" I was dismayed that baseball officials are blaming the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) for the alleged steroid abuse by athletes. Donald Fehr, Major League Baseball’s union chief, recently testified to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that Congress has played a role in the steroid abuse scandal by passing DSHEA in 1994.
In an interview with The New York Daily News, UCLA professor Don Catlin, who runs the Olympic lab in Los Angeles, jumped on the anti-DSHEA bandwagon, saying, “It was very clear to me that DSHEA was created in order to give the supplement manufacturers a huge shield so they could distribute steroids.”
As the President/CEO of a company that prides itself on producing well-researched, high-quality nutritional supplements that contain exactly what is listed on the label, I’m appalled at these ridiculous statements.
First, DSHEA was passed to protect the rights of consumers. Prior to DSHEA, FDA was arbitrarily treating supplements as either unapproved food additives or drugs, which they are not, restricting consumers’ access to nutritional supplements.
Second, the anabolic steroid drugs athletes are abusing cannot scientifically or ethically be compared to nutritional supplements. Hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone and progesterone are all found naturally in the human body, do not produce the same potent effects associated with prescription anabolic steroid drugs and have been shown to enhance many aspects of health.
Fehr’s testimony has unearthed the first stirrings of DSHEA unrest in Congress. House Oversight Committee’s chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), agrees with Fehr that DSHEA is ripe for review.
Fehr and the baseball industry clearly are trying to find a scapegoat to distract Congress and pull attention away from the true problem. This misguided approach is endangering DSHEA, one of the most important and beneficial laws Congress has passed. I urge you to contact your representatives and senators and ask them to continue to support DSHEA and your right to have access to nutritional supplements."