**McCain/Dorgan Legislation Threatens Access to Supplements**
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The fact of the matter: in the US we have good laws to insure safety, quality and consistency in our supplement supply, but the FDA has not funded or enforced those laws. Rather than passing new laws that limit consumer options, we need to enforce the laws we have on the books.
On February 3, 2010, Senators John McCain and Byron Dorgan introduced S. 3002, a bill entitled, The Dietary Supplement Safety Act. The ostensible purpose of the bill is to make dietary supplements "safer," despite the fact that dietary supplements are already hundreds of times safer than either prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
Congress has been holding hearings on steroid abuse for the past few years, and recently the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has gotten involved in the debate regarding the illegal use of steroids. This legislation, backed by Major League Baseball and Major League Football, will do little to quell the illegal use of steroids or address the highly inadequate drug testing standards that have prompted Congressional investigations and threatened elimination of the industry's anti-trust exemptions. Instead, this bill would severely limit consumer access to dietary supplements.
Existing law allows for the government to ban illegal substances, remove adulterated product from the market, and ensure the safety of supplements. The addition of a steroid to a supplement makes it an unapproved or misbranded drug - not a supplement. FDA and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have full legal authority, if not the financial resources, to enforce current law and successfully combat this problem.
Naturopathic doctors are the only physician-level experts on supplementation. It is essential that you contact your United States Senators today to share that expertise and ask them to oppose passage of this legislation. Naturopathic patients should also act today, and let their Senators know that your health is contingent on your ability to access the quality products recommended by your naturopathic doctor.
McCain withdrew his support from the original legislation. Senator Orrin Hatch is workin on a new bill. Full implementation of DSHEA will benefit consumers greatly and represents a step towards changing the health care system from one rooted in disease to one grounded in wellness.