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Will Curcumin Be Eliminated?

Will Curcumin Be Eliminated?
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European countries are taking aim at curcumin supplements, showing why we should not follow in their footsteps with Sen. Dick Durbin’s disastrous, anti-supplement policy. Action Alert!

Following a spate of adverse events purportedly linked to curcumin supplements, Italy has prohibited all health claims related to curcumin. This has led to concerns that European authorities are preparing broader restrictions on how much curcumin can be added to food or supplements, limiting the ability of Europeans to take advantage of the countless health benefits of this compound. This is yet another example of why we have to defeat Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) anti-supplement policy, known as “mandatory product listing.”

Sen. Durbin wants to do exactly what European authorities are doing. Remember, a previous iteration of Sen. Durbin’s policy had a section that called on Department of Health and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to create a list of supplement ingredients that could cause “potentially serious adverse events” and then develop mandatory warning labels for these supplements. We believe that Sen. Durbin’s end game is to eliminate these and other supplements, such as high dose products.

Eliminating access to curcumin would be a tragedy given its numerous health benefits. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory and supports brain, cardiovascular, joint, and muscle health. Companies are also innovating ways to make curcumin supplements more bioavailable, since the compound is generally not absorbed well by the human body. This is yet another reason to oppose Sen. Durbin’s policy. These innovations would likely trigger additional “new supplement” regulations we’ve discussed previously. Sen. Durbin’s mandatory product listing would give the FDA a master list to target and eliminate innovative products that do not comply with the agency’s ridiculous and overreaching regulations.

There is some good news, however. Over a dozen members of Congress signed on to an ANH-supported letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) calling for mandatory product listing to be removed from the bill to reauthorize FDA drug user fees. Led by Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), this Congressional letter signals that our advocacy on this issue is working! We need to thank those who listened to your messages and signed this letter and urge other lawmakers to join the effort in opposing this disastrous policy.

Momentum against mandatory product listing for supplements is growing. We reported on some developments last month indicating that Senator Durbin and his allies may have a difficult time negotiating to keep mandatory product listing for supplements in the final version of the FDA user fee reauthorization bill. This letter is further proof that forces are starting to align against this dangerous, anti-supplement policy.

Mandatory product listing requires supplement companies to register all their products with the FDA, the purpose of which is to allow the FDA to quickly scan the market for products to eliminate. We’ve detailed our many concerns about this policy in our coverage since Sen. Durbin introduced his bill late last year. It’s a prelude to European-style restrictions on dosage levels in supplements and will stifle innovation. If Sen. Durbin and his allies get their way, the rich variety of quality dietary supplements that we have access to will be reduced to a few cookie-cutter products that make the most money. Additionally, supplement “registration” can easily lead to pre-approval, which will cause supplements to cost as much as drugs. Only those that can pay to play—that is, those supplements owned by Big Pharma—will remain, leaving only low-quality, low nutrient content products. The rest will disappear.

We can’t let up; we need to ramp up to make sure this policy is defeated an Americans can continue to use dietary supplements to regenerate health.

Action Alert! Thank members of Congress who took action to remove the anti-supplement policy from the FDA drug user fee bill. Send a message to other lawmakers to oppose mandatory product listing for supplements. Please send your message immediately.

*Note: if you live in the district of one of the 15 members of Congress who signed Rep. Duncan’s letter, you will have the opportunity to send two messages, one thanking the signer of the letter, and one urging other lawmakers to also oppose this policy.

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