The Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, DC) is concerned that legislation recently introduced in the Senate that would establish a mandatory list of products could undermine homeland security. In a letter to Merrick Garland, Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice, Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Xavier Becerra, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel Manufacturer, Chairman and CEO of NPA, expressed concerns about how publicly available information collected by the Mandatory Product List would enable acts of bioterrorism. The manufacturer cites a law passed in the wake of 9/11 that protected information about domestic and foreign facilities that are required to register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“In the wake of the attacks on our homeland, Congress in 2002 passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act, Pub.L. 107-188 (“Bioterrorism Act”). Section 305 of the Bioterrorism Act requires domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, package, or hold dietary supplements and other foods intended for consumption in the United States to register with [FDA]writes Maker. “[Section 305] gave the FDA important information it would need to respond quickly to an actual bioterrorism threat or attack on the food supply…However, to protect this information from individuals or groups with malicious intent, the Act on bioterrorism required the FDA to “maintain and update the list of facilities” but prohibited disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of the “list and any registration documents submitted pursuant thereto” to the law “.
The NPA is concerned that the Dietary Supplements List Act of 2022 will undermine these protections. The information required by the bill includes: the trade name of the dietary supplement, the full trade name and address of all locations, a copy of the dietary supplements label and package leaflet, a list of all ingredients , as well as the dosage format.
“This is precisely the type of information that bioterrorists would need to introduce contaminants or poisons into the food supply, and it would all be made available to them in a publicly accessible database maintained by the federal government in the United States. taxpayer expense,” says Maker.