Dear Colleagues --
It has been a busy week in DC! In between the DS regulatory summit (which UNPA will host next year), the USP stakeholder meeting on supplements, and FDA’s May 16 all-day, public meeting on Responsible Innovation in the Dietary Supplement Industry, UNPA, CRN and CHPA squeezed in a meeting with new Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). Senator Romney sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FDA and can be a very important advocate for us in Congress. (Note, I unfortunately was diagnosed with bronchitis and on doctor’s orders unable to make the trip at the last minute, so Larisa, Trisha and Peter had to stand in, for which I am very appreciative. AHPA was also supposed to attend, but their CEO had a presentation at USP at the same time.)
At the meeting, the DS trade groups explained the economic importance of our industry to Utah and the nation, briefed him about our efforts to “rebuild the bench” after the departure of Senators Harkin and Hatch, and asked Senator Romney to join the Dietary Supplement Caucus. The Senator said he would take a look at it but hasn’t joined any caucuses yet.
Senator Romney was extremely interested in how to separate responsible industry from the bad actors and if FDA were unwisely enforcing against the good actors. We told him that relations with the FDA are at a good point now. This cooperation was a theme that ODSP director Steve Tave stressed at the Summit on Monday. The Senator also expressed interest in the possibility of CBD DS. (He didn’t take a position but indicated he was especially concerned that vulnerable populations not ignore drug treatments by taking a CBD supplement.) He concluded by saying he was happy to help the industry in any way he can - an extremely positive sign.
I also attach a couple of pictures taken at the meeting with Senator Romney. We are very fortunate to have Peter and Trish on the UNPA team and are grateful for all their good work.