Dietary Supplements Compliance and the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014

February 25, 2014 By

Congress introduces the new Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 and has full support of major dietary supplement stakeholders.  The ACT is intended to target dietary supplement products that are misbranded and adulterated by containing illegal anabolic steroids and impose tougher penalties to ensure dietary supplements compliance.

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA) of 2014 is a bill that is intended to protect consumers and support dietary supplements compliance by granting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) new tools to identify and respond to new designer illegal anabolic steroids that have been placed in and marketed as dietary supplements.  DASCA will update the DEA Controlled Substance List with new anabolic steroids that are illegally marketed to promote muscle growth.  There is already an additional 25 new substances proposed to be added to the controlled substances list.

There are many companies with marketed supplements that claim to support muscle growth and maintenance and meet the regulations with respect to dietary supplement compliance.  However as the demand for these products are continually increasing, industry faces challenges of competing with products that contain illegal anabolic steroids to boost the effectiveness of the product.  Products that contain anabolic steroids are in violation of the dietary supplements compliance regulations since they are often mislabeled and do not declare the illegal anabolic steroid contained within them.  This poses a threat to consumer health and damages the reputation of the dietary supplement industry who are striving for dietary supplement compliance.  Many times there is no easy way to detect illegal anabolic steroids contained in raw materials or finished products. This is particularly an issue with dietary supplement manufacturers who are not aware of these possible contaminants in their raw materials.  It is recommended that manufacturers who produce dietary supplements intended to support muscle growth and maintenance ensure they are aware of possible illegal anabolic steroids contained in their raw materials and put in place appropriate specifications to test for these contaminants.  This will help promote dietary supplement compliance for products intended to support muscle growth on the market.

Currently, new designer anabolic steroids are created to closely resemble ones listed on the DEA Controlled Substances List by tweaking the listed anabolic steroids enough so that they are not identical to those deemed illegal.  However, a dietary supplement products containing these ingredients and declaring muscle growth claims would still be considered misbranded and adulterated and therefore not in dietary supplement compliance. DASCA will change the criteria to make it easier for placing these additional anabolic steroids on the DEA Controlled Substance List and make it easier to identify and catalog the new steroids.

DASCA has widened the definition of adulterated and misbranded for dietary supplements compliance to capture the dietary supplements containing new designer anabolic steroids.  It also enforces higher penalties for those firms manufacturing and marketing dietary supplements containing anabolic steroids, such as up to $2.5 million and up to 10 years in prison.  Many dietary supplement industry stakeholders such as CRN, AHPA, UNPA, are in full support of the DASCA to help reduce illegally branded dietary supplements containing undeclared anabolic steroids for muscle growth.

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