Trade associations bring pressure to bear against CA bill that would restrict sale of weight management products

A transcript of the committee hearing was made available to NutraIngredients-USA​ by the Natural Products Association. In the hearing several speakers testified about Assembly Bill 1341​ that was introduced earlier this year by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia.  The hearing was before the Assembly Health Committee.

Advocates:  Products present unacceptable risks

The bill would mandate that “dietary supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills” t​hat contain “ephedrine group alkaloids or other specified substances”​ not be sold to anyone under 18 years of age.  The assertion is that such products can exacerbate eating disorders among this group of consumers. Garcia testified that supplements are responsible for 23,000 emergency room visits annually.

At the hearing Dr Jason Nagata, MD, a pediatrician, testified that, “[W]hat many people don’t know is that weight loss supplements are not reviewed by the FDA for safety or effectiveness before they enter the market. Research assessing the composition of these supplements have found that many are laced with banned substances prescription drugs stimulants steroids and other toxic ingredients. 
Rigorous scientific study after study has shown these types of supplements that pose serious health risks to consumers. For instance, one recent scientific study found that youth using weight loss supplements were three times more likely than those using  ordinary vitamins to experience severe medical harm, including hospitalization disability and even death,”​ Nagata added.

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