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Labeling illegal drugs

On Dec. 2, 2009, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) joined with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and other national sports and health organizations to launch a drive called Supplement Safety Now. Their intention: to end the practice by a small number of rogue manufacturers of labeling illegal products as dietary supplements .
Both the Natural Products Association and the Council for Responsible Nutrition issued statements in support of this campaign, which targets what John Gay, executive director of the Natural Products Association, called “the bad actors who are endangering the public and tarnishing the industry.” Both organizations noted that lax enforcement of current laws has allowed this to occur.
It’s the FDA’s responsibility to protect consumers from unsafe products, be they prescription medications or illegal drugs sold as dietary supplements. But as the Council for Responsible Nutrition states: “It is important to reiterate that laws are only as good as the regulatory agency’s determination and ability to enforce them. Some of the recommendations made under ‘Supplement Safety Now’ —which are well intended—may not be very effective. For example, while CRN supports a registry of products with FDA, we do not believe that companies that are illegally contaminating products would bother to register. We believe that the best way to catch these offenders is to give the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FDA more resources to enforce the laws already in place and to show these criminals that there are penalties to breaking the law.”

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One thought on “Labeling illegal drugs

  • robert cruder

    I find this campaign offensive.
    The USADA and associated sporting organizations can make rules for their own members but they have no right to enforce those rules against non-members. Islamists may oppose pork consumption but have no right to demand that the FDA treat pork as an illegal contaminant for us infidels.
    All performance-enhancing products whether herbal or chemical, natural or synthetic, DSHEA legal or illegal are banned by USADA and most member organizations. As an active 60-year old, I consider such products to be valuable and do not want them defined as “illegal contaminants” just to make the USADA’s job easier.
    If the Natural Products Association supports this, it means that its members’ products are not at risk because they are ineffective at enhancing athletic performance.
    The pretense that they are protecting children is particularly offensive. Children harm themselves every day with tobacco, ethanol, automobiles and firearms but that never justified making those products illegal for adults to purchase, possess and consume. Why are ergogenic supplements different?
    Far from wanting the DEA and FDA to punish the so-called criminals, I would like the products that have already been banned or criminalized to be returned to the market for adult consumption. Supplements that I could openly purchase in the 1990s are now a federal felony to even possess. Please ask the USADA how jailing consumers advances their cause.

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