Washington, D.C.—Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) recognized Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) as a new leader in the Senate for protecting access to dietary supplements.

Heinrich’s taking on this role was communicated in a meeting with all three senators as well as representatives from several dietary supplement trade associations. This move will help fill the gaps created upon the retirements of Hatch and Harkin, each of whom have worked as allies of the industry for over 20 years.

Elected as the junior senator of New Mexico in November 2012, Heinrich has previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives for New Mexico's First Congressional District from 2009 to 2012 and on the Albuquerque City Council from 2003 to 2007, including one term as city council president in 2006. He also is well aware of the role the supplement industry plays both in his state and the entire country, joining the Congressional Dietary Supplements Caucus in 2013, the first senator to do so since Hatch and Harkin founded it.

Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association and one of the representatives present at the meeting, noted that “we cannot expect our Senatorial champions' roles to be easily filled.” At the same time, he was optimistic about the role Heinrich has taken on, calling him “a friend that our longtime champions also now clearly recognize as our next generation standard bearer."

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2015