Maryland explores bill to restrict access to weight loss supplements
Maryland House of Representatives Bill 634, which cross-submits Maryland Senate Bill 602, calls for restrictions on the use of dietary supplements or weight-loss drugs by minors. The bill does not attempt to regulate muscle-building supplements.
The bills follow similar efforts over the past 12 months in states including California, New York and New Jersey. Efforts in California and New York passed state legislatures but were ultimately rejected by their respective governors.
At a hearing before the Maryland House Economic Affairs Committee, Del. Joseph Vogel, the bill's lead sponsor, said there are concerns that time spent on social media is linked to diet pill use because social media The media promotes “unrealistic and harmful body expectations”.
Del. Vogel claims that diet drug companies take advantage of this to “push these poorly regulated diet pills toward young people.”
“HB634 is designed to protect youth from these underregulated and overused over-the-counter diet pills and to ensure that consumers in Maryland are protected,” he said.
Robert Marriott, director of regulatory affairs for the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), said in testimony opposing the bill: “The bill as described mischaracterizes the product category in question, particularly dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are regulated by the federal government. They are regulated by the federal government. Constrained by adverse event reporting requirements at the federal level. Manufacturing and product are subject to safety and formulation inspections, including product specification requirements.”
“We understand the intent of the legislation, that eating disorders should be taken seriously, but this bill was defeated in both California and New York, and for good reason,” said Dr Daniel Fabricant, President and CEO of the Natural Products Association.
“The laws are in place and they are exactly the same as drugs, especially adverse event reporting. If there is a problem with the product, it signals to the FDA. It gets generated into the AER system and is evaluated by medical professionals inside and outside the agency, the law Companies are required to report AERs received to FDA within 15 days.
“From 2019 to 2022, there will be no reported dietary supplement adverse events related to eating disorders,” said Dr. Fabricant.
Steve Meister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), himself a Maryland resident, points out that when you put an age restriction on a consumer product, it limits access to all consumers. “Many stores will stop selling the product entirely and the rest will keep the product behind a counter in a glass case or in a locked cage, whether or not it is expressly required by law.
“There's not a single ounce of evidence that dietary supplements cause these eating disorders,” says Mr.
Commenting on next steps, NPA's Dr. Fabricant told us that no vote has yet been scheduled for the bill, to which Del. Vogel has submitted several amendments. The chamber's version of the hearing is reportedly scheduled for two weeks.