NPA Comments on EPA’s Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

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On Tuesday, December 29, the Natural Product Association (NPA) submitted comments regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) called “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals.” According to the summary, the rule proposes a “tailored, sector-specific set of regulations for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities (including pharmacies) and reverse distributors.”

The goal of the proposed rule is ultimately to make drinking and surface water safer by reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals entering waterways. EPA projects that the rule will “prevent the flushing of more than 6,400 tons of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals annually by banning healthcare facilities from flushing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the sink and toilet.”  

Unfortunately, EPA has included dietary supplements in this proposed rule, essentially defining supplements as pharmaceuticals which Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of NPA argues contradicts the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as well as the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. In a news release, he states, “The inclusion of dietary supplements in this rule represents a clear infringement of the federal statute governing dietary supplements, a complete disregard for Congressional intent, and an unfair targeting of the dietary supplement industry.”

“If EPA was concerned about dietary ingredients in all foods, including dietary supplements,” Fabricant adds, “they would have included the billions of gallons of vitamin-fortified milk that are discarded on an annual basis in their hazardous waste management standard.”

NPA’s comments can be read here.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine February 2016