Dietary Supplements in the States

Dietary supplements have become increasingly popular among Americans seeking to enhance their health and wellbeing. These products, which include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, enzymes, and amino acids, are intended to supplement the diet by increasing nutrient intake. The dietary supplement industry has grown substantially over the past couple of decades, reflecting consumer interest in more proactive approaches to managing health. Importantly though, while dietary supplements are regulated as a special category of food and not as drugs, their manufacturing and labeling are still subject to quality standards and regulations. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, supplement makers are responsible for ensuring product safety and truthful marketing, and the FDA oversees post-market surveillance for adverse effects and takes enforcement action when issues arise. Consumers should rest assured that regulatory safeguards are in place even as more Americans look to supplements as complements to diet and lifestyle measures aimed at improving wellness.

Access to dietary supplements provides consumers with more options for supporting their health, and regulations should avoid creating unjustified barriers. Local and state officials should follow the federal government's lead in taking a science-based approach to dietary supplement oversight focused on product safety, quality, and truth in advertising rather than imposing additional restrictions that could deny consumers access. Going beyond federal requirements could negatively impact public health by blocking availability of safe, beneficial supplements.

Current Issues

Weight Loss Products and Diet Pills


In recent years, dietary supplements marketed for weight loss have faced growing scrutiny from state regulators and consumer protection groups. While many Americans use these products responsibly and safely, officials have raised concerns about the safety of certain stimulants and other ingredients to the teen population. However, it is important to note that no scientific evidence has established causation between FDA-regulated weight loss supplements and eating disorders or related issues, even in teenagers. The majority of products do not contain compounds linked to such conditions when used as directed.

CHPA’s Position

Reasonable protections against misuse by minors may be warranted, but it is equally important not to over-regulate responsible brands selling safe, natural weight loss aids to adults. Achieving the right balance remains an ongoing challenge for policymakers.



Clear, accurate labeling enables consumers to make informed choices about over-the-counter health products, so oversight of labels is crucially important. The FDA provides rigorous scientific review and enforcement at the national level to ensure labels contain factual information about ingredients, uses, potential risks, and proven benefits. This centralized, consistent federal regulation has served the public well by balancing consumer education and safety with manufacturer burdens.

The Issue

Attempts by state or local authorities to add labeling requirements risk creating confusion, raising costs, and limiting consumer access with little added benefit. Consumers across the country have the right to see the same factual product information no matter where they live.

CHPA’s Position

It is highly advisable for all non-federal regulatory bodies to refrain from imposing any labeling rules, restrictions, or mandates that deviate from FDA oversight in this area. Consistent standards under the sole purview of the agency’s experts remains the best approach.

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