Bill would tighten rules for dietary supplements

The dietary-supplement industry is pushing back against new restrictions proposed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

Durbin introduced a bill Thursday to tighten labeling requirements for supplements. It would require the Food and Drug Administration to define the difference between supplements and food products. Under current law, companies can choose which way to classify and market their products.

“My gripe is not with the array of vitamins available at health stores across the nation; my gripe is with products labeled as ‘dietary supplements’ whose ingredients have not been deemed safe by the FDA but are found on store shelves right next to conventional food and beverages," Durbin said.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) said the new authorities would be redundant and the FDA could use its existing power to achieve much of what Durbin wants.

"Instead of urging FDA to use its current enforcement authority to isolate and punish those companies that are not following the law, this bill serves to punish all responsible companies with its overreaching mandates," CRN President Steve Mister said in a statement.