“Our industry is stronger when we speak with one voice,” Michael McGuffin, AHPA president, said. “AHPA proposed these regular meetings to enhance collaboration amongst the trade associations. Working together on key issues, we are able to identify and accomplish shared objectives on behalf of our respective and collective members.”
Since the first DSTA meeting in January 2011, the collective has been responsible for a number of joint initiatives centered around protecting public health, fostering a stronger relationship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and advocating for meaningful legislation.
Among proactive outreach to consumers, retailers, and other industry members, DTSA has issued joint advisories warning of illegal ingredients in the market, including phenibut, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), and designer anabolic steroids. The group also issues statements about the appropriate use of supplements, and reminds the public that these products cannot claim to treat disease. Over the past year, the coalition has also consistently warned the industry and consumers about fraudulent products in the market claiming to prevent or treat COVID-19.
“Public safety is the highest priority for the dietary supplement industry,” Scott Melville, president and CEO of CHPA, said. “The trade organizations are committed to ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality products that support health and wellness and empower self-care choices.”
DTSA also fosters a strong industry relationship with the FDA, and has advocated in the past for sufficient tools and resources being afforded to the Agency in order to efficiently regulate the dietary supplements marketplace. Joint communications from the associations were influential in the federal governments’ elevating of the FDA from a “division” to an “office” in 2015, which increased funding for the agency.
“Close collaboration with FDA is critical to fostering industry innovation and growth,” Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN, said. “While each trade association maintains its own distinct relationship with FDA, we often approach the agency collectively, asking to meet with FDA jointly to convey our unified voice on topics of concern.”
Other areas in which DTSA held a collective industry voice on Capitol Hill included work to enact the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA) of 2014, and the Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator Control Act of 2019. The four trade groups also supported legislation that would permit low-income Americans to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase a multivitamin supplement.
Currently, the coalition is focused on finding a legal pathway to market for Cannabidiol (CBD) in dietary supplements, and supporting legislation that would allow consumers to purchase dietary supplements using their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
“Congress has long asked industry to speak with a unified voice,” Loren Israelsen, founder and president of UNPA, said. “The DSTA’s history of collaboration demonstrates to members of Congress and their staff a unified industry that is committed to reasonable legislative solutions that protect consumers and level the playing field for responsible companies.”
The DSTA will continue to provide educational events for the industry, FDA and Congress, including maintaining support for the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus and quarterly briefings of Capitol for Congressional Staff.
Mike Montemarano has been the Associate Editor of Nutraceuticals World since February 2020. He can be reached at email@example.com.