Senate Approves Bill to Prohibit Sale of Some Dietary Supplements to Minors
The Senate yesterday passed a bill (SB 1750) that would ban the sale of the dietary supplements ephedrine, creatine and androstenedione to minors, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill also would require manufacturers to include "prominent warning labels," including a toll-free number to the FDA, on dietary supplements that contain the substances (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 5/24). Medical experts and health officials said that dietary supplements that contain ephedrine, creatine or androstenedione can lead to health problems, "especially for adolescents" who use supplements to gain or lose weight or to "boost their athleticism." The FDA has received more than 80 reports of deaths linked to ephedra but "can do little" to address the problem as a result of a 1994 federal law that restricts regulation of dietary supplements (LaMar, Contra Costa Times, 5/24). Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), who sponsored the bill, said that she proposed the legislation to "crack down" on the dietary supplement industry. Several Republican lawmakers, who said that the federal government, not the state, should regulate the industry, opposed the bill (Los Angeles Times, 5/24). The Ephedra Education Council, which defends ephedra as "safe and effective," also opposes the bill. According to the council, the legislation would "impose unnecessary and burdensome requirements" on dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors and retailers (Contra Costa Times, 5/24). The bill moves to the Assembly, where similar legislation has stalled, the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 5/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.