Washington, D.C.—The 15th Annual Natural Products Day (hosted by the Natural Products Association [NPA]) is slated to be held on Tuesday, March 27. The intention of this lobbying event is to facilitate meetings between industry members and senators, representatives and their staff. The NPA will prearrange such meetings.
The morning of the lobbying, the NPA will host an hour-long lobbying workshop designed to give attendees everything they need to know about lobbying. Everyone will then here from the NPA about the messages to be brought to Congress on behalf of the natural products industry so that one united voice will be heard.
There are several key points that industry members will be bringing home to Congress. According to NPA president (and owner of Wright’s Nutrients, New Port Richey, FL) Jeff Wright, a major focus will be talking to legislators about the potential implications of the proposed New Dietary Ingredients Guidance. “NPA has called for an overhaul of the draft guidance and believes that it undermines DSHEA in a number of important respects, imposing substantial new costs on manufacturers with no additional safety benefits,” he states.
Also, industry members will ask their representatives to support the Family and Retirement Health Investment Act, under which supplements and meal replacement items could be reimbursed with Health and Flexible Spending Account money. Says Wright, “We believe this would help to promote health and well-being, and reduce overall health care costs.”
Last, lawmakers will be asked to voice their opposition to the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act, because it could limit supplements’ availability to consumers. “The U.S. supplement industry has an excellent safety record, and these burdensome new regulations are not necessary,” says Wright. Packets of information will be provided to leave with legislators.
Wright stresses that those on the fence about attending should commit to the event. “As a retailer myself,” he says, “I know that time is precious and that the time I spend at my business is very important. But what goes on in Congress is very important for my business, too. Natural Products Day is the perfect opportunity for me to meet with my representative and senators. I let them know how the decisions they make can help or hurt my business.”
Attendees can also attend an evening reception that will honor NPA Congressional Champions. Additional information is available at www.NPAinfo.org/NPD12.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2012, online 12/22/11, updated 12/30/11