NM Senator Adds Support For Steroid Control Act

Martin Heinrich, the senator for New Mexico, has announced that he will be supporting the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA). By extending his support, Heinrich joins Sen. Whitehouse RI, Sen. Hatch UT and Sen. McCain AZ as a co-sponsor.

The announcement by Heinrich was welcomed by Mike Greene, vice president, government affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), who remarked the association appreciated Sen. Heinrich’s support of DASCA. He added anabolic steroids falsely marketed as dietary supplements continue to be an issue if you look at the warning letters from the FDA over the last four years.

Greene remarked the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act gives the Drug Enforcement Administration much needed authority to rapidly respond when new designer anabolic steroids, which are illegal drugs, masquerade as dietary supplements and we hope the colleagues of Sen. Heinrich in the Senate will join him in co-sponsoring DASCA.

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act seeks to ensure that anabolic androgenic steroids are not misrepresented as legitimate dietary supplements. This act will make this differentiation by broadening the definition and imposing tougher penalties on firms making and selling anabolics as legal supplements. DASCA also seeks to amend the Controlled Substances Act and add more than 25 new substances to the current lists of defined anabolic androgenic steroids, and revises the process whereby new substances can be added in the future. The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act also imposes tougher penalties (up to $2.5m and up to 10 years in prison) for the manufacture, sale, and/or distribution of substances that meet the definition.

In 2012, a bill of the same name was introduced by Senators Hatch and Whitehouse, but failed to pass into law. Introduction of DASCA was welcomed by a joint statement from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA). The statement said the trade associations of the dietary supplement industry strongly support DASCA, a bill that protects consumers by empowering the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with new tools to identify and quickly respond when new designer anabolic steroids are falsely marketed as dietary supplements. The statement also said this will make it easier for DEA to identify and catalog new chemicals and DASCA will also allow DEA to respond faster to stop those criminals who create new anabolic substances closely resembling listed ones, but tweaked just enough that they are not identical to their flagged counterparts.

The joint statement also said unapproved steroids illegally sold as dietary supplements are not only dangerous for consumers, but also unfairly damage the reputation of responsible dietary supplement companies that provide consumers with legitimate, high-quality and beneficial supplements for sports nutrition and performance. It went on to add that responsible dietary supplement industry stakeholders have consistently supported congressional and regulatory efforts to enact and enforce laws that help eliminate illegal products that masquerade as dietary supplements, and to prosecute the criminals who manufacture and sell them.

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