Tougher, USADA-backed rules on supplements part of food safety bill passed in Senate

Tougher, USADA-backed rules on supplements part of food safety bill passed in Senate
by EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer

A food-safety bill passed in the Senate on Tuesday includes provisions supported by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency aimed at keeping steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs out of dietary supplements.

The legislation would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to recall unsafe dietary supplements. It would also call for the sharing of information about harmful substances between the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Last December, USADA launched a group called Supplement Safety Now (SSN) that urges Congress to make sure supplements are safe and free of performance-enhancing drugs.

The bill that passed Tuesday, along with another bill working its way through Congress, are the two key legislative elements to the SSN project.

“This legislation provides much-needed additional consumer protections, without risking access to legal supplements,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said.

The supplement language was part of a much broader bill that gives the government broad new powers to increase inspections of food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted food.

The bill still must be reconciled with a different version that previously passed in the House. Its prospects are unclear because of the short time remaining in the current lame-duck congressional session.

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the sponsor of the Senate legislation, said he has agreement from some members in the House to pass the Senate bill, which would send the legislation straight to the president’s desk.

Tygart has testified in front of Congress multiple times to endorse tougher regulations and enforcement for the supplement industry.

The Senate bill passed two days short of the one-year anniversary of SSN, which has support from the NFL, Major League Baseball, the U.S. Olympic Committee and more than a dozen other sports organizations.

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