The following letter was sent by Senator Mikulski of Maryland to one of our readers. We thought you’d like to see her perspective. Maybe all you folks in Maryland could apply some more pressure?
Dear Ms. O’Leary:
Thank you for getting in touch with me about the use of dietary supplements. It’s good to hear from you.
I understand your concerns about the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (S. 3002). This legislation would expand the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) oversight of dietary supplements by giving the FDA the power to conduct thorough testing of any dietary supplement to ensure its safety before the product reached the market. The FDA also would be able to recall any supplements that are found to be unsafe. S. 3002 is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. I am a member of this committee and will keep your concerns in mind as we continue to consider this legislation.
I know that many people rely on dietary supplements to enhance their health. I believe we have already done a great deal in Congress to enhance FDA oversight. In the past, I supported the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act because I saw the need for better regulation of the use and marketing of these supplements. That measure, which is now law, holds manufacturers responsible for ensuring that their supplements are safe before they reach the market. I also supported the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act, which prohibits manufacturers from making unsubstantiated health claims about their products. It is vital that we strike a balance between the need to protect consumers from fraudulent products and the need to ensure access to dietary supplements.
Thanks once again for writing. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in the future.
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator