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States Marching Toward Supplement Restrictions

States Marching Toward Supplement Restrictions
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Will the supplements you need be placed behind store counters, or locked away in a case? State-based action alerts!

A number of states are considering bills that would restrict access to certain supplements. These bills would prohibit the sale of weight loss and muscle building supplements to those under the age of 18. A bill in California was just approved by the Assembly by a wide margin (53 in favor, 13 opposed). We need to send a strong message across the country that these bills are an ill-advised, unnecessary attack on our freedom.

The problem is we don’t know how many supplements will fall under the loosely defined categories set forth in these bills. According to these bills, the supplements that could be targeted include a broad array of products, including protein powders, hormones, like progesterone and DHEA, glandulars, and lipotropics, which may include essential nutrients like B vitamins and choline. Is it really a good idea, in the midst of a pandemic that threatens our health, to restrict access to these products?

Some proponents argue that these measures are needed to protect children from “unhealthy weight control behavior,” which are risk factors for eating disorders. This is a noble goal, but the language in these bills casts a wide net that could limit access to products that have nothing to do with weight loss. Additionally, these bills require restricting access to these products by placing them behind a counter or in a locked case, access for everyone, not just minors, is restricted. Hidden from a customer’s view, some people may never become aware of a product that would perfectly suit their health needs—or be too intimidated to ask for it.

These bills communicate to the public that supplements are a public health hazard. The simple truth is that supplements have a proven track record of safety—more so than food, not to mention FDA-approved pharmaceuticals. Our counterparts at ANH-Europe found that UK residents were about as likely to get struck by lightning as die from taking dietary supplements. Even if these bills have other stated goals, the end result is to limit access to healthy products for everyone, which is not in the interest of public health—much less during a pandemic. We must oppose these misguided policies.

The states listed below have bills introduced in the state legislature to restrict access to dietary supplements. If you live in one of these states, please click your state to send a message to your elected officials.

Protect Supplement Access!




New Jersey

New York

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