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Senator Blumenthal Withdraws Amendment to Limit Military Access to Supplements

DaVinci Laboratories

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) withdrew his amendment to the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require supplements sold on military bases to be verified by a third-party amid strong opposition by the supplement industry.

Enacted on an annual basis by Congress, NDAA legislation establishes budget and policy parameters for the Department of Defense. Sen. Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated his intention to offer a dietary supplement related amendment to the Senate version of the FY 2017 NDAA during the Committee’s consideration of the bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee is marking up the FY 2017 NDAA bill in a closed session.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has been in active communication with other industry associations and the offices of senators who serve on the Armed Services Committee to voice opposition to the Blumenthal amendment.  Because Sen. Blumenthal withdrew the amendment, U.S. military personnel won’t face unnecessary restrictions that limit their personal and informed choices to use safe dietary supplements.

Sen. Blumenthal and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), who are both long-time critics of the federal regulatory structure for dietary supplements, introduced a similar amendment last year when the FY 2016 NDAA measure was being considered by the Senate. However, the Blumenthal-Durbin third-party verifier amendment was never allowed to come to a vote.

“AHPA and the regulated supplement industry appreciate Sen. Blumenthal withdrawing this amendment,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “Dietary supplement companies are currently required to comply with a host of federal regulations including current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements that ensure the safety and quality of supplements sold in the U.S. This amendment would have created a redundant and expensive burden for companies to sell products on military bases, effectively limiting service members’ access to high-quality supplements.”

McGuffin further stated, “AHPA and the other industry associations will remain vigilant as the FY 2017 NDAA measure is slated to be considered by the full Senate in the coming weeks. Senate floor action on the FY 2017 NDAA legislation will provide Sen. Blumenthal, along with Sen. Durbin, another opportunity to push this and possibly other proposals to unnecessarily restrict consumer access to supplements.”

For more information, visit www.ahpa.org.