Natural Products Association SUES New York Over Supplement…


On December 4, 2023, the Natural Products Association (NPA) filed a lawsuit against the State of New York โ€” specifically Attorney General Letitia James โ€” arguing that the stateโ€™s recently-enacted law that prohibits and restricts dietary supplement purchases is unconstitutional.[1]

This article explains the law, summarizes the lawsuit, provides a quote from the Natural Products Association (New York has not yet commented), and will be updated as major news occurs.

About The New York Supplement Restriction Law

The bill was titled Assembly Bill A5610D[2] and was signed into law on October 25, 2023 by Governor Kathy Hochul.[3] Itโ€™s set to be enacted as NY General Business Law ยง 391-oo on April 22, 2024.[4]

Natural Products Association vs. New York: Lawsuit over Supplement Restriction Law

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has sued the State of New York (specifically attorney general Letitia James, not pictured here) over the stateโ€™s unconstitutional restrictive dietary supplement law

The law minimizes public access to dietary supplements and, in certain situations, requires a prescription to access some products. Retailersโ€™ failure to comply would result in fines for each infraction.

Proof of age for weight loss or muscle building dietary supplements

More specifically, the law focuses on โ€œdietary supplements for weight loss or muscle buildingโ€.

It excludes protein powders, protein drinks, and foods marketed as containing protein โ€” unless it contains an ingredient other than protein thatโ€™s considered a weight loss or muscle-building supplement.

Stores may not sell these supplements to any person under 18 years of age, and retail establishments must require proof of age for them. It also requires deliveries of such products to be signed for by adults with proof of ID.

Determination of products in these categories will be based upon several factors, such as if it implies reduced body weight, fat, appetite, or overall metabolism. It also specifically calls out any products with creatine, green tea extract, raspberry ketone, garcinia cambogia, and green coffee bean extract.[4]

Key points of the NPAโ€™s New York lawsuit

The case, filed in the Eastern District of New York, specifically names New York Attorney General Letitia James, since sheโ€™s delegated as the authority of enforcing this law.[1] It begins by justifying the jurisdiction and validity of the lawsuit, as it seeks to redress the deprivation of rights of NPAโ€™s member parties.

The Federal Law that Preempts a Stateโ€™s Ability to Enforce This Law

It then provides background facts, explaining that dietary supplement manufacturing, use, and sales are regulated by the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FDCA).[1] It shows federal laws such as:

NPA vs. New York LawsuitNPA vs. New York Lawsuit

Does the state of New York have the ability to define dietary supplement categories and how theyโ€™re sold, or is that exclusively reserved for the federal government?[1]

  1. 21 USC ยง 343-1(a)(5), which preempts state laws from requiring claims that different from FDCAโ€™s requirements.[5]
  2. 21 USC ยง 337(a), which prohibits the private enforcement of any of the provisions of FDCA โ€” โ€œall such proceedings for the enforcement, or to restrain violations, of this chapter shall be by and in the name of the United States.โ€[6]

So NPA is arguing that New Yorkโ€™s law violates the federal governmentโ€™s exclusive enforcement authority on matters relating to the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act.

The NPA also argues that New Yorkโ€™s Law is in conflict with other parts of the FDCA that define dietary supplements because the law attempts to make product definitions that conflict with the FDCA. Additionally, prescription and over-the-counter drugs could also be included in this lawโ€™s enforcement, and those are not dietary supplements.

Further, the law attempts to define what constitutes โ€œweight lossโ€ and โ€œmuscle-buildingโ€ supplements, but such definitions are also the responsibility of the federal government, not the states. This can lead to โ€œimproper arbitrary and capricious application of the lawโ€.[1]

An unconstitutional law

In short, point 39 quickly summarizes this for us:

โ€œSince the FDCA and the Act are in direct conflict, the FDCA preempts the Act and the Act is unconstitutional.โ€[1]

Seeking declaratory judgment and order of restraint

As such, in the lawsuitโ€™s prayer for relief section, the NPA seeks a declaratory judgment that the Act is unconstitutional on its face, and requests an order restraining the state from enforcing the law. They also request attorneysโ€™ fees.

Case updates to be reported in this article

The Natural Products Association has promised to keep us in the loop with major updates as the case develops. You can sign up for alerts on PricePlowโ€™s Natural Products Association news page or in the widget at the bottom of this page.

Through January of 2024, the only update is that the State of New York requested an extension until February 1, 2024 to get through the Holidays and other scheduled cases.[7]

Take Action Now!

Natural Products AssociationNatural Products Association

The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the nationโ€™s leading trade association for dietary supplements and natural health products. See the NPAโ€™s Action Center

To take action, readers can share this article and then head to the NPAโ€™s Action Center and leave a comment to New York. You can also share this image to your Instagram story and link to this page.

Join the NPA

Additionally, brands, manufacturers, and retailers can look to join the Natural Products Association to receive support from the leading trade association for dietary supplements and natural health products.

NPAโ€™s Dan Fabricant speaks out

Dan Fabricant, the Natural Products Associationโ€™s President and CEO, released the following statement:

โ€œGovernor Hochulโ€™s decision to flip-flop and cave to anti-supplement charlatans is evidence she cares more about politics than New Yorkers ability to stay healthy.

Dan Fabricant: NPA's 2023 Washington DC Fly-In Day for Episode #100 on the PricePlow PodcastDan Fabricant: NPA's 2023 Washington DC Fly-In Day for Episode #100 on the PricePlow Podcast

Team PricePlow flew into Washington DC for the Natural Products Associationโ€™s 2023 Fly-In Day, recording a great tell-all podcast with NPAโ€™s CEO, Dan Fabricant, who tells us in PricePlow Podcast Episode #100 why we should be involved in our industryโ€™s politics.

Not only is this unconstitutional, but this prohibition is a bad policy threatening the ability of nearly 80% of Americans to access wellness products theyโ€™ve relied on for their health routines. It also violates the U.S. Constitution because it hands the stateโ€™s executive branch unfettered discretion to restrict access to dietary supplements and relies on an absurd enforcement mechanism to enforce compliance. We believe the court will recognize the serious concerns raised and declare it unconstitutional.โ€

โ€” Dan Fabricant, NPA President & CEO

You can learn more about Dan Fabricant in Episode #100 of the PricePlow Podcast, where he explains why everyone needs to get involved in their industryโ€™s political matters.

Request for comment out for Letitia James

We have reached out to the office of Letitia James for further comment, and will update this article if we receive one.

The background and basis of the law

The New York legislators who created this bill argued that these supplements lead to eating disorders. This has never been established โ€” not through correlation nor causation. There is zero data showing the likelihood of developing an eating disorder as a result of using weight loss products.

Natural Products Association vs. Dick Durbin S.4090Natural Products Association vs. Dick Durbin S.4090

Previously on the PricePlow Podcast, the NPA successfully defeated a bill (S.4090) introduced by Senator Dick Durbin that would have required pre-approval from the FDA for all dietary supplements. Listen to it in Episode #067.

The lawsuit argues that such situations would be filed as adverse events (for which there have been none), and that, too, is under the purview of the federal government, not the states.

Instead, the argument that โ€œfat burners lead to eating disordersโ€ has seemingly been pushed for political grandstanding and headline-worthy clickbait. If we come across any research indicating a correlation or causation between supplements and eating disorders, we will post updates here.

The lawsuit was served by Kevin Bell and Matthew Zapadka of Arnall Golden Gregory (AGG),[8-10] one of NPAโ€™s Washington DC Law Firms. Their New York representation is Aaron Zerykier of Polsinelli PC. It has a case number of 2:2023-cv-08912.

Sign up for our NPA news alerts below:

Subscribe to PricePlow’s Newsletter and Natural Products Association Alerts



Source link


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

>