so they can notify when there are updates.

Sunshine Health Freedom Foundation will alert you if Senator Durbin decides to move forward on his legislation.  Every American who uses supplements needs to be engaged in protecting our access.  In the mean time, please sign up here to be added to our mailing list.