Industry trade associations offered support for the confirmation, saying he is well qualified for the position. The Natural Products Association (NPA) noted that Dr. Gottlieb has promised access to supplements and to enforce current law to protect consumers. “Dr. Gottlieb will ensure consumers have access to products that support their health and that businesses have the right to sell those products and grow the economy,” said Dan Fabricant, PhD, CEO and president of NPA. “We congratulate Dr. Gottlieb on his confirmation and look forward to working with him in ways that lead to a healthier America.”
Dr. Gottlieb recently answered a question from the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) stating that he will enforce the current laws governing the supplement industry. “As someone who uses dietary supplements every day, I believe they serve an important role in health promotion for millions of Americans and I support consumer access to these products,” Dr. Gottlieb said. “I believe the regulatory framework established under DSHEA is the right one, and if confirmed, I would commit to enforcing DSHEA, as intended by Congress.”
Steve Mister, president & CEO, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), similarly welcomed Dr. Gottlieb’s confirmation. “His prior experience at the agency, combined with his medical background and his understanding of industry, all bolster our confidence that he is well-qualified to lead the FDA. Dr. Gottlieb will bring the right balance of concern for consumer safety, focus on product integrity, and protection of consumer access to a wide array of dietary supplement products.”
Mr. Mister added that CRN was pleased to learn Dr. Gottlieb is among the 71% of Americans who take dietary supplements. “We are encouraged by his statement during his confirmation that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) is the right framework for regulating our industry. We are hopeful that he will fully enforce the law as intended by Congress, and, on behalf of our member companies, CRN pledges our support to continue to educate and encourage our industry to comply with those regulations to help ensure consumers have access to a variety of safe and beneficial dietary supplement products. We look forward to working with Dr. Gottlieb and his team at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs.”
According to Nutrition Business Journal, sales of dietary supplements grew 6.2% in 2016 (compared to 5.9% in 2015 and 5.1% in 2014), to reach the $39 billion mark. The U.S. natural and organic food channel saw sales grow 10.7% to $67.2 billion in 2015. The entire natural products industry, including food, beverages, supplements, and personal care products (i.e., cosmetics) grew nearly 10% to $180 billion in 2015.