SILVER SPRING, MD (Jan. 3, 2018) – American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) President Michael McGuffin issued the following statement regarding the retirement of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a vocal dietary supplement advocate who helped shape the laws that regulate the industry. Hatch confirmed yesterday that he will not seek reelection to the Senate in 2018.
“The herbal supplement industry is grateful for Senator Hatch’s decades of bipartisan work to enact laws and regulations that ensure consumers have access to a wide variety of high-quality health supplements.
“The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was a remarkable achievement, made possible in large part by Sen. Hatch’s persistence and hard work. His ability to reach across the aisle and negotiate a middle ground helped establish a rational framework for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate dietary supplements and protect public health through a defined safety standard and new safety authorities.
“Sen. Hatch, an avid supplement consumer, was motivated to change the law in reaction to FDA repeatedly trying to create new restrictions on the labeling and content of the dietary supplements that at least 100 million Americans regularly used. Backed by unprecedented grassroots support, Hatch worked methodically to build a compromise that would protect consumers’ rights to make their own health care choices.
“Throughout his more than 40-year career, Hatch continuously demonstrated a commitment to protecting the supplement industry and the integrity of its products. With support from AHPA, Hatch worked to enact the law requiring submission of serious adverse events reports associated with supplements or nonprescription drugs to FDA, and the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA) to enable the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ban steroid-like substances. He also vocally advocated for FDA to use its full authority to target drug spiked products falsely marketed as dietary supplements.
“Sen. Hatch’s absence, following the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) in 2015, will be deeply felt by the industry. But the regulatory framework Hatch helped build provides the next generation of supplement advocates in Congress with a solid foundation to ensure consumers have continued access to innovative products that improve their health and wellbeing.
“AHPA and its members truly appreciate Sen. Hatch’s tireless efforts and we will work hard to preserve his legacy.”