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Bill restricting the sale of weight management and muscle building supplements passed NY State Senate

On June 7, the New York State Senate has passed a bill (S16D) that would restrict the sale of weight management and muscle building dietary supplements to consumers under the age of 18. The bill must now pass in the state assembly. However, the assembly only has until June 10 to vote on it before the legislature adjourns. Should the assembly not vote on it before the legislature adjourns, the bill in 2022 will require a yes vote in both chambers of the legislature to move on to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

“We know that young people are taking these weight loss supplements in significant numbers, and that all too often, such use causes health problems. Every day, our teens and young adults are influenced by social media, and are learning about and obtaining these supplements in new and troubling ways,” said the bill’s sponsor Senator Shelley B. Mayer, in a press release. “As chair of the education committee, I feel a strong commitment to ensuring our children’s health and well-being in and out of the classroom.”

The bill excludes protein powders, protein drinks, and foods from restriction unless it contains other ingredients that constitute a supplement targeting weight loss and muscle building. According to the legislation, this includes but is not limited to: “thermogens, which are substances that produce heat in the body and promote 15 more calorie burning, lipotropics, which are compounds that help break 16 down fat during body metabolism, hormones, including hormone modulators 17 and hormone mimetics, appetite suppressants, or ingredients deemed adulterated under 21 U.S.C.A § 342.”

If passed, S16D would be the first in the nation to place such restrictions on dietary supplements that support weight management, but certainly has not been the first to try. A bill in California was recently delayed until 2022. Prior to this, a similar bill also failed in Massachusetts. Industry opposes the bill because it will restrict access to supplements with a history of safe use, hurting sales for both manufacturers and retailers, and create a patchwork of state laws.

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