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FTC Provision In Finance Reform Bill Could Bite Supplement Firms

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Dietary supplement trade groups join a wide swath of industries telling Congress a minor provision of extensive financial services reform legislation would give the Federal Trade Commission nearly unfettered rulemaking authority

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Congress nixes expanding FTC powers

Congress drops a proposal to dramatically expand the Federal Trade Commission's authorities, much to the relief of the dietary supplement and other industries. Conference committee members agreed June 25 to a version of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, H.R. 4173, without a provision to allow FTC to adopt regulations via Administrative Procedure Act rulemaking procedures. The Natural Products Association and the Council for Responsible Nutrition lobbied against the provision (1"The Tan Sheet" April 26, 2010). NPA and CRN support enhancing FTC's enforcement capabilities, but say the changes the House proposed were unfair and should not be part of legislation about unrelated issues. "There's nothing about giving FTC any additional powers that had anything to do with Wall Street," said NPA Executive Director and CEO John Gay. "We believe that there needs to be more activity by FTC going after some of the bad actors in the supplement industry," said Mike Greene, CRN's VP of governmental relations

Senate leaves FTC provision off finance reform

A congressional conference committee will decide whether to include a provision in financial services reform legislation provision that dramatically expands the Federal Trade Commission's rulemaking authority. The Senate passed a version of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, H.R. 4173, without a provision the House included that amends the FTC Act by removing procedural requirements from the commission's rulemaking and enforcement capabilities (1"The Tan Sheet" April 26, 2010). Dietary supplement industry trade groups and other industry organizations lobbied against the provision that would enable FTC to adopt trade regulations using the Administrative Procedure Act rulemaking procedure and no longer require the agency to obtain congressional approval before undertaking formal rulemaking procedures. The House and Senate will appoint conference committee members to negotiate a final bill that resolves differences over the FTC provision and other sections of the extensive legislation

FTC Intensifies Health Claims Scrutiny, Enforcement Strategies

A joint Federal Trade Commission/FDA working group will evaluate claims made for dietary supplements, conventional foods and OTC drugs, said the commission's Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck

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