Durbin Calls On Senate Colleagues To Include Measures To Regulate Dietary Supplements In Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today took to the Senate floor to deliver a speech that called on his Senate colleagues to include provisions from his bipartisan Dietary Supplement Listing Act in the end-of-year omnibus appropriations bill. In his remarks, Durbin emphasized that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must exercise more oversight over the dietary supplement industry in order to empower consumers and protect public health. 

“More than seventy-five percent of people living America, myself included, my family too, use a dietary supplement, such as a vitamin or a mineral. However, many assume when reaching for that supplement bottle in the medicine cabinet that the Food and Drug Administration knows what’s in that bottle and knows that it’s for sale,” said Durbin. “That’s not always the case.”

In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which provided FDA with authorities to regulate dietary supplements. However, DSHEA did not require dietary supplement companies to register their products with FDA—leaving the agency without the much-needed authority or information to properly understand or oversee the market. In 1994, there were 4,000 dietary supplements marketed in the United States. Today, there are anywhere between 50,000 and 80,000.  

“The legislation I have with Republican Senator Braun would require supplement companies to tell the FDA what products they’ve put on the shelf and what’s in them. Just that basic. It’s a simple fix that would improve the safety of the supplement market,” Durbin continued. 

Durbin noted that improving oversight over the dietary supplement industry has earned widespread, bipartisan support. 

“I want to emphasize that this is not a partisan idea. Polls show that nine out of ten Americans believe that manufacturers should be required to list their products and their ingredients [with FDA],” Durbin said. 

Durbin concluded his remarks by urging his colleagues to include the Dietary Supplement Listing Act in the end-of-year omnibus appropriations bill for the sake of American consumers. 

“Let’s not move this package… and miss this opportunity [to include the Dietary Supplement Listing Act]. Consumers have waited long enough,” Durbin said.

The Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022, which Durbin introduced in April alongside U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), would require companies to provide FDA with vital information about their products, including product names; a list of all ingredients; an electronic copy of the label; allergen statements; health and structure/function claims, and more. A modified version of the Dietary Supplement Listing Act was included as part of the Senate HELP Committee’s package to reauthorize the FDA User Fee Amendments (UFAs).  However, this legislation was not included in the final UFA package that passed the Senate in September. 

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.