Fact Check-Dietary supplement bill would not let FDA ‘ban’ supplements, herbs

A proposed bill that calls for dietary supplement manufacturers to list their products with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is being misconstrued online by users who claim it will give the FDA new power to approve or ban supplements. The FDA can take action to remove dangerous or illegal supplements from the market, but it cannot approve or ban products before they are marketed.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here) .

The text in one post reads: “They trying to shut down Natural Health Supplements/Remedies down.

you see anything on ballots dealing with this, protect our free-will to heal & remain Naturally Healthy! THIS IS ANOTHER ATTEMPT OF CONTROL! DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS. OUR PEOPLE BEEN USING NATURAL REMEDIES FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. NOW THEY TRYNA TAKE THAT AWAY. #naturalhealth #naturalhealing #naturalsupplements”

The FDA regulates – but does not approve - dietary supplements in the U.S. under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) and has “authority to take action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.” (here)

Prior to marketing, companies are responsible for “evaluating the safety and labeling of their products … to ensure that they meet all the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as amended by DSHEA and FDA regulations,” FDA explains (here).

But companies are not currently required to provide that information to FDA unless the product contains a “new dietary ingredient” that was not marketed in the U.S. before October 1994 and is not already consumed as food (here).

Social media users are referring to the bipartisan bill S.4090, also known as the “Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022,” sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin and co-sponsored by Senator Mike Braun (here), which would require all companies to “list” their product with FDA and provide basic information about it to the agency (here).

A modified version of the bill in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee’s draft of the FDA User Fee package contains text clarifying that the FDA would not gain any new power to approve or ban supplements (here)

Maddie Carlos, press secretary for Durbin, told Reuters via email that the claim is “100 percent false.”

“Nothing in this legislation gives FDA the authority to ban a dietary or herbal supplement, nor does it provide FDA with the authority to require pre-market approval of dietary supplement products,” Carlos said.

“Sen. Durbin’s bipartisan legislation simply requires dietary supplement companies to register their products with the FDA and provide common-sense, basic information to the agency regarding ingredients and labeling,” Carlos said. “Currently, dietary supplement companies are not required to provide this information to FDA, leaving the agency - and consumers writ large - without vital information needed to ensure safety and transparency into the dietary supplement marketplace.”


Missing context. The proposed bill would require dietary supplement manufacturers to report information about their products to the FDA. It would not give the FDA a new power to approve or ban products before they are marketed.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .