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NFPA WARNS OF PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT FROM LAX REGULATION OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

 WASHINGTON, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Holding dietary supplements to a different, lower regulatory standard than foods could create a public health threat, according to a food industry representative.
 "There is no scientific basis for lowering regulatory procedures and standards for dietary supplements while holding foods to the current exacting standards," said John Bode, who serves as legislative counsel for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA). "To do so would lower public health protections."
 Bode is scheduled to testify on July 29 before the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, which is examining proposed dietary supplement legislation (H.R. 1709).
 Bode cited dangers associated with the potency of dietary supplements. "H.R. 1709 would prohibit the Food and Drug Administration from regulating the potency of dietary supplements, despite a clear record of problems with nutrient toxicity and interactions -- a public health threat that could be heightened in the presence of inappropriate health claims," Bode stated. By contrast, foods remain subject to stringent fortification and health claim standards, he pointed out.
 "NFPA believes firmly that all dietary supplements must be held to the same standards of safety as other foods," Bode said. "Without adequate FDA regulation, consumers may be enticed into over consumption of certain nutrients contained in dietary supplements, and thus run the risk of suffering acute or chronic toxicity."
 Bode said that "Many nutrients, found in safe levels in foods, can be misused or over consumed in the form of dietary supplements, leading to acute or chronic toxicity. Such events could tarnish the value of specific nutrients or other substances in the eye of the consumer."
 Bode noted a report released earlier this week by the Nutrition Division of the Institute of Food Technologists found that "H.R. 1709 would not provide the American public with sufficient protection from known dangers posed by excessive nutrient intake, toxic substances associated with certain supplements, or false health claims."
 Bode urged that H.R. 1709 undergo major revision "to accommodate the problems NFPA has identified."
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry, concentrating exclusively on food issues. The association's 500 member companies produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
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 /NOTE: On Thursday, July 29, the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, chaired by Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), will hold a hearing on dietary supplements. The hearing will be held at 9:45 a.m. in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, South Capitol Street and Independence Avenue S.E., Washington.
 Bode, legislative counsel for the National Food Processors Association, will testify on behalf of NFPA at the hearing. Bode and other NFPA spokespersons will be available at the hearing./
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of the National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/ CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


DC-TW -- DC029 -- 6951 07/28/93 17:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 28, 1993
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