In yet another attempt by the mainstream pharmaceutical world to discredit the benefits of natural supplements, GlaxoSmithKline—along with their buddies, The American Dietetic Association, The Obesity Society and Shaping America‘s Health—attempted to squeeze a petition under the radar…
…asking the FDA to treat weight loss claims as disease claims!
If the FDA agrees, nutritional supplement distributors would no longer be allowed to sell anything designed to support healthy weight loss without first having their product (and/or claims) approved by the FDA.
A move that would be in direct conflict with the tenets of Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.
It seems, now that GSK has an over-the-counter, FDA-approved, weight loss pill (Alli, launched last June), they want to stamp out any potential competition from the nutritional supplement world.
The petition actually acknowledges that obesity, in and of itself, is not a disease. But, notes that there is significant research associating obesity with a number of disease states. And, as such, they might as well classify obesity as a disease too.
In essence, it‘s a petition to bend the rules in the name of "bully" capitalism.
In the statement prepared by President and CEO, Steve Mister, the Council for Responsible Nutrition has already stepped up to the plate and announced their plans to "vigorously defend the industry‘s rights in this area."
Provided supplement companies are able to produce credible substantiation, the CRN statement continues, weight loss claims are actually "legitimate and appropriate."
Dozens of other nutritional supplement companies and their advocates are ready to join the fight against this petition as well.
Interestingly enough, the petition doesn‘t ask for the outright banning of weight loss supplements—so you‘d still be able to get your hands on the ones you already know about.
They just don‘t want supplement companies to be able to say "weight loss" in their claims—crippling new companies‘ and supplements‘ ability to get into the public view.
At this point, the FDA hasn‘t taken any specific action and has not addressed (at least not publicly) its take on the petition. So, for now we‘ll have to sit tight and see what happens next. I‘ll be sure to keep you posted!