President Obama is expected to sign the bill that provides new authority to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to place designer anabolic steroids on the Controlled Substance Schedules more rapidly. The bill also gives DEA new enforcement tools to prosecute disreputable companies that develop and market anabolic steroids mislabeled as dietary supplements.
“We are extremely grateful to Congress for passing this important piece of legislation and particularly want to acknowledge Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), sponsors of the bill respectively in the Senate and the House. We are thankful as well to other legislators and industry stakeholders who kept the serious issue of designer anabolic steroids in front of key colleagues in Congress,” said the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), president & CEO Steve Mister. “Passage of this bill was one of CRN’s top legislative priorities this year, as responsible member companies want to do all that they can to solve the problem of anabolic steroids illegally being sold as dietary supplements.”
CRN lobbied Congress to pass the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 and has tenaciously led the charge for the dietary supplement industry since that time, ramping up activities in 2014 with outreach to legislative offices on Capitol Hill in support of DASCA, underscoring its value to consumers as well as to responsible dietary supplement companies.
DASCA will protect consumers as well as responsible companies by empowering the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with new tools to identify and rapidly respond when illegal drugs in the form of new designer anabolic steroids are falsely marketed as dietary supplements. For instance, the law calls for DEA to address products that are “substantially similar” to anabolic steroids and that have been illegally marketed to promote muscle growth. DASCA’s provisions include new DEA authority to place new anabolic steroids on the DEA Controlled Substance List and new criteria for placing additional anabolic steroids on the list going forward that will better enable DEA to identify and catalog new chemicals. DASCA will allow DEA to quickly crack down on criminals creating new anabolic substances that closely resemble red-flagged counterparts listed, but altered minimally with the intent of evading enforcement.
“When criminal outliers are not stopped, not only does it put consumers at risk, but it unjustly blackens the reputation of responsible dietary supplement companies that manufacture and market legitimate, high-quality and beneficial supplements for sports nutrition and performance,” Mr. Mister observed. “The passage of DASCA brings a welcome protection against that.”
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) also welcomes this new legislation, having been a strong proponent of the bill by advocating lawmakers to pass this legislation in order to protect consumers and the industry.
"AHPA thanks Congress for passing this important bill," said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). "Just a handful of bad actors selling illegal products can tarnish the regulated supplement industry. When President Obama signs this legislation into law, it will help protect consumers and the supplement industry by providing federal law enforcement officials with additional authority to crack down on those who don't comply with current laws and regulations."
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced DASCA on February 11, 2014 and Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) subsequently introduced the bill in the House. AHPA partnered with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA) and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) to express support for the bill and advocate for its passage.
"Responsible dietary supplement industry stakeholders have consistently supported congressional and regulatory efforts to enact and enforce laws that help eliminate illegal products that masquerade as dietary supplements, and to prosecute the criminals who manufacture and sell them," the associations said in the statement.