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Sports Nutrition Dietary Supplements Under Fire

With the use of dietary supplements on the rise in New York and across the country, industry leaders are becoming increasingly exposed to criticism. A bill still open for review by the New York State Senate is proposed SB 4151, a bill calling for a ban on the purchase of sports supplements by anyone under the age of 18.

In addition, the bill would require that all consumers receive a copy of a warning label when purchasing certain products — specifically, supplements that may contain banned ingredients, as determined by certain regulatory agencies. The warning labels would also have to list any known side effects and state whether they contain synthetic botanicals. The proposed law does not, however, affect the sales of caffeinated energy drinks that are currently classified as supplements.

The bill was proposed in response to growing concern about the safety of dietary supplements. Since 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims that approximately 70 percent of American supplement companies have violated regulations, leading to a string of Class I drug recalls. Examples of recent supplement recalls include an herbal supplement containing sibutramine, a banned appetite suppressant linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and a vitamin B supplement containing anabolic steroids.

While the majority of vitamin supplements are not harmful — and at least one brand has been credited with an 8 percent reduction in cancer risk in men over the age of 50 — it’s still important for industry leaders to be aware of these rapidly changing regulations. If your company or organization needs help navigating these issues, speak with an experienced lawyer who is well versed in the specific laws governing nutritional supplements. Doing so can ensure you fulfill your legal obligations and can protect you from potential lawsuits or fines. You can also find legal updates and industry news at our site at www.supplementcounsel.com.

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