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June 26, 2024 | GeneralNew York

What is New York’s New Policy on Supplement Sales to Minors?

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New York now prohibits the sale of certain weight-loss and muscle-building supplements to minors. Before April, anyone, including minors, could purchase weight-loss and muscle-building supplements online or in-store. The new law bans the sale of over-the-counter dietary supplements to minors, but does allow exceptions for protein powders, drinks, and snacks. New York is the first state to pass a law of this kind and is setting standards for Massachusetts, Colorado, and California who may soon follow the same path.

What Does the Legislation Say? 

The State of New York can now fine any business that sells diet pills or supplements labeled as “fat-burning” or “muscle-building” to children. Minors can still purchase protein powders if they do not contain other ingredients that fall under the ban. The law doesn’t name any specific products in the ban but does allow for judges enforcing the bill to consider creatine, green tea extract, and raspberry ketone illegal supplements.

Proponents of the bill are concerned by multiple studies that found some supplements contained trace amounts of steroids and banned stimulants. New York law classifies steroids as a controlled substance and punishment for possession may include hefty fines or jail time. For more information on steroid law, visit here.

The Attorney General may issue warnings when a vendor violates the new law, and penalties can reach up to $500. The law intends to protect children from under-regulated diet pills and supplements. Congress members who sponsored the bill emphasized the harmful effects of diet pills on eating disorders and mental health as well as their lack of regulation by the FDA.

As of today, the FDA does not review weight-loss and muscle-building supplements before they are sold in stores or online. This leaves the potential for supplement users to become ill or develop an eating disorder.

Pushback on the Bill 

While many supporters of the bill champion its limits on unregulated supplements, opposers say that bill is too vague and sellers may struggle to implement the rules. At least two lawsuits have already been filed. The plaintiffs argue that the regulation is not clear and falls under the FDA’s scope of responsibility.

In a suit by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a Manhattan federal judge denied a motion to prevent the enforcement of the law. The judge stated that protecting minors from harmful substances outweighed the difficulties of following the law. CRN president and CEO Steve Mister stated that he would continue to challenge the law and believes that it “unfairly restricts consumer access to legitimate, beneficial health products and infringes upon the rights of businesses to engage in lawful commerce.”

Some companies have already begun to find new ways to implement the law. The owner of Natural Body Astoria in Queens stated that the shop had been limiting supplement sales to minors before the law was even effective. The Vitamin Shoppe’s online store now contains a requirement that buyers of certain products in New York need to present an ID prior to purchase. If you have questions on how the law can impact your online store, visit our page here.

Conclusion

As more states begin to consider greater regulation on dietary supplements, it is important to stay informed and up to date on laws in your area. If you sell or buy supplements and are concerned about your rights under this new measure, contact us.

Contributions to this blog by Lily Harrison and Katherine Baeppler.

 

 

Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash
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