Designer steroids are produced by reverse engineering existing illegal steroids and then slightly modifying their chemical composition so the resulting product is not on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) list of controlled substances. When taken by consumers, designer steroids can cause serious medical harm, including liver injury and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also lead to aggression, hostility and addiction.
“Designer anabolic steroids present serious health risks, and this bill will ensure the DEA has the ability to test products for anabolic effects and declare them controlled substances before they enter the marketplace,” Senator Hatch said. “The DEA needs to be able to act faster and have better enforcement tools to prosecute those that develop and falsely market anabolic steroids as safe products.”
If passed, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would place 27 known designer anabolic steroids on the list of controlled substances. Additionally, it would grant the DEA authority to schedule new designer steroids on the controlled substances list temporarily, so that if bad actors develop new variations, these products can be removed from the market. The bill would also create new penalties for importing, manufacturing or distributing anabolic steroids under false labels, as well as authorize the Attorney General to publish a list of products containing an anabolic steroid that are not properly labeled.
“The world’s top athletes competing in the Winter Olympics are subject to strict guidelines and rigorous testing to prevent the use of steroids, as they should be. At the same time, many American citizens may be unknowingly dosing themselves with these harmful substances,” said Senator Whitehouse. “American consumers deserve to know what is in the products they purchase. This bill would help prevent the sale of falsely labeled steroids and punish those who seek to profit from them.”
Industry trade associations—the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA) and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA)—issued a combined statement of support for the bill.
“The trade associations of the dietary supplement industry strongly support DASCA, a bill that protects consumers by empowering the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with new tools to identify and quickly respond when new designer anabolic steroids—illegal drugs—are falsely marketed as dietary supplements.”
The associations also stated, “Unapproved steroids illegally sold as dietary supplements are not only dangerous for consumers, but also unfairly damage the reputation of responsible dietary supplement companies that provide consumers with legitimate, high-quality and beneficial supplements for sports nutrition and performance. These illegal products put athletes at risk, pose safety problems and jeopardize the careers of athletes who could unknowingly test positive for these banned substances under their athletic associations’ rules of conduct.”
The joint statement further applauded Senators Hatch and Whitehouse. “The industry lobbied Congress to pass the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, and our trade associations are proud to work with Sens. Whitehouse and Hatch on this critical issue. We are committed to coming together to advance this important legislation and to see that it is enacted.”